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Some ask, "Why a trike?"

Old 01-10-20, 06:35 AM
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OK, this was from yesterday’s 27 mile ride. It’s an ICE VTX with SRAM eTap shifting, carbon and Ti bits, and a power meter. Frame is a CrMoly (front)/AL (rear)

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Old 01-10-20, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
OK, this was from yesterdayís 27 mile ride. Itís an ICE VTX with SRAM eTap shifting, carbon and Ti bits, and a power meter.


Racer boy! I don't know anything about those, are they as fast as they look?
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Old 01-10-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Racer boy! I don't know anything about those, are they as fast as they look?
There is generally a speed penalty because of the three wheels and extra weight. I take a 2-3 mph hit in speed over my uprights.
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Old 01-10-20, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
There is generally a speed penalty because of the three wheels and extra weight. I take a 2-3 mph hit in speed over my uprights.
Interesting. If the route is reasonably flat-like (climbing not over 50 feet per mile), I find my trike and upright bike speeds to be pretty close. Trike slower by perhaps 1 mph at most. If it's a very windy day (the most frequent circumstance where I choose the trike), the trike is sometimes a little faster. If it's a very hilly course, that advantage can be erased however, despite the fact that the Windcheetah is the best climbing trike I've owned.

The 2 wheeled bents are faster than my uprights most of the time. When the climbing reaches about 80-90 feet per mile things essentially even up.

All of this is a bit murky because I can't ride two machines at the same time to get true comparisons. And I haven't done any virtual elevation testing in a long time, and have never done it on most of my current fleet.
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Old 01-10-20, 08:14 AM
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Steamer, I’m getting old and tired.

Seriously, though, yesterday’s ride had 22 mph sustained winds with gusts to 35. I would have ridden the trainer if all that I had was an upright but the trike manages the headwind fine.
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Old 01-10-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Steamer, Iím getting old and tired.

Seriously, though, yesterdayís ride had 22 mph sustained winds with gusts to 35. I would have ridden the trainer if all that I had was an upright but the trike manages the headwind fine.
I also find cross winds that are potentially dangerous on 2 wheels are quite tolerable on the trike.
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Old 01-10-20, 08:55 AM
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I use my trike to stop and smell the cow patties.

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Old 01-10-20, 09:23 AM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
There is generally a speed penalty because of the three wheels and extra weight. I take a 2-3 mph hit in speed over my uprights.

So, except for windy days, bigger speed loss due to the weight and friction than gain for the loss of drag?
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Old 01-10-20, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the pics and info, @Trsnrtr and @Steamer . I'd love to try one of those racer trikes, they look like a lot of fun!
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Old 01-10-20, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I use my trike to stop and smell the cow patties.

Extra "Kool" points for the Mr. Horsepower sticker!
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Old 01-10-20, 10:37 AM
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Parked at work. The roads were mostly clear by the time I left, but definitely nice have 3 wheels in these conditions.

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Old 01-10-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
So, except for windy days, bigger speed loss due to the weight and friction than gain for the loss of drag?
I think extra drag is the main reason why they're slower. View one from the top instead of the side and you'll understand.
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Old 01-10-20, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I think extra drag is the main reason why they're slower. View one from the top instead of the side and you'll understand.

Aha! Width matters. Got it.
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Old 01-10-20, 03:16 PM
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Trikes are at a disadvantage is almost every way:

higher rolling resistance
higher aero drag (compared to fast recumbent bikes; not so bad compared to a rider with a non-aggressive position on an upright bike)
higher weight
more flexible frame (most impact on steep climbs)

Higher rolling resistance is not because of the third wheel. Other than a little extra hub bearing resistance, the third wheel adds no drag in theory because rolling resistance force is equal to Crr*weight. You may have an extra wheel, but that just means the weight is spread around more. I suspect that much (or all) of the additional rolling resistance comes from lateral scrubbing of the paired wheels (especially tadpoles). Imperfect alignment of those paired wheels and imperfect Ackerman compensation in tadpole designs (that scrubs speed with every minute steering correction being made due to pedal steer or even road camber) being the main culprits. And there are a lot of steering corrections, even as you ride straight. Every little bit of unbalanced lateral motion of the legs requires a steering correction and is therefore made plain as day on a trike whereas a bike's ability to freely pivot conceals this. Every correction scrubs speed. This is much more noticeable on a tadpole than on a delta trike because there are two steering wheels on a tadpole. Deltas have only one steered wheel and they seem to have very little steer scrub, just like a bike.
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Old 01-10-20, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Trikes are at a disadvantage is almost every way:

higher rolling resistance
higher aero drag (compared to fast recumbent bikes; not so bad compared to a rider with a non-aggressive position on an upright bike)
higher weight
more flexible frame (most impact on steep climbs)

Higher rolling resistance is not because of the third wheel. Other than a little extra hub bearing resistance, the third wheel adds no drag in theory because rolling resistance force is equal to Crr*weight. You may have an extra wheel, but that just means the weight is spread around more. I suspect that much (or all) of the additional rolling resistance comes from lateral scrubbing of the paired wheels (especially tadpoles). Imperfect alignment of those paired wheels and imperfect Ackerman compensation in tadpole designs (that scrubs speed with every minute steering correction being made due to pedal steer or even road camber) being the main culprits. And there are a lot of steering corrections, even as you ride straight. Every little bit of unbalanced lateral motion of the legs requires a steering correction and is therefore made plain as day on a trike whereas a bike's ability to freely pivot conceals this. Every correction scrubs speed. This is much more noticeable on a tadpole than on a delta trike because there are two steering wheels on a tadpole. Deltas have only one steered wheel and they seem to have very little steer scrub, just like a bike.

I think this is the point where I nod a lot and try to look like I have a clue.

I think I followed most of that, thanks!
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Old 01-10-20, 04:39 PM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I also find cross winds that are potentially dangerous on 2 wheels are quite tolerable on the trike.
This is especially true if there is a high cross wind blowing you into traffic.
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Old 01-10-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Thanks for the pics and info, @Trsnrtr and @Steamer . I'd love to try one of those racer trikes, they look like a lot of fun!
Where are you in Illinois? If near Chicago or St. Louis or Quad Cities, there are shops.
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Old 01-11-20, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Where are you in Illinois? If near Chicago or St. Louis or Quad Cities, there are shops.
30-40 miles west of Chicago in Elgin. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
30-40 miles west of Chicago in Elgin. Thanks!
The Bike Rack in St. Charles should have a few trikes to try as does Amlings in Chicago. If you don't mind a drive, Ron at FnA Cycles near Aurora is a good place to go for Catrike.
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Old 01-11-20, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
The Bike Rack in St. Charles should have a few trikes to try as does Amlings in Chicago. If you don't mind a drive, Ron at FnA Cycles near Aurora is a good place to go for Catrike.
Thanks, I may do that. Not that I need to spend any more money, considering I'm presently working on finding the "perfect road bike for under $10,000".
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Old 01-12-20, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
OK, this was from yesterdayís 27 mile ride. Itís an ICE VTX with SRAM eTap shifting, carbon and Ti bits, and a power meter. Frame is a CrMoly (front)/AL (rear)

Seriously. Is there a trick to getting on and off that thing? I looked at one at a bike shop in Iowa. I was going to try sitting down on it but I didn't see how I could get down gracefully and I knew I'd need help getting back up.
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Old 01-12-20, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Seriously. Is there a trick to getting on and off that thing? I looked at one at a bike shop in Iowa. I was going to try sitting down on it but I didn't see how I could get down gracefully and I knew I'd need help getting back up.
Iíve ridden low bikes since 2003. Itís just a knack one develops for the low ones.
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Old 01-12-20, 07:55 PM
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Pretty easy to mount a trike. Step over the frame where it goes to the crank. Slowly sit down. To get up, set the brakes, grab the handlebars( steering mechanism) and gently pull yourself into standing position. Just takes a little practice.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Baldy1953 View Post
Pretty easy to mount a trike. Step over the frame where it goes to the crank. Slowly sit down. To get up, set the brakes, grab the handlebars( steering mechanism) and gently pull yourself into standing position. Just takes a little practice.
I have no trouble with my 559 or my wife's Trail but have you tried doing that with a VTX? The cruciform tube is too far ahead of the seat for me to sit down gracefully and I have no idea how I might get up.
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Old 01-13-20, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldy1953 View Post
Pretty easy to mount a trike. Step over the frame where it goes to the crank. Slowly sit down. To get up, set the brakes, grab the handlebars( steering mechanism) and gently pull yourself into standing position. Just takes a little practice.
In the case of the VTX, ICE is adamant that you not use the handlebars to exit trike. More info available on their website and info on entering/sitting on the VTX, too.
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