Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

A Restless Loner on a Custom Bike – American Bicyclist reprint from WSJ

My favorite part of this is the cover photo, which was done during a shoot at Icom. The article itself is reprinted from the Wall Street Journal piece about a month earlier, with an added insert about the bike tech. 

by Paul B. Carroll
reprinted from The Wall Street Journal – April 21, 1992
American Bicyclist and Motorcyclist – May, 1992

Steve Roberts Works and Lives In ‘Dataspace,’ Operating A Chain-Drive Mainframe

The full text of this article is available at the original entry in this archive – search engines get annoyed when the same content appears on multiple pages.  Below are the scans from this magazine, which includes this added snippet about the bike tech:

Steve Roberts’ Bike

Why a recumbent, we asked Steve Roberts. “With 550 lbs. fully loaded… rider not included,” he said. “I didn’t see any other choice… especially since I wanted to be comfortable.”

Roberts’ Behemoth is completely custom-built by Jack Trumbull of Franklin Frames. “It has survived 17,000 miles… no problems.” Roberts first tried building his own, but found that “Frame building is an arcane art.”

Three derailleurs.. a standard wide range 21 speed setup on the right side with a Limbo Spider to give it a very low granny by itself… plus a third 5-speed derailleur at the rear of the crossover chain… give range from 7.9″ granny gear to a 122″ top gear.

Braking a Behemoth? “A couple of Maguras, which are very good,” plus hydraulic disk brakes, are not the complete answer to stopping 700lbs, finds Roberts. He is adding a surge system on the trailer so it applies its own brakes as the hitch compresses.

The Behemoth also carries “Landing Gear”, a pair of very sophisticated trainer wheels. Push a button, and they are pneumatically deployed… swing down and lock so he can climb hills “infinitely slowly” with stability.