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Phantom, P38 and Giro 20 ATT


I'm new to this forum. It looks like a great place and a wealth of information.

I am currently riding a RANS Rocket, which I've had for many years. I am looking to upgrade to something new.

I am considering the following three bikes:
P38 Sport
P38 Performance Wheels
Giro 20 ATT

My main purposes for the bike are commuting and possibly touring. I'm not really into racing, however, I do like to go really fast on my commutes.

I would like to get some experienced recumbent riders opinions as to why I should choose one model over the others.

Originally I was leaning towards the Giro, but the more I read, the more I am starting to like the lightning bikes.

I look forward to your responses.

Oh, keep in mind I am brutal with my wheels so those flimsy race wheels would likely be broken in a week.


I got a Phantom about a year and a half ago. I got upgraded "Velocity" rims with Continental Sport tires and am very satisfied. I handled all of this through Lightning Cycles (Tim Brunner). Then I went for the upgraded crankset w/Shimano XT pedals. I also went with a "small" seat on a medium/large frame. Bike weighs about 23 to 24 pounds (depends on scale).The urban streets where I live are rougher than a witch's kiss. Nothing has required repair, replacement or adjustment other than the rear blinking light which loosens up every week or so. And that's not the bike. Lightning with medium/large frame is YELLOW - promotes visibility. I highly recommend the PHANTOM.

How does the Phantom feel on the bumps? I would think the short wheelbase would make it a very bumpy ride. Is this the case?

Compared with my long wheel base Sun AX-1 - yes, it is more bumpy, but less so than my road bike on the same streets or roads. I have to use clipless pedals because our streets are very rough. (My feet come off of the pedals otherwise.) This year, I have put nearly 500 miles on my Phantom, 100 on my Sun AX-1 and no more than 30 on my road bike.

I feel the bumps on the Phantom through the handle bars - the seat does a good job absorbing shock.

Most of us - probably 99% - got interested in recumbent bicycles because we love cycling, but do not love the various discomforts caused by traditional upright bikes. Especially on longer rides.

So comfort is key. The Lightning bikes are presently available with two very different seats: the more heads-up mesh seat, and the new "midracer" carbon fiber laid-back seat. The Bacchetta Giro 20 ATT also can be had with two very different seats: the "recurve" and the "euromesh".

My advice: before taking a magnifying glass to the lists of specifications and components, and sweating the small stuff, RIDE ALL FOUR DIFFERENT SEATS. Sleep on it. RIDE ALL FOUR SEATS SOME MORE. One or more of these seats may feel substantially better or worse to your own beloved butt and back. I would guess that the Bacchetta recurve would feel pretty similar to the seat on your trusty old RANS Rocket. At least they feel pretty similar to me.

After you have some actual saddle time on the four seats - and the Lightning and Bacchetta bikes that the seats are attached to - report back to us with your personal subjective reactions.

We can take it from there.

Can't find Lightning or Bacchetta bikes locally for test rides? Time for a road trip!

Safe riding,
Joel Dickman


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