We no longer carry Oracle recumbents. We used to stock both Oracle Cycle Works models, the Oracle Omega City and Omega Tour. We no longer do so since Oracle emailed us to say “demo bikes don’t qualify for warranty”. Because we encourage extensive comparison test riding so our customers can make a good decision, this won’t work for us.
Before you buy a full suspension, European type recumbent we suggest you try bikes from at least two brands on this list: Azub, HP-Velotechnik, Optima or Oracle. Azub has the beefiest frames and offers both 20”x26” models and 26”x26” wheels for taller riders to ride off road. The HP Velotechnik is the best known and offers their 20”x26” Street Machine and a dual 20” folding bike, their Grasshopper. Optima has some slightly less expensive models. You also might consider a few lighter, US made 20”x26” SWB USS bikes without suspension. The Linear Roadster is a new aluminum SWB USS bike. The Longbikes Eliminator is another SWB USS bike, this one is steel. Try a few brands before you buy and you will know you like it when you get it home.
Oracle is a Canadian company whose designs, in my opinion, show a lot of European influence. European recumbent manufacturers from the Czech Republic (Azub); Germany (HP Velotechnik) and Holland (Optima) also have these features found on the Oracle Tour and City recumbents: Under Seat Steering (USS), reclined, rigid seats; adjustable pedal booms and full suspension. The Oracle Omega is not a direct copy of the HP Velotechnik Street Machine. We try to keep several SWB USS bikes with suspension in stock, ready to test ride, from Azub, Hp Velo, and Optima. We also stock The Linear Roadster and the Longbikes Eliminator for you to try. We recommend contacting us to check our current inventory before you make a trip to try these popular SWB USS recumbents.
Oracle’s two bike models are the Oracle Omega Tour and Oracle Omega City. The shorter wheelbase Omega City is a bit lighter and a bit more compact than the Omega Tour but the biggest difference I felt on rides was a smaller turning circle. The City’s shorter frame gives a shorter wheelbase but also put the rider’s weight farther forward. It has good low speed maneuverability but in a panic stop the rear wheel could lift or slide fairly easily. I thought the Haluzak Horizon and Hybrid Race SWB USS recumbent bikes did this also, but their owners didn’t seem to mind.
With a touring load on the rear the City would be better balanced, as one of our Haluzak owners found on a coast to coast trip. As a side note, I’m 6’2”; as is Brian in the picture above. On adjustable pedal boom bikes like the Oracle, Hp-Velo, Haluzak and Optima taller riders have more weight on the front wheel so shorter riders may fit the City better. On the AZUB the pedal boom and seat are both adjustable so you have more control over your position than on most other recumbents.
The Oracle Tour has a longer frame and puts more of your weight on the rear wheel, an improvement over the Oracle City. The Oracle Tour’s turning circle is rather large as a result. I didn’t find this offensive but “U” turns require a bit more planning and skill. Taller riders or dedicated tourists should probably consider the Tour over the City, but it is good to ride bikes from a variety of brands before you decide.
The Oracle frames are smaller diameter than bikes like the Azub. The handlebars mount directly to the fork without a linkage which adds to their large turning circle. The Oracle rear suspension has a single pivot with a stainless steel axle and sealed bearings. The Oracle bents have a Euro type hard-shell seat somewhat similar to the HP Velo “Body Glove” seat from Germany. Oracle’s seat is not as rigid as the HP Velo seat. I had trouble getting the Oracle seat to stop creaking when I pedaled hard. Oracle runs the chain through chain tubes without idlers.
Both Oracle models (the City and Tour) sold for $3095 plus shipping. Standard equipment includes 27 speed derailleurs, Bar con shift levers, front shock fork, a rear shock, dual disc brakes and a breathable, open cell seat pad. All Oracle Omega bikes come with “options” including a kick-stand, fenders and a rear rack. I found the kickstand a bit short for uneven ground and the rear rack is bolted together rather than welded together like the more sturdy Azub, Hp Velo and Optima racks. These “free” options are nice. Most would be extra cost upgrades on the Azub, HP-Velo or Optima recumbent bikes.
I found both the Oracle Omega Tour & Omega City to have comfortable seats, though I prefer a mesh seat as is available on bikes by HP Velo, Linear and Longbikes. Their open cell seat pad looks similar to the air-pad available on the Street Machine but does not stay put quite as well. The Omega’s seat recline adjusts between 45 and 55 degrees without wrenches.
The Omega’s bottom bracket is a couple of inches lower than on similar bikes. Recumbent novices and tourists may like this. The more performance minded may prefer the higher BB on the Street Machine. The headrest on the Omega is nice but not removable or adjustable. Actually it is removable with a hand saw, but is really not adjustable. The Oracle City and Tour headrest pad fell off fairly often. A bit of Velcro would be a welcome addition.
On our scales the Oracle weighs about the same as the similarly priced base model HP Velo Street Machine GTe. Both bikes were weighed without kickstands, racks & fenders.
Looking for a tour capable USS bike with plush suspension and a reclined rigid seat? Don’t take my opinions here as facts. Try offerings from two or three of these brands: Azub, HP Velotechnik, Optima or Oracle Omega. You might also try unsuspended SWB USS bikes from Linear and Longbikes.
We try to keep several SWB USS bikes with suspension in stock, ready to test ride, from Azub, Hp Velo, and Optima. We also stock The Linear Roadster and the Longbikes Eliminator for you to try. We recommend contacting us to check our current inventory before you make a trip to try these popular SWB USS recumbents.