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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Cruzbike Silvio - A bicycle for those looking for something a little different

The Cruzbike Silvio - A bicycle for those looking for something a little different
By:  Michael Lander

Valerie Hasso, 49, of Memphis with her Cruzer Silvio bike.
If you're looking for a different kind of bike, the Cruzbike Silvio might be exactly what you're looking for.  While most people would say that this bike is a recumbent, Valerie Hasso, 49,  of Memphis, sees it as being a cross between a recumbent and a diamond framed road bike.  She bought hers in March 2012. 

What makes this bike so unique, she said, is that it is the only front wheel drive, moving bottom bracket in production whereas most recumbents are usually rear wheel driven.

Even though most cyclists gravitate toward the traditional, conventional style of bikes, Hasso was intrigued by the Cruzbike Silvio and, after a test ride of the Aerobic Cruiser electric bicycle, she said that she was immediately hooked by what she described as the crazy world of bent bikes.   Since then, she has developed an even greater appreciation of what her new bike has to offer. 

Among its many features, Hasso especially likes the positioning of her body on the bike and that it reduces discomfort in the saddle and groin as well as alleviating pressure and numbness in the hands that are often experienced by cyclists riding on more conventional bike frames.

Because of the Cruzbike Silvio's design, Hasso claims that the bike is also more aerodynamic and that she is able to better utilize more of her upper body muscles as well to help her increase and then maintain her speed. 

From a reclined position, Hasso said that she can also better sustain her speed for a longer period of time without the same amount of fatigue that she experienced on other bikes.  For her,  it is also a better full-body workout, without the same amount of discomfort and decreased potential for an accident or an injury that is often associated with a conventional, diamond framed bicycle.

Hasso's Cruzbike Silvio uses all standard road bike components so it has been easy for her to find parts.  The length of her chain is also the same as an upright race bike so she said that she gets immediate power transfer and no frame flex. 

Most recumbents, she said, have extremely long chains since the gears are in the back and the pedals are in the front, which increases weight and necessitates idlers that increase resistance.  As for the drive train, she expects that it will last longer and will stay cleaner than on other bikes since the front wheel will not be kicking up sand and other debris onto the rear wheel drive trains. 

Even though the bike has its advantages, Hasso readily admits that it did take her about three months to acclimate herself to her new bike.  While balance was never an issue for her, it did take some time for her to get used to the weight of the drive train on the front wheel and with trying to steer and pedal it at the same time. 

She said that "my legs seemed to be in competition with my arms for control over the direction of travel."  She admittedly was tense and wanted to propel herself forward, but she felt like her arms were not cooperating.  It was also a new concept for her to have her pedals over two feet above the ground and in front of her verses having them below her.  It was also an adjustment for her to be in a reclined position, but watching a YouTube video, and thinking about herself as riding a "Wiggly Weasel," did seem to help. 

Hasso said that reactions that she gets to her Cruzbike Silvio are mostly positive and that she is often greeted with smiles or with what she said are "stares of amazement."  She does get asked if she has an injury that prompted her to get this bike, which is not the case and when asked about the comfort level, she says, "Yes, very.  It is sort of like being on a chase lounge by the beach."

Despite the fact that she has not yet seen any bike that was exactly the same model as hers, it is probably only a matter of time before she does.  For those interested in learning more about the Cruzbike Silvio, you can go to Cruzbike.com, bentrideronline.com,  spincyclz.com, or by signing up & going to the forum of bikejournal.com.

2 comments:

  1. Did she purchase the bicycle locally?

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    1. Probably not. Only a few US shops actually stock them. Many of us purchase our Cruzbikes directly from the company without ever having tried one, or find used ones listed on the Cruzbike forums, Craigslist, eBay, or the Facebook Recumbent Classified page.

      If you're in the Memphis area and would be interested in seeing a Cruzbike in person, I come up that way about one weekend a month.

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