First Ride of 2018

Made it out on the V20 for the first time in a couple of weeks today for the first ride of 2018. The roads were utterly filthy and I spent half the afternoon cleaning up the bike again when I got back!

I did the usual Innerleithen loop, and was pushing for my first ever sub 2 hour time. Missed it by about a minute and a half elapsed time – traffic lights in Innerleithen and a few spots where I had to pick my way through bits of ice. Next time……

The bike is phenomenal to ride, I am enjoying it more with every outing. It is completely silent apart from the hum of the tyres on the road – the only recumbent I’ve ever seen that has no drivetrain noise at all. This was the first ride where I was pretty much able to pedal with no input from the arms to correct for pedal steer – I’m starting to relax into the bike. I am still wobbling about the road a bit, but am doing so in a relaxed fashion 🙂 The key to riding this bike seems to be to keep the lower back and pelvis nice and loose. If you do that, everything works beautifully.


Pre ride V20 – nowhere near that clean when it came back!

The climb up Windydoors hill was soaking wet today with a lot of surface water. I managed it with only the slightest hint of front wheel slip – it’s a 14% hill at the steepest part. So my climbing technique is getting better too. I’m still not ready to attempt anything steeper though, I’m not sure I could keep traction.

A fab ride and a new PR for the loop – great day!




4 thoughts on “First Ride of 2018

    • I bought from the states without any trial. It’s the only dual 700c bike that fulfils all my criteria, so I just decided to go for it and do whatever it takes to learn 🙂 A simple try probably wouldn’t be enough- you’d want to borrow one for a week or so to get a feel for how it works. It’s a fantastic bike and great fun to ride!


      • What other high racers did you try and how did they compare? What drew you to the Cruz bike? In principle I’d concur that they look like fun. Not sure how one would cope with luggage given the reported biased weight distribution to the rear and the drive being necessarily at the front.


  1. This bike was purely for going as fast as possible, I have other bikes to cover other use cases. My main criteria were i) very aero and good power delivery, ii) no heel strike and iii) no required chain line fudging to avoid the front wheel.

    I considered the M5 CHR, M5 M Racer, Nazca Gaucho, Schlitter Encore, Challenge Fujin SL2 and Cruzbike V20.

    I discounted both the M5s as they would have bad heel strike and don’t turn right without chain line modifications – they seem more of a specialist bike and I want something I can waver around on steep hills with. Also the narrow tiller and restrictive tyre clearance put me off.

    The Nazca Gaucho I would be very comfortable with, it has a very similar position to the Quetzal that I already have but this was to be a no holds barred speed machine which is not the Gaucho’s main function, being a bit heavier and with suspension. Heel strike is not bad on this bike but still exists.

    The Fujin I thought quite attractive and it seems to be a pretty fast bike, but I already have a low racer so why get another 🙂

    The only other bike I seriously considered was the Schlitter Encore, which was very tempting. It’s a beautiful looking bike, very light, clean chain line and no wheel interference. The JBars look brilliant too. The one that was available to demo was a bit small for me, and alas there are still heel strike issues. So I chose the V20.

    If you were considering this bike as a luggage carrying bike I would possibly think again – it’s really designed for going very fast with no compromises, and I’m sure you could put luggage on it but that’s not really what it’s designed for. The Silvio might be a better choice as it can take wider tyres and racks etc. The Cruzbike forum is full of really helpful folks who can tell you the pros and cons of each design much better than I can.

    The only downside I can find to the V20 is the lack of traction on steep hills. I think this would affect any FWD bike. Currently I can get up 15% gradients in damp conditions but beyond that I struggle. This could be a deal breaker depending on where you live. There are people who can climb 20-25% gradients on the V20 so it can be done, but it requires very refined pedalling technique and I think it helps if you are a powerful rider, which I am not. I’m going to give the bike a year to see how I get on. There’s one sportive I want to do on this bike that has a 20% climb – if I can do that I will be happy 🙂


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