Performance Performer FWD folding lowracer Recumbent Bike

Performance Performer FWD folding lowracer Recumbent Bike 


Recumbent twin 406 (20 inch) front wheel drive low racer with break apart frame.


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[Apr 08, 2010]
Recreational Rider


Fast, good climber, excellent value and quality


Like all FWD, the idler is in close proximity to the riders thigh.
Ride is very firm and bike benefits from adding elastomers under seat

The Performer Low Racer is a fast 20x20 recumbent with similar geometry to other well know low racers like the Optima Baron - except that this bike has front wheel drive.

This bike splits for easy travel. There's a clever alignment bolt and two clamp bolts. Undo those, flip the seat off using the Q/R's and unscrew the rear brake splitter and you have two unicycles - very compact.

The finish is as good or better than any of the half dozen bikes I've bought - and usually sold! It's cheap in price, but not in finish and the front mech is Shimano 105 which I consider an excellent race entry groupo.

So how did it go?

Rather excellently! It IS undergeared. I knew that. The GI is 82.5 at the top compared to 118 for a DF. This didn't stop me maintaining 30 kph plus on the flat with a side wind. This little bike is like a greased pig downhill and climbs exceptionally well because ...wait for it.... THERE IS NO DISCERNIBLE FLEX IN THE BB. Every other stick bike I've owned has had flex of between 8 and 12 mm. Please feel free to argue among yourselves as to what effect this has, but I think it's a power robbing BAAAD thing.

You are not aware of the FWD except at low speeds and then only if you accelerate sharply - which this bike will do. It seems odd that there's no chain interference from the twisting chain setup when riding because as soon as you walk the bike, you'll feel the chain rub the front tyre. While riding, the steering angle never changes enough to cause a problem. I had no chainline issues. The large power idler uses an 'O' ring which it will chew up and digest at regular intervals. Terracycle will assist you if you feel it's a problem.

The Innova tyres seem fine and handled the rough chipseal very well. With 406 wheels you've got lots of choices for tyres, including Scorchers and Duranos - two of my favourites.

The seat angle is about 20 degrees. The bike comes with a head rest and Glory Be it actually works - now there's a first! I rested my helmet back against it and my eyeballs didn't vibrate.

The handling felt very tillerish at first. A bit teeter/totter - but this was my first ride and after about 5 miles, it started to feel smoother. At speed everything firmed up. Buyers may want to trim the stem to get the handlebars away from the aero aid...sorry stomach...

Braking was the best I've experienced. The Avid BB5's pull the bike up as hard as you want right up to wheel lockup and there's no grabbing. The modulation is excellent.

There's got to be a catch and there is. The power idler says hello to your thigh unless you've got very thin legs. There may even be some impromptu depilation so it's suggested that you wear longs or shave the inside of the leg. I'm going to fit pedal extenders to ease that issue.

If you're looking for a low racer that's a bit different and incredible value for money, look no farther. Performer.

Similar Products Used:

Lightning P-38
Optima Raptor
RANS Rocket
Challenge Seiran SL
Optima Lynx

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