Longbikes Recumbents

Longbikes Slipstream

Longbikes has a well-deserved reputation for beautifully built, rugged USS recumbent bikes. All Longbikes recumbents are very overbuilt, giving rigid-very predictable handling. Longbikes is so sure of their solo recumbents they guaranteed their frames for riders up to 300 lb.

The fittings & hardware made by Longbikes are extremely high quality. Their machining detail is excellent. An example of this is the seat struts. They are machined out of solid aluminum rods making them a bit heavier that other struts. I’d never seen a seat strut break till RANS came out with the cut away ends in 2003, I’ll be amazed if I ever see a broken Longbikes seat strut.

All Longbikes recumbents are available primarily with Under Seat Steering (USS.) Their USS handlebars are very adjustable, the bar ends angle can even adjust in and out to your preference. The Longbikes USS hand position is excellent, most riders find the Longbikes (and Linear, and Haluzak) hand position and steering geometry much better than on the old Vision USS recumbents.

The Longbikes full mesh seats are similar to the Haluzak seat but a bit more comfortable. Full mesh seats are OK but they are not my favorite. Larger riders tend to like full mesh seats better than I do. Skinny guys like me (6’3, 165 lb) have bony butts and tend to prefer foam-padded seats. Longbikes adjustable angle – folding seat design allows you to adjust the angle between the seat base and back to fine tune your comfort. It also folds for transport. I don’t think the Longbikes seat comfort is up to the very high standard of the rest of the bike, but I’m skinny and I prefer a padded seat base line the RANS seats, which are an available option. Larger riders often find the mesh seats comfortable.

The finish on Longbikes is excellent. Smooth welds, unique, replaceable, bombproof dropouts, flawless glossy powder-coat paint and finely detailed and finished machined parts combine to give an overall appearance that is beautiful. I have seen a lot of recumbents, very few are finished this well.

You get a lot of meticulous durability for the price with either the Slipstream or Eliminator. If you like the relaxing LWB ride and USS position of the Slipstream as I do, but want to save over $500 you might consider the Linear Limo LWB USS recumbent. These two bikes have very similar geometry and ergonomics. The Avatar 2000 developed at MIT in 1980 influenced both designs. Most riders who like the ride of one will like the ride of the other.

I guess the only things I don’t adore about the Longbikes are the mesh bottom seat and the bike’s weight.

Longbikes, though not perfect, has clearly earned its excellent reputation for quality. If you are looking for the ultimate, bombproof USS bikes, take a Longbikes for a test ride.

Linear Limo to Longbikes Slipstream Comparison

Linear Limo Longbikes Slipstream
2009 Base Price $2,195 $2,795
Price W/ RANS seat $2,195 $3,095
weight 35.5 lb. 37 lb.
frame material 6061-T6 aluminum 4130 Chromoloy steel
Frame tubing Custom extruded beam plain gauge round tubes
machining finish fine beautiful
max rider weight 275 lb. 300 lb.
component quality Very good Very good
LOA 87 93.5
Wheelbase 65 70.5
seat height 27 23
bottom bracket height 20 17.5
weight savings 1.5 lb. 0 lb.
$ savings W/RANS seat $900 $0

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