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R84 midracer to F40?

Is it possible/easy to upgrade the R84 midracer to an F40?

In order to see above the F40 front fairing, your seat angle needs to be fairly heads-up. Like the standard Lightning mesh seat. So I would say that the midracer seat will not make beautiful music with the F40 fairing. There would also be a problem using the rear tail framework with the midracer seat.

My own view is that the P-38 is a wonderful bike, and some people will like the upright mesh seat, others the more laid-back midracer seat. I do not have personal riding experience with the carbon R84 bike, but am told by riders that it is similar to the P-38. Lighter, with nicer components, and equipped with front and rear suspension to smooth the ride.

The F40 is really in a class by itself among recumbent bicycles. If you are thrilled by going fast, and do not have the ability or inclination to roll your own home-brew F40, buying the bike from Lightning is the way to go. If you get the P-38 with the mesh seat and the crankset boom with the little fairing mounting stub, you leave yourself the option of transforming it into an F40 at some time in the future. The R84 bike could be set up this way too. If buying the bike new, just explain to Tim Brummer that you want to keep the F40 possibility open for the future.

There is a rider in Australia who posts notes under the name stix that has an F40 with an R84 bike underneath the fairing. You could correspond with him about this. I think he also sometimes posts notes on the BROL forum, and Warren Beauchamp's forum.

As always, consult Tim Brummer at Lightning for the authoritative last word on this question. And anything else Lightning related.

Safe riding,
Joel Dickman

Thanks for the info., Joel!

I just spoke with Tim Brummer and he said he could make a 700c wheeled midracer R84, although he didn't recommend it. He said that the seat angle would be higher on the 700 than the 650 and would place more weight on the rider's butt. It would, however, still be slightly more reclined that the mesh seat. I, currently, ride a Windcheetah Hypersport that has a seat angle of ~50 degrees, which is close to what a 700c midracer would be. Still thinking about what to do...hmmm!

Hi again Chazz,

1) Tim Brummer says he can build you an R84 bike with the mid racer style seat that will accept a 700C rear wheel instead of the stock 650C rear wheel. And that doing this means tilting the seat upward more than normal.

But will this allow you to use the bike with the F40 fairing? I would not have thought so, but maybe if the seat is tilted up enough it would work. Did you ask him about this?

2) You write that you ride a Windcheetah trike. I had a few rides in one of these many years ago. I remember the seat being VERY different than the Lightning mesh seats. The Lightning mesh seats have a little curve that fits into the small of your back - a lumbar support curve. The Windcheetah seat is completely different - almost bowl-shaped.

I have never had a ride on the Lightning mid racer carbon seat, so I do not know what it feels like. Though I do have a different hardshell seat on one of my Lightning bikes.

Moral of the story: seat comfort is the primary concern for most recumbent riders, and if you have not given the Lightning seats a butt test, you should do so before ordering a new bike. Both the mesh seat and the carbon hardshell seat are likely to feel very unlike the Windcheetah seat that you are familiar with.

Hope this helps, and safe riding,

Hi Joel,

Yes, I did ask Tim about the F40 conversion with the hardshell seat. He said it wouldn't work. If one wanted to upgrade, they would have to change to a mesh seat.

What you said regarding seat time is correct, though I'm having no luck finding a lightning of any kind to try out. One gentleman on this forum was kind enough to offer a ride and coaching, but he is away from Florida for at least 6 months. I plan to call the closest Lightning dealer to me (Ride n Roll Cyclery in Largo) to see if they have anything in stock that I can try.

Just noticed this post, I have an R-84 that came with the F-40 stub on the BB shell. It would be an easy matter to add the fairing as all the attachment points are the same as P-38..
BTW ,yes it rides just like the P-38 only smoother.
When I still had both bikes I was able to see the difference on the same ride I do regularly .
The R-84 really takes the harshness out of the bumps .
I sold the P-38 and still have the R-84.
On the subject of a midracer with a 700 wheel; My friend bought a P-38 midracer and I set it up for him.
he wanted a 700 rear wheel instead of the 650 that came with it.
The seat angle ,[as he likes It],with the 700 wheel is about 40 degrees ,[too reclined for me],but he loves it.
He also rides a Barcroft Ti-Virginia and this is the same seat angle.
The seat still has lots of room to be angled down even more before hitting tire.
I kept the 650 wheel for him in case he needed it but, he is still using the 700 wheel.
I have some Pix of the P-38 with 700 wheel setup if you want to see them email me at


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