This something of a sad story, though one of essentially insignificant importance in comparison with the issues normally discussed on this scruffy little blog. Back in May, I wrote 2003 Bachetta Giro A26: A Bike Review. That’s the bike in the header photo. It was the story of how I came to own that particular recumbent high racer, a type of bike in which I long held an interest.
In brief, I wanted a bike faster than my 2016 Terra Trike Sportster for those days when Mrs. Manor and I didn’t ride our trikes together. And the A26 was indeed faster. I measured the difference on a 20-mile course, and the A26 was five minutes faster than the Sportster, which is a pretty fast trike. Of course, such comparisons can’t be taken for gospel, as factors such as wind, one’s condition on a given day, temperature, etc. all factor in, but it’s a pretty good comparison keeping in mind it’s been many years since I was a 20-something 6’, 155 pound, nothing but legs, lungs and crazy energy kind of guy. People like that could do considerably better.
I was happy indeed with the A26, except for one small issue. Three or four days I set out to ride it, I found myself if not exactly dizzy, just enough unsure of my balance to understand riding a light, fast two wheeler wasn’t the smartest thing I could do, so it was back to the reliable three wheeler. You might, gentle readers, visit July’s Spearfish Canyon: A Small Win, which speaks to my abortive attempt to complete a 39 mile ride, settling instead for a 23 miler. The lesson of that particular article is as I’ve gained in age, I’ve generally learned not to do the incredibly stupid, settling instead for the merely stupid.
Why have I been occasionally off balance? It’s never happened before, but I’ve never been 67 before. One possibility is the damned Covid virus, which I caught and survived. It was actually pretty mild, and a bout of the flu not long after, which was far shorter in duration, was much, much worse. Another is the vaccine, or some combination of the vaccine and interaction with the virus. Is this a lingering side effect? I suspect no one knows, but I have that problem now, with no idea when, or if, it will ever go away, or if it will worsen. I can ride the Sportster even if things don’t feel quite right, but riding the two wheeler is potentially dangerous, particularly if I dump it at speed, which with that bike is mid 20s cruising to around 40 MPH downhills and in ideal conditions. Which means I’ve had to sell my much anticipated and appreciated A26.
The good folks at Angletech in Colorado Springs are handling the sale on consignment. Take this link to their website, click on “Experienced Cycles” in the header bar, and that will take you to “Bacchetta Giro 26 M, Blue, Recurve.” Sadly, they don’t have a photo as yet. Click on the “More info” tab, which will take you to this:
As you’ll see if you take the link to the bike review article, I was stunned to discover this 2003 model bike looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. It was in truly excellent shape when I got it—the original brake pads are still barely worn!–but I improved it, not only getting rid of some old handlebar tape and a large, dorky orange shop sticker—not Angletech’s—but waxed it and upgraded and added everything that needed upgrading and adding, such as:
A Planet Bike computer
T-Cycle mirror mount
T-Cycle flag mount
T-Cycle seat strut clamps
T-Cycle clamp on cable guides
Profile Design bottle mounts (these are perfect for this type of seat)
Terratrike seat bag (I sewed on a nylon strap that works beautifully with Planet Bike Super Flash lights)
A good tire pump
Shimano SPD pedals
Schwalbe Marathon Pro 1.35” tires (these are as nearly bullet proof as bike tires get, while still inflating to 100 PSI, which means they’re pretty darned fast)
In other words, the bike is ready to ride, needing virtually nothing added, as is. Obviously, one will need shoes with SPD cleats, or switch pedals, but one really does need clipless pedals for this kind of bike to get maximum speed and efficiency. It’s probably a good idea to add a couple Superflash tailights, but they’re not absolutely necessary, nor is a great flag from T-cycle, which needs a 6mm flag pole for the mount. One will need a couple of water bottles, but they’re cheap.
The best part is the price: just under $1200, which is extraordinarily cheap for a bike of this class, particularly one with multi hundreds of necessary, first class accessories. To get a similarly equipped new machine with all these goodies would easily run in the $3000 dollar range. The “M” means medium frame size, which equates to around 5’4” to 6’ riders, though things like leg length also figure in.
So I’m asking, gentle readers, if you’ve always wanted a first class, inexpensive road bike, here it is. It’s not only fast, but like all recumbents, far, far more comfortable than any upright bike. Or if you know someone else, a friend, family member, acquaintance, etc., would you be kind enough to turn them on to this opportunity?
As I say, it’s sort of a sad tale, as I really like this machine and waited a long time to find exactly what I’d been looking for, but perhaps I’m just smart enough not to take this single, incredibly stupid risk, and that just might be your opportunity to do something not stupid at all.
Go on. You know you want it. Give Angletech a call. They’re a first class shop and know their business. I’ll still occasionally sigh with longing as I remember the bike, but I’ll be happy it got a good home.