My P-38 on the way!

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by itself, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. itself

    itself New Member

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    Well, I found a sweet, old classic Lightning P-38 for sale, had to grab it as I am looking forward to beating some roadies up with it! This bent can climb. I got a great deal, and she comes with 155mm bike smith cranks and an upgraded tilting stem. A bit of body wear but I don't look for pretty bikes, I look for functional ones. This one will be great to take on camping trips and not have to worry as much about an expensive bike on the rack, like my Aero.

    I'll post pictures soon, I should have her by next weekend!

    Lisa
     
  2. altozwei

    altozwei New Member

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    That is terrific news. Congratulations! I love my trike but I'd really like to have an SWB to give my rides a little variety. My x-seam is too short to even ride most SWB's and of the very few that might fit, they are even fewer and farther between as a used bike. Still, if I'm patient enough I'll find one eventually. Did you finally sell your tandem?
     

  3. itself

    itself New Member

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    Yes, tandem sold! check the Lightning bike fit chart here...their x seam goes pretty small..

    Bike Fitting

    Can't wait to get this new ride!!!

    Lisa
     
  4. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    Does it have the head tube gusset/repair?
     
  5. itself

    itself New Member

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    gusset repair? What do you mean? I called Tim Brummer, the owner of Lightning before I purchased the bike. From 1990-92, they had some stem/frame breakages, but it was only due to heavy riders really cranking on the bikes. My bikes history is good, woman owned first, then second, by a guy who takes really good care of his bikes and doesn't hammer on them. Both very light in stature.

    Lisa
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  6. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    There weren't a few cracked frames, there were a LOT. At least, all of the older frames I've seen have been repaired. To listen to friends' stories, half of Tim's business must be repairing out-of-warranty bikes. Recently, a friend bought a used P-38. It had been completely redone, with new drive train and powder coated a very pretty yellow. You guessed it, they powder-coated right over a very visible crack in a top tube. By Tim's own admission, he builds the bikes to be lightweight, not to be durable; and it was common for them to crack near/at the head tube/top tubes junction. That stopped happening after he started putting a brace into the area.
     
  7. itself

    itself New Member

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    Good information, I did have the bike shop inspect the frame before they shipped it, and it will arrive next week. I am hoping there is no problem...

    When did he start putting the braces on?

    Lisa
     
  8. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    It's been a few years now. Maybe 5 or 6?
     
  9. itself

    itself New Member

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    BlazingPedals,

    Here is the real truth. I am afraid you are sorely misinformed, and should be more cautious about posting information when you do not have the facts. I am not trying to be mean. The gentleman below from the Lightning Riders forum tells the real story:

    Pre-1996 P-38 frames somewhat less robust than newer ones
    Hi Lisa,

    Lightning has been building the P-38 bike since the early / middle 1980s. Some of the earliest frames are still in regular use (I have one of the originals with the permanently attached seat frame.) Because the bikes are so much fun to ride, many Lightning riders accumulate BIG miles on their bikes.

    A very few of the more extreme high mileage riders - especially the people over 200 pounds - experienced frame cracks on older frames. Mostly around the head tube area, but once in while around the seat as well. This happened to me on a frame built in 1994. Lightning repaired my out-of-warranty frame at a modest cost and gave me a fresh powdercoat job too. The repaired frame was better than new.

    In 1996, Lightning beefed up the P-38 frame in a variety of ways. The newer frames are easy to distinguish from the older ones: they have a small ovalized cross brace between the twin top tubes, just ahead of the seat area. The newer frames are more reliable than the older ones.

    There is an old saying about bikes: light, cheap, long-lasting. Pick two. The point is that bike design involves trade-offs between competing desirable qualities. It is easy to make a frame that will be cheap and last forever. But it will be heavy, and less fun to ride.

    If you weigh more than 200 / 250 pounds, ride over curbs and pot-holed streets, and ride in excess of five thousand miles a year on your bike, you may be better off not buying a pre-1996 Lightning P-38.

    If you are of more ordinary weight and do not beat the crap out of your bike, you will probably find that your post-1995 Lighting P-38 will last longer than you.

    Only the Avatar / Ryan Vanguard, Easy Racers, and RANS long wheelbase recumbent bikes have been in service as long as the Lightnings. All of these bikes - except the Lightnings - are built with heavier riders in mind, and they weigh significantly more than a P-38.

    I have owned these other bikes too. The other recumbent bikes have their charms, but the Lightning is best, by a considerable margin.
     
  10. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    I'm not trying to bad-mouth Lightning; I'm just trying to warn you of a potential, and repairable problem. I hope yours is new enough to have the brace, because I've never heard of any problems with the post-repair frames.
     
  11. itself

    itself New Member

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    Thanks Blazing pedals! Yes, Lightning is truly a good company, just want to make sure no bad rumors are spread. I think we are all now well informed on both sides of the issue.

    Lisa :)
     
  12. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    So, Lisa... did it arrive yet? How many speeds and how's it ride? We need pics!
     
  13. itself

    itself New Member

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    I am sooooo mad...the bike did not ship until Wednesday. It arrives tomorrow, but the darn thing is set up for a 38 inch x seam, so I will try to push the boom out a bit, but I will have to get to the bike shop on Monday to add chain link, grrrrrrr.

    Short or not, she's going to get a small test ride tomorrow. I will FOR SURE post pictures and a report. I can't stand myself right now....tick, tock, tick tock, get the f.... here!

    Lisa ;)
     
  14. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    I've seen the pics you posted on BROL and was relieved to see it had the brace. Can't see how many cogs on the cassette, though. Don'cha know, garage door pics are supposed to show the starboard (drive) side of the bike! It looks to be in very nice condition. Is that a 349 16-inch front wheel?
     
  15. itself

    itself New Member

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    Yes, it does turn out to be a 16 inch front wheel.

    The bike was seriously piecemealed together. XTR rear deraillur on a road bike.

    It's at the shop and being completely refitted, new cables and housing, new rear cassette and chain. It will be a really worthy ride once complete tomorrow. Also, the front chain ring came tacoed, the guy who shipped it packed it poorly. So a new large chain ring and new front deraillur.

    I will post pics tomorrow. Oh, yes, it is the more sturdy frame a good thing!
     
  16. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    A mountain derailleur would be pretty common for a recumbent, since stuff for road triples used to be hard to find. Many still use SRAM stuff, which is primarily for off-road. My V-Rex came with LX derailleurs. So, yours was either stock that way or an upgrade. XTR is the Good Stuff(tm). Too bad about the bent chainring.

    The 16-inch front wheel is for standover height. I guess the 20" front wheel made the seat tall enough to be awkward for <5'10" riders to get their legs over the corner of the seat & to the ground.
     
  17. itself

    itself New Member

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    Well, this bike is come and gone. The seat was terribly uncomfortable. And now Lightning is marketing their "new" midracer??? Same bike just a different seat. I don't care for that kind of deceptive marketing. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  18. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    There's marketing, and there's truth. You have to be able to pick the latter out of the former. Bike-Es were anything but fast. But rather than coming out and saying theirs were fast (that would have been an outright lie; ) what they said was that recumbents held all the speed records and theirs was a recumbent.

    Litespeed showed up at one of our big club rides, with a trailer-load of their bikes to loan out. When everyone finished, I remarked to the rep that although everyone tried, the older, slightly-overweight guy on the lowracer won all the sprints. He looked at me sheepishly and asked, "what did you expect?" But it would be bad for marketing to say "we're almost as fast as a recumbent," right? So instead, they tell you that lighter is faster, and theirs are light. Draw your own (hopefully incorrect) conclusions. :rolleyes: