Frequently Asked Questions

I'm very tall, how should I set up the bike?

On Sofrider, or on the Conversion Kit, move the seat support to the rear-most position. The seat support is between the seat pan and the frame.

On Quest, check the nose of the seat pan is right above the frame support rubber, and move it back if not. We also have a long slider for Quest which gives very long leg reach when used with the 451 wheels.

On Silvio, so not leave less than 40mm overlap between Slider and Boom. On Vendetta, do not leave less than 50mm overlap between Slider and Boom. But these positions will accommodate folk up to 6'4", usually.

I'm not very tall, how should I set up the bike?

On Sofrider and Conversion Kit, move the seat support to the forward-most position. The seat support is between the seat pan and the frame.

On Silvio simply slide the boom further up the slider.

On Vendetta simply slide the boom further up the slider. If that is not enough, contact us and we may have a shorter boom.

My knees seem too close to the handlebar, what should I do?

Check the following: Is the pedal distance right? If adjusted too short, your knees may be too high. If you are under 5'6" you might move the seat support forward one or two positions on the frame, which will move your knees and pedals forward also Check your riding style, knees are supposed to some straight up, next to the steering tube - a bow-legged action is a poor technique on any bike. Try reversing the handlebar stem so it points backwards - disconnect the handlebar from the stem first, then swing the stem back and reconnect the handlebars.

I want to test ride a Cruzbike, but I don't have a dealer near me who carries one. What should I do?

You can search on http://cruzbike.com/locals (after you sign-in) to find and contact dealers or Cruzbike riders in your area. This brings up a map showing other cruzbike riders and if there is a dealer near you. (See right of screen, under the search bar.)

Have you ever been skiing or snowboarding? If so, do you remember your first “test ride”? Don't expect that a 15-minute test ride of a Cruzbike will be any more satisfying. Yes, you will be able to appreciate the comfort of the seat and the quality of the construction, but you won't be able to ride safely on a street with cars, climb a hill, or navigate narrow paths. That will take at least 1-2 weeks of a little practice every day, allowing your body and mind time to adapt. It's like learning to ride a bike, or ski, for the first time.

Therefore, our primary suggestion is to just order a Cruzbike and try it for a month. We know from experience with thousands of customers that less than 5% of people find that they can't ride it or don't love it. In the unlikely event that you aren't in the 95% that "get it" and love it, pack it back up and return it. There is a 10% restocking fee, which you can just think of as a fee for renting the bike for a month.

If ordering a Cruzbike without a test ride is just not an option for you, then there are alternatives. As a relative new company (founded in 2006), we are slowly adding new dealers to the Cruzbike network. You can search on http://cruzbike.com/locals (after you sign-in) to find and contact dealers or Cruzbike riders in your area. If there are none, ask your favorite bike shop to contact us about becoming a Cruzbike dealer. We want dealers who will take the time to learn to ride our bikes so that they can help new customers learn how to ride them. Recumbent bicycles in general, and Cruzbikes in particular, are quickly growing in popularity as people discover they can ride farther, faster, and more comfortably than on their “regular” bike.

What if I buy one and I don't like it? Can I send it back?

The CB-kit, framesets (Silvio and Vendetta), and accessories/components are returnable for a refund of the purchase price within 30 days ONLY if assembly has not been attempted. Once assembly has been started, they are non-returnable items.

Our complete bicycle models, the Sofrider and Quest, ARE returnable within 30 days of delivery to you for a refund of the purchase price minus a 25% restocking fee, even after you have assembled and ridden the bike. The bike must be returned undamaged (mild wear/scratches are okay) and packed adequately in it's original box to be eligible for a refund.

The cost of building up a complete Silvio or Vendetta with new components can range from $3,000 to $5,000 or higher (depending on your choice of wheels/components), and once you build one of these expensive bike, it's not returnable for a refund. Therefore, if you have never ridden a Cruzbike before and are not sure that a Cruzbike Silvio or Vendetta frameset is right for you, we recommend that you first purchase (or borrow from a friend or dealer) a Sofrider or Quest. Keep in mind it's better to ride a few miles per day over the course of a few weeks, versus riding a long distance in a couple of days before deciding whether or not the bike will be suitable for you. Once you learn how to ride a Cruzbike, we are certain that you will love it. However, in the unlikely event that you don't, we suggest that you start out with a returnable model (Sofrider or Quest).

How difficult is the assembly of the bicycle if I order through the Internet? Can I do it myself?

The bicycle comes 95% assembled and we provide step-by-step instructions. We recommend you have the final assembly done at your local bike shop. However, many people do it themselves. If you take your time and work slowly, it takes about 90 minutes to complete the assembly. The assembly can be completed with tools found in a standard tool kit that sells for less than $20 at discount stores (the tool kit should include a set of metric allen wrenches). If you don't know how to adjust the brakes, find someone who does. Don't take any chances on improperly adjusted brakes.

How much does shipping cost? ...and do you ship to my location?

Put a bike or kit in your shopping cart and click 'Checkout' to see what the actual cost is. We ship worldwide.

What is the warranty against faulty parts/workmanship?

All bicycles or kit parts manufactured for Cruzbike, Inc. are warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period from the date of purchase of TWO YEARS.

What are the health risks of riding a regular road bike vs. a Cruzbike?

There have been numerous articles from peer-reviewed medical journals documenting and discussing the detrimental health effects of riding road bikes. This article discusses the major health issues of road bikes vs. Cruzbikes, and has a list of the reference articles for those who want more information.

I have a disability/injury and I was wondering... will a Cruzbike allow me to get back into bicycling?

Cruzbikes have allowed many people with back, neck, shoulder, or other problems to renew their love of bicycling. But riding any bike requires a minimum of skill and strength. Here's a "rule-of-thumb" that applies to most people with an injury/disability: if you can ride a regular bike with pain, you can most likely ride a Cruzbike without pain. However, if your disability prevents you from riding a regular bike for even a few minutes, then you may want to consider alternatives such as trikes or handcycles. If you think a Cruzbike may work for you, take advantage our our 30-day return policy and try one out.

Why do they cost so much more than bicycles at Wal-Mart?

Cruzbikes are actually a bargain. The average cost of a recumbent bicycle is about $2400. We have done our best to keep the list prices as low as possible but the cost of developing a dual suspension, front-wheel-drive bike, with a pivoting boom is very high. Mass-market bikes (like those you find at Wal-Mart) are made in lots of many thousands and the tooling and set up costs for these have already been absorbed. Products like ours that are new and different are going to cost more. Someday, we hope that Cruzbikes will be selling in sufficiently high volume for us to be able to sell them at mass-market prices.

Will the conversion work on my/this/that mountain bike?

There are hundreds of kinds of mountain bikes out there. Can you find a link that shows a picture of this model? The best place to check on such a question is on our forum, as the collective experience now exceeds our own and we read every post there anyhow. Please post a link to the conversion candidate that interests you in our forum. We actively participate in the forum and like others to be able to see what new conversions are coming through. There are some surprising and wonderful stories there, for both doing the conversion and for doing special modifications.

Can I use a carbon fork with the conversion kit?

NO!!!The conversion kit fork adapter brackets tend to point-load the fork legs where they clamp on at the top. This is no problem for a steel or aluminum fork, because the materials are sufficiently resilient to distribute the stresses. Carbon does not like to be "punched" - the weave, which supplies all the strength in a carbon fork leg, is subject to damage by abrasion, which weakens it to the point that it will fail. DON'T USE A CARBON FORK WITH THE CONVERSION KIT.

Can I build up a conversion kit with 700c wheels?

A 26" mtb fork will accept a 26" wheel when converted, a 700c fork will accept a 700c wheel when converted.

Before we built our Silvio 700c road bike, a limited number of special brackets were produced to allow a 700c wheel fit into a 26" mtb fork.

Does the kit work with the ahead style 28.6 fork steering tube, or with the 1" threaded type?

The kit works with the ahead 28.6mm steering tube. However, if you have a threaded 1" fork steerer you can fit an ahead adapter into it. This is a component with a quill end, just like the handle stem that comes with that kind of fork. Instead of a clamp for handlebars, it has a round head 28.6mm in diameter, which the conversion kit will fit onto. This is called an ahead adapter

How does the front fork accept the wider rear wheel hub?

The conversion kit requires you reverse the forks. Since forks are always offset forward of the steering axis, reversing them places the dropouts further back and brackets are used to position new wider dropouts in the correct location.

What products do you offer?

We make the following complete bikes: Quest, Sofrider, Silvio, Sigma, and Vendetta. Everything you need to ride down the road is included.

We also make a Silvio frameset. You need to supply the wheels and components, usually from a high-end road bike.

We make a conversion kit for the budget-minded or do-it-yourselfer who wants to convert a rear wheel drive bike to a front wheel drive recumbent.

We make a Freerider handlebar kit to convert a Sofrider or kit-built bike to a bike with "chopper" style handlebars.

What is the height range of people who can ride a Sofrider or Freerider?

In our experience, people from about 5’1” to 6’5” can ride a Silvio, Sofrider, or Quest. The more important measurement is x-seam. The range of x-seam that will be able to ride our bikes is approximately 36 inches to 49 inches.

How do you measure x-seam?

Here is the Cruzbike way to measure x-seam, and it's the most comfortable and convenient way to measure it. You will need a tape measure and a straight back chair on a smooth (uncarpeted) floor. Place the chair facing a wall about two feet away. with your shoes off, sit in the chair with your lower back pressed firmly against the chair's backrest. Place both feet on the wall about 1 to 2 feet above the floor. Push off slowly and gently with your feet, allowing the chair to slide backwards, keeping all four chair legs on the floor and your heels on the wall. When your knees are fully extended (but not "locked out"), stop, get out of the chair without moving it, and measure from the wall to the backrest of the chair (at the level of your lower back). This distance is your x-seam.

What is the weight limit for a Cruzbike?

Here is a quote from our Owner's manual: "Rider weight: The Cruzbike frame, like most adult bicycle frames, is designed for riders up to 250 pounds (114 kg). While there are many Cruzbike enthusiasts whose weight exceeds 250 lbs., we cannot officially endorse its use for riders above this weight and we recommend caution and frequent examination of the frame and other components for signs of structural fatigue."

Are you going to make a Cruzbike for people above the weight limit?

Yes, sometime in the future

What is the difference between a Sofrider and a Freerider? Which one would be better for me?

The Freerider is no longer sold as a separate model, but you can effectively convert a Sofrider to a Freerider by changing the handlebars. The Freerider has a wider handlebar with more possible adjustments while the Sofrider has more conventional handlebars.

The logic behind the Freerider handlebars, apart from the relaxed lifestyle they invoke, is that the wide grip gives you easier control over the tendency for pedaling to affect steering. Because the handlebar rises from the telescopic front tube (TFT), it creates a larger cockpit.

We recommend the Freerider for 1) people who are heavier, or more generously proportioned; 2) people who plan short neighbourhood hops; 3) people who want a little more upper body control and input; or 4) people who just like the “cool” look of the big handlebars.

What other colors are available?

All models are produced in the colours pictured.

Can the Cruzbike accept a front derailleur with a triple chainring?

Yes. Many people have successfully added either a double or a triple chainring and front derailleur to their Cruzbike. It works best if you have an x-seam above 38” (970mm) because when the pedals are moved in close for people with shorter x-seams, the chain may drag over the bottom of the front derailleur. Ask your local bike shop to install the necessary components (a long cage derailleur is recommended). You may also want to seek advice on our forums where many members have already performed this modification.

Can you put disc brakes on a Cruzbike?

Yes, the Sofrider has tabs for a front wheel disk brake. There is no provision for disk mountings on the rear wheel. That wheel is substantially unloaded in serious braking, so a disk brake would have a marginal benefit.

You cannot put disk brakes on the front wheel of a CB-kit built bike because the kit brackets occupy the space where the disc would go.

The Silvio does not accept disk brakes, as it complies with component standards for road bikes.

Can you put fenders and a rear rack on a Cruzbike?

Yes, select from any mountain bike range of accessories for the Sofrider and any road bike range of accessories for the Silvio.

With a little ingenuity, you can hang panniers off the main frame under the seat as there is no chain to worry about, You can fit a rack to the rear seat post and hang them off that two – get a rack designed to work with a mountain bike with rear suspension and with a pair of rails hanging down so the panniers do not swing against the rear wheel.

Can you put a baby seat on it?

Yes. If it mounts to the seat stem and not to the rear wheel bolts. Follow all warnings and instructions from your child carrier's manufacturer

Can it mount on a car carrier?

Yes. Cruzbikes, by virtue of their similar design to regular uprights fit easily on a car rack for easy transport.

I would like to purchase just one component of your Cruzbike kit. Is that possible?

The Cruzbike kit has parts that bicycle hobbyists may wish to purchase separately, such as the seat, seat mount, backrest, and front triangle assembly. We now offer the seat assembly separately for sale without the front triangle. If you want other parts you may be able to find them on Ebay or in our forum.

Can I put bigger/different wheels on it?

The Sofrider has been designed to accept 700c road bike wheels. Some modification to the brake bridge and fork crown mounting holes may be needed depending on the calliper brakes you choose. Up to 2.1" spiked snow tires have been successfully fitted, but they are tight. 1.75" tires have clearance.

Can I put an electric motor assist on it?

Some people have done this and been very happy with the results. By placing the power-assist on the rear wheel, which is not encumbered with a drive system as most bicycles are, the resulting "all-wheel drive" is very practical. Information can be found by searching the forum. Keep in mind that the weight limit for the bike is more likely to be exceeded when adding an electric propulsion system. Also, please note that adding gas or electric-assist voids the warranty and, for liability reasons, we can not officially recommend you make these modifications. If you choose to make these modifications, we will give advice as best we can, but you must accept any risk involved.

How do upgrade my 8 speed to a 16 speed?

You'll need a crankset and a bottom bracket.

The crankset can be whatever arm length you prefer, it needs to be for a JIS square-taper bottom bracket.

For a double chainring, you'll need a 68mm wide English type bottom bracket with a 115mm axle width. For a triple you'll need 113mm axle width,

Your front derailleur will need to be for a 34.9 mm tube diameter. You will also need a front shifter and cabling.

http://www.icyclesusa.com/catalog/origin8-bottom-bracket-68x113-tql-squa...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-Alivio-FC-M411-Mtb-Crankset-170mm-/22087...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SRAM-X5-9sp-Front-Derailleur-34-9-clamp-top-swin...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SRAM-3-Speed-Grip-Shifter-Mountain-Bike-Front-De...

Can you ride off-road on a Cruzbike?

Yes you can. The near perfect 50-50 weight balance and equal sized wheels of the Cruzbike makes it ideal for groomed trails and most off-road conditions. Be careful in your selection of tires, and lean forward during uphill work to keep good traction on the front wheel. The bicycles are not designed for trick-riding or extreme off-road use.

How would you describe the handling on a Cruzbike?

The handling is steady, not twitchy. Suspension on the front and rear wheels helps keep the bike tracking true on even rough surfaces. The center of gravity is lower than on a regular bike and this makes for good, confident handling. The weight distribution is approximately 50% to 55% on the front wheel, which contributes to secure and predictable handling. The geometry of the Cruzbike is very specific to ensure it handles correctly.

Can you really ride "no-hands" on a Cruzbike?

Yes you can. It takes practice over several weeks or months, but it is a skill nearly all will acquire in time if they work at it. If you ride with a light pressure on the grips and practice this a little during each ride you will come to realize that you can ride with no pressure at all on the grips. As you become more comfortable riding hands free, even turns are possible. It takes time to allow the leg muscles that control lateral motion to adapt, but the payoff is the fun and freedom of riding “no-hands”. Another tip, think about pointing your toes forward a little more than usual. Whether you realize it or not, you are steering a Cruzbike with your feet from day one… you might as well learn to steer it where you want to go. Remember that riding hands free does not give the full responsiveness and control and your hands are not near the brake levers. Be careful if you want to practice “no-hands” riding. Always wear your helmet and practice in a safe area away from traffic.

Will I be faster on a Cruzbike? How well does it climb?

Based on our own experience and reports from hundreds of Cruzbike riders, the answer is a resounding YES. We have received many reports from Cruzbike owners that they ride not only more comfortably, but faster, than they did on their previous bike. Cruzbikes also climb hills exceptionally well because you can use your upper body and core muscles, unlike other recumbents but similar to road bikes. Hill-climbing requires good cardiovascular fitness. The more you practice, the better and faster you can climb hills on a Cruzbike. The more you ride, the more you develop the Cruzbike "body-english". Keep in mind that in general, recumbents weigh more than road bikes, and for this reason alone they are at a disadvantage when climbing. On the other hand, speed lost on climbing is usually more than made up for on the flat and downhill sections due to superior aerodynamics. Whether or not you will be faster on a Cruzbike, or better at climbing, will depends on many factors.

Any tips on learning to ride for the first time?

Kim Tolhurst, a Cruzbike dealer in eastern Australia and brother of John Tolhurst, has written an excellent set of instructions after helping scores of people learn to quickly ride a Cruzbike, http://www.cruzbike.com/never-fail-riding-instruction. You can also take the 'HOW TO RIDE' link from the right column.

How does the steering work when one is riding? It seems that one's leg(s) would restrict the turning ability.

A bicycle needs only very small turns of the wheel, once you are rolling, to stay balanced and to turn. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocHw_De0Zo4 which has some shots that include a helmet mounted camera showing how much the front needs to turn.