Recumbent reviews

There’s now a moderate number of recumbent reviews on this site, so a page to draw them all together seems sensible.

For now these are in date order, with the most recent at the top. I’ll look at a better system if that ever gets unmanageable.

Most of these bikes have been generously loaned by Laid Back Bikes in Edinburgh, and taken on a 30km loop that includes a decent amount of everything (hills, some rolling stuff, a few sharp corners, some cobbles, a few flat bits):

30km isn’t long enough to uncover every foible, but I can hopefully give a good idea of what the bike is like. I’ve called those “short reviews”.

Where I’ve had a longer time to play with the bike (normally because I own it!), I’ve been slightly more comprehensive. Those are “full reviews”.

From the top…

The M5 carbon highracer (short review in June 2015)


A full carbon racing recumbent that beats the High Baron and MetaBike comprehensive in handling (so long as you’re not turning right) and has a few inspired/plain odd design features like thumb-activated brakes.

Short review here.

The MetaBike in fast touring guise (full review of the bike I own, November 2013)

I was riding a Metabike in a custom configuration, with hydraulic disc brakes, carbon fibre fork and seat and a very wide range SRAM double gearing setup. Click on the picture for more info.

Brutal handling, but fast, versatile, lightweight, and climbs very well. I liked the MetaBike I tried out so much I bought one, and then immediately took it on the 1,400km of London-Edinburgh-London 2013 (ride report here).

Full review here.

The Optima High Baron (short review in June 2013)

The Optima High Baron, with the seat in the fully-raised position. Note the minimal deflection at the idler in the power-side chainline, and the general beauty of the thing.

Beautiful handling, although not quite as good as the M5 highracer and not as versatile as the MetaBike. Also simply refuses to slow down due to some really badly designed brakes. That said, it’s still a lovely bike.

Short review here.

Nazca Fuego lowracer (full review in May 2012)

The Fuego, basking by the side of Loch Arklet

The Fuego was my first recumbent and is a cracking lowracer. Fast and exceptionally comfortable due to the under-seat suspension, yet also capable of carrying a pair of panniers on a well designed (and removable) rack. I only got rid of it because I wanted to try something with twin 622mm wheels.

Full review here.

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