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Old 11-08-02, 02:12 AM   #1
Mike Warner
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Rans Rocket or Lightning Thunderbolt?

The Rans has been reduced to 800, the Thunderbolt is 850. Financially, at this time, I really don't want to get further into recumbency.

Assume I can't test-ride either one. I have to make a decision based on a test sitting and theory.

I am 5'9, 220. Not fat, marbled. <g>

When I sit on the Rans, I'm way back. There's not enough room on the main tube to put a clamp behind the seat slider. I'm thinking that that front wheel is going to get light during acceleration, given how far back I am.

Brummer makes the argument that there is a sweet spot--a position of optimum weight distribution between the front and back wheel--that the rider shouldn't muck with. Hence the fixed seat and the sliding boom. If he's correct, I could be in for big trouble on the Rans.

Also, when I sit on the Rans, the seat feels comfortable but small. Over time, it'll probably get smaller, if you know what I mean. The Thunderbolt's seat will accomodate the Mighty Kong.

The downside to the Thunderbolt is that cheezy crank. I would definitely keep my eyes open for a sweet deal for a BB/crankset upgrade.

Hills aren't a consistent issue for me.

What do you think?


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Old 02-18-03, 03:33 PM   #2
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Hey Mike...I ride a RANS Rocket. I am 6'2" - 210 and I still have about another 5-6 inches of available slide left. I don't use a clamp, never have, and my seat stays put. I've never rode a Thunderbolt, although I've seen one at my local bike shop, collecting dust for the last three years. Why would you want to buy a bike that needs an immediate BB upgrade ??? I've never regretted for a moment buying my Rocket. How could you go wrong with the 2000 Recumbent Bike of the Year....Rick
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Old 02-20-03, 04:34 PM   #3
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I ride an 00 Rocket. I am 6 ft 1 in. and find I still have several inches left behind the seat on the rail. You may be setting to far back. Try moving forward so you have some bend in you knee so you can spin easier.
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Old 02-24-03, 10:18 PM   #4
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I've owned a Rans V-Rex and now a Rocket. Sat upon a ThunderBolt, but instantly did not like the "feel" of the seat and set-up. I am short: 5'4", and the Rocket fit me better than the V-Rex, though the V-Rex was fine. Just taller and longer feeling.

Like the others, I've known of really tall guys riding the Rocket. Not sure how they do that, but it seems to work.

Things about the Rans that I would point out: adjustable "flip it" handlebar is nice; comfort of Rans seat; higher components (tho they can be upgraded); more Rans dealers; excellent customer support from Rans (I've heard not so good from Lightning).

I'd say you should ride several types (Bacchetta Giro also) and see what YOU think. It's got to fit you and you've got to be pleased with it. I'm sure any of these bents would be a good investment...

Good luck!
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