Performer Goal dual 26" highracer review
Performer Goal  Build and Review

By Warren Beauchamp

Performer recumbents have been around for since 1999, and until now they have been content to build recumbent bikes to be sold in the US by distributors like Actionbent and Performance XPR. They are now offering semi-custom bikes directly from the factory. Performance will paint the bike to your specifications, and you can spec higher or lower end components and accessories.

In 2009 I received a Performer Goal rear suspended dual 26" high racer frame set. I obtained it directly from the manufacturer in Taiwan and it arrived in four days and in good condition. They painted it black for me, and the powder coating finish looks great. The frame is all aluminum, and it feels fairly lightweight. The welds are professional looking, and nicely fish scaled. On this page I will be documenting the build and reviewing the bike. 

4/12/2009
Here's the frameset after unboxing it and removing the copious materials which protected the frame. I  mounted the seat, which is FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic), and the boom tube. The seat has about 2" of travel to change the seat angle up and down, but is not adjustable fore and aft. The boom is highly adjustable and I was happy to see that it was plenty long, as I'm 6' 6" tall. The bike also came with a headrest which I did not mount yet.
Optionally you can get a carbon fiber seat, which would save a pound or two, and an integrated kickstand.

Because this bike may see life as a e-assisted commuter a year or so down the road, I'm not purchasing high $$ superlight parts. I will be using:

  • 26" wheels from my e-MTB project (retro 8 speed)
  • Forte disk brake set (on sale - $70!)
  • Action Messenger 26"x1.5" 100psi tires (red).
  • Shimano 105 165mm road cranks
  • KMC X8.99 Bicycle Chain (silver)
  • Shimano 8 spd. thumb shifters.
  • Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur
  • Shimano front derailleur

5/01/09
I have all of the parts now except the spokes to build the front wheel. I have had two issues with the build so far. The first was minor, I had to file down some of the weld on the rear disk brake mount to get the brake to mount properly. The second is more severe, but was at least partially self inflicted. I was installing the left side bottom bracket cup and screwed it about halfway in, when it got stuck. I then tried to unscrew it and it get stuck worse. This is a common problem called galling that occurs when aluminum binds on aluminum due to lack of lubrication. I finally got the cup out, but now the BB shell threads need to have a tap run through them. Because this was an aluminum BB shell and an aluminum BB cup, I should have first lubricated the threads to prevent the galling that occurred. The BB cup is still useable, and after a trip to a LBS to run a tap through the threads it was just fine.

5/15/09
Here's the Goal after initial assembly. After the couple issues I had above, the rest of the build went fine.

I still have to do two things before the first ride. The first is pad the seat so I can use it. The seat comes with nice custom made padding, but my back is too long and I do not fit on the seat. with the padding. If I add some selective padding though, it should work. The second is that the handlebars are too high and they impede my vision. I can lower them somewhat by removing the spacers from the head steerer tube, but may need to cut the handlebar riser shorter as well.
6/2/09
I added the seat pad modifications, and tweaked the gear and brake adjustments. The seat now feels better, and I think the handlebars will work without modification. Now that the bike is together, I can provide some specs.
  • Wheelbase - 47 inches
  • Seat height - 22 inches
  • Weight - 35 lbs

The weight may seem a bit high, but remember, this bike has a rear suspension, the FRP seat, heavy wheels and tires, and most of the components are low end. This bike could be under 30 lbs with lightweight components.

6/09/2009
I went for the first ride and have confirmed that the handlebars are too high and close. I will modify them as noted above to shorten them. The bike handles well enough with the long bars, but will feel better and be more aero with the shortened bars. Ann from Performer says that in the future they will shorten the steerer tube and shorten the handle bar riser tube to avoid this issue.

I added a 1" thick foam pad to the headrest which seems about right. The thicker pad supplied with the head rest seemed too thick for me.

6/28/09
This weekend I took 1.5" off of the steerer tube and 3" off of the riser bar. This brings the handlebars down 4.5" While I had the fork off, I had a chance to check out the headset. I was impressed to see that Performer had installed cartridge bearings. The fork is steel and weighed 3 lbs. Switching to a CF MTB fork (available for under $100 on sale) would further help to lighten the bike, but since this bike will see duty as an electric enhanced commuter, the steel fork is a better fit.
7/9/09
This gives the bike a better look, and even with my long legs, there is still plenty of handlebar clearance. Sitting in the position feels very natural and control should be good.
7/15/09 - The Review
Overall this is a great bike for someone looking for a comfortable cruiser with zooty looks and respectable cruising speeds.

When up to speed, this bike feels fast, and rolls nicely. Acceleration, especially under high power feels a bit disconnected and mushy due to pogo effect cause by the distance between the chain-line and the suspension pivot point.

High points
  • Looks great!
  • Excellent fit and finish.
  • Very quiet chain line.
  • Seat angle is good compromise between comfort and speed.
  • BB height is also in a good compromise position.
  • Super stopping ability
  • Good aerodynamic position.
  • Cables managed by braze ons.
  • Frame and boom are stiff with no flexing.
This bike will fit a wide range of riders. The boom adjusts outward to allow a rider height of about 6' 8", but the seat is small for anyone over about 6' 1" tall. Riders under 5' 5" or so will have a tough time reaching the ground.
I'm looking forward to installing the electric hub on the back of this bike. It will be a fast and comfortable commuter.

This shot shows the beautiful welds at the headset and the clamps holding the return chain tube.

This shot shows the under-seat idler and more chain tubes.

In the future I will remove most of the chain tubes, and possible relocate the idler to move the chainline closer to the suspension pivot.

10/20/09
I removed the power side chain idler and moved the chain to the top side of the idler. This increased efficiency a bit, and cured most if not all of the pedal induced pogo, amazing!
I also used the adjustment screw on the base of the handlebars to make them stay further from my chest, as they were too close. Lastly, I added a rear rack and kickstand.

The bike rides very nice now, and is both comfortable and fast.

   

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