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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 10-05-06, 08:46 PM   #1
Don Kiphart
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Challenge bikes

Anyone ride a Challenge Mistral or Seiran? I am considering purchasing a recumbent as I am growing
tired of the microderm abrasion of my rear. I have ridden a Bacchetta Aero and one LWB recumbent.
I didn't care for the LWB but did like the Aero, even though the ride was short. My usual rides are
commuting (26 miles roundtrip), centuries and short organized rides. I do like the speed of my DF bike
and realize recumbents can be just as fast. I also like rides that include a lot of climbing. One of my
local rides is 15 miles long with a 3000+ foot elevation gain.

Any opinions and tips will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-05-06, 10:11 PM   #2
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I've had my Hurricane for about 10 years now and love it as much as I did when I got it. I even opened a recumbent shop for a couple of years because of it! GREAT BIKE. And I was just photographed recently in San Francisco riding it through town. Look for us an a PG&E ad about being "green"!
(Thanks Mike & Co! It was great fun!)
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Old 10-06-06, 07:08 AM   #3
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I ride a Challenge Fujin SL-II and have found the build quality to be very good. I'm hoping you buy a Seiran or Mistral and give us a report!

Dennis
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Old 10-06-06, 08:14 AM   #4
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www.bentrideronline.com has some Challenge bike reviews. They look like nice bikes.
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Old 10-06-06, 08:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vik
www.bentrideronline.com has some Challenge bike reviews. They look like nice bikes.
Yes. They have one review of a Fujin SLII, but I didn't find any for other Challenge models.
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Old 10-06-06, 08:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Don Kiphart
Yes. They have one review of a Fujin SLII, but I didn't find any for other Challenge models.
Hmmm, Google seems to work better than the search function on bentridersonline. I did find
a review of the Seiran, which is more like the Bacchetta than the Mistral. Searching for a
Mistral review yields mostly European sites. In any case the Mistral seems more of a touring
bike than the Seiran or Bacchetta.

I may have to make a trip to Colorado to test ride the Challenge bikes.
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Old 10-07-06, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Kiphart
Yes. They have one review of a Fujin SLII, but I didn't find any for other Challenge models.
Sorry I forgot to mention that you need to click on the bent rider online classic site link at the top right of the page to get to older reviews. On the classic site the reviews are available in a scroll box on the right of the screen.

I would also check out the bentrideronline forums as several people there have challenge bikes.

Finally have a look at the HPvelotechnik bents as well.

safe riding,

Vik
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Old 10-25-06, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
I ride a Challenge Fujin SL-II and have found the build quality to be very good. I'm hoping you buy a Seiran or Mistral and give us a report!

Dennis
Well, I finally decided to purchase a Seiran SL. It seems like it will fit my needs better than a Mistral.
Once I get it and have some significant riding time on it I will post a report.

Don
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Old 10-25-06, 07:18 PM   #9
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I have a Seiran SL. Love it! A couple minor gripes, but now that you've ordered it, I guess it's too late to advise...
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Old 10-25-06, 10:38 PM   #10
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I have a Seiran SL. Love it! A couple minor gripes, but now that you've ordered it, I guess it's too late to advise...
I'm curious, what are the gripes?
As noted above, I have an older Hurricane and am wondering if the gripes are throughout the lineage.
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Old 10-30-06, 06:46 PM   #11
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Minor gripes:
-- The seat is only adjustable in two positions per bracket, and requires 5 minutes with a wrench to change. (Two different brackets are available.)
-- Fine-tuning the seat angle requires adjusting the suspension. Doing so adjusts (duh) the suspension.
-- Paint is too easily damaged. I paid extra for Challenge to do a custom paint job, so I had hoped for better.

...but please don't misunderstand. This is an AWESOME bike. It climbs better than any other I've tried (about 6 others), which is very important in Colorado! It's also extremely stable and comfortable at all speeds (4mph and above, of course!), even 50+ mph.

BTW: I just changed my wheels from racing slicks to mountain tires, and rode it through mud and icy slush along the Highline trail this weekend. It worked great -- no problems! Now I tell my friends that I've got "snow tires" on my bike.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:34 AM   #12
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Seiran SL

Don,

I also have a Seiran SL and enjoy it quite a bit. Did you get yours? Anyone recommend a good solution for a travel pack for commuting to work?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 12-07-06, 09:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JefferyB
Don,

I also have a Seiran SL and enjoy it quite a bit. Did you get yours? Anyone recommend a good solution for a travel pack for commuting to work?

Thanks,
Jeff
Yes I did. Unfortuantely, I have only had time and good enough weather to ride it once for
about 1 mile. It seems it will take a while to adapt to it. Kelvin at AngleTech cycles did a
good job assembling it.

I bought a Radical Design Solo pack. It fits over the top of the seat and seems like it will
work very well.

Don
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Old 12-10-06, 11:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Kiphart
Yes I did. Unfortuantely, I have only had time and good enough weather to ride it once for
about 1 mile. It seems it will take a while to adapt to it. Kelvin at AngleTech cycles did a
good job assembling it.

I bought a Radical Design Solo pack. It fits over the top of the seat and seems like it will
work very well.

Don
I took my Seiran out for two 15 mile rides this weekend. The first was a bit wobbly but got
better towards the end. I tilted the handle bars down a bit more after I got back. I have
under seat steering. Today's ride was much better. I don't know whether tilting the bars a
bit helped or it was due to more experience riding. Now, I need to learn to trust the mirror
when crossing roads. I never use one on my DF bike. My average speed is also pretty
good. I am only about 2.5 mph slower on my Seiran. I know I will get faster as I get more
used to riding it. It also climbs quite well although slowly. My rides included several small
hills (rollers) and one two mile climb.

I do have a few questions. Do any of you have a Fastback pack on a Seiran? If you do how
is it mounted? I have mine mounted under the seat between the from of the seat and the
rear seat supports. How do you have the drinking tube fastened for easy access?

Finally, how do I tell whether the boom is properly adjusted, i.e. whether I have proper
leg extension?

I really wish I had bought my bike a year ago. I fought discomfort on my DF bike for three
years before switching, although I haven't given up on my DF bike. I will just reserve it
for short rides, at least for a while.

cheers,

Don
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Old 12-11-06, 07:20 AM   #15
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The boom is properly adjusted, when you can extend your leg as far as possible without your leg being totally straight. The only way to get it dialed in perfectly is to take the bike for a ride, you will feel if your leg is being properly extended. If it feels like your leg could reach further, then you need to move the boom out a bit, perhaps only 1/4 or 1/2 an inch. It usually takes three or four minor adjustments before it's perfect. When you do get it right, measure the position of the boom so you don't have to go through this process again.
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Old 12-12-06, 10:56 PM   #16
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I have the Fastpack. I ended up replacing the bladder with a 3 liter model and a better bite valve. As far as the mounting, I got tired of fitting it between the sports rack and the back of the seat. Now I just strap it to the bottom of the rack. I run the tube between the rack and seat, loop it behind the bag I usually carry, and clip it into the headrest support tube. This keep the length and angle conveniently placed over my left shoulder so I can drink easily.

Oh yea -- I put 2.1" MTB tires on it for the winter. It helps with icy patches! Kind of tricky getting those fat tires balanced in the fork, though. I'd say 2.0" is the max size for convenience sake.

Enjoy your new ride!
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Old 12-13-06, 09:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
The boom is properly adjusted, when you can extend your leg as far as possible without your leg being totally straight. The only way to get it dialed in perfectly is to take the bike for a ride, you will feel if your leg is being properly extended. If it feels like your leg could reach further, then you need to move the boom out a bit, perhaps only 1/4 or 1/2 an inch. It usually takes three or four minor adjustments before it's perfect. When you do get it right, measure the position of the boom so you don't have to go through this process again.
Thanks! I will do that this weekend. I definitely have room for more extension.
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Old 12-13-06, 09:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeZen.org
I have the Fastpack. I ended up replacing the bladder with a 3 liter model and a better bite valve. As far as the mounting, I got tired of fitting it between the sports rack and the back of the seat. Now I just strap it to the bottom of the rack. I run the tube between the rack and seat, loop it behind the bag I usually carry, and clip it into the headrest support tube. This keep the length and angle conveniently placed over my left shoulder so I can drink easily.

Oh yea -- I put 2.1" MTB tires on it for the winter. It helps with icy patches! Kind of tricky getting those fat tires balanced in the fork, though. I'd say 2.0" is the max size for convenience sake.

Enjoy your new ride!
Thanks for the info. I am definitely enjoying the ride.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:44 AM   #19
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sorry for bringing this thread back from the dead, but can anybody tell me more about the difference between the seiran and the SL model? i am looking at the bike to tour ~4000 miles.

will the SL model hold up? i like the idea of a lower weight, and i don't weigh that much (150) so i think it could take it. but how much difference in speed does that ReAlLy equate to? (the 13 lb difference) it wouldn't make much difference on a tour, but when i used it elsewhere. . . . i simply want a fast bike for around town.

and how harsh is the ride on the SL model? i know it can fit larger tires, so i'm sure if i got that one and it was too rough, i could get some 28s or something similar.

i have a love for the super light recumbent idea, but on the other hand, i like the suspension ^^;
may be me sounding stupid, but i think the base model looks better with the shock holding the seat up, it doesn't have the bars farther back on the seat, kinda just floating on air when you're sitting on it. i wish i could have both :'(

i think i'm stuck on this bike, i've been bouncing around, and even though it's pricy, i think it would be worth it

oh, and one more thing, is it safe. . or possible for that matter, to attach a bob-trailer to a high racer?
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