Bacchetta Bicycles Aero Recumbent Bike

5/5 (3 Reviews)

Product Description

Frame: 3/2.5 titanium Size: M Wheelbase: 47" Seat: M5 Carbon Seat Height: 23" Fork: Kinesis 650c Carbon AirFoil Weight: 22 lbs

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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by EZ Biker a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2005

Strengths:    Aerodynamic frame construction. Seat with adjustable recline positions. Lightweight as well, only about 23 lbs. This can vary + or – depending on the components (Same products as you use on road bikes) you outfit your bike with.

Weaknesses:    Aero frame does not allow the use of 700cc wheels.

Bottom Line:   
For recreational or serious cyclists looking to rediscover the PURE Pleasure of bicycling, the Bacchetta Aero allows you to do just that. If it's road bike performance you are looking for in a recumbent, the Aero is the ticket! The Aero allows you to achieve the ultimate in aerodynamic performance and do so comfortably! If you like to do long rides like centuries, being in the reclined position eliminates hand, arm and neck fatigue, while allowing unrestricted air flow to your lungs, which allows constant renewed oxygen to your bloodstream, resulting in consistent power output to your legs, which simply means continuous high performance! You also have a much wider viewing area without the need to constantly strain your neck to keep your head up. (Note: My bike is an 03, but that year was not available in the "What year is your bike")

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Favorite Ride:   03 Bacchetta Aero

Price Paid:    $3900.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Recumbent (Short wheel base) Vision R-40, R-45, P-38

Bike Setup:   03 Titanium Aero with FSA cranks, Velocity Spartacus Pro 650c, Continental tires, Sachs PC59 chain, Bacchetta Aluminum "Tweener" Aero Bar, Cat eye computer and Bacon shifters, carbon fiber seat and rear Bacchetta bag.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by DAcfalle a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2005

Strengths:    The main strength I've found in the Aero, is it's stability at both high & low speeds. I can ride up to a 4-way stop to an almost dead stop waiting for my turn w/o a hint of falling over, while still clicked into the pedals. During 30+MPH twisty decents, the Aero rolls thru like it's on rails screaming to go faster.

Weaknesses:    No weaknesses that I've found. Ok, maybe this: I'd like to see a fixed length set of larger diameter carbon fiber rear seat stays with a bridge between the stays to increase overall seat rigidity. Not that the stock setup is overly flexy, but it could be more rigid. But this just goes more towards asthetics & a little bit of weight savings.

Bottom Line:   
I have to keep this review brief, as yesterday I tried writing one & my AOL link crashed about an hour into writing. Back in July of last year I contacted Zach Kaplan to have him order an Aero for me. My primary reason for purchasing an Aero was I wanted to make my own conclusions between the ongoing debate as to which is faster a highracer or lowracer.

Prior to the Aero, I spent about 3 years riding a Dutch built Baron lowracer that was imported by the long since defunct Yellowbike. My observations are as follows.

Though the lowracer seems to have a distinct edge over absolute top speed in an all out sprint, I believe the Aero only falls about a few MPH short. Figuretively, I've maxed the Baron out a 50MPH on one of my downhills, but just recently maxed the Aero out at 44MPH. Not a huge difference, but at those speeds the Baron's aluminum frame seems to flex enough that I bounce up/down due to the high pedal cadence. The Aero's oversized titanium frame is rigid yet smooth.

Without getting into a discussion of aerodynamics as it relates to wheel diameter & rolling resistance, I believe the Aero with the twin 650c highracer format has a very useable blend of low rolling resistance & wind cheating aerodynamics. The lowracing Baron rides so much lower that the Aero that it is in a layer of air that is usually less turbulent thus wind drag is lower. But, the small 20"(406ERTO) front wheel has greater rolling resistance than a 650c wheel.

Inherent to the design of a lowracer, the riders legs & feet will at times overlap the front wheel. This restricts turing radius while pedalling. There is a bit of front wheel overlap on the Aero. It amounts to very seldomly hitting only the very rear portion of my shoes while pedalling thru a turn.

The Aero has an excellent blend of both high & low speed stability. In my opinion too, the Aero just looks cool. Rich Pinto hit the nail on the proverbial head when he designed this recumbent. The Aero’s design looks balanced, the seat & handlebar relationship looks balanced & in the right place. With it’s awesome looks, the ride fits - awesome.

As far as my comparison between highracer/lowracer goes, I can say this. When I go out on my training rides, I just can't get myself to ride my other 'bents & always select the Aero. I, like many people in the constant search for the nearly perfect bike, have found perfection in the Aero at least for now.

If you're reading this review, you're probably open enough to consider a bike that's different & willing to spend some money for an excellent product. You won't be sorry if you decide on an Aero. If you're in the Bay Area of California, contact Zach Kaplan in Alameda. He's always been a great help & is a recumbent specialist. I've not had alot of interaction with Bacchetta the company except for a few emails. Suffice it to say, if I'm ever out in Florida I want to visit the factory. Heck, I was even lapped twice by John Schlitter; he was riding an Aero, I was on my Baron. Does that say anything to you about the lowracer/highracer debate. In that race, Zach lapped me once also, he too was on an Aero. Bacchetta is a great company, I need to invest.

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Favorite Ride:   Bacchetta Aero

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Purchased At:   Zach Kaplan Cycles o

Similar Products Used:   Windcheetah trike from Altrincham, England
-front Streamer fairing

Dutch built Optima Baron lowracer
-running HED Deep aero wheels, no tailbox yet

Bike Setup:   My Aero is mostly stock with a few additions. I'm pedalling through Bebop pedals with a stock drivetrain. The SRAM Rocket Shorty shifters rock! I carry cargo in a Fastback Carbon slimbag that slides over the upper back portion of the stock M5 seat. Underneath the seat is tucked a Fastback waterbag for an M5 seat, which uses most 70 - 100 ounce water bladders. Just behind the handlebar to main frame tube junction is a "Bento Box" from TNi. It's a great little bag from the triathelete world that holds several energy gel packs, ID, & a cell phone.

The Sachs PC-59 chain shifts very well & runs smoothly on the Shimano drivetrain. I did switch the stock idler to a powerside over/under idler from TerraCycles. This idler runs the powerside of the chain over a 15t titanium cog. The idler spins on 2 ABEC7 bearings. I'd highly recommend an upgrade to this unit as it took the slight mushiness I felt out of the pedal stroke. That mushiness was inherent to the stock plastic idler.

Finally, my Aero rolls on HED3 trispoke aero wheels with Continental GP3000's. This is a straight up go-fast setup. The slight, & I mean less than 200 grams, increase in weight when I switched from the stock wheels set-up is nothing compared to aerodynamic benefit gained by the aero wheels. Not too mention, the HED3's look cool & I've always wanted a set since the "I can't afford anything college days".

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by JonnyD a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2004

Strengths:    Faster on flats. Much faster downhill. Very responsive handling. Feels like I'm flying, especially while banking into a turn. Generally more fun than a road bike. Gets lots of smiles and waves from people. Relaxing to ride. Did I mention just plain fun & fast?

Weaknesses:    Not inexpensive. Brakes are spongy due to really long cables and housings. Can't ride it with no hands or do a track stand. Not a low speed bike. Can't really sprint or stand up on the pedals to take a steep hill. Must drop inside leg to make a really tight, slow turn.
Dogs tend to chase me more on this bike than on my road bike. I must look like prey. Cannot be bought online at a discount. Dealer sales only. This is also a strength too of course. But I'm limited in the $$ dept. I had to sell my new ’04 Trek 5200 to pay for 2/3 of this bike!

Bottom Line:   
I feel like I’m flying! It's more fun than the road bikes I’ve ridden. ~10-15% faster with the same effort on flats.
I never imagined that I would own and ride a recumbent bike until I saw a similar dual 650 high racer on PCH near Seal Beach. Until then I had only seen old farts on long wheelbase ‘bents’ with Plexiglas windscreens and did not want a geriatric bike until I start watching re-runs of Lawrence Welk. After I saw “that bike” I got excited and looked into it. The rider was stretched out in an aero position on his back and his head was up at passenger car height where he could easily see and be seen. I demo'd an Aero at Richard's in Garden Grove and it felt a lot like my Airborne Zeppelin titanium road bike except it was a whole different ride and I knew it would take some careful fitting and getting used to.
I only have 200 miles in my first three weeks but I am already used to riding it at night (full lights and reflectors) and in traffic. I prefer long, smooth sections but I live in Long Beach and have to ride where they pave. It has turned out to be a very practical bike and not just a weekend only thoroughbred. I can ride it faster, farther and longer with the same or less effort than I can on any road bike. I get a fantastic view of the scenery and can look up at the stars at night. I feel better after I've ridden it. It always puts a smile on my face. It only took about four hours to get used to riding it. I can use the same Zero pedals and shoes as my road bike. I have had to strengthen my neck muscles to keep my head up without strain but that's been the biggest draw back. I'm not giving up on road bike. This bike fills a different niche but is far more versatile than I expected. It can be ridden in a pace line but I’d rather be on a road bike for that. I do most of my riding alone and it slices through the wind so well that I don’t mind not having someone to share the pulls.
I am the 3rd owner of this bike. The first owner had old neck injuries and eventually switched to another recumbent with a more upright seat. The 2nd owner never rode it due to the 215# rider limit.
If you want to know more see:

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Favorite Ride:   Palos Verdes Penninsula

Price Paid:    $2950.00

Purchased At:   Classified Ad

Similar Products Used:   One test ride on Rans V Formula which felt like spaghetti compared to the Aero. '04 Trek 5200 triple. '01 Airborne Zeppelin. Various other road and mountain bikes.

Bike Setup:   Mostly stock. FSA Carbon 32/44/55 in front. Ultegra 12-27 in back. XT RD. Ultegra FD. Velocity Sparticus Pros. Vredestein Fortezzas. Speedplay Zeros or M959 depending on which shoes I need to wear.

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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