Would appreciate advice on upgrading to a lighter, faster 'bent

Ganymede

Veteran
Location
Rural Kent
Hi all, as someone who bought the first 'bent they saw years ago, I feel the need to upgrade.

I watched my HP Velotek Spirit (ok, semi-'bent) collecting dust for years because it was too cumbersome to carry up steps and too hard to ride uphill. I'm fitter now and have been riding it a lot this year with great pleasure, especially as I've had a lot of neck and shoulder trouble which simply isn't an issue riding with my feet up.

However it's an old model - the one with the small front wheel - and it really does weigh a ton. I think models must be much lighter now and while I don't want a full-on right-on-the-ground racing 'bent I would like to get something a little less chunky. I was watching a couple of Cycling Mikey's video on the 'tube and wondered what he rides.

Also - fairings - any good? Or just a lot of weight?

I'd really appreciate any advice - was thinking of a trip up to Bikefix in London (easy for me) or maybe out to this chap in Ely I hear about?
 
'Bent's are still quite rare in this country. Find a good specialist, do what they say.
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
Might also be worth looking at the websites of the various 'bent dealers in the UK and their different suppliers, as most manufacturers make very similar models, with their own take on it - much like car/ df bike manufacturers.

Laidbackbikes in Edinburgh are good very good excellent too :thumbsup:
 
OP
Ganymede

Ganymede

Veteran
Location
Rural Kent
Might also be worth looking at the websites of the various 'bent dealers in the UK and their different suppliers, as most manufacturers make very similar models, with their own take on it - much like car/ df bike manufacturers.

Laidbackbikes in Edinburgh are good very good excellent too :thumbsup:
Thanks that really helps - I can google around but it's really useful to have some personal recommendations. It's a long way from me but I do have a nephew at uni there so I could visit!
 
OP
Ganymede

Ganymede

Veteran
Location
Rural Kent
I guess it comes down to how much you wish to spend, type of bike you are seeking and the riding you wish to do, but you can get aluminium framed and carbon framed bikes now days. As one example take a look at the Bacchetta offerings.

Andrew
I like the look of those, thanks! I see they are for sale at Longstanton. I am looking at a trip to London Recumbents but there is nothing on their website to say what brands they sell. But I've heard the chap at Longstanton mentioned a few times and it looks like it's worth the trip (when the days are a bit longer!). I like the look of those big wheels - on my old-model Spirit the front wheel is only 16" and it's holding me back. (Back wheel is 20".)
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
I use a Streamer fairing on my trikes, well two of them and the benefits are small but noticeable. I only average 10mph so a faster rider will notice more benefit on the flat and downhill. IF you have a lot of climbing the weight of a fairing will slow you by a bit on the ups.

From an aerodynamic point of view a rear fairing gives more advantage than a front in terms of speed.

As an example of use on a bike when I was using the Streamer on an AZUB 4 (For those not in the know this is a heavy Street Machine look-a-like 20" front 26" rear wheel.) I found speed into the wind and on fast descents were the main benefits from the Streamer. Those and keeping relatively dry in a shower!
 

neil earley

Veteran
Location
Neath
Interesting thread especially about fairings. Have contacted various Toxy ZR owners and most say that they have a speed advantage when fitted with rear tailbox . Will prob get one later in the new year, mmm must stop looking at Metabikes from laidback bikes website look so cool/
 
I love fairings...

I use a Streamer, ZZIp, Windwrap XT and Windwrap GX


They are personal choice.

For most of us the additional speed and aerodynamics will not be of a great benefit

However the warmth and ease of use in bad weather is benefit enough as is the "posing value"


THis is the GX on the Catrike, and even in this weather, thermal tights were fine without a waterproof layer:

DSCF00012.jpg


... and in better weather:

DSCF0162.jpg


Even the smaller fairing will keep your feet warmer:

P1070052.jpg


P1054856.jpg
 
I like the look of those, thanks! I see they are for sale at Longstanton. I am looking at a trip to London Recumbents but there is nothing on their website to say what brands they sell. But I've heard the chap at Longstanton mentioned a few times and it looks like it's worth the trip (when the days are a bit longer!). I like the look of those big wheels - on my old-model Spirit the front wheel is only 16" and it's holding me back. (Back wheel is 20".)
Cannot fault London Recumbents..... I have bought from a number of dealers over the years and Ian at Wheel NV, and Oliver at London Recumbents have to be the most knowledgeable.

Combine that with a wonderful traffic free testing ground and London Recumbents are well worth the effort - I bought my Kettwiesel from them in August
 

Tigerbiten

Veteran
I'm another one who uses a Streamer fairing on a recumbent trike.
Reasons are ...........
It makes the trike look bigger from the front, hence I think I'm slightly safer.
The fairing and the top of the seat make a fairly good roll cage, so when I roll the trike I don't loose as much skin.
Helps to keep me dry from my ankles to my hips when it rain but i do need a spray tray to stop the water thrown up by the front wheels hitting the back of my legs.
From the figures I've read somewhere, I'm around 3% faster downhill, a good tail box will give you about double this.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
Are you looking for a 2 wheeler or a trike?

With recumbents it all comes down to price. I had an ICE trike and it was great. Excellent service from the guys at ICE and a wonderfully engineered trike. ICE make some seriously quick trikes. They even look quick. My downfall was the space to keep it in and transport. Dumb, I know but true.

I also had a Bacchetta Giro and could not get on with it. I think it was mostly the position of the pedals.

There is Kev in Cambridge who has a wide selection of recumbents you can test ride, he is very well thought of. I am sure someone will tell you the company name as I forget.

I am now looking at Nazca and Optima recumbents from Holland. They are both friendly and helpful companies.

http://www.nazca-ligfietsen.nl/en/list/models/

This site may be useful to you. Getting bikes sent from Holland is not difficult.

ligfietsen.nl

There is a 2 day bike fair in Amsterdan at the end of January if you fancy a weekend away.

http://www.fietsenwandelbeurs.nl/index.php/nl/themas-kop/ligfietsplein

We will probably going from Denmark.
 
Last edited:
OP
Ganymede

Ganymede

Veteran
Location
Rural Kent
Cannot fault London Recumbents..... I have bought from a number of dealers over the years and Ian at Wheel NV, and Oliver at London Recumbents have to be the most knowledgeable.

Combine that with a wonderful traffic free testing ground and London Recumbents are well worth the effort - I bought my Kettwiesel from them in August
Alas I have heard back from them and the only two-wheeler they do is a Spirit. I would like to have a go on some trikes.

I LOVE your pics Cunobelin - those fairings look like they are earning their living! And the posing value... yeah baby! (I once read you had to be an extrovert to ride a 'bent).
Are you looking for a 2 wheeler or a trike?

With recumbents it all comes down to price. I had an ICE trike and it was great. Excellent service from the guys at ICE and a wonderfully engineered trike. ICE make some seriously quick trikes. They even look quick. My downfall was the space to keep it in and transport. Dumb, I know but true.

I also had a Bacchetta Giro and could not get on with it. I think it was mostly the position of the pedals.

There is Kev in Cambridge who has a wide selection of recumbents you can test ride, he is very well thought of. I am sure someone will tell you the company name as I forget.

I am now looking at Nazca and Optima recumbents from Holland. They are both friendly and helpful companies.

http://www.nazca-ligfietsen.nl/en/list/models/

This site may be useful to you. Getting bikes sent from Holland is not difficult.

ligfietsen.nl

There is a 2 day bike fair in Amsterdan at the end of January if you fancy a weekend away.

http://www.fietsenwandelbeurs.nl/index.php/nl/themas-kop/ligfietsplein

We will probably going from Denmark.
I think I want another two-wheeler - but I think it's a good idea to have a go on a trike or two just in case I like them! I want to be able to take my bike on the train (non-rush hour) which I can do with the Spirit, it is cumbersome to load on due to the small front wheel and tall stem/general weird geometry but it does fit into the bike places on SE trains. I know there is at least one folding trike which could be fun - storage is not really a problem for me as I have a big barn but I still need the train option.

I am beginning to think a visit to Kev in Cambridge would be the ticket (he's the Longstanton guy I think and stocks Nazca). I need to try before I buy, and alas although that bike fair looks fun I can't go this year.

Thanks for all the comments and pix everyone! I suspect I will be grindingly slow in actually making a purchase - months at least - but I promise to report back!
 
I am beginning to think a visit to Kev in Cambridge would be the ticket (he's the Longstanton guy I think and stocks Nazca). I need to try before I buy, and alas although that bike fair looks fun I can't go this year.
Longstanton is Bike to Be / Cycle Centric

DTek and Kevin are at Little Thetford which is near Ely

Two diffrent companies, the first stocks Bachetta, whilst DTek does.... well almost everything
 
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