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Catrike has designed a new bike, the Catbike Musashi.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxld4jJD0SI]YouTube - Musashi[/ame]
 

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That is a very cool bike. A US made lowracer, great rear geometry, SRAM Rival, bar ends, open cockpit, 451/700c (451/622) wheels. Wow, it looks like a nice performance bike.
 

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Greater lowracer availability in the US is a good thing; right now there's only Barcroft and a handful of expensive European models. That's ironic, since there were no lowracers in Europe until Sean Costin took his MonkeyHandt over there one year for the world HPV championships and cleaned up. I sure hope this model is successful. It looks promising.
 

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Greater lowracer availability in the US is a good thing; right now there's only Barcroft and a handful of expensive European models. That's ironic, since there were no lowracers in Europe until Sean Costin took his MonkeyHandt over there one year for the world HPV championships and cleaned up. I sure hope this model is successful. It looks promising.
I hope so as well. Having one of the major US manufacturers of recumbents enjoying success with a lowracer would be great. It might break the hi-racer hegemony in the US.
 

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Having both a highracer and a lowracer, I understand the appeal of highracers. Cars are bigger here, and height is seen as a safety factor. I don't necessarily agree with that reasoning, but there it is. The one other factor that I do agree with is that they mix better in groups of upright bikes.

The Musashi doesn't look like it'll be particularly fast, but it'll be fast enough to impress most potential buyers. And having a domestic (read: affordable) lowracer available may make more US rider apt to try one.
 

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No doubt that hi-racers fit in better with uprights. The safety thing is mostly fear chatter, subjective not objective.

I do think the Musashi will end up being considered fast due to its default gearing.

It looks like it will be running a compact double (50/34) with a 11-28 10 speed cassette. All SRAM Rival with bar ends. That will put its low gearing at 32" and its high at 122", give or take. That is your basic performance road bike gearing. Obviously this isn't going to compete with John M's Lowracers but it will be an affordable investment for weekend warriors to have fun with.

The rear end looks stiff and it should have good power transfer, I think it will be a fun bike.
 

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The Musashi sits higher than a typical lowracer, and thus the visibility I believe will be better. The Fujin and the VK2 sit very low, and definitely with cars can be a factor.

Speed...IMHO, the Musashi will be wicked fast! Yes, she weighs in at 27lbs, but I plan to build mine up with very light wheels, bar end shifters and lighter handlebars. In speaking to Mark at Catrike, he is building his up and believes he can get it down to 24lbs.

It's a stable bike, and I think will have a lot of appeal to the general public.

Lisa :)
 

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I don't expect it to be 'wicked fast,' but I do expect it to be a good performer. I guess 'wicked' would be a subjective analysis; so I can't say you're wrong; just that I wouldn't go quite that far. I think it'll probably make a good showing at HPRA events, may even podium, but probably won't outright win anything unless one of the really big engines 'borrows' one for the event (not too far-fetched; I've seen that happen before.)

Does this mean you're getting one, Lisa? Maybe you could give us a report...
 

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It's down to the Musashi and the Fujin, and I reallly need to get test rides in. I really like both of them, but the Fujin weighs in far less. So we will have to see!

Lisa :)
 

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Well, I took the Musashi for a test ride and was a bit disappointed.

The good news:

very stable
easy to start and stop
corners great
beautifully made, with a carbon fork
not as heavy as I thought
SRAM shifters were great

Bad news:

just didn't have a lot of kick or panache

I got a chance to see a "real" lowracer, the Baron, and after that, a Fujin is out. These bikes are low, really low. And the preying mantis steering is very different.

Lisa
 

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I got a chance to see a "real" lowracer, the Baron, and after that, a Fujin is out. These bikes are low, really low. And the preying mantis steering is very different.

Lisa
Lowracers aren't for everyone! If steering were the only issue, you could change it; but I take it there's more to it than that. I would think it would be very hard to alternate between a very reclined/open position lowracer and a very upright/closed position P-38.
 

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True a lowracer is not for everyone! The OC on the Musashi I know could be put on a Baron/VK2/Fujin, as many do this as it lends the bike for better control.

It's just that the drivers are so dang crazy here in AZ! I wish someone would come out with a midracer around 17" high, in carbon!

Lisa :)
 

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I wish someone would come out with a midracer around 17" high, in carbon!
The guy who builds this goes by "Johnny Magic" on this forum. Yes, he can be bought.


There's also several models of M5 that would fit the bill. My M5 Carbon Highracer has an 18" seat height, and that's with 700c wheels. The 650C model would obviously be lower. They also make what they call a "medium racer." M5s are harder to get in the US though, because there's no distributor.

I think it's steel, but Meta Bikes makes a 'highracer' with dual 700C wheels and a pretty low seat height. Still looks like more than 17 inches, though.


Have you considered a Barcroft Virginia with a hardshell seat?
 
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