Rotator Tiger, owners opinions sought

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by nodiak, Apr 19, 2003.

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  1. nodiak

    nodiak New Member

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    Howdy, I'd like to hear how you like the bike. I've done a short ride on one and get to ride it a few more times this week, this one has a 39" wheelbase (whoa) still handles well, smooth on the road (passive susp. in frame?), and is really well made. Will get to adjust it to me (5'9". 31 inseam,43 xseam) as best as possible and ride about 10 miles a couple days this week, but that will be it, will gladly comment in this thread after. Do any of you long term owners want to comment (or anyone else with experience of course), particularly about longer rides (centuries, tours), I think it would be great around town with short wb and quick 20" wheels. The midrive seems interesting, how well does it serve the purpose? I've thought it would be cool to make a stretched one, 44-46" wheelbase maybe. TIA,Don
     
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  2. John Shade

    John Shade Guest

    > Howdy, I'd like to hear how you like the bike.
    Sorry for the long post. This is going to be my second full season riding the Tiger. I am very
    impressed with this bike, and am in the process of selling my LWB, because I don't think I need it
    anymore. I put about 1200 miles on the bike last year. I am a recreational/touring type rider, and
    have done many rides of more than 50 miles, but have not done a century--my longest single day ride
    (77 miles) came during a 5 day supported tour in which we covered 300 miles. I originally bought the
    bike knowing I was going to do that tour. I had never ridden any multi-day ride before last year,
    and I wanted a comfortable bike that gave me a large gear range to give me the flexibility to deal
    with a variety of terrain. I am not the strongest rider in the world--my previous 4 years of
    recumbent riding convinced me that I personally need a lot of low end gearing if I am going to lug
    25-30 lbs of stuff up a hill with me. Secondly I wanted a SWB because I can balance a SWB more
    easily at very low speeds (it's that climbing thing again). Lastly, I did not want a suspension. My
    experience with many of the other bikes on the market was as good as the seat bases were--I felt the
    road more on seats like the Rans seat. I have lower back problems, and it just seemed to me that I
    was more tender after riding 50 miles on those seats than on full frame mesh seats, or other designs
    where there is no seat pan (Linear and Vision come to mind). It feels to me that the seats help in
    the shock absorbing process more than a seat with a cushion on a pan.

    This bike has delivered everything I could ask for. It is comfortable--I am about 20% faster on this
    bike than on my LWB. The components have been bullet proof. My experience with derailleurs is that
    rear ones shift faster and more reliably than front ones, so 2 rear ones are just fine. I have used
    almost the full range--I have used the granny gear to climb at speeds as low as 2.5 mph. I have not
    spun the bike out--I think I have been as fast at 45mph, but I don't have the nerve to go any
    faster. The reason I don't know the speed is that my cyclometer stopped displaying the speed after
    35mph. However, the only person that passed me on that descent had a recorded speed of 50mph.

    Things to consider--I am currently looking at building my own set of custom panniers that hang more
    forward on the bike. I have full panniers on a rear rack. The only problem with this arrangement, is
    the handling of the bike is affected when they are fully loaded. I would like to have the panniers
    attach to the seat brace. This will shift the weight forward when fully loaded which I think will
    restore the handling. I have found no one that makes a bag that can easily be adapted to this use (I
    have investigated the Radical bags, and anything else that looked interesting).

    I am also considering modifying the bar arrangement. I am 5'8" tall--in the current configuration,
    the bars do partially block my vision. I have ridden enough miles that I have become used to it. I
    have been talking with the guys at Calhoun Cycle, and they say that have done a modification for a
    different rider that can lower the bars.

    Regards,
     
  3. Bentrider

    Bentrider Guest

    We did a long term test a couple of years go so I lived with the bike for about a month. Nice little
    machine. I LOVE the Rotator seat. I was also impressed by the weight of the bike. For some reason
    this didn't translate into fast climbing times though. Not bad, just not as good as I thought it
    would be. It does have a TON of gears though, so it's really not of too much concern. For some
    reason I just climb better on the Pursuit. The handling was quick, but not in a bad way. The
    handlebars can be a bit quirky fit-wise, but I guess you already know that you fit the bike.

    Bryan J. Ball www.bentrider.com
     
  4. Hillel

    Hillel Guest

    "nodiak" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Howdy, I'd like to hear how you like the bike. I've done a short ride on one and get to ride it a
    > few more times this week, this one has a 39" wheelbase (whoa) still handles well, smooth on the
    > road (passive susp. in frame?), and is really well made. Will get to adjust it to me (5'9". 31
    > inseam,43 xseam) as best as possible and ride about 10 miles a couple days this week, but that
    > will be it, will gladly comment in this thread after. Do any of you long term owners want to
    > comment (or anyone else with experience of course), particularly about longer rides (centuries,
    > tours), I think it would be great around town with short wb and quick 20" wheels. The midrive
    > seems interesting, how well does it serve the purpose? I've thought it would be cool to make a
    > stretched one, 44-46" wheelbase maybe. TIA,Don

    Are you sure you checked the wheelbase right? They list a 42" wheelbase on their web site, but that
    could vary with the frame size (there are 3 sizes). I have a medium frame with the 42" wheelbase,
    and I am 5'8" with a 40.5" x-seam. I have the seat right on top of the mid-drive, and I can put both
    feet down very comfortably. If you want a slightly longer wheelbase, you might want to check if the
    large frame size has a different wheelbase.

    I have been playing around with it since last fall, but only started commuting (9 mi each way) with
    it every day for a couple weeks now. I finally got a RANS rear rack on it this week instead of the
    gym bag I had tied to the back until now. It is about as low as I would be comfortable riding in
    rush hour traffic (any lower means sucking SUV tailpipes :p ). The mid-drive is great for finding
    the right gear, and I have a bad history with front derailleurs. The maneuverability is excellent
    when commuting in some potentially very stupid situations.

    It supposedly has passive suspension in the rear stays and the shock cord-laced seat bottom. The
    small wheels still scare me a bit on wide bridge seams and poorly kept rail crossings, as I had some
    bad flats with the front wheel on the Horizon, but the weight distribution is more even between the
    wheels on the Tiger, and I haven't felt it take any hits that hard.

    I am hoping to take some longer rides in the near future. Hopefully, this bike will go on the
    Emerald Necklace century this summer.

    Enjoy, ---Hillel
     
  5. Hillel

    Hillel Guest

    "John Shade" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]google.com...
    >
    > ...
    >
    > I am also considering modifying the bar arrangement. I am 5'8" tall--in the current configuration,
    > the bars do partially block my vision. I have ridden enough miles that I have become used to it. I
    > have been talking with the guys at Calhoun Cycle, and they say that have done a modification for a
    > different rider that can lower the bars.

    If you have enough leg clearance with the bar, I think the standard modification to lower it
    involves a hacksaw. :)
     
  6. Tiger Cub

    Tiger Cub Guest

    I love mine, it accelerates well, handles well, isn't too big, can be laid back very aero, and is
    comfy beyond words! Mid drive is great, I hate front derailleurs, and on my two mtn bikes, neither
    goes in the granny lately. This allows small wheels, which is lowers the bike a lot. I noticed once
    that I sit the same height as a woman driving in a Mazda Miata.

    Rotator has a flair for creating simple and light design solutions for the various structural
    challenges of a recumbent bike. I don't mind the hose clamps, except for water bottles. In related
    news I am in the process of sewing on a sleeve on the back of the seat for a camelbak.

    After my hardest longest ride last summer, the seat was still very comfortable, something I would
    never say about my upright bikes.

    I took a MEC rear-rack bag (sits on top of rack) and sewed two loops on it and hang it from the tops
    of the seat frame.

    Tiger

    PS Did I mention Mid-drive is amazing?
     
  7. nodiak

    nodiak New Member

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    This little bike is really intriguing to me. Rides full size but manuevers and stores so easy. 65-70% rear weighted, which feels fine surprisingly, great control except the h'bars are knee knockers for me (my Bacchetta bars would give more room, but these are styley!). A lot of trail, rides like street motorcycle, a little flop slow, but dead on at speed. Really like the incremental gearing w/ midrive, instead of chunks of gears with chainrings. The owner of this Tiger I'm baysitting this week has seat bound to rack and an artistic basket, no adjustments possible, so will put my seat on it, too bad can't give Rot. seat a long try. Yes, 39" wheelbase, wow, must be a small. My (almost) 12 y.o. son will try it tomorrow, will be helpful in learning what fits him...for a short while (growing very fast). John, can you rig some weight up front near headtube or under boom?-tools, dense stuff, food, etc. Thanks for the replies, I could see this as a very satisfying bike to own, esp. for those of us into small, simple gear. Don
     
  8. Mick

    Mick Guest

    I owned a Titanium Tiger for over 2 years and just recently sold it to a very good friend that
    frequently rides with me. The reason for selling is I wanted to try a Bacchetta Aero and I needed
    garage space. I absolutely loved the bike. It is fast, comfortable and sporty. It feels like a
    sportscar compared to a pickup truck when you compare it to most long wheelbase models. The
    mid-drive is flawless and the welds were superb.

    The bike is an exceptional example of funtion and design working flawlessly together. The bike had
    some custom twists like Rotator made custom handlebar and Titanium seat. Heck I better quit writing
    about the Ti-Tiger I'm starting to miss it.

    BentMick
     
  9. Hillel

    Hillel Guest

    "nodiak" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > This little bike is really intriguing to me. Rides full size but manuevers and stores so easy.
    > 65-70% rear weighted, which feels fine surprisingly, great control except the h'bars are knee
    > knockers for me (my Bacchetta bars would give more room, but these are styley!). A lot of trail,
    > rides like street motorcycle, a little flop slow, but dead on at speed. Really like the
    > incremental gearing w/ midrive, instead of chunks of gears with chainrings. The owner of this
    > Tiger I'm baysitting this week has seat bound to rack and an artistic basket, no adjustments
    > possible, so will put my seat on it, too bad can't give Rot. seat a long try. Yes, 39" wheelbase,
    > wow, must be a small. My (almost) 12 y.o. son will try it tomorrow, will be helpful in learning
    > what fits him...for a short while (growing very fast). John, can you rig some weight up front near
    > headtube or under boom?-tools, dense stuff, food, etc. Thanks for the replies, I could see this as
    > a very satisfying bike to own, esp. for those of us into small, simple gear. Don
    >

    Seems like you want to balance more weight up front. The weight is only so much on the back because
    you are using a frame size that is too small for you, so you have to put the seat all the way back.
    AFAIK the bike is designed to have a 50/50 weight distribution when fit properly.
     
  10. John Shade

    John Shade Guest

    Don,
    >
    > John, can you rig some weight up front near headtube or under boom?-tools, dense stuff, food, etc.
    Already thought about that solution. When I load up, I would need a lot of weight on the front of
    the bike. Most of the stuff I tried is not heavy enough to make a noticeable difference (tools,
    water....). I even considered just adding 10lbs of ballast. In the end, it seemed better to build
    some panniers that hang down under the seat. That will place the bulk of the weight between the
    wheels, without adding any non-productive weight.
     
  11. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (John Shade) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Don,
    > >
    > > John, can you rig some weight up front near headtube or under boom?-tools, dense stuff,
    > > food, etc.
    > Already thought about that solution. When I load up, I would need a lot of weight on the front of
    > the bike. Most of the stuff I tried is not heavy enough to make a noticeable difference (tools,
    > water....). I even considered just adding 10lbs of ballast. In the end, it seemed better to build
    > some panniers that hang down under the seat. That will place the bulk of the weight between the
    > wheels, without adding any non-productive weight.

    Sounds like you want some of the ERRC Easy Reacher panniers and rack:
    http://www.geocities.com/e_r_r_c/lloonngg.jpg http://www.terracycle.com/easy_reacher.htm . These are
    meant for Easy Racer bikes, but the rack has plenty of adaptability built into it.

    Jeff
     
  12. nodiak

    nodiak New Member

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    Set the Tiger up for my son today. he's 5 ft. tall, 28" inseam. Didn't work too well tho. Main problems are the 175mm cranks send his knees up too high hitting the bars (adjusted them up a little which helped) and the steering system needed to adj. forward to give him more reach. He was just too jammed up to ride well. Didn't have time to put our 152mm cranks on as would need to switch bb too, same with changing riser/stem/bars. Still the bikes proportions are good for him, weight dist. was 55% rear. Nice to see him on a bent more his size for once. He liked the midrive shifting too. He got it up to speed for a few minutes but the fit problems were discouraging. Anyway got some measurements of him on it and a better idea of a homebuilt for him. It was good to learn something (says the dad). Of course he still wants a Taifun (darn pictures) and there's a chance of us scoring a frame this summer, even tho the boom is longer and he'll be front weighted on it-but passion and a young body will certainly overwhelm any fit problems! Don
     
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