Rans Tailwind - Comments on Tailwind and Suggested Upgrades

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Ed, Apr 5, 2003.

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  1. Ed

    Ed Guest

    I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike. In
    addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better. Depending
    on costs, I may have some upgrades done at the time of purchase so... I will need to know what items
    to replace upfront to get the most bang for the buck.

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
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  2. Rix

    Rix Guest

    If you or anyone you know is upgrading the Tailwind, here is my offer of a fairing for sale.
    Tailwind is a great bent.

    Slightly used Windwrap Fairing for Rans Tailwind. Also fits 20" Front wheel Wave and Gliss,
    according to the maker. I have used it only a few times on a 2000 Tailwind. Email for pix of it on
    my bike. Complete factory hardware for large or small Rans steering tubes and complete instructions.
    $235.00 plus shipping or pick up in Arizona!
     
  3. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Ed wrote:
    >
    > I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike. In
    > addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better.
    > Depending on costs, I may have some upgrades done at the time of purchase so... I will need to
    > know what items to replace upfront to get the most bang for the buck.

    Ed,

    First of all it is a RANS Tailwind. ;)

    One concern with a stock Tailwind is the gearing range. The gearing is fine for central Illinois or
    Kansas, but many people will find the lowest gear too high for steep hills. My suggest would be for
    lower overall gearing and coasting on high speed downhills if necessary, or equipping the bike with
    a SRAM DualDrive hub for wider range gearing.

    The second concern is the bike is best for shorter riders. If you find the seat is very close to the
    end of its travel, I would suggest seriously considering the SWB RANS Rocket instead or spending
    $400 more for the XL size RANS Velocity Squared.

    To make a Tailwind really fast, use a front fairing and a bodysock. See <
    http://www.ransbikes.com/Gallery/Archive/Sherman.htm > for an example.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  4. Leroy

    Leroy Guest

    Ed,

    The Tailwind is a great recumbent, and an excellent value for the money. I bought a 2002 model and
    really like it. It's my understanding the 2003 models have SRAM 5 components and a lower price
    ($899.00?), whereas the previous models had SRAM 7's. A 2003 would still be a good deal, and you
    could always upgrade components later if you felt the need. I also have four other recumbents (EZ-1
    SC Lite, EZ Sport Ltd., RANS V-Rex,and RANS Rocket)to compare it to. The Tailwind is my latest
    addition. When I bought it, I had no intention of buying another 'bent. I was just testing riding
    bikes to kill some time. Fell in love with the Tailwind and had to bring it home. The wife thought I
    was nuts. Currently I ride the Tailwind more than the others put together.

    My suggestion would be to ride the Tailwind for awhile before making upgrades. I put a flashing
    taillight on mine, toe clips and staps, and a mirror. It came with a kickstand (it was the dealer's
    demo model.) Otherwise my Tailwind is stock, and I like it that way. I've thought about adding a
    fairing, but haven't convinced myself to do so yet. Fairings are OK (I have one on my winter
    commuting 'bent), but they have drawbacks, too - one of them being the high price.
     
  5. R2D2

    R2D2 New Member

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    The Tailwind is just one of the nicest bikes to ride. Comfortable and forgiving are two adjectives that immediately come to mind. It's also a superb beginner's bike.

    Two upgrades I'd recommend are clipless pedals and a pair of Continental Grand Prix 406mm tires. You will increase your average cruising speed by about 2 MPH. These tires do get a little squirrely off-road on long wheelbase bikes though. (although the Tailwind is considered a compact LWB).

    The large RANS seatback bag is also very nice.

    I'd have to respectfully disagree with Tom regarding hill climbing though (unless he's talking about real monsters - more than I care to tackle). 25 gear-inches is a pretty standard low-end, and I never had any trouble on even steep hills myself as far as gearing goes.

    On the other hand, if you switched to smaller chainrings, I would be afraid of running out of gear at the top end going downhill. (but as Tom said, you could coast). Keep in mind that the huge chainrings offset the smaller diameter rear drive wheel.

    The Rocket has the exact same gear range, and the Velocity Squared gives you a little more on each end.
    You will love the comfort and view, no matter which bike you buy!
    :D

    R2
     
  6. Rocketman58

    Rocketman58 Guest

    I have owned a number of bents over the last decade. The one I owned the longest was the Tailwind.
    It was a 1999 model. By the time I decided to sell it (a bad decision) I had upgraded almost
    everything.

    The older models (99 to 2002) had marginal quality cranks and poor quality bottom braket bearings.
    While the cranks were ok, the bearings needed replacing. A Shimano UN72 model can be had for about
    $20. It makes a huge improvement. Gearing is also a big problem if you live in the hills (like I
    do). I also did not care for the grip shift due to a wrist problem I have. So, I upgraded the
    drivetrain to a 9speed with a 12 thru 34 tooth rear cassette. I'm not sure if there is an 8 speed
    cassette with this range. I also swapped out the small 42 tooth ring up front with a 38 tooth. The
    final upgrade was a good set of light wheels with SRAM 9.0 sealed bearing hubs and slick Comp Pool
    tires. These increased my overall speed quite a bit.

    Rocketman58

    [email protected] (Ed) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike. In
    > addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better.
    > Depending on costs, I may have some upgrades done at the time of purchase so... I will need to
    > know what items to replace upfront to get the most bang for the buck.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Ed
     
  7. Marci Taylor

    Marci Taylor Guest

    [email protected] (Ed) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike. In
    > addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better.
    > Depending on costs, I may have some upgrades done at the time of purchase so... I will need to
    > know what items to replace upfront to get the most bang for the buck.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Ed

    Hi Ed: You just can't go wrong with the tailwind. I have owned over 20 different recumbents and I am
    now riding a tailwind and have been for about 8 months now (which is a long time for me). I have a
    very modified tailwind. We turned it into a 26" rear wheel and a 451mm 20inch front wheel. It has
    the front fairing and HED wheels front and rear. I also switched out all the cheap stuff and
    replaced it with Ultegra, and sram 9.0sl shifters/rear derailleur. The large rear wheel fixes the
    gear range problem. It's a real nice bike and I like it better overall than I did my Gold rush
    replica or my V2. I would be happy to email you a picture if you like. Its a 2002 so it's that
    "flash red" color which is the best that they ever had on the tailwind in my opinion. I have about
    3,000. into my tailwind and it's worth every cent. Marci
     
  8. R2D2

    R2D2 New Member

    Joined:
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    Thanks for reminding me Rocketman'
    I forgot that I had swapped out the BB for a UN72 immediately upon purchasing the bike. The UN72 gives you so much bang for the buck!

    R2




     
  9. Edward Dolan

    Edward Dolan Guest

    Tom Sherman <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Ed wrote:
    > >
    > > I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike.
    > > In addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better.
    > > Depending on costs, I may have some upgrades done at the time of purchase so... I will need to
    > > know what items to replace upfront to get the most bang for the buck.
    >
    > Ed,
    >
    > First of all it is a RANS Tailwind. ;)
    >
    > One concern with a stock Tailwind is the gearing range. The gearing is fine for central Illinois
    > or Kansas, but many people will find the lowest gear too high for steep hills. My suggest would be
    > for lower overall gearing and coasting on high speed downhills if necessary, or equipping the bike
    > with a SRAM DualDrive hub for wider range gearing.
    >
    > The second concern is the bike is best for shorter riders. If you find the seat is very close to
    > the end of its travel, I would suggest seriously considering the SWB RANS Rocket instead or
    > spending $400 more for the XL size RANS Velocity Squared.
    >
    > To make a Tailwind really fast, use a front fairing and a bodysock. See <
    > http://www.ransbikes.com/Gallery/Archive/Sherman.htm > for an example.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)

    Why would you recommend a short wheel base for someone who is considering a long wheel base? The
    difference between the two configurations is the difference between night and day. If the
    admitedly one size Tailwind does not fit all, then the V2 is an excellent way to go. The V2 has a
    slightly higher crank (I consider the Tailwind to have the perfect relationship of seat height to
    crank height) which can effect handling adversely to some extent. I have one of the very early
    Tailwinds which fortunately fit my 6' size although even so there is a slight too much weight over
    the rear wheel.

    It does not matter in the least whether the company which manufactures these bikes is referred to as
    RANS or Rans.

    Ed Dolan - Minnesota
     
  10. Mikael

    Mikael Guest

    [email protected] (Ed) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike. In
    > addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better.
    > Depending on costs, I may have some upgrades done at the time of purchase so... I will need to
    > know what items to replace upfront to get the most bang for the buck.

    If you havent already bought one Hostel Shoppe has 2002-models on sale for 769 usd.
    http://www.hostelshoppe.com/cgi-bin/readitem.pl?Bike=984254235

    M.
     
  11. Txairdvr

    Txairdvr Guest

    Just bought a Tailwind as my first recumbent. I looked at just about every popular bent out there
    and settled on the Tailwind because -

    price - everyone in the know that I spoke with agreed that the Tailwind is about as big of a bang
    for the buck as you'll get for under a grand.

    configuration - the long wheelbase seems easier to get used to than shorter ones and the sitting and
    handlebar positions are very comfortable. LOVE the heavily padded seat too. First ride was a 50
    miler that was like a ride around the block.

    quality - even though the Tailwind is at the low end of the model spectrum for RANS, it is very well
    engineered and built. Looking at all the models also indicates that some of the engineering that
    goes into RANS higher end models is also incorperated into the Tailwind.

    As for upgrades, I would have to put a fairing high on the list. Given how much more efficient the
    bent is compared to my old ass spike, I am really looking forward to seeing how it does with a
    fairing. Only one problem though. This thing is so easy to ride at my partners pace, what am I going
    to do for excersize now?

    Chuck Akers Houston, Texas

    p.s. see ya'll at the MS150 this weekend!!

    > I am considering the purchase of a Rans Tailwind and would welcome owners comments on the bike. In
    > addition, I would welcome comments concerning suggested upgrades to make the bike better.
     
  12. Bandjhughes

    Bandjhughes Guest

    > As for upgrades, I would have to put a fairing high on the list. Given how much more efficient the
    > bent is compared to my old ass spike, I am really looking forward to seeing how it does with a
    > fairing. Only one problem though. This thing is so easy to ride at my partners pace, what am I
    > going to do for excersize now?
    >

    I rode my Tailwind without a fairing for about 1000 miles (keeping a log), and then put on a fairing
    and have about 700 miles with it (also keeping a log). Results: my overall average speed was 0.71
    mph faster with a fairing. Not exactly the 2+ mph improvement I was expecting and commonly
    advertised.

    However, my unfaired miles were all during the warm weather season. And I put the fairing on last
    Fall when the weather turned cold and rode it all winter (even when the temperature was far below
    freezing). I'm not as fast when it's cold. So I still haven't compared apples to apples. BTW, the
    fairing was an improvement in comfort when riding in the cold.

    Brian Tailwind & V-Rex
     
  13. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    bandjhughes wrote:
    > ... However, my unfaired miles were all during the warm weather season. And I put the fairing on
    > last Fall when the weather turned cold and rode it all winter (even when the temperature was far
    > below freezing). I'm not as fast when it's cold. So I still haven't compared apples to apples.
    > BTW, the fairing was an improvement in comfort when riding in the cold.

    All else being equal, the bike will be slower in colder temperatures due to increased aerodynamic
    drag from the more dense air.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  14. Txairdvr

    Txairdvr Guest

    I think when it's all said and done, you'll get something worth talking about in increased averages
    using the fairing. Would love to hear more as you find out (please send an e-mail update). As for
    the Tailwind comments, I have found this bike to be more and more user friendly and consumer worthy
    as I get it ready for 180 miles over 2 days for the Houston to Austin MS150.

    recently bent,

    Chuck Akers Houston, TX

    > I rode my Tailwind without a fairing for about 1000 miles (keeping a log), and then put on a
    > fairing and have about 700 miles with it (also keeping a log). Results: my overall average speed
    > was 0.71 mph faster with a fairing. Not exactly the 2+ mph improvement I was expecting and
    > commonly advertised.
    >
    > However, my unfaired miles were all during the warm weather season. And I put the fairing on last
    > Fall when the weather turned cold and rode it all winter (even when the temperature was far below
    > freezing). I'm not as fast when it's cold. So I still haven't compared apples to apples. BTW, the
    > fairing was an improvement in comfort when riding in the cold.
     
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