There are basically two models of road recumbent two-wheelers, which, I would say, are considered to be the fastest and are often used for racing. In Europe, it would be the M5 Carbon Highracer, shortly the CHR, and in the US, the Cruzbike V20C. As far as I know, they’ve never quite come face to face in multiple races with riders whose performance was really up to par to determine which of the two bikes was really the fastest. In any case, both of these bikes hold some interesting records and have held many victories in various races. 

A bit off-topic. The question of why recumbent racing is so divided by continents has been on my mind for a long time. Couldn’t there be a real world championship every 5 years, for example, with participants from Europe as well as the USA, possibly Australia or other parts of the world? Once, it would be in Europe, and the second time, it would be in the USA. The bikes could be transported in bulk somehow. Well, it’s just an idea that has been running through my head for years.  

And then, there are several other high-speed bikes, of course. Some are home-built, and some are produced on small scales. But, there is another fast one coming. The Italian Slyway ULTRA from developed by Stefano Bonazzoli looks gorgeous, and I am thrilled to see another development in two-wheelers. Slyway was very known about 15 years ago when they were building their aluminum high racers in the stick bike design similar to Bacchetta. But later, when the two-wheeler market dropped significantly, they stopped production and were only selling recumbents of other brands. However, Stefano has been racing recumbents all the time, and a couple of years ago, he decided to design and build a new one by himself again. Let me take you on a journey through why the new ULTRA might be the most advanced recumbent bike on the market, as Stefano claims. I will mention what sets it apart and the innovative improvements that have been made. Plus, we’ll hear some personal insights from Stefano Bonazzoli, the CEO of Slyway, who has been test-riding this beauty.

The Genesis of the Slyway ULTRA

The journey to create the Slyway ULTRA began back in 2018. The goal was simple yet ambitious: to develop a versatile and advanced recumbent that could outperform existing models, especially the well-known CHR by M5. Having spent years training and racing on the CHR, Stefano Bonazzoli realized it was time for a change. Modern road bikes had evolved significantly, with wider tires and advanced disc brakes becoming the norm. The CHR, despite its historical significance, wasn’t keeping up.

Stefano’s vision for the ULTRA was clear – it needed to accommodate the latest technologies, provide unmatched performance, and cater to a wider range of riders. And after years of meticulous design and testing, the ULTRA was born.


What Makes the ULTRA So Special?

So, what sets the ULTRA apart from other recumbents? For starters, it’s designed to handle wider tires, up to 32 mm for road use and even 40 mm for gravel riding. This adaptability means better stability and comfort across various terrains. Plus, the ULTRA features a shorter wheelbase of 1,250 mm / 49.2 inches, which not only improves agility but also makes it more suitable for riders of all statures.

One of the standout features is the integrated carbon fiber handlebar with a 20° angle and a width of 440 mm / 17.3 inches. This design ensures precise handling and a comfortable riding position, whether you’re tackling steep climbs or cruising down descents. The internal cable routing through a specially designed headset keeps everything sleek and aerodynamic, while the frame’s oversized sections ensure maximum power transmission without any flex.

Innovative Improvements

The ULTRA’s development focused on overcoming the limitations of older models. For example, the switch from standard road brakes to hydraulic disc brakes provides superior stopping power, essential for safe descents. The frame’s design also eliminates unnecessary contact with the rider’s thighs, thanks to its aerodynamic profile that narrows towards the rear.

The rear frame design is another game-changer. With its reversed “T” section, the frame acts as a shock absorber, reducing vibrations and enhancing comfort. The titanium alloy seat clamp plates allow for precise adjustments, ensuring a perfect fit for every rider.

Stefano’s First-Hand Experiences

Stefano’s personal experiences with the ULTRA add a rich, authentic touch to its story. He first tested the prototype around Lake Garda, covering 228 kilometers / 141.7 miles with over 3,000 meters / 9,843 feet of climbing. His verdict? He didn’t want to get off the bike! The stability was so exceptional that he could ride hands-free, a feat he hadn’t achieved in two decades of riding various recumbents.

In the summer of 2023, Stefano conducted extensive aerodynamic tests, comparing the ULTRA’s performance to the M5 CHR. The results were impressive, with the ULTRA showing remarkable efficiency and speed. He also tested the bike in gravel mode, covering over 2,000 kilometers / 1,243 miles. Each ride boosted his confidence, proving that the ULTRA excelled not only on paved roads but also on challenging gravel paths.

Racing Stories and Personal Insights

Stefano’s racing stories on the ULTRA are nothing short of inspiring. At the Granfondo BGY 2024 in Bergamo, he tackled 161 kilometers / 100 miles with 3,000 meters / 9,843 feet of climbing. Despite starting mid-pack, he steadily gained positions, thanks to the ULTRA’s efficient design. The bike’s ability to maintain high speeds on flat sections allowed him to catch up and surpass many upright bike riders.

In another race, the Granfondo Avesani 2024 in Verona, Stefano employed a more strategic approach, conserving energy for the final climb. His careful planning and the ULTRA’s performance enabled him to pull away from his opponents in the last kilometers, turning a challenging race into a promising sucess.



Slyway ULTRA is not only a beautiful carbon road bike, but also an important development in the world of two-wheelers, where major innovations are usually few and far between. You can already find the frameset for purchase on the Slyway website, and I hope Stefano or someone else will show up with the ULTRA at races outside of Italy. It would be nice to compare the performance of this bike during the HPV WCH in the UK this August for example.

Price & Specs

And finally the price. It is 3,125 EUR for the frame set. The weight is claimed at 4 kg / 8.8 lbs for the frame set and starting at 8 kg for the complete bike. Specifications for the ULTRA on the website here.