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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 02-27-07, 12:02 AM   #1
noahj
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tadpole trikes

I've always been intrigued by these. Experiences please?
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Old 02-27-07, 01:52 AM   #2
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FUN!
From the moment I first laid eyes on it, I knew it was mine!!
"It" was a Greenspeed I saw at Interbike.
Sunday after the show, it was tucked snuggly in my van!
That was 10 years and about 40 recumbents ago.

Currently I have a Greenspeed GTX and a GTT.
One is a "Ferrari", the other is a "Winnebago"!
I love 'em both!

If I were adding to the stables, I would be looking at the Challenge trike.
What have you seen/heard about/ridden?

Shop used if you can, might save some big $$$!
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Old 02-27-07, 02:28 AM   #3
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I agree with the Doctor, FUN! Pulling G's around a corner is a addictive experience on a trike. Lifting and holding a wheel is great fun too! Way slower then a lowracer, yet fast enough to keep up with roadies with the right trike. I guess maintaince is similar to a DF, yet you do have to look at and adjust toe settings occasionally.
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Old 02-27-07, 08:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron

If I were adding to the stables, I would be looking at the Challenge trike.
What have you seen/heard about/ridden?

Shop used if you can, might save some big $$$!
Last I heard- the Challenge trike will be available in March sometime. Interesting frame shape (for some tired of scratching front axles with heels, like me).

This frame design goes back to the 1990s (Landstrider) with little front springs. A backwards *Y* design, not the common *T* or "cross" tadpole frame. Great suspension addition but slippery in rapid turns. Sold that one.

That same *Y* tadpole frame is used in JM Recumbents folding trike (from Mexico) so the front axles fold back to the frame independently. I got the JMX2 in 2006 because of that unusual and useful frame. Nice addition to my museum.

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Old 02-27-07, 10:06 AM   #5
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I commute on one every day of the year, rain or shine. I wouldn't ride anything else.

Anything specific you want to know?
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Old 02-27-07, 11:22 AM   #6
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"Anything specific you want to know?"

Yeah. How come you don't sell your trikes along with your bikes in the US? It looks to be a nice trike!
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Old 02-27-07, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opedaler
"Anything specific you want to know?"

Yeah. How come you don't sell your trikes along with your bikes in the US? It looks to be a nice trike!
That's ActionBent's domain, I'm afraid. I'd be in big trouble with the manufacturer if I shipped a trike over the border...

Anything else?
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Old 02-27-07, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelchairman
I agree with the Doctor, FUN! Pulling G's around a corner is a addictive experience on a trike. Lifting and holding a wheel is great fun too! Way slower then a lowracer, yet fast enough to keep up with roadies with the right trike. I guess maintaince is similar to a DF, yet you do have to look at and adjust toe settings occasionally.
I can see trikes being a blast, but I can't see anyone in a trike keeping up with road bikes assuming the riders are of equal abilities. The roadies will get a huge aero benefit from a paceline and as soon as the road goes uphill the trike will be left behind.

A low or high racer would be a much better idea if keeping up with roadies was a concern and even then the ability of the bent rider at climbing hills will determine if it will work.
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Old 02-27-07, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vik
I can see trikes being a blast, but I can't see anyone in a trike keeping up with road bikes assuming the riders are of equal abilities. The roadies will get a huge aero benefit from a paceline and as soon as the road goes uphill the trike will be left behind.

A low or high racer would be a much better idea if keeping up with roadies was a concern and even then the ability of the bent rider at climbing hills will determine if it will work.
On flat ground a fast trike (Catrike 700, Windcheetah, etc) would probably be able to keep up with "regular joe" roadies. I agree with vik, as soon as you toss in a few hills the triker may start to lag behind, especially if he tries to be part of the paceline. If you're on a trike and trying to keep up with roadies, be your own paceline: spin up the hills the best you can, then on the downslope just motor it to make up for the loss going uphill. You'll be leapfrogging for the whole ride, but at least you won't be left behind.
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Old 02-27-07, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
I commute on one every day of the year, rain or shine. I wouldn't ride anything else.

Anything specific you want to know?
Well, there's something appealing about a lawn chair on 3 wheels. This would be a just-for-fun thing despite the prices.

Concerns:

- How do you haul these things around? I don't think I can get one on the BART train.
- How stable? I understand that they're pretty fast downhill...how resistant to flipping over?
- OK in traffic? They're very low, so not easy to see, wide, so they take up more room.


And (perhaps for others who don't have a personal stake)...are the low-end models like TW Trike good enough for the fun part?
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Old 02-27-07, 06:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahj
Well, there's something appealing about a lawn chair on 3 wheels. This would be a just-for-fun thing despite the prices.

Concerns:

- How do you haul these things around? I don't think I can get one on the BART train.
- How stable? I understand that they're pretty fast downhill...how resistant to flipping over?
- OK in traffic? They're very low, so not easy to see, wide, so they take up more room.
I put mine in my van. I actually leave it there all summer. It's easier than taking it into the house. You could also haul it in a station wagon.
Stable? For me very stable, mostly. At high speeds(over 40 mph) I have no fear of flipping it over unless I were to turn sharply. But you could flip a trike. I did by being stupid.
You would need to get used to the traffic. If you already ride in traffic, it'd be no big deal, unless you were on narrow roads/streets with heavy traffic. I get much more room on my trike than I ever got on any two wheeled bike, including a bent.
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Old 02-27-07, 06:41 PM   #12
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1. depending on your vehicle, you could put it inside or hang it on a bike rack... some even put them on little mini-trailers. Folding trikes can go in virtually every kind of car but you have to deal with the assembly and dis-assembly on both ends. Transit in Portland OR still frowns on trikes.
2. stability is a mater of experience and how you load the trike. Smaller riders probably have greater confidence. I dumped mine... and almost dumped mine and that was enough to learn what NOT to do. On a nice smooth sweeping downhill... I just let it roll with very gentle fingers on the controls.
3. I am no less comfortable on my trike over a bike. I get a lot more respect from cars on a trike, be it by a smile or a single digit wave. I have a flag, bright triangle and light on the back of the trike and it can be seen as long as you don't surprise someone. In parking lots and going past parked cars, you need to be assertive and seen. The flag will take care of most parking lot visibility (don't fly a flag too tall!) and taking the middle of your lane where cars are parked will ellinate being door'd. Again, this is much like a normal bike. Be seen, be heard.

If you got the itch, start your quest by riding everything you can on three wheels (Shoppin'!)... If you are afraid of the itch... run away... run FAR A W A Y! These things are addicting; you've been warned.
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Old 02-27-07, 06:55 PM   #13
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My home built handled pretty well...til it broke!

Here's a video of it. I taped a camera to the cross-member and did a lap of a school in the area. Enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKl7a24aqtY
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Old 02-28-07, 12:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelchairman
Here's a video of it.
That is the epitome of riding a tadpole trike, right there!!
Great vid!!
Thanx for sharing!
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Old 02-28-07, 07:37 AM   #15
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They;re fun, especially when racing them at iHPVA events and going up on 2 wheels around every turn at speed!
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Old 02-28-07, 08:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahj
Well, there's something appealing about a lawn chair on 3 wheels. This would be a just-for-fun thing despite the prices.

Concerns:

- How do you haul these things around? I don't think I can get one on the BART train.
- How stable? I understand that they're pretty fast downhill...how resistant to flipping over?
- OK in traffic? They're very low, so not easy to see, wide, so they take up more room.


And (perhaps for others who don't have a personal stake)...are the low-end models like TW Trike good enough for the fun part?
1. In a minivan, on a roof rack, on a hitch-mounted trailer, or on a hitch-mounted rack made for trikes.

2. Very. I hit stuff in the street all the time that would flip me off a regular bike. It's just a speed bump on a trike. For high speed turns, just lean into the turn and you're fine. Go slower in ice and loose sand, they can make the rear wheel fishtail if you're not careful. In nine months of commuting on a trike (started in April 2006), I've never flipped my trike.

3. Fine in traffic, at least in my experience. Cars give more space when they pass, and even if one skims by with inches to spare, there's little chance that you'll be knocked over. Add a flag if you like, but I haven't found it necessary yet. I do have a big-ass custom made rear tail light that makes me look like an emergency vehicle (or so I've been told) from far away... that no doubt contributes to my safety.

4. Most definitely. I think they're better, because even if you manage to damage a TW-Bents trike, you're out far less money than if you damage a Greenspeed! There's a review of the TW-Bents trike on www.bentrideronline.com (listed there as the ActionBent Trike) that you can read, it compares very favourably.
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Old 02-28-07, 11:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aikigreg
going up on 2 wheels around every turn at speed!
Ayeee, you've learned to "wheely" your trike!!

I use the wheely at low speeds, to amuse the tourist throngs along the bike trail!
They're all SURE I'm going to flip!
I can tell by all the gasps!



I'm just BAD that way!
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Old 02-28-07, 12:46 PM   #18
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" How do you haul these things around? I don't think I can get one on the BART train."

There are hitch carriers that are designed for trikes. You might try WhizWheelz' web site and take a gander at theirs. If memory serves (and it often doesn't for me) I think that their single carrier is 300 and the dual carrier is about 450.

It won't do much for getting one a train, bus or trolly but it would get you to your riding site.
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Old 02-28-07, 02:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opedaler
" How do you haul these things around? I don't think I can get one on the BART train."

There are hitch carriers that are designed for trikes. You might try WhizWheelz' web site and take a gander at theirs. If memory serves (and it often doesn't for me) I think that their single carrier is 300 and the dual carrier is about 450.

It won't do much for getting one a train, bus or trolly but it would get you to your riding site.
250 and 450. I'm getting one, myself...
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Old 02-28-07, 04:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahj
Concerns:

- How do you haul these things around?
I use a Hollywood folding trunk rack for either of my Greenspeeds.
Only takes one at a time though...
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Old 03-06-07, 07:42 PM   #21
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I put my trike on a plain 'ole trunk mounted bike rack. The front cross bar sits on the arms of the rack and the rear wheel rests against the car's rear window. Works fine. (I drive a hyundai elantra sedan).
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Old 03-06-07, 08:43 PM   #22
ken cummings
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Had a near-death experience with one going 70 MPH down the I-70 frontage road into Denver. Thin air, full (heavy) fairing, and woefully inadequate brakes. Also got stopped while doing 40 MPH down the I-15 shoulder in the Mojave Desert. This time I was riding my brakes. The CHP officer thought I was a motor vehicle at that speed and cautioned me about "driving" on the shoulder. I pointed out the rear derailluer which was barely visible. He laughed and said "Have Fun." Later I stopped at the Mad Greeks' and gave him and his partner a look at it.
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Old 03-06-07, 11:34 PM   #23
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!70...MPH?!? Oy-Vey
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