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Considering A Trike

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Considering A Trike

Old 08-20-23, 11:56 AM
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Basstar
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Considering A Trike

Much of my riding now is in and out of city riding, dealing with traffic, lights, riding on paved paths, etc.

If I purchase a trike will I be able to ride with my friends on their regular bikes or will I be considerably slower?
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Old 08-20-23, 01:13 PM
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linberl
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It will take a while to get your "bent legs" because the bents use different muscles or muscles differently. Get as light a trike as you can afford. For city riding I recommend one with a higher seat angle/better visibility. It can be very hard to see around parked cars at intersections if you are down too low. I ride in traffic and on MUPS constantly. A slightly more upright seat angle improves visibility and more than offsets the slight wind resistance imo. Ymmv. I have e-assist but I often see recumbent trike riders on my regular rides without assist and they are having no trouble keeping up in groups - but I"m sure they have been riding long enough to reset those muscles. So - at first - you will be slower.
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Old 08-20-23, 01:33 PM
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Any preference between Delta or Tadpole trike?
Budget?


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Old 08-20-23, 01:44 PM
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Maybe

Originally Posted by cat0020
Any preference between Delta or Tadpole trike?
Budget?


One model of interest is the Catrike Expedition but I have very few trike dealers around and havenít seen many in person.
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Old 08-20-23, 02:38 PM
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My experience has been that I can't keep up with a group of fast riders like the kinds who I often see riding in my area in a pack. The Expedition weighs 34 pounds so is no match for someone riding a lightweight road bike. I can keep up with most recreational riders who aren't off to the races. We do have a fairly sizable trike riders group in the valley but they are not close to my home. As previously mentioned, it will take you some time to build up the muscle used to propel a trike. It doesn't allow the use of any upper body muscles, just the ones in your legs. You can't stand on the pedals on a steep hill as you can on a road bike. However, the Expedition has a decent gear range that should let you climb any hill once you get your trike legs. That's probably not even a consideration in Florida.
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Old 08-20-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Basstar
If I purchase a trike will I be able to ride with my friends on their regular bikes or will I be considerably slower?
If you buy a trike with e-assist, you could probably keep up with riders going a moderate 12-14 mph on the lowest level of assist. When I bought my trike, the dealer said that this "ECO" mode, on a Shimano Steps E8000 motor, is basically compensating for the weight of the trike, motor and battery (60 pounds?) when compared to riding my two wheel bike with no e-assist. That feels about right, and I can keep up with my partner, sometimes ahead and sometimes behind her, just like before I converted to the trike. Of course, you would have the mid level of assist if you need it, but that would reduce the mileage you get from the battery. I use the ECO mode almost exclusively, because it approximates the same pedaling experience I used to have, riding unassisted, with regard to overall energy expended for a ride of any given length. And I get the maximum mileage from the battery using the Eco mode.
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Old 08-20-23, 08:46 PM
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As DeadGrandpa said, e-assist is helpful with a trike because of the added weight of the machine and inability to stand to mash. But if you're in pretty good shape, it is not necessary. Where i live we have an adaptive cycling center for vets and I see these guys FLYING past me (with me on low assist) using the handcycle on their recumbents, lol. Of course, those trikes are pretty streamlined. But just today, it was the local group recumbent ride and we crossed paths and they were all hauling ~15-16mph on the flats without struggling at all. Good gearing really matters. All depends on how fast your friends ride. I manage a 20 mile ride daily, mostly flat, with only about 20% of my battery used on low assist (360w/h).
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Old 08-21-23, 06:30 AM
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Why are you thinking about a trike, physical limitations, comfort, etc., these reasons would help you decide. I had an expedition for commuting and I did a little short touring rides but now at 73 it has been successfully traded in for more upright comfort and visibility in traffic as linberl said.
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Old 08-21-23, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug
Why are you thinking about a trike, physical limitations, comfort, etc., these reasons would help you decide. I had an expedition for commuting and I did a little short touring rides but now at 73 it has been successfully traded in for more upright comfort and visibility in traffic as linberl said.
No limitations.

They just look interesting and fun for something different.

BUTÖ.I do like the simplicity and portability of a two wheel bike.

Im simply in the looking stage.

Thanks
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Old 08-21-23, 08:23 AM
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Consider 2 wheel recumbents. They are generally a bit faster than recumbent trikes, although the fastest trikes can be faster than the slower bikes. A high racer probably is the most compatible type of recumbent for riding with upright bikes.

A low, laid back trike (e.g. Catrike 700, ICE VTX ) in relatively flat terrain on decent roads can be as fast as an upright bike ridden in a non-aggressive position, especially if ambient winds are a factor. Trikes really suffer, however, when road conditions are rough and/or there is a lot of climbing.
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Old 08-21-23, 08:37 AM
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Wife & I've been riding recumbent 2-wheel & recumbent trikes (both tadpole & delta trikes) since 2003.
Depending on your group riding parameters, trikes can be difficult to fit in among 2-wheel upright bikes.
Low profile doesn't provide much draft for the group, possibility of catching debris kicked up by 2-wheel uprights with your face can be real concern,
keeping up with 2-wheel uprights on inclines may require some physical conditioning.
Recumbent riding position on 2-wheel or trikes allow more comfortable riding for sure.
Longer hours in the saddle and cycling over long distances become less of a physical strain.
Less neck, shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, butt and back pain when you get off the bike after a good, long ride.
Recumbents require different muscles memory that upright bikes, takes a few hundred miles to acquire or able to determine whether they are right for you.
My wife took it pretty well, since I was there to guide her along the way.
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Old 08-21-23, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Basstar
No limitations.

They just look interesting and fun for something different.

BUTÖ.I do like the simplicity and portability of a two wheel bike.

Im simply in the looking stage.

Thanks
If you have the space and the money, then both are an ideal. The 2 wheeler for quick trips, local errands, and multimodal transit. The recumbent for longer rides and for things like trips to food trucks (instant seating) or places with nice views. I like to take a book on a hot day and go read by the ocean in my comfy recumbent seat. Both have defined uses.
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Old 08-28-23, 08:02 AM
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My wife and I ride Terra Trikes. Both have the Bosch EVO system. We mostly ride on rail to trail rural paths. There are two significantly tall Highway overpasses and the e-assist comes in handy. Whatever you get, powered or not, be sure that your feet stay on the pedals. Coming down one of these steep hills I was going about 20 mph when my feet slipped off and went under the bike. I did a near somersault.
I’m probably going to get rid of my heel straps and go clipless now.
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Old 08-31-23, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cornfield
My wife and I ride Terra Trikes. Both have the Bosch EVO system. We mostly ride on rail to trail rural paths. There are two significantly tall Highway overpasses and the e-assist comes in handy. Whatever you get, powered or not, be sure that your feet stay on the pedals. Coming down one of these steep hills I was going about 20 mph when my feet slipped off and went under the bike. I did a near somersault.
Iím probably going to get rid of my heel straps and go clipless now.
That sounds like you almost had a catastrophic injury. I used the Terra Trike straps under my heels at first, but I never felt secure with them. When I put some larger flat pedals with pins on, I inverted the bracket holding the straps, so the straps cross behind my ankles and attach to each other in front of my ankles. I have the ability to move my foot position on the pedals so I don't get hot spots, but the security of the straps wrapping around my ankle is not in question. It takes but a moment to get secured or to detach each strap. It happens that the pedals I use have an angled surface on each end, to facilitate mounting the brackets in the most advantageous position to hold my feet. I highly recommend this method, if the clipless pedals don't appeal.

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Old 09-03-23, 06:36 AM
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The fact remain that there so many advantages to riding a trike, especially in town, they cant be ignored. Comfort, view, and no clipping in and out are at the top of the list. Being able to go as fast or slow as you want is an added reason. If you are worried about keeping up with fast riders, put a motor on it. Then at times speed is not of a concern turn the boost way down.
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Old 09-05-23, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Basstar
Much of my riding now is in and out of city riding, dealing with traffic, lights, riding on paved paths, etc.

If I purchase a trike will I be able to ride with my friends on their regular bikes or will I be considerably slower?
If the plan is to ride with your buddies who are on uprights, or around town, then trikes are a Bad Choice. You'll be slower and significantly lower. Looking UP at car bumpers can be more disconcerting than many people can handle. Assuming you want a 'bent just to be different, then look for a highracer. It'll mix OK with the uprights (they'll still complain that you don't give a draft) and will be approximately the same speed or maybe a bit faster. You'll have to work harder on climbs but can loaf a bit everywhere else.
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Old 09-09-23, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker
My experience has been that I can't keep up with a group of fast riders like the kinds who I often see riding in my area in a pack. The Expedition weighs 34 pounds so is no match for someone riding a lightweight road bike. I can keep up with most recreational riders who aren't off to the races. We do have a fairly sizable trike riders group in the valley but they are not close to my home. As previously mentioned, it will take you some time to build up the muscle used to propel a trike. It doesn't allow the use of any upper body muscles, just the ones in your legs. You can't stand on the pedals on a steep hill as you can on a road bike. However, the Expedition has a decent gear range that should let you climb any hill once you get your trike legs. That's probably not even a consideration in Florida.
But the thing is most bent and trike riders dont usually ride with "fast riders". We tend to be the more calm enjoy the ride and scenery types.

However is you want to ride with fast riders, put a motor on, and you can keep up with anyone.
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Old 09-12-23, 05:49 PM
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Most people can't put a motor on a regular bike to save their lives. Most bike dealers won't have anything to do with a trike. Motor equipped trikes OEM are in the $8K range plus/minus $2K. I think I'm on safe ground betting against a motor for the o.p. The speed trikes are your Catrike 700 or your ICE VTX. I don't mind Delta's but they are not to everyone's taste. An Anura could be pushed to a decent speed and anything by Hase as well, but prepare for the sticker shock. I'm friendly with one of the (only) two recumbent dealers in town. He doesn't think Deltas are good for anything except linking together as tandems.

Good trikes are expensive. The HPV Gekko base model is a nice looking trike and not terribly expensive as these things go. A Performer (JC70/JC20) trike should not be discounted out of hand. They also have a Delta that is very much like a (Greenspeed) Anura. Performer are a very good value, and if you build it out well (yes, you build it from a kit) you can have a very nice machine and maybe you could put a motor on that and stay under $4K. Any trike you can get in and out of easily will be SLOW. A motor doesn't help, and may actually hurt you because the slow isn't just a power issue but a center of gravity issue. Low (and uncomfortable) for speed, high (and comfortable) for tooling around town.

Road hazards and features that a single track cyclist doesn't even register as significant will stop a trike cold. It's already frustrating enough for uprights to ride with lowracers and such. Riding with trikes is just a non-starter. When you become a Vampire your sleep schedule becomes hard to work in with regular mortals and they will keep dying on you because they age out and you are Immortal. You'll have to make new Undead friends or you will be one lonely Vampire. No different for someone that has gone to the Dark Side of multi-track recumbents. There are whole riding clubs of nothing but bents, and 97% of the membership will ride trikes. That's the way forward if you make that transition.
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Old 09-17-23, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
But the thing is most bent and trike riders dont usually ride with "fast riders".
It's not just an issue with 'fast' riders. Anyway, 'fast' is relative. Chances are, you're used to riding the same pace as the rest of the riders in your group. When you hop on a trike, you'll suddenly have to work a lot harder to do THEIR pace. Will you be able to handle that? If you're loafing at their current pace, that might not be a big issue. But if they're already going as fast as you can comfortably keep up with, riding a trike will be problematic.

If you ride alone, then keeping up isn't an issue at all.
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