Saturday, February 10, 2007

Larry Graham - Bacchetta Aero [Ti & Carbon]

Location: Westerville Ohio, USA (central part of the state)

LD Experience:
  • Super Randonneurs on Traditional frame, Tandem (traditional/ wife) and Recumbent
  • Last Chance 1200 in 2006 w/ time of 59:08.
  • Had lowest 600km time in 2006 for RUSA of 22:14.
  • Mutable time UMCA 12 & 24 hour series champion.
  • Numerous 12 & 24 hour records.
  • Ohio E-W record of 12:34 (traditional frame record E-W is 15:40)

Bent Make/Model: Bacchetta Ti Aero, Bacchetta CarbonAero

Why did you start riding bents? I started riding recumbents to go racing and to break a cycling record. I noticed that the recumbent records seemed reasonably obtainable.

Why did you pick this model? This bike picked me. I started out on a borrowed Rans V-Rex. I then worked with a local enthusiast that wanted to make recumbent frames. I helped him with some design and most of the testing. I rode one of the early prototypes to a class record at the Sebring 24 hour drafting class in 2005 of 412.5miles (overall drafting class winner). Before the race the builder and I had a falling out over direction of the project. This was going to be a one race deal. Team Bacchetta was at the Sebring race and I finished second to Jim Kern. Afterward I went up to Rich Pinto and stated “I’m Larry Graham and I’m looking to buy a bike”. Rick’s response was “Your Larry Graham! Did you really ride 425 miles on a V-Rex at the New England 24?” “Call me when you get back home”. I’ve been with them every since.

Modifications from stock? Reynolds aero fork. Teracycles idler. Bar end shifters. Zipp 404 wheels (the rear is used on hilly and wind less races) Renn rear disc. My own designed headrest. Tektro reverse mount front brake. Shimano external Bottom bracket crank with TA and FSA chain rings. Sram brake levers. Vintage Shimano front derailleur.
The Ti Aero is set up more for training and Brevets; The CarbonAero is more for races and fast ultra events.

Lighting: I use an old Nightrider Digital Headtrip with custom batteries as a helmet light. I have a Cateye LED mounted to the bike with a Teracycles light mount. Cateye tail light mounted to my headrest.

Fenders: With a solid seat I don’t use fenders, but I have set up a SKS quick mount fender just in case.

Luggage: I use a Bacchetta All in One bag if I want to use a lager water bladder or the Bacchetta Brain Box if I am using water bottles primarily.

Navigation: I use a Garmin 60csx with my own custom mount for Brevets.

Bent specific riding techniques: I’ve learned how to climb better with the right use of power, cadence, and gearing. I’ve learned what My strengths and weaknesses are. It's important to learn what your bike is capable of and what’s it not.

Riding with other bents and DFs: Learning to ride with DF’s is a challenge. It is important that the recumbent rider take a positive approach. Don’t force yourself in where you are not wanted. But then again don’t shy away from jumping into the mix. I try to find the shortest person in a rotating pace line and tell them that they will get a great draft off me and they will be able to see right over me. Just stay tight. I prove that I can ride straight and that I know that I’m doing. I take my pulls unless I’m in the way. Then I’ll just hang at the back and let riders falling back in line that is clear to do so. I try extra hard to be friendly and positive riding a recumbent. I will often do a “Demo” of how fast a recumbent can climb, sprint or pull the group. By the second or third time riding with a group, I’m generally accepted.

Eating on a bent: I have two bottle mounts on the bike with the option of a third. For ultra events and races I am on a liquid diet. For Brevets I just eat what I find along the route along with some of what I race with. Hammer Nutrition Products mostly.

If you were to start again what bent/setup would you get? I’m lucky in that I can ride anything that I want. To do what I’m doing, the Bacchetta can’t be beat. It does everything that I could ever hope from a bicycle. Now, if I decide to tour across the country fully loaded, I have a friend that has a Ryan Vanguard that would be first on my list to take. If I ever get the chance to race in RAAM, you can be assured that it will be on a Bacchetta. I really think that the 650c wheel setup on the Bacchetta is a great compromise, I like to ride a bike that was built with 700c wheels. If for no other reason for the simplicity of tire and gearing choices.


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