Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some thoughts on the Musashi

Catrike Musashi
I have been staring at this bike since the video was released. I like it. The 451/622 wheel combination is obviously a performance choice. The SRAM Rival components is also performance centric. The gear range is on the high side, which is appropriate for a fast bike at 32" to 122". I believe that in the summer version of myself I would be able to ride a low gear of 32" up hills in the Puget Sound. Riding this bike would get me into performance shape for sure. I would most likely run this with the SRAM Rival 11-28 cassette, I am not sure which is the default for this bike, but the 11-28 would be great for me.

All of my current bikes are setup with fenders, dynamos, lights, and lots of luggage. I could set up this bike as a lean mean century machine. A couple of frame bags to fit behind the seat, a few water bottles, a pump, a cycle computer (the garmin will work) and done.

I like the idea, I think I need to sell the Corsa, sell the Vivo, clean up my garage and get one of these beautiful bikes.

14 comments:

Zyzzyx said...

Sss.. sse... sel... Sell... bikes? Are you mad? ;)

I thought you'd set up the Corsa as the fast bike since the Rapto had taken over commuting duties. Guess you're hooked on being low, eh?

Scott said...

Is that a RANS Vivo SWB 20x20 with suspension? I really want an SWB. What do you want for it?

mrcranky

Duncan Watson said...

I am hooked on being low. And I do have a rans vivo with suspension. The prior owner was Bryan Ball. It was one of his review bikes. I will email you Scott.

Zyzzyx said...

So, for a fast bike: a low Musashi or a mid Rapto?

Duncan Watson said...

I want to test drive the Musashi. I emailed Coventry to see if they will get one in. It is extremely tempting and if Scott buys my Vivo, it is within reach.

My first recumbent was the Vivo, I had a Terratrike on the way when I bought it. I rode the trike for 2 years before selling it. Then I got the Corsa and shortly after the Raptobike. I love the raptobike, but I am very interested in a go-fast bike that I don't load down with stuff.

Duncan Watson said...

Scott,
shoot me an email at duncan.j.watson AT gmail dot com.
Duncan

Grant Andre said...

Wow! Looks great - love the triangulated rear end, wish my Rapto had a bit more framework in the rear to add stiffness back there! And that head-tube gusset? Awesome! I would miss the tiller steering from the Rapto, though... and the short chain line of my FWD!

Duncan Watson said...

I know what you mean Grant. Well I know that at least one Musashi will end up in the Seattle Area. It will be interesting to test out the two bikes (rapto, musashi) side by side.

Richard said...

700c Rear to smooth the road. Solid seat and frame design. Riding no hands and around a bend. The right height for all purpose duties. Uncluttered bar layout.
What am I missing except one in my garage...

Grant Andre said...

In 1998 rode a Rans Rocket equipped with 20" wheels front and rear from Seattle to D.C. Prior to that, I had an LWB with 700c rear wheel. Personally, I didn't find that 20" wheels make the ride more jarring or slow. I understand the argument (larger wheels bridge road noise gaps) but think this is a bogus argument on paved roads. A 20"x1.2" tire at 110psi will roll just as fast and smooth as the larger wheel, with less rotating mass to boot! I'm dreaming now, but I'd like to build a sub-frame for my Rapto rear-end allowing me to run dual 20" wheels while retaining the overall geometry of the bike - resulting in a stiffer, lighter, smaller bike! Hmmmm.....

Richard said...

Grant, you are right. I have never had a perfect answer to why large dia wheels are faster.
The fastest recumbents in the world have smaller front wheels and that conflicts with the above. Its only recently that I saw some videos from Ian sims (greenspeed) that did huge amounts of tests with wheels and tires. His results favoured smaller wheels and no tread. The reasons were the longer contact patch of large dia tires created greater resistance than shorter, wider contact patches of smaller tires.
Race tires overcome this with high pressures but the comfort factor...

Grant Andre said...

Richard: this is a big debate in the MTB world right now, too. Lots of folks starting to build bikes with 29" wheels because they "roll faster".

To my thinking, these larger wheels are slightly less likely to get "caught between" obstacles or large-scale trail noise - and have more rotating mass to speed inertia. I feel this argument generally fails on the road where washboard and roots are not common features. I think this argument starts to make a difference near the scale of a rollerblade wheel on the pavement - that size wheel would get "stuck" (slow you down) in the more common cracks and road damage areas encountered by a recumbent, for sure!

Interesting to think about...

Nelson Ralls said...

Duncan do you know how the fit is on Musashi, once the specs were posted on the Catrike page I noticed it doesn't go down to my xseam size (@40"). -- Nelson.

Duncan Watson said...

Nelson,
I am not sure of the minimum size on the Musashi. I will see one late May at PIR so I can give it a try then, I too am short. I have also heard that it isn't as accommodating to shorter riders as some other bikes.
Duncan