How do Lightning Bikes climb?
We've been explaining the benefits of the Lightning design for years, about how the frame geometry, weight distribution and stiffness all work together to produce the best performing recumbent bicycle made today. Here, we've collected some quotes from the people who know best, the riders and racers who have made Lightning their bicycle of choice.
“Knows how to climb. All Lightnings ascend nicely. The only recumbent that I dared take up Smith Grade.” — Jim Langley, former BICYCLING Magazine technical editor.
"On grades up to 6%, I climb faster on my Lightning than on my road bike. Also, the road bike doesn't have a noticeable advantage unless the grade is greater than 10%." — Peter Penseyres, 4 times RAAM winner
"The Lightning is much faster in rolling hills than my road bike." (He also pretty much repeated what Pete said above) — Bob Fourney, 3 times RAAM winner
"This bike (Lightning R-84), accelerates and climbs great!" — John Howard, Twice Olympic team rider, Ironman winner
"I just purchased a used 1998 P-38. It definitely climbs better than my Tour Easy." — Kip Milam, Chehalis, WA
"Just completed a 19 day tour of Switzerland on the Lightning. I cranked up five major Alpine passes in three days." — Johan Ritzler, Germany
"Halfway up Valle Crucis and Beech Climb in Virginia, I once passed two upright riders spinning their way up the almost vertical climb to the top." — Ceb Blankenship
Tim Brummer on hill climbing
"I have done some comparison climbs on a local 18% grade, .8 miles long. On my R-84, it took just under 8 minutes. On my 25 pound mountain bike, with bar ends and 100 psi road tires, it took about 9 minutes, and my heart rate was slightly higher on the mountain bike.
"Then I took the Thunderbolt up; the times were about the same as with the mountain bike. I have done this test a number of times, with similar results."
See our climbing video here.
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