Saturday, March 17, 2012

Phantom rider

Sometimes the only long ride I get in during the week is the big run down to the college where I teach.  About 4,000 ft. of descent and over 1,000 ft. of climbing and 45 miles of riding make this an exciting little adventure.  I've posted about this before, but it's always fun, and this time I thought I'd introduce readers to my other recumbent, a somewhat customized Lightning Phantom.  The main changes to the stock configuration are 160 mm cranks with a 24t granny and the curved P-38 style riser.  Those familiar with Lightning bikes will recognize this.  Like my Haluzak, I also had to add a boom extension.  The company's claim of the bike fitting riders up to 6'7" is absolutely hoggy washy.  I'm 6'4" with about a 34" inseam and the bike wasn't even close to a proper fit.  Fortunately I've been through this before and was able to have a machinist manufacture an aluminum extension, so all is good.  The changes I like in the new Phantom design vs. the old one I had about ten years ago are the tighter seat mesh, the front chain tensioner, and the fixed seat position. The old design had a lot of chain flop, and the movable seat connection point was unnecessary, not to mention the squeaking seat mesh.  All those seem to be solved, although I did put on hose clamps and pad the seat connection points with a layer of inner tube to stop a little squeak.  All's quiet now on the recumbent front.

Pictured above and below is the bike and some pics of the ride after bottoming out on the big drop--many miles of 30+ mph cruising with a few climbs.  The panniers are medium Radicals from Holland.  I've got a Mini Newt light with a new Sigma attached to the bars, and I run a couple of Planet Bike flashers in the rear.

This was my first ride after the time change (ugh!), so I was deep in the dark again for about the first hour of the ride, hence all the lighting.

At the bottom of the mountains and the light is just improving:

A handsome recumbent fully loaded for a day of classroom madness.  I carry books, food, clothing, not to mention basic biking gear like tools, tubes, etc., a pretty hefty commuting load:

Still about 20+ miles to go from this point:

In my office about three hours after leaving home.  Time to get ready for my students:


  1. Scott,

    Just ordered your book today, very excited to get it! I've heard good things about "Winky."

    About 5 months before I head off on a 5,000 mile trip from Cali to New York myself. Hoping to glean a little from your tome! :)

    Hope all is well,


  2. Hey, Dug. Thanks for getting the book and congrats on your coming tour. I can honestly say that my cross country ride was among the best things I've done in my life. Please report back on your experience! My wife and I are headed out on a 3,500 mile jaunt down the Rocky Mountains starting in Aug. Can't wait.

    All is, indeed, well.



  3. Scott,
    I'd like to know where you got the curved riser from. I want to put one on my Phantom, too.