Rans Recumbents Rocket Older Recumbent Bike

Rans Recumbents Rocket Older Recumbent Bike 

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.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 18  
[Feb 07, 2015]
Dan
Recreational Rider

Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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).

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.

Similar Products Used:

V-Rex, Rans Enduro 26 and Burley Koosah

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 06, 2008]
mldart
Commuter

Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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

Similar Products Used:

none

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 19, 2007]
Mark Ralston
Recreational Rider

Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

BikeE CT for five years. No comparison.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 20, 2002]
Mike Warner
Recreational Rider

Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 10, 2002]
Scootems
Recreational Rider

Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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).

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!

Similar Products Used:

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

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 13, 2001]
D. Gunning
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Very comfortable ride ,the steering is very steady. The bike really flies up hills and seems to coast forever. Seems faster than my Vision R40. I like the light weight, easier to lift onto bike rack.

Weakness:

The grip shifters seemed very stiff hard to break in. The top of my seat was fraying so used some sew no more glue to stop fraying. I noticed alot of staining from sweat on other rans seat covers so made my own out of black fleece. No problems since.

This is a great bike to ride,very enjoyable.I wish the adjustment for the seat was easier. That's the biggest problem I've had with it. I like the seat ajustability of the Vivo. Nice if the rocket were the same. I'd highly recommend this bike for the money you can't go wrong.

Similar Products Used:

V-rex, Easy 1 rider, Vision R40, Lightning P38 Tour easy Tailwind

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 20, 2001]
Shawn Conrad
Recreational Rider

Strength:

This bike is very easy to ride coming from the traditional style bikes. I tried the Burley Hepcat, Bike E, and ..... something else (slips my mind now) at a local bike show but loved the feel of the Rocket instantly. Also, this bike is FAST!

Weakness:

Well, one noticable weakness was when I hit my first few bumps and realized I just have to avoid them or endure them. Although the seat is VERY comfortable, these city street bumps are hectic! It had me thinking well ... one day I give the Rocket to my wife and move on to the Rans Vivo. My wife loves riding my bike although she got a Dahon Boardwalk fold-up just before I got my Rocket ... so we switch a lot.
Also, (I heard about this one before) my seat may have slid back ever so slightly somehow.
Lastly, I fully understand that it's not so easy to make sharp turns on this bike (or maybe other recumbents as well) due to balance issues and in my case the brake cables on the left side of the frame allow my to turn the handle bars but so much on left (sharp) turns. I must say though that "sharp turn" stuff goes un-noticed when riding normal distances or paths. It's only noticable trying to turn a small sidewalk street corner.

The one thing that totally slipped my mind with buying a recumbent was I didn't realize how much attention I would get.
I lived in an area that is traffic intense and that can get very urban every few miles or so. So as I ride I get comments from almost everyone who see's me passing by. People in cars, busses, kids, etc... stop what their doing to drop their jaw and watch me speed by. I'm wondering how long do I have to put up with that kind of attention (it's not so easy). Probally for as long as I own the bike, right?
This bike is the perfect size. We actually keep it in our one bedroom apartment for the summer with no problem. The color is just awesome. My wife says I look like Inspector Gadget or James Bond when I'm riding ... cool!
Now we're just looking for a cool bike rack for our bike:
Sportworks makes a nice rear mounting rack for recumbent and any other style bike you may own (well see).

Similar Products Used:

I always knew I wanted underseat steering but when I road the different recumbent at the bike show and found that there was so much difficulty with balance (over-seat steering) I changed my mind - underseat would be asking for trouble. This because my area is traffic intense and I know I'd be riding the street sometimes as well as paths.
I also knew that I wanted the larger wheel in the back set-up but that all went away when I felt the ease and comfort of the Rocket (AND read these reviews).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 15, 2000]
Mike Roy
Commuter

Strength:

1) Excellent seat comfort. Lots of adjustment in seat position. 2)Same for the handlebars. 3)Love those dual 20" wheels. Makes for great handling and a fun ride. 3) 24 speeds. I like the grip shifters. 4)Heel strike is almost non existent (unlike some other SWB recumbents).

Weakness:

None I can think of.

Very comfortable bike, and an absolute blast to ride! Makes commuting to work fun. Very "sporty" handling. I think is would also be comfortable for longer rides and touring. The combination of dual 20" wheels, lower seating position and lighter weight make this bike special.

Similar Products Used:

RANS V-Rex; BikeE CT.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 07, 2000]
Keith
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Spirited ride, good acceleration, climbing and handling

Weakness:

Gear range is narrow due to 20" rear wheel

I wanted performance like my aluminum road bike and the Rocket came as close as I could find. The V-Rex was right there with it but it came down to the sharpness of handling of the Rocket. I was surprised to find that I climb hills better than ever but above every other consideration is the comfort level of this performance ride.

Similar Products Used:

V-Rex, Presto, Bike E

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 21, 2000]
Michael
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Very comfortable seat. Responsive due in part to high bottom bracket. Optional front shock helps keep things stable on rough roads. Quick steering.

Weakness:

Wish the decals were better protected. Biggest weakness -- many serious upright riders seem to have an attitude problem toward recumbents, as if they're an affront to their way of life. This makes me want to work out more so I can fly by 'em.

This bike really makes me want to get out and ride and never stop riding. It's extremely comfortable. The front shock I opted for was a good choice because of the very short frame -- when I hit a big bump I don't worry about losing any steering control as I think I might have with the standard fork. But I was feeling a contrast between the smooth front and rough rear, so I went to a wider rear tire to get more shock absorption. Yeah, maybe I lose a tiny bit of speed, but I'm more comfortable.

I think the higher bracket allows you to get more power out of the bike than an equivalent lower-bracket model, such as BikeE and Vision. A new rider may need a bit more time to adjust to the Rocket than a BikeE, but only about half an hour. Once done, I think you've got a more rewarding machine.

Similar Products Used:

BikeE. Rans Tailwind. Rans V-Rex. Vision R-40.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 18  

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