Another Vendetta newbie

Discussion in 'Race Series (V1.x, V2.x, V20)' started by velaksap, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    First longish Vendetta ride today.
    This is my fourth recumbent, I've owned Rans v-rex, Optima Orca, Bacchetta Aero Ti. I also ride an ElliptiGo quite a bit.
    The Aero Ti opened my eyes to the faster recumbents. Since I live in a smaller urban area, bent riders are not exactly abundant and I am not aware of any fast ones. One cannot overstate the importance of socializing with like minded people. I started attending club rides and found myself quickly graduating to the A group. All was great till we'd hit a long hill. Then I'd feel embarrassed when I see them waiting for me at the top of the hill. Oh well. Since the Aero has its limitations and I've been Cruzebike curios for a while, I started thinking about a Vendetta. An almost new one came up for sale on the forum, a deal too good to pass - showed up on my front door just in time for my 42nd birthday. At least I could excuse my actions to my wife with full blown mid-life crisis.
    After the mandatory parking lot figure 8s and other drills in the evenings after work, weather cooperated today afternoon I decided to take her on her maiden voyage. I have not yet binged on accessories as I want to make sure it this relationship will work before I spent even more. Just took some stuff from the other bikes, it is OK to ride. I hit my favorite hill because I had a lot of Strava data to compare with.

    Handling was surprisingly easy. With a few exceptions, like pedaling on fast downhills, starting uphill or on the wrong gear and cars passing too close, I felt in control. I could easily take off my glove, helmet, hat, put my helmet back on, clip it in and put my glove back on while pedaling uphill. I ended up touching ground a few times, at full stop or departure, but it seems I still sometimes do that on the bacchetta too.
    At this time I still do not clip in pedals.
    My performance was not great though. The ellpitigo has kept me in a decent cardio shape and even though I have not ridden the Aero recently, I though at least some of those bent muscles were still strong. But my legs were hurting even before my HR was in the 160s. On the Elliptigo I cruise at 160. I think I would have done much better on the Bacchetta. Whether it was the more reclined seat or the MBB or the flat pedals, or all of the above, I do not know, but it is clear, becoming fast on this bike will take some serious training.

    The ride is comfortable! Even on the chip seal. I don't know if it is the 25mm tires or the long wheel base, but it felt as good as the Orca with a rear suspension.

    The seat with the standard pad I am not impressed with. By the middle of the ride it felt as good as a pine board. By the end my back was almost painful, specially around my waist where the elastics of the pants and the ends of the shirts were digging in and between my shoulder blades. I know, it is winter and I wore many layers with many seams, but still...
    This is a potential deal breaker. I hope the ventiseat pad can improve on this.
    Not having lumber support may become an issue for the longer rides, though that is usually an easier fix.
    I found myself trying different positions on the seat itself- lower - full contact on the bottom, middle- light contact, higher. It may take some tweaking of the boom and the neck rest.
    Neck rest is good. I found myself keeping my head up straining my neck too much, but I think this will get better with practice.

    Some slipping on the steep, wet asphalt, I actually was prepared for worse.

    Numb feet came at some point, though given the air temperature and the fact I was wearing two pears of socks - not too bad.

    As I was done with the hills and was trying to push it on the flat, I got a cramp on my lower hamstring, behind he knee. At 25 miles! Not good. Speed was not great on the flat, but again - I am just learning to ride again.
    One thing is for sure- I do not miss the long chain!

    Overall - I am still excited. This may take less balance practice, but much more muscle training than I expected. Now, between work, family and ElliptiGoing, I have to find time for the Vendetta.

    Attached Files:

  2. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    Clipping will be a HUGE improvement in power!
    A Ventisit seat pad will improve comfort and ventilation!

    I THINK that your boom might be overextended, for the hamstring pains?
  3. Charles.Plager

    Charles.Plager Recumbent Quant

    And if the Ventist pad isn't enough, you can see the alternative seats that are used on this forum.
  4. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    Third ride up the same hill and now some PR's started popping up. Feeling hopeful! I now feel very much in control of the bike.
    DavidCH, Tuloose, ratz and 4 others like this.
  5. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    Great 50 miler today with the local club A group. It seemed that riding the flats was easier than ever. Still need to get my climbing legs conditioned.
    Got the carbon box from Rose city recumbents - it works great, except I need to make sure I put tools, keys and other hard things in some felt sleeves or something so they don't rattle that much.
    Unfortunately, still quite uncomfortable in the seat, even with the ventisit pad, mainly up between my shoulder blades. Will I get a callus up there or do I need to think about getting the Bacchetta seat mounted?
  6. keithkling

    keithkling Member

    Way to go! I'm jealous now.
    velaksap likes this.
  7. Tuloose

    Tuloose Well-Known Member

    velaksap, are you the person in the Eugene area I had a bit of email correspondence with?
    I just got a Vendetta myself.
    I've only done 100 miles on it so far but I'm not having any trouble with the seat - I have the Ventist pad also.
    The bike is a speed demon for sure.
    I was already pretty well adjusted to the laid back seat angle from riding my Silvio 2.0 for 3 years so going to the V felt pretty natural.
    I guess I'm a slow learner but it took me a year before I was really starting to wring some real speed out of the Silvio.
    For me, the Cruzbike revealed it's secrets over time.
    Be patient and persevere! Soon enough you'll be leading the pack.
    Emeljay likes this.
  8. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    Yes, Bruce, that's me :)
    Congrats on your Vendetta!
    We should get together for a ride! Are you doing Heart of the Valley? I was going to do in on my ElliptiGo, but I need to be back to Eugene at noon on that day, so I am doing the Monster Cookie the day after instead.
  9. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    Maybe you handlebars are too close you and forcing your elbows down low? This will cause your scapulas to protrude slightly and possibly contact your seat edges. When I first mounted my Thor seat on the V20 I noticed it was wider between the shoulders and thought I was going to have an issue like I described but nothing ever became of it.
  10. Tuloose

    Tuloose Well-Known Member

    Wow, that Monster Cookie ride comes up pretty soon.
    I will register for it. I have never done it before.
    I did Lebanon's Strawberry ride last year and I have helped out with and did the metric century for our club's Covered Bridge Ride.
    Just got back from a 42 miler to Shedd today - got home just before the rain started again.
  11. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    Finally! PR on the long hill. 2 minutes improvement, though I have to admit there was some light tailwind. Shave off another 3 min and I will be keeping up with some of my upwright friends.
    I was also able to solve the seat problem - I brought in the headrest about a 1/4 inch and attached my lightweight jacket that I always carry with me between the seat and neck rest. It gives me more support in that upper back -lower neck area.
    So, does anyone want to buy a bachetta Aero Ti?
    super slim likes this.
  12. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    Advertise it on BROL , but DON'T say you are selling it because your new Cruzbike Vendetta, is soooooo much faster on climbs, and more comfortable!!!
    Tuloose and Don1 like this.
  13. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    I don't know, people, I don't know. I really want to like the Vendetta, I really do. I've been riding it since the beginning of the season, not as much as I would have liked, but sill, I think I have it dialed in and muscles conditioned.
    Still cannot make the seat work for me, so I was planning to transfer the Bacchetta seat, eventually buy one from Thor.
    Busy with work and life, didn't get around it, so last weekend at the local bicycling club century, I rode the Aero Ti. Felt strong, did well. Quite a bit of climbing.
    Today - legs still a bit tired, but I joined the club for a Wednesday nighter climb ride. I took the Aero, as it was just sitting in the hallway all ready from the weekend.
    Well, the thing is - I got a PR on the long hill climb. Total of 18 PRs on tired legs! 2 minutes improvement on the long segment. A great day, one would say, if I wasn't on the "wrong" bike.
    I see some of you people's amazing results with the Cruzbikes.
    But I cannot help to wander if it is right for me. Do I keep spending effort on the V, dumping another grand or two to drop the 4 pounds weight difference and make it more comfortable , or do I pass it on to someone who can squeeze more out of it?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  14. trplay

    trplay Zen MBB Master

    Pass it on, Go with what works.
  15. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    In my opinion the stock seat was a lost cause at least for me. Spending the money on the Thor seat and headrest was like buying a whole new perfectly comfortable bike. I know for a fact I made substantial gains with my climbing performance after getting the new seat because I could just pedal to my hearts content without discomfort.

    I can't comment on if the V20 climbs any better than any other bent out there because I've never ridden another bent, I can only point you to my race results which I'm sure your probably already aware of.

    Most important thing is to ride what you like, no point riding something you don't like. If the seat/headrest are your only complaints about the V20 and you don't mind the dynamics of the MMB design then I'd say get the Thor seat. If I had given up on the V20 because of the seat which I almost did, I would have missed out on owning one of my favorite bikes to ride.
  16. tiltmaniac

    tiltmaniac Guru

    The Thor and/or Volae seats make a world of difference in comfort for me as well.
    jond, Rick Youngblood and Bruce B like this.
  17. Kenneth Jessett

    Kenneth Jessett Well-Known Member

    FWIW: I think if I already owned a Bachetta or Schlitter or other fast recumbent I wouldn't have invested the money in a V.

    In my Bessies Creek 24 races I see a variety of recumbents. Some like the racers on the V (Parkers, Oz) are setting records but others on the B's and S's are pretty close and the racers on those are comfortable enough with them that the very long learning curve required on the Vendetta just isn't worth setting the clock back for what might mean a few extra miles an hour. I would say if a rider is already at home on an Aero and finding the V a strain, why bother with it?

    I'm still doing my serious riding on a standard bike but hoping one day (soon!!) to be proficient enough on the Vendetta to begin riding randonees on it. But I have ridden a Bachetta out of a shop and I was off speeding on it immediately, so since I am never going to be a Larry Oslund setting records I will still be content to be able to ride 40 MPH for 8 hours on a stretch (;-)), so this is why I will persevere with the V, but again, if I didn't already own it, the Schlitter or other bent would be looking very attractive.

    Riding or racing a cycle is supposed to be a pleasure, but if the learning curve is too long, or it doesn't seem as if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, or the comfort level isn't there, it's time to reconsider.
  18. velaksap

    velaksap Member

    I don't mind the MBB at all. I love the short chain.
    The Aero Ti has limitations. With the 650 wheels the choice on tires is minimal, wheelsets are harder to find too. The seat cannot be reclined more than say 28 degrees, without a major overhaul of your handlebar system - either tiller or J-bar, each with a set of their own issues.
    The regular bacchetta brakes are terrible. X eyed are expensive.
    I think I'll try transferring the seat from the Bacchetta to the V20 and see how I like it. Tires and tubes have been ordered too.
    To be continued....:cruzbike:
  19. tiltmaniac

    tiltmaniac Guru

    Quite curious to hear how the Bacchetta seat fits!
  20. PeteClark

    PeteClark Active Member

    I found learning to ride the Vendetta to be part of the pleasure. Made me feel like a kid again. I'm sure the neighbors had a few good laughs when I started, but I was laughing too.
    Zzzorse and ratz like this.

Share This Page