Touring on a recumbent bicycle: Everything you need to know

Why would you ride such a weird bike instead of a normal one?

And what would you need to know before buying a touring recumbent for your next trip? If you’ve already had the chance of talking to a recumbent rider, you may have noticed that most of them say that they love their recumbent and wouldn’t ride anything else.

So, what is it about recumbents that make people so passionate about them?

Continue reading “Touring on a recumbent bicycle: Everything you need to know”

10’000km review: Azub Six vs HPV Streetmachine

Here’s a detailed comparison of our two recumbent touring bicycles after riding them for over 10’000 kilometeres, including tips about how to choose the configuration when buying a recumbent.

We bought our recumbents in the spring of 2015. Miguel bought an Azub Six, Eva went for a Streetmachine Gte from HP Velotechnik. We chose these two different brands after trying and comparing different models in two different shops (one in Switzerland, one in France – for such expensive bikes it’s worth taking a few daytrips to different shops to be able to test-ride several models). One year later, we left on our trip which would take us from Switzerland to Portugal, and then across South America. After cycling over 10’000 kilometres, we reckoned that it would be a good time to review our bikes in detail and compare the two brands. We tried to include information that might be interesting for people thinking about buying a recumbent for travelling, as this was the kind of information we were trying to find at the time. Continue reading “10’000km review: Azub Six vs HPV Streetmachine”

Replacement part details for Azub and HP Velotechnik

This post serves to keep some technical information about our recumbent bicycles that we could not find on the manufacturers’ websites nor in the bikes’ manuals.

  1. We asked both Azub and HP Velotechnik which chain they use. We got a satisfying reply from HPV: they use KMC Z8 RB. Azub seems to have a similar chain.
  2. We’ve counted the number of links on our recumbent chains (although this is different depending on the person’s height):
    • Azub Six: 268 links (134 full links) + quick link
    • HP Velotechnik Street Machine: 258 links (129 full links) + quick link.
    • So, when replacing the two chains, we had to order 5 KMC Z8 RB chains.
  3. The Rohloff cable length on Azub is about 200 cm, so the replacement needs to be the tandem size
  4. The longest brake cable on Azub is 180 cm, so standard cable set works
  5. The lenght of the replacement spokes we took are (but never needed):
    1. Azub Six
      1. Front wheel 20′ with SON dynamo: 178 mm
      2. Rear wheel 26′ with Rohloff: 231 mm
    2. HP Velotechnik StreetMachine
      1. Front wheel 20′ with SRAM D7 dynamo: 170 mm
      2. Rear wheen 26′ with Rohloff: 236 mm

Flying with recumbent bicycles

In this rather technical post, we describe our experience packing and preparing our two recumbent bicycles for air-travel.

The flights

We flew from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro with Royal Air Maroc, with a stopover in Casablanca, in October 2016, and on to Porto Alegre with LATAM. We flew back to Europe with LATAM in February 2017, from Puerto Montt (Chile) to Madrid, with a stopover in Santiago de Chile.

Packing the recumbent bicycles

For us there were two main issues when it came to the choice of packing: the maximum size, and adequate protection of the bikes. On the internet, we had read about people air travelling with recumbent trikes without dismounting or packing them at all. We feared that this might not be possible with recumbent bicycles: our seats are higher than trikes and thus increase the height of the recumbent, and a trike might more easily be assimilated to a mobility device rather than a bicycle. Continue reading “Flying with recumbent bicycles”