Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Got A Recumbent!

Breaking news here at The Cycle! I have finally succumbed to the peer pressure of two vocal Steves from the comments section and dabbled in recumbency. If you came here for saddle reviews, look elsewhere. However, if you're searching for beard grooming tips, watch for my upcoming "Supine and Hirsute" series where I will test a variety of facial hair configurations for aerodynamic efficiency.

Being a respected professional cycling blogger, I didn't just get my hands on any old recumbent. It turns out that those crafty Swedes at IKEA have been running a top-secret Skünkwerks lab, crafting a line of bikes that are poised to revolutionize cycling as we know it. While they've done a fine job keeping this project away from the prying eyes of those chumps at Bicycling and VeloNews, regular readers of The Cycle know that they couldn't put one over on yours truly. I was on to this project from day one, from my team coverage of their radical Y-frame mountain bike with co-blog-sleuth fivetoedsloth to their carbon fiber track bike for juniors

When it came time to release the IKEA recumbent, they wisely decided to work with The Cycle and allowed us to be the first journalists in the world to put this machine through its paces. At 12:01 a.m. today, a yellow-and-blue armored car appeared at The Cycle World Headquarters, driven by none other than legendary retired Swedish professional cyclist (and unit of measure) Magnus Bäckstedt. He unloaded a large, flat-packed (what else?) cardboard box, and was gone.

As much as I'd like to tell you how the bike rode, the fact that it arrived some-assembly-required has us a bit thwarted. Granted, like the Alex Pong/Cannondale/Magic Motorcycle concept bike before it, the IKEA recumbent can be built with just one hex wrench, thoughtfully provided by IKEA in the box (little-known fact: The failure of the Pong/C'dale/Magic Motorcycle bike was the result of a cost-cutting decision to NOT include the hex wrench). However, like most recumbents, getting the IKEA 'bent into a regular workstand can be a bit of a challenge:

So until they can send me a Snärglöd adaptor, you'll just have to be satisfied with this teaser shot of the seat:

I can already tell that it's going to be laterally stiff and vertically com-plywood.

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