Rans Recumbents Rocket Older Recumbent Bike

4.39/5 (18 Reviews)
MSRP : $995.00

Product Description

The reciprocal of the Tailwind, in a short wheel base. The Rocket has a fine tuned ride, the result of stretching the "short" wheel base. One of their lightest bikes, flies up hills. Tour, commute, cruise, race a little.

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dan a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: February 7, 2015

Strengths:    It's fun and comfortable with tough wheels and a firm seat that's better than the mushy one on my 2005 V-Rex. Made in the United States of America. There's reflective material on back of seat and it was easy to take a regular, free bike rack and attach it underneath the seat instead of having to spend, at the time $115 for a Terracyle rack. I can also sling a regular back pack over the seat because the "lil" wheel in the back don't get in the way.

Weaknesses:    Twitchy, nervous handling that took a some time to get used to. Spongy, "flexi" square tube frame with lots of chain slap and inefficient chain idlers/roller thingies. Crappy brakes (Bulldogs) and an insecure, sliding seat that I could not get to stay put until I got shims for it in 2006. The gearing is not low enough (alleged dealer "upgrade") and clipless pedals are mandatory. Horrible dealer experience (AngleTech).

Bottom Line:   
I bought it in 1995 and still have it. The longest one day ride I did on it was a hot and hilly 106 miles. It's not the greatest bike in the world and doesn't feel fast but it is much more comfortable and on average 1.5 mph faster than my former, diamond framed torture racks aka roadbikes (Trek 420 and 1000c). My Rocket looks like an antique compared to the bikes coming from Europe nowadays but for some reason it's the bike I always end up going back to. Low self esteem? Possibly, or maybe a first love thing? I don't know but if I had to have only one bike this would be it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   That's a tough one!

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   AngleTech

Similar Products Used:   V-Rex, Rans Enduro 26 and Burley Koosah

Bike Setup:   totally stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by mldart a Commuter

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2008

Strengths:    Pros:
1. Great riding position.
2. Very comfortable
3. Problem free, no defects: shifts smooth, breaks work great.
4. Surprisingly good on hill.s

Weaknesses:    1. The chain path is a design flaw. Your pants and shoes will get oil on them. Several chainguard addons are available after market.

2. Seat slides too easily. I had to drill through the frame and fix a bolt there.

3. Feet hit front wheel too often. I have the short base version and when I make a right or left turn the front wheel is in the way making it difficult to execute a turn while pedaling.

Bottom Line:   
I have used this bike for the 25 mile commute to work

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   to work

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   online

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Short base

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Ralston a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2007

Strengths:    Good off-the-shelf components and performance; other than cables and tires, I have needed no repairs in 7,000 miles of riding. Excellent for people with back, wrist, neck or prostate problems. Great for long rides, but also good for commuting and club rides. It's a real attention-getter, which helps make up for its low profile in traffic. It's also a great conversation starter with cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Because it's a SWB, the Rocket fits well on a standard rear-mounted car carrier, (I carry it upside down to minizime wind resistance from the seat back) but be sure your carrier can accommodate the 2" tube.

Weaknesses:    Your heel will strike the front wheel on sharp turns until you learn to move it out of the way; I keep my cleats a little loose so that I can stay clipped in). The seat slips back slowly over time and is difficult to reposition; Rans recommends a fix using part of an old inner tube; I have yet to try it. I haven't found a good way to mount a map so I can see it while riding. The extra attention caused by riding an unusual-looking bike may bother some people. I've often found a few upright riders regard recumbents as toys and "duffer"-bikes; the best way to win them over is to get to the next sag stop before they do.

Bottom Line:   
After owning a BikeE for 5 years and being frustrated with its poor performance on rides longer than 30 miles, I switched to the Rans Rocket. Due to financial constraints I crossed my fingers and bought a used Rocket from a seller on eBay. It has been the best money I ever spent on anything. The Rocket is a joy to ride and very comfortable. The steering felt twitchy at first, but I quickly got used to it. Oddly, leaning the opposite way on sharp turns improves the bike's handling. I live in a very hilly area and agree with other reviewers that the Rocket handles hills well, though not as fast as the uprights in my riding club. I have taken it up a small mountain (600 feet) with 15 percent grades, so it can climb the tough stuff. Slowness is probably due more to the age and condition of the rider than the abilities of the bike! The Rocket really excels on long rides: Last year I did a two day, 210-mile supported tour on the Rocket and loved every minute of it, even with a 20+ mph headwind for 50 miles on the second day.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Silver Comet Trail

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Used on Ebay

Similar Products Used:   BikeE CT for five years. No comparison.

Bike Setup:   Standard from the factory, plus clipless pedals (highly recommended), handlebar-mounted mirror, computer and front and back lights.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Warner a Recreational Rider from Seattle, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2002

Strengths:    Stiff frame. Good component choices. Light overall weight. Low to the ground. Quick-steering. Responsive.

Weaknesses:    Useless owner's manual. Paint is enamel, not powder coat and chips easily. The touch-up paint Rans provides is watery and worthless. Get yourself a roll of 3M Scotch 35 Red electrician's tape. The tape is *very* close to an exact match in color and has good elasticity and adhesion. You can use it to cover vulnerable areas.

Bottom Line:   
2002 model. It is a winner both technically and aesthetically. The component choices Rans made are correct. It's a very quiet bike. It shifts like butter. The seat is legendary and deserves to be. I don't consider this to be an "entry level" recumbent. Anything you'll ever want to do on a recumbent--you can do it on this bike. From time-trails to intercontinental touring. It's a refined, quality product. Notice that the main tube is 2-inches in diameter while the more expensive V-rex main tube is 1.5-inches in diameter. Cheaper bike, but stiffer frame. The bike will take some getting used to, if you've never owned a bent before. Approach it with respect. The rider is much more an integrated component on a SWB recumbent with 20/20 wheels than he is on a longer wheelbase recumbent or an Upright. Once you get used to being a "component" whose every move, however small, affects the behavior of the bike-- Once you get the seat and riser dialed-in-- You're on your way to becoming a card-carrying trail bum.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Burke-Gilman Trail

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Angle Lake Cycles

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scootems a Recreational Rider from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2002

Strengths:    Lightweight, fully adjustable seat and handlebar, accessories readily available, excellent Rans support, beautiful composition and color, easy to set up for long rides with bags, lights, cyclocomputers, racks-whatever your heart desires. Seat is COMFORTABLE. Drivetrain is sufficient, though some upgrades might be in order when the original stuff wears out. SRAM 7.0 shifts crisply. Bike accelerates like a bunny on speed! Sweet!
Excellent customer support from Rans when you call or e-mail them.

Weaknesses:    Initial chain grinding when new(remedied with derailleur adjustment); seat slippage (fixed with hose clamp); paint easy to chip (Rans provided touch up paint); problems with mesh seat back meeting seat pad (fixed on my own).

Bottom Line:   
This is my second (and BEST) recumbent, after owning a Rans V-Rex briefly. After coming back to "getting bent", I chose the Rocket. It was absolutely THE choice because of not only the fantastic price, but because it truly was much more fun to ride! "Sporty", "fast", "nimble", "light weight", "zippy", "responsive", "a climber", "comfortable"-all the terms used in previous reviews apply. Plus for me, the lower and slightly shorter frame of the Rocket (over the V-Rex) made for a bike that "fit me like a glove". It's lightweight (27lbs) and easy to store and transport. I use this baby for short recreational rides and I plan to max it out for some longer rides, perhaps even a tour or two. I no longer have to lust for my "dream bent"-I have it in the Rocket. All the hoopla about the "nix" to the 2 twenty inch wheels is just that: "hoopla". Don't you believe it! This bike is a BLAST! It almost carries itself forth-I coast and coast and coast on it and it just goes! What a joy, what a pleasure, what a FIND! Go get one. You won't regret it for one second!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Little Miami Bike Trail

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Jim's Bicycle Shop

Similar Products Used:   BikeE CT, AT, RX; Rans V-Rex; Lightning T-bolt (test rode all, owned a V-Rex).

Bike Setup:   Stock plus PowerGrips alternating with Speedplay Frogs, CatEye Mity 3 computer, CatEye Micro Halogen lights, seat bag, water bottle cages, frame pump. May get some fenders and a rack.

Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 5

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating