INTO THE RIDE #22
by Randy Schlitter
Despite looking nearly like a regular bike, the most obvious feature is the laid back seat tube. This tweak on standard bike geometry puts into play a different dynamics. This slant on things lowers the seat and sets the rider more upright. A lower seat height means less of a reach to the pavement. It is nice to stop with both feet flat on the ground. The more upright torso relives pressure on the hands, wrists, back and neck. Yet you can still tuck a bit to beat the wind. The handlebar placed at or just above the knees works great to accelerate or climb. The end product is the original Fusion introduced two years ago. Its success has now spawned a whole line of comfort bikes, bikes that have style, versatility, and zoom factor.
But the whole reason for the slant was the saddle. To offer more ergonomic support something had to give, the inclination allows the seat to support the buttocks over a wider area and not interfere with pedaling motion. That is critical, and why a Fusion seat will not work on the typical upright bike.
The Fusion seat has evolved too. Initially we used our recumbent seat pan; it is now a highly modified piece. The generous width of the bent pan was not being used, so it has been reduced to almost 5” narrower. This has not compromised the comfort, but just in case wider is better, we will offer the original seat as a no cost option when ordering.
The original recumbent seat pan has been trimmed to almost 5” in width, but at no real cost to comfort. All seat cushions are removable for washing and feature a dense impact absorbing foam.
Seat tilt is critical for maximum comfort, adjust with the flip of a QR.
Seat height is critical also. Test show you can feel a ¼”, so easy adjustment is provided.
The foursome splits into two distinct design efforts. The Fusion and Cruz have a more laid back seat tube, stand up riding is not intended, and handlebar location pretty much replaces the need to do so. These bikes are very body friendly, with little to no pressure on the hands, and wrist.
The Dynamik and Zenetik (rhythms with kinetic) have more aggressive, steeper seat tubes; this means a little more reach to the bars and pressure on the wrists and hands, but not like standard issue mounts. My hands numb within 20 minutes on an upright, it never happens on any of this foursome. Why the steeper seat angle? It allows stand up riding, and the full Monty on riding body English. A nice virtue I have missed ever since departing on a bent. And with the steeper angle, more tuck is possible. Downhill runs hanging with head below the bars surprise you with speed retention.
An added benefit of the shallow seat tube geometry is one size tends to fit all. You can share a bike with a person from 5’1” to 6’ 4”. With the seat tube angled, it not only raises and lowers it moves forward and back. This does make a slight shift to center of gravity, so the wheelbase is longer over standard bikes by 6” to 8”. Standard car toppers, trunk racks, work stands all accommodate without modification.
Why four? To cover a wide range of riding needs and wants, from cruiser, to commuter/touring, to trail, to road, each is well suited for the mission, and can overlap into others areas. Each has a style and character that allows stand alone strength, and together an awesome foursome. They are home brewed, made in the USA. Anxious for one? Call us or your dealer; we will see what we can do to make it happen.
For 2005 the Fusion has seen major re-vamp, sporting a new frame and dual 26” wheels. It is more aggressive looking with its straight tubes. The new Fusion is a faster and more efficient bike, and is well suited for commuting, and touring; we plan to introduce a rear rack for touring needs. Off the shelf racks will work, but an adaptor will be needed due to the seat tube angle. Powder coated in a dazzling yellow that explodes with amber sparkles in sunlight. See our models page for components and other specifics on all models.
Fusion: performance comfort bike by RANS
Sporting curvy tubes and a bright rush red powder coat, this new addition has the classic lines of a cruiser, but a very efficient ride. Outfitted with 1.95 tires for a cushy ride, the Cruz just asks to be ridden and will attract the cyclist who wants a cool look yet a decent performing machine. Powder coated in Rush Red that explodes with sparkles in the sunlight.
Cruz: performance comfort bike by RANS
This bike is a real blast to take on paved or mild dirt trails. It is a very stable bike and easy to control on loose surfaces. The longer wheelbase and lower center of gravity attribute to this fine handling. The cushy seat is surprisingly good at absorbing shock, so staying in the saddle works. To climb really steep hills is no problem since the frame and bar set up allow standing on the pedals. The Dynamik will appeal to those seeking a mountain bike as a comfort bike and never intend to do Moab, but might want to tease it a little. Features disc brakes and like all our home brewed bikes, hand welded TIG frame of top grade aircraft 4130, finished in a blue powder coat that pops with aqua sparkles in the sun.
Dynamik : performance comfort bike by RANS
Zenetik is our road bike with that ergonomic twist to allow extensive riding. The bike was created to prove you could have lots of zoom factor with such a comfortable bike. Test rides have yielded respectable numbers hitting the high teens and low 20’s for cruise. Hill climbing is one place you will love the Zenetik, and in the tuck on down hills the longer wheel base and low CG enhance the already confident handling. Finished in a stunning white powder coat with a high sparkle amber dust.
Zenetik : performance comfort bike by RANS
.40 pounds lighter the carbon seat comes stock on the Zenetik.
Remember to ride safe and stay into the ride. – RJS