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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 07-16-03, 07:59 AM   #1
Aggressor
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Three wheels

Three wheel recumbents, anyone with experience? I'd just like people's opinions on whether they think two, or three wheels is better, and why? Also some experiences with three wheels bents.

Cheers.
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Old 07-16-03, 06:20 PM   #2
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I've wanted a trike ever since I saw one for the first time. The only reason I don't have one is that my local roads are pretty narrow and I'm afraid cars won't see me. These idiots are on the cell phone, lighting cigarettes, putting on makeup ... everything but looking at their lane.

A while ago I saw a thread about how you need to watch for potholes. On a two wheeler, you can make a quick swerve to avoid any hazard. On a trike, there are two front wheels that have to avoid road holes. A good point to consider I think.
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Old 07-17-03, 06:32 AM   #3
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The potholes dont concern me as the roads around my way are in good condition.
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Old 07-17-03, 02:44 PM   #4
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My Mango will be here in a couple of weeks. I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 07-17-03, 10:45 PM   #5
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Excellent Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-19-03, 09:14 AM   #6
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My wife has one now...I am picking up mine next week. She loves it, it is amazingly fast, and looks great. It DOES take up more room and the road and is very low. She is able to compensate very well....flags...flashing lights....mirrors....and especially simple good riding make their use a lot safer and more practical. We work with WizWheelz in Hastings MI (www.wizwheelz.com)....their trikes are great, support is excellent, and you can get a quality trike for much fewer $$$ than any other quality trike maker I have been able to find.
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Old 07-22-03, 11:20 AM   #7
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I've been on a Greenspeed GTO for a year now. 5600 miles logged. Rode a Vision R40
for 4 years before the Greenspeed. I MUCH prefer the Greenspeed. There are SO
many advantages, I could never list them all.

I have no problems with car drivers seeing me. Just completed a 1300 mile self-contained ride up
the Atlantic coast with another rider (he coincidentally happend to be on a Vision recumbent) and
had no incidents. They appear to give me wider berth. Maybe they aren't sure what I am lol.

The rider with me on the Vision was looking for ways to justify a Greenspeed in his budget before
the end of the first day.
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Old 07-22-03, 03:02 PM   #8
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Hey. I have a Vision R40, but am very much looking forward to the delivery of my Velomobiel.nl Mango trike. Glad to hear the Greenspeed is working out. Enjoy!
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Old 07-26-03, 10:58 PM   #9
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Any one have an opinion on the cat trike?
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Old 07-28-03, 10:58 PM   #10
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Hey, I have a Greenspeed GTE and am awaiting delivery of a m5 Shockproof. I cant tell you much about the 2wheeled recumbent experience until the shockproof arrives though. The 3 wheeled world is pretty nice however. Ive had some 'let downs' with my trike that are purely performance driven, and are my own fault. Ive got the Schlumpf Mountain drive and the SRAM dualdrive internal hub equipped on the trike. This give me a total of 48 gears, from the very low to the kinda high. :** Lets just say that ive never had any trouble climbing any hill with a full touring load attached to the back of the trike.

Having said that though, its not a speed machine. The drivetrain has a lot of inefficiency(due to the mtn drive and dualdrive) but I can keep up with 30k/ph group on a smooth road reasonably easily. I find it difficult to put on alot of a speed on rough roads simply because it starts bouncing around too much, but its easy enough to kick back to 20k/hr(or slower) for those areas. On a smooth road though, its a dream to pedal along. It tracks straight as an arrow, almost drives itself and of course is very comfy on long trips. And of course, being an expedition trike, it carries lots without hassle.

I have found several problems with it, mainly due to the width. These arnt your every day trouble in traffic kind of problems, but more practical issues, taking it on public transport(trains, ferries, etc) is a hassle, fitting through the doorway at the house is a hassle too. I have to lift the trike up and flip it onto its side and slide it in halfway, flip back to horizontal to fit the seat through...

I dont find any trouble with car drivers, as a previous member noted, they seem to give you extra room on the trike. Good comments are everywhere and people love coming over to talk about it and sometimes have a test ride. In fact, the first time I rode it in public a police car pulled me over, he wanted a go!

And just as a final note, regardless of all the drivetrain inefficiency talk, ive achieved my highest speed on this trike..99.8k/hr, downhill.
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Old 07-29-03, 12:24 AM   #11
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I just checked out those trikes at whizwheels I want one!!!! Anyone want to loand me 2 grand so I can get one I'll be you're friend
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Old 07-29-03, 09:13 AM   #12
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Hi,
I used to have a Greenspeed GTR, which I rode for nearly 3 years. Stopped riding it because of the harsh ride. In my opinion, any 20" wheel should have suspension, especially when riding on the real world ( rough surfaces, potholes, etc. ). Bought a third hand Alleweder ( a Dutch velomobile ) last november which I had upgraded by velomobiel.nl and am very happy with it : all three wheels are suspended, I can ride it all year through and it's much faster ! I use it mostly for commuting ( 25 miles almost every day ). If you ride only on very good surfaces, stick with a trike. If not, you should try a velomobile !
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Old 07-29-03, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by allewedertje
Hi,
If you ride only on very good surfaces, stick with a trike. If not, you should try a velomobile !
I would agree. I do not have my Velomobiel.nl Mango yet, but have been able to take a spin in a second hand Flevobike Alleweder a friend/neighbor just took delivery of. The suspension on each wheel makes for a very smooth ride. Velomobiles are definitely the way to go for the ultimate in commuting comfort in all weather and road conditions.
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Old 07-29-03, 08:12 PM   #14
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I have been intrigued by recumbents for some time, and in turn, by trikes for part of that time. I have a few questions, though:

I have seen two basically different trike designs: single wheel in rear, or single wheel in front, with the former being much more common. What are the pros and cons of each layout. I assume the single wheel in the rear is advantageous, at seeems to account for about 99 per cent of models out there.

Although I've seen at least one post to the contrarty, it would seem to me that on a narrow two-lane road with no shoulders, blind curves, and hills, that the last thing you'd want to be on would be a trike, which is low and wide. At least if I was on a two-wheeler, I could get completely out of the way in an emergency.

I guess I'd just like to restate the question at the top of this thread, which is, what are the advantages/disadvantages of two wheeled recumbents vs. three?
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Old 07-29-03, 08:20 PM   #15
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Ok... two more questions.

How does one transport a trike to the place where they want to ride it? They look awful large.

Some have mentioned the "Velomobile" on this thread. I took a look at it and the first thought that came to mind was, what if the weather outside is 97 degrees and 88% humidity? Looks like you would suffocate in a matter of minutes. Yes, I see the air intake on the front, but I dunno...
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Old 07-29-03, 09:32 PM   #16
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Some of the advantages ive found on my GTE are,

Stability on wierd surfaces, ice, water, puddles, slick metal plates on the road, etc. In fact anytime it looks like its going to rain I automatically ride the trike in favour of a 2 wheeler(due to a bad accident whilst riding in the rain on 2 wheels, 3 wheels just 'seems' safer). Also, I dont worry about falling when being shunted off the road by trucks and whatnot. I just drive off and know ill be able to keep going, even if its rough. Never had any problems with tipping.(Note, tipping can be a problem at speed with delta trikes, 2 rear, one front)

Awesome Stopping power, I upgraded to the Hope hydraulic disc's. They stop good, even when carrying a big load. This might be specific to me though.

Its low to the ground. Makes you think youre going super fast, though you might not be.

Delta trikes are perfect load carriers. Due to the design they can haul big loads on the rear wheels with affecting the balance of the trike too much. This might be offset by only having 'one' front brake. Tadpole trikes(2 front, 1 rear) can have 2 front brakes.

Tadpole trikes can brake-steer. Well, 'some' can, some say they cant. I find this advantageous, others dislike it. Means you can brake one of the front wheels, causing the trike to drift to that side. I find it useful for high speed when turning the handlebars makes too much adjustment. Im not sure if delta trikes have this problem or not.

Some delta trikes have more complex drivetrains, then again some dont, heh.

Transportation is a issue for me with my GTE. I cant break the GTE down into smaller components. Its one big unit. Other models of the greenspeed trikes can be broken down via a S&S coupling. Its not the fastest thing to do, but it allows you to break the frame down into smaller bits. I know a guy that has a GTX and it just slides into the back of his wagon, easy.

Obviously the width can be a problem on narrow roads, I havent had too many problems with the width of my trike(900mm), but there have been several occasions where ive decided to get off the road and wait to let a bunch of cars pass me before heading of onto the road again. Portability because of the width can be a problem too. However, the wider it is, the more stable on the ground it is...I carry dual mirrors on my trike to allow me to see behind, so I can see whats coming generally and take action if I need too.

If youre after a suspension, which is the one thing I miss on my GTE, look at
http://www.mrrecumbenttrikes.com/swiftadventure.htm for the full suspension 'adventure' trike...

Weight, trikes are heavy. My GTE, unladen tips the scales at 22kg. Its heavy. Its no problem when on the flat, its a little slow to accelerate, but keeping stable high speeds(30k/hr+ is not difficult for me). However, the moment that flat turns into a slight hill I find the weight really slows me down. Its not a quick hill climber.

It is a hill climber in the respect that it will climb anything, provided you have the energy. Ive seen trikes with upto 82 gears, and gear ranges down to 6 or so inches, enough to climb any hill. Because you have three wheels, balance is no problem, so you can go as slow as you like without worring about balance. This is especially useful when carrying a big load(ie, touring).

2 wheeled recumbents might be faster, or slower, depending on what models youre comparing, etc..I can bet most of the 2 wheelers will be lighter, but will also lack the complete stability of 3 wheels. Thery're bound to narrower, but than again, ive seen loaded touring bikes(upright and recumbent) that are no wider than some of the 700mm wide trikes..

There certainly is a lot of differences between 2 and 3 wheels, I suppose what you like depends on what you want.
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Old 07-30-03, 12:53 AM   #17
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Thanks a lot for all that info. That was great.
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Old 07-30-03, 01:04 AM   #18
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No worries.
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Old 07-30-03, 04:56 AM   #19
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There is a lot of controversy about which model is the better, delta with 2 wheels in the
back; or tadpole with 2 wheels in the front. I've got the tadpole design. IMO it is more stable.
I can do a U-turn in excess of 10mph in less than the width of our bike path (like a NARROW country
road). When I am on the roads, I do fly a streamer flag. I have felt uncomfortable a few times on
busy narrow roads, but I would have been uncomfortable on an upright also. I often felt drivers
were passing too closely when I rode an upright, I rarely feel that way now.

I have transported the trike on top of my Ford Taurus, lashed down between a roof rack.
No problems except some bugs in the seat webing. For a long haul I've broken it down and
put it in the trunk. I have a Greenspeed GTO with S&S coupler. It takes about 1/2 hour.
I now have a van and it just slips into the back. There are also plans available for simple
construction of a trailer hitch carrier.

My trike is 32" wide. It is a narrow version. I feel comfortable slipping through the
"car-blockers" on the trail at 25mph. I can easily get it into my house through the
front door without lifting it.
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Old 07-30-03, 06:58 AM   #20
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First, I can not speak to the pros/cons between the two style trikes, as I have only ridden tadpoles (single, drive wheel, in back). They would be a tad tricker on bike paths, but like anything, keep that in mind when you approach corners or crest hills. In otherwords, I would be more worried about sending an approaching bike off into the bushes due to the shock of a 30" wide trike approaching from the other direction. As for heat, they are slightly warmer than an open bike, but most of the velomobiles have great venting which channels air into the bike. As for me, I plan on riding my Vision R40 on the truly hot days and use the Mango for 70F and lower.
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Old 07-30-03, 10:47 AM   #21
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Something I thought of last night: it scares me to think of a strange dog running towards me when riding in a recumbent (especially going up hill). I've had it happen before on an upright, but the trikes (or any recumbent) seems much more vulnerable since you're lying down right near the dog's mouth. I know this may seem ridiculous, but I have had at least 3 unpleasant encounters with dogs whose owners did not bother to corrall them on their property.
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Old 07-30-03, 01:42 PM   #22
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I have had a lot of crazed dogs chase me over the years. I have always stopped and talked nicely to the dog. In each and every case, they started wagging their tails or just walked back to the house where they live.
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Old 07-30-03, 05:41 PM   #23
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Ive only had a few issues with dogs, thankfully most were behind gates. There have been several occasions though when that wasnt the case. One time it was on a flat and I just picked up the pace and rode away. :** Another time, I just got up out of the trike and appeared at my full height, the dog stopped and wandered off. I find little dogs tend to get scared by the trike zooming past them, especially if they didnt hear my coming, heh. For the bigger dogs, they seem to just stop what they're doing and look at me as I pass. Ive always found that it pays to make yourself heard on bikepaths(with dog-walkers). The few times ive come up behind walkers with dogs and they've not heard me, I cruise past slowly, the dog sees me and jumps into the air or moves about unpredicably. Just 'bing' the bell about 10 meters away, the owner looks back, the dog slows and looks around, sees you, and doesnt get spooked. Problem solved.

One of the things I was reading about when I first got into trikes was that horses get spooked by them easily, perhaps because it was a low-to-the-ground fast moving object, like a wolf or something...but in practise horses have never been bothered by me zooming past them. Like the big dogs they just lift their heads and watch me zoom past.

However, ive heard of american folk(im australian) carrying an anti-dog spray. I imagine its a bit like peppar-spray, but not so nasty. Enough to keep the dog at bay. Ive not had any problems with animals so ive not looked further into it, some of the touring guys in my club swear by it though. Perhaps a loud air-horn(an air-zound or similar) would be sufficient for a quick get-away.
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Old 07-30-03, 08:29 PM   #24
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I actually have the spray. I guess getting out of the trike might be the best idea.

I would never, ever trust an air horn to do the job.
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Old 07-31-03, 05:24 AM   #25
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Great info guys! Keep it coming..
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