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  1. #1
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    RANS Fusion opinions?

    HI

    I am somewhat facinated by this bike, and would like give some consideration to a purchase, but am somewhat concerned about statements about backpain in this ARTICAL

    Any comments on this bike would be greatly appreciated.

    I have read about all of the info that I can find on the web, and there are no local dealers for me to talk to, so you guys are my main source of info on this bike..
    thanks

    phil

  2. #2
    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Hi Phil,

    Welcome to the Bike Forums, and, specifically, the Recumbent Section!

    I own a 2004 Fusion, and I love it. It is the first bike, after having bought several mountain, road, hybrid, and recumbent bikes, that has enabled me to rediscover my childhood joy in riding a bike. In my adulthood, I've found that I can no longer ride any of the traditional, upright, diamondframe("df") bikes without experiencing pain in my lower back and butt, and numbing in my hands/wrists and "manly" parts.

    That's what brought me to recumbent bikes. In them, I found supreme comfort, and none of the pain or numbing I got while on a "df". But recumbent bikes have their compromises, too. Difficulty with climbing hills, wobbly or "squirrely" handling(before getting past your learning curve), having to stay mindful of that extra long wheelbase(on the "lwb" models, of course) while maneuvering, problems with transporting it...these are some of the more common issues that bent riders face with their bents.

    Why am I telling you all this?! Because the Fusion has none of these issues! The Fusion climbs very well! You just pull on the handlebars, and you'll find a lot of power going to the pedals. The Fusion handles very much like a regular upright bike--it is sweet! Like the old Schwinn Stingray, you just get on and ride...no learning curve, no wobbly launches. Its wheelbase isn't much longer than a "df", so no problems with maneuvering. And its compact size allows it to fit on most standard bike racks.

    I've read the Evolution article too. I think that, in regards to possible back pain while riding the Fusion, Randy might have been referring to folks who may have issues with back pain all the time, or who never exercise. I have considerable lower back issues, but have not had any problems or pain while riding my Fusion. I think that, if you can watch a ball game while sitting on stadium seats or bleacher seats(e.g., no seat backs) without any back problems, you should be able to ride the Fusion without any problems. I think the key is to take it easy when you first start out riding the Fusion. Don't pull too hard on the handlebars while climbing hills or trying to get some good leverage to go fast; the act of pulling on the handlebars is that of working your arm, shoulder, chest, and a number of your back muscles. If your muscles aren't conditioned, then you may feel some initial soreness, including your back. But as you ride more and more, those issues will disappear!

    As far as a lack of a seatback is concerned, yes, of course the bike would be more comfortable with one...but I don't think that a seat back would work with this bike's geometry. And, in fact, I don't miss the seatback at all on this bike. It's set up so that you're sitting comfortably erect. There's no body weight on your wrists or hands...there's a lip at the rear of the tractor sized seat so that your butt won't slide off the back. When you're cruising, you can extend your arms, and lean back for some real cruisin' comfort!

    As nice as my Fusion is, the new "iteration" that Randy discusses in his article should be even better! My Fusion has a 26" rear wheel, and a 20" front wheel, a popular recumbent configuration. The new Fusion will have dual 26" wheels, a shorter steering mast, straight frame tubes, and better component specs. This Fusion should be a little faster, and handle even better! I still love my Fusion, with its sexy curved tubing and Rush Red finish...but can't wait to test ride the new version when it reaches the showroom of a bent shop within driving distance!

    'Sorry this got so long winded, Phil...'hope this may be of some help....take care!

    Geoff
    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

  3. #3
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    It looks like a fun bike. Could you use the Fusion for touring? It doesn't seem that a rack could fit on the rear. I've always been scared of the low speed handling and hill climbing of 2 wheel 'bent's Fusion seems to be a nice compromize between the two geometries.
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  4. #4
    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    It looks like a fun bike. Could you use the Fusion for touring? It doesn't seem that a rack could fit on the rear. I've always been scared of the low speed handling and hill climbing of 2 wheel 'bent's Fusion seems to be a nice compromize between the two geometries.
    Hi Funbun,

    The Fusion IS a fun bike! And I can tell you that it's a very good climber(just pull on the handlebars, and you'll get a lot of power to the pedals), and low speed stability is virtually the same as a traditional upright bike...meaning very stable! I think the Fusion is an almost perfect cross between the "df" and the recumbent...it provides many of the best features in a bent, and almost none of the compromises.

    As far as touring with a Fusion is concerned, Rans sells a touring package for the Fusion for $90! It includes fenders, a kickstand, and a front pannier rack! I say, "Tour on, Funbun!" Here's the link:

    Rans Fusion Accessory Kit
    Last edited by sukispop; 09-02-04 at 07:01 PM.
    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

  5. #5
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    You know what would be perfect with that frame? SRAM Dual drive. That way they wouldn't need that ugly stube for the front derailleur.
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  6. #6
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    I notice that Article 20 "Fusion Evolution" is missing from the new menu. Maybe they can't get it working right. They had lot of problem with the prototype Fusion years ago. They refined it to the Fusion you see now.

    http://www.ransbikes.com/WhatsNew.htm
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  7. #7
    meb
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    Senior Member meb's Avatar
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    Sukispop wrote: "As far as a lack of a seatback is concerned, yes, of course the bike would be more comfortable with one...but I don't think that a seat back would work with this bike's geometry. And, in fact, I don't miss the seatback at all on this bike. It's set up so that you're sitting comfortably erect. There's no body weight on your wrists or hands...there's a lip at the rear of the tractor sized seat so that your butt won't slide off the back. When you're cruising, you can extend your arms, and lean back for some real cruisin' comfort!"

    The Beleize, Y3K, & Revive have seatbacks showing the feasibilty of seatbacks on semi-recumbents. Evox has a very small seatback as well. Vision R70 (RIP), Giant Bachetta, and Stingray omitted seatbacks, suggesting the intemdiate upright-bent position seems to present it as an accessory rather than a necessity.

  8. #8
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    Check out this Fusion review on the alt.rec.recumbents

    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...9b2f09c&rnum=1
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  9. #9
    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Hi Funbun,

    Thanks for the link to that discussion post. I saw that thread in the Cycling Forums. It would be difficult to stand up on the current Fusion. The placement of the pedals relative to the riser/handlebar leaves little to no room for you if you try to stand up to mash...while I've not tried doing this on my Fusion, I would guess that the riser and handlebar would be right up against you, or even pushing into you. I wouldn't recommend this technique for climbing with the Fusion. Instead, pull on the handlebar while in a kind of crunch position...this really puts you in a position to put power into your pedaling--Randy Schlitter even recommends doing this--and you should find hill climbing no problem.

    According to that article, "Fusion Evolution"(which has since been removed from Rans' website for unknown reasons...I've emailed Rans about this and am awaiting a reply), the new version of the Fusion will allow you to stand up on the bike. But Randy goes further in saying that this is not for the purpose of climbing hills, because the positioning isn't conducive for that. He mentions that, with some practice, one might be able to hop a curb while standing...but the point is, you can stand....

    I hope that Rans hasn't decided to scrap production of this new version of the Fusion, or even the current version...it's really a fun bike to ride, and it's a shame that too many people won't even take a second look at it because it's not a full-on recumbent. They just don't know what they're missing....
    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

  10. #10
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    I just got another reply from Rans. They say the wieght limit is about 250lbs. So for me that won't cut it. Maybe a trailer, but I don't like trailers.

    I'm thinking of taking a welding class at the local community college and build my own Greenspeed.
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  11. #11
    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Hi Funbun,

    'Sorry the Fusion won't work out for you....

    I have a GTO and it's a different kinda fun than the Fusion's...but it is FUN!

    I wish you much luck with your possible future project of building your own Greenspeed! Keep us posted on how it goes!
    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

  12. #12
    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    I notice that Article 20 "Fusion Evolution" is missing from the new menu. Maybe they can't get it working right. They had lot of problem with the prototype Fusion years ago. They refined it to the Fusion you see now.
    It's strange...In their "What's New" section, where they list all of their most recent additions to their articles and gallery(in chronological order), the "Fusion Evolution" article has been removed. And there's a more recent article about the Force 5 listed.

    But if you look at their "Informative Articles" section, the "Fusion Evolution" article is still listed and accessible(I checked)....?

    I've emailed Rans about this, twice, and have not received any replies as of yet...If they do get back with me and offer any information, I will post it.


    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

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