Monday, October 09, 2006

Kids in a Candy Store

Hi all,
Sorry for the delays in posting, been a busy time! Recently, I was down in Tucson visiting family, and Jon, Amy and I took the time to visit Ajo Bikes. They have a fairly good inventory of recumbents, trikes, along with most other types of bikes.

Jon and I, along with Amy had a great time test riding a few bikes. Jon fell in love with a Catrike Road, and enjoyed several spins around the lot. He got that "Triker's Grin" almost instantly! Amy took off on a Rans Cruz crank forward bike that seemed to fit her style of riding quite nicely.

Jon has the "Grin!"

I was inside oogling the latest in trike technology, a Catrike 700. Built for speed, and painted an old retro Bronco metallic orange, it is a lovely machine! I really wanted to ride this beauty, but it was tucked away in the back part of the shop, and I got the subtle non-verbal impression that unless you were serious with money in hand, that it was to stay inside. I found the laid back position very comfortable, and as soon as I sat down, the bike felt like a shoe that fits perfectly the first time.

All I want for Christmas.....

Of course, owning this bike poses several limitations to actually enjoying it. 1: The bike is 81 inches long from nose to tail! Since it doesn't fold, I can't transport it anywhere! 2: I am leery about commuting on this bike, what with all the dips in the road, speed bumps etc... The bike frame at its lowest point, is a mere 2.5 inches off the ground! So, I wouldn't mind owning a trike that I could enjoy out on Antelope Island, or on quiet bike paths. If I never had to deal with automobile traffic, I could see myself riding a trike all winter! Oh yes, and #3: It costs almost $3,000 bucks! That's quite a limitation too!

The men try to figure out where Amy hid the credit cards..

I too tried the Rans Crank Forward model. I enjoyed a lap or two around the lot, but what I really need for a good test is to get out and RIDE for about 10-15 miles. A nice riding machine, though.

The moral of this story really rests on the subject of how to buy a recumbent bike. Along with my past experiences in buying a 'bent and from what I've read in recumbent forums, the most important task is to ride as many 'bents as possible before spending your money. Another factor is to determine your requirements; what kind of riding you want to do, what the area/terrain is like where you want to ride, and how much money you want to spend. And of course: Research, research, research. The 'net is a wonderful place to learn about recumbents, read forums, and talk to people! Find out why they hate/love their bikes. is a great place to start.

For me, I think I need a fleet!

Bike #1: My Barcroft Virginia GT. What I ride today. My all-purpose touring/commuting/everyday ride.

Dream Bike#2: An Optima Baron: My SPEED machine, for chasing roadies on centuries.

Dream Bike#3: A Trike for bike paths and quiet places like Antelope Island, along with riding in the winter.

Dream Bike #4: A beater mountain bike, something to explore a few trails in the Wasatch, and just be the Mud Bike.

Is that too much to ask? Oh yes, and a BIG garage too!

Happy riding all.


1 comment:

Poiter said...

The Baron and Little red bike aren't that much different really.
Little bit lower and longer perhaps and heavier probably.
A carbon fibre hard shell seat on the LRB might be an option?