What was Maria Parker riding?

SilvioTosPhoto1024x799Glad you asked. Okay, I know you know that Maria started her world record ride on her "Yellow Bike," a Silvio you think; and, that she finished on her husband’s Silvio, his "Black Bike." But, you are asking: What is a Silvio? Who makes it? Where can you get more information about it? Where can you ride one? What’s new coming from Cruzbike?

You have given me a lot of questions here. I’ll answer them as best I can.

Let’s begin with the picture to the left. It is a Silvio, one of four production bikes from Cruzbike, an American company founded in 2006 by a U.S. Physician, Dr. Jim Parker, and an Australian Inventor, John Tolhurst. Maria Parker, a world record holder,  is also a Co Owner. The founders say:

The history of the bicycle stretches many generations and many variations and today culminates in the Cruzbike, a design that brings greater safety than the traditional safety bike. In its historical context, the Cruzbike with its rotated body position and pedal driven front wheel can be seen as the logical development of the standard, ‘safety’ bike.

Pedal driven front wheel? Yes, the Silvio, Sofrider, and Freerider come with what they call a Movable Bottom Bracket [MBB], adjustable to riders of different sizes. These three Cruzbikes are Front Wheel Drive [FWD] Bicycles. BTW, Cruzbike also offers a conversion kit for those who have a bike and want to convert it to a FWD bicycle at a lower cost than the production cycles. Cruzbike even has a non-FWD bike, the Sigma—a long wheel based recumbent.

dghgwwj6_4ghjf3pht_b IMG_3457cropsmlBuy a Silvio Frameset, use the wheels and components from your road bike and you are ready to roll. Review the build-up instructions here or have you local bicycle shop build it up for you. When finished, you will have a bike like the bike above. 

Doug Burton

You want more information. I remember.  Douglass Burton [left] has written a technical summary of the Silvio. Doug was the mechanic on Maria’s record setting ride. Here he changes out wheels on Maria’s Yellow Bike. Doug participates in the Cruzbike Forums and the Yahoo Cruzbike Group—Cruzbike Recumbent Riders International. Ask Doug what you want to know and he will be very helpful.

Bryan Ball, Managing Editor ‘Bentriders Online, has reviewed the Silvio. He says:

I hate to throw around words like “revolutionary” or “ground breaking” but it’s hard not to think of superlatives like that when you talk about the Silvio. The Silvio is the absolute best representation of what the moving bottom bracket front wheel drive platform is capable of.  It’s the first time that all of the elements have lined up and I do think that it will make people who have never been interested in a MBB bike before stand up and take notice.  It’s true that this bike will take awhile to get used to but in the end I’ll think you’ll find the reward well worth the journey.


Cruzbike has dealers around the world. There are 8 here in the USA. If your are not able to ride a Silvio, you may be able to take a Sofrider for a whirl. You can also find many YouTube Videos showing the Silvio and other Cruzbikes being ridden. When John is not riding, he is designing. Next up is the Vendetta, built similar to the Silvio, but designed as a Time Trial Bike.

Pictures of an early prototype have emerged. I even have an article here on the Vendetta.

If I am fortunate, a Vendetta may one day become one of my Magnificent 7.

Okay, did I leave anything out. You know what it is, who makes it, where to get information and maybe a ride. Plus you see what John Tolhurst is working on. I trust you find the information useful and will return often for updates and to see what I may do with a Vendetta. If I get one, I assure you it will be unique. Hoping you found this useful. Congratulations again to Maria Parker, her crew, and Cruzbike for their magnificent performance Saturday, October 10, 2009.

Author: jalexartis

Avid cyclist, who loves photography, technology, blogging & cooking...

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