nice fast commuter
Can anyone recommend a fast recumbent to commute to work. I'm currently using my old mountain bike with road tyres to do the 16km / 10 mile one way trip. I'm averaging between 25 and 30 kph (15 /18mph roughly). Trouble is it takes a lot out of me. In truth I don't need to go a great deal faster (It'd be nice tho I would like it to be easier, especially into the wind so I can cycle both directions and still be fit to do other things in the evening and that's why I think a recumbent must be the way to go (Also I get neck pain on a drop bar road bike).
My commute is mostly one long cycle path that follows the freeway and I'm prepared to sacrafice a little manouvreability etc to maxamise the benefits on this main section if that helps in the LWB / SWB debate. Other factors that may influence are that I'm prepared to pay for quality and also that I live in Western Australia so I suppose anything will have to be ordered from some distance unless someone can direct me to a source in Perth?
Very grateful for any help.
Just about any decent recumbent would work for you. It depends how much money you want to spend and how light of a bike you want. I have similar DF issues like you describe so a 'bent was my option as well. I commute in the summer on a RANS Tailwind. Burley, Bachetta, Lightning, and a host of others make nice bikes as well. LWB or SWB is going to be a personal preference for you. Get what you feel comfortable on. As far a manuverability the SWB can turn sharper than the LWB so you might have to factor that in if you want to ride many surface streets. I would suggest you try to find a dealer, and do some test rides. I've been 'bent for almost a year now and I've never looked back.
lowracer ninja master
I'm thinking an Optima Baron may be your best choice for a fast work commuter. Especially going into headwinds. Its also extremely comfortable with a neck rest available.
It has a very low coeficient drag and punches a small hole in the air. On club rides when riding into a 20mph headwind, I can still manage a speed of around 23mph on the flat while the upright club members even in the pack are struggling with 17 or 18 mph.
lowracer ninja master
I might also add that there is another fellow living down in Australia also ...... Glenn is his first name............... can't rembember his last name, but he hangs out at cycling forums.com and also bentrider online. He just recently got done winning a 400k race on his lowracer with a solo finish of over an hour ahead of the nearest competition. He apparently also got the course record beat by an hour.
I've had my baron lowracer for 3 years now and still love it. Very nice build quality.......bulletproof.
I also now have a velokraft vk2 lowracer. This is now my race bike, while I use the baron for training purposes. The baron also has an adjustable seat and boom plus adjustable length tiller so you can totally adjust the bike to your body length and postition. It is primarlily a race bike, but we do 500 mile tours on it as well .........riding the roads pretty much everywhere.
heres a pic of a couple buddies of mine who also ride barons.
And here is a pic of my carbon lowracer if you are really into spending some money.
If you want to gain another 3-4 mph in speed, you can add a tailfairing.
Brian, Thanks for the reply, the info and the encouragement. Lowracer1, It was a picture of your Baron on another post that stopped me in my tracks and made me say, 'That's the one I want'. I'm glad you didn't try to disuade me from it as a first recumbent.
What's the availability of panniers like? I saw on the French Optima website some small ones that would be ideal for me to hold a fresh shirt and a pair of socks.
My problem remains that Perth is a baron wilderness ('scuse the pun) of recumbent dealers. I have talked to Greenspeed who have a few stores over east but they seemed keen to get me on a trike and while it may have some advantages, I don't think it's what I'm looking for. I emailed RBR who quoted $400 - $650 US to ship from the US. Not so good. My other option is to wait till I'm in the States (poss next Christmas) and bring one home with me then. Any second hand sources?
Lowracer1, just found the Australian Optima dealer on the link from the Optima.nl website that you posted. Thankyou. My credit card is twitching.
I saw a cucumbemt (sic) on Broadway (the main downtown street, the busiest one) slicing between the transit bus and cars. Today I was not biking; but I was riding inside that bus. Viewing from the higher perspective. And perceiving the lower perspective, that the cu------- bike was to be seen at. >>In how I would see him, if I was behind him. As if I was one of those motorists. People wonder how I want to ride My road bike in that type of traffic; But that's a recumbent. Motorists look for those even LESS, when viewing their mirrors (if ever doing it). And I'm speaking at the high traffic time of 1:30 - 2 p.m.
lowracer ninja master
here is a link mate............... to a good ole Aussie dealer in yer neck of the woods.
They also sell velokraft carbon lowracers............ beautiful machines........ but maybe a bit too much machine for just comuting back and forth to work. It sounds like the perfect place though to open a lowracer up though, a paved bike path running along side an expressway? Perfect lowracer territory.
Oh yeah......... here's an idea though for really fast commuting. Velokraft makes a luggage tailbox that flying furniture I'm sure sells that will fit the vk2 or a baron. Heres a link to it from Dana's website. You could pack yer lunch in there, shoes, pants, shirt.......watermelon........oh yeah some afternoon lunch break beer........ you get the idea. Oh here's the catch........ the tailbox will reduce some drag and make the bike even more efficient especially in a head wind.......... side winds and the box acts like a sail and propels you along. I generally only ride with tailbox's now. Faster and I have places to put my hyrdration, tools and such out of the airstream.
I like the description......... who says lowracers aren't for commuting. I say its the fastest darn comuter out there.
Here's a link to what the tailbox looks like fitted to a bike. The tailbox opens up ........flip lid then latches back down. We had a guy ride his vk2 over 900 miles to a bent rally last year. He had 80lbs worth of junk in the back of his vk2 tailbox. This poor guy had over 14% hills to climb with all that weight too!
just scroll down through the list and you will find some pics of the tailboxes mounted. I don't like the looks of the original red one, the new carbon colored ones are a bit updated.
Last edited by lowracer1; 03-08-05 at 08:21 PM.
lowracer ninja master
I also didn't try to disuade you from buying a lowracer since it was really truly my first recumbent. It took about 2 miles to get the hang of the steering.......now I don't even think about it. Just completely natural. Once you build up your recumbent legs, you'll be amazed when you can easily cruise above 25mph at a low heartrate.
I saw another guy with a baron at a bent rally initially, but I never got to ride it. I afterwords, found it online and ordered my baron out of Canada. I've got around 10,000 miles on the baron now. You could be doing 5200 miles a year commuting then....... unless of course in Perth you must suffer though a winter as well. I'm not up to your geographical region.
heres another pic of my riding partners newley remodeled baron. drool
Lowracer1, You're a star. I'd found the flying furniture site from the link you sent me to the optima.nl website and I've now talked to and emailed them. They are going to send me all the info and quotes including stuff on commuter luggage systems. However as far as being my local dealer, they are in Canberra which is 3 time zones away. Still, same country so all I have to do is ship it. The tail fairings look great (well not too outlandish) and f'furniture reckon they are good for a few more kph. Credit card on Def Con 4
Perth is a great place to cycle. I cycled today and the traffic on the freeway was at a standstill as I flew past smiling. There is a vast network of cycle tracks and the weather is great if you don't mind the heat of summer. (gets to 42 / 108 a few times but it's dry heat) Apparently there is a winter but it never freezes. I've just moved here from Scotland so it should be an anticlimax. It's windy with onshore / offshore breezes that swap direction during the day to blow in my face both directions (the recumbent should be a winner here) but the city is very flat which is some compensation. This Friday is cycle to work day and the City is putting on breakfast.
Melton, I know what you mean, it looks scary. Perth drivers are half wits (most folk say that of their city I'm sure) Lots of SUVs and Hoons in V8s diving between lanes. Thankfully I've got very little of that to contend with, maybe 500m from my cycle path to the office (Which I usually avoid on the Mt bike by a slightly different route over a grass park - won't be doing that on the Baron I don't think). I don't want to put a flag on the Baron for the sake of 500m or less.
Anyway thanks all for the help
There is one on the showroom floor (last fall there was one - better check) at Valley Bikes in Carmel, IN - 800-730-9021
lowracer ninja master
You could ride the baron through a park in the grass no problem. I rode mine actually on a dirt trail for 50miles. Wasn't my first choice in routes, but it worked just fine. I ran 1.5" width tires on it.
B'kent, Is that Carmel Ca? Beautiful part of the world, love the Big Sur. But it's the wrong side of the planet for me mate.
Lowracer1, no further encouragement needed, I'm off piste on the baron