Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
belgiangoth
Posts: 1346
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby belgiangoth » 24 Oct 2019, 9:06pm

I think n+1 will be a highracer. Looking about at hamster barred highracer options it looks like performer or metabike, as optima appear to be on hiatus. Have I ignored an obvious manufacturer? I have discounted stickbikes because I am european, but at 6’2” I would probably not have many of the stickbike issues and should maybe try one for the better chain efficiency. They are ugly though. Rather tempted by a cruzbike, but unlikely to pop up in my price range.
Any thoughts or recommendations?
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3528
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: So, highracers

Postby PDQ Mobile » 24 Oct 2019, 10:07pm

I always fancied a Challenge Seiran.
Looked well thought out.
But I have no experience of one.
Pricey too i guess.

http://www.challenge-recumbents.com/seiran_detail.php

luminova11
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Location: Bodmin
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby luminova11 » 24 Oct 2019, 11:58pm

Don't forget to take a look at Nazca. Tiller steered available on all their highracers.
https://www.nazca-ligfietsen.nl/models

Stradageek
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Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby Stradageek » 25 Oct 2019, 8:59am

I found the Sieran very disappointing, never felt the power was getting from the pedals to the rear wheel.

I have a 'stick-bike' the now defunct Bacchetta Strada which I find fabulous. Very fast and an excellent climber. It is also very easy to ride, with excellent low speed stability, something that people tell me you can't say about the Metabike.

My lowracer (Speedmachine) is slightly faster on the flat, especially into a headwind, but if the terrain is hilly the only recumbent I have that excels is the Strada. A combination of light weight and transmission efficiency I'm guessing. The Corsa or Aero should be even better.

Not tried an Optima or the Cruzbike though I hear the latter doesn't climb as well as it should, especially in the wet, due to front wheel slippage

At the world HPV championships in Kent I don't recall seeing any other high racers except the Bacchettas - but I stand to be corrected on this, my memory is a little hazy.

Campag
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Joined: 2 Dec 2018, 8:04pm

Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby Campag » 25 Oct 2019, 10:55am

I have a Velomotion - similar to a Bachetta stick bike. Bought as a frameset direct from the manufacturer via eBay. It has the advantages of light weight and a direct chain line. I find it climbs well and good on the flat, despite an ageing engine.

Plenty of choice in how you configure the bike, including a nice carbon fiber steintrikes seat if you go for that option. There's also some information on Facebook, just search for Velomotion.

atlas_shrugged
Posts: 379
Joined: 8 Nov 2016, 7:50pm

Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 25 Oct 2019, 10:56am

I use a Bacchetta Corsa and I have found this to be an excellent machine. It has been especially reliable and is very good for touring and long distance trips. I would say that I am not fast on this bike but this may be more due to the weak engine than the bike itself. It is great to be able to use 700C wheels in case of punctures or tyre replacement. The high position is also good for riding in city traffic.

I also had the chance to try a Pelso highracer. This was a *lovely* bike and I would estimate about 2mph faster than the Bacchetta Corsa. The seat was very comfortable and less spongy than the Bachetta (so probably less energy loss). The bike also seemed stiffer which is said to be good.

For sheer speed on highracers maybe look to the Cruzbike, Zockra, and the bikes that Steen and his shadow Marvin, and David race at HPV WC2018 at Betteshanger, and WC2019 at Nandax.

Come along to BHPC races if you want to try some of these bikes. There is usually a chance during breaks.

belgiangoth
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby belgiangoth » 26 Oct 2019, 12:41am

Thank you for all the replies!
@PDQ - I had discounted Challenge as I hear they are hard to get hold of new (let alone second hand)
@luminova - I hear good things about Nazca, but also expensive and tour/heavy things
@strada - good to know. my other bike is a speedmachine so the comparison is v relevant
@Campag - never heard of them, will check them out
@atlas - don't think a Pelso will be in my price range. I will have to journey forth to a BHPC event, but it won't be soon and I'm not sure I would trust myself riding someone else's 2k bike, let alone the more expensive ones.
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

speedy7777
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Joined: 24 Sep 2017, 11:20pm

Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby speedy7777 » 29 Oct 2019, 6:40am

+ 1 for the scopa. It doesnt tick the hamster bar set up box. These bars do have a couple of advantages. Easier to sit up when stopped at lights. Sightly better underarm ventilation in summer or when riding with gusto. This pic is taken before i trimmed the fork steerer tube extender height and cables to corect length or fitted front disk. The scopa is available with a seperable frame and comes with modern tapered type headtube too I heard. Make sure you specify which rear hub frame spacing you need when ordering.

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With 26" wheels its very easy for 175cm person to reach the floor when stopped. Didnt Dave macraw disprove the idea that stick bikes had a more eficient drive train than euro bend.

http://mccraw.co.uk/stick-bike-vs-euro-bend-chainline/

Having disk brake at least up front is something you should add to a list of wants
These bikes are capable of high speed.

Have You considered a goal X? I comunicated with a guy in Netherands and it looks alot better than the images on performers own web site.
thumbnail_WP_20190322_005.jpg


He had eliminated an idler by making a bracket to raise the front of the seat resulting in a more laid back position and better chain line relative to the suspension pivot too. My current view is that suspension is a big advantage on a recumbent. Its just more relaxing not having to look out for all the bumps and holes and makes control easier.
Consider getting 28mm tubeless tyres and suitable wide tubeless rims from new . Dont worry about weight too much it makes very little difference to speed. Get twist grip gear shifters. Get a luggage rack and rear mud guard with your frame if available.

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Stradageek
Posts: 751
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby Stradageek » 29 Oct 2019, 8:17am

belgiangoth wrote:Thank you for all the replies!
@PDQ - I had discounted Challenge as I hear they are hard to get hold of new (let alone second hand)
@luminova - I hear good things about Nazca, but also expensive and tour/heavy things
@strada - good to know. my other bike is a speedmachine so the comparison is v relevant
@Campag - never heard of them, will check them out
@atlas - don't think a Pelso will be in my price range. I will have to journey forth to a BHPC event, but it won't be soon and I'm not sure I would trust myself riding someone else's 2k bike, let alone the more expensive ones.

I wrote this for 'Velovision' many years ago, it's a Speedmachine - Strada comparison. I think I still agree with most of it, these days my Speedmachine has gone from 'commuter' to 'winter bike' now that I'm retired and I do look forward to the summer days on the faster and more minimalist Bacchetta.

Strada or Speedmachine a personal view

I am a six-year veteran recumbent cyclist who started by building a KS2, just for fun and as a cheap way of entering the recumbent market. Even this heavy, ugly monster convinced me of the delights of recumbent cycling and I migrated rapidly to a second hand HP Velotechnik Speedmachine. With the Speedmachine I gained full suspension, braking power (discs) and general refinement. I have put nearly 5000 miles per year on this little German masterpiece.

In the last couple of years my many ‘up-wrong’ bicycles have all gone to good homes as a neck problem (too much low profile racing bike riding) means that I can now only ride recumbents. The last to go was my old Orbea racing bike and with its departure I found myself desperately missing the acceleration and climbing power it offered.

So after much research (thanks especially to the Velovison Forums and Bentrider Online) I decided to fill the ‘Orbea void’ with a Bacchetta Strada, billed as a light, fast ‘Highracer on a budget’. I couldn’t really afford the Corsa or Aero and I needed the B-Stem anyway to cope with my short arms/long legs.

So here are a few comparative thoughts for those wondering which is best. The answer, of course, is that they are just different but I hope the comparison might help someone to decide where to start on their recumbent journey.

The Speedmachine is the Mercedes SLK of the recumbent world. It is beautifully smooth and comfortable and with BB7 discs it has immense stopping power. This is just as well because at 38 pounds and with 50mph descending speeds you need good brakes. Low speed handling (tiller bars) is a bit challenging but ok and high speeds are just immense fun. Headwinds are barely noticeable.

Hill climbing and acceleration are the only problem areas. You need to use all the gears to get up big hills and attempts to ascend faster result in heavy breathing but little extra speed. When pushing hard at low cadence on the flat significant extra effort also seems to disappear into everything except acceleration. I don’t know where the blame lies but something indiscernible (boom flex, idler angle, suspension squat, weight/inertia) is eating the power. It’s not a big problem given the manifold virtues of this machine, you just relax and take hills steadily at high cadence. I am rarely out of breath, just a bit slow. The Speedmachine is therefore an ideal daily workhorse/fast tourer, which copes, in great comfort with my hilly 33-mile, round trip commute, half urban. half rural, all year, all weathers.

In buying the Strada I was looking for that other option, sacrifice a little comfort but gain speed and power. I’ve had the Strada a few months now and here are my thoughts.

The Strada is high; much higher than the Speedmachine and the ‘superman’ bars in front of the knees are very different from ‘tiller’ bars over the thighs. Getting the seat position/angle and handlebar adjustments right took a few weeks. The Strada feels too upright after the Speedmachine, even at the same seat angle, mainly because the feet are lower on the Strada. Stretching out the arms also feels very odd compared to resting them on my lap (I often hold the tiller bars in the centre in ‘hamster’ mode for better aerodynamics). Even with my long legs, hill starts in traffic are taking some practice.

The mesh/foam seat lacks the lumbar support of the hard shell Speedmachine seat but a bit of ‘modification’ has solved that problem. The ‘give’ in the seat does seem to suck a little power from the legs but the rigidity of the rest of the bike more than makes up for this and I guess that a Strada with a hard shell seat would be a very harsh ride. The foam-padded mesh seems to be almost as good as a suspension system in soaking up any jarring.

Without suspension however big/high speed road bumps will bounce the Strada off-course while the full suspension Speedmachine can plough through almost unperturbed. On my local, often very narrow and bumpy cycle paths the Speedmachine is completely untroubled whilst the Strada requires more concentration. This is rarely a serious problem because the Strada is generally more stable by virtue of the big 650C wheels working in combination with the rigid frame and more central weight distribution. On the Speedmachine you ride with a lot of your weight over that little 405 front wheel. I also feel, but can’t prove, that on coarse tarmac the Strada offers lower rolling resistance.

The rigidity of the Strada does yield really solid handling, I’ve yet to find the limits but I already feel the Strada can take corners faster than the Speedmachine. High-speed descents (on smooth-ish roads) also feel much less flighty on the Strada. And, joy of joys, it does both accelerate and climb! I’ve abandoned cycle computers (in favour of enjoying the ride) so I can’t quantify the improvement but I can change-up whilst climbing and still feel the acceleration. On tired legs at the end of a long ride the last few hills no longer hold any fear. The Strada is nearly a stone lighter than the Speedmachine but I’m sure the rigidity is the bigger factor.

Being ‘high’ you do lose the ‘ground effect’ that the Speedmachine is low enough to enjoy. Strong headwinds are a bit more noticeable but it’s still miles away from the ‘cycling into a brick wall’ experience of an upright bike and I can’t be sure whether the Strada is really that much slower. I recently reeled in a serious amateur time trialist racing against a strong headwind, though it did take me a few miles.

Pleasant surprises that the Strada has gifted me are:

1) The brakes (calliper) are fine, not the laxatives I feared
2) Slow speed stability is excellent, the stall speed is significantly less than the Speedmachine
3) Breathing is easier, lower legs or open arms seem to have much improved the available chest expansion
4) Horses are much less prone to bolt. While they often mistake the Speedmachine for a crouching lion they recognise the Strada as simply a bike.

The downsides are few; wary motorist still give me the space that I never enjoyed on an upright bike but the inhabitants of Northamptonshire clearly feel that while the Speedmachine looked odd, the Bacchetta looks ridiculous. Then again raucous screams as I pass Sunday afternoon pub gardens and teenage girls in serious danger of wetting themselves with hysteria are a small and amusing price to pay for such speed and comfort.

So what do I conclude? Clearly I need to double my annual mileage to get the most out of both of these beautiful machines.

PS. My son now has the Orbea and has already taken 10 minutes out of his hilly 14-mile commute, he’s ecstatic!

swscotland bentrider
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby swscotland bentrider » 31 Oct 2019, 5:44pm

I've owned a few! Ive had two Bachettas, a Corsa ss and a Giro 26. Ive also owned a Nazca Gaucho 28 and am currently building a Gaucho Tour 28. My other 'bent is always a Nazca Fuego.

Bear in mind my views are those of a sixty something (now 70!) year old rider and are formed from my experience over the last decade.

The Corsa SS was the lightest and the one that came closest to a DF in performance terms. By that I mean it could accelerate when you pushed on rather than simply gained speed. It climbed fairly well for a bent. Riding in a group with its changes of pace was easy. Ergonomically it wasn't so good. The tweener bars were super narrow. Steep slow turns were buttock clenching! I found the euromesh seat quite painful after an hour or so. It was a harsh ride. Caliper brakes were :( . The Giro (disc) was quite similar in feel. It was less harsh (28mm tyres). The bars were wider. It was a bit heavier but still quite responsive. On both bikes the Bottom Bracket was high relative to the seat. Thats something to think about. The taller you are the further back the seat and the higher the pedals relative to the seat! I got numb feet on longer rides. Seat position is critical to handling. Tall riders unload the front end especially if laid back.

I then tried a Gaucho 28. This was a bit heavier than the previous two but in every other respect I preferred it. Suspended comfort, Carbon hardshell seat, tiller steering and a lower BB relative to the seat. Caliper brakes though. Dave McCraw gives an excellent account of riding one in PBP on his website.

The bike I am building now is a Gaucho 28 Tour. Building it from a frameset. Ive used an Air shock, Carbon seat and forks. All to shed weight without compromising strength. Disc brakes and a 2 X 10 set up. Open cockpit steering and it can take a rack and panniers. Looking forward to riding it. :D

Big wheels always seem to roll better than small, but they make the bike a little more challenging to ride and over shorter distances can be slower than a low racer.

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NUKe
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby NUKe » 1 Nov 2019, 11:21am

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speedy7777
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby speedy7777 » 10 Nov 2019, 6:46am

Better pics of the scopa. Its an amazing bike at a good price. Got some 10k local Kom s on it in the summer (about 15 mins) The major advantage that i can see vs a bachetta is that the seat position is fixed and it has an adjustabe boom. About £1100 total using a new frame and a mix of new and second hand parts. The wheels are 26" and the forks are off ali express meant for 24" wheels but work well with the 26" wheels and 28mm tyres. Larger tyres wouldnt work but it does have about 4mm clearance like this.
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Last edited by speedy7777 on 18 Nov 2019, 9:51pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby Cunobelin » 10 Nov 2019, 8:59am

My experience is across the range not with high-racers.

My Challenge bike is I believe the first Hurricane raced in the UK and has elastomer suspension



In my experience a moving seat can alter the centre of gravity and affect handling more than an adjustable boom

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Cunobelin
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby Cunobelin » 10 Nov 2019, 9:08am

Off topic, but high racers make me smile. Back on the early 90’s I bought a trice from Peter Ross

He also had a racer that along with the Kingcycle are a clear predecessor to the modern range


Mind you this (and Peter Ross) was the entire range available in the UK

Neatwork Recumbents

Campag
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Re: Highracers - any experiences or advice ?

Postby Campag » 11 Nov 2019, 11:23am

speedy7777 wrote:Better pics of the scopa. Its an amazing bike at a good price. Got some 10k local Kom s on it in the summer (about 15 mins) The major advantage that i can see vs a bachetta is that the seat position is fixed and it has an adjustabe boom. About £1100 total using a new frame and a mix of new and second hand parts.


That's a nice bike Speedy. I've set mine up a bit differently, steering combines a short tiller with a long fork stem. 27.5" rear wheel, 20" front:

ImageVelomotion at Wark bridge by Dave Sharpe, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20190512_102308 by Dave Sharpe, on Flickr