Recumbents and all feet forward machines
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
Spotted this article about a new recumbent manufacture MetaBikes and their new high racer recumbent frame kits. What's interesting about it is how much the designers have tried to make it like an upright road bike. Most high racer (i.e. two 'big' wheels) recumbents have either 650C or 26" wheels and frequently use a non-standard forks and/or front brakes, whereas this is designed to be built up with 700C wheels, a normal road bike fork and standard road caliper brakes (though the front brake is mounted backwards on the back of the fork using a cunning widget included in the frame kit). The wheelbase of most high racers is generally a little longer than an upright road bike too but this bike looks very compact with wheelbase and steering geometry much like an upright bike. Obviously you can't really tell much without riding one but it does look like this bike would be even more at home in a road bike paceline than my beloved Comfy Chair.
Looks good. Mind you, sourcing enough links for that chain might create a world shortage Wonder what they're going to cost and whether you'll be able to get them here.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
Rumoured price is 1000 Euros for the 'AL" version with glass fibre composite seat and aluminium handebars or 1200 Euros for the 'CF' cersion with carbon fibre composite seat and handlebars. That gets you the kit, you need to buy a fork, wheelset, groupset and 3 chains as well before you can go riding.
As far as getting them in Aus, most likely it'd be a case of buying from the manufacturer or an overseas dealer, sight unseen, and paying vast sums for shipping, etc. That's if Flying Furniture don't stock the brand, which he may do if the bike turns out to actually be good.
Actually, I believe the Cruzbike Silvio, designed here in Perth, is more "road-bike-like" than the Metabike. 700c wheels, full road bike gruppo of your own choice, even the handle bars are standard drop bars!
This is one fast bike, believe me! He is aiming this bike squarely at the roadbike users and would have no problems riding amongst a fast group of roadies. If I wanted a very fast bike, this is the one I'd choose.
Disclosure time: I ride with the guy who designs and sells them (John Tolhurst). Very cluey bloke and always thinking of ways to improve the designs of his bikes.
Maybe it's just me but don't like the drop handlebars on the Cruzbike Silvio, I guess they're there to allow the use of road bike brifters and to make the bike look more like a road bike but they look out of place on a recumbent to my eyes and I'm not sure how well they'd work ergonomically in the recumbent position. I'd have to try them to know for sure though. I'd certainly be interested in riding one anyway to find out how a front wheel drive 'bent feels, and whether the full suspension is worthwhile. The seat looks a bit upright too, though I have heard that it doesn't seem to slow the Cruzbikes down at all.
There are a few other 'bents in the 700C club, but they're exotic full CF machines like the Bacchetta Carbon Aero and the M5 Carbon High Racer.
Last edited by Hotdog on Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Okay, seeing you ride with him, have a yarn with him from me please. I don't have a dual suspension mtb, I have a hybrid, the much maligned Sow's Ear.
Can he do a conversion for that? If so, I'd be rather interested.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
It's likely to be a few weeks before I ride with John again (going bush and all that), however I'll ask him next time I see him. Looking at the previous conversions, I think the prospect of attaining a silk purse looks slim. Can you furnish more details of the bike as it is now?
You could speak with John yourself. His email address is on his website, so I feel I would be fine to also post it here for you ( [email protected] ). He's very friendly and will listen to any questions you have. As I said earlier, he's always looking for ways to improve the bikes he makes, so your questions could well spark a new line of products if he recognises a niche yet to be filled.
You may have some valid concerns there Hotdog, however the title of the thread made me think of the Silvio immediately.
Ergonomically, the drop bars seem fine when you see the bike ridden. In fact, it's common to see John riding no hands, so the bars really are for show! There are very few recumbents which can be ridden without holding the bars.
I'm not convinced full suspension is required on the bike. John believes it helps keep the front wheel planted properly, and he may be correct. He runs 100+psi in his tyres and without the ability to raise the rider's weight off the seat and absorb bumps, the suspension does stop those bumps from becoming jumps. The problem I see is that the suspension is very rudimentary - no damping in compression or rebound, meaning it doesn't allow tuning to suit the conditions or the rider. We were comparing our experience of a chip-seal road on Sunday. My steel frame and mesh seat removed the road buzz - he relied on the elastomers in his suspension. I think we agreed it was a draw.
The more upright (and not adjustable) seat does reduce the aerodynamic effeciency of the design, however it seems to be compensated by better biomechanical advantage of the FWD system and the improved (?) hip angle. In any case, his design (with him on it) can out-pace nearly everyone in our group, including some faired designs. (I say "nearly", because I think I may be a stronger rider than him. We were sprinting uphill to catch up after stopping to talk with DF riders, and he had trouble keeping up, even though my bike weighs several kilos more than his (and at the moment, my "long range fuel tank" is bigger too!))
Anyway, if you get the chance to try one out, give the design a thought. I think it has merrit, even though it was not the bike for my requirements when I bought.
Most "road-bike" like? Well I don't think it's going to be this one!
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
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