Lightning R-84 Recumbent Bike

Lightning R84
Lightning R84

Lightning R84 Recumbent Bicycle

Lightning strikes again with their lightest recumbent bike, the dual-suspension R-84. At 20 to 22 pounds, the carbon fiber R-84 is by far the lightest dual suspension recumbent made, at $5500 to $6500 it’s the most expensive too. In 1995 the R-84 won four stages in Europe’s prestigious Paris-Brest-Paris race, beating hundreds of diamond frame bikes.

Built for comfort and speed, the three-pound frame is aerospace grade carbon fiber, titanium, and oversized aluminum. The seat is positioned a bit lower than the Lightning P-38 for a slightly greater aerodynamic advantage. This is a high-tech thoroughbred recumbent for the enthusiast. It’s not a rugged workhorse.

The R-84 20” front fork has very little tire clearance. There are only two tires that I know of that will fit in this fork, both are fast, neither is particularly durable.

The R-84 is Lightning’s fastest bike on hill climbs. Because of its lightweight design, the R-84 will even outperform the F-40 in hilly areas or on rides that are mostly climbing. If the course is 50% near-flat terrain the F-40 will be faster due to its aerodynamic fairing. On steep hills, the R-84 will have the advantage.

If you ride in the flats and don’t want to deal with the F-40 fairing a recumbent with more recline will outperform the R-84. Bikes like the Bacchetta Carbon Aero, and Challenge Serian or Fujin, are in this category. The extreme answer is to add an F-40 fairing to an R-84 to create a bike that has the best of both! Ordering an R-84 usually takes ~3-6 months.

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