New and Novel
Cruzbike Silvio S30 (2016)
Notable changes in this most recent version of the Silvio
$4,100: complete (manufacturer’s standard build)
Changes in Specifications:
Seat angle: 33 degrees. The seat is less reclined than the previous version, which had a 27 degree angle (some riders have measured it at 29 degrees). So, it may be preferred by people who want clearer visibility of the road and who ride with groups. The slightly higher seat angle will make it easier to chat with other riders and, along with the lighter weight, will help the 2016 S30 perform more like standard frames on the ups and downs. I’ve had customers with health issues (usually neck) who wanted a Silvio with a more upright seat and I imagine that group will be pleased.
The front shock has been removed. This reduces the weight, cost and a component that required maintenance. While the front shock might smooth out some pot holes, it’s a matter of debate whether it performed well-enough to offset the cost, weight and hassle. It’ll be nice not to wonder if you should pack a shock pump for a long trip.
The 2016 S30 uses the same drive triangle (front-end) as the Vendetta. In the past, the Silvio drive triangle had to be unique due to the presence of the front air shock. The new front-end is stiffer, more aerodynamic, has a slightly lower handlebar position and feels more like a Vendetta due to its stiffness. Also, since the handlebars are lower, there is no longer a need for a curved front boom for shorter riders. Riders should also be aware that Silvios have three sizes for the chain stays: short, medium and long. Size medium is best for most people, though some riders, even those of smaller stature, opt for the large to bring their feet and legs up in front of their body and into a more aerodynamic position.
The new Silvio version is a little more distinctly in the category of a road bike that can handle light touring and randonneuring if so desired. On that point, the new version is constructed with attachment points for an under-seat rack which, according to Jonathan Garcia with Cruzbike, Terra Cycle plans to manufacture. The rack will accept standard small “front” panniers.
While I still prefer Radical Design panniers for carrying luggage, since they zero-out the cost and weight of the rack and the poor aerodynamics of standard under-seat panniers, I’m happy to see this option for those who have already invested in a pair of quality panniers. Also, this is wonderful for riders who absolutely need the expanded carrying capacity and low center of gravity of under-seat bags. In spite of how much I like Radical Design panniers, there remains the challenge of fitting the larger sizes on the Silvio due to the absence of the rear rack. (For RD panniers, the headrest serves the function of the rack, but there’s nothing to keep the bags away from the wheel.) I wonder if the new under-seat rack may actually enable the size large Radical Design side panniers to be used more successfully.
Jonathan Garcia describes the Silvio as a nice combination of speed, temper and handling. While the low seat angle still creates a need for a headrest, it’s good in traffic. He says it “feels like a Vendetta with a higher seat angle.”
The 2016 S30 is now available through the Cruzbike website. For your $100 discount from New York City Recumbent Supply, be sure to type in the code I gave you after your demo ride. If you didn’t do the $100 demo ride with me (at NYC Recumbent Supply), just type a note when you place your order that you’re one of my customers.