It's a 1998 model RANS Rocket. This style of bike is known as a recumbent (a.k.a. "bent") and has many, many advantages over an upright bicycle. The Rocket is a short wheelbase, 20" front and rear wheel, above seat steering configuration model. Mine is exactly the same as this one except it is black. RANS manufactures many types of recumbent bicycles as well as kit aircraft.
Why a recumbent?
Why this model?
This configuration matches my riding requirements and looks decent too. Other configurations look simply goofy. I wanted a bike with the same wheels front and back since it is easier to carry only one size spare tube and tire. The short wheelbase 'bents are more maneuverable, are generally lighter, and look better than long wheelbase recumbents. I find the above seat steering to be more natural and comfortable than below seat steering and provides a location for a mirror, computer, GPS, radio, bell, and headlight. Mounting these items on a below seat steering model is difficult at best.
RANS has a repuation for building high quality bicycles with superb features and handling. They have been in the business for a long time and pioneered features that other manufacturers have since copied.
How does it perform?
I find the ride to be exhilarating and quite fast. I can cruise on a flat, level road with no wind at a sustained speed of 22 mph for a few miles but can sustain 17 mph indefinitely. My top speed on such a road is around 25 mph. Recumbents are quite unstable going up hill at extremely low speed so my minimum speed is 4 mph - that's when I dismount and use shoe leather. Hill have to be quite steep for walking to be in order. My top speed down hill is 41 mph. Anything faster than 30 mph is very hairy with the trailer, though.
My average speed over varying terrain on a loop is usually 15 mph. I regularly climb a total of 800' in a 20 mile loop and average a little better than 15 mph.
With a load and net elevation gain my speed drops somewhat due to additional air resistance and rolling resistance of the trailer. On fully laden trip from Lock Haven to State College, PA I averaged 13.8 mph. It was a 36 mile trip with a net elevation gain of 720' and I was hauling 65 lbs of gear (too much) in the 11 lb trailer. On 45 mile training rides with the gear I am taking I average 15.2 mph with a total of 1120 ft of climbing.
Other information about this bicycle
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Visitors since 1/1/2002
Lawrence J. Flint
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