Posted by Jim Strasma on February 23, 2013
"The EZ-1 is a clear view of the future of recumbents for the common man."
(Source: Recumbent Cyclist News)
Easy Racers "EZ-1" model was designed by Gardner Martin in 1994. It was intended to sell for $795, rather than $1,700 for his earlier (and still current) "Tour Easy" long wheelbase recumbent. Design goals were reliability, light weight, performance, and user-friendliness for less-skilled riders. It was not optimized for speed or long distance riding like the longer steel "Tour Easy" and aluminum "Gold Rush Replica" models. Its smaller size epitomized a new category of CLWB (Compact Long Wheelbase) recumbents, able to fit in a trunk or back seat, hang off the back of a motor home, or pack in a single box for air shipment.
The "EZ-1" was the end result of design work begun in 1975. "Gardner went the distance to build a bike that would be near bullet-proof and trouble-free." Its frame was TIG welded Hi-Tension 1010 steel, with a Cr Mo head tube and fork. "The frame is expertly TIG welded by none-other than legendary recumbent racer, Fast Freddie Markham."
The "EZ-1" was available in two sizes: 5' and 6'. The seat had an aluminum frame and Lycra-covered foam. Wheels were 20" in back and 16" in front, with 75 percent of the weight on the rear wheel. Tires were 90 PSI Kendas. Steering is above-seat, a bit higher and wider than on a "Tour Easy." The crankset is a Sakae SX with three chain rings, and the derailleurs are Shimano Altus with an 11 to 28 tooth cassette, yielding a gear inch range of 23 to 81 standard, or 23 to 96 via a seed wheel option.
Sun still offers a licensed version of the "EZ-1" design, though no longer made by Easy Racers in Watsonville, California.