Fifty Plus (50+) - Thinking about a trike have questions
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10-02-10, 07:26 AM
My dog's gotten old and his back legs don't work very well anymore. I'm thinking about a trike so I can take him biking with me - they have those big baskets in the back.
Do any of you guys have a trike?
I don't think I'll be able to plummet down my driveway mountain on it so I'll have to transport it places. They seem awfully big and cumbersome. I know it won't fit in the minivan or the Jeep, maybe in the back of my big 2500 Dodge van. Do they make bike racks for these things?
How are they riding? Must be easy because they target them at the geriatrics.
I'd appreciate any input...I don't think I've even ever been within 5 feet of one.
wiredfoxterrier, I had an elderly aunt that had one. She only rode it on smooth roads and pretty slowly. I found it to be a bit tipsy if turning at much faster than a walking pace. I would suggest buying/building a trailer as you can transport water and a water bowl also.
I've looked at CL for a trailer as I've grandkids closing in on being old enough to trailer and there are some good deals there, depending on the size of your dog.
10-02-10, 08:31 AM
Well, there's trikes and there's trikes. What, exactly are you picturing in your mind?
Check out the ICE or Greenspeed websites. They both offer tadpole trikes that fold into a very compact package for transportation. My wife and I recently visited an LBS that has a good srock of recumbents. I told them that if they could show her how to make a trike fit into her Saturn SL1 compact sedan, we'd buy it. We drove home with a Greenspeed GT3 in the trunk. My wife says that it takes her about 5 minutes to ready the trike for riding but I suspect she's also counting the time that it takes her to change shoes.
I have to admit that I had a bias against recumbent trikes before I test rode one. Over labor day I went to a recumbent rally and test rode some. I didn't see anybody on one that didn't have a huge, ear-to-ear grin. It's a fun ride. The biggest downside that I can see is it's a loooong way down to the seat and it's even farther to get back up. They're not cheap either.
10-02-10, 10:41 AM
Next door people have two. They use them for daily transport for errands of all sorts. They ride them year around. Yes, even in the snow and ice and at sub-zero temperatures.
They carry everything including their dog, house remodeling supplies, groceries, etc.
10-02-10, 11:11 AM
Sounds like a good idea.
My best wishes to your dog and getting him out one way or another. A little door to the basket / ramp so he can get out and sniff the leaves and other-dog-pee and whatnot every so often.
One thing to be careful about when you ride trikes -- beware of making hard turns, it's easy to oversteer and get tossed diagonally in a nasty crash ... having been there and done that.
Two wheels in front, one in back is a much more stable configuration than the more common one wheel in front, two in back.
Also, note that there may be an unexpected (re)-learning curve involved with any trike. When I tried to drive my friend's pedicab, he warned me that some bicyclists have a great deal of trouble steering it, because they are so conditioned to leaning into a turn. I am one of those cyclists -- try as I might, I could execute only the very widest of turns on the pedicab. It would definitely take me some time to learn how to maneuver it safely and (somewhat) gracefully.
10-02-10, 12:18 PM
My understanding is that riding a performance trike ("barrow") is a real subculture in Britain. Maybe stapfam can elaborate. The guys all have beards, look serious, and the epitome of the racing trike is the one built by Ken Rogers. Most trike newbies, on executing their first turn, start going around in circles, so there's a real learning curve. But they would seem to be the thing to ride on icy roads in winter. Braking could be an issue - usually it's just a front caliper plus maybe a disk on one of the back wheels (how do you put a caliper on a back wheel when there's no frame section to attach it to?). Usually only one of the back wheels is driven, since a real differential would add a lot of weight, to think nothing of a limited-slip differential ("posi-traction"), so going up icy hills could be an issue! But a real tricyclist can please correct me on this. There's one guy in the randonneur club here who sometimes rides a barrow; I'll have to consult him. He doesn't have a beard, though.
But it does seem to me that the recumbent trike, with two wheels in front, would be far more stable and easier to ride. The disadvantage would be going up hills - much harder on a recumbent since they are much heavier and you can't put full body weight on the pedals; you can only push against the back of the seat, like doing leg presses, and bad for the back (if my experience with the leg press machine at the gym is any indication). But those things can just fly on level ground. Racers will have trouble keeping up with you!
10-02-10, 12:29 PM
There are folding trikes and they are tadpoles (2 front 1 rear)
I don't know much about them.
But a little older lady rides one at the same time I do (5am).
Basket and all, and I now she ride it about 15miles a day.
I wish I could match her cadence. It must be 120rpm.
10-02-10, 01:22 PM
Most dogs around here are in trailers.
10-02-10, 05:34 PM
Instead of a trike, would you consider one of those closed trailers that suburban parents pull their kids in?
I say this because someone that I see frequently on the Minuteman Bikeway has one, and his canine companion rides in it. The dog looks to be mid-sized.
The other big disadvantage of a trike is its width, which makes maneuvering in heavy traffic or in a jogger-clogged bike lane tricky. With two wheels in back, you can easily sideswipe something or someone. The asymmetrical no-differential drive also implies that it will turn much better in one direction (outer wheel driven) than the other.
10-02-10, 08:02 PM
Thanks everybody. I bought a kiddie pull trailer off of Craigslist today and I couldn't even get him into it. I don't know if you know any terriers, but even at 20 pounds you can't get him to do something he doesn't want to do. And he kept attacking it afterwards. I've given it to my friend's daughter. Buster's a sweetie, believe me, but definitely knows what he doesn't want to do.
I found a trike close by on CL this afternoon but it was gone by the time I got there. So much for a sweet old man who was holding it until I got there because I was definitely going to buy it. I had Buster with me to test out his reaction to it. I think he'll like it because it's not like I'm trying to put him into anything - he'll be right in the middle of everything going on. A big wire basket he can see out of with a comfy pillow. I could probably even hang a water bowl off it like they do in the show crates.
I even went trolling through a huge mobile home park looking for old folks on trikes. Not to steal it, I swear, just to see how it works.
I'm not worried about having trouble in traffic - we have a long waterfront with a sidewalk and little traffic of any kind. It's really flat along there, too. It's not until you get to where I live that it gets hilly. I can just see me on my big red trike with my dog in the basket passing the biker bar and ringing my bell.
10-02-10, 09:03 PM
After reading some of these responses I wonder about the posters' physical ability. After all he smallest child can safely handle a trike.
I think a trike is a wonderful vehicle for all around use. It is probably more versatile and useful than a two wheeler. Plus, it probably doesn't attract thieves as much as a bike would, especially one of those expensive commuter, hybrid or road bikes.
10-04-10, 12:09 PM
I'm with Trackub and DnvrFox on this. I see lots of people taking their dogs around in kid trailers. If this is anything but a really big dog, the kid trailer is IMO the way to go.
If the dog won't ride in a basket on a cargo trailer, I don't expect him to go for a basket on a trike. But it's your call. If you just want a trike, get one.
FWIW, there are (relatively) inexpensive recumbent trikes that aren't that low to the ground and are (relatively) easily transported. British sporting trikes come with three wheel brakes and differentials these days. There are 2-front/1-rear wheel configuration trikes that are not recuments.
Trek (http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/pure/puredlxtrike/) or Worksman (http://worksmancycles.com/) can fix you up. Then there's this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2DEnbYrDb4).
10-04-10, 12:52 PM
I rode a tadpole type trike for the first time about a month ago and it was great fun! Two wheels in front, low to the ground, all the gears I needed and comfortable seating.
Re: OP, not sure how you'd attach a trailer for your dog, but in terms of being safe, stable, comfortable and fun: YES! Also, the one I rode was a CAT-TRIKE, so your dog may be inclinded to want to chase it . . .
Rick / OCRR
Here's a link: http://www.catrike.com/catrikes.html
10-08-10, 08:14 PM
I've been riding an upright Sun Miami trike for over two years. I took my cat to the vet in the trike besides to the nearby lake. I kept her in the carrier that fitted nicely in the basket. She loved watching the ducks but definitely not for the same reasons I did.
I commute to my job on my trike which I prefer above my new folder, which is giving me fits right now.
The trike does take some use to. It definitely gets hairy riding them on the bike lane and bike path because they take up so much room. Riding them on a narrow sidewalk can be challenging and very bumpy.
However, as long as the terrain is relatively flat, not overly crowded and you're not in a big hurry, you'll be alright. I've never sideswiped anyone on my trike. You'll find that most folks give you a wide berth whether you need it or not.:)
More Pros and Cons:
Watch out for sloping ground that you have to ride horizontally across. Slow down or you may find yourself tipping over. When that happens, I find myself automatically leaning my weight to the other side to counterbalance the potential tip over.
However, there was only one time when I actually tipped over and that was when I decided to make a hard turn in the rain. Stupid me. I was able to hop off the bike before it went completely over.
When you turn, again slow down. You don't have to lean into your turn as much. It's more point and steer than anything else sometimes.
I commute 5 miles daily on my trike during the weekdays and more than 10-15 miles during the weekends.
An upright trike is definitely less expensive than a recumbent but they are, on average, wide, about 30 inches. I don't know how wide a recumbent trike is though so it may be a wash here.
Whatever you do, if it has that tractor seat, than I would plan to replace it with a regular cruiser saddle. You'll be able to peddle more efficiently that way, especially if you're at the proper seat height.
Try a one speed. But if you live with hills around than splurge for a three speed.
An average upright trike is about 50 lbs. When you're riding, you don't feel the weight but any steps, etc., you encounter and you'll definitely feel the weight.
Whatever you decide to get, I hope you get a good bargain for yourself and Buster. If you do, pics, pics, pics please - assuming Buster doesn't attack the camera.:D
Learn a lot about trikes @ http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=30&f=13
Some trike are for geezers, others have great performance. Some do double centuries on them.
Challenge and Catrike make good one.
I like my Challenge Concept in the winter on ice and snow pack. It has Avid BB7 on the front wheels
Rans make the Trizard which is a low seat Delta. It has good performance. Two can be coupled to make a tandem.
Bent Rider Online has a wealth of info on trikes and other recumbents.
10-10-10, 10:39 PM
My wife and I both have tadpole trikes - one Catrike one Trice. They are very easy - and much fun - to ride. We regularly hit 30+ mph on downhills without any threat of spilling over. Yes - if you turn hard at high speed you can probably tip it - but you'll have to really try. Many of them will fit in a minivan or jeep. We fit both in a Nissan Murano or Lexus RX 350 (without folding the Trice). Can't speak about how the dog will travel - that you'll have to try out. Though I think it would be easier to mount a carrier on a rack on the back rather than up front. Don't forget a flag and lights on a trike. You'll be low and need to be seen - even in daylight.
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