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Cruzbike T50

Old 05-24-17, 01:07 AM
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PDKL45
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Cruzbike T50

Is anyone else excited about the possibilities of the Cruzbike T50? It is a new Front Wheel Drive (FWD) Movable Bottom Bracket (MBB) recumbent--or at least semi-recumbent--that has just been financed through a successful Kickstarter project (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...om-on-the-open).

It looks like the project will go ahead and that T50 framesets, and probably completes, will be available in the future, for a couple of hundred dollars more than the Kickstarter prices. Due to a couple of emerging health issues, I have been looking around for a reasonably priced recumbent but have been put off by some of the mechanical issues like the seriously long chain. The T50 seems to eliminate those concerns, though, as the FWD layout allows you to use freely available parts for upright bikes.

My only real concern with a recumbent is climbing, as it seems to be orthodoxy that recumbents can't climb. I have a feeling it is probably coming from road riders used to 53-39 cranksets with 11-28 cassettes who jump to their feet at the merest hint of an incline, but is there any other reason why recumbents can't climb very well?

I currently ride a touring bike with 23 to 116 gear inches (1.85-9.25 development) and would be looking for roughly the same or slightly lower gearing in a recumbent. I can spin up a hill/mountain of about 1700 feet with grades up to 12% without dangerous/crazy amounts of exertion on my current bike, but does anyone know if it is possible to comfortably spin up a hill like that on a recumbent with that sort of gear range?

I really have no experience with recumbents and am only going on what I have picked up in comment sections , etc. Thanks for any input you might have.

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Old 05-24-17, 01:33 AM
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It's only harder to climb with a recumbent as you cannot use your weight...it's all legs. I rode a recumbent for awhile after I had a neck injury. I really grew to love that bike, but eventually back to standard as I like to trail/dirt ride. Recumbents are not so forgiving on the bumps. It will take some time to rebuild your recumbent legs...it really works the outside part of your quad muscles. Feels good though..
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Old 05-24-17, 06:42 AM
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You'll probably want lower gearing than you have with your upright, simply because you can't stand. And at some point, you're going too slow to balance. The Cruzbikes have short chains, but along with that feature comes pedal steer. Some people learn to deal with it and some people simply can't ride the things at all. So what you'll see is people who love them -- or hate them. There doesn't seem to be an in-between.
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Old 05-24-17, 03:49 PM
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Read a review here. http://www.bentrideronline.com/?p=11256 Apparently the company thinks a lot of people will buy the frame and add your own components. If so, the gearing is up to you but building your own bike from the frame up is an expensive way to go. If it doesn't appeal to you in the end, you have an expensive custom bike.
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Old 05-24-17, 06:08 PM
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@BlazingPedals: Thanks for the heads up on pedal steer, I had not considered it as a factor. You're right about the love/hate thing as well, from the looks of what people have written online.

@VegasTriker: They are offering some completes, but the gearing is way too high (30-93 gear inches) for any riding outside of town and many of the components, like the Clarks brakes, are subpar. With judicious spending the cost would not have to be too high, you would have everything you want and would not need to swap parts out and if you didn't like the bike you could move the components over to another frame. You could also raid your parts box for your build, as the T50 takes standard bicycle components and you could sell the frame on if it turned out you really did not like it. I see where you're coming from, but I don't think you would lose out too badly if you were sensible about your build.

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Old 05-25-17, 06:16 AM
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The Cruzbike claim is that they climb exceptionally well, but I can neither confirm nor deny that. They're not common and I've never seen one on the road that I could compare anything to.
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Old 05-25-17, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The Cruzbike claim is that they climb exceptionally well, but I can neither confirm nor deny that. They're not common and I've never seen one on the road that I could compare anything to.
Bp, go ahead and get it, so we all can know
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Old 05-25-17, 04:22 PM
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They do claim that they climb really well, and people talk about "bridging," arching their back to put power on the pedals, but part of riding such a bike would be protecting my back so I take any claims with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-26-17, 12:28 PM
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'Bridging' is a technique for recumbent climbing that's not specific to Cruzbikes. I've done it on all of my bents, including my V-Rex. The advantage of the technique, if any, is small. It might actually be a good lower-back exercise, if done in moderation (small gap and utilized for short intervals.)
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Old 06-10-17, 06:47 AM
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The new T50 has a longer wheelbase and has more upright seating than my Cruzbike Sofrider, so it will climb better than my trusty old bike.
It will be slower than the Sofrider, because the more upright rider on the T50 will be in the breeze -more aero drag.

The new T50 has more joints in the front end than my Cruzbike Vendetta has, so it will not climb as well as the V, which climbs very, very well indeed.

My Cruzbike Sofrider has outclimbed all of the local rear-wheel drive recumbents.
Lightning P38, Bacchetta C2, Bacchetta -Bacchetta-Bacchetta... all the fast local 'bents are dogs uphill, compared to my old Sofrider.
The Vendetta is in its own class and destroys my Sofrider uphill, downhill and no-hills.

To answer your question, I'm not excited about the new T50.
My old Cruzbikes are good enough for me.
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Old 07-05-17, 11:11 PM
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I just got my frameset a few days ago and have been piecing it together with whatever I have laying around. This is my second recumbent, after a Vision R44 I've had just a short while. I had to learn a whole new skill to ride the Vision; I have to learn yet another one for this bike (or rather, unlearn everything I knew previously). Where the R44 is very much like a nice road racing bike (light, agile, stiff but compliant), the T50 is like a Surly touring bike. It's heavy and the turning radius is kinda ridiculous. I also miss the floating steering arm, and the ride is actually a little more harsh than the R44 (probably more a function of the way the seat is attached to the frame, though narrow tubes probably help too). But the T50 has a lot of potential to haul stuff- a rack is nice for traditional panniers but there's also plenty of room and plenty of attachment points between the back of the seat and the rear wheel, if you wanted to invent a box of some sort.

A few other little notes-
-Theres a ton of room for wheels/tires in this thing. The biggest wheel I had to fit in the back was a 27.5 mtb tire with a 2+" hard-pack dirt tire (i.e. small tread) and there was plenty of room to spare. I'd bet a slick 29er tire would fit fine. The front is a little more restricted, the frame narrows between the crank. I didn't have a 700 wheel to put in there but I;d venture that a 700/29" with a medium-fat tire would fit fine. My bike is on 26x1.5".
-I appreciate the use of a very common derailer hanger.
-I think my rack is actually for 29" wheeled bikes. It's obnoxiously tall (and my install is pretty meh). Even a rack for 26" wheeled bikes looks tall. I wish they had put some lower bolt holes. Speaking of bolt holes, the lower rack mount holes are m6, not the usual m5. I had to drill out the lower holes in my rack to use it on this bike. Also, the rear 'triangle' is narrower than on a typical bike by an inch or two, I had to bend my rack to narrow it. Last note about racks, I really dislike using basically the same bracket(s) to both clamp the telescoping rear assembly, and to bolt my rack to the bike. In the future, I will probably adapt it to attach to the 'brake bridge' rather than those clamps.

OK, enough for tonight
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Old 07-06-17, 03:43 PM
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P1010083.jpg

P1010076-001.jpg Here is mine its a 9 speed triple with 152 short cranks
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Old 07-06-17, 06:20 PM
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Short cranks are a nice thought on this bike.

What handlebars are you using? The grip angle/sweep looks ideal.
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Old 07-06-17, 06:26 PM
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Bars are Wald touring 8095 they are perfect for me.
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Old 07-06-17, 06:39 PM
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Oh, I try to stick with oversize diameter handlebar and stem parts for my bikes- in this case it's really messing with my options. I might have to let go of that for this bike.
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Old 07-29-17, 01:58 PM
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I got the T50 frameset in early July, and built it up with the standard front end, and now have modified the front end to be more like the Silvio and the Vendetta. I did not want a complete bike because the gearing was 8-speed and I had 9-speed parts I wanted to use. I much prefer getting the frameset, but it's a good thing it's offered as a whole bike.
Most people are afraid of the pedal steer, but that is what makes Cruzbikes better at hill climbing, because the upper body can be engaged if desired. If your pedaling is smooth, you should have no problem adapting. Most that have tried my Cruzbike can ride it on the first try, albeit shaky. Actually, I found the Cruzbike was easier to learn to ride than my deFelice under seat steering, long wheelbase recumbent I had years ago.
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Old 07-29-17, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by polyrhythmia View Post
I got the T50 frameset in early July, and built it up with the standard front end, and now have modified the front end to be more like the Silvio and the Vendetta. I did not want a complete bike because the gearing was 8-speed and I had 9-speed parts I wanted to use. I much prefer getting the frameset, but it's a good thing it's offered as a whole bike.
Most people are afraid of the pedal steer, but that is what makes Cruzbikes better at hill climbing, because the upper body can be engaged if desired. If your pedaling is smooth, you should have no problem adapting. Most that have tried my Cruzbike can ride it on the first try, albeit shaky. Actually, I found the Cruzbike was easier to learn to ride than my deFelice under seat steering, long wheelbase recumbent I had years ago.
I had a DeFelice. Worst bent I ever had (or tested).
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Old 11-10-17, 10:43 PM
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I've been researching recumbent bikes for quite long time. After Maria of cruzbike arranged for me to try a Quest, FWD/MBB is the type of bike I want.


--------------------
steel frame road bike
titanium frame FWD/MBB

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Old 08-28-19, 09:14 PM
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any long term reviews on one of these? I am considering a frameset
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Old 09-28-19, 01:39 PM
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I own one, but it’s not completely built up yet. I’ve ridden a couple and they are a fairly upright experience. I can ride it in circles with no hands; very stable, pretty low seat height, decent build quality, customizable; a friend has one that he customized only slightly (yet expertly) to be about 35-40(?) recline of the seat, I like that one the most.

The cruzbike forum has good build diaries and a lot of people resell their own bikes through there.

Bachettas are a good bike for the money, no doubt, especially on the used market. By way of comparison, I wouldn’t consider a T50 a scalpel necessarily but with 26 (or even 700c wheels) it rolls over a lot of bumps nicely with no chance for heel strike (on the front wheel). I am a fan, and I recommend test rides for sure; but don’t be put off by a short test ride on any FWD MBB bent - they are a lot of fun.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:38 AM
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I rode some with a guy on a CB while I was on DALMAC. I don't know how strong he was, so comparisons can only be very rough; but he was at least comparable in hills to me. I think he had a Silvio.
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Old 10-04-19, 08:11 PM
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Several years ago, I was cranking up a hill out at the Texas Time Trials at about 10 mph when a lady on a recumbent and a guy on a time trial bike both came flying up the hill at about 20 mph. I think that was Maria Parker and Kurt Searvogel. Anyway, I've known several recumbent riders that could outclimb me when I was on an upright, but I think that says more about them than about their bikes.
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