Zach Kaplan Recumbent
Zach Kaplan Cycles

Specializing in fitting people's unique cycling needs .

Brands We Carry

Crystal Engineering
Easy Racers
Pharobike Lowfat

Services and Specialties

We can supply you with any bike components or accessories that are currently in production and we can match any published mail order price.

    1. Customized Recumbent Fittings 2. Fairings & Carrying Devices
    3. Custom Lighting Systems 4. Suspension Specialists
    . Importers of European Recumbents Special Orders

Custom recumbent fitting is available for those taking delivery of their recumbents in person. I have thousands of kilometres of recumbent riding experience and apply what I have learned through my own pains and trial and error along with established biomechanical fitting principles from the upright bicycle world. Dynamic knee extension measurement can be done along with customization of recumbent seats and handlebars to provide better fit. Additionally, a recumbent outfitting consulting service is available.
Recumbents naturally lend themselves to fairings and this is often the key to both significantly improving the performance and comfort of a particular recumbent configuration. On the level ground approximately 90% of a rider's power output goes to fighting the wind and a fairing can greatly improve the rider's aerodynamics. Fairings can also provide protection from rain, cold wind,insects and sun. There are safety advantages to fairings as well such as increased noticeability to motorists and some impact and abrasion protection.

I offer everything from the smallest Zzipper fairing to a full F-40 fairing with custom fairing fitting and modification available.

While I do offer conventional racks and panniers, the area behind the seat of a recumbent provides the perfect place to mount an aerodynamic tail fairing or tail box which both increases speed and provides a large, weatherproof cargo compartment. Tail fairings also increase visability, particularly if brightly coloured.

For carrying larger loads I offer the single wheeled BOB trailer. I offer upgraded versions with custom wheels and high quality tyres.


Suspension is even more important on a recumbent than an upright bike as the rider can not lift off the seat and change weight distribution for going over bumps and other road hazards. The small front wheels commonly used on recumbents compound the problem.

I have extensive experience with selecting and setting up and fine tuning full suspension recumbents for optimal performance, handling, and comfort. I also provide front suspension retrofits to non-suspended recumbents.

Full suspension is the wave of the future in recumbent design and most of the recent European recumbent designs incorporate full suspension. Unfortunately, suspension is still rare on U.S. recumbents.


In many ways the recumbent scene in Europe is more advanced than in the US. Recumbents are starting to gain mass acceptance in the Netherlands and parts of Germany in part because bicycles are taken more seriously as transportation there and in part due to topography which emphasizes their performance advantages (flat and windy). There is also increasing recumbent development occuring in the UK and Denmark.

In general the European recumbents are more aerodynamic than the typical American recumbents through the use of more reclined seats and higher bottom brackets. More emphasis is placed on real world practicality such as providing full suspension, integral lighting systems, and cargo carrying tail boxes and under seat carriers. Other practical features such as chain tubes and chainring guards are also more prevalent in Europe.

The limits of unfaired performance are being pushed through ultra low bikes or low racers. These generally have a medium wheelbase with extremely laid back seat mounted at approximately axle level with various innovative chain management systems. While perhaps not well suited to riding in traffic these bikes are a blast to ride and the rider can stop with both feet still clipped in simply by putting a hand on the ground. Some low racers take a smaller rear wheel allowing them to fit within the 2 metre length limit imposed by the United States Cycling Federation. As such these can technically be raced in USCF races!

Another configuration of HPV being pioneered in Europe is the Velomobile. These are generally three wheeled fully faired vehicles designed to be car replacements. They commonly feature full suspension, integrated lighting systems, hub brakes, and plenty of room for cargo. Some even have a windscreen with a wiper. These vehicles can provide great comfort and efficiency in all weather conditions.

I feel the full range of the latest HPV developments should be available in the United States so I offer to import the European recumbent of your choice. Generally just the frameset is imported and the components are installed to your choosing here.

As I am car free and my emphasis is on bicycles for transportation I have become somewhat of an expert on bicycle lighting systems. Most of the high powered systems need modifications such as extended wiring harnesses and custom mounts to work on a recumbent. I sell Cateye, Nightsun, and Niterider lighting systems custom adapted to your recumbent. I can provide custom battery packs and smart charger systems. I have experience with the revolutionary new Cateye Stadium lamp metal halide headlight.

Maximum Performance Recumbents for Transportation
1518 Buena Vista Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
510-522-BENT (2368)
(Bike minutes and bike roads from Oakland Airport,
also near BART, Bay Bridge and downtown Oakland)

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 Recumbent Bicycles