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Cat trike, Velotechnik, or Performer?

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Cat trike, Velotechnik, or Performer?

Old 07-15-20, 11:09 AM
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Carbonated
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Cat trike, Velotechnik, or Performer?

I have a friend who recently decided he would go with a recumbent due to back issues - he is 40 years old.
There is a Cat trike dealer in the area and took the the villager for a spin and liked it. It retails for $2500ish but he says it will be about $2800 out the door and it's not a folder which isn't absolutely necessary but would be nice. He said he also was interested in the 550.
The same dealer carries Velotechnik though he didn't have any on the floor - the Gekka model interested him and it costs about the same.
I came across the Performer brand and the prices are several hundred dollars less but he would have to drive 450 miles to the dealer.
Can you give any advice such as quality of the above manufacturers, any drawbacks to folders, is back wheel size important and any other things that might help?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-15-20, 02:27 PM
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Both Catrike and HPV are long time brands with lots of satisfied owners (including me). Folding trikes tend to be heavier and more expensive than similar non-folders. Trikes with a bigger rear wheel have higher gear ranges at both ends than 20" drive wheel models. Trikes with higher seats are less stable than trikes with lower seats if you ride them under similar conditions.

I looked at the prices for the HPV and he must have looked at the HPV Gekko 26 sports model which has an MSRP of $1999. I can't find the specifications for the sports model trike so don't know what HPV did to make the price so much cheaper than the Gekko folding model with an MSRP of $3,640. It must be their "entry level" trike.

The Catrike Villager has an MSRP of $2550. It has 20" wheels all around so the gear range is (Gear Inch Range 15.4-87.1). Seat height is 12.5". The Catrike 5.5.9 is a very different trike. It costs a lot more - MSRP $3150 Gear range is the same as for the Catrike Expedition 20.7-117.6 gear inches. Seat height is 11 inches. I folds.
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Old 07-15-20, 03:35 PM
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Cat trike is a Florida company , HP Velotechnik is German

doing much riding other than out of your garage, hauling a recumbent trike needs a trailer on the car..
gearing can be change by the selling shop.
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Old 07-15-20, 04:16 PM
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I owned two nearly identical Catrike Road of the older rigid type. They were great bikes, very stable, and fairly dependable all in all. My only complaints had to do with the front derailleur they were using at the time.
I would expect to want and need dealer support for setup and such. Maint. help is nice with these as well. I would go with the closer place.
Performer is a semi knock off Chinese maker and wouldn't choose to support buying it over Catrike (or the others) if this is intended to be a long time purchase.
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Old 07-15-20, 06:39 PM
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Last year my wife and I bought an ICE Adventure for her and a Catrike Trail for me, both are folders. When folded both trikes fit in the back of our 2018 Focus hatchback. With the rear sear folded down of course.

Well, just because you can do something doesn't mean you will---putting the trikes in the car was a royal pain in the ass. So we bought a 2019 Ford Explorer and the trikes just roll right in; no folding, no fighting, no sweat.


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Old 07-16-20, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
doing much riding other than out of your garage, hauling a recumbent trike needs a trailer on the car..
gearing can be change by the selling shop.
I could fit both of my trikes pretty easily in the back of my Subaru Imprezza 5 door. Non-folded too.
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Old 07-16-20, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
I have a friend who recently decided he would go with a recumbent due to back issues - he is 40 years old.
There is a Cat trike dealer in the area and took the the villager for a spin and liked it. It retails for $2500ish but he says it will be about $2800 out the door and it's not a folder which isn't absolutely necessary but would be nice. He said he also was interested in the 550.
The same dealer carries Velotechnik though he didn't have any on the floor - the Gekka model interested him and it costs about the same.
I came across the Performer brand and the prices are several hundred dollars less but he would have to drive 450 miles to the dealer.
Can you give any advice such as quality of the above manufacturers, any drawbacks to folders, is back wheel size important and any other things that might help?
Thanks in advance!
Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster.
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Old 07-16-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster.
Yes. These days, most shops only stock trikes so it's easy for someone interested in 'bents to not even realize that 2-wheelers exist. Trikes have their place; but at 64 and with no physical handicaps to prevent me from riding my recumbent bikes, the trike mostly stays in the garage.
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Old 07-17-20, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Performer is a semi knock off Chinese maker...
This is off base. Performer is in Taiwan, and has a lot of unique designs. They are constantly innovating (maybe too much, as their product line seems to always be in some sort of flux).

I have owned many different recumbents from many different manufacturers, including Catrike, and I have a Performer in the garage right now. I'd put Performer's products right up there with some of the better companies.

What Performer product have you owned?
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Old 07-17-20, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post

What Performer product have you owned?
I didn't. Looked at a couple of them extensively because the price was so attractive.
Some folks that I (we) met riding our Catrikes later were owners of Performers and had significant issues out of them with parts, drivetrain, boom, frame crack...it was a mess.
I will admit that there is much to be read about how Taiwan makes good frames. The ones they had weren't it.

Aside- Made in USA, as an American, will always trump any foreign product if there is a real choice to be made on quality. I like to keep money at home where I can.
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Old 07-17-20, 04:43 PM
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I agree

Steamer
"Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster."

I agree with you and he has a two wheeler but has back issues and feels more comfortable on the recumbent.
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Old 07-17-20, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
Steamer
"Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster."

I agree with you and he has a two wheeler but has back issues and feels more comfortable on the recumbent.
I was talking about a 2 wheel recumbent.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
Steamer
"Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster."

I agree with you and he has a two wheeler but has back issues and feels more comfortable on the recumbent.
Recumbent describes the riding position. A recumbent can have 2, 3, or 4 wheels. Are you saying he already has a recumbent bike?
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Old 07-18-20, 06:17 PM
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No...

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Recumbent describes the riding position. A recumbent can have 2, 3, or 4 wheels. Are you saying he already has a recumbent bike?
he has a 2 wheel with diamond frame - I should have been more clear.
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Old 07-18-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
he has a 2 wheel with diamond frame - I should have been more clear.
So , is there any reason your friend isn't considering a recumbent bike (2 wheels)? Recumbent trikes are fine, but there are lots of people that prefer the ride of a recumbent bike. He should consider both. Both are good for bad backs, but there is a lot more performance potential in a recumbent bike.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:06 PM
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Good question

Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
So , is there any reason your friend isn't considering a recumbent bike (2 wheels)? Recumbent trikes are fine, but there are lots of people that prefer the ride of a recumbent bike. He should consider both. Both are good for bad backs, but there is a lot more performance potential in a recumbent bike.
I will bring it up with him. Best of both worlds - comfort with more performance.
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Old 08-16-20, 11:15 AM
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Also, if cost is a factor, two-wheeled recumbents are (usually) less expensive than a trike of the same quality.
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Old 08-18-20, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster.
With all due respect, I see nothing in the o.p. that indicated that there was a need for speed on the part of the friend. You read the same posts I do on BROL and it is clear that the majority of recumbent riders are just fine with being slow. Not that your question isn't valid, recumbent bikes are cheaper, have way less footprint, and are all around easier to store, transport, etc., but the recumbent riding position is unnatural to most people and the very models most interesting from a performance standpoint (faster) even less intuitive to ride well. I knew that just by looking at recumbents. All my initial research was on trikes, but when it came time to put $$$ down, at the last second I went for bikes. I'm not entirely certain I made the right decision.
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Old 08-18-20, 05:14 PM
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If he liked the Catrike Villager, but wants a folder, look at the Catrike Trail. I folded mine after every ride for 2 years and stored it in the back of my car. Nice and easy to fold. And much easier to store while folded.

HP Veloteknik and Catrike both have good reputations and lots of satisfied customers. You can't go wrong with either brand. Performer doesn't have the best reputation on their trikes, but I think I've only seen positive things about their bikes.
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Old 08-24-20, 02:43 PM
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If he wants a trike, he wants a trike. But apparently he didn't even know that 2-wheeled recumbents existed; and you can't make an informed decision without becoming informed. Trikes are fine for what they are; but recumbent bikes are lighter, less complicated, less expensive, easier to transport, easier to store, and go down the road with less energy used. That last point you can call "faster" or "more efficient," but they're different sides to the same coin. In my opinion, trikes should be considered mostly if there's a balance issue or when falling just cannot be tolerated, which were not reasons that were given up front. (All bike riders will fall, it's just a matter of time.) Otherwise they're just not worth the downsides. That said, I have one as a valued part of my n+1 collection.
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Old 08-25-20, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
With all due respect, I see nothing in the o.p. that indicated that there was a need for speed on the part of the friend. You read the same posts I do on BROL and it is clear that the majority of recumbent riders are just fine with being slow. Not that your question isn't valid, recumbent bikes are cheaper, have way less footprint, and are all around easier to store, transport, etc., but the recumbent riding position is unnatural to most people and the very models most interesting from a performance standpoint (faster) even less intuitive to ride well. I knew that just by looking at recumbents. All my initial research was on trikes, but when it came time to put $$$ down, at the last second I went for bikes. I'm not entirely certain I made the right decision.
Priorities are up to the person buying the recumbent to set. It doesn't hurt to point it out.
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Old 08-26-20, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
In my opinion, trikes should be considered mostly if there's a balance issue or when falling just cannot be tolerated, which were not reasons that were given up front. (All bike riders will fall, it's just a matter of time.) Otherwise they're just not worth the downsides.
Well, as Sam Sturgis said of John Pope during the War of the Rebellion...
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