I have a Longbikes Slipstream (LWB/USS) and love it. This bike is built for the long miles, and I spend 99% of my miles on quiet, country roads in the rural Midwest. However, half these rural Midwest roads seem to be gravel, and this bike doesn't excel on gravel.
Back in my upright days, I rode a road bike for years until hybrids were invented. My Trek 720 is a go-anywhere kind of bike and opened up a whole new world. Not that I'm going to give my Longbikes up, but I'm wondering if there is a recumbent that will similarly open up this gravel-roaded territory again, while not giving up the touring capability. (And, I really have no desire to return to the wedgie world.)
I've gone back through all of the recumbent threads here and, I think, the features of an optimal bike for both the long miles of touring and the rough miles of gravel roads involve bigger wheels and bigger tires and LWB. My priorities are (a) comfort and handling on the rough roads, and (b) comfort and not having to slog the long miles. It looks like my main candidates for consideration may be a: (1) Rans Formula 26; (2) Rans Stratus XP; or (3) Lightfoot Ranger.
(Question 1) Are there any bents to add or remove from this list?
(Question 2) Are there any bents that compare well with upright hybrids on gravel roads?
Thanks for any opinions you may have.