Rans Recumbents 2001 Rocket Older Recumbent Bike

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Sep 01, 2002]
bentrider
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Great cost

Weakness:

Doesn't compare to my other bent. Grip shifter.. you got to be kidding.

The Rans Rocket is a good starting bent or a second bent. But I don't think it qualifies as a great bent or a serious bent. I’ve had several different bents. Vision’s, Optima Lynx and this Rans. BUT due to the cost of the Lynx and the thousands of mile on it I needed a second bike for weekday riding (15 or 20 miles a day). The Rans does that fine. In fact I would say it does that great. But for a long weekend ride I wouldn’t want to do it on a Rans. I’ve started getting it ready for evening riding this winter (I would never ride the Lynx at night due to it being so low to the ground). The Rans frame is strong and the seat is fine. But it still doesn’t compare to a Lynx. But then the two bikes make for a great combination. I don’t plan to get rid of either one. The one thing that I did HATE was the grip shifter. Changing it out to have a speed shifter improved my opinion a great deal. The Velocity wheels were put on only because I have a stack of equipment from my past bents. The Rans is a very nice bent and I would have enjoyed it as my first bent. It does what I bought it for. Besides do most people want or need a bike like a Lynx. If your not going to go bent crazy the Rans makes for a good recumbent. If you need a second bike the Rans makes for a good recumbent.

Similar Products Used:

Visions 40 and 45. Optima Lynx

[May 20, 2002]
Russ Price
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfort with speed, mostly solid components. The 8-speed SRAM 7.0 derailleur/shifter combo works nicely, and can take some nasty hits without skipping a beat. I've taken it on longer rides than I've taken any other bike.

Weakness:

The stock SRAM 7.0 brakes work much better with Tektro pads installed, and the LP-27 bottom bracket should be upgraded to a UN-52 at the first opportunity. 20" drive wheels require tradeoffs in drivetrain design.

Absolutely a blast to ride! Once I figured out how to start, it was love at first ride. It's very comfortable, and has quick yet stable handling - it almost steers by thought command. IMHO, it's one of the better values among recumbent bikes - great performance at a reasonable price.

Similar Products Used:

None... my first 'bent.

[Apr 01, 2002]
jetstar
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Quality frame, very lively but stable ride, fantastic seat (the industry standard) very fast, good climber, light weight, probably the best componet selection of any bent in this price range. The SCRAM 7.0 groupo works very well. The Rans seat bag works, looks and fits great.

Weakness:

The brakes feel mushy but will still lock the wheels. The stock pedals need to be replaced with your favorite clipless pedals. (even more important on a recumbent) The SWB heel clearance problem, it takes a little practice to turn sharp at very low speeds, your heel tends to contact the front wheel. Not realy a problem but you need to be aware of it.

I have owned my Rocket for about 6 months now, and I Love it! I am 54 years old and have owned many road and mountain bikes. This is my first recumbent bicycle. I test road several bents before choosing the Rocket. This little bike is a blast to ride, it is very fast (faster then my trek 2300 carbon). I seem to be able to maintain only a slightly faster average speed but I no longer need to stop and rest my weary body like I used to. I now ride much longer distances with unbelievable comfort. After 3 or 4 hours I feel GREAT! No pain at all except for my tired legs. I think that any quality bent will give you most of these qualities (compared to a wedgie bike). The bottom line is, if I had to choose a bike today it would definitely be the Rans Rocket. Great ride, great value and good looking. I am looking forward to doing some cross country touring on this little baby.

Similar Products Used:

BikeE, Longbike slipstream,

[Aug 22, 2001]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

The 2001 Rocket is a much more stable ride, due the 2" increase of front wheel assembly. The main tube is 2" CHMOL
and is a fairly light bike for it's class. It has a nice 8 speed SRAM with indexed shifting that really works like a charm. They drive a SHIMANO 8 hub. It also has a SRAM indexing on the front with 3 rings (62/52/39). Both tires are 20x1.75 Primo Comet. (See weakness). It is a FANTASTIC hill climber (essential in Utah) and is a VERY quick bike. My top speed is 45 MPH and then I "chickened out" because of the lack of brakes (see weakness). All in all the best SWB I have been on so far. Rans has great quality. Great seat, too! Very comfy and a joy to ride.

Weakness:

Paint does chip. Rans did include a small bottle of paint. The brakes are weak for a fast bike. I am looking into getting a disc brake or SOMETHING. The brakes heat up and just lose stopping power. The tires are weak, but acceptable. There are MUCH better tires out there. These are small items (except the brakes at 50 mph.) The bike does not do well in the dirt or gravel, but most roadbikes don't.

This is a great bike. Built well and from good steel. Check the Rans site and see if you fit that bike or maybe a longer version. Bar none the best VALUE I have found for the quality you get. I was surprised how well it performed and looked. Kids always compliment me : "COOL BIKE!!" . I shopped around and this is the bike I would recommend. I feel comfortable getting ANY Rans product. Really, GET THIS BIKE!!!

Similar Products Used:

Vision Metro, Linear CLWB, Bike E, Trek Recumbent (yuk) and several others I have test ridden.

[Jul 03, 2001]
Anonymous
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I have had my '01 Rocket for about 4 months and 1000 now and absolutley LOVE it! Handles like only a dual 20" bike can. Very steady at high speed (up to 53.5 MPH so far!) and good at low speed. Performed very well on a self supported tour pulling a B.O.B. trailer. Good quality parts for the most part. Excellent deal. 1.75" Primo Comets are much better than the 1.35's that used to come on it.

Weakness:

Paint scratches rather easily; Cranks/bb/F.Derailer could be higher quality. Doesn't come with low enough gearing for loaded touring. My brakes feel like they aren't as smooth as they should be.

You can't go wrong with a Rocket. It might feel a little twitchy if you haven't ridden a recumbent before, but with a little practice that ride turns to sporty. Try all the bikes you can and take them for a good ride. Try to ride them a second time to get a good feel for the bike. Get Bent!

Similar Products Used:

test rode Visions (Didn't like them), RANS V-Rex, V2, Tour Easy. LWB didn't fit my lifestyle at the moment. V-Rex was very nice, but $600 more, and didn't have the sporty ride that the Rocket had

[Aug 20, 2001]
Anonymous
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Frame: The frame is well built, with good attention to detail. There are enough braze-ons for all sorts of accessories, including any type of gear system you can think of.

Gears: The quality of the gears exceeded my expectations. The SRAM 7 compo works well. Gear range is nice and wide. Granny gear can't be any lower or you'd fall off the bike. Top-end is pretty good. I don't have a computer, but judging by the speed cars pass me down-hill, I think top gear is good for 70-80 km/h!

Accessories: Good range of accessories. Those accessories I bought are of good quality.

Looks: This bike looks mean! If you want to attract attention, ride a Rocket (especially in a country that has very few 'bents on the road). Even when parked, this bike gives the impression of meaning business.

Ease of learning to ride: This is the first 'bent I ever road. I was not able to test ride any 'bent before my purchase. I researched my 'bent purchase on the Internet for 2 years before I decided on the Rocket. I found it very easy to learn to ride. I started with the seat as upright as possible, and gradually leaned it back. Now I have it as far back as it can go. Fine-tuning the seat-pedals distance takes a lot of time (this is probably true of all 'bents).

Handling and comfort: Even on bad roads, the handling is solid and predictable and comfort is superb. I find no need for suspension on this bike. No frame flex when pedalling hard. Some complain of the seat slipping - I have tried to pedal as forcefully as possible to get the seat to slip, and I have not succeeded.

Comfort: Once you get the seat and handlebar set up, this bike must be as comfortable as it gets. I can ride for over 2 hours without any discomfort whatsoever. In fact, I now ride until my legs can't go any more. The upper body remains totally unstressed. (On uprights - I've tried many - I start feeling discomfort after 30 minutes, and more than an hour is torture.)

Tires: I replaced the stock Primo Comets with Conti Top Touring 2000 tires. I did this in the name of long-wearing unbreakable tires, and so far I'm happy. The TT's give nice ride - good handling and they also absorb road irregularities well. I'm sure the superb comfort is partly thanks to the TT2000 tires.

Fenders: I have not been through water yet (the only reason I mounted them was to get them off the floor). They appear to have good coverage, and I expect they'll work as least as well as those on my Brompton T5 (the best fenders I've ever had on a bike).

Seat bag: A life saver. Easy to mount and dismount. Holds the water bladder with hole for the drinking pipe. Holds plenty of tools with room to spare for commuting use, including cell phone, notebook computer and lights/charger. However, when loaded very heavily, the front wheel gets light (but not enough to adversely affect handling).

SWB makes the bike easy to park and take in elevators.

Weakness:

Weight: The weight of the bike without accessories is good, but attach the Rans accessories and you quickly find the bike weighs a ton. However, compared to other bikes in its class, it's light.

Heel strike: When Bent Rider Online tested the 2001 Rocket, they said there's no heel strike. Well, that's the only comment in their roadtest I beg to differ with. When making sharp turns, heel strike is a problem (I take 42cm shoes - not exactly big feet). You learn to cope with it, but slow sharp turns make me feel like a circus clown.

Accessories: The rear rack kit comes with nuts, bolts and washers required to fit only the rear rack. The fender kit supplies only the bolts etc. required to fit the fender. Now, fitting the rear rack and rear fender, I found the supplied bolts too short. You'd think ordering the rack and fender kits would have them send you the correct size bolts. I had to purchase longer bolts to securely fit both rear fender and rack. The rear rack is very sturdy, but it's short on space. It's much shorter than I expected. It does however provide better mounting for the rear reflector than the seat does.

Paint: The paint seems to chip and scratch more readily than on other (DF) bikes I've owned. Can't match the paint quality to my Brompton T5.

Brakes: The SRAM 7 brakes feel mushy, but seem to work OK. Heavy braking has the rims warm up very quickly in Israel's summer heat, which makes the brakes squeal.

Chain routing: I find the chain often hits the frame, scratching it. On the largest charin ring, the chain often hits my leg/pants and the main frame tube. I adjust by moving my right leg out a bit. I expect this problem is not unique to the Rocket.

Rear rack: Too small to be of much use. Some space is lost because the seat mount rails pass through the rack. I'm not convinced the mounting system is really that strong if you load up the rack. With the seat leaning as far back as it can, I'm left with very little useful space on the rack. It is however good enough to mount panniers. I bought the seat bag too, which makes the rack unnecessary.

The Rans Rocket 2001 model is an excellent bike. I can't compare it to other 'bents, since I don't have access to 'bent dealers for test rides. I can compare it to all the road/mountain/folding bikes I've owned in the past. The Rocket is the best bike I've ever owned. It is easy to ride, it's comfortable, and it's fast. And best of all, its FUN. Hill climbing is good (I'm still building my recumbent legs). This appears to be a quality bike, and I look forward to many years of service. If you're looking for a 'bent in the $1000 price range, I don't believe you can do much better than the Rocket. And the frame is so good, you can upgrade the components as far as your wallet can manage (though I don't see any need to do so, except for the tires and perhaps the brakes).

If I could do it all again, the only part I would not purchase is the rear rack. The seat bag holds everything I need to take along.

Similar Products Used:

None. This is the first 'bent I ever saw, rode, or purchased.

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