American going Dutch
Nazca Gaucho--a cool new Dutch model
Someone just asked me (in another thread) about my new Nazca Gaucho. This model was recently introduced, so it might be handy to start sharing some info about it. Here is the brochure for the Gaucho.
Also, thanks to cod.peace for finding the image below.
You can check out the homepage too if you want to see the wide range of models Nazca offers. (Click on the British flag in the top left corner to switch to English.) And, yes, they do export (roughly half of their sales).
JanMM asked, “How effective is the rear suspension?”
Good eye! That is exactly the right question to ask, because it was the feature that really sold me on this ‘bent. I took test rides on 10 different ‘bents (all high racers—more or less). Here are the highlights regarding suspension. The Challenge Seiran was really stiff. I felt every little bump in the road. I have arthritis, so rattling these old bones down the road every day is not my idea of a good time. The Sinner Demon and Rainbow Lyra were much smoother and more comfortable. However, the Nazca Pioneer and Gaucho were both a giant step ahead of all the others. Both just floated over potholes and bumps in the road (a mix of brick roads and pavement). The ride was so smooth that I actually started aiming for every bump I could find to find out how bad it would have to be before I felt it. A lot of the time, based on the feel, I thought I missed the bump--but I could hear the tires hit it! It reminded me of the feel of riding in a BMW or other luxury car (not the cheep cars I drive). These bikes feel solid and responsive, but they just float over obstacles. The tension is also adjustable to fit personal preferences, the local road conditions, or the weight of the load (e.g., heavy camping gear).
For those worried about pogo-ing, the shock absorber is very close to vertical. When I started pushing hard on the cranks, it didn’t have any pogo reaction at all. The shocks just absorb the bumps and vibrations coming up (vertically) from the road, not the (horizontal) energy you are trying to put into the peddles. The geometry of this frame has been very carefully thought out. It all works brilliantly (and it just looks cool).
I found some videos on YouTube. You will notice that this bike can comfortably go off-road. I wouldn’t even consider trying this with some of the other ‘bents.
The other thing that made the Gaucho stand out was the combination of a stable ride and responsive maneuverability. Other ‘bents were more stable, but that came at the expense of maneuverability. Other bikes went to the opposite extreme in this trade-off. The Gaucho hits the sweet spot with a very satisfying mix of stability and maneuverability IMHO.
It has loads of other cool features that can be found in the linked brochure (see above).
If anyone else has experience with Gauchos, I would love to hear you opinions (+/-) about this bike and how it compares to other ‘bents. My comments so far are just based on tests rides on two different versions of the Gaucho (under steering with 3x9 Deore derailleurs ; open cockpit with 3x9 dual drive). I have ordered an under steer, dual drive version. Metaphorically, I have had the wedding and now I am just waiting (5 week delivery time) for the honeymoon period to get started. The suspense is killing me. I will update this thread after I have lived with my Gaucho for a while and the thrill has gone. (sniff)
That is a nice looking bike and a well done quick write up. I personally like the looks of the Nazca Fuego. It looks like an exceptional all around bike. Did you happen to try it out for fun? If so, I would like to hear your impressions.
American going Dutch
I agree. The Fuego looks very cool. I haven’t tried one yet, but there is a big event on April 5 that should include 8+ recumbent manufacturers (including Nazca). I will make sure I try out the Fuego (along with a few dozen other models) and report back.
Originally Posted by Bruce in Texas
American going Dutch
Fuego vs. Gaucho as all-round bikes
Well, I got the chance to ride a Nazca Fuego and a wide variety of other brands and models. To give an idea of how the Fuego handles, I thought it felt more or less like the M5 Shock Proof. However, the Fuego made it easier to hold a good clean line in the corners. In general, I preferred the feel (and the looks) of the Fuego (personal preferences may vary).
The more I ride other brands, the more I become a fan of Nazca. All of their models are remarkably stable, smooth and just plain fun to ride. I always feel more confident and secure in fast corners and other maneuvers, which means I dare to push it more. My wife pointed out that the photos of me riding were very telling. My body language and facial expression oozed tension on some bikes. On Nazca bikes I was just grinning ear to ear. There were several high performance racing bikes (e.g., M5 with ultra light carbon fiber frames—wow!), but I didn’t enjoy the ride as much. Maybe when I have more ‘bent miles behind me, I will experience it differently.
Comparing the Fuego to the Gaucho (both from Nazca), the Gaucho basically requires the rider to be 5’11” (180 cm) or taller. The Fuego would make it easier for shorter folks to reach the ground when stopping at intersections, etc.
The Fuego is only available with tiller style over-seat steering. In contrast, the Gaucho offers three options: tiller style over-seat steering, aero (“open cockpit”) steering and under-seat steering. The tiller steering (on both models) was among the best that I have tried (not twitchy). The aero (open cockpit) steering is an interesting option, but I have a scar on my shin illustrating the need to adjust the bars properly before each test-ride. My personal preference is for under-seat steering. It is a more comfortable arm position for me, and it offers a (slightly) firmer, more direct feel than the other steering options. OTOH, I have talked to folks who prefer the tiller style steering because the arms are kept in a more aerodynamic position.
So, to answer the question from Bruce in Texas, IMHO the Fuego would indeed be an excellent choice as an all-round bike. My personal preference is still for the Gaucho because of the under-seat steering and two large wheels. That is because there are herds of teenagers swarming the bike paths on my daily commute. They resemble the migration of wildebeests across the African plains, and they pay equal attention to the rules of the road. So I need a bike that can handle occasionally swerving into the grass at high speed (stable handling and good shocks). Those features would also come in handy when my wife and I go camping and ride through the woods on dirt roads. I am guessing your needs may differ, so the Fuego may indeed be better for you. Either way, you can't go wrong with a Nazca.
Thank you Chaz. Informative and helpful. Unless I import one of the Fuego's, they will never be seen around here.
How about an update on the Gaucho? I noticed in the threads the Gaucho was good for those > 5' 11" - why? Isn't the seat adjustable to accomodate for shorter riders? How about load capacity for touring? Any updates would be greatly appreciated.
The seat height on the Gaucho 28 is really high which makes it difficult for shorter riders to put their feet flat on the ground when stopping.