choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good read)

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
aideym
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choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good read)

Postby aideym » 9 Mar 2015, 1:00am

In pursuit of the ultimate recumbent ahead of my visit to Kevin at DTek on Tuesday, I have quite literally spent days on the internet looking at weird and wonderful machines. What I garnered is the the world of recumbent is still evolving and that nothing is set in stone. For me this is so refreshing, there are no real rights, no real wrongs.
In 150 years of evolution the upright "safety bike" has pretty much reached it's development limit, the only gains are through materials and minor tweaking of what is known, whereas it appears the next big step forward is just around the corner for feet first cycles. I am only sorry it took disability for me to join the fun. As an amateur blogger, I feel I have a fresh new subject to dig into, although to the rest of you, this is all old news. Sorry I took so long!

So in a day's time I have to venture to Ely with an idea of what I want. Unfortunately I appear to have clouded it with a strange desire for a Cruzbike Silvio. And yet, they appear to be the worst kind of bike to master and with precious few bones left to break that is a stupid idea. So before I commit myself to an iron lung and three decades of regret let me run a few thoughts past the forum.

I cycle a lot of towpaths and a lot of bridleways, as well as commuting to work in Birmingham on the road and enjoying the country lanes in my freetime. I would like my purchase to be able to deal with unsealed surfaces, narrow tracks, heavy traffic and big (ish) hills. On average I manage 100 miles a week, when I am not receiving acupuncture for my twice broken back and destroyed elbow.

I am not at all sure about different sized wheels, something in my head thinks this is fine for three wheels but not for two. I am not at all sure about small wheels, lots of effort, little gain and not good off road ( big rocks mean stop). I am not sure about being perched upon high as if on a mobile sacrificial altar and miles of chain to a distant back wheel is not quite right, not to mention the degradation of torsional stiffness the longer things get. I am prepared to accept the lower drag coefficient outweighs higher weight and I am prepared to accept my overlarge belly blows a massive hole in my weight weenie desires for a bike.

Currently I ride a Genesis Croix de Fer. It is a heavy steel disc braked bike, with a good specification, equipped with my favourite Brooks saddle and comfy 35c tires. My best bike is an all carbon On One Dirty Disco. It is light, it is stiff, it is miles faster and better than me and it is a bone shaking-ly uncomfortable, joyous celebration of what is right in the upright world. It has disc brakes, expensive attachments and a limited edition Brooks Cambium saddle. I rarely emerge from her company in a less than aroused state.

And yet, according to the medical people this all has to change.

On Tuesday I think my list of important stuff will be:-
. at least 26" wheels
.titanium or aluminium (maybe carbon if *) when * equals some form of suspension
. some form of suspension
. higher than nettles, brambles and geese (I hate geese)
. disc brakes
. plenty of gears (I like gears)
. comfortable
. sexy
. above seat steering (nettles and brambles are low)

And that brings me to the Cruzbike Silvio, so what else is there out there?

4wils
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby 4wils » 9 Mar 2015, 7:40am

I ride a Bacchetta and an Ice VortexFS trike . If you want comfort I would suggest supension, on the Ice I can hit potholes at speed without any issue. Doing the same on the Bacchetta is not a nice experience!

kingrollo
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 7:45pm

Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby kingrollo » 9 Mar 2015, 9:18am

I will post my fuller thoughts later - but for now

Nazca Gaucho

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pjclinch
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby pjclinch » 9 Mar 2015, 10:50am

aideym wrote:I cycle a lot of towpaths and a lot of bridleways, as well as commuting to work in Birmingham on the road and enjoying the country lanes in my freetime. I would like my purchase to be able to deal with unsealed surfaces, narrow tracks, heavy traffic and big (ish) hills.


A lot of upwrong thinking transfers straight across. Narrow means trikes aren't such a great idea, unsealed surfaces is really mainly about tyre choice, and hills about gearing.

aideym wrote:I am not at all sure about different sized wheels, something in my head thinks this is fine for three wheels but not for two. I am not at all sure about small wheels, lots of effort, little gain and not good off road ( big rocks mean stop).


I have a 26/20 and I must admit I don't really see the point, and it just means you have to carry a bigger choice of tubes. But (and it's a big but) I haven't ridden anything with same-size wheels that hits my mark as well, so I'll stick with what I have. In other words it's an "if all else is equal" thing, not an up-front deal breaker.

Small wheels... the late Dr. Moulton demonstrated some time ago that a small wheel with a high pressure tyre and appropriate suspension is not a problem, and in some respects an advantage (stronger, better aero) that overcomes the higher rolling resistance. The suspension will deal with smaller rocks too, and for bigger rocks you probably don't want to be on a 'bent because something you can stand up and move your balance around does work better on technical balance-critical stuff. So for stuff you'd take a 'bent on I wouldn't worry too much about wee wheels.

aideym wrote:On Tuesday I think my list of important stuff will be:-
. at least 26" wheels
.titanium or aluminium (maybe carbon if *) when * equals some form of suspension
. some form of suspension
. higher than nettles, brambles and geese (I hate geese)
. disc brakes
. plenty of gears (I like gears)
. comfortable
. sexy
. above seat steering (nettles and brambles are low)

And that brings me to the Cruzbike Silvio, so what else is there out there?


Be willing to amend your idea of "important" after you've done a bit of riding.

Enjoy!

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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squeaker
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby squeaker » 9 Mar 2015, 10:54am

Beware FWD on slippery hills - not a good idea IME, but might be passable with the right tyres? Just a thought (from on road use of a Raptobike).
"42"

kingrollo
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby kingrollo » 9 Mar 2015, 6:59pm

You might need to rethink on or to of those assumptions:-

Sure the smaller front wheel don't look sexy, and carrying multiple tubes can be a minor inconvenience - so why do recumbents with smaller front wheels exist ? - The answer is that it lower the BB height - this makes it considerably easier to get your foot up and down when stopping and starting.

When I was surfing to buy my first recumbent - Like you I wan't a high seating position - However I soon realised that the desired Optima baron would be a bit daunting to ride - No I am pretty nervous cyclist it took me ages to try and use clip in pedals - and I never did learn to ride no hands. The Trip to Kevin at DTEK confimed my instincts - He say me on a giro 26 - I was just to terrified to push off ! - so I knew i needed something beginner friendly. I had tried a Bacchetta Cafe at DTEK and liked it - so ended up buying the very similar Bachetta Giro 20 - It may not be suited for you needs though - I tend to slip down the saddle (Seat !) on bumpy roads - (I have been told that mesh seat options helps this though) - it also doesn't have suspension.

You strike me as a seasoned cyclist - so you may be able to handle ans 26x26 straight off - Many do. I would have a rethink on the smaller front wheel set up though - mine certainly feels plenty fast enough downhill - and I have very slow tyres on - The cruz bikes look great - but thats on hell of a learning curve - from what I can gather you partially steer with you feet - as well as pedal

2 bikes which spring to mind

Nazca Guacho 26 model

Azub Max - Which looks ideal for you needs with its disc brakes and chunky tyres

Have you considered a starter bike, as a toe in the water ? - Consider the Burley Limbo - you'd get on for around £300 - its a LWB - that converts to a SWB

Joe.B
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby Joe.B » 9 Mar 2015, 7:54pm

hi aideym,

My first 2 wheeler was a dual 26 Challenge Seiran that I bought secondhand only last year. Although I quickly managed to get the nack of riding such a tall bike (and have not yet had a fall), start/stop situations and junctions were a nervous affair for quite a while. If you are aiming to use your new bent for commuting and urban riding be aware that a dual big wheeler requires you to think ahead a bit more than a lower bent or a DF just because your feet are so far away from the ground.

As others have said the bike that seems to best fit your requirements is the Nazca Gaucho, Azub also have big wheel bents that would fit your needs. I don't know what the current state of Challenge if not available new look for a used Seiran or Furai.

Google Dave McCraw's superb laidback reviews blog for some great advice.

aideym
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby aideym » 9 Mar 2015, 10:20pm

Thank you for all the replies. D Day approaches, just a matter of 8 hours before I am up for my train.
With a lack of rigidity a flaccid jelly fish would envy I have once again gone through my options. I completely understand the sense behind buying a lower bike to serve my apprenticeship on and nobody has just one bike, that notion is ridiculous.

So with fresh eyes I have read through every review and taken on board those specifically mentioned.
I like the Azub Max, probably the most out of the suggestions. The review are great and the company ethos appears spot on but I wouldn't be seeing much change from £3k and that is probably £1k more than I can afford. If there is a secondhand one out there,
Next on the list would have to be the Challenge Furai but in particular the 24, it looks good and appears a healthy compromise on seat and boom height.
And finally the Nazca despite its ferrous content is also appealing.
I had best get off to bed, can't wait for tomorrow.

UpWrong
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby UpWrong » 9 Mar 2015, 10:35pm

You haven't said how tall you are. It helps to be in the 6' plus region if you want to have dual 700c wheels on a bent. I believe the Gaucho high racer actually has a lower seat than the Gaucho 26 and has a carbon fork option. Unfortunately still too high for me.

dakari-mane
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby dakari-mane » 10 Mar 2015, 12:50pm

Azub Max would be my choice. Fills all the criteria. It's the one I'd go for if I had the cash as the Azub is the SEXXOR.
http://www.azub.eu/recumbent-bike-azub-max/
Image

aideym
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby aideym » 10 Mar 2015, 8:03pm

I have just returned from a trip to Kevin at Dtek. What can I say? He is a total top bloke, a fantastic teacher with a lexicon of information on the world of recumbents. It has been a long day but my it was worth it.

First off I learned how to wobble on a bike resembling a large chopper then progressed down the seat heights to a Bacchetta Bella. The ride was a revelation after 4 decades of racing bikes. Learning to ride was pretty intuitive however once I settled in my subconscious tried making micro corrections that would work on a safety bike that produced interesting results in feet first mode so I didn't always track in a straight line but the smile wasn't a straight line either. An unexpected sheer joy was doing a U turn seemingly by pure downward pressure on the seat. I tried it a couple of times to see if it was a fluke.

I was then coaxed onto the mid height offerings, The Bacchetta Giro 26 looked very daunting as I launched myself into the unknown but I shouldn't have worried too much, aside from squeezing myself in between the bars whilst maneuvering away from a standstill, the rest was plain sailing, well I replicated tacking into the wind with some accomplishment. The Giro easily became my instant favourite, as I hit impossible speeds (it helps not having a speedo) I imagined rides to come aboard a recumbent.
I also sat astride a number of steeds to feel the difference including HP Velo, Challlenge, Catbike and a Cruzbike. I have to say that being a bit of a lardyarse is a major hindrance with a Cruzbike, although my belly damper could well even out the pedal induced steering that FWD apparently create, Cruzbike, remains as gorgeous in the flesh as it is in pictures but only a lot more experience and a lot less belly will realise it as a dream bike.

I was then treated to a test on a number of trikes, i won't say too much about the trikes, I enjoyed riding them but they lacked something that I am struggling to put my finger on. In time I suppose I will suss it out but I think it was the lack of input. You sit in it and then you pedal, if you need to turn, you turn. On a bike to progress you have to include more input, it is more involving. Well that was my initial impression and other impressions may vary.

So where am I at now? Smitten, Reinvented and excited. Even a few blasts up and down a road revealed to me that I would be able to adapt and continue riding. That, ultimately is the reason for all this and I can't wait to get the wobbly and shaky starts, the three penny bit turns and the meandering out the way and put some decent mileage behind me before the summer gets under way.
I'll be putting my best DF up for sale immediately so that there is money available when the right bike appears and I am revisiting DTek in a couple of weeks when I go on holiday in Norfolk. It would be lovely to visit the Queen in her holiday cottage on a recumbent but only time will tell.

Thanks for all the support and information so far, I am sure there will be lots more down the road.

kingrollo
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby kingrollo » 10 Mar 2015, 9:48pm

Great stuff

Much respect for braving the giro 26.....!!!!!

Sods law dictated that it was over a year before a suitable bent came up for me...i was on a pretty tight budget though

What's top of your shortlist then ?

aideym
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby aideym » 11 Mar 2015, 8:05am

To be honest I haven't really got a clue. I have worked out I like the open cockpit layout over the rest and that I prefer the support of a higher seat back / headrest as the lower ones finished right where I broke my back. The Giro was excellent but Kevin mentioned that you can configure this in 26/24 and that would make the boom slightly lower, that would be an excellent step forward. I like the ride comfort of the Big Apple tyre but wonder if it would provide the Giro with enough comfort on the non sealed surfaces I tend to do my pleasure riding on.

I couldn't ride the Challenge as it hadn't been passed fit for service, in theory this was the bike I thought I would like the most, it has a rear spring and felt very nice but it has a high standard set by the Giro to beat.

Aside from these two, I am really open to suggestions. The Azub is out of my price range, the rest aren't so more research is required.

kingrollo
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby kingrollo » 11 Mar 2015, 8:23am

I have a giro 20 - with marathon tyres - and a recurve seat - its not great on anything other than roads - thats partly because I have the recurve seat as opposed to euromesh - and I still ride in quite a upright position. On a bumpy footpath I quickly slide down the seat.

I think it is the giro 20 - that can be upgraded to the 24 in wheel.

Bacchetta are popular recumbents - so odds are you would find 2nd user quite quickly

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pjclinch
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Re: choices choices ( if you are bored this may be a good re

Postby pjclinch » 11 Mar 2015, 9:49am

Just to point out you're not the only one who's ridden some trikes, thought they were okay, got off, and not felt any particular need to own one. With a lottery win and a much bigger garage I'd probably have (at least) one, but for me, now, they're cursed with the kiss-of-death "7/10" rating. Good enough to like but not good enough to buy.

Glad you had fun and saw the light in coming over to the Dark Side :wink:

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...