The classic long wheelbase Stratus LE is the standard for touring recumbents as is the Easy Racers Tour Easy. Strats have been crossing this country since 1979, they are great for fitness riding, day trips and fast century rides too. Anywhere there is an open road a Stratus will feel right at home.
RANS Stratus LE Recumbent Bicycle
Like most LWB bikes a Stratus may not be the bike of choice for more urban congestion type riding. As with all LWB bikes tight maneuvering and “U” turns are learned skills. It has more “tiller” effect than the Tour Easy but not an objectionable amount, in my opinion. Pre ’98 the Stratus had more “tiller”, too much for me.
The 26″ rear wheel on a Stratus can accommodate a wider tire than the 700c rear on a Tour Easy, a consideration for large riders, lots of luggage or riding on dirt roads. The wider 26″ rear wheel provides a smoother ride and allows a huge selection of tires. Its large 26” diameter allows the use of standard Shimano chainrings, which improve the front shifting. Custom high-speed gearing is easier with the 26” wheel than with a 20” rear wheel like some recumbents.
For riders over ~6’2″ there is the XL 40″ frame. Riders who want to put more of their weight on the front wheel (i.e. self-contained camping tourists, heavy riders over ~5’10”) may also want to consider the XL. The XL size costs the same as the regular size.