Silvio seat insert
Ba da boom! That's the main thing I remember of my first ride on the Silvio 2.0. I had hit a pothole which I was unable to see because of the low seat angle. Right then, I decided to make the Silvio more touring friendly: this was achieved with a simple blue Styrofoam wedge inserted under the seat. Simple, light, solid and removable. The following, illustrated with pictures, describes this simple procedure.
1. Place rubber bushings between the seat pan and the back so that the seating angle can be modified;
2. Cut three 3 inch slabs from a high density 2 inch thick Styrofoam (I bought a small leftover piece from a building material store)
3. Glue the pieces together with the special foam board glue: let dry for 24 hours;
4. On the glued foam pieces (6 inches thick), trace the seat contour from the frame (the seat has been removed).
5. Cut out the frame contour on the foam with a "ribbon saw" (I had my neighbour do it for me). The top part of the cut is used to trace the part of the wedge on which the seat will be attached. This is where you decide on the seat angle.
6. On both sides of the foam wedge, glue strips of aluminium sheet metal (which I had in my garage but you can find left over pieces around constructions sites) Let stand for 24 hours.
7. Paint the Styrofoam with a black latex paint.
8. Place Velcro strips on both sides of the wedge and insert it under the seat. And bingo! You have modified your seat angle to your liking and the wedge stays solidly in place; you really have to hold the bike down to remove it. And the whole thing only adds a few ounces.
There you have it. You can pack your wedge with you on your ride and insert it under the seat when the going gets rough. (And nobody will call you a "wedgie")
This modification actually adds a bit of cushion on the back. Using flexible packing foam instead of the blue Styrofoam would add even more cushioning.
With the seat angle as illustrated in the pictures, you don't really need a head rest; you can use it to attach a variety of bags.
Making one wedge insert is a bit time consuming because of the measurements you have take from the frame and the material you need to assemble. Taking the first wedge as a model, it would be quite easy to make 10 or more copies.
P.S How do you upload images?
Sounds cool, post those images!
- Click the Image button in the toolbar above the comment box (the icon is a rectangle with a landscape inside it -- between ABC and film strip icons).
- An Image Properties dialog will come up. Click the Upload tab at the top.
- Click Choose File, select your image file from your computer, and click Open.
- Click Send it to the Server.
- If everything looks OK, then click OK. Or...
- You may get a message about the image file being too large. If this happens you will need to use an image editor to increase the compression of the file and/or decrease the dimensions. Try to get the file size under 300K. Or if the image is already hosted on some other site, you can just put the remote URL into the Image Info tab of the Image Properties dialog, instead of uploading the image.
Hope that helps...
I'm looking forward to seeing pictures. I don't think this would be something I would want to do, but since some people prefer a less-reclined position, it would be interesting to see and to hear how it works for you over the long-term.
Marcel e-mailed me following pic's
It looks better than I pictured.
However, it negates the use of the headrest. If you have a seat angle closer to that of the Silvio 1 - 1.5, that wouldn't be a problem for most cyclists.
Looks very nice. Definitely worth having the pictures in this thread!
Many (some?) people won't need a headrest at that angle. I'm sure something could still be rigged up if desired. I'll be very interested in hearing about Marcel's experiences after some miles!
This would work well on the Vendetta too, for those who want a rigid bike. It has a perfect place for a water bottle!
actually, I think water and bags are better under the seat if they are any substantial weight. But this looks really cool, and would keep the aero.
To wedge or not to wedge... I took my Silvio 2.0 on a couple of loops to compare its ride comfort and handling, with and without the wedge. The road surface was moderately bumpy. No need for a lengthy test drive for my arriving at the following conclusions;
Without the wedge:
- start up was more difficult because of the inclined riding position;
- got neck jolts on the bumps and ended up not using the head rest; I found this position extremely uncomfortable.
- excluding the neck issue, the seat provided good comfort and excellent back support.
With the wedge:
- easier to start, better visibility and more comfortable riding position;
- smoother ride because the Styrofoam does provide some cushioning on the back;
- the more upright position transferred some of the body weight onto the "buttock";
- a more padded and slightly wider foam seat pad would restore the "butt" comfort of the inclined riding position.
All in all, the wedge transforms a "high racer" into a fast, comfortable and pleasurable touring bike.
A bit of background: I have owned many recumbent bikes among which a Quest 2.0 (too short for me); I presently ride a Softrider which I have modified to my liking by upgrading the components and thickening the seat with a 2" high density foam. I've also added a head rest as a measure of security against a possible whiplash. The bike is heavy but for my height (6'2) it's very comfortable. Because of my age (75) speed is not really an issue. If it were, I would keep the Silvio 2.0 and use it for long rides on good surfaces, such as those you find in Florida. But I live in Montreal, where the frost and the salt wreak havoc on the road surfaces...
The Silvio 2.0 remains a very exciting recumbent to ride. Nothing that I've have ridden compares to it! Period.
Fantastic work after all our yakking about adjustable seat angle, you did a neat and elegant job with a block of foam! I am amazed it is stable with just Velcro. A bump doesn't threaten to knock you to one side?
Regarding visibility with the lower 27 deg seat angle, do you think this is due to your high handlebars? Do these occlude your view? Cos you are tall and are not using an extension. Silvio 1 and 1.5 often had boom angles like yours but with the lower recline of 2.0 and I am wondering. Whether this hampers visibility and this a longer chainstay becomes more attractive.
Finally, I just have to say it is even more fantastic you are riding and with such a cool bike at your young age of 75....whether Silvio or Quest!
Good stuff here I just might try it for city riding.The traffic here in Santa Monica is not good and I seem to just miss all the traffic signals so have to stop almost every block just to get to the bike path. Hey im 75 also. Jack
Cruzbike should have made this an optional part for seat angle adjustment.
Material from aluminum or CF will be great.
This is what I think to change the seat angle from 27 degrees to 40 degrees.
Could Cruzbike produces this as an optional part for those who need the Silvio 1.5 seat angle?
You don't need the headrest anymore in 40 degrees.
I'll certainly try this as the low angle really bothers me. Never managed to make peace with the head rest - it interferes with my helmet and is an issue with adding (and quickly removing) a bag.
When I hop on my Carbent (basically a carbon Bacchetta) it's instantly clear that its longer seat is the superior solution: very comfortable, the weight is distributed over a bigger surface area, top mounted bags work perfectly as they have sufficient clearance, and a head rest is not needed.
The very low angle of the Silvio causes me to raise my upper body in many everyday riding positions and I'm only reclining all the way on long stretches without traffic. I'd gladly give up the slight aero benefit for an angle that matches the riding position I'm in most of the time - and in the situations that are most critical.
Truthfully, I'm a little bugged.