Q: I noticed that the European MetaBikes website lists several models that are not listed on the US site, such as the MetaPhrastic, MetaThesis, MetaPhor, and MetaMorph. How are these different from what MetaBikes US offers and are they available here?
A: We can do a special order or custom build for any of these models and just about any other reasonable build that one could dream up. These special orders do take a little more turn-around time and are likely subject to an additional service and shipping fee. We can turn around a true custom order quote in usually less than a week. However, understand the standard MetaBikes US options do generally allow one to build up a bike that encompasses the entire MetaPhysic and MetaPhrastic range. It is worth noting that the frames used on all of the European models are all the same – it's really just the fork, wheels, and other components that define the bike and its intended use. To better interpret what the European model designations mean, here is a brief definition of each model:
MetaPhysic - A Meta with its home on the road. Built up with sidepull caliper brakes and lightweight components and wheels, and the fork is only suitable for relatively narrow tires (28c and less). Available with 700C (ISO 622) and 26" (ISO 559) wheels.
MetaPhrastic – A MetaPhysic with disc brakes and a high clearance fork suitable for touring, randonneuring, and mixed conditions (including relatively smooth trails and dirt roads). Available with 622 or 559 wheels.
MetaThesis – A MetaPhysic with a 559 rear / 20" (ISO 406) front wheel combination and a special low-rake carbon fork.
MetaPhor - Similar to the MetaPhrastic series but available with dual 559, 24" (ISO 507), or 406 wheels and lower priced components and wheels.
MetaMorph – Built with a suspension fork, knobby tires, disc brakes, and other components specifically for off-road use. Available with dual ISO 622, 559, or 507 wheels.
Q: Where do I mount water bottles on the MetaPhysic?
A: The preying mantis (PM) style riser incorporates a single cage mount, and the bottom of the frame, directly under the seat base, has bosses for mounting a second cage. Alternatively, we have found AeroDon Carbon Seat Bottle Cage Mounts work wonderfully, providing a way to mount a pair of cages on the side of the seat in a way that will protect the integrity of your carbon (or fiberglass) seat. A great product from a great guy in the recumbent world. We can get them for you, but please also feel free to order directly from Don.
Q: Which handlebar type should I choose?
A: This is mostly a matter of personal preference. Some people simply prefer the ergonomics of one type over another. Please don't ask us which is more aerodynamic. :)
Q: How much weight does the optional carbon fiber Metabar (PM style handlebar) save?
A: Only 50 grams, but it's really a beautiful piece. Adds a lot of character and style. If you can bear the cost, we'd recommend it on that basis alone, however be aware that any carbon part is generally a little less tolerant of rough handling than an equivalent aluminum part. This goes for seats, cranks, everything. Just keep this in mind if you ever let the Samsonite gorillas near your bike.
Q: Why aren't the TT500 bar end shifter options available with the standard build (Elita triple crank / X9 derailleur) drivetrain?
A: The TT500 shifters are only 'officially' meant to work with a double crank, so we do not offer this shifter with a drivetrain using a triple. We only want to offer complete bikes with time tested combinations of components. The issue is that the TT500 left side shifter does not have enough cable pull to comfortably work well with SRAM front derailleurs and triple cranks. That said, we acknowledge that many home mechanics have been able to make this combination work reasonably well. MetaBikes is working on developing an accessory for front derailleurs that may make it possible for us to offer this combination in the future.
Q: How do I carry gear and attach bags to the MetaPhysic?
A: A multitude of seat bags work well on the hardshell seats that come on the MetaPhysic. The Hebie 120 rear rack is also very good for use with small panniers and rack top style bags.
Q: Can single wheel trailers be used with the MetaPhysic?
A: Due to the additional twisting forces that single wheeled trailers introduce onto the frame, we cannot recommend their use. However, dual wheel trailers are a reasonable option that should not harm your frame.
Q: There are several locations to mount the seat onto the frame. Why is that, and which of these should I use?
A: The multiple mounting holes on the frame seatplate help accommodate a range of rider sizes, even though the adjustable boom is the primary means for doing that. Generally, we recommend using the forward-most seat position that still allows you to adjust the boom to accommodate your x-seam. This produces the most even weight distribution for good handling, especially if you ride with your seat reclined less than 30 degrees. Be sure to use the rubber washers supplied with your bike or frame kit between the frame seatplate and the seat itself. If you omit these washers you run the risk of over-stressing your seat and causing it to crack.
Q: Is BB30 available on MetaBikes?
Yes, MetaBikes is the only recumbent manufacturer offering a BB30 compatible frameset and is available now.
Q: How many frame and seat sizes are available?
A: The MetaBike has only one frame size, intended to fit a wide variety of riders. Seats are available in Small, Medium, and Large and do have an impact on rider fit. We recommend the following as a guide for selecting the right seat:
Small - Riders from 5'2" - 5'7" (1.58 - 1.70m) or x-seam from 38" - 40" (95 - 102cm)
Medium - Riders from 5'7" - 5'11" (1.70 - 1.80m) or x-seam from 40" - 43" (102 - 108cm)
Large - Riders from 5'11" - 6'5" (1.80 - 1.95m) or x-seam from 43" - 46" (108 - 117cm)
The full x-seam range of 38" - 48" is managed through a combination of seat size, seat placement, and boom adjustment.
Q: How wide can tires be and still fit?
A: Of course this depends which wheel size, fork, type of brake you are using. With sidepull caliper type brakes, you'll be using the stock fork, and you'll be limited to a nominal 28mm tire front and rear, without the use of a fender. With disc brakes front and rear, things get a lot more versatile. In the back, after unbolting the brake bridge, the sky is pretty the limit - even up to 2" wide knobby 700Cs will fit. Up front, with the carbon disc fork, you could run up to about a 700Cx42 tire with fender. With the aluminum disc fork, up to a 40mm wide 26" (ISO 559) tire will fit with fender. 700Cs in the aluminum fork will work, but you'll be limited to about a 28 mm tire.
Q: How do I measure my x-seam?
A: Check out this video.