Author Topic: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?  (Read 4103 times)

Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« on: November 13, 2011, 07:30:56 am »
Can anybody comment on their experience with a Mistral SL, and how it compares to other recumbents? I’m after a fast recumbent bike but I prefer a seat angle of around 40 degrees and a BB not more than 5" say above the seat height. And I’d prefer suspension with a SWB. I’m impressed that Challenge have made recent improvements to their idlers and the handleposts, and I like it that they are into butted aluminium and carbon fibre parts. I’d prefer a 26” rear wheel though. My experience suggests that it makes slow speed balancing easier and provides more gearing options. But I can’t find anything that fits the bill and the Mistral looks so good and is so light that I have to consider it.

Tigerrr

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Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 05:24:30 pm »
Don't know much about mistrals but there are few here with fujin SL's including me.  The SL's are light and fast - but not very rugged - pretty much at the edge of the material/build tolerances.  I think my fujin is the most fun I have had on 2 wheels though, despiet the fact stuff breaks fairly frequently.
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Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 07:51:16 pm »
I would probably go for full suspension, not only for comfort but also to protect the bike from shocks.

ruggtomcat

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 08:33:32 pm »
Nothing with FS is gonna be very fast tho.

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 09:37:17 am »
"Full" suspension on a recumbent need not mean having two shock absorbers, though - one well-positioned shock absorber could be all you need. A friend with a Furai reports both comfort and speed.
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Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 10:44:00 am »
A Furai has considerably larger wheels than a Mistral though. Since I have a Brompton I have felt that larger wheels are way more comfortable. Balloon tyres could help you of course, but I doubt a Mistral SL has room for that.

Oh, and why did no one tell me I'm on the front page of Challenge's website(just like Jedrik)?
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Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2011, 04:48:57 pm »
The Mistral SL was the first recumbent I tried. It was Ok but can't remember thinking it was special. I tried a Nazca Paseo and then a Fuego. I bought the Fuego.


Cheers

John

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2011, 04:51:34 pm »
Ask Valiant about his experience of Challenge's customer service...
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Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2011, 06:53:03 am »
Ask Valiant about his experience of Challenge's customer service...
Really? Maybe one's expected to go via the dealers. There are quite a few  around now, including this one http://www.bcrbikes.co.uk/

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2011, 07:04:42 am »
The Mistral SL was the first recumbent I tried. It was Ok but can't remember thinking it was special. I tried a Nazca Paseo and then a Fuego. I bought the Fuego.

The Fuego is a gorgeous looking bike, but does it really outperform a Giro 20 which is lighter and has no suspension?

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2011, 11:12:02 am »
The Mistral SL was the first recumbent I tried. It was Ok but can't remember thinking it was special. I tried a Nazca Paseo and then a Fuego. I bought the Fuego.


The Fuego is a gorgeous looking bike, but does it really outperform a Giro 20 which is lighter and has no suspension?

After I foolishly parted with my Fuego I bought a B. Giro 20. Great bike. Very comfortable but not (for me) a performer. It maybe climbed a little better but in all other respects it was down in performance on the Fuego - although not by much. This was in the early days of my recumbenteering life and I was attracted by the higher ride position because it represented greater stability especially at low speed. Five years on I returned the Fuego (I borrowed one from David at Laidback) What I found was: 1) it is sooo easy to launch! Its like riding a DF-  you just go! 2) Very stable. The high / low seat issue is a non-issue once you have gained experience. Its just an early perception which disappears with experience and 3) it is fast on everything except climbs. (but then I'm no fast climber on anything!) Downhill performance is fantastic and the faster it goes the more stable it becomes. On the level its windcheating properties are better than a high racer style bike. I'd also forgotten how comfortable it is. For a hardshell seat it is almost as good as the ICE mesh and B Recurve seats. I never did get on with the B Euromesh. It needed to be so far back before it became comfortable I felt my vision and control compromised. Oh, and one other thing - the brakes were stupendous! The degree of controlled power was fantastic. Partly this was well set up brakes but also sitting between the wheels instead of over them helps. Its the nearest Ive come in braking feel to riding my motor bike.

Hope this is useful

Cheers

John

I'm not just saying this - I was so struck by the bike I've parted with my Giro 26 ATT and ordered a Fuego Top Sport with air shock and carbon seat.

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2011, 11:33:09 pm »
Thanks John, that's useful to know. I think I need to take a trip to Laid Back bikes to try a Fuego, and a Gaucho whilst I'm at it.

Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 02:50:15 pm »
Hi Paul

I'd reccomend that. David is an excellent guy to deal with.

Cheers

John

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Re: Challenge Mistral SL opinions?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2011, 11:02:16 am »
+1 for David at LaidBack. I've had a couple of Challenge bikes through him, and his fore and after sales service is second to none.

Andy.
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