Azub Twin and Nazca Quetzal recumbent tandems

Two’s company…

I popped round to Laid-Back-Bikes’ Edinburgh showroom yesterday to see no less than three different recumbent tandems!

From left to right: Nazca Quetzal 26″, Azub Twin, Nazca Quetzal 24″:

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The Azub Twin is a much older design than Nazca’s Quetzal (reviewed in depth on this site). It’s quite interesting to compare these three models side by side, as while there are visual similarities, they could hardly ride more differently.

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Laid Back proprietor David Gardiner putting the Azub Twin through its paces…

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When it came time for me to give the Azub a spin, I was really quite surprised at the seat height, given it has only a 20″ front wheel. The 26″ Quetzal feels lower…

Tiptoes much?

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In motion the Twin feels very different to the Quetzal, especially the steering feel. Something about the front end geometry and bars makes it extremely lively (we slowed it down as much as possible using the adjustments on the tie rod support and handlebars).

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David G has ridden it more, and with a passenger and found it quite a handful, although of course, a long enough acclimatisation period with any bike is only fair.

Getting back on the Quetzal with David as stoker just underlined the fantastic stability of Nazca’s design – it’s just so easy to ride, and I was able to u-turn it in the street no problem (even riding solo, I had to dismount to turn the Azub around).

To finish, here are a couple of shots of David providing a test ride on the new 24″ Quetzal… smiles all round!

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2 Comments

  1. Storie Mooser

    Writing this April, 2015, my wife (Nancy) and I have owned an AZUB Twin since October, 2013, a duration during which we’ve ridden it on streets, roads and Rails to Trails paths across the US, from vey bike unfriendly south Florida to very bike friendly Oregon — transporting it in its folded configuration on a trailer hitch carrier that I designed and had fabricated. On that basis I feel qualified to give it a review. Keep in mind too that as unusual as are tandem recumbents we ourselves are unusual as riders for being seniors — she’s 76 and I’m 77.

    Now, as all recumbent dealers and riders know, recumbent riding is a whole different skill set from riding uprights — commonly new owners of recumbents spend the first two weeks of ownership wishing they hadn’t made the purchase. That being so I can attest that the AZUB Twin is, again, something of a separate skill set from a solo recumbent, so even to experienced recumbent riders some acclimatization to its handling characteristics is required before evaluating it. Typically, there’s reluctance to lean it when turning, especially on tight turns (which after practice can be quite tight), “first timers” tend to stiffen up and fight the bike’s normal weaving action (common to bikes of all kinds) much like a child does on first leaning to ride.

    In the nut shell, we’re very pleased with it. Yes, its heavy, so we avoid inclines above moderate grade – and sometimes even those are difficult if too long. We shopped only one other brand, the Nazca Quetzal, but decided on the Twin. We didn’t have chance to try the Quetzal so making a definitive statement of comparison is not possible; parsing one from the other came down to personal preferences among their fine-point differences. Chiefly, Just from viewing the Quetzal, there appeared much less adjustment in the seating compared to the AZUB.

    Choice of tandem over separate bike for each of us was forced by Nancy having back problems as well as disequilibrium. She’d lost lots of muscle mass due to having been invalid for weeks at a time with each back episode, but since we purchased the Twin she’s gained it all back and has had no episodes of disabling back problem since.

    I’d owned a solo recumbent only since 2012 and loved it, I still though ride upright mountain and road bikes as has been passionate habit all my life.

  2. Dave

    Hi Storie, thanks for sharing your experience.

    D.

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