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  1. #1
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    My new high racer disappointment

    I've been lusting after a fast, light, good climbing bent. Maybe a Corsa or Rans F5, but I really can't afford $2,500 for a 25lb bike right now. So I found an excellent like new Vision R64 Saber, a 2000 model I think with all 105. Sharp orange color, upgraded fiberglass seat which I think now is sold by Volae as carbon. I hesitated at first at the 24" wheel size, and that they're out of business, but web reviews are very favorable to the OSS Visions I guess. What a great and cheap alternative to a new Corsa I thought, just to see how it goes. Keep in mind my only other bent was a new Burley Jett Creek, altogether different from this thing.

    I do not have my bent legs, and have read a bit on this. But I cannot see the efficiency everyone else is claiming. I guess this is going to take much longer than expected. I must add I'm now running regularly, swimming, and logging 2-4k miles on road bikes yearly. I think I'm in good shape and at weight. I was expecting the switch to be somewhat faster, given my cycling condition already. Was I that naive to underestimate how long it's going to take to refine this new muscle group?

    Yesterday on a 3.3 mile perfectly flat course I was unable to keep up with your basic carbon fiber roadies doing laps, even with the seat fully reclined, clipped in, in my highest gear, with no wind, tires pumped to 120. Is the jump going to be that big when the legs come in, or should the newfound efficiency already be mostly there?

    Comments on the Vision would be appreciated, maybe it's a small wheel thing? Or might I see an even better return on performance compared to something like a Corsa, presuming the bent legs arrive.

  2. #2
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    The first question is could you keep up with the roadies previously? It may take you a we while to adjust to using different muscles, even from your Burley. I'd guess that you won't notice a big jump but a gradual improvement.

    One thing with recumbents is that the more open your riding position the more power you will lose from your regular closed position on a road bike. Generally the difference is offset by increased aerodynamic gains.

    What codition are the bearings on your Vision in? did the wheels spin freely or is the grease/oil old and stiff?

    The more important question is were you comfortable while trying to chase the roadies?
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    The first question is could you keep up with the roadies previously?
    I'd not thought of it that way. I've never really kept up with the roadie crowd, mainly enjoying older vintage lightweights. I guess I thought this bike might close that gap faster, especially on the flats right away. But now that you mention the open position, that makes sense too.

  4. #4
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    I switched over a year ago. I can verify that riding recumbents take different muscles than DF. It'll take 6 months at least.

    I use a power meter on my rides. I can tell you that I average about 25% less watts (power) on the recumbent, but go 2-3 mph faster on the flats due to the aerodynamic advantages of a recumbent. I can also attest that I suck up the hills now because I generate less power and there's no aero benefit on uphills going 7 mph.

  5. #5
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    No simple answer, and I'll share my own experience as a rookie bent rider.

    Bents are still HPV, so you won't go faster than your engine will allow.

    Where you will go lots faster is downhill because of the aero advantage. I routinely pull 35 MPH and I just have rollers around here.

    Headwinds aren't so bad. I do OK in group rides, although people don't trust me enough to yet to draft me (I'm really quite safe but bents are not common in our neighborhood).

    You use somewhat different muscles. My inner glutes, hamstrings and calves get more use than I did on the DF.

    If you want quick acceleration and speed to burn, you might have to plunk down $3900 for a Carbon aero 2.0, and get some Zipp wheels for it. Folks who do that can go pretty fast.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Many questions, few answers. These roadies that you cannot keep up with -- how fast are they going? How many of them? Are they drafting each other? And yes, could you keep up with them before, either on the Burley or a road bike? I would expect the Saber to be slightly slower than a full-up highracer, but still respectable; especially on relatively flat ground. Going from one recumbent to another might not take half a season to acclimate, but it could still take a few weeks.

  7. #7
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    I can only speak to my experiences.
    There are TONS of places to loose power, but generally position and wheels are the most important thing.
    I never really found one particular frame 'flexy' enough to loose power over another, BUT I'm small and pretty light, so if you're big, the frame itself could have a major impact on your speed.
    As others said before, how well do your wheels spin? what tires are you using?
    both of these can have a Major impact on your overall speed.
    Most of my experience is with an Aluminum Corsa. You can purchase a used one on a regular basis for about $1500. I've seen them under $1k occasionally.
    I don't have any official results to point to, but if you take my work for it, I was able to place 13th out of nearly 70 in a 2 mile USAC sanctioned (cat 1,2,3,4 and 5) hill climb on my Corsa (weighing 25.6lbs) earlier this year. I also competed in a 10 mile TT last weekend where I finished with an average speed of 27.4 mph.
    My point is, there is nothing wrong with the Corsa at all. In fact all of the Bacchetta line is pretty similar to the Corsa in terms of build quality and configuration. It's possible to configure all of their dual big wheel stick bikes nearly the same and have similar performance.
    You mileage will vary on your fitness level, seat recline, handle bar type, and wheels.
    I can't speak to other bikes, but I can stand by the Corsa having put about 20k miles on it over the last few years. There is a massive amount of performance that can be wrung out of one.

    T

  8. #8
    Senior Member bike56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tctdvm View Post
    I can only speak to my experiences.
    There are TONS of places to loose power, but generally position and wheels are the most important thing.
    I never really found one particular frame 'flexy' enough to loose power over another, BUT I'm small and pretty light, so if you're big, the frame itself could have a major impact on your speed.
    As others said before, how well do your wheels spin? what tires are you using?
    both of these can have a Major impact on your overall speed.
    Most of my experience is with an Aluminum Corsa. You can purchase a used one on a regular basis for about $1500. I've seen them under $1k occasionally.
    I don't have any official results to point to, but if you take my work for it, I was able to place 13th out of nearly 70 in a 2 mile USAC sanctioned (cat 1,2,3,4 and 5) hill climb on my Corsa (weighing 25.6lbs) earlier this year. I also competed in a 10 mile TT last weekend where I finished with an average speed of 27.4 mph.
    My point is, there is nothing wrong with the Corsa at all. In fact all of the Bacchetta line is pretty similar to the Corsa in terms of build quality and configuration. It's possible to configure all of their dual big wheel stick bikes nearly the same and have similar performance.
    You mileage will vary on your fitness level, seat recline, handle bar type, and wheels.
    I can't speak to other bikes, but I can stand by the Corsa having put about 20k miles on it over the last few years. There is a massive amount of performance that can be wrung out of one.

    T
    That's very impressive,I've been thinking about a Corsa.My wife wants one and we can ride the same bikes.Right now I ride a Catrike 700 ,a tour easy ,and a DF felt F3.The felt is 14.5 pounds and is very fast and climbs like nothing I've ever ridden.The Corsa must climb very well also.Can you climb with the light DF's?

  9. #9
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    It's not the bike. My first performance high racer was a Saber. It was a fast bike. Easily + 3 mph averages over my road bike once I got fit to ride it.
    Atom Bomb

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike56 View Post
    That's very impressive,I've been thinking about a Corsa.My wife wants one and we can ride the same bikes.Right now I ride a Catrike 700 ,a tour easy ,and a DF felt F3.The felt is 14.5 pounds and is very fast and climbs like nothing I've ever ridden.The Corsa must climb very well also.Can you climb with the light DF's?
    I climb exactly as fast as my Power:Weight dictates. I never really spent much time trying to get fast on a DF. Not that I'm slow on mine. Regardless I'm about 50 watts stronger on my bent than my DF. That overcomes a lot of added weight.
    I feel like 13th out 66 on a sanctioned Hill Climb event puts me on good terms with the superlight not-even-UCI legal DF's. I did another one last year and finished 16th out of 60. both of the overall winners are capable of 100 watts more power than me. No bike can overcome that deficit. And somehow, no matter how much beer I drink, I don't seem to be able to close the gap.

    At any rate, I have to retract some of what I said... I just built up a new CA1 last week and its OMG!! faster than the Corsa. 3 rides, 6 Strava KOMs. A couple I didn't think I'd ever get:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1028043
    http://app.strava.com/segments/875229

    this was on the Corsa:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1050600
    ..but I came around my Cat 3 buddy for that segment victory, and then attacked at the crest of one of the small rises (between the 2 climbs) and opened up a gap before the final climb on the longer segment:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1214063

    of course, I paid for it the rest of the ride... but it was worth it.
    good stuff :-)

    T

  11. #11
    Senior Member bike56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tctdvm View Post
    I climb exactly as fast as my Power:Weight dictates. I never really spent much time trying to get fast on a DF. Not that I'm slow on mine. Regardless I'm about 50 watts stronger on my bent than my DF. That overcomes a lot of added weight.
    I feel like 13th out 66 on a sanctioned Hill Climb event puts me on good terms with the superlight not-even-UCI legal DF's. I did another one last year and finished 16th out of 60. both of the overall winners are capable of 100 watts more power than me. No bike can overcome that deficit. And somehow, no matter how much beer I drink, I don't seem to be able to close the gap.

    At any rate, I have to retract some of what I said... I just built up a new CA1 last week and its OMG!! faster than the Corsa. 3 rides, 6 Strava KOMs. A couple I didn't think I'd ever get:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1028043
    http://app.strava.com/segments/875229

    this was on the Corsa:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1050600
    ..but I came around my Cat 3 buddy for that segment victory, and then attacked at the crest of one of the small rises (between the 2 climbs) and opened up a gap before the final climb on the longer segment:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1214063

    of course, I paid for it the rest of the ride... but it was worth it.
    good stuff :-)

    T
    So the CA1 is that much faster,could you share some of the spec's on the CA1

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike56 View Post
    So the CA1 is that much faster,could you share some of the spec's on the CA1
    CA1 frame (obviously ) )
    Standard Carbon Johnson fork w/ aluminum steerer (the cheaper one)
    Standard Bacchetta carbon seat
    Orbitz head set
    new riser w/ standard road bike stem
    Long reach bars (the seem .5-1 inch wider, too)
    Ultegra 6603 (52 39 30) given to me for free! go figure. They shift better than the back, some times... crazy good shifting up front.
    Ultegra Med cage 6700 rear d
    Dura Ace triple front d 7700 series
    Dura Ace chain (under $50 each from Planet cyclery)
    DA bar ends 7900 series (no friction option anymore)
    Ultegra 11-23 10 speed cassette (planet cyclery)... I've never used a DA cassette, but I feel like there could be a small improvement in rear shifting will climbing 10% + hills... it's close though
    Zero Gravity brakes and swiss stop yellow pads
    Paul Comp Canti Levers

    Probably the biggest improvement (maybe cuz it's 650c and not 700c) is the wheels. Tubular 404's (well, they're Cane Creeks but the rims are 404's)... kinda heavy @ 1500g instead of zipp's 1200-1300g
    Vittoria Corsa CX tubies
    Control Tech race sl skewers.

    Cotton bar tap... red
    red cable housing.

    Look keo chromo blades (also from Planet cyclery) didn't weigh, but they're claimed weight is 300g for both pedals, cleats and hardware.

    No head rest, no computer.


    So, the way I see it... There could be 1 lb lost with a set of old 303 650c's. about a half lb lost with Lightning Cranks. About 150-200g by going with the Easton or Reynolds fork. about 50g with a DA cassette. Not sure there's much else to do with a 650c bike... maybe 20g with a DA rear d.
    I think the Campy 11 speed transmission was about .5lbs lighter than the DA. the Sram was about .2. I chose the Shimano because the crankset was a gift and they shifted so well, I would have stuck with shimano any way. a double woulda saved about 150g, too, but I would have lost my stellar gear spacing.

    T

  13. #13
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    for a limited time (f'n apple ) http://gallery.me.com/tim_turner#100...lack&view=grid

    also... I managed a few more fun segments :-)

    http://app.strava.com/segments/627362

    http://app.strava.com/segments/860870
    I know, it's not a KOM, but it's only 1 sec... I'm happy with it, anyway :-D
    there are some relatively shallow sections... but it still averages 8%

    T

  14. #14
    Senior Member bike56's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pic's and spec's,A great build and beautiful bike,I think I'm heading in that direction.I live and ride in hills so I love light,and she looks light and fast

  15. #15
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    Give it time. Lots of new muscles to develop. Then buy that RANS F5 and go screaming past the group!

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