The F-5 is Back for 2008 and with a new frame, new Hoagie seat in cro-mo steel, seat clamp, riser, bars, carbon fiber fork and lower price. New paint scheme in flashy two-color innovative powder coat of Bullet Silver and Blue. The new F-5 represents one of the best bargains in a high performance ride.
Strengths: Great overall value (for a recumbent). Sleek, high quality paint job. Component quality is adequate for a variety of purposes. Weight is relatively light for a recumbent (26 lbs). Nice price point to get started with recumbents. High racer design is stable at lower speeds. Super fun to ride and very comfortable.
Weaknesses: The SRAM X.5 rear shifter seems to need frequent adjustment. I can barely go for more than a week without having to fiddle with these. Price is not competitive with equivalently spec'd uprights (I'd estimate that an upright with these components would be about an $800 bike). The position of the rear brake cable boss is odd. It forces the cable into a corkscrew position which results in some tension in the rear brake line. This makes rear braking feel stiff. They ought to really fix this in future models but I see they're using the same line in the 2009 models.
I love riding this bike. It is my first recumbent. After riding recumbents, I know that, for the most part, I will never go back to uprights. Because of this bike, I took on my first century ride. I'd never even consider doing that on an upright -- too uncomfortable. For the record, I'm 36 and not coming to recumbents due to any injury; I just think the monotube highracers look cool! I like the sleek look f this bike. Because these are limited production bikes, I'd say you're paying a 50% premium over an upright roadie given the component quality. However, if you can get beyond that, you're in for a real treat. For longish, back country rides exceeding 20 miles, you'll really notice the benefits.