Infinity "21st Century" 1993
Posted by Jim Strasma on February 23, 2013
If you have the opportunity to ride this bike, the ride is very soft and
Handling is quicker than usual for a long wheelbase
under-seat steering mechanism.
Expect learning to ride it to take a
while, if you've never ridden such a bike before.
(Source: Recumbent Cyclist News)
The "21st Century" Infinity of 1993 was not the first aluminum recumbent bike that Ace Tool and Engineering built. The first model was designed in 1981 by Dr. David Pearson and others in Mooresville, Indiana, and initially sold for $499 with two chain rings, and $599 for three chain rings.
This "21st Century" model cost $50 more at $649, but still cost under half the price of its competition at the time. One 1993 ad stated:
"Discover the aerodynamics and mechanical efficiency of the Infinity design, the stability of under-seat steering, and the strength of square-sectioned aluminum tubing. Above all, discover the shock-free comfort of Infinity's fully supported seat, a comfort you must ride to believe!"
The frame was square section 6061 T6 structural aluminum, with some round pieces for chain stays. Some support parts were oddly-shaped and sized, due to previous problems with main and seat frame failures (covered under its three year warranty.)
The seat had a simple aluminum frame, covered with a simple mesh fabric.
The drive train was mostly Suntour, without index shifting. The "21st Century" came with 21 speeds, three chain rings (28, 38 and 48 teeth), and a 13 to 28 tooth freewheel. This gave it a gear inch range of 27 through 100 - not quite enough at either end. The wheels had entry-level alloy quick release hubs and Weinnman rims.
The "21st Century" came in two sizes: one for riders up to 5 foot 9 inches, and another for riders at least 5 foot 8 inches in height. Advertised weight was 27 pounds.
At least one former dealer was unhappy, reporting problems with build quality, delivery time and warranty support.