Vendetta vs. Bacchetta – Rick Youngblood’s Experience

January 17, 2017/ Lucia Parker

I just want to know what his experience switching from Bacchetta to Cruzbike is and what his honest evaluation is and how much difference the outcome makes.

We recently fielded this question from a future Cruzbike owner. He’s not alone in seeking real-rider perspective on the Bacchetta vs. Vendetta question, especially as it relates to the ability climb fast on a recumbent bike. So we put him in touch with Rick Youngblood who made the switch from Bacchetta Corsa to Cruzbike Vendetta. Thousands of miles later, here’s what Rick generously shared:

Okay. My experience is 11,582 miles on my Vendetta 2.0 and prior to that 3,736 miles on a Silvio 2.1. I owned a Bacchetta Corsa, Rans Xstream, MetaBike, to name a few. The Silvio and Vendetta outperformed them all, especially when it came to climbing.
The Silvio climbs much more efficiently than the Bacchetta in my opinion by producing more power to the drive wheel because of the stiffness of the drive system. The Vendetta does an even better job climbing than the Silvio, due to it being lighter and stiffer than the Silvio.
The Vendetta sits closer to the ground than a Bacchetta which in my option helps with starts to better eliminate stalls and fall overs, especially when climbing.
I had no problem learning to ride the uniquenouse of Cruzbike’s MBB/FWD. I was up and running with less than 100 miles and felt quite at home. I waited until I had a couple of hundred miles under my belt before starting to practice and conquering hills. However it takes a little patience and time to adapt to it, but it will be well worth the efforts applied.
I don’t consider the Bacchetta to be in the same performance class as the Vendetta.
Since owning the Vendetta my riding area increased substantially by incorporating more hills and mountain areas in my rides. I live in northern California with lots of mountainous riding available. I need a good climbing recumbent bike and I believe the Vendetta to be best climbing recumbent available. There is absolutely no other recumbent I would want to ride other than the Vendetta.
There are tons and tons of stories on the Cruzbike forum. And hey, just in case if you are wondering I do not work for Cruzbike and am not affiliated with them. They are a great company with a superb unmatched product. You may connect with me through email any time.
Rick Youngblood

You can connect with Rick on the Cruzbike Forum @Rick Youngblood. Thanks, Rick, for sharing your experience so generously.


  • Robert


    That is correct.

    The V20 fork is 132.5 spacing, so basically a 130mm or 135mm drive wheel will fit. The rear is a standard 100mm spacing.


  • John

    Does the Vendetta use the same width wheels as upright road bikes (100mm front, 130mm rear) only in reverse position?

  • Strauss Christophe

    Hello Rick I am French and I practice for a few months the recumbent bike. I own a Zockra of French manufacture but I have long looked at the vendetta of Cruzbike because it is a direct traction and I think it is more suited to the mountain and the passes that I like! And quieter too? Can you tell me more about his qualities of climber and tell me your different plates and teeth back? How does it behave in downhill and in tight corners? Can the hands of the handlebars be released after a certain time? Thank you for your answers and good hikes to you! Sportingly

  • Rick Youngblood

    Hello Strauss, gearing is key to climbing, and is individual. I’m 60 years young, and my training is off and on. When I’m very fit I find I don’t require the lowest gears. But when I’m at the bottom of my fitness I do. Recently the I re-built my Vendetta 2.0. You can read about the gearing I chose here:

    There is so much more available in gearing chooses theses. You take someone like me that needs lower gearing for climbing vs someone like Jason Perez. Jason is a prime athlete and does not require the low gears I do to climb the same hills. You can read all about him on these pages.

    What I love most about climbing is, first the feeling “wow I just climbed that hill” it feels good, second is getting to rip a fast downhill descent, which usually has corners, it’s simply exhilarating. For me the bike handles like a Porsche, it’s solid and tight. So far my fastest descent is 49 mph’s, but looking for that elusive 50 mph, in my case it’s the road and not my fear that’s the restraint.

  • Paul Riggs

    Hi Christophe,

    How do you like the Zockra ? It such a shame they stopped making them ! Such a beautiful bike !

    If you ever want to sell 😉

  • Jim Weaver

    I find your comments very interesting because I have been involved with recumbent design for many years and have heard many anecdotal claims regarding the climbing prowess of varying designs. Verifying your experience in some non-subjective way would be nice. I am happy that you mentioned the drive-train as a possabile source of mechanical losses. The extra long chain on most recumbents has to have some inherent losses particularly when run over inder wheels or through plastic tubing. Added to the higher loads involved in climbing, I think that a good argument can be made for the Cruz design. Lightning also makes claims of superior climbing based on structural rigidity, riding position, and weight. This sounds very much like your experience. Have you owned a P-38?

  • Mark Robinson

    I own a P 38. I have concluded that climbing on any bent pretty much means one thing. Leave early. My first entry was the bikeE. Then a Burley SWB then ti Bacchetta aero, a Catrike 700, Catrike Musashi then a carbon Aero 2.0. I found the Bacchtta could really gobble up pavement on flats and ridiculously fast on descents. Climbing? See opening statement. As I age my back and neck could no longer tolerate extreme reclined position. The P38 has offered extreme comfort, is easy to boost up to my roof rack and as to climbing, as good as anything I’ve ridden. Sitting more upright is a good deal more comfortable and provides some extra power against the crank arms. I love this little bike.

  • Rick Youngblood

    I’ve never owned a P38. But know about and have friends that own or have owned them. My understanding is yes indeed they are very good climbers and that they have a very stiff front end. I believe we have a few Cruzbike forum members that owned or own P38’s. You mentioned about the extra long chain on rear drive recumbents loosing mechanical efficiency, I too agree, however there are those that disagree. It seems to be a controversial subject. I’ve never been fond of the long chain with its pulley idlers, etc.

  • Mark

    Very nice review. Can you please comment on the stability of the ride? Is it twitchy at high speeds? Stable? Sounds like once you got used to it, it becomes natural and second nature.


  • Rick Youngblood

    I find it extremely stable at low or high speeds. Once you get past the learning curve there should be zero issues.

    A little story from my experience. My first Cruzbike bike was the Silvio in which I purchased to supplement my Metabike. I loved my Metabike, good climber and very stable at all speeds. My past recumbent experience taught me when you acquire a new recumbent, ride it and ride it only until you’ve acclimated to its quirks, until those quirks become natural. So I rode only the Silvio for a thousand miles. At this point I was completely acclimated to the Silvio ‘s MBB, it had become natural and comfortable. So…one day I loaded my Metabike up on the bike rack and headed out to the River Trail to ride an old friend. Wow, was I in shock, the Metabike had become extremely twitchy and was unstable. Just to give you an idea just how stable and non-twitchy the Metabike once was. The very day after I built up the metabike, my first ride was a mountainous century.

  • Bruce Martin

    I owned a P-38 for 4 years prior to purchasing a Silvio 2.0 in 2013.
    Prior to that I had a Burley Django, Rans Stratus XP and a Rans Screamer tandem.
    The P-38 was a comfortable and fast bike but not as good a climber as the Cruzbike.
    The Cruzbike is just overall a more efficient design.
    No bike is perfect and the CB has it’s own limitations – encounter some gravel on a steep climb and you will find one unavoidable problem with the front wheel drive.
    But, as an overall fast and fun recumbent to ride the Cruzbike can’t be beat.
    I have sold all my other recumbents and now own 3 Cruzbikes.

  • Rodney Sothers

    Rick- I have been considering a change to a Cruzbike from high racer bikes also.
    One of my reservations is the seat angle. Too much recline bothers my neck, not enough and recumbut sets in.
    We’re you using a very reclined seat on your Bacchetta, and has this been any problem for you?

  • Rick Youngblood

    Hello Rod, I tried different seats with different seat angles on the Corsa which gave me experience with what I like in a seat. To me an important part of the seat is the neckrest. My current setup on my Vendetta is roughly 23 degree recline, with a properly adjusted neckrest. You can read more about my seat mod here on the CF forum:

  • Gordon Bland

    I’m considering selling my Corsa and buying the Vendetta. What package did you buy? Will the $2750 frame set still be faster than my Corsa or do I need to by the race package? Thanks in advance.

  • Jim Parker

    I’ll try answering this one… The race package is a very nice SRAM Rival 22 groupset and light 700c wheelset. But the secret-sauce for going fast is in the frameset. So there are many different groupsets and 700c wheel choices that will take you just as fast if you prefer (or already have) something else.

  • Michael

    Interesting comments. I am looking at recumbent. I bought catrike 700. And I know it’s a great trike but I am not happy. Looking at cruzbike and baccetta. Which do you fell better with in the turns? I am novice but want to start training again after a few surgeries. What is the best overall racing recumbent in your opinion.. Thanks Michael.

  • Lucia Parker

    Hi Michael, we think the Cruzbike Vendetta V20 is the fastest road bike in the world. In fact we guarantee that whatever road bike you ride now, you’ll be faster on a V20. Check it out on our website at the link above and let us know if you have any questions!

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