Beginner looking for advice

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15
Ort
Kroatien
Big hello to all two/three/four wheel enthusiasts!

My name is Ivan and am absolute beginner in recumbent world.
That means I've never even tried one. Recumbents are pretty exotic/rare in Croatia. I am bike enthusiast who is tired of df.

So I am in pursuit to buy a recumbent and to enjoy riding it when warm and nice days come. My style of riding is not about speed, usually I ride slowly ( up to 20km/h), but sometimes I am also in a mood for race. I want also to go for longer tours cca 100 km on one day. Mostly I ride on asphalt roads and slowly through woods.

So my question would be regarding Traix Phantom 2x26" Vs Challenge Furai, 2x24".
I am 184cm high, 75kg.

Furai is much closer to my home ( 200km both ways), price 1250€ and Phantom is 1200km in both ways (Italy) price 900. Both are mint condition.

I know it is best to try first and will try Furai as soon Corona measures ease off.

My only concern is I found on English recumbent forum post about Furai, it' s frame cracked. So I am a bit concerned about bikes durability. And on Challenge web site it says max load 125kg but 10 years warranty on frame. Is this isolated case or ?

I know it is not easy to answer but could you try to help me choose?

Thank you for your answers!
 
Beiträge
786
Ort
20537 Hamburg
Velomobil
Quest
Liegerad
Eigenbau
Dobra vecer Ivan,

and also welcome to this forum. As sb. who has owned both models, although the Furai in the version with 26" wheels, i can make some comments about these as follows:
-the Furai with its frame of high-tensile tapered aluminium tubes is light and stiff, the geometry of the bike feels agile and the suspension via double-pivot works sensitively to flatten out all imperfections of the underground. On the other hand the suspension does not consume power excessively when climbing a hill, although i have to admit that i've ridden 'bents with stiffer rear forks. Although there's no "traveller rack" offered for this recumbent, one can get along by using special banana-/recumbentbags that are slung over the seat and the carrier. The carrier itself should not be loaded with too much weight. The choice of (narrow) tyres for 24"wheels is somewhat smaller than for 26", but there are a few touring models offered from renown brands.
The Seat height of 48 cm is relatively low for an "all big wheels" bike, which may suit short-legged people better.
The only defect i heared of in connection with a Furai concerned the pivot of the rear swingarm, but this was caused afaik by using a single standard bicycle pannier with (too) heavy load for (too) long time on only one side of the carrier.
The overall set-up of this model is that of a sporty tourer (aka Midracer).

-the Traix Phantom is a sturdy recumbent for everyday use, touring and travelling. The grade of alloy of the tubes used is a bit lower, compared to the one from Challenge, but the frame and forks are stiff enough. The bike is not as light as the Challenge Furai, but IMHO its versatility offers a good revenue for the investment. The long wheelbase and the well thought-out steering geometry provides an excellent directional stability (i.e. riding hands off is possible). Due to the 26" wheels and, in comparison to the Furai, less strong S-bend of the frame, the seat height is somewhat higher (~57 cm).
On the other hand you have a big choice of tyres in 26", ranging from 28 - 50 mm width, and a good overview. Although i tried several angles of the seat, the bike felt more evenly balanced with a flatter angle. This also helps to improve head-wind aerodynamic. Because i bought my Traix Phantom several years after its introduction, the big carrier was no longer available. But the smaller one i got from Traix instead is still fit for a load of 25 kgs and also accepted my large bananabags when placing two of the three straps over the seat. With the installed low-rider carrier one may also use 4 standard panniers instead.

Hereafter i attach two photos of my bikes, so you get an(other) impression of these models.

Hope this helps in your coming to a decision about which bike to choose.

S postovanjem,
Morten
 

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Beiträge
15
Ort
Kroatien
Good day, guten Tag, Dobar dan

Thank you both,:)
for your answer's mr. Bernhard:)
and gospodine (mr.) Morten:)
Thank you for good wishes, both.

Mr Morten, very nice and thorough review, thank you, danke ihnen, hvala vam.

I've read almost anything available on both bikes, your review is full of usefull info.
But it' s first time I hear that Furai has high tensile tapered aluminium (will look for exact definition), but it must be good.
Phantom looks like very good bike, but it is far away to try...


Ivan
 
Beiträge
786
Ort
20537 Hamburg
Velomobil
Quest
Liegerad
Eigenbau
Zdravo Ivan,
Thank you both,
...
But it' s first time I hear that Furai has high tensile tapered aluminium (will look for exact definition), but it must be good.
Molim lijepo.

Regarding the latter, please kindly have a look at 2nd picture under "Innovations" on website of manufacturer here:
Challenge Recumbents - Innovations
Among other models, the frame of the Furai is made from their famous "SL-tube", too.
Another explanation/definition may be found here:
Wikipedia - Bicycle frame - Butted tubing

If you wish to find out more about the "SL-tube", you may also read through following article covering another model with same frame material here:
Bentrideronline Review Challenge Seiran SL

Of course the bike you choose must also fit to your body's proportions and riding style. Nothing is more inconvenient when your feet hardly manage to reach the ground while starting or stopping. In order to get a rough idea, you should measure e.g. your inseam (i.e. the inner length of your legs up to your crotch) and compare this to the seat height of the recumbent in question.

BTW, the Traix Phantom 24"-version uses the same frame and rear fork as the 26"-version, only the front fork has a different length.

Any further questions, please fire away;).

S postovanjem,
Morten
 
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16.445
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Irjendwo im Pott
Velomobil
Milan SL
Liegerad
Raptobike Mid Racer
Hi @Ivan
Morten has writen the most important things.

One thing i mentioned to consider is the tiresize:
In 24Inch exists only a few amount of tires, Most of them Mtb-Children and Trecking tires.
In 26Inch exists an huge amount of tires.

I would recommend a bike with discbrakes and 26(559) tires which should have the opportunity to change to 27.5(584) tires..
 
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15
Ort
Kroatien
Vielen dank herr Morten:) und herr RaptoRacer:) fur ihnen Hilfe.

Yes Mr RR, I agree disc brakes and 26" are better option than calliper brakes and 24". Fortunately bike I am considering has disc brakes and can be fitted with 26" ( though extra cost for getting bigger wheels).

Mr Morten, da puno vam hvala(y), with info from your previous post about SL frame and it's light but stiff frame I now have full confidence that light frame doesn't mean weak frame.

Now when you look back, which bike Phantom/Furai gave you better overall rideing feeling?
Can they be compared or every bike is different story?
Ok, you said Phantom has "overall very good directional stability, more evenly balanced, very good versatile bike".
Furai's "geometry feels agile".

Which one would you give more points, offcourse it depends on your ridding style.

Is it possible to connect small two wheel bike trailer on rear end of Furai so I can compensate for small carrier?

Even though Furai is min. 10 years old as a model ( or more) is it a good overall purchase?

I know there are more than those two models, but it means travelling few hundred km's one way. And with Corona I doubt I will buy anything before end of the year.

Thank you so much for your patience and help!

S poštovanjem,
Ivan
 
Beiträge
786
Ort
20537 Hamburg
Velomobil
Quest
Liegerad
Eigenbau
Dobra vecer Ivan,
Now when you look back, which bike Phantom/Furai gave you better overall riding feeling?
Can they be compared or every bike is different story?
Which one would you give more points, off course it depends on your ridding style.
Is it possible to connect small two wheel bike trailer on rear end of Furai so I can compensate for small carrier?
Even though Furai is min. 10 years old as a model ( or more) is it a good overall purchase?
The Traix Phantom was feeling better to me. On the one hand this was because it fitted more to my body's length and because it rode more calm.
On the other hand it was heavier and showed more chain reaction than the Furai when sprinting or climbing.
With the Furai one could feel more its "racing pedigree".
Regarding the towing of a trailer i would contact Mr. Hans van Vugt, the owner of Elan Ligfietsen/Challenge bikes, under info<Q>elan.cc .
I remember to have seen a picture of a 2-seater trailer for kids attached to a Mistral recumbent in their brochure, but wouldn't bet on it.
He can surely clarify things with regard to this matter.
Challenge recumbents were known for the technical advancement of their products and certainly deserved their share in the market.
Although they suffered from quality issues in some cases (like some other manufacturers too), i'd deem them worth buying still.

I know there are more than those two models, but it means travelling few hundred km's one way. And with Corona I doubt I will buy anything before end of the year.
Yes, the "state of the art" has progressed since these two modells were introduced into the market.
Don't know if your budget allows for a new recumbent, but in case and times change for the better, maybe a visit to e.g. the dealer of czech brand Azub near Maribor/Slovenia might also be worth a try: Udobnoposvetu
(I just chose this because of its vicinity to your location, i.e. without any commercial interests applicable.)

S poštovanjem,
Morten
 
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145
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Metropolregion Bremen-Oldenburg
Liegerad
Toxy-CL
All bicycles from Challenge, except the newest model Chamsin, have a 1" steerer.
At least the newer builds of the Traix Phantom have a 1 1/8" steerer, maybe even the older versions made by Sinner.
1" damped forks are increasingly difficult to source, and usually extremely heavy and technically obsolete.
The Furai has a different frame for USS versus the other steering options, on the Traix USS can be retrofitted,
but the parts might be difficult to source, as the bike is out of production (which is probably as well true for the Challenge).
 
Beiträge
15
Ort
Kroatien
Thank you mr Cygnus x-1 for your answer and clarifying potential problems along the way if I buy a model not in production anymore.(y)

And mr Morten thank you also for elaborate answers :cool:!
I really appreciate it.
It is better to ask than to buy a model which I won't like in long run.
I am looking for calm riding bike, if it alows no hands even better. Furai looks like agile bike but maybe it is not suitable for slower rides. And narrow tire choice.
And yes, dealer from Slovenia is person selling Furai and other-Nazca Gaucho 700c, and Azub (six?).
So I will visit him as soon it is possible.
Till then I'm looking pictures of recumbents and drooling:D.

I think (without any experience offcourse) Nazca Gaucho tour is the bike for me. Or Phantom. Not new one, but very good condition, used, yes. There is one Phantom here on forum, high quality components, very attractive price, but it is veeery far away. More than 1000 km, one way. No shipment. Other Phantom is in Italy but lower quality components, no disc brakes, but attractive price. Also no shipment.
Offcourse Azub Max looks like excellent bike, but there are no sec. hand, and new is too expencive. Don't know about Flux.
I also have seen Cruzbike Q45, but to expensive.

If you have any suggestions for any 2x26" touring model please let me know

Srdačan pozdrav,
Ivan
 
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852
Ort
48431 Rheine
Liegerad
Flevo 50:50
hello @Ivan, here's an optima orca, 2x26 for 600 euro, obviously still available, 85122 hofstetten-hitzhofen, bavaria:
 
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2.503
Ort
86356 Neusäß
Liegerad
HP GrassHopper fx
I had a look at this bike roughly two years ago, but it was not in drivable condition I did not take it.
I then bought a Streetmachine and now have my Grasshopper, both bikes obviously do not match Ivan's needs.
But I still like two 26' wheels ...
 
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Beiträge
15
Ort
Kroatien
Thank you mr liegeratt for your offer for Optima Orca.
For now it is not possible to test it.
It looks ok but since there are other models for sale it is tough to decide, I would rather invest in more recent model.

All the best.
You can try to sell it on croatian buy/sell site called Njuškalo.
 
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15
Ort
Kroatien
Yes mr wolfson, I have read about Street machine, many people like it and I'm sure it is very nice bike, but 20" wheel sounds like it is meant for smooth bike paths.
 
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2.503
Ort
86356 Neusäß
Liegerad
HP GrassHopper fx
Dear Ivan,
the Streetmachine is less bad on rough pathes than the Grasshopper because of the 26" rear wheel, but as I mentioned before I would not recommend it for your purpose!

By the way, it is not Mr. wolfson, it is just wolf, as n this forum (and when we meet each other) we all use the given name if known, not the last name.

All the best,
wolf
 
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15
Ort
Kroatien
Dear wolf, thank you for your best wishes.
I use mr because I am new to the forum and out of respect. But yes after some time mr or ms is to official.
Who knows maybe we will meet in person one day.

Take care
Ivan
 
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2.503
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86356 Neusäß
Liegerad
HP GrassHopper fx
Being polite most often is a good advise! :)
Re meeting in person: Last summer we've been in Croatia, but without bikes. It would have been too hot for cycling (at least for me).
This year we will probably stay in Germany (and take the bikes with us in summer holiday).
So the possibility of carrying the bike on a car carrier or caravan carrier is important for me, too. Whether that ia a point for you has to be answered by you, but apart of some older bikes like "Peer Gynt" most recument bikes (with two wheels) should fit on a regular bike carrier.

Take care,
wolf
 
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1.994
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Kanton Solothurn
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Bacchetta Carbon Aero
Hi Ivan
There is one Phantom here on forum, high quality components, very attractive price, but it is veeery far away.
One could combine a holiday with buying a recumbent (I did that when buying a recumbent in the Netherlands). Used to have a Lynxx 26/26 as well. Alltough some components of the offered Lynxx 26/26 might be out-fashioned, it has a Shimano 11-speed hub, quite interesting (the fork is longer than the one of my Lynxx, so there would be more weight on the back-wheel. But if you like something more recent and your budget is > EUR 1000, I would choose the one you feel more relaxed. Fun is the most important (allthough it's good fun too to have a lighter recumbent).
Mostly I ride on asphalt roads and slowly through woods.
Through woods it's good to have 47mm or even bigger tyres. There should be enough space for the tyres (fork...).
Regards schlawag
 
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15
Ort
Kroatien
Yes wolf, riding a bike here during summer is a problem, it is very hot. A lot of times I wanted to go for a ride but it was to hot.
So I'm planning to attach light homemade roof onto my recumbent (don't have it yet). I don't care about looks but it will protect me from blaze and I will ride again during long hot summer months.
I am 39, but don't have driving licence so bike carrier is not necessary. Walking, bike and public transportation.

@schlawag, hi, if Corona was dead I would definitely spend some time abroad trying to find recumbent for me.

I am planning to spend >1000€ on newer bike that I will be happy with for a long time.

Does anyone know why are wheels on Nazca Gaucho closer together than on other bikes? What kind of riding feeling because of that is on Gaucho compared to longer wheel base bike like Traix Phantom or some other model?
It is pretty heavy cca 20 kg.
Thanks.
 

irg

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43
Ort
Graz
Hi Ivan!

I suppose, the Gaucho has the wheels so near in case of the big front wheel. With front wheels with 26" you have always the problem of a possible conflict with the heels with the wheel. But with your size I suppose, it´s not a big one. I´m a little bit smaller than you and can manage it too.

I have never ridden another recumbent than my old Distance (from Challenge), so I have no special experience with the Gaucho. But my old Challenge Distance has a far less distance between the wheels, and I learned to cycle with it too. It is agile, but one gets used to it. So I don´t see a problem with the Gaucho, if you just give you enough time to adapt.

A big front wheel has its benefits for riding on rough roads. So the Gaucho could be a quite good choice for you!

By the way, I sometimes cycle with my Distance through Croatia, touring over some days with camping outfit. Cycling there is fine, even in summer!

best wishes
georg
 
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