Challenge recumbents are no longer made. Bicycle Man LLC was a Challenge dealer from 2000 to 2007. If you are looking for a versatile recumbent with a reclined composite Euro type seat we carry models from HP Velo, Oracle, Bacchetta, Volae and Optima recumbents.
We like to sell recumbent bikes when customers can try them first. With Challenge this is difficult because dealers are so far apart. If you can not try a Challenge recumbent before deciding we could order one for you and send it to you. Spare parts and warranty parts can take longer to arrive for recumbents made in Europe like Challenge.
Challenge Recumbent Bicycles
The Challenge “Endurance” line of bikes has been on the market since 1994. They are a bit heavy but have a reputation for durability and flat land, open road speed. The Challenge “Endurance” line has been used for touring, racing and commuting. When the Hurricane was introduced in 1994 there was nothing else like it. The design and look of the bike were unique and “cool”. Its low height and low wind resistance made the Hurricane one of the fastest production recumbents available at the time. The original Hurricane is now one of their “endurance” bikes. The bikes in the Endurance line are still at the core of Challenge bikes. As the saying goes, “if it doesn’t break don’t fix it”.
A lot has changed since then; there weren’t any production high-racer recumbents in 1994. In response Challenge brought out their SL line of recumbents in 2004. Their goal was to build sub 10kg (22 lb) bikes at sub $4000 prices. There are two ways to build a light bike. You can use high-end components and get correspondingly high-end durability or you can lighten the frameset and custom parts. This takes more trail and error and engineering cost but can give you a light bike with standard 105 level components (which are actually pretty light.) If you want to go even lighter you can combine the light frame and super light components but you will spend more, the sky is the limit!
The SL- Super-Light series uses new designs and new manufacturing techniques. Some of their aluminum and carbon chain idlers have been unreliable but we expect newer versions to be better. The SL-models weigh on average about 21lbs. Challenge designed the SL line to catch up with Titanium and carbon fiber recumbents. Challenge is using new manufacturing processes to remain competitive. They have innovated in several key areas to retain their handling and aerodynamics while cutting the overall weight of the bike.
We always recommend trying a recumbent before you buy it, to be sure you like it. This is especially true of exotic bikes like Challenge. It is doubly true for low-racers.