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RaptoBike Midracer Review – Part 2 – Riding Impressions

image013 Here is part 2 of René Freising’s RaptoBike Midracer review. Thank You, René.

The riding position is quite similar to a lowrider. As I adjusted the seat angle to 27 degrees, the transmission of power is pretty good. However, the first start was pretty shaky. Getting the supporting leg into the pedal takes longer than with the lowrider. Riding the bike you immediately notice the quite chain. No noise, no dangling as with the lowrider. Only the big chain role made of plastic makes some noise. Shifting works quick and firm, almost as with the racing bike.

I did not check or optimise the track of the separable frame. In spite of this, the directional stability was good. Freehand riding is no problem.
Starting, and especially stopping is a balancing act during the first 100km. With an inner leg-length of 84cm, I would like to sit 5cm deeper. Setting down the foot, I will form a hollow-back. After approximately 1000km this improved. Works pretty fine now.

I was curious about the forward drive as this is rather not known as a good climber. It is noticeable that the Midracer has feedbacks to the steering when accelerating strongly or pedaling irregularly. Using the 50t chain ring, you can only notice this during starting but with the 39t also while riding the plain. Thus, I adapt the transmission in a way that I can ride almost everything on the big chain wheel. I asked Zox-riders whether they noticed this phenomenon as well but all of them denied. The drag in the steering should be a lot smaller with a 20inch forward drive and the according bigger chain wheels and the consequently smaller chain tension. Rethinking the forces of fork and driven wheel lead me to the conclusion that every front wheel drives should have this steering feedback. Hence, I would like to test ride a Zox26 in comparison.

Ascending slopes of 5%, regardless whether dry or wet are no problem with the Midracer, it does not slip. At more than 10% the range of limit conditions starts for the Midracer. Depending on outer conditions, the wheel slips. At 8% and lightly bumpy track, the front wheel slipped. In spite of that you will come up-hill. Additionally, I did not have the impression I had to stop due to the bike becoming instable or unsafe. The slip of the front wheel can well be handled. Ascends of 10% were rideable without slip as well. Due to a lack of rain during the first 1000km, I could not yet determine slipping problems in wet conditions. Here in the Bergisches Land region, south of river Ruhr, there are few steep ascend to test, I would really have to actively look for them. When starting, especially in wet conditions, you should be sure not to stand on or shortly in front of road marks (white or yellow color painted on the road). Once I stumbled strongly on such a mark. Also, the front wheel will slip a little when starting. From a subjective view, a rear-driven bike will stir from the spot faster.  Altogether, apart from really extreme things, you can ride everywhere with the front wheel drive.

You have to decide for yourself, whether you like the drag of the steering. But you will immediately notice it during a test-ride. Since I have practically been riding the big chain wheel only, I can well live with it. Steep ascends have to be driven evenly on the small chain ring. Sprinters could dislike this effect and the slip of the front wheel.

The high seat position results in a good overview. Night-rides are a lot more comfortable, as you are less dazzled by car headlights. Communication with race bikers is easier. In spite of the height some of them moaned about little wind shadow. The big front wheel is more agreable on bad roads compared to the lowrider. After a while, you do pay less attention to pot-holes in the road. Vibrations of the road are transported to the rider more via the back wheel now. Apparently, the rear section of the Midracer is stiffer than that of my old lowrider.

Subjectively, you will have more airflow on the face. However, I could not determine a higher sensitivity to side winds. The creaking of the lower seat mount remains annoying, in spite of the fact that I strongly tightened the two allen-key screws already with a ratchet spanner. I think, I will give the foam delivered by Arnold a try.

Actually, I did not want to criticise the big chain role in spite of the fact that it is rather wide with 18mm. In winter, with long trousers, everything went fine. I touched it with the leg but passed by it easily. Well, during an RTF (= RadTouristikFahrt, Bike touristic ride) the other week, at 18°C in short trousers this looked entirely different. The RaptoBike became a RaptoBite. Twice I pinched my leg on the 130km ride. It seems as if the short trousers compresses the leg a little and thus presses the naked skin between knee and trousers less. Whenever you make a wrong movement
you get biten by the chain role. I tried to avoid this by reallocating the leading plate. However, you may not move the plate backwards (counter clockwise) then the screw will release and the plate will dangle around. Learning from this, you should attach the chain role screw with Locktite and take the fitting Allen-Key with you. I already ordered a 13mm wide role at Gingko. Of course, any other slim 80mm role will do it.

The speed is quite comparable to a lowrider. Maybe a little slower in the plain. But I adjusted the seat 4° steeper than at my Jester lowrider. Up-hill this steep seat angle is more comfortable, but I could not determine a gain in speed due to this. Here it is rather a stalemate.

On bad roads, especially rough asphaltic rural roads, the Midracer nivilates better. Much more comfort. In tight corners, in my view, a lowrider behaves better, due to the lower distance to set down a foot and less handicap by the front wheel. Contrary, you can accelerate earlier with the front wheel drive. However, I did not yet entirely get used to the tilt behaviour of the Midracer. I am rather not a „scratch the curve“. The above mentioned RTF was quite insightful. It was mainly flat with one or two hills and a couple of waves. I rode constantly around 33-34km/h in the plain. Most race bikers were still in the winter sleep as well and were collected one after the other, though the really good ones rather do not appear at such a track. My start of from traffic lights, from my point of view rather appreciated as lame, always resulted in a couple of meters of advance towards the race bikers. Only a single race biker from Büttgen could keep up and well-behaved said „thank you“ for the wind shadow at the next control point. There was only one squad of organised riders at which I linked to. But their lead rider rode at up to 39km/h and I had 90km in my legs. At the last hill I could not compete with them because they made slowly and did not really want to attack anymore. After100km RTF and a total of 35km transit there and back home, I had tightly missed the first 30km/h average for this season with 29.9km/h according to GPS.
Thus, the speed is on lowrider-niveau. You could tune the bike more on racing and increase the speed thus, but not if you, like I did, equip the bike for brevets with light-system, mudguards and rack.

In my opinion, the Midracer is a good recumbent bike. You have to decide on your own, if you like the typical riding behaviour of a front wheel driven bike. I like that the designer Arnold Ligvoet tried a couple of new things, such as the separable frame though I find the seat attachment improvable.

The riding position is quite similar to a lowrider. As I adjusted the seat angle to 27 degrees, the transmission of power is pretty good. However, the first start was pretty shaky. Getting the supporting leg into the pedal takes longer than with the lowrider. Riding the bike you immediately notice the quite chain. No noise, no dangling as with the lowrider. Only the big chain role made of plastic makes some noise. Shifting works quick and firm, almost as with the racing bike.
I did not check or optimise the track of the seperable frame. In spite of this, the directional stability was good. Freehand riding is no problem.
Starting, and especially stopping is a balancing act during the first 100km. With an inner leg-length of 84cm, I would like to sit 5cm deeper. Setting down the foot, I will form a hollow-back. After approximately 1000km this improved. Works pretty fine now.

I was curious about the forward drive as this is rather not known as a good climber. It is noticeable that the Midracer has feedbacks to the steering when accelerating strongly or pedaling irregularly. Using the 50t chain ring, you can only notice this during starting but with the 39t also while riding the plain. Thus, I adapt the transmission in a way that I can ride almost everything on the big chain wheel. I asked Zox-riders whether they noticed this penomenon as well but all of them denied. The drag in the steering should be a lot smaller with a 20inch forward drive and the according bigger chain wheels and the consequently smaller chain tension. Rethinking the forces of fork and driven wheel lead me to the conclusion that every front wheel drives should have this steering feedback. Hence, I would like to test ride a Zox26 in comperison.

Ascending slopes of 5%, regardless whether dry or wet are no problem with the Midracer, it does not slip. At more than 10% the range of limit conditions starts for the Midracer. Depending on outer conditions, the wheel slips. At 8% and lightly bumpy track, the front wheel slipped. In spite of that you will come up-hill. Additionally, I did not have the impression I had to stop due to the bike becoming instable or unsafe. The slip of the front wheel can well be handled. Ascends of 10% were rideable without slip as well. Due to a lack of rain during the first 1000km, I could not yet determine slipping problems in wet conditions. Here in the Bergisches Land region, south of river Ruhr, there are few steep ascend to test, I would really have to actively look for them. When starting, especially in wet conditions, you should be sure not to stand on or shortly in front of road marks (white or yellow color painted on the road). Once I stumbled strongly on such a mark. Also, the front wheel will slip a little when starting. From a subjective view, a rear-driven bike will stir from the spot faster.  Altogether, apart from really extreme things, you can ride everywhere with the front wheel drive.

You have to decide for yourself, whether you like the drag of the steering. But you will immediately notice it during a test-ride. Since I have pactically been riding the big chain wheel only, I can well live with it. Steep ascends have to be driven evenly on the small chain ring. Sprinters could dislike this effect and the slip of the front wheel.

The high seat position results in a good overview. Night-rides are a lot more agreable, as you are less dazzled by car headlights. Communication with race bikers is easier. In spite of the height some of them moaned about little wind shadow. The big front wheel is more agreable on bad roads compared to the lowrider. After a while, you do pay less attention to pot-holes in the road. Vibrations of the road are transported to the rider more via the back wheel now. Apparently, the rear section of the Midracer is stiffer than that of my old lowrider.
Subjectively, you will have more airflow on the face. However, I could not determine a higher sensitivity to side winds. The creaking of the lower seat mount remains annoying, in spite of the fact that I strongly tightened the two allen-key screws already with a ratchet spanner. I think, I will give the foam delivered by Arnold a try.
Actually, I did not want to criticise the big chain role in spite of the fact that it is rather wide with 18mm. In winter, with long trousers, everything went fine. I touched it with the leg but passed by it easily. Well, during an RTF (= RadTouristikFahrt, Bike touristic ride) the other week, at 18°C in short trousers this looked entirely different. The RaptoBike became a RaptoBite. Twice I pinched my leg on the 130km ride. It seems as if the short trousers compresses the leg a little and thus presses the naked skin between knee and trousers less. Whenever you make a wrong movement
you get biten by the chain role. I tried to avoid this by reallocating the leading plate. However, you may not move the plate backwards (counter clockwise) then the screw will release and the plate will dangle around. Learning from this, you should attach the chain role screw with Locktite and take the fitting Allen-Key with you. I already ordered a 13mm wide role at Gingko. Of course, any other slim 80mm role will do it.

The speed is quite comparable to a lowrider. Maybe a little slower in the plain. But I adjusted the seat 4° steeper than at my Jester lowrider. Up-hill this steep seat angle is more agreable, but I could not determin a gain in speed due to this. Here it is rather a stalemate.
On bad roads, especially rough asphaltic rural roads, the Midracer nivilates better. Much more comfort. In tight corners, in my view, a lowrider behaves better, due to the lower distance to set down a foot and less handicap by the front wheel. Contrary, you can accelerate earlier with the front wheel drive. However, I did not yet entirely get used to the tilt behaviour of the Midracer. I am rather not a „scratch the curve“. The above mentioned RTF was quite insightful. It was mainly flat with one or two hills and a couple of waves. I rode constantly around 33-34km/h in the plain. Most race bikers were still in the winter sleep as well and were collected one after the other, though the really good ones rather do not appear at such a track. My start of from traffic lights, from my point of view rather appreciated as lame, always resulted in a couple of meters of advance towards the race bikers. Only a single race biker from Büttgen could keep up and well-behaved said „thank you“ for the wind shadow at the next control point. There was only one squad of organised riders at which I linked to. But their lead rider rode at up to 39km/h and I had 90km in my legs. At the last hill I could not compete with them because they made slowly and did not really want to attack anymore. After100km RTF and a total of 35km transit there and back home, I had tightly missed the first 30km/h average for this season with 29.9km/h according to GPS.
Thus, the speed is on lowrider-niveau. You could tune the bike more on racing and increase the speed thus, but not if you, like I did, equip the bike for brevets with light-system, mudguards and rack.

In my opinion, the Midracer is a good recumbent bike. You have to decide on your own, if you like the typical riding behaviour of a front wheel driven bike. I like that the designer Arnold Ligvoet tried a couple of new things, such as the seperable frame though I find the seat attachment improvable.

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