Update: I’m yet to sit down and update this page, but the new crop of Phantoms have disk brakes and and improved set of Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires.
The Lightning Phantom is our easiest to master short wheelbase bike. Unique among this type of recumbent, Lightnings use an upright seating position. With this familiar position, you can get the hang of the short wheelbase handling and steering. Once you master that you can explore a more leaned back position, if you want.
Lightning’s patented frame design isn’t really a departure from traditional SWB bikes, since it predates pretty much everything available. The upright seat and higher crankset put your body in a tucked position that is good for pressing hard on the pedals. The stiff, straight steering riser lets you put in a little upper body leverage, which is unlike practically every other ‘bent.
The Phantom gives you all the features built into Lightning’s patented design. It even has a kickstand mount built in (we think that’s cool). It is a lightweight recumbent for its price, and upgrading the wheels and cranks would easily lighten it more. With its low weight and unique geometry, this is a ‘bent for climbing big hills.
The adjustable chain tensioner makes leg length adjustments easy, though it only works so well. We can remove it for you if you don’t plan on sharing your bike with anyone. This model features an adjustable lock-down handlebar riser that gives you extra control over your arm and hand position. We can replace this with a simple, straight riser if you are happy with that position.
The standard size Phantom, suitable for most people 5’6″ and taller, comes in red. The small Phantom comes in blue. A front suspension fork is available.
Our price (subject to change): $1990
Experience recumbent bicycle comfort, fun, safety and outstanding performance with the Lightning Phantom! The Phantom combines the record-breaking design geometry and seat of the legendary P-38 with a strong Chromoly monotube construction for the FASTEST recumbent in its class. This includes the perfect weight distribution for unmatched handling and safety which no other recumbent has!
The Phantom was designed by experienced engineers using data gained from two decades of top level HPV racing around the world, 20 world records, and feedback from hundreds of Lightning owners. No other recumbent bicycle company has this level of technical expertise and real world experience.
Lightning engineers have designed into the Phantom a very comfortable ride, superb stopping and handling characteristics, a high cruising speed, and exceptional durability. The overall performance of the Phantom surpasses all other comparably priced bicycles, and many costing hundreds of dollars more.
High-performance and convenience accessories such as a custom-designed fairing, seat bags, panniers and many accessories are available for the Phantom.
The Phantom is great for any club, recreational, touring, or commuting cyclist who wants a high performance, fun to ride, and very comfortable bike. It’s perfect for short or long trips, and can race with the best of them.
Perhaps the best all-around recumbent on the market, the Phantom may be just what you’re looking for!
Boring technical specs from Lightning follow, along with our interesting comments
|Rider height range||5′ to 5′9″ (S), 5′7″ to 6′6″ (L) - This isn't as useful as giving ex-seam lengths. The large frame fits down to about a 40" ex-seam
|Rider weight limits||200 lbs. (S), 250 lbs. (L)|
|Powdercoat colors||Brazilian Blue (S), Strawberry Metallic (L)|
|Weight||26.5 pounds (S), 28.5 pounds (L) - Lightweight for its class|
|Wheelbase||41 to 45 inches|
|Overall length||62 to 73 inches - Varies with rider leg length|
|BB height||24 to 26 inches - The BB, or bottom bracket, is at the center of the pedaling assembly up front. Compare this to the seat height. This varies by frame size.|
|Seat height||19 to 21 inches - Compare this to the BB height. This varies by frame size.|
|Seat back angle||50 to 65 degrees Ergomesh; 35 to 40 degrees Midracer Ergospeed carbon - The Ergomesh is a comparatively upright seat. Paired with the high BB height this is what gives you so much leverage on the pedals. The Midracer Ergospeed seat is reclined, but still not at the extreme.|
|Frame||TIG welded Multigauge CrMo, 7005 Aluminum B-B extension - The main frame is high grade steel, and the boom (the pieces that telescopes in and out is made of aluminum.|
|Rigid fork||LCD Tapergage Chromoly - High grade steel with a big word thrown in for good measure.|
|Ergomesh seat||Ergofit bend, 7005 Aluminum frame; Nylon mesh back with fitted foam cushion. - A single piece aluminum frame with a mesh stretched over it. There are two seat sizes, one specific to each frame size, to position the lumbar curve as close to ideal as possible.|
|Midracer Ergospeed carbon seat||Hand laid up woven carbon fabric/epoxy resin seat with integrated aluminum bar frame attachment fittings. Ventilated plastic honeycomb type seat pad with fitted aerodynamic cover. - This is an optional seat upgrade aimed at racing.|
|Stem||Lockdown Tilt Steering, 60 degree adjustable - The angle of the steering riser is adjustable so you can set the reach to the handlebars. It can pivot forward to help you get on and off. It will lock into place, unlike other riser steering designs.|
|Handlebars||Aluminum, LCD custom V type - Mostly straight with a little curve. Can customize the handlebars easily for ideal fit.|
|Gear range||21 to 112 inches - This gives a decently low gear, and it is easy to drop the low gear farther if you have big loads or big hills to deal with.|
|Brakes||Tektro 836AL V-brakes - Basic quality aluminum rim brakes.|
|Brake levers||Tektro 360 AL - Functional, nothing special brake levers.|
|Bottom bracket||Cartridge type - Not junk.|
|Crankset||NEW Sugino XD-350T 28×38×48, 170mm (L), 160mm (S). - A slightly odd design using 110mm middle and largest chainrings. If we upgrade your crankset we may need to replace those larger rings as part of the upgrade.|
|Chain||KMC Z99 - Good quality.|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore 11–34 9 speed - A solid choice for recumbents.|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Sora - Good quality|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Deore - Good quality|
|Headset||Cane Creek SE-2K Aheadset - Remarkably good quality, but the way the rider can hang off the rigid steering riser for leverage on the pedals argues for this level of quality.|
|Hubs||Formula alloy sealed bearings and QR lever - Good quality, generic hubs, built to last.|
|Pedals||Platform type - Cheap plastic, but bikes like this often don't come with pedals at all, on the assumption that the buyer already had a preferred set of pedals.|
|Shifter||Shimano Deore Trigger - An elegant design of trigger shifter.|
|Rims||ARDC Aero, 24 spoke front, 28 spoke rear. - Strong, double-walled, deep profile rims.|
|Small front tire 16×1⅜||Primo Comet, 37–349, 100 psi - A light duty, lightweight slick tire. It will feel zippy but won't last forever.|
|Large front tire 20″||Primo Racer, 35–406, 100 psi - A light duty, lightweight slick tire. It will feel zippy but won't last forever.|
|Rear tire||Primo Racer, 32–559, 100 psi - A light duty, lightweight slick tire. It will feel zippy but won't last forever.|
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