After 25 years of recumbent biking and triking, the moment came to add a new one to my collection. I own a Challenge Seiran (comparable to AZUB MAX) which is a bit too high for me and a Challenge Hurricane (comparable to AZUB MINI) that is really well used and falling apart. My first was a Challenge Twister, which I have many good memories of.
Three years ago, just before the COVID-19 pandemic started, I met Honza from AZUB at a huge fair in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Azub bikes caught my eye with their great design and their smart ergonomics. And the SIX was the AZUB version of my first bent with its 20-26 wheels, oversized frame tube and the solid seat. Later I had the possibility to try a SIX with Abeona, my bike shop. Even though it had above seat steering, which is not my favourite, I felt this would be my new bike. It took some more time before it was the right moment to buy, with the pandemic and some other life events happening.
Thijs Broekhuijsen and I sat behind the computer together and chose all the possible options to make it really my bike. With my many years of experience it was not too difficult. And AZUB provides all the possibilities to configurate for your needs. We chose the options to make it a strong and reliable bike for both everyday use and traveling. I opted for a solid front fork without suspension. The wide balloon tires give enough comfort. AZUB has excellent ‘expedition carriers’ that can hold any brand of bags. I have good experiences with a combination of an internal gear hub with a cassette and derailleur. So I was happy to have this the new bike too: the Sturmey Archer Tripleshift 27. It allows to shift while standing still, for instance after an emergency stop.
After a relatively short time, my SIX arrived. After assembling by Thijs and his coworkers, it was time to try it. The first meters were a bit wobbly and anxious. Then, I realized how well the bike fitted my body. It was like getting to know somebody and feel you will become friends.
Just a few weeks later, I had the possibility to do a weekend of biking and camping. I collected all the camping gear: tent, stove, mat, sleeping bag etcetera. It was easy to pack everything on the SIX because it can carry two big sets of bags. Most people have small ones in the front and big ones in the bag. The SIX can have all heavy things in big bags under the seat and the lighter things in bags on the carrier behind the seat. Then, the balance of the bike only gets better as the centre of gravity gets lower. You hardly feel it when there is as much as 20 kg load on the bike. We started on a small camping site close to Leiden. The next day, we headed off to the Central Station to meet some more people. Riding through the historical centre on a Saturday is one of my most feared things. But all was fine. We left the city and went into the ‘green heart’ between the cities in the west of The Netherlands. I sometimes followed others and sometimes rode on my own. My speed was high enough to ride with the group of mostly experienced world travellers. After 65 km we arrived at a small camping at a former farmers house. In a meadow with fruit trees we had plenty of time for a good meal and some talk. The next day, we went back to Leiden riding a distance of 50 km.
The first impression after two months of daily use and this weekend trip is great. The bike meets and exceeds my expectations. It is stable, easy in use and can carry more weight than I am planning to do. I look forward to many comfortable kilometres over the next years. This summer we will do day trips in the German Eiffel and hopefully, more adventures will follow.
June 2023, Jessica Langenhoff