Thursday, October 9, 2008

RANS Hammer Truck Specifications

RANS has put the Hammer Truck up on their website with specs. Sounds like production models will hit the street in early 2009 so we'll have to wait a bit to see what owners are saying, but the concept looks promising.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dom's RANS Fusion

Photo: Dom

Dom writes:

"1.) I bought a CF for a few reasons. Before owning a CF I had a string of Rans and Easy Racer recumbents. I loved the comfort and speed but they had a few serious drawbacks for me.

I try to use my bike as my main form of transport, I use if for groceries, getting to work, and just about everything you would normally need a car for. While the my Tour Easy was very comfortable it was a real pain to try to park at the busy bike racks around town. Also carrying capacity wasn't very good on the bent. I tried using my bob trailer but I think my total length was around 12ft. Not real good for getting around town.

One day I was up at Coventry Cycles works in Portland Oregon. I was there actually thinking of maybe getting a SWB bent and on a whim I tried the Fusion they had in the shop. I instantly liked it. It was much more comfy than a DF and still gave me the nice view that a bent did. I ended up not buying it that day but in a few weeks I had sold all my bents on Cl and had no bike at all. I test rode a few DF's but nothing rode as nice as the CF. I ended up buying my Fusion at Paul's Bicycle Way of Life in Eugene Oregon.

2.) I chose this model cause it was all I could get. All my local shops that carried bents only had the fusion. Ordering a different model would have taken about a month. I had ridden the fusion and it was nice. So that's how I ended up with the Fusion. In hindsight, I think maybe the Dynamik Trail may have been a better fit. I like that you can stand out of the saddle with the Dynamik, which is nearly impossible with the fusion. I also like the disc brakes and front shock. The Dynamik looks like it could handle some rough dirt roads or easy single track. In that aspect the Fusion is limited to easy dirt roads. Or rough side walks.

3.) I like a lot of things about the Fusion here a few. It's a lot easier to transport than a lwb bent. I can fit on a regular bike rack and can even go on the front of a public bus. It has a much smaller foot print. I'm sure my co workers enjoyed getting half their floor space back in the office once I switched from bent to DF. It's also much easier to squeeze this bike onto a full bike rack than the bent was and I can use my bob trailer without needing to take every corner like an 18 wheeler!

I have the same view as I did on my bent. I'm looking straight ahead and can see everything, I'm not looking down at my handlebars. This means no sore neck , wrists, or for the most part no back pain. These are the main reasons why I switched from riding DF's to bents.

I also like that for the most part this bike takes off the shelf parts. Other than the Rans rear rack I installed. Everything I put on the bike is just regular bike stuff that can be bought at any bike store.

I couldn't be fair if I mentioned what I don't like about the bike, which isn't much. My main complaint is tires. The bike came stock with Primo comets 1.25. For a bike that can't really be bunny hopped over trash in the road and won't allow you to stand up in the saddle I find these tires a very poor choice. They are very thin and easily punctured. They are also too narrow to provide any real shock absorption. I wish Rans would ship this bikes with a 1.75 tire with some sort of puncture resistance. I'm actually in the process of hunting down a 2.0 tire with flat protection and a reflective sidewall.

Also the bolts on the bike need to be tightened down often. I wish Rans would have used a bit of locktite on some of the bolts on the seat tube and stem. These bolts loosen easily and cause the bike to creak like a wooden sailboat. Not a big deal and only requires a few minutes with the allen key. But on a bike that otherwise is so well put together the small things tend to stick out more. My only other complaint is one of perception.

4.) I use this bike as my main for of transport. So to and from work, grocery runs, shopping and just for cruising on the weekends. I feel it's like a bit of social disobedience to travel under my own power and cruise past the single passenger SUV's stacked up at the traffic lights.

5.) As this bike is used for daily transportation I needed it to be dependable and have decent carrying capacity. So with that in mind I installed the Rans rear rack, a fold able Wall rear basket, fenders, bell,mirror, kickstand, slimed both tubes (cause nobody wants to change a flat in Arizona in the summer) I also installed pedal extenders otherwise my size 13's would be banging against the frame. I also strapped a tiny bag to the handlebars to hold my phone, keys. wallet, and gum. I think that's all for changes made to the bike, as I mentioned earlier I'm
looking for some better tires.

All in all I'm really happy with this bike. It's comfortable and efficient. The yellow color is really nice and bold. The bike is easy to set up with a lot of cargo capacity and unlike a bent almost anyone can jump on it and peddle away comfortably. The learning curve is non existent compared to riding your average bent. I really feel this kind of bike would appeal to a huge amount of people who would never think of riding a bent. What's not to like, they are comfortable but still fast."

RANS Hammer Truck PT3

RANS has posted an article providing more details on the Hammer Truck spec and pricing on their website here. I like that this bike and accessories are made in small batches in the USA vs. overseas.

The real test will be how it rides with a heavy load. I'll be looking forward to reading owner's impressions when it hits the street...=-)