Catbike Musashi recumbent bicycle review
CatBike Musashi Mini-Review

2/23/2010 - Warren Beauchamp

At the 2010 Florida Challenge recumbent races I asked Mark Egeland, Catrike factory racer what the deal was with Catbike and Catrike. Was it two companies, or just one with an identity crisis? He explained that Catbike and Catrrike are both part of Big Cat HPV LLC, which made me feel better. The Catbike Musashi is the first Big Cat 2 wheeler, and I like it. Apparently this bike has been in the works for several years, getting more refined and polished, and it shows. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks it's a nice bike, as Big Cat already has orders for 60 bikes.

Marc Taus during 1 mile sprint - Photo by Warren.

Anyway, back to the races. There were three Musashis (Musashii?) there, and two of them were raced. Marc Tauss of Switzerland raced the scary pink one. If you ride a pink bike, you had better be fast. Marc was fast, and showed it by winning all the sprint events. Marc wanted to try out my NoCom, and I wanted to try out the Musashi so we swapped shoes and took a lap around the crit course. Catrike Mark liked to show how well the bike handled bike taking his hands off the bars and holding them out to the side. While the bike did track very straight, I could not replicate his feat without chickening out and grabbing the bars. I really liked the feel of the fixed mesh seat, and while I normally don't like the superman bars, these felt fine and the cockpit seemed very comfortable. The seat is very well triangulated and firmly attached to the frame, so I felt well connected to the bike, even while cranking on the pedals. Speaking of cranking, that was the one place where the relatively small diameter aluminum frame gave itself away as there was fairly significant boom flex.
At 27 lbs this bike is light for a recumbent. The nicely curved frame and seat tubes and Quasi low height make it look sexy and fast. The 451mm x 700c wheel set is a good choice for speed and comfort. This is very close to the bike that I wanted when I designed my Barracuda street racer. A bike that is comfortable to ride on the street, and high enough to see over car hoods. A bike low enough to stay out of the wind, with aerodynamics that make the roadies hate you.

This bike would be at home with a front suspension fork, or a rear disk wheel.

See the Catbike Musashi on the Catrike site for more info.

Disclosures: I was not paid for this review, nor did I get a free bike to write it.

Mark Egeland races the white Musashi on the velodrome - Photo by EZbiker Ken