About Mike Wilkerson

Mike has been in the recumbent bicycle industry for more than 8 years, starting out as an assembler at a major recumbent bicycle company; he moved his way up to become Bicycle Production Manager and eventually Sales Manger for that company. We were lucky to acquire his skills and experience in October of 2001 as he took on the role of Sales Manager. While an active cyclist, Mike also enjoys participating in other sports and maintains an active lifestyle.

Ron Swann: Nothing Is Impossible

Ron Swann and his classic Giro 20

Note: The most fulfilling feedback from customers is when they tell us our bikes have made a difference in their lives.  I’ve heard from folks who’ve finally been able to manage diabetes, because they’ve been able to ride again.  One gentleman, spurred by the desire to ride one of our bikes, went from 560 lbs. down to 185 lbs.  Here is yet another story in this arena and we’re proud to have Ron on a Bacchetta! 

My name is Ron Swann. I am 54 years old and live in Atlanta, Georgia. I ride a Giro 20 recumbent that I bought about six years ago from a pawn shop on EBay. It came in two boxes, grimy and almost completely disassembled and I used photos from the Bacchetta website to put it together.

I have been an avid rider of bicycles for most of my life. I rode my first century when I was 14 and raced competitively throughout high school and college. In the early 80′s I raced triathlons and toured several times a year with my wife on our Santana Tandem. When we had children we rode single bikes with bicycle seats.

I thought my cycling days were over in 2005 when I suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Thankfully, emergency surgery restored about 60 percent of my function but I remained completely paralyzed my ankles, calf muscles and about half of my hamstrings and glutes.

About a year after my accident I tried riding a diamond frame bicycle but found my lack of seat/glute muscles as well as saddle anesthesia made it impossible. Soon thereafter I began investigating recumbents and the Giro 20 was recommended as the best recumbent to start with.

Learning to ride my Giro 20 was a challenge. I remember my first attempt at riding, left me lying in the street at the bottom of my driveway wondering if with my wobbly legs I could get the bike back up the driveway to my garage. I was so discouraged that I waited several months before trying again with success.

In 2009 I went with my 20 year old son on a ten day bike tour from Nashville, Tennessee to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. My son rode a traditional diamond frame touring bike and I rode my Giro 20 fully loaded with camping gear. The memories are priceless.

Since July of this year I have been riding about 100 miles a week and will be riding my 4th century of the year this weekend in Opelika, Alabama with my sixteen year old nephew.

I have included pictures of me on my Giro as well as a couple of close-ups of the custom made carbon fiber braces I wear. Without my Giro and the braces cycling would not be possible.
I set a goal in July 2012 to ride a (very flat) 25 mile Time Trial with an average speed of 19.5mph by July 2013. On my first attempt (8/15) I averaged 18.13 mph and yesterday (9/23) I rode my second TT and averaged 18.76 mph. When I achieve my goal, I plan to reward myself with a Bacchetta Corsa!

I love riding my Giro 20. For handicapped individuals like myself, recumbents make cycling possible. For riders of all types, recumbents make cycling more comfortable and more fun.

Regards,
Ron Swann
Giro 20 (’05)

Pamela Dallas’s Tricked Out Bella ATT!

Pamela Dallas's Bella ATT- Lux Edition

 

Pamela called me one day with a challenge.  She wanted a Bella ATT but with a few specialty items.  Generally, Bacchetta is a “simpler is better” company, but you reach a point where you’ve got to try new things.  Remember I said that.

When things went further than I could handle, I handed over the challenge to Mark at Power On Cycling.  The result is what you see above and for me, is what’s possible with this bike.  And I have to say that she was also very patient as I was often slow in responding- she’s a real champ.  So, here’s to Pamela for looking outside the box and maybe opening a few eyes along the way!

Large frame Bella ATT, purchased from Power On Cycling, Newport, Tennessee

-Custom 26″ rear wheel with SRAM Dual Drive, 12-36 cassette, built by Power On Cycling

-Standard Bella crankset

-Power Grips pedals

-Bacchetta Universal Rear Rack

-Terra Cycle Underseat Rack

-Jandd duffle bag on rear rack

-Jandd Commuter panniers on under seat rack

-Mountain Mirrycle bar-end mirrors on both left and right

-Topeak Panoram V12 Wide Screen computer, wired version, mounted on top tube

-Pletscher double leg kickstand.

 

 

 

Bacchetta Rider Spotlight: Charles Morrison

Charles on his Corsa: Only a Bacchetta, rides like a Bacchetta!

 

I have always been a casual bike rider, but in the last five years or so I have used bicycling as a way to keep my weight under control and break the monotony of running.  Inexpensive mountain bikes were my initial choice and I enjoyed trail riding combined with bike paths.  I started increasing my distances and riding the roads a little, but noticed occasional numbness in the groin on longer rides and pains in the back and wrist (which I broke a long time ago).    

My first club ride was done on a $300 dollar mountain bike and everyone else had expensive bikes and gear.  I was the only guy with a kick stand, disk brakes, and 2 inch+ tires. One guy passed me and said “I can hear your tires.”  On this particular ride I saw my first two recumbent bikes.   One was a low racer of some type and the other was a Bacchetta Giro.  Maybe I have been living under a rock but I really don’t remember seeing any recumbent before, but I was definitely interested.   

I bought a used Sun EZ-Speedster AX and really enjoyed it for awhile, but soon the modifications for speed began.  I enjoyed the conversations and looks from others for awhile, but that isn’t what kept me going.  I found myself trying to convert my Speedster into a Bacchetta Corsa and actually did a pretty good job of it but I couldn’t overcome certain design issues.  Five months later I was riding a Bacchetta Corsa and lovin’ it! 

 My friends think it looks pretty wild and are often surprised about how easy it is to ride after the initial few seconds of adjustment. 

Charles D. Morrison

New Corsa Color Coming in May

There’s been a few people curious about the new color of the 700c Corsa’s arriving starting in May with large frames and then following in June with medium frames.  This will be a color we’ll be running on 700c and 650c bikes, however, currently all 650c Corsa’s are still black with red decals and we consider these 2011 frames.

Below is the Corsa’s new metallic brushed titanium color on a Bella frame (example only, we will not have a Bella in this color!)

Metallic Titanium color for Corsa

The metallic in this paint job is very subtle.  As a comparison, below is a picture of the old Titanium Aero frame.  Fairly similar.

Brushed Titanium Aero frame

David Witte: Why I Ride a Recumbent

Dave on his Strada

When I was a kid, my bike was the main mode of transportation; we went everywhere on our bikes.  Fast forward forty years and some of my co-workers ride every Saturday.  Now, I thought at one time I could have been a competitive bike rider, I just never took that road.

So, I thought I would take them up on the invitation to ride with them and they even had a bike I could ride. Now, I’m not in bad shape- I walk, work out and rode a bike a lot all those years ago.  What could go wrong?

My first ride with the group was 25 miles.  My butt and wrists were some kind of sore. Padded bike shorts, gloves and a gel pad seat cover later and I still have a sore butt, wrist, neck and back.  I was getting worse.

I talked with one of the high mileage riders the local bike store, and we discussed trikes, other recumbents and of course, DF’s.  I decided to go recumbent against the advice of most of the riders, and found a deal on an old Burly.  Lots less pain 1000 miles later I think that this recumbent  bike stuff is going to stick around, only now I want a faster bike! Having tried a Bacchetta Corsa that was fast, and talking with its owner who had upgraded to a C/A 2.0, I decided to look for a Bacchetta that would fit my budget and found a new Strada in Florida.  It fits great and I even like the color. I could not be happier.

David Witte

BIKE IN THE BOX

Get a lot of people asking about this, so here you go.  What I’ve done is packed up a C/A 2.0 in a Crateworks Tandem box.  This is being sent to upper New England and then flying over to Denmark.  I’m new to Crateworks and this was my virgin voyage, but it worked out great for this bike and Crateworks has definitely done their homework on this great product.  (Keep in mind that I’m anal, and wrapped then zip tied the crap out of it.  Less movement when shipping equals less damage.)

I’ve also done my best keeping the bike as complete as possible.  This bike was built up complete and tested initially before going in the box so with maybe some minor adjustments it should be ready to ride. 

Frame in the box. Wrapped, strapped down and secure.

At the stage above, all that is removed are the wheels, rear derailleur hanger, rear derailleur and the top stem of the two-piece riser system, of which I also folded the bars down on.  I’ve also reclined the seat quite a bit.  Fork, bottom riser assembley, seat, brakes, crank- all still attached, set up and ready to go. 

Frame with rear wheel

Normally, there is a specific piece of the system which goes over the bike and then you put the wheels on top of it.  If I would have had the bike flipped around, I probably could have done this.  But she was strapped down and I didn’t have the energy to undo it.  So, I put the rear wheel in with the bike and it worked out great!

Frame cover on and front wheel strapped on

Here it is with the front wheel strapped on.  The hole on the right is usually for the rear wheel.  Notice the straps provided to keep everything in place.

Top on, strapped up and ready to ship!

Here is the final package.  It’s sizeable, but easy to carry and not nearly that heavy.  Crateworks gives you a ton of strapping options on the inside, so everything is super secure and the outside straps are one piece and not four seperate bands.

I’m sure this could be greatly improved upon with practice.  However, this bike only needs the rear derailleur hanger screwed back on, then the rear derailleur itself, seat back inclined to a comfortable level (the bottom should be very close to the owner’s x-seam), top riser inserted, clamped and adjusted, then add the wheels.  A good multi-tool should get it done lickety split. 

The hardest part will be removing all the zip ties…

Scott Lenoir: Have Bacchetta, Will Fight Diabetes!

Scott Lenoir and his C/A 2

Another one of our favorite types of feedback here at Bacchetta…doesn’t get any better than this!

Dear friends,   

 I’m 55 years old and rode a hybrid mountain bike on and off for a few years.  My first recumbent was a trike and I rode a good bit, but wanted to go faster and longer. So I traded it in and bought a CA2 in August of 2010 from Ride South in Brandon.  It was comfortable from the beginning.  My idea was to put 100 miles a week on the bike and I did that until just recently.  Work and the weather have interfered with riding lately and I’m logging fewer miles, but I’m hoping that will end soon.  

    I began riding because I can’t walk more than a couple of miles due an ankle problem and running is out of the question.  Also, I began riding to relieve stress and maybe lose some weight while having a little fun too.  Since August, I’ve lost 20 pounds, but the best news health-wise is my A1C diabetes level dropped in an October test from 7.5 to 6.5.  Anything below 7 is out of the danger zone.   I’m Type II. The test reaches back over three months, and I took the test after riding only two months.  I’m thinking my next test, may yield even better results, “normal” results.   

    In summary, I feel better, having fun exercising, and my golf game has improved. I don’t know how that happened, but I’m thankful.  I love the CA2- wonderful bike- it has helped me enjoy life with better health all round.  I like zipping around the landscape of the Natchez Trace and other bike trails in my area too- it’s a fast bike and when I get more fit, it’ll be faster!

 The Rev. Scott Lenoir
Priest Associate, Chapel of the Cross, Madison
Editor, The Mississippi Episcopalian

Measuring the Bacchetta Aero Bar for Length

There’s been a ton of discussions/confusion over this one.  This *should* help to clear things up a bit.  I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Measuring technique: I placed the bar down flat on a uhm…flat surface.  This is virtually the same as it is installed on your bike.  I am measuring from the edge of the bar, just to the side of where it attaches to the riser and measuring to the bar end, which is the edge of the bench.  You should be able to get a similar measurement by putting a straight edge at the end of your bars.  Just take into account your bars will have tape and grips or bar end shifters.

First, here is the Standard Aero bar, or what served as the standard Aero bar for the past 5+ years.  This is being usurped by a longer version but more on that later. 

The Old "Standard" Aero bar, now the new "Short" Aero bar

It’s a little hard to see, but the length is right at 280 mm or 11″. 

Now below we have the New long bar which is what we began stocking on all C/A 2.0 bikes for 2010 this year and will phase into the Corsa for 2011.

The New Long Aero bar introduced in 2010

The measurement you’re seeing here is 300mm or just over 11 5/8″.

What I didn’t include here is the Old long Aero bar, which were approx. 330mm or 13″.  I didn’t measure them because we have been out of stock for quite some time.

Keep in mind these measurements are for the Aero bars only, which measure 18 3/4″ center to center at the bar ends.  If you have the wide bars which are around 22 1/2″, then this post does not apply: we only make one width of the wide bars.  Thank God.

Jim Peoples

My First Half Century!

Just look at that picture.  I’m not the kind of person who will ever be seen wearing one of those “Life is Good” smiley faced stick guy t-shirts, but something about the above photo just makes me feel all gushy inside.  Could be because we helped a person with a little direction.  Could be satisfaction taken in building a good product.

Could be this dude just looks like he’s lovin’ life.

Yeah, that’s it.

But enough of my mumbling, stumbling and bumbling.  Kitties and cats it’s time to hear it straight from the man of the hour, our good friend and new Bacchetta family member, Mr. Jim Peoples.

###

I’m 64 years old and started mountain biking after Katrina in 2005; I loved the trails and kept a spare bike with street tires for Saturday’s when the trails were too wet.  Finally decided I wanted a real bike, tried a high end Trek Hybrid (7500) and it was OK but no love.  Tried a Trek road bike- fast but too uncomfortable.  Tried a new 29er, added cyclocross tires and found I really loved this setup the most, but rides over fifteen miles were really starting to hurt me.  

One day I saw a couple of recumbents on the River Levee Trail here in New Orleans, talked to a couple of the riders and they sounded really satisfied.  Bought a ten year old RANS Rocket off of Craigslist in August, totally rebuilt it and have loved it except that it’s too rough on the New Orleans roads; it’s great on the paved trail but not on the streets.  On smooth roads it was the most fun on a bike I’ve ever had but the spooky handling began to scare me.  I then tried a Bacchetta Giro 26 at a dealer and found it much better.  I also tried a Bella but it wasn’t as much fun as the high racer. 

More research, more riding the Rocket. 

I was becoming convinced that no one should be riding a regular bike, as comfortable as these recumbents are.  Decided at my age I should go for the pure comfort rather than the high bottom bracket and ordered a Bella from Bacchetta.  Now, 64 year old men shouldn’t get so excited over a bicycle, but when I received it, which was only four days after I ordered it, I couldn’t believe the beauty and quality of this bike; from the wheels to the exotic looking brake noodle, to the exquisite Mango paint!  I work in a large mechanic/machine shop and everyone that looked in the huge box had nothing but good things to say about it, even though most didn’t know what it was. That night I played with it, fitted it, put on the lights and rode it a few miles.  It was outstanding.  Went to the local bike store on Saturday, bought red lights, computer, carbon bottle holder, etc. had to help the wife at a church affair that day but still rode it 18 miles at dark.  I just couldn’t stay off of it. 

The next day, Sunday, I rode my first half century in my life- 52 miles and I’m not lying!  My butt had a little stinging but no pain, and the old legs were a little tired, but I have never felt like this after a 30 mile ride, much less a 50.  I look forward to upgrading and riding this beast, it is beautiful, smooth, and comfortable and I can’t thank you and Jeremy (Massey) for all the help in picking the right bike with the right parts: Thank you.  

By the way; I’ve already allowed two total strangers to test drive it, they couldn’t believe how easy it was to just get on it and ride. 

Jim Peoples- Destrehan, La.

Boston Area: Wheelworks/Bacchetta Weekend July 23rd-25th

Okay you Bacchetta kitties and cats, if you’re even anywhere near this part of the country you better come see us.  Saturday we’ll be giving tons of test rides and Sunday, there’ll be a tour of southern New England.  All hosted by Wheelworks and their top cycling/recumbent dog, Scott Chamberlain.

For more information and some absolutely beautiful photography, check out Scott’s blog: Wheelworks/Bacchetta Weekend 

We’ll see you there!