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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Tips for choosing a trike?

    I'm thinking about getting a trike (someday), due to the fact there is no 'learning curve for balance'. I'm 6' by 230 lbs. (yeah, I could stand to lose a few...) I checked out recumbents.com and they said that tadpoles were better for cornering at speed (makes sense), but that deltas were more stable at speed on the flats (not so much). I've been advised to stay away from the sun products. What about WizWheels or Actionbent? They're in my price range (so long as the wife doesn't catch wind, anyway!). I'm a slacker at heart, and the ability to park my bike somewhere and take a catnap w/o falling off appeals to me.

  2. #2
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    I too am looking to buy a tadpole (real soon - can't wait...want to make sure I get the right one) and have been researching A LOT. I've gone to Yahoo Groups and checked out all of the different trike brand groups, also this forum, of course, Bike Speak and http://www.bentrideronline.com/ and just general searchs. I originally was looking at WhizWheels and ActionBent T1X too but have decided to save some more pennies and wait until I can afford a better trike.

    I have narrowed it down to three (I think - still researching) - Catrike Expedition, Trice Q or HP Velotechnik Scorpion although I have not counted out Greenspeed yet. I haven't gone for a test ride (that will make my choice final) because the closest LBS that has trikes is two hours away. Good Luck to you

  3. #3
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a trike (someday), due to the fact there is no 'learning curve for balance'. I'm 6' by 230 lbs. (yeah, I could stand to lose a few...) I checked out recumbents.com and they said that tadpoles were better for cornering at speed (makes sense), but that deltas were more stable at speed on the flats (not so much). I've been advised to stay away from the sun products. What about WizWheels or Actionbent? They're in my price range (so long as the wife doesn't catch wind, anyway!). I'm a slacker at heart, and the ability to park my bike somewhere and take a catnap w/o falling off appeals to me.
    I feel you'd be better off test riding before deciding what to buy. But I'm under the impression that Actionbents don't have any dealers per say, so the only way to test ride one is find someone that owns one. Before I bought my Catrike(bought it lightly used, saved a bunch of money), I test rode everything I could.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    The only real tip I have for you is to try whatever you can; buy what you can afford.

    I'd go Actionbent over WizWheelz... but that's just me.
    Today is a great day to ride!

  5. #5
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    .. and they said that tadpoles were better for cornering at speed (makes sense), but that deltas were more stable at speed on the flats (not so much).
    I've heard pretty much the same, but suspect those perpetuating the rumors, lack a clear understanding of all of the physics involved. Do yourself a favor and pay these folks a digital visit:

    http://www.hasebikes.com/59-1-kettwiesel-flash.html

  6. #6
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    As someone who owns a tadpole and has ridden several of them, you should know that they are not nearly equal in terms of handling capabilities. As far as the AB vs WW goes, I'd expect a slightly better deal with AB, though don't expect much in terms of service.

    As another poster has recommended, you can pick up a used Catrike for the same price which is a better deal. BTW, that's what I did. The Greenspeeds, Trice, and Scorpions are great products, but they're probably out of your range. The Challenge is a work of art but it's very spendy.

    Trikes are not as stable as they look because you can't lean the same way you can on a 2 wheeled bike. If you're looking at the WW lower end, that would be a Terratrike. They're definitely better than a Sun (which I have also test ridden), but once you get in the 25mph+ range, handling starts going south fast. This is the case with a number of trikes. Performance trikes which are designed for speed are going to generally give you better handling than the ones with a higher seating position.

    When you test ride, get it going fast and you'll see what I mean. I've had my trike on 2 wheels many times and flipped it once. Having said that, trikes are an absolute blast to ride so I don't want to dissuade you -- I just came in from a ride on mine. All trikes handle well enough at low speeds, and they're great it stop and go traffic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    ... but once you get in the 25mph+ range, handling starts going south fast.
    Yes.. because with tads, the CoG is located further forward and closer to the front wheels's axis, in addition to a much shorter wheelbase - both of which, makes for overly sensitive, 'white knuckled', high speed handling. It's also worth noting, that the delta exibits far superior braking (assuming equal weight, same brakes and tires on both formats).
    Last edited by PaPa; 05-17-08 at 05:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    I was just remembering that you're considering doing a serious distance commute. The Catrike Road is a great trike for this purpose. It's lighter than most of the other trikes, comfy, well-built, and you can haul junk with it. You can pick one of these up used for the price of a new WW or AB. The money is better spent on the Cat.

  9. #9
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    Yes.. because with tads, the CoG is located further forward and closer to the front wheels's axis, in addition to a much shorter wheelbase - both of which, makes for overly sensitive, 'white knuckled', high speed handling.
    One of the tricks to riding a trike at high speed is to relax. White knuckles are asking to flip. When going 40mph+, just a couple fingers on the control arms and a light push from the outside wheel (never pull from the inside except at low speeds) is what it takes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    White knuckles are asking to flip. When going 40mph+, just a couple fingers on the control arms
    White knuckled navigation generally isn't responsible for flipping a tad - inexperience, combined with sampling foolish velocities well above the trikes's designed envelope certainly is.

  11. #11
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    I can't seem to find any used trikes at all - any suggestions?

  12. #12
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oleviking View Post
    I can't seem to find any used trikes at all - any suggestions?
    Craigslist, Ebay, BentRiderOnLine classified, maybe company sites have used. Nope- definetly not a Sun- mine could not carry weight at all...well..a little..well...a lot..uh..OK..I lied

    2005 Sun EZ Tad SX in there; over 3 tough years later in 2008. They don't last either...well..uh....

    CountersTrike
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  13. #13
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oleviking View Post
    I can't seem to find any used trikes at all - any suggestions?
    Try plugging the following into Google:

    recumbent trike site:craigslist.org


    To alter your search, try substituting "recumbent" or "trike" for whatever it is you're looking for.

  14. #14
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Before considering which one to purchase, condiser how much room it needs when it's not being ridden, how difficult it is to transport (with a car) when you have a break down, whether you could take it on public transport.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

  15. #15
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    PaPa, the plug in to Google gave me a great number of hits, however, the majority were outdated - thanks anyway.

  16. #16
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    hostel shoppe recumbent trike classifieds, recumbent. com classifieds.

    There are a lot of good used trikes out there

  17. #17
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oleviking View Post
    I can't seem to find any used trikes at all - any suggestions?
    Just keep checking those places. Also try www.catrike.com under the for sale area. Also try posting on the boards WTB(wanted to buy). Maybe that might yield some results.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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  18. #18
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    White knuckled navigation generally isn't responsible for flipping a tad - inexperience, combined with sampling foolish velocities well above the trikes's designed envelope certainly is.
    My Catrike handles great at speeds of up to 45mph(never had it over that). I did flip my trike due to inexperience at only 14 mph. That taught me a lot.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

  19. #19
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    Every thrill seeker will flip their tadpole trike... I did it twice... once due to inexperience and the second time trying to get up on two wheels. I have a lot more respect for my trike now-a-days.

    We have a Catrike Road as well as the Actionbent. The Road is a nice machine and came used with very! low miles and many accesories. The Road feels very solid on the ground but I've not taken it at higher speeds. See... it's my wife's.

    The Actionbent I take up to 35mph at every occasion I can do it... I've done 28mph sustained stretches with tailwinds. These are both unremarkable... and I still look forward to higher speeds on smooth steeper downhills. The only thing scary about going fast on a trike, rightfully so, is people doing stupid things in cars right in front of you. I am of the opinion that once you reach 30mph, you're traffic and you can claim your own lane.

    Personally... IMHO!... I've avoided the WW's simply due to the fact that they have a bushing'd steering knuckle [kingpin design] and the rod ends are under-designed for the task at hand. Seems the WW's require more maintenance simply due to these facts. Solid steering components go a long way to a stable ride. Again, this is my opinion and do not require further discussion.
    Today is a great day to ride!

  20. #20
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megaman View Post
    My Catrike handles great at speeds of up to 45mph
    Oh I'm sure you think it does!.. until a car, unexpectedly, pulls-out in front of you. It's only then, you begin to realize just how poorly it does "handle" at those speeds. At 45mph, you are exceeding the design's envelope by a factor of 3... both in handling AND brakes. That's equivalent to piloting a '78 Honda Civic at nearly 150 "white knockled" mph.

  21. #21
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    White knuckled navigation generally isn't responsible for flipping a tad - inexperience, combined with sampling foolish velocities well above the trikes's designed envelope certainly is.
    I flipped mine due to inexperience -- I entered a corner too steep and then did a couple quick overcorrections that sealed my fate. Having had a chance to improve my riding skills, I can go much faster on much more difficult roads without trouble. A tadpole is a total blast to take down a steep descent with lots of hairpin turns.

    Although tadpoles are great at lower speeds, I think that racing bikes handle better and feel more secure at high speeds. Much easier to do heavy braking or control a crash.

  22. #22
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread but there is so much BS in this thread I could not resist.
    I have clocked a lot of k's on road bikes, MTB and trikes, a trike will out brake an upright bike of any type by a massive factor and with more control, when you brake weight transfers forward meaning that the 2 front wheels are getting a lot of grip a opposed to a bike where the rear unloads to a great degree, because your body is laying to the rear of the trike you will not go over the handle bars or have the front wheel twist, if you hit a car/object you legs will take the impact protected to a degree by the boom, on a bike you will end up head first into whatever.
    Handling wise a trike can change direction instantly, yes you may lift a wheel but it will let you go around a car door with almost no notice, a bike has to ride through the direction change.
    At high speed a trike is magnitudes safer due to the above and the fact that if you hit a loose surface nothing happens even if you brake, flat front tyre at speed boring, I have had mine over 90 kph and every ride will exceed 60 kph, yes it is silly but a lot safer than a road bike at similar speed.
    Flipping is normally a learning thing ie. learning to lean in on corners.
    This is years of riding in traffic and steep hills.
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  23. #23
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    geebee, I'm glad you brought this thread back. I guess I hadn't checked it out after my last post. At higher speeds my Catrike is no more dangerous than any other bike or motorcycle and may be less so. I can brake very quickly and under a great amount of control. It was said that my trike isn't safe over 15 mph. That is so far from the truth it doesn't even justify a response. At higher speeds I do drive my trike just about like a car though.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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  24. #24
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    I'm interested in knowing if the OP bought a trike, yet.
    Dennis T

  25. #25
    Senior Member scarabeoguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    Oh I'm sure you think it does!.. until a car, unexpectedly, pulls-out in front of you. It's only then, you begin to realize just how poorly it does "handle" at those speeds. At 45mph, you are exceeding the design's envelope by a factor of 3... both in handling AND brakes. That's equivalent to piloting a '78 Honda Civic at nearly 150 "white knockled" mph.
    The basic logic of this reply is typical of someone who has probably has very little experience with trikes. Try doing the same thing you described with a 2 wheeler..............."white knockled" will not be your only issue. Just hope you are also wearing dark cycling shorts.

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