Silvio. Wow, that was cool.

Today (yesterday, really) I finished building the shop’s new Cruzbike Silvio demo bike.  After my last demo appointment ended and I finally had time — after 10pm, after dark — I put on a pair of bright Busch and Mueller lights on the Silvio and took it for a 10-mile spin through Prospect Park and local streets.

Wow.  What a feeling.  I test a lot of cool bikes, but I haven’t had a speed-thrill like that since the first time I rode a (standard frame) time trial bike.  The current demo machine is the stock Silvio with SRAM Rival components and Cruzbike-brand aero wheels.  They’re nice components and nice wheels but nothing out of this world in terms of cost.  However, there is something very special about the frame and overall concept and design.  (And, of course, I did a wonderful job with the build.)

I look forward to putting in some real miles on this bike to see what it can do in the daylight, but, so far, it looks like a champion.

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A couple weeks later: I’ve put in about 120 miles on the Silvio over three rides.  It’s fast, nuff said.  I’m able to stick pretty well with the kitted athletes in P. Park on the flats and rollers, keeping between 20-25 mph.  Maintaining 15 mph up the hill is not a problem.  This can not be attributed to my strength; the team cyclists are much better riders than I am.  I stay away from the pace line and in the wind so as not to cause problems for the others but I work to maintain a consistent distance to get the benefit of being paced.  Being in the wind as I am, my ability to keep up is meaningful.  I fall behind the faster riders when we hit the hill but I’m generally able to catch up once we crest.  The S. is proving to be a good bike for maintaining pacing with road cyclists, so definitely a great option for the rider who wants to move to a bent but doesn’t want to change friends.

The S’s front end (with SRAM Rival) is a lot lighter than the front on the Quest (and Sofrider), partly thanks to lighter drive-/front-end components.  Result is it doesn’t have as much of that “veering” quality that the less expensive CB’s have.  I miss the Quest’s e-ring though and the simple handlebars (I’m still a touring/commuting rider at heart).  I’m still trying to figure out a handlebar position that I like.  The Silvio accepts a Radical Design (RD) seatback bag and RD’s Banana Racer so it does in fact have some carrying capacity; that’s pretty cool.  (I have the RD bags for sale and in stock, by the way.)  There are braze-ons for a rear rack but I haven’t yet figured out (or heard) which one fits.  It feels odd to ride a “day tripper” with skinny tires, no fenders, no rack, no light system; I’ve grown accustomed to touring/commuting machines as my ride of choice.  But speed is fun, I must say, and there’s nothing like knocking out a quick 35 miles as a pre-breakfast ride.  Too bad the cold temps are closing in on us.  I’m just starting to have fun.

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Stay healthy,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

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