The Longbikes Slipstream and Eliminator Recumbents
The Longbikes Slipstream and Eliminator recumbents were new models in
2000. The Eliminator was a fresh design while the Slipstream borrowed
from the Ryan Vanguard design, which derived form the 1980 Avatar 2000.
Like all Longbikes recumbents the Slipstream and Eliminator are very
well built, with extremely high quality fittings & hardware. The frame
and manufacturing detail is over done, which is great. They are both
available primarily with Under Seat Steering (USS.) Longbikes has a
hi-tech background and deserves its excellent reputation for quality.
They both use the Longbikes full mesh seats, similar to the Haluzak seat
but more comfortable. Full mesh seats are OK but they are not my
favorite. Larger riders tend to like full mesh seats better. In 2003
Longbikes came out with a new adjustable angle - folding seat design. It
allows you to adjust the angle between the seat base and back to fine
tune your comfort. It also folds for transport.
Longbikes overbuilds their bikes. The frames are overbuilt, giving
rigid-very predictable handling. Their machining detail is excellent. An
example of this is the seat struts. They are machined out of solid
aluminum rods making them a bit heavier that other struts. I'd never
seen a seat strut break till RANS came out with the cut away ends in
2003, I’ll be amazed if I ever see a broken Longbikes seat strut. The
front USS handlebars are extremely adjustable, even the bar ends can
even adjust in and out to your preference. These bar ends may move side
to side a bit, an annoyance but they do not move forward and back on the
handlebars, which would be unsafe. This may be remedied on the 2004
models (which should arrive any day.) The hand position is excellent,
better than on the old Vision USS recumbents.
The finish on Longbikes is excellent. Smooth welds, unique, replaceable,
bombproof dropouts, flawless glossy paint, and finely detailed and
finished machined parts combine to give an overall appearance that is
beautiful. I have seen a lot of recumbents few are finished this well.
the seats aren’t as nice as the RANS seats but are pretty comfortable.
Because they have an unpadded mesh base lighter riders may like them
less and heavier riders should like them more. We are skinny and felt
the comfort of the mesh seats is not up to the very high level of the
rest of the bike.
The Longbikes Slipstream
The Longbikes Eliminator
The Longbikes Eliminator, a
standout among the few high quality rugged short-wheel-base (SWB)
under-seat-steering (USS) recumbents has new features for 2005. The
stout frame on the Eliminator gains an adjustable pedal boom and new
chain idler with easily replaceable sprockets. It is makes it stiff,
stable and warranted for riders up to 300 lb. The new adjustable pedal
boom works with the adjustable seat allowing optimal weight distribution
loaded or unloaded. Move the seat and pedals a bit to the rear when not
carrying large loads; forward for touring with a load. Moving the pedal
boom to center your weight requires changing the length of the front
chain so you won’t do it often.
The 3 chains on this bike keep chain noise to a minimum. The front chain
tension is adjusted by moving the pedal boom slightly. The center chain
is adjusted with an eccentric. The rear chain which does all the
shifting is similar in length to a traditional bike to keep chain weight
near what Shimano designed for helping the rear derailleur work like it
should to give you crisp shifting. On the other hand the Slipstream,
(and most other recumbents) with only one chain shifts well too.
Dave enjoys his Eliminator despite the weather
The crankset has a single 32
tooth chain ring. Behind that, near the headset there is a pair of
adjustable idler sprockets to raise the chain above the fork and create
shorter manageable lengths of chain, rather than one really long chain.
Under the seat there is a spider that carries four chain rings. A chain
drives the spider from the inner of the four chain rings. The “front”
derailleur is here, shifting between the other three sprockets. It
shifts well but like on our RANS Screamer tandem you can’t see it shift.
The 3 chain setup shifts great, weighs a bit more and requires
infrequent but careful adjustment.
Longbikes has their our own custom recumbent crank set made, chain rings
too. The chain idlers, frame and seat hardware are made in Colorado by
Longbikes. They have the beautiful design and finish Longbikes is famous
Longbikes standard "Hip Hinge" seat provides for independent adjustment
of seat tilt and back recline. Seat bottom rotates on the seat mount for
tilt adjustment. This allows you to set a posterior tilt to prevent you
from sliding out without causing so much back recline that you strain
your neck. The four incremental adjustment positions allow a seat to
back angle of 95-115 degrees in 5 degree increments to fine tune the
back position as well. A pair of adjustable struts provides support
between the frame and the seat assembly.
Longbikes doesn’t like wimpy components. Their dovetail seat rail and
mating mount are examples of their attitude toward design. Not light
duty parts, they won’t slip. More work on their part, but Longbikes
design philosophy usually doesn’t do things the easy way!
Overall it is a very enjoyable ride,
Now that Vision is out of business and Haluzaks are harder to come by
the Longbikes Eliminator stands alone as the SWB USS recumbent of