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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-25-07, 10:07 AM   #1
RecumbentTriker
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Commuting on a tadpole

My wife and I found riding our mountain bikes to be too uncomfortable in our more advanced years, and riding was no longer fun. This spring we purchased a pair of recumbents and have rediscovered the joy of bike riding.

Mine's a Sun tadpole, which I recently modified to accept a 700 cm rear wheel, and I'd like to commute to work with, but worry about my visibility. I've put a 12v lighting system on it (basically automobile lighting) and have a flag and Xenon flasher, but I still wonder about my visiblity in a low-slung bike.

How do other trike riders feel about commuting in traffic on a trike as opposed to standard height bicycle?

I appreciate opinions, experiences or advice.

Jack
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Old 09-25-07, 10:13 AM   #2
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700cm wheel????
Thats HUGE!
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Old 09-25-07, 10:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RecumbentTriker View Post
My wife and I found riding our mountain bikes to be too uncomfortable in our more advanced years, and riding was no longer fun. This spring we purchased a pair of recumbents and have rediscovered the joy of bike riding.

Mine's a Sun tadpole, which I recently modified to accept a 700 cm rear wheel, and I'd like to commute to work with, but worry about my visibility. I've put a 12v lighting system on it (basically automobile lighting) and have a flag and Xenon flasher.

Jack
I'd love to see a picture.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:54 PM   #4
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Oh Lord! LOL

That should read "70 cm" *grin* - a 700 tire. LOL! I'm new to these tire sizes.

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Old 09-25-07, 03:50 PM   #5
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Cue Jeff-o - the resident recumbent evangelist!
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Old 09-25-07, 04:59 PM   #6
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Afte my accident earlier this summer, I intent to do exactly the same. Commute on a trike.
Will let you know next spring.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:10 PM   #7
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I have interest in a trike and correponded with a dealer in Utah while I lived there (www.rcutah.com). He told me the same bike stuff (use a light and reflective material) and that a flag really helped. He aslo mentioned that just because the trike is unique it catches attention a little more and that he get more room from cars when he is on his trike than when he bikes. I imigine the recumbent forum would have a few postings on this also as they ride low. Let us know what you think of the trike.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:56 PM   #8
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Cue Jeff-o - the resident recumbent evangelist!
You called?

Yes! I ride a recumbent trike in traffic every workday of the year. Cars give me more room when they pass (especially when I have my super-lights on), and I've never been in an accident (knock on wood!) The drivers in your area might be different, though.

Here are some tips:

- Assert your position on the road. Don't keep one wheel in the gutter trying to stay out of the car's way. Ride as safely to the right as you can, but if you ever feel as if it would be safer to have the whole lane to yourself, then take it!

- Act like a car. That means no filtering, no cutting through parking lots, no switching between road and sidewalk. Stunts like this will get you hurt - cars aren't expecting a low-slung vehicle zipping around like that.

- Make yourself visible. This goes for everyone on a bike. Bright lights at night are a must. Your flag will certainly help during the day.

- Ride the same route every day. Eventually drivers will recognize and remember you, and be more courteous.
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Old 10-03-07, 06:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. I'll start giving it a try on a slow day, to get comfortable.

I like the Sun trike, although it's a bit heavy. It's extremely comfortable, though. The larger wheel changed the gear ratios nicely, and now I've a better top end. I'm having trouble adjusting the rear derailleur - it's skipping cogs on the way down, but I'll get it worked out. I need to rework the bracket I manufactured - it's blocking the derailleur so it can't access the A cog. A bit of grinding will fix that, then I can work on the adjustment problem.

But that's for the mechanic section, I guess.

Thanks for bolstering my courage *grin*.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:31 AM   #10
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I agree with all of jeff-o's advice. I often commute on a trike (I did today, the vast majority of it along 2 lane highways). The rest is in town.

The safety flag is essential -- they are not a substitute for good lights. My aero weenie side hates them, but numerous road reports indicate that they are extremely important for visibility. As far as your lights go, make sure that your lights are oriented in a way that's visible to motorists. Set them up, turn them on, and make sure they're easily visible at a distance of 75 yards in broad daylight. If they aren't, either you need different lights or you need to reorient the ones that you have.

As motorists get used to seeing you out there, you'll find they work with you.
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