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24 Jan 2014

The recumbent yet to be developed by someone

This, somewhat unstructured, blogpost started on FB. But I wanted to write more. The last weeks I've done some thinking about what's available these days for those looking for a recumbent bike. It started when I saw a Troytec for sale....

...Those Troytecs are nice built bikes, stiff and with proper handling. Though they forgot to add mudguard eyelets. So even the €5000,- FS HR is a dry conditions bike only.

This problem is the same for most performance 'bents. So you either have a sensible bike that not that fast, or a fast ride that's not easy to life with. One that comes close to the perfect mix is my Fuego. Apart from some frame flex and a 4 metre chain, there's nothing better out there.

The Silvio 2.1 could be really good too. And with good I mean 'Dutch', or practical, allround, easy, whatever you call it. The chain on that is short and stays clean. Trust me, that is nice to have on a bike. But in the hunt for easy manufacturing, you'll have to tinker to mount mudguards or lights. So a €3000,- bike won't work without some d.i.y. It does come with suspension, hurray for that! Though their advice is to check the front shock's pressure before every ride. The Fox shock on my Fuego holds it's pressure for months, perhaps even a year.

Flevobikes Greenmachine is a something really special too. It is as easy to maintain as a traditional town bike. Tiny problem is that it has IHG, with silly evenly spaced gears, and a mushy drive train.

M5? Those steer funny.

The performance orientated bikes generally are used for sport only. And the more practical bike are not fast enough for longer distances. My trusty Pioneer actually is a bit the opposite of me, heavy and large. We do get along.

Small/light riders need efficient bikes. Since the Evo K, S and now Strada DF, that problem is pretty much solved in the range of velomobiles. For those who are slender and seek a fast and practical bike, the best solution still is a tuned and personalized bike like, in my case, my Fuego.

You could also start with a Gaucho. That's a bit slower but gives you 2 big wheels and all the benefits that come with that. Using a performance bike as a basis, will have you tinkering for days. And rear suspension is an absolute must have. For comfort and to keep both wheels on the ground.

5 comments:

  1. From the FB comments:

    Mikhail Twonames: Frame flex isn't always bad. Comfort!

    Peter: True, you want some of that in the right places. That's why chromo steel is a great material. Though on a RWD 'bent, this means that you don't get that magical accelaration that my K offers. A VM doesn't need frame flex in the front, because it has front suspension.

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  2. Designers usually don't ride their bikes. This is where "missing things" begin. Usually client needs to refine the bike. There are many different sort of clients. Designers are not smart enough/ not capable of thinking about all those things. Feedback is essential. Or designers should jump on their bikes.

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  3. What do you mean with: M5 steer funny?
    Is a M5carbon high racer with tailfairing not the bike you are looking for? Almost as fast as a velomobile and you can take some things with you. Also comfortable.

    Regards, Richard

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    Replies
    1. The M5 CHR is quite a nice bike. Though quality wise not up the level a €4000,- bike should be.
      It steers strange, just like every M5, it falls into a corner. That must have something to do with the front fork geometry. And the handle bars only fit Bram.
      It has no mudguard eyelets.
      Is not very stiff. Neither are my own bikes though, but that's what it should be.
      It could be great, but it isn't. I'd rather have a Troytec.
      Sorry.

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    2. Thanks for your reaction Pjotr.
      Today I spoke some guys who know something about recumbents and they said exactly the same things you wrote down.
      Funny that you both say that the CHR is not stiff and that the M5 website alomost screams into your ears; the lightest and stiffest production bike on earth!

      Delete