Cruzbikes climb steep hills.

Cruzbikes climb steep hills.

Frequently, people ask me about the limit, in terms of grade of incline, that a Cruzbike recumbent bike can climb up a steep hill.  I personally have ridden a CB Silvio up short 25% grade sections and recently, during a New York Cycle Club ride, I climbed a fairly long, steep hill with grades ranging between 20-25%.  Skill and finesse are required to prevent the front drive-wheel from slipping, but the technique* can be mastered by most Cruzbike riders.  (*Consistent, slow, steady pressure on the pedals while leaning forward over the handlebars.)

Here in New York City, since few of us carry clinometers, it is useful to refer to a specific hill and incline that many cyclists know in order to explain how steep a Cruzbike can climb.  My hill of choice is the incline on the West Side Hudson River Bikepath, north of the George Washington Bridge, at that place where the path S-curves inland, up and away from the river and begins following right next to the highway.  It’s an ugly stretch.  While the hill isn’t long, three things make it hard: it’s crazily steep, it’s very narrow, it curves tightly at the steepest section, and — four things — there’s a traffic barrier in the middle of the narrow bike path that you have to squeeze past.  Cyclists tend to think it’s barely climbable on any bike, let alone on a recumbent bike.

I’ve climbed this hill on a Cruzbike Quest 20 when the asphalt was slick due to a drizzling rain.  And I did not put down a foot.  So, I can say with total confidence that this hill is climbable on a Cruzbike.  In addition, I point to this example as one of the reasons I like Cruzbikes for extended long rides where you don’t have the privilege of choosing your route to avoid the hills.

Several months ago, I was having a conversation with a customer about how the Cruzbike climbs.  This guy now owns a Cruzbike Silvio in addition to a Volae Team rear-wheel-drive recumbent bike he bought from me several years ago.  We were talking about this hill so we’d have a common reference point.  He went out later and measured the hill with a clinometer app that he has on his smart phone.  Here is his note.

L___b

10/22/14

Robert,

Recall that you told me that on your Cruzbike you were able to climb that steep climb on the bike trail by George Washington bridge. I’ve never been able to climb it on my Volae.

Last weekend I measured that hill with my phone clinometer.

The bottom 20 feet or so are at an 18% grade.
The next 20 feet or so are at a 20% grade.
The next 20 feet or so are at a 12% grade.
The top 10 feet or so are at a 21% grade, going around a sharp left hand turn to the flat crest of the hill, and I measured on the outside of the turn where the bike would be.

Now you know exactly what you climbed.

Even though I ran the App calibration sequence, which is a 2-step process turning the phone 180 degrees to cancel out the phone being thicker at the camera end, I found that the app still measured 2 degrees different on the hill depending on which end of the phone was uphill. I measured both ways and averaged to get the numbers above.

This App from plaincode is the only free clinometer App I have found that has an option (still free) to measure in percent grade (after one-time setup in the configuration dialog to switch from degrees to percent) the way cycling people like to do. Plaincode makes their money on paid upgrades for advanced features.

This app is available on Apple, Android, and Windows phones and tablets. Website with links to each of the three App stores: http://www.plaincode.com/products/clinometer/

My ride was a 90-mile round trip from Yorktown Heights to Stinky Cheese on 20th street and back. Their Caveman Blue is beyond way out there. Just enough daylight for it at my all-day, 11 mph rate.

Regards,
J__ L____

(By the way, this same customer set up his Cruzbike Silvio with a Rohloff Speedhub.  I’ll post a note about that sometime in the near future.)

Have fun, stay healthy, and go enjoy yourself on some steep hills,
Robert

————

Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Viet Nam calling.

New York is a funny place.  There are 8.2 million people in the city.  That allows for a lot of variation.  Most of those people are ordinary and decent: their lives are okay — could be worse, could be better (could be a lot better if they were riding a recumbent bike).  Meanwhile, the city’s reputation is tainted by several thousand jerks, many of whom drive SUVs and luxury taxis.  Working with a bell curve here, my totally unscientific and uninformed rough guess is that 2.2% of New Yorkers are chronically bitchy — 181,388 people who are simply mean.  (And another 2.2% — 181,388 — who are chronically giddy.  Look out.  Either they are doping or they just moved here last week.)  Going down this ridiculous path of invented statistics, I’ll estimate that another 13.6% or so, conservatively, probably didn’t sleep well last night.  So, 1,121,308 New Yorkers who were nice yesterday, but today, look out.

In my business, I don’t meet a lot of people who are having a bad day.  In fact, usually they’re having one of the best days of their life when they come through my door.  It’s not because of me.  It’s because they’re about to discover the joy of riding a recumbent bike (or trike).  But every now and then one of those chronically bitchy people seem to decide that they absolutely must reach out and touch me.  Ick.  Gross.  Yuck.  Something like this happened recently and it can really bum me out.

Other times, someone comes along who makes my day and reminds me why I like the city.  Case in point, the other day a customer called from Viet Nam just to say thank you for recommending, speccing and selling her what has been an excellent (perfect?) bike for her travels — a Volae Century ES with several special additions.  We had a great conversation about what she’s up to, what I’m up to, and whether her Red Hook home was flooded by Sandy in her absence.  It was funny how casual it felt even though we were speaking over such a long distance!

How nice!  I tell you, that’s why I do this.

Keep on Truckin’,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Getting a new bike? Easy. Getting in shape? A lot harder. Be kind to yourself.

A friend and customer wrote me this morning, following a weekend with beautiful weather.  My reply to him follows his note.

On Mon, April 16, 2012 11:03 am, t_d_@____.com wrote:

> I like the bike [Volae Tour] but do not like hills.  A physician friend mentioned
> decreasing muscle mass in old folks.  Still, I’ve got to drop 15 pounds to
> give myself and the machine a fair shake.  That loss would, on hopes, be
> fat and not muscle.
>
> Thanks for the advice.

Hi T_D_,

The best hills are the ones with a view (which means they’re the high ones).

Be kind to yourself, always.

View yourself as a “beginner” athlete, at the start of a new athletic career that you want to last for decades.

Ride/exercise well within your abilities, of technique, of your muscles, of your heart and lungs.  Take it easy.  Ride so you always have enough “breath” that you can keep up a conversation.  The trainer’s term for this is “conversational pace.”

On hills, shift to low gear and take ALL the time you need.  Ignore the riders around you.  Walk up hills if you feel any discomfort.  If you feel pain, stop, rest, relax, hydrate (water).  As you ride, over the months and years, your muscles and cardio will improve and you’ll be able to do more.  Also, right now and over the years, you’re getting to know yourself in a new way; listen to your body; let it tell you what it can and can not (yet) do.

Stretch after every ride.

Lose 15 lbs?  Okay.  If you’re serious, I recommend Weight Watchers.  My sister did it and got great results.  Follow the program, be disciplined, and you’ll get healthier.  Forget about losing weight, focus on being healthy and your weight will move to the correct level.

Eat lots of fresh veggies, fruits and nuts — broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, salads, fruits, nuts :-).

All best,
Robert

# # #

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

First Cruzbike arrived. / Cold weather riding.

The first Cruzbike front-wheel-drive recumbent bike arrived — nice design and the components are decent quality. Eager to build it and take it out for a ride. One of the most exciting aspects of this recumbent bike is the clearance for fat tires. We may well have a mountain bike here, folks. I’ll write more after I have the chance to thoroughly abuse it, er, I mean, ride it.

A Volae recumbent rider uses a Windwrap fairing and thick clothing to help fend off icy temps.

Yesterday, Sunday, had a nice 8-hour ride in 20-18 degree F, not counting substantial windchill.  Promise to post soon about cold weather clothing and the Terracycle Windwrap fairing on a Volae Century/Tour-type frame.  For now, suffice to say…wear wool and carry down!  …And the fairing mounted easily, traveled well with no slipping, and was easy to adjust during the ride when necessary (while wearing gloves).  It sits sufficiently low compared to the handlebars on a Volae Tour (or Century) that a handlebar-mounted B&M Ixon IQ headlight lights the road w/o excessive obstruction from the faring.  It wasn’t necessary to use an accessory mount to position the headlight to the sides or below the fairing.

The only cold-weather induced hassle (not counting the water freezing in the water bottles) was that the derailer for the SRAM Dualdrive would sometimes stick on the Grasshopper fx.  I think there was moisture in the housing that froze as we rode.  It was easy to loosen up the cable as I rode by shifting to a lower gear and then back down to a higher gear but I never had the highest gear/smallest cog.  No big deal, but a bit annoying.  The only other time I’ve seen that was when I had actual ice hanging off the cables.  Biking remains an adventure.

Best,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

When should you order your new recumbent bike? Plan Spring 2012 orders now.

When should you order your new recumbent bike?  If you intend to begin riding in March, order your new recumbent in January or February.

For riders who want a custom-built bent, or if you’re ordering a European recumbent, you can save money by allowing yourself time.

Examples

For Volae, special orders take usually two to three weeks:
– two to four days to order and pull the parts
– a week to ship
– a week in New York for assembly and quality control
Total delivery time: three weeks till you’re riding.

For HP Velotechnik, if you allow yourself time, we can ship your bike from Germany by surface.  That will save you about $130 or so off express (air) delivery.  Here is the usual timing with standard shipping:
– three weeks to build the bike
– one additional week for custom colors
– three weeks to ship the bike (by surface)
– one week in NYC for finishing and quality control.
Total delivery time: eight weeks till you’re riding.

With HP Velotechnik, if you need the bike faster, order a standard color and express shipping:
– three weeks to build the bike
– one week to ship the bike (by air, express, with surcharge)
– one week in NYC for finishing and quality control.
Total delivery time: five weeks till you’re riding.

With HP Velo’s Gekko and Gekko fx, you can be riding one of the USA editions in about two weeks. For German editions, it still takes about five weeks.

When do you want your new recumbent?  In New York City, typically, the weather begins to clear in March so we can start riding regularly.  For March deliveries, order in January or February.

All best,
Robert

————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2011 Robert Matson

Volae Team

I just received this very nice note and photo from a happy customer.

—— Original Message ———-
Subject: Volae Team – Testimonial
From: “Jim L. ”
To: “Robert Matson”
JL - Volae Team with tailsock and small front fairing.
Robert,
I bought the Volae Team for speed, and yes, this is the fastest I have ever gone on a bike — and far more comfortable than my normal bike with a suspension system. There is no going back.
On a round trip I clocked 1/2 mph faster than I have ever gone on a normal bike on the same route in gentle rolling hills. And there is probably another 1/2 mph to come when I get my recumbent legs (learn to emphasize different muscles). And I am 15-20% faster down gentle hills.
Buy from Robert Matson. Volae makes it easy enough to buy a bicycle and some accessories online, but you will not configure something good. How are you going to mount a water bottle? Which accessories do you really want, not having tried any of them? What seat pack is compatible with a tailsok? Tailsok? The death-wish Volae website does not even mention a tailsok, but without one you will be 1 mph slower on the flats. And if you are between seat sizes like me, Robert will have you try both seats, so you don’t get the uncomfortable one.
Robert is both a good talker and a great listener. You will think that configuring a bike just right for you is the most important thing in his life, and in that time and space I think it really is.
Regards,
Jim L.

————-

Best,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson

A Struggle to Stay Upright (and Cool) By Sean Patrick Farrell

Now, this is really something to write home about….  You know recumbents have arrived when they make the New York Times.

Read S. Patrick Farrell’s Spokes Column here:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/13/recumbent-bikes/

Best,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson

Recumbent Times: news and discounts (Fall 2010) – the BLOG version –

Greetings NYC Recumbentologists,

I hope the early fall finds you well.  I enjoy this time of year because it means — as the “fair weather” bike season slows down — I’m free to do more long bike rides.  Ironic, isn’t it.  Thankfully, I enjoy cold weather rides.  (And thanks to Busch & Mueller’s extremely good high-intensity lights, early darkness isn’t a problem.)

The other weekend, I took a spur of the moment three-day bike tour in up-state NY where I had nothing but great weather, great hills, and could see the beginnings of fall in the trees.  With a fully-loaded HP
Velotechnik Street Machine Gte, I spent the days riding the endless rollers of the Taconics and the nights sleeping under the stars.  Nothing quite like it.  There are many wonderful two- and three-day tours right outside our doors, for NYC bent riders, so what are you waiting for?  The hardest part might be carrying a fully-loaded bent down the front stoop.  (The easy part is granny-gearing up the 3-mile long hills.  Maybe.)

I’ve attached a photo of the expansive lowlands heading up towards Chatham.  As for those hills in the background?  Yes, eventually you get to climb them again, and again, and again… :-D.

Best,
Robert

— News —

:: Metro North and LIRR Repeal Restrictions on “Recumbents” ::

After a long period of allowing short recumbents on the regional rail without trouble, as long as it wasn’t a holiday, last Spring, the MTA suddenly instated new prohibitions, specifically naming “recumbents” as disallowed on the Metro North and Long Island Railroad.  Previously, the limit had been simply on bikes longer than 80″ and with protrusions (which would mean, among other things, long wheelbase bents).

Chun, an NYC Bacchetta Giro-rider I met last year, brought the new restrictions to my attention.  From there, I posted a note on the e-mail list for the Metro Area Recumbent Society (MARS) and on Bent Rider On-line reporting on this change and asking who in the community would like to join me in efforts to create a fairer rule.  It seems like only a matter of seconds before Neile (a Bacch./Rans/Lightning rider and veteran New York Cycle Club ride leader) leaped forward with wherewithal, whatwithal and whowithal, including the support of both NYCC and the Westchester Cycle Club.  Among those was David, with WCC.  (If you want to know more last names, etc., join me on the Third Sat. bent ride and I’ll fill you in.)

At Neile’s request, I wrote what was apparently a compelling letter, explaining that many bent riders were either riding bents, or nothing.  Neile knew exactly what to do and who to contact, what to say and I can’t imagine what else in order quickly to negotiate the red tape.  And David claims he did nothing more than put the final nail in the coffin, but it was obviously one heck of a nail, because it was within a matter of weeks, that the prohibition against short bents was lifted.

Even better, the MTA now more clearly defines their concerns and what they want us to do.  For example, don’t get dirt and grease on the train and other passengers, don’t block the aisle, and generally don’t inhibit the smooth operation of the train.  Seems fair enough, and it’s now easier to make sure we’re properly traveling with our bents.  Just look out for those holiday and rush hour trains.

Just so you know, the maximum dimensions for a bike are 80″x 48″.  I think we can safely assume that this is the length and height, though it isn’t specifically said. The width of a FOLDING bike is limited to “32 inches in width.”  I’m well aware we don’t have an exact definition of the envelope of a bike here, or even for a folding bike, but I do hope no one creates problems for New York bentriders by bringing a limousine bent on the train and starting an argument with the official about how the rules aren’t specific.  Do that and we’ll be back to square one except maybe this time they’ll rewrite the rules to say that recumbent bikes are fine; it’s recumbent RIDERS that aren’t allowed.

Trikes are still named as disallowed, but there seems ample allowance for a folding trike especially if it goes into a bag, becoming merely bulky luggage.  The HP Velotechnik Scorpions fs and fx and HPV’s new Gecko all fold and fit into a bag.  The Greenspeed trikes fold even smaller, so a bag would seem to do the job there as well.

Oh, and though it goes without saying, please be courteous to the
conductors and train officials.

Suggestions: to cover chain rings I carry a strong lightweight plastic bag.  You may know it as a “Chinatown grocery shopping bag.”  Costing only about $3, they’re available in all your favorite colors, as long as you like black/white plaid, red/white plaid or blue/white plaid.  As for chains, I recommend chain tubes or covering chains with a plastic trash bag cut open length-wide.

For folding bents, the HP Velotechnik Grasshopper fx is a true folding bike that goes into a bag.

Related links:

Metro North Bike Rules
http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/bikerule.htm

Metro Area Recumbent Society
(ignore the dates on the website’s home page. The e-mail list is active.) http://www.recumbents.com/mars/

Bent Rider On-line
http://www.bentrideronline.com/

New York Cycle Club
(They don’t encourage bents on rides but they’re worth supporting simply for their wonderful ride library.)
http://nycc.org/

Westchester Cycle Club
A very nice group of riders.
http://www.westchestercycleclub.org/

HP Velotechnik Grasshopper fx
http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkte/ghp/index_e.html

:: Everything On Sale Forever: 4% Discount on Everything ::

Until further notice, customers get a discount of 4% off on all new recumbent bikes and accessories.  No catch.  That’s all there is to it.  No club card, no forms to fill, no cash-back, no passwords to remember, no points to keep track of, just a simple 4% discount on everything when you buy it.  There’s nothing more you need to know, but if you have any questions, just call me.

:: The East Coast’s Newest HP Velotechnik Premium Dealer ::

This summer New York City Recumbent Supply(tm)/The Innovation Works, Inc. became a Premium (top-level) Dealer for HP Velotechnik.  What this means for you is that I will always have at least three HPV models in stock for demo rides and am committed to developing and providing the highest levels of expertise on HPV products to riders in the region.  If you have questions about HPV, call and ask.

At this time, demo models consist of the Street Machine Gte, the Scorpion fs, and the Grasshopper fx.  I’m also carrying the full line of HPV accessories and options.

This is where I say that HP Velotechnik makes the world’s best bents, but you already know that.  What you may not know is that they can be sized to fit small riders.  Or that when you’re going 47mph, fully loaded with 40 lbs. of gear, they feel rock solid and comfortable.  (Yes, that orange blur ripping down Rock City Rd. onto County Rte. 66 in Old Chatham, NY, the other day was me.)

:: Reminder: HP Velotechnik sets new prices on October 1st. ::

Last year, HPV was unique in that they _dropped_ their 2009 prices due to the strong Euro.  This year it’s a different story.  If you’ve been thinking of ordering a Velotechnik, consider doing it before the end of September 2010 to get this year’s prices.

:: Blog ::

Everyone has a glob.  I mean a blog.  And I do too.  In my case, I’m posting useful information for bent riders and breaking news about the brands I carry.  My aim is to create the best knowledge base I can to help more people ride bents in the metro area.  Anything you’d like me to cover?  Just drop me a note.
http://nyc-recumbent-supply.blogspot.com/

:: Mirror, Mirror, Who’s the Fair(ing)est of Them All? ::

Last summer, recumbent accessory maker Terracycle (“TC”) bought Windwrap (“WW”) fairings.  They’ve made some changes, they’ve organized the line-up, they’ve made it all easy to understand, and now I’ve started bringing in TC’s new strong and lightweight fairings.

It’s simple to get the right fairing for your bent.  TC has two fairings for Volae and HP Velotechnik.  And then, of course, HPV has their own brand of fairing (the Streamer).

If you want a TC/WW fairing for your HP Velotechnik, you will use either the GX or XT fairing (with mounting hardware).  Though, in general, I advise HPV owners to use HPV’s Streamer fairing to keep it simple and most useful.

For Volaes, you will use either the GX or XT fairing (w/ hardware).  Easy.

For Greenspeed tadpole trikes, you’ll use either the GX or XT.  (Anura delta trikes take the BLC.)  And for Rans short wheelbase bents, it’s either the…wait for it…GX or XT.  (Rans LWB’s are a different story.)

The fit chart is at: http://www.terracycle.com/ww_Fit_Chart.htm

Where it gets interesting is when you want to add a headlight to the mix.  Terracycle recommends you mount one or two headlights to either side of the fairing or else attach one to the hardware below the fairing at the front of the bike.  This is because the light from a headlight situated behind their fairing will simply reflect backwards off the material.

So, how does HP Velotechnik handle this, when their bright B&M headlight is mounted on the front boom, behind the Streamer fairing?  Doesn’t it just reflect backwards?  No, it does not.  That is to say, HPV solves problems before anything goes out the door.  Put simply, there is no problem combining a HP Velotechnik Streamer fairing along with a
headlight.  Extra parts are required, but HPV supplies them at no extra cost when you buy a fairing.  Don’t worry.

The easiest thing to do is this: if you own an HP Velotechnik, get the Streamer fairing.  If you own a Volae or Rans or Greenspeed, get the TC fairing.  In either case, follow the manufacturers instructions.

:: Four Reasons to Use a Front Fairing ::

1.  It keeps your feet warm when you come out for the Third Saturday “Grant’s Tomb” Bent Ride in January.  And any other time you ride on a cold day, you’ll be glad you have it.

2.  It keeps you drier when it’s raining.

3.  It’s the easiest way to add a few mph for no additional effort due to improved aerodynamics.

4.  Maybe, like me, you wear glasses and you think your bike should wear glasses too.

:: Flevobikes?  And Green Machines?  Here in NYC?! ::

Did you know you can buy a Flevobike Green Machine right here in New York City?

Rick Horan, the USA Flevobike distributor, lives in Queens.  And I can get you Greenmachines.  For those who don’t know it, the Green Machine is a remarkable bent with a fully enclosed drive system and Rohloff speedhub.  Basically, it’s a nearly zero-maintenance bent.  It’s not feather light, but it’s not too heavy either.

Recommended for everyone who doesn’t like greasy chains.  (And who does?)

:: Volaes: “best for the buck” ::
Ideal for road biking, commuting and light touring

If you want the fastest bike for your dollar, you should be considering a Volae.

They’re light.  They’re fast UPHILL.  They have attachment points
(“braze-ons”) so you can install high quality Tubus racks and fenders, too.  Dynamo lights can be added with no hassle.  They carry up to 250 lbs. for commuting and touring.  With Pitlocks they can be locked to a bike rack.  They’re well-made and have good components.  They’re better than anything in their price range.  Special orders arrive in a week.  Each bike is a custom-fit (for no extra charge).  They even have great paint.  And the price is right.

Call me for a test ride.

:: Greenspeed Tadpole Trikes ::

Greenspeed trikes are like second cousins to HP Velotechnik Scorpions.  That is to say, they’re a very good machine by any definition.  But they’re the perfect choice when you want a fast, strong trike that handles well, but you don’t need the maximum performance and suspension of a Velotechnik.

Most notable about Greenspeeds is their incredibly tight turning radius.  They also place the rider close to the ground, so there’s high stability and a low center of gravity.  Vital, for when you take those tight turns at speed (and you will).

One fun machine.  And great colors.

:: Got Photos? ::

I’d love to post more photos of customers enjoying their bents.  If you have a photo you’d like to share on my website, please send it in!

:: Current Brands Carried ::

HP Velotechnik, Volae, Rans, Greenspeed, Flevobike, Ortlieb panniers, Tubus racks, Busch & Mueller and Spanninga lights, SON hub dynamos, Terracycle accessories, Schwalbe tires, hand built wheels by Peter White.  And more.  Just ask.

Have a great fall!!

All best,
Robert

————

Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson

Tubus racks on Volaes


The Tubus Logo. The classic touring rack. Now available for Volae recumbents.

For fast, light bikes, Volae bents are unique in that the steel frames readily accept racks and fenders and provide braze-ons (really, mounting holes) at the drop outs for this purpose.  With bents though, it’s always a challenge to fit racks to the unusual geometry of the bikes.  Some bent manufacturers (Rans and HP Velotechnik stand out in this regards) make proprietary racks to ensure the racks fit the bikes.  And of course TerraCycle makes their excellent low-rider/underseat racks for Volaes.

For Volaes, up till now, the generally accepted solution has been to use the excellent Old Man Mountain racks, which can fit nearly any bike.  I continue to recommend them for any hard-to-fit ride that needs a rack and lower cost applications.

However, we’re enthusiastic to now make public our work testing high quality Tubus racks on Volae bents and we are recommending them without hesitance, particularly for commuting, touring and urban applications.  We couldn’t be happier with the match-up between a great bent and a great rack.

Possibly the most significant needs filled by Tubus racks, as it relates to city riders and tourers, are (1) a good rear light mount on the rack, (2) additional mounting holes for fenders, (3) they leave open the skewer if, for example, you want to attach a Bob trailer for a shopping trip*.  If nothing else, this makes Tubus racks stand out.  They have other good qualities as well. (*Volae does not recommend using Bob single track trailers for Volae bikes, so use at your own risk.)

Above,
Tubus’ titanium “Airy.” Weighs 8 oz, carries 66 lbs.  Note the two holes at the bottom of the supports; one for the bike, the other for attaching fenders.

Besides the light and fender mounts and liberated quick release, there are numerous other reasons why we like Tubus racks.

– Strong, well-made, well-designed, and carry a heavy load.  (The 25 ounce Logo model carries 88 lbs. and has lowered pannier rails for improved center of gravity.)

– Available in strong and lightweight 25CrMo4 steel, beautiful stainless steel, or titanium.

– The featherweight titanium versions start at 8 oz. (the Airy) and carry a remarkable 66 lbs.  (The well-deserving Airy won the 2006 Eurobike Award.)  For touring, the TI Carry, with lowered pannier rails, weighs only 12.3 oz and also carries 66 lbs.

– A rear light mount at the rack’s back (50mm European-style mount).  Allows proper positioning of a rear light for great visibility. Enables use of B & M dynamo-driven front and rear lights.

– A model that works for disk brakes (the “Disco” model).

– The Disco model includes parts for mounting to the quick release skewer, if no rack/fender braze-ons are available or filled with fender mounts.  A new (longer) quick release skewer is included (and it’s a good one).

– For non-disc brakes bikes, Tubus provides a very wide choice of racks.

– There are fender mounts on the rack itself (though not on the disco), so you can easily mount both fenders and a rack. This is a truly wonderful feature because otherwise it’s a pain in the neck to mount ordinary fenders (like Planet Bike) along with a rack and it can weaken the mounting for both the rack and fenders.

– Racks (e.g., Logo) can mount on quick release skewers when rack/fender braze-ons are unavailable (Tubus’ QR mounting kit required).

– Racks such as the Logo, Cosmo, Locc, and Carry all have lowered pannier rails, enabling recumbent riders to mount their panniers a few inches lower, to obtain a lower center of gravity. This also allows for full use of the top deck of the rack.

– Sleek and stylish but practical design.

– Long and highly adjustable arms for mounting to the seat stays.

– Seat stay arms that are pre-bent with an S-bend are available. But since the arms are aluminum, one may also bend the arms to fit a given need.

– Strong optional clamps from Tubus attach to the seat stays to provide for extremely secure attachment.  The clamps are also sold by us at New York City Recumbent Supply(TM)/The Innovation Works, Inc.  I strongly recommend using the purpose-built Tubus clamps instead of generic P-clamps and I use the 14mm clamps.


Above, Tubus clampset for mounting a carrier on Volae seat stays.

For installation, one note of caution, or rather of patience, is that if you’re (correctly) installing a Disco along with Volae’s kickstand gizmo plus fenders, is that it is a long and tedious process due to the way all the parts interconnect.  However, take your time and do it right.  You’ll be well-rewarded with a light and fast bent that can also carry groceries home from the greenmarket.

Best,
Robert

————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson