Fred & Ophélie, www.partirlespiedsdevant.com
It’s now 11 months we’re on a bike trip on our Azub 5.
We started in may 1st, 2013, in USA where we spent 4 unforgettable months/7000 km between Las Vegas and San Francisco. Then we flew to Cuzco in Perou and rode until Ushuaia in Tierra Del Fuego, end of the world !! It was another 7000 km in incredible landscapes and very tough roads. Tough for us and also for the bikes as we broke 1 rear suspension and 1 rear rim.
We climbed to very high mountains, spending almost 2 months over 4000m and reaching a 4850m pass. Our Azub 5 are heavy but we climbed very well, much better than expected, especially considering the lake of oxygen.
We also rode the famous Carretera Australe in Chile, a 1200 km road, mostly unpaved with some very bad sections of dirt, rocks and washboard. There too, the bikes went pretty well, thanks too the suspensions and wide tires with low pressure. We even passed some mountain bikes !
On paved road, we managed to do long haul several times : 134 km, 154 km, 164 km… It’s not a problem to ride a long time on a recumbent, if the legs are ok, the rest is ok !
Now (March 23rd), we’re currently riding in Spain for the last weeks of our fantastic trip. Snow, rain, cold… what a strange spring ! We’ll be back home mid-April, reaching more than 15000 km.
Let’s talk about the bikes. It’s now almost 5 years and here what I can say after 23000 km in total : we still love them !
solid. They are really strong as we felt badly several time with no damages. They even survived to the handling in 6 different planes, which a good challenge !
Very good racks for the bags. Especially the expedition one which low down the center of gravity and increase stability. We can load a lot of weight on the racks, probably too much;).
I reached 102 km/h in a downhill and I was still feeling safe, no vibrations.
good rear axle with oversized bearings. Bombproof even if we had sometimes to tighten it and had to change one of the bearing which was totally rusty. The way the rear arm is built also avoid bumps and loss of power while climbing. This is a good thing.
Built to resist. It good to see that members of Azub are also bike travellers. Thus, frame’s tubes are oversized, all screws have a large diameter than usual, steam and handlebars are very thick and our bikes came with strong 36 spokes wheels.
the new idler we tested for Azub is far better. It’s now a cog-wheel with a 8mm axle, instead of the former cheap noisy wheel with this huge 12mm axle. Now, it’s fluider and silent.
The bikes came with Shimano Deore transmission. So far so good, simple and reliable.
Now, we have to be totally honest and talk about the few weaknesses :
We had to reinforce the bottom of our seats with an homemade aluminium plate. After 4 year sand 10000 km, they were close to break. And we don’t weight 150 kg 😉
all the varnish of the boom and the racks has removed. Just esthetical problem.
Our expensive Meks Carbon front fork are almost dead. We can’t block them anymore and we have only 1 or 2 cm travel. It might be a normal problem and I hope to find a way to maintain them. But 23000 km is not that much for a good fork.
As a conclusion, I can only recommand people to travel with their bikes. Sport, challenge, huge feeling of freedom, experiences, wilderness…
Whatever the bike but Azub made good ones. And I thanks Honza for his support with the few spare parts he gave us.