There are three basic types of bicycles. We all are familiar with what I call the "sit-down bike." That is the most common type, where we sit down on the bike with our butt on the seat. The second is the recumbent bike, that places the rider in a laid-back reclining (recumbent) position.
The last type is the prone or semi-prone bicycle. Prone means to lean forward like Superman. Of course Superman looked down at the world below. But if you look down, while riding a bike, you look at the pavement and can’t see where you are going. The Bird of Prey is a semi-prone bike that allows you to keep your head up and see the road in front.
The Bird of Prey has many attributes:
1. AERODYNAMICS – Obviously the Bird of Prey Bicycle is more aerodynamic than a sit-down bike. Any speed over 22 miles per hour it takes 80% of the effort just to overcome wind resistance. The faster you go the more the wind resistance. The wind drag increases making it harder to pedal. The Bird of Prey is more aerodynamic than a sit-down bike and saves energy.
2. SAFETY – The Bird of Prey stops fast. The body is low and close to the center of the front wheel. The rider will not go over the handlebars in a panic stop. I have flipped over the handlebars on my sit-down bike many dangerous and life threatening times. This can’t happen on a Bird of Prey. In a panic stop the rider will simply stop and not flip over the handlebars. The Bird of Prey will stop in a shorter distance than a sit-down bike. If everyone rode a Bird of Prey accidents from going over the handlebars would cease saving serious injuries and death. I designed the bike for this reason.
3. SPIN TO WIN – The rider’s body on the Bird of Prey is in a lay out position as if the rider was swimming in water. This allows the rider to push and pull on the pedals as if he were running with legs fully extended. The rider’s body is supported on the hips placing the body in a position that allows the rider to push and pull on the pedals in a fast spinning action.
4. LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY – The low center of gravity is one of the bike's most important attributes. It is what gives the bike quickness around corners and through difficult situations with other bike riders. If you draw a line from the ground to the center of gravity of the Bird of Prey, it will be approximately 30 inches. For a sit-down bike it will be as much as 48 inches. This gives the Bird of Prey a very low center of gravity. Any small movement from to side to side for the Bird of Prey would be a large movement for a sit-down bike. The Bird of Prey is very quick!
5. GEARING – The Bird of Prey has a 60 tooth rear chain ring. It connects to a 36/11 cassette. This means the Bird of Prey out gears all sit down bikes. It has high speed gears and mountain bike low gears. The 60 tooth chain ring allows the Bird of Prey to have pedal torque when sit down bikes are spun out. The gearing works because it is used in conjunction with the great aerodynamics.
6. COMFORT – What is more comfortable than lying down? Your hips are supported by soft “catcher mitt”, leather covered supports. Your elbows are supported by the aero bars at front and feet are clipped into the pedals at the rear. You have to ride the bike to understand how comfortable it really is! For people with back problems who have trouble sitting will find that resting on the front hips stretches the backbone with no compressed weight to create pain that you have from riding a sit-down bike. This gives people with back problems the ability to ride a bike and get exercise.
7. BEAUTY – The Bird of Prey is beautiful with curving shapes. It appears and is aerodynamic.
8. STANDARD BIKE PARTS – The Bird of Prey uses all standard bike parts and accessories. I would like to say the Bird of Prey is 100% built in the USA but the aluminum for the frame can only be bought in Asia. The aluminum is welded in USA and the assembly is done in the Carlsbad, California Assembly Plant.
*Photo by Derek Plank