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This reviewer's joy of cycling now extends to the Cruzbike
Story and photos by Steve Giordano
Lynn Rosen
High on Adventure, November 2018

  Cruzbike Vendetta   Cruzbike Q45  
Cruzbike Vendetta V20
Cruzbike Q45

Can you guess which Cruzbike costs almost $2,000 more than the other? These are both fast bikes due to low
wind resistance. Notice that they are front wheel drive, meaning more direct pedal power via short chains.

  Cruzbike tetrahedron   The bikes have quite the triangle out front, what Cruzbike, on their website, calls a compact tetrahedron "...that links the upper and lower body across the drivetrain as it rotates around the axis of the head tube. This linkage allows you to boost power when climbing or sprinting by engaging the upper body. It also means you'll run a standard length chain and have access to the cutting edge in performance component technology. Our patented front triangle design is formed by the fork, chainstay, boom and slider."  

Cruzbike owner Lief Zimmerman explained some things about the bike and very patiently showed me the ropes about how to ride one. He says it is like riding a bike, but more like that first time you rode without training wheels: equal parts thrilling and world-changing. The learning curve took some time back then, too. The Cruzbike website advises that you spend about 45 minutes your first day just motating around a flat parking lot with your feet on the ground. Then go do something else, and while you're sleeping that night, your brain will work on building the muscle memory necessary so you can go to step two the next day.

Lief Zimmerman on Vendetta V20
Lief Zimmerman on his Cruzbike Vendetta V-20,
the fastest road bike in the world

Recumbents were banned from bike racing in 1934 because they're just too fast. Not that it makes much sense to me - isn't speed the purpose of bike racing? But the aerodynamic advantage of recumbents like the Cruzbike lets the racer surpass regular upright bicycles every time. Two races that Recumbents can enter are the World Human Powered Vehicle Association and the International Human Powered Vehicle association.

    Recumbent tricycle built for two     Recumbent tricycle built for two
There is no standard recumbent however. They come in all sorts of configuragions.
The strangest one I've seen is this recumbent tricycle built for two.

But back to the Cruzbike. Notice the steering. The steering post is affixed to the chainring, or the other way around, and that means the pedals are attached to the steering. When you turn the handle bars, you're of course turning the wheel, but you're also turning the pedals. And that means when you press, say, on the right pedal, the bike turns left, and vice versa. So you do a constant counterbalancing act as you move along. If you press on the right pedal, you also push a bit on the left of the handlebar so the wheel doesn't turn when you don't want it to. That's the main reason that riding a Cruzbike for the first time is a lot like riding a bicycle for the first time - your sense of balance is starting all over.

Is it worth all that? Do you ever feel like it's second nature to hop on your Cruzbike and go for a ride? Absolutely! Fans feel they've achieved the next dimension of bike riding - it's easy after awhile and much more powerful than a regular bike.

Two Cruzbike models
I'm on Lief's bike and Lief has his father's (with wooden fenders). They frequently ride together.



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