INTO THE RIDE #85
Indoor Trizard Races
More New Stuff for 2010
by Randy Schlitter
On Your Mark… Get set… Go… Trizard!
12-18-09 marked the date of the first annual RANS indoor Trizard races. A course of about 890 feet was plotted through out the factory, making up a perfectly flat 11-turn course. Our employees generously volunteered to fill out the racer roster. 3-lap heats were run, taking about 3 to 4 minutes to complete, and it soon became evident that turn 9 became the corner where even the best would slide and lose time.
This fun non-injury event was held right after concluding the company Christmas party and gift exchange. Perhaps some of the individual racer’s handling skills were compromised due to consumption of Holiday Cheer, but it could be said that same cheer resulted in higher number of entrants into the event. Of course the prize was nothing more than bragging rights. (Race results are tabled below.) The event was all in good fun, but it did provide for some interesting testing of the trike’s prowess on a slippery flat floor in tight quarters. And the feeling of speed as you zipped down hallways and between tooling and equipment was a rush. The event took a factory setting into a new paradigm, something like a road rally busting through a small European village, as many of the turns were populated with staff members cheering on the racers. There was even a Nerf-Dart machine gun pelting riders with orange Nerf Darts as they rounded turn 2.
After the heats, we did time trials, and the standing record is 55.56 seconds (0:55:56). From personal experience, that is going to be hard to beat. There was no decisive advantage between riders of lesser or greater weight, but the Trizard XP did hold a distinct speed advantage over the stock machine. This could have been due to either the flashy Rush Red paint, or the much lighter and smaller high-pressure tires, you pick!
First Placers on 3 Lap Heats
Time Trial Results
New Trizard Accessories:
The fender mounts bolt to the disc brake mounts and secure the fenders at each end. Most fenders will adapt, and most will need a hole drilled to attach to the mount. The fenders are intended to be able to move at the top in case of a side load, something that can happen when loading for transport. Simply re-position the fender over the top of the wheel and you are good to go! Constructed of welded steel tubing and powder-coated black, the mounts are light (.80lbs.) and an unobtrusive way to secure fenders over the rear wheels of the Trizard. Fender mounts and fenders will be sold separately. This simple light and clean way to mount a flag also ties into the disc brake mounts, holds a standard flag and can be mounted on either side.
The welded steel pannier mounts will accept our Crescent style panniers, and have a built-in flag mount. Made of welded steel and powder-coated black, the mounts install to the frame using braze-ons and disc brake mount tabs.
Higher Gear Inches
Standard gearing on the 2010 Trizards will be increased in the upper gear inches using a larger transfer sprocket. You can convert your existing Trizard with our conversion kit which includes chain and sprocket.
New RAC Bags
The design goals of the new RAC bags were to increase their utility, reduce weight and cost, and make them even easier to use. With an easy on/off feature the bags become high utility. The concept is simple; pop off the bags, set them in your shopping cart, shop till you drop, run the goods through the check out (having them re-load the bags directly) then you’re ready to roll, all without using any plastic bags. Now when you get home, take the bags right into the house, and unload right in the kitchen– too easy! With a “stow and go” feature the bags tuck in tight for low drag, and are adorned with reflector material on the front and side. Being identical for either left or right side of the rack, they are sold in singles or pairs. Two sizes are available to fit both RAC racks.
Alterra and Alterra Road
This is a bike I have debated about bringing to market, because it would add a third geometry to the Crankforward line-up, possibly muddling the CF concept too much in the minds of dealers and customers. In the end, the simple charm of the bike demanded a market spot. The simple way to look at our CF line is that they actually start with the recumbents, and starting with the Fusion, migrate to vertical (of course dropping the seat back), to distinguish them as our idea of a CF. So was a third geometry needed? I felt the two other geometries had been fantastic in addressing the issues of comfort and performance riding, and the popularity of this line had proven we were right. What the Alterra series does is go as far as we dare towards a DF design. Now why would that even be a good idea, you may ask? The answer is simple — our CF twist to a nearly conventional bike makes it both extremely comfortable and still good performing! The concept is that it will appeal to a larger buying audience; the buyer for the Alterra is into road bikes or MTB’s, and wants the nimble wheelbase, low weight, and less drag position, yet wants a seat that really does work for extended riding. The Alterra IS this bike, with little trade-off from what makes a good CF. About the only thing that changes is more weight on the hands. The more laid-back CF geometry of the Fusion and Dynamik are perhaps more applicable to those people who are sensitive to pressure on the hands — but for those who want to tuck more in the wind, have a bit shorter wheelbase, and can live with some palm pressure and a little less flat-footed riding, the Alterra will be an excellent choice.
Offered in two versions (road and mountain bike), they can be ordered in frame sets and set up in many configurations. I have been bombing about on an Alterra with no shock fork and a pair of 1.5 Primos and find it a do-all bike. The straight road version is a blast as well — light like the Zenetik and fast into the wind. The main differences you will notice between this and the Z or D series is the shorter cockpit (lending itself to very natural stand riding), and the smaller seat. Because of the steeper seat tube angle, the seat had to be re-shaped to not interfere with the inner thighs. It is a successful re-iteration of what a CF seat would be on a more upright bike, and should find positive response from those who give this bike a spin.
My travel bike for the summer was an Alterra in steel with S&S couplers, which packs neatly into my plane. I enjoy the ride this bike offers, and the few inches difference in wheelbase made it possible to fit in our planes. It is overall a great bike and travel companion. The very predictable and pleasant handling appeals to the die-hard roadie, and the smooth ride and seat comfort really will open your eyes. Note that we are still not to the “drop bars” stage on these bikes — some feel you may as well just buy a standard road bike, if that’s your thing, but don’t put it past some owners to try drop bars. Such a setup would obviously make the bike blend more into the conventional bike culture, but at the same time, that might not be such a bad thing if it can be the pathway for the CF gaining more popularity in the performance cycling world.
The Alterra project, the Trizard and all its newfound accessories, and the new version of the RAC bag have one thing in common: they keep people interested and active in the cycling world. Our mission is to keep you riding (and riding comfortably!) on good performing bikes, and above all to stay into the ride… Until next month, stay safe!