By BRYAN J. BALL
Every Azub recumbent bears a sticker that proudly proclaims, “Built in Czech” and their Sales Director, Honza Gala, can also proudly proclaim (although he doesn’t) that he probably knows more about touring with a recumbent bicycle than anyone else on the planet. Honza has ridden the world and spent weeks on end in some of the most remote places on Earth. And he’s by no means the only Azub employee with such experiences. All of that knowledge is on display in their Azub Six full-suspension short wheelbase (SWB) recumbent bike.
The Six may appear at first glance to be the most “conventional” bike in Azub’s line-up. It’s easy to overlook the old-school 20” front wheel/26” rear configuration amidst their collection of trikes, off-roaders and folders. The truth is that it’s really not that conventional at all. Every detail of the Six’s design is aimed at making it one of the best touring recumbents in the world. Read More »
Now THAT is a tough velomobile…
At this year’s Eurobike show, HPVelotechnik will release three new models. The new Scorpion Plus with its higher seat and increased luggage capacity will come in both 20″ and 26″ models. The Gekko fx is also gaining a 26″ rear wheel option. Some electric-assist models are also even available with a reverse gear! Full press release and gallery after the jump.
From HPVelotechnik Press Release…
Gekko fx 26 - Recumbent specialist HP Velotechnik treats the low-cost “Gekko” class to a notchback / Large rear wheel provides a smoother ride and less rolling resistance / Despite the size increase: the “Gekko fx 26″ can be folded up small enough to fit in a car trunk in ten seconds without tools. Read More »
By BRYAN J. BALL Managing Editor
A lot of recumbent riders have an almost religious aversion to lycra. After all… One of the benefits of riding a recumbent is that you don’t need tight-fitting and sometimes unflattering padded shorts to be comfortable. You can technically ride in street clothes. However, most riders quickly find that to also be unacceptable and go looking for a sporty alternative that lies somewhere between your everyday clothes and full-on bike gear. Bend It has just released a recumbent-specific design to fill that need with their new Expedition Recumbent Shorts.
Bend It is probably the world’s foremost authority on recumbent clothing. They make jerseys for several companies (including us) and have more experience with this than anyone. They experimented with a few shorts designs from other companies but eventually just decided to design their own. Read More »
LOTS of news for you all today. The folding Catrike Trail is shipping NOW as is the Edge e2 ultra-folder and Bacchetta is celebrating even more RAAM success with a discount on the Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0! All of the details and press releases are after the jump…
Folding Catrike Trail Now Shipping
From Catrike Press Release…
Introducing the new Catrike Folding Trail Read More »
By BRYAN J. BALL Managing Editor
Edge Recumbents has made some pretty major waves lately with their soon-to-be-in-production E2 folding trike. In fact, there’s so much buzz around this diminutive folder that you’d be excused if you entirely forgot that they also make two-wheel recumbents. If you did, their new Haiku highracer may give you some reason to pay attention again.
Several years ago, Bill Gillette and Edge purchased the rights and all of the tooling from the recently-defunct recumbent branch of Burley. Burley’s recumbents were well-regarded and the company’s decision to ditch the entire line was a puzzling one. Edge tweaked those designs a bit and resumed production of many of their models. The most popular of these has been the Hepcat 26/20 Short Wheelbase (SWB). Read More »
We should have started doing this a long time ago, but I’m going to start making some little welcome posts to our new sponsors every now and then. The first two I’d live to give a shout-out to are Purple Sky and Smoky Mountain Saddle Bags!
Purple Sky was a well-known custom flag maker for many years. Supplier issues caused them to shut down for a bit but they’re BACK! Their offerings are a bit more limited than they were before but, in my opinion, the flag design itself is better than ever. The come in four very bright colors with a pole and a streamer. Purple Sky also makes our tie-dye flags! (shameless plug)
Smoky Mountain Saddle Bags has only been on the scene for a short time but they’re already making a huge splash. Their very reasonably priced and easy to install bags have been exactly what a lot of us have been looking for. Their bags come in two different sizes and four different colors. We reviewed them a short time ago. Make sure to check them out!
The 2014 Race Across America starts TODAY at Noon PST (3 PM EST). This year there are two solo riders competing. Jacquie Schlitter in the solo women’s division and Dennis Johnson in the men’s solo. Both race for Team Vite. Here are a couple of good links to reference during the race. The team of Sandy Earl and Bill Spaeth will be competing in Race Across the West as “Team Red Pearl.”
It’s here! After a few fits and starts, Catrike now has a new rear rack available for the 2012 and up Catrike Road. As you probably know, this trike has rear suspension and there for needed a special rear rack to keep your luggage “suspended” and enjoying the same cushy ride that the pilot gets. It’s been a long time coming but after using this rack for a couple of weeks, I can confidently say that it was worth the wait.
After trying a few different suppliers, Catrike settled on Rack Time to contract build the racks that they designed. Another suspension trike manufacturer once told me that the luggage rack was by far the most labor-intensive part of any trike design. I have no reason to doubt them. Building a rack that can handle a reasonable load yet still be attached to the main frame of the trike rather than the moving swingarm is a difficult engineering task. The Catrike/Rack Time collaboration has produced a very attractive design. It’s exceedingly well finished and very easy to mount and adjust.
The tubes aren’t overly fat and there are well-placed hooks to accommodate almost any pannier. The only disconcerting thing was the large “25 lbs Weight Limit” sticker. I think this is just Catrike being a bit cautious. The rack withstood much larger loads during Catrike’s testing and I loaded it up to 40 lbs on multiple occasions with no swaying or creaking or signs of distress. The rack retails for $150 and can be ordered from your local Catrike dealer.
I’ve known Charlie Ollinger since he was a very annoying and shockingly strong eight-year-old. He’s grown into a fantastic young man and an absolute beast on a bike. This is his very entertaining account of his recent ride in the “Assault on Mount Mitchell.” This is a very well known and very difficult century ride that climbs well over 10,000 feet. A vast majority of that occurs over the last 20 miles. It’s known as the toughest century in America. He finished in 6:53:48. That placed him second in his age group and 115th out of 800 riders. He rode a Cruzbike Vendetta as did his teammate, RAAM winner Maria Parker. (He’s the goofy one in the pic. She’s the pretty one.) This is his story.
Today I rode the assault on mount Mitchell. My time was 6:53:54, I got 115th out of 800, and it was the hardest ride I have ever ridden.
The group of 800 riders (including Maria Parker and me) started in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Being a little ways back in the pack, once the group started rolling it was my immediate mission to work up to the lead peloton.
After a few miles I was positioned where I wanted to be. Somewhere near the middle of the lead pack. There were nearly 50 to 100 riders up there with me. Being my first time I had no idea what to expect. Read More »
All the buzz about Edge right now is related to their soon-to-be-released E2 folding trike. It’s easy to forget that they also make two wheelers. One of them is this very pretty Haiku highracer that we just got in to review. Until we get the review done, here are a few pics.
I had a chance to check out this little trike at the Smoky Mountain Recumbent Rally this past weekend. Very impressive folded size. The 102mm rear hub is especially trick. Gallery of pics after the jump.
From Trident Press Release:
Trident is pleased to announce 2 small changes and a surprise new model which we showed a prototype of at the Smokey Mountain Recumbent Rally this weekend.
First the changes. Due to so many requests that we have had, the Stowaway 2 model will be available in the Wasabi Green color. We have them in stock now.
Secondly starting later this summer, we will be making a transition to Schwalbe Tires on several models. The first models to change will the Stowaway 2, and Chameleon getting Schwalbe Marathon Racers. Transports will make the change in the fall. Titan and E Spike Models will be equipped with Schwalbe Big Apples mid-Summer as well. Spike 1 & 2, TWIG and Stowaway 1 will continue to use Kenda Tires.
We also decided to unveil a prototype of a “concept Trike” at the Smoky Mountain Recumbent Rally this past weekend. Read More »
Jacquie Schlitter is having a launch party for her 2014 RAAM campaign tomorrow at Vite Bikes in Venice, FL. It looks like there will be a special guest present. The new Schlitter Encore! This new carbon fiber highracer will retail for a staggeringly low $2500 with SRAM Apex 2×10 components. We should have one to review very soon. First impression is that it looks fantastic. I love the graphics.
Barcroft is back! In truth, they never completely went away. In 2009,very shortly after founder Bill Cook ceased building and selling recumbents under the Barcroft banner, Dana Liebermen of Bent Up Cycles and Carbent fame snapped up the name and the designs and resumed production of the Virginia Ti using the same overseas supplier as Cook. There was recently a bit of a hiatus while Liebermen made a few changes to the design but bikes are back in stock and the new and improved Virginia Ti is on the road again!
The new hotness looks similar to the old one but there are actually several small design changes. The slight bend in the front half of the frame is now gone which raises the bottom bracket just slightly. The head tube is also 6mm longer which improves clearance for the chain and front brake. There is a tab for a rear disc brake and a front disc brake fork is also an option. The upper stays of the rear triangle are also no longer u-shaped and individually welded to the frame. Finally, rear spacing is now 135mm rather than 130mm to make sourcing disc brake hubs easier. Read More »
Cruzbike has decided to stop making kit versions of their bikes. This kit allows you to convert almost any bike into a moving bottom bracket (MBB) front wheel drive (FWD) recumbent. If you want one, act now! They still have a few left. More details at http://cruzbike.com/goodbye-cruzbike-kit-sniffle-sniffle.
Got out for my first spin on the new Barcroft Virginia Ti test bike. Sweet mother of pearl this thing looks great. The frame is just exquisite in person. Zippy little thing also! Full review coming very soon!
Didn’t we just review another Windwrap fairing a couple months ago? Yes, we did. However, due the fact that I just got done shoveling another eight inches of snow out of my driveway in late March, I venture to guess that winter isn’t over yet. Therefore, a lot of us are still looking for a little protection to keep us warm and dry while we ride.
This time around, I’ll be reviewing the Windrwap GX OnePoint system from TerraCycle. This fairing is designed for tadpole trikes and, as the name would suggest, mounts to one point on the boom. Its most unique feature is that it tilts forward and out of the way to make getting on and off the trike easier. Read More »
Spring is almost here! Allegedly… Azub sent me this shiny new Six to review. I’ll also be reviewing this bike for Adventure Cyclist so Azub sent it with the specification they recommend for true off-the-beaten path loaded touring. There are a few rather unique component specifications. Honza of Azub has toured all over the world and back again and explained why he chose these parts on their blog. First impression is that it handles pretty well, the suspension works great and it appears ready to handle anything. Including THREE pairs of panniers!
Well… We actually never went anywhere. However, with the deep freeze and soul-crushing amounts of snow we’ve had in Upstate New York this year, I can see why you think we might have! It’s been a month since our last post but I have several little tidbits coming up for you in the days ahead. Reviews of the Azub Six and Barcroft Ti-Virginia are on the way soon as are product reviews of the Arkel Dry-Lites panniers and TerraCycle Windwrap GX One-Point fairing system. Stay tuned!