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Old 08-17-07, 08:56 PM   #1
leeinmemphis
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Looking at trikes....need some advice(kinda unique ?)

hey everyone,

Last year I was burned and received 3rd degree burns on 45% of my right arm. I also have some nerve damage that causes a great deal of hand pain that is manageable with the right meds. I have been wanting to get another bike and was considering a full suspension mountain bike to try to help absorb all the hits on my hands but after looking at the recumbents I think I would be much better off getting a trike. I am looking for one just to get around and ride some with the kids. I'ld like to be able to put a rack on the back and carry a few items if needed. Comfort is more important to me than speed so a touring geared unit would be fine. I've been looking at the catrike units and think they may be what I want but I didn't know if there was anything else I should be looking at? Also since there isn't any recumbent dealers in my area I'll likely have to order direct. I've prefer to keep the price in the $2500 range if possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:40 PM   #2
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You can get a self balancing brake handle that will operate both brakes so that you can fit it to you stronger side, might help with decreasing the pain of riding.
It might be worth checking out a trike with indirect steering as well as it should decrease the sharpness of road irregularities on the handle bars as compared to a direct steer trike.
Consider fitting scorcher tyres also they are fast but if used in the 80psi range a softer ride with no speed penalty.
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Old 08-18-07, 09:29 AM   #3
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For the kind of riding you are doing, you might look into Whizwheelz. They are not as quality as a Catrike, IMHO, but would do and I believe they have indirect steering, so I would concur with Geebee's observations about road vibration. I have a Catrike Road which I love.

Mike
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Old 08-18-07, 10:36 AM   #4
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How tall/wide are you? Catrike pocket is nice and light for a trike, which might be easier on you.
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Old 08-18-07, 11:12 AM   #5
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How tall/wide are you? Catrike pocket is nice and light for a trike, which might be easier on you.

I am about 6' tall and am fairly broad shouldered. Currently at 245lbs but am aiming for the 200 mark.
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Old 08-18-07, 12:16 PM   #6
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I am about 6' tall and am fairly broad shouldered. Currently at 245lbs but am aiming for the 200 mark.

So, no pocket then . Still, plenty of trikes out there for that kinda cash, especially if you buy a used one, which I would do. I'm partial to greenspeeds, but catrike and ice are also great bikes. I think of wizwheels as being in a lower tier, but it's a bunch less expensive, too.
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Old 08-18-07, 01:57 PM   #7
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Having gotten 3rd degree burns myself over 20 years ago, I have enormous sympathy for you and all other burn victims. I had no idea how bad pain could be before then. I'm not sure I even remember now. It's unspeakably horrible.

A trike might be the ticket for you. How much use do you have of your burned side? Trike brakes can be set quite sensitive so you may or may not need self balancing brakes. I typically use only one or two fingers to brake on my trike and you never need to squeeze hard like you do on other types of bikes.

My recollection is that the pain is significantly reduced if you keep the injured part elevated and use it relatively little -- the riding position and characteristics of a trike are good in this respect. A cat is a good choice because they are light which will make them easier for you to move around. Whatever you get, make sure it has bar end shifters. They'll be easier to operate because you can operate them by bumping them or pulling quite lightly.

Your burns are worse than mine were, and while some of the damage is undoubtedly permanent, things will improve but it takes a long time. Hang in there.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:55 PM   #8
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Having gotten 3rd degree burns myself over 20 years ago, I have enormous sympathy for you and all other burn victims. I had no idea how bad pain could be before then. I'm not sure I even remember now. It's unspeakably horrible.

A trike might be the ticket for you. How much use do you have of your burned side? Trike brakes can be set quite sensitive so you may or may not need self balancing brakes. I typically use only one or two fingers to brake on my trike and you never need to squeeze hard like you do on other types of bikes.

My recollection is that the pain is significantly reduced if you keep the injured part elevated and use it relatively little -- the riding position and characteristics of a trike are good in this respect. A cat is a good choice because they are light which will make them easier for you to move around. Whatever you get, make sure it has bar end shifters. They'll be easier to operate because you can operate them by bumping them or pulling quite lightly.

Your burns are worse than mine were, and while some of the damage is undoubtedly permanent, things will improve but it takes a long time. Hang in there.


Thanks for the support. I have full use/dexterity of my hands/arm fortunately but I do have some nerve damage that can cause me some trouble a couple days a week. I think I can handle the handbrakes/shifters I am just trying to avoid having a conventional bike where I have to put pressure on the bars to support my body. Once I saw the trikes I just knew that was the ticket. I'm primarily looking to use it to help me get back in shape and to spend some family time riding with my boys on their bikes(6 and 7 y/o).

It appears that there aren't any dealers locally that sell the trikes but we have some friends in St. Louis that we may go visit and test ride a few different trikes. Thanks again for all the advice everyone!
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Old 08-18-07, 07:59 PM   #9
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www.rotatorrecumbent.com makes a beautiful trike tho' it may be aove your cost limit. Worth a look. the IHPVA (International Human Posered Vehicle Association) should be able to give you a list of trike builders. People Movers ( www.recumbent.com ) in SoCal would have several out on the floor for you to try as well as used machines.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:37 AM   #10
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Definitely have a look at www.actionbent.com. They sell the same trike that I do (only they're in the States), and the same trike I ride every day on my commute to work. It's a fantastic ride, very capable, and inexpensive to boot. Go for the open cell foam seat pad, and you'll be very comfortable. It comes stock with mountain bike gearing, which should be enough for all but the worst hills. You'll also find that the stock disc brakes have plenty of power even when using a light touch.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:53 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info everyone. I just ordered an action bent apoyo. After talking to them on the phone I just felt a little better about spending that much money opposed to twice that for a trice without even getting an opportunity to ride them. Thanks again! I can't wait until it comes in.
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Old 08-21-07, 11:29 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info everyone. I just ordered an action bent apoyo. After talking to them on the phone I just felt a little better about spending that much money opposed to twice that for a trice without even getting an opportunity to ride them. Thanks again! I can't wait until it comes in.
Great! If you need any help with assembly, head over to the ActionBent Yahoo! message group, or just send me an email.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:22 PM   #13
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WizWheelz is the most comfortable trike I've riden. You can adjust the angle and distance of the seat to the pedals to dial in your most comfortable riding position and if you go for their low end steel trikes with a lower PSI tire, you'll get the right amount of natural frame flex and tire padding to make your ride enjoyable.
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Old 08-22-07, 03:18 PM   #14
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Know that your boys will want trikes too after they see how 'cool' you are with yours....
peace
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Old 08-22-07, 03:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by leeinmemphis View Post
... I have been wanting to get another bike and was considering a full suspension mountain bike to try to help absorb all the hits on my hands but after looking at the recumbents I think I would be much better off getting a trike. I am looking for one just to get around and ride some with the kids. I'd like to be able to put a rack on the back and carry a few items if needed. Comfort is more important to me than speed so a touring geared unit would be fine. ....
I've not ever owned or rode a trike, have considered buying one many times.

I like the Lightfoot Roadrunner, except for its $3K price tag.

I'm not real interested in tadpoles, most people who buy them talk about how "they are so much fun around corners", but they don't seem to track in straight lines real well--with flexing in the steering mechanism, and hard pedaling causing the whole crucifix-type frames to flex left-and-right, making the trike wander left-and-right with pedal strokes.

The thing about riding bicycles though is that most of the time you ride, you are basically riding in straight lines. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to buy a bicycle that is optimized for cornering, when most of the time you ride you aren't going to be cornering.

Utility-type deltas (as opposed to something like a Hase or Greenspeed Anura) don't have these problems--there's no more steering flex than you'd get on a bicycle, and the two rear wheels are placed near the seat, making the bike more rugged overall. Deltas in general are easier to get on and off of (being higher), the seats are usually fully-adjustable (many tadpoles aren't) and (on the Lightfoots) there's empty space behind the rear seat-so carrying a bag of stuff isn't a problem.

Tadpoles tend to be a lot lighter-weight than deltas, especially utility-type deltas--but then, I went from riding a ~30-lb MTB to riding a ~40-lb recumbent, and to my surprise the weight has never really been an issue with recreational riding. Trikes can go uphill as slow as you like, so the only other issue that weight might make difficult is transportation (such as on a car).

....And if you're heavier, riding the lightest-weight frame isn't always the best idea anyway: check the frame warranty before you buy.
~
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Old 08-22-07, 06:02 PM   #16
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Couple of red flags that caught my attention.

Riding a trike is and experience of absorbing a lot of bumps from bad pavement and debris in the road, at least at the speed I ride. Your saying nerve damage makes me think anything but a balloon tired slow ride is going to work.

Second and related to that, your hands being approx hip level are going to be gripping the steering and, on a direct connect steering like my 04 Catrike Speed, are going to be jostled a lot on all but the best roads. I felt the ride quality of the Speed was such that I got ride of it in 500 miles.

The only suggestion I have for a tadpole trike that isn't going to abuse your hands is one with the joystick steering, a Windcheetah or Spitfire, both top of the line expensive trikes (I have both). The joystick will keep your hands about chest level, and except for a light twisting of the stick, and a squeeze on just one brake lever, your hands are isolated from the road vibes.

If casual cruising with the kids, or errands is what you are after, rather than performance, then may I suggest a fat tired delta. For the road vibrations you could put on thick grips and there is little if any leaning required, it just might be the best way, and cheaper, way to go.

I've ridden the Triumf, the EZ3 and one other delta I can't remember, all under $1500 and I enjoyed them all, if space weren't a problem, I have one to handle errands.
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Old 08-22-07, 06:07 PM   #17
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Do yourself a favour and try out a tadpole, your description is so wrong that it is scarey.
I can ride in a straight line at 40+ kph with my hands folded in my lap if I like, you can sit a front tyre on a white line on the road and never come off it unless you wish to.
The biggest negative to some people is the height to get on or off or just don't like being that low in traffic, but hey my delta is 5" lower in the seat than my GT3 tadpole.
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