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  1. #1
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    Seeking Trike Model Recommendations

    Please Help! I have been researching for over a month and am overwhelmed by the number of options. I want/need advice about specific models that you think would best fit most of my criteria. There was and is no chance I will be able to test ride one.

    Please also offer your opinions re SUN x-3 USX (new delta) EZ3 USX HD (delta- minor changes from prior model) and Sidewinder Sportz (tad)

    Price limit $2,500 - must include options accessories modifications and way to transport without a hitch (and rain cover - an accessory but not one normally thought of) . Regarding accessories, I have only a helmet

    Use -
    • Five days a week 2 - 10 miles starting and stopping for 30 minutes at a stretch on gravel unmaintained roads in all kinds of weather and light traffic (but consisting of big vehicles).
    • Twice a month (min) I'll ride 20 - 60 mile fun ride.
    • Want ability to ride on mountain bike trails
    • NO racing
    • Rare if ever Big City traffic
    • Will be riding along with RVs on roads with little shoulder but low speed limits mostly
    • Keep in mind I am 50 , unfit, overweight, short, and arthritic




    Seat uprightness and adjustability, ease of climbing very steep sometimes long hills and overall width 33 or less inches are 3 top criteria. Ive been looking for over a month and am out of time. Please help.

    Criteria:
    • Seat comfort. - I am 5'4" 195 lbs so I am wide load.
    • A padded office chair saddle of 17-18 inches is fine but I am wider than the chair saddle.
    • head rest to reduce neck strain
    • ability to create some lumbar support if needed
    • Seat Adjustability
    • recline - ability to sit upright to photograph birds while seated and stationary
    • tilt adjust but not a must
    • forward backward adjust on seat important or having an adjustable boon- concerned about position of recline affect on pedal reach and knee extension
    • prefer saddle and back of seat move independently of each other so that I can change the angle of my hip in relation to my back - to relive pain on longer rides
    • Seat height - ambivalent - prefer easy entry exit and being able to look around easily while riding and not be road kill for some RV, but like sitting on floor and can sit in 8 inch camping chair - that doesn't have wheels or anything else interfering with ease of exit
    • Riding position - prefer more upright position while riding so i can see potholes and critters in time to react and my vision is not great - am thinking 70 degrees
    • shorter xseam of 40.5 inches - need smaller crank?
    • GRANNY gears - out of shape and must climb steep hills, and some long - want bottom of gear inch range to be 12 or lower (might not be able to afford- really want 6 inches - would love the Schlumpf Mountain Drive
    • USS - relieve shoulder and wrist pain
    • bar end shifter - hand strength issue
    • ground clearance for pot holes and off road riding
    • tire durability - no flat tires - coarse pavement, obsidian beaches, rock and gravel dirt roads, mountain bike trails. Want thorn resistant tubes or something similar and set of studded tires for winter
    • fenders/mudguard
    • Rain- It rains here more days than not and I would LOVE to have SPLASH GUARD - this almost made me buy sidewinder in spite of concerns about seat comfort - here is example from sidewinder http://www.sidewindercycle.com/store...p?idProduct=16
    • Clipless pedal and shoes OR some method to keep feet on pedal if that is likely problem
    • Weight capacity 260, prefer 300. I am 190 and want to be able to carry at least 50 lbs
    • Cargo -place for rack that can support 50 lbs (absolute minimum 25 lbs)
    • suspension - not a must but would be nice - I will mostly be on uneven gravel unmaintained roads full of potholes
    • Weight - I can barely get 50 lbs bag of dog food from grocery cart into car. No need to climb stairs but will need to transport in 1997 RAV 4
    • Width - overall - want less than 33 inches to easily roll through door with 33.5 inch clearance
    • 2 Wheel Drive - would be awesome if it helped with traction on snow and climbing steep gravel road hills
    • Foldable - would really solve transport problem, - cant afford permanent attachments on car such as hitch. If quick and easy would help with storage
    • Derailleurs - I need very easy smooth shifting as most of my riding will be on hills. I know nothing about various models to look for except not SRAM 4 (or was it 4x)
    • Maintenance - need low maintenance. Bike shop is 130 miles away and I am not mechanically inclined
    • Stability - I wont be racing but I will be going DOWN the same long steep hills I must go up
    • Indirect steering
    • Brakes - probably need disc because of the excessive rain we get here
    • We get strong winds here


    Noted forum comments :
    • "avoid super heavy trike models like the Sun "
    • Because of the lower riding position of Tadpoles, you get a lot more spray on you if you ride in the wet.
    • something about knee pain and leg extension and getting a shorter crank (which i also understand is better for shorter riders)


    Models I had selected::

    1st choice : based on comfort. I had decided on SUN EZ3 USX HD (65 lbs) (2008 model) or X-3 USX (weight unknown) because of seat adjustability height comfort and can roll through door. Had planned to upgrade gear system to lower gear inch range, buy better tires etc.. However these are 2008 models and it was only Friday that I got price quotes of $1800-1900 in Alaska. . Am also looking at possibly spending $300 - 600 on shipping

    2nd choice : based on ability to climb mountains. The Sidewinder Sportz has many things I want but my xseem is 40.4" and I would have to have seat fully reclined in order to reach pedal (tall persons sits more in upright position ). Owner suggested bending a part of the seat or frame (I have forgotten which) to help sit more upright. Seems like it would weaken the metal the piece being bent.

    I looked at Greenspeed Cattrike Terratrike Sidewinder Actionbent and numerous others and now they all run together in my mind and I simply do not know enough about components and trikes to make an educated decision. For example, I did not realize until Late Thursday night that the trike I had selected (SidewinderSportz) would not allow me to sit upright and still reach pedals (So I switched my 1st choice back to SUN. I really need help

    Note to self - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ and set the calculator to "gear inches". If you anticipate some serious hills,
    Last edited by CountingCrows; 06-08-08 at 07:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    Thank you - am going to check it out now. I wish I could just custom order a trike .
    It has taken me two months of reading just to have a better understanding of what I should have been looking for from the beginning !

  4. #4
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    2 much is just, well, too Clever and the Velomobiles ...wonderfully distracting. Love them. Want one. With heat during winter.

    Did you always have the motor with your EZ SX Tad? What has your experience with the EZ been?

  5. #5
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountingCrows View Post
    2
    Did you always have the motor with your EZ SX Tad? What has your experience with the EZ been?
    No. It was already heavy, then the body made it 77 pounds. Still great on flats, but in 2006 I got stuck (155mm cranks + hills almost killed me ** and had one fitted. With a 36 volt hub motor I did not need low gears! The worst thing is it is 105 pounds now.

    In 2005 I read somewhere "do NOT put a motor on those EZ Tads!" Glad I never follow good advise. I am very pleased- but it is so heavy; it will not "peel out" That weight helps in turns - not tippy at all!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    Catrike Pocket new or used.
    1. quick breakdown for travel
    2. lightweight
    3. good reputation
    Today is a great day to ride!

  7. #7
    Junior Member Irodguy's Avatar
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    I would call Ashley at Utahtrikes.com. He can engineer a custom Wizwheelz Path that will do exactly what you want. The bike will be custom and much lighter than a Sun. The Path is chromoly and will absorb the bumbs that you will be going over. Normally I would recomend a Catrike, but the Aluminum trikes just do not absorb the bumps.
    2008 Catrike Expedition (Neon Lime Green)
    2008 Bacchetta Strada
    2006 Cycle Genius LTX

  8. #8
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    Close to custom...

    Quote Originally Posted by CountingCrows View Post
    Thank you - am going to check it out now. I wish I could just custom order a trike .
    It has taken me two months of reading just to have a better understanding of what I should have been looking for from the beginning !
    I understand your budget. But, if you have some flexibility, you can get an ICE that will fit you perfectly, short cranks and all (low gearing is included). You can choose from four models and have rear suspension. I recently shipped to Anchorage for $145 so you can take some of savings in shipping and put it toward the trike.

    Chip
    recumbenttrikestore.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    CountingCrows,

    Irregardless of price, nearly all tadpoles (2 front and one rear) don't qualify under the conditions you stipulated.

    * Single rear wheel drive is inadaquate for anything but cement or pavement - and even then, traction gets 'iffy' when the surface is wet.

    * Most tadpoles have a very low seat. Mounting and dismounting is brutal on riders with health issues. That, combined with minimum ground clearance and you'll be eating lots of dust/dirt.

    I strongly suggest you consider either the Greenspeed Anura (currently at $2,495), or the more expensive Hase KettWiesel

    Unless Sun has made dramatic improvements lately, i'd shy away from EZ products. They are heavy and the quality is seriously subpar.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    A friend who is heavy rides a EZ-1 usx and he had to rebuild the wheels. He has finally discovered that buying cheap is not a good way to save money. I put an E-4 motor kit (Electroportal) on an EZ-1 usx and she loves it but she is light.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    CountingCrows,

    Irregardless of price, nearly all tadpoles (2 front and one rear) don't qualify under the conditions you stipulated.

    * Single rear wheel drive is inadaquate for anything but cement or pavement - and even then, traction gets 'iffy' when the surface is wet.

    * Most tadpoles have a very low seat. Mounting and dismounting is brutal on riders with health issues. That, combined with minimum ground clearance and you'll be eating lots of dust/dirt.

    I strongly suggest you consider either the Greenspeed Anura (currently at $2,495), or the more expensive Hase KettWiesel

    Unless Sun has made dramatic improvements lately, i'd shy away from EZ products. They are heavy and the quality is seriously subpar.

    Those are some pretty bold statements, Papa... I guess I should stop enjoying the offroading and wet triking on my tadpole because you say it can't be done... I sure hope my wonderful mud-machine doesn't hear you... it might just go on strike. And never have I eaten road dirt and dust... and I don't use fenders; in Oregon even. Where *did* you get this wealth of knowledge I seem to have, thankfully, missed out on?

    And who wants to get out of something so fun as to remind you of your childhood gocart days? I don't unless the dinner bell rings... and I don't even give it a thought, I just get up like I do from my layzboy.

    Just go test ride some trikes, Crows... You'll know in minutes what feels right.
    Today is a great day to ride!

  12. #12
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaman View Post
    Those are some pretty bold statements, Papa... I guess I should stop enjoying the offroading and wet triking on my tadpole because you say it can't be done... I sure hope my wonderful mud-machine doesn't hear you... it might just go on strike. And never have I eaten road dirt and dust... and I don't use fenders; in Oregon even. Where *did* you get this wealth of knowledge I seem to have, thankfully, missed out on?

    And who wants to get out of something so fun as to remind you of your childhood gocart days? I don't unless the dinner bell rings... and I don't even give it a thought, I just get up like I do from my layzboy.

    Just go test ride some trikes, Crows... You'll know in minutes what feels right.
    Hi, Shaman,

    Nothing bold about it... just the facts. A typical tadpole has only 1/3 of its total laden weight resting on a single drive wheel, while a typical delta has 2/3 of its total laden weight distributed across two drive wheels. Physics dictates those "bold" statements... not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaman View Post
    I guess I should stop enjoying the offroading and wet triking on my tadpole because you say it can't be done...
    Perhaps you should clean the mud out of your eyes and reread my previous post. I NEVER said (or even impled) it couldn't be done. I did imply that the 2wd delta is better suited for the conditions CountingCrows stipulated.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    Your facts are still way off, Papa... but whatever.
    Today is a great day to ride!

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    ...A typical tadpole has only 1/3 of its total laden weight resting on a single drive wheel, while a typical delta has 2/3 of its total laden weight distributed across two drive wheels. Physics dictates those "bold" statements... not me...
    OK, I am relying on high school physics for this, but it is not as simple as that. It depends on where the weight is located in relationship to the axles. If the center of gravity is closer to or over the rear wheels, the front end will be lightly loaded, and vice versa. It would be unusual to see a center of gravity that places equal weight across all three wheels.

    In fact, I believe on a tadpole the two front wheels will each only be carrying half of the front end weight, assuming that the weight is distributed symmetrically side-to-side.

    Of course, realize that it's been 33 years since physics class...

    Steve

  15. #15
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    On most any trike, delta or tadpole, the CoM is usually positioned closer to the axle whos wheels are positioned furthest apart (i.e. track width). This gives the trike greater lateral stability, thus minimizing pitch-over. Therefore, on a properly designed delta configuration, the CoM is placed closer to the rear wheels, while on a tadpole, the CoM is placed closer to the front wheels. If the CoM is positioned central to wheelbase on either configuration, lateral stability will suffer.

    Delta (the blue dot representing the vehicle's CoM)


    Tadpole (the blue dot representing the vehicle's CoM)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    The image should be self explanitory... the Delta trike is well known for being more tippy... draw a line from the outside rear wheel to the front wheel and look at the short distance between the line and the CoM. Now look at the stabalizing outside front wheel of the Tadpole.

    Now add the location of the center of gravity above the ground... and you will see that most tadpoles have a much lower center of gravity. Yes indeed, most Tadpole Trikes handle much better in corners.

    Most tadpoles dump it on slow-speed powerful accelerating turns where delta's dump it on turn-stops.

    And steve, you are close. Some recent measurements have shown distribution somewhere between 50/50 front to rear to about 60% front and 40% rear. This is very rider dependent.

    And as for traction, Deltas, if they have a differential, do not have limited slip differentials... if one wheel breaks traction, all power stops to the other wheel. Traction on both Deltas and Tadpoles are more dependent on tire tread than anything else. And most avid trikers like smooth tires to minimize rolling resistance. No matter what style bike or trike, smooth tires will slip in gravel, mud, sand, wet leaves, etc... If you plan on needing traction, use a more aggressive tread pattern and lower tire pressures.

    A simple test ride on both will tell a lot. Both have their plusses but for performance, Tadpoles can't be beat... for easy dismounting and a lower bottom bracket, Delta's are for you.

    And let's not even get into braking perforamnce
    Today is a great day to ride!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by countersTrike View Post
    I am in the same search as you. I have been looking riding and looking again for months now. The site here (previously given) was a great help. My riding conditions are similar, but could not find what I wanted to date. But I knew I had to get something other than a mountain bike. :So I bought a recumbent BikeE AT model. (out of production) to get going, only 2 wheels, but a start. It works for me so far, and and looking to add electrics. So I've said that to say this, go ride everything you can and if possible under your conditions. Make your choice, if you get it the first time you are doing well. If you don't you are still average. Good luck in your search.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Maturity (Wisdom): When "Watch This" turns into "Look at that" bet that hurts.....

  18. #18
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Maybe you should check out the ICE trikes... they're a couple of hundred dollars more than your max price, but they include shipping in the price.

    They also have a lot of the options you are looking for.
    http://www.ice.hpv.co.uk/

  19. #19
    Space Dust
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    A little momentum will help "launch" you out of the seat when you put your feet down and stop on a tadpole. The technique takes a little bit of practice.

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