Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Review of the Bacchetta Strada

bikes@vienna note: Long time customer Bill Perlman took the Bacchetta Strada with the Euromesh seat for a test ride and then wrote this review. Bill rides an underseat steering recumbent and has placed an order for a new Challenger which will be underseat steering so I was interested in how he would react to the aboveseat steering Strada. Bill also does a considerable amount of touring so the ability to pack and ship a recumbent is important to him. Here's what Bill thought of the Strada:

"The bottom line:  I like the Strada.  A lot.

The Strada felt good right from the start.  Some bents you never get a good feeling for.  Their steering or balance or riding position just isn't right and doesn't feel natural even after a few hours on the bike.  By the time I rode out of the parking lot, it felt like a bike I've been on for quite a while.  The Strada was stable at both low and high speeds.  It's a high racer configuration with 571 wheels and a shell-like seat.  It's seat height is low enough so that there was no problem getting a foot firmly on the ground.

I rode the Strada because I wanted to try the new Bacchetta Euromesh seat.  The seat is comfortable and I felt that the mesh back did indeed reduce the heat/sweat buildup that you get from fiberglass shell seats.  Fiberglass shell seats also seem to amplify the drivetrain sounds that come up the seat stays.  The Euromesh seat eliminated that sound.

The Strada is clearly built for fast riding on decent roads.  It's a light bike with very narrow tires on lightweight wheels.  It climbed well and it handled well on fast downhills.  It's SRAM X.9 components are good.  The chain management is via a double sided idler wheel and is quiet.  The cockpit is a bit tight but one can get used to it; and it does provide a pretty comfortable hand position.  The bike is an excellent value for the price.

Why won't I buy this bike?  With it's typical OSS design, there is no telescoping boom and it is thus too long to fit into a standard bicycle box.  Too long to easily take with me on a flight and be used for touring."

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