Man, this thing still shows up in the news. And they’ve sold 30 of them? It looks like a freakin’ deathtrap. I mentioned it here the last time I read an article on it. This thing is supposed to be better for your back, but it looks like a great way to blow out your knees. If you want comfort, buy a bike that fits you, and get it adjusted properly, then go ride.
You’ll have to Google it, since I’m not helping them out by linking.
It is a little odd in design, but there is no standard for the recumbent market and oddities abound. I take that back, if there is a standard it would be the Bacchetta Aero. I race Cyclocross, TT’s, and Road Races here in Oregon on my upright’s, but also race ultras (Race Across Oregon, etc.) on a Bacchetta Carbon Aero. You are exactly right about fit, a good fitting road bike means everything, but for Brevets and ultra’s I take the Bacchetta. The Bacchetta team (which I am a part of) has also done very well in several events over the years, with the latest being the 12/ 24 hours of Sebring. Just my $.02. http://www.bacchettabikes.com
By the way, Nice blog. I really enjoy it.
I don’t know, properly adjusted, I don’t see how it could be any worse on your knees (going in a straight line, at any rate) than your average swb recumbent.
I don’t like the fact that the pedals are linked directly to the front wheel including steering. I have no flipping clue why they’d make that thing as a cheesy full suspension bike, especially using the cheapo rear shock a-la department store bicycles.
In short, it doesn’t look like a deathtrap to me, but it does look like an inefficient setup that might not have enough weight for traction on the drive wheel.
From what I understand, the kit is $300. And they show it on what looks like an $89 Walmart bike. Where’s the logic? And what happens under hard braking, with all that weight already biased to the front?
My first impression was also one of scepticism, however from reading the comments from users and further research, it appears to be quite the opposite. Hard braking among other things is discussed in some detail, and the dynamics are the same as for any recumbent. The inventors appear to have done their homework. The reason it is shown on el cheapo bikes, I think, is from people who wanted to try it out without blowing big bucks on a dually and then have it turn sour on them.
While this may be a weird-looking contraption appealing to a minority, and assuming it is not dangerous in any way worse than any recumbent, where’s the harm in providing support for it in a country who has such a fatal attraction to cars?
Actually, the Cruzbike kit (which is $375 on line) can be fitted to a cheap OR expensive mountain bike frame, with whatever wheels and components it comes with. The mechanics of the kit are simple and straightforward. The reduced chain length makes for a more efficient transfer of power to the drive wheel (less stretch due to the shorter chain than on rear wheel drive competitors). Oddly, the fact that the pedals are on the turning wheel is NOT a problem for steering.. quite the opposite… it is very responsive and easy to ride. THere may be a minor loss of traction going up a hill on slippery surfaces, but not so much as to be a problem.
The full production bikes are LOVED by the respondants on their chat group… so the proof is in the pudding. The production bikes are well balanced, handle great, are comfortable to the point of being an absolute pleasure to ride on. Many of the purchasers have logged hundreds and thousands of miles and have not complained about knee issues or anything else for that matter. THe back suport, angle of back, arms, wrist and neck are totally ergonomic.. so that after long rides you hop off without creaks and pains that I used to get with my upright.
With respect to safety: Cruzbike is at the height of a regular upright (NOT below the line of sight of cars), which makes it pretty unique in recumbent circles. In a head on collision not only do the feet hit first (vs the head as with an upright), but the extension rod would absorb much of the force of the impact (like the crumple zone on a car). All things considered, I would say regular uprights are more of a “deathtrap”, since you spend most of the time looking at the ground instead of straight ahead and other recumbents are so low as to be invisible to the average car.
The consensus of users is that Cruzbike is safe, easy to ride and comfortabale.
I expected to accomplish my longest ride ‘til now with the Cruzbike “Sofrider” on wednesday April 11 th.
I purchased this bike and took delivery on March 30th. Took a few hours to assemble, add fenders and true up the wheels. Been gaining confidence handling this bike with every ride! In less than 2 weeks I have sufficiently improved my technique enough to feel confident so that, at the very least, I would pedal 50 miles today. I sort of had a goal of 62.14miles (100k) in mind at the start, just was not 100% sure my technique with the Cruzbike “Sofrider” would meet the challenges.
I headed to the Erie Canal Towpath which has paved sections and crushed limestone on other sections. Met up with my friend Bruce who rides a Hybrid.
While the towpath is essentially straight and flat most of the way, there are some undulations in the form of relatively steep high arched bridges crossing over the canal and river at some points. I did not have sufficient momentum to traverse the first High arch bridge with out stopping the bike, dismounting and walking to the apex. The problem was my lack of technique, physicality, and experience and not the bike design. As I gain experience and expertise, confidence in the capabilities of the Cruzbike will make those situations rare. This bike requires expertise to maximize its capabilities which even a bulky old sluggish rider like me should be able to acquire.
After 100+ miles of road/trail experience with my “Sofrider”, I’m sure a Cruzbike is not an “old man’s” riding machine. That’s not saying an older person can’t master the ride, but pedaling a FWD/MBB/SWB Cruzbike recumbent is a fun, challenging workout. I’ve adjusted the tension on the suspension spring, stiffening the response to the bouncing I’ve experienced when really putting the hammer down on those short steep climbs, like my driveway and some of the bridge ramps along the towpath. The bike is a great value at $975 but can be purchased at a $100 discount using the coupon : “bikerjohn007”
For that much money, you could buy a bike with decent components, get yourself some comfortable cycling gear, and even get fitted properly. Of course, there wouldn’t be the “challenge” of gaining the necessary “expertise” to ride a bicycle.
I’m not going to cover my ears and shout, but there’s no way that you can convince me that the Cruzbike is somehow a worthy creation. Most of the coasting bikes are at least twice as good at half the price, and nearly anyone can jump on and go.
I can not argue points of superiority or inferiority about recumbents or the Cruzbike specifically.
I have ridden diamond frame bikes my whole life. After 48 years (I’m 53) on a DF there is something to say for the intuitive nature of that type of ride. But that is not to say that other style bikes don’t also have advantages too.
I own 5 bikes right now including the Cruzbike. I have a 2005 Bianchi “Castro Valley” -quality ride; A 2005 Specialized “Globe” -an excellent commuter touring Hybrid; An “Army Recon” Chinese internet special folding ATB(for bus field trips); and my trusty old Royce Union with its 1 piece forged crank and ball bearing bottom bracket. I expect to ride at least 5200 miles this year.
What I like about bents is the reclined, low profile riding position. It’s an”aero” position without numbing ulna or siatic nerves. I don’t like noisey drive systems or long chains or long wheel bases or any of the typical bent drawbacks.
I bought the Cruzbike because it was priced competitively against other recumbents. Cruzbike seems to have all the positives without all the other baggage. For many bikers I think it boils down to “image”, for me its usefulness. I expect to go faster with less fatigue on long (60-100mile) rides. If ultimately the bike does not meet that expectation, I still have a unique fun and unusual ride.
I’ve got one built from the kit. it is comfortable, efficient, easy to ride and practical.
I’ve been riding a diamond frame for some 40 years now (I’m 46). Raced ’em at one point – now its mostly to work and back in the summer.
Seems with each passing year, my wrists get less and less able to take the weight of the ride, and I lose “grip” in my hands during the course of the summer. Could possibly be due to all the repetitive typing I do at work, or a combination. Yes, I wear gloves, I have the end-bars on my mountain bike and alter positions frequently. I even raised the handlebars as high as they would go to reduce the weight the arms support. Helps a little, but not completely.
So I’m looking into bents. The CruzBike is at the top of my list for three reasons:
1. the shorter chain: I ride on converted railroad tracks – very dusty and hard on regular chains – I can only imagine what it would due to an equivalent of 3 chains.
2. the equal-diameter wheels front and rear – I don’t want to carry different size spares.
3. ability to accommodate wider tires: again, riding on the railroad bed in spring requires coping with ruts that would be difficult with road tires/wheels.
I’ve not ridden one yet, but am looking forward to giving it a try!
I put together a Cruzbike kit and this thing handles great, I can take corners hard and tight like a BMX bike. I have ridden many recumbents and they were more straight line bikes that were scary in the corners. If you want to have fun on a recumbent buy a Cruzbike kit and adjust the head tube angle to about 65 degrees. It takes a few days to train your brain to the new type bike, but once it does you’ll be in for some fun.