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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 09-14-11, 09:23 AM   #1
rydabent
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Delta vs tadpole

My sock is starting to get to the level where I can buy a trike. About a month ago I rode a delta trike, and it seemed really touchy. Yesterday I rode a tadpole, and it seemed far better. At this point I think I am going to go with the tadpole. I plan on sharing it with my wife to get her to ride with me. She can ride the trike and I can ride my regular bent.

I can adapt to most any machine, so my question, is there any overridding reason to buy a delta trike?
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Old 09-14-11, 12:38 PM   #2
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Uh Oh, time for a flame war! I remember having a long-distance correspondence with a delta trike owner. He called my GS GTO a "dork trike" and I referred to his Sun delta trike as a "granny trike," all in jest of course. Many, BUT NOT ALL, riders who choose a delta trike buy it because it is much easier to get in and out of the seat compared to the tadpole trikes. I have had a few people who had physical limitations or were on the heavier side of the spectrum have a very hard time getting up out of the seat after they had ridden my trike. These days there are a few tadpole trikes with higher seat height so it doesn't apply to all tadpole trikes. Many of us who ride tadpole trikes just like the go cart feel of riding one. In general because of the lower center of gravity the tadpole trikes can be ridden a bit more aggressively without flipping or turning turtle on them.
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Old 09-14-11, 01:24 PM   #3
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Some really well designed Delta's coming out of Germany,
the Differential drive to both wheels would up the cost a bit.

if I had a Garage a VeloMobile is tempting, they use a suspended tadpole layout.
(but, alas, all iI have is an Apartment)
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Old 09-14-11, 07:06 PM   #4
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Overriding reason? Hmm, so you can ride together like this?:



It does require TWO of them, though.

My Trizard outcornered every other trike I have ever tried except the Innesenti, which is saying a lot.

Last edited by Steamer; 09-14-11 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 09-14-11, 08:14 PM   #5
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No flames here. We have and enjoy tadpoles but appreciate the delta advantages.

As mentioned, deltas can be hitched together, tads cannot. Deltas with a differential can handle ice and snow better than a tad. Many deltas can be easily tilted up onto their tails for storage.

Some of the lowest priced deltas are, in my opinion, good for nothing beyond slow rides on a path, but the better ones are fine all purpose machines.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:04 AM   #6
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I don't think cornering is an argument. There are all sorts of funny videos online of people rolling their tadpoles, but there's little to go wrong if you just lean into the turn. It's whichever feel you prefer.
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Old 09-15-11, 12:06 PM   #7
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I own a tadpole, a friend owned a delta. In my own thinking it is simply a personal choice of which you prefer. When I was shopping, I rode both Deltas and tapoles that were in my price range (really cheap) - and to me, a tadpole (at the time - DEC 2010) provided much greater value for a given price.

When you get into the higher end market, seems like everyone dreams of owning a 'Kett'. Seems to me, more folks are riding tadpoles, but the delta owners are very happy. A few riders on BROL own both a tadpole and a delta and ride them for different reasons.

The TerraTrike Rover, and and the new Rambler, the Catrike Villager, and the Trident Spike, all have higher seats (from 12-19"), most delta seats run 16-18" high.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:53 AM   #8
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My wife rides a trike due to bilateral hip replacements. She started off with a delta (Sun EZ-3) and used it to build her leg muscles up as it was a very heavy bike (60 lbs.). She now has a aluminum frame Performance FRP 27 tadpole (looks almost identical to an ICE Vortex) and likes it much better than the delta style bike. It isn't quite as easy for her to get in and out of as the delta trike, but the riding position is much better for her. She has increased her speed (due to the weight difference) and her distance (due to the riding position) dramatically by going to a tadpole trike.
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Old 09-25-11, 08:57 AM   #9
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When you say "delta vs tadpole" what I hear is "HP Velotechnik vs Hase"
I think it's personal preference. Get out there and test ride both and decide for yourself.

Though for the flame war, I will provide this fodder - check out the winner - http://www.spezialradmesse.de/index.php?trike-race-3
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Old 09-25-11, 11:26 AM   #10
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When you say "delta vs tadpole" what I hear is "HP Velotechnik vs Hase"
I think it's personal preference. Get out there and test ride both and decide for yourself.
Welcome, rmpowell. Those two are indeed worth considering along with other fine machines.
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Old 09-25-11, 03:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Overriding reason? Hmm, so you can ride together like this?:

(See picture of a trike road train)

It does require TWO of them, though.

My Trizard outcornered every other trike I have ever tried except the Innesenti, which is saying a lot.
I saw a couple of guys riding those at the recent Leatherhead Bikeathon. They look like interesting and agile machines. One wheel drive, but with the rider sitting close to the rear axle I can't see that being a problem.

Traditionally, delta trikes seem to use a similar posture to an upright bicycle, whereas tadpoles tend to be built as recumbents. Of course, you can get upright tadpoles and recumbent deltas.

Technically, the tadpole is generally more stable under braking due to weight transfer to the front under braking, but either can be set up to work well. It depends on what you prefer. I'd love to build a three wheel drive tadpole set up for mountain biking.

Last edited by Monster Pete; 09-25-11 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 09-26-11, 06:51 AM   #12
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Technically, the tadpole is generally more stable under braking due to weight transfer to the front under braking, but either can be set up to work well.
I'd agree that tadpoles do, in general, have the ability to stop quicker than deltas, but which design wins in the stability apsect of it is less clear. Deltas don't lift any wheels under hard braking and retain good steering control even if one or both of the rear wheel locks up and skids. Under very hard braking on a tadpole, the rear wheel can lift off the ground putting the crank and/or pedals into the pavement. Ability to steer is lost too and can result in the tadpole doing spins and/or rolling over.

Last edited by Steamer; 09-26-11 at 07:38 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-26-11, 09:39 AM   #13
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I'd agree that tadpoles do, in general, have the ability to stop quicker than deltas, but which design wins in the stability apsect of it is less clear. Deltas don't lift any wheels under hard braking and retain good steering control even if one or both of the rear wheel locks up and skids. Under very hard braking on a tadpole, the rear wheel can lift off the ground putting the crank and/or pedals into the pavement. Ability to steer is lost too and can result in the tadpole doing spins and/or rolling over.
From Ian Sims (regarding the Greenspeed Anura):

"We tried using just two brakes on the rear wheels as used by some deltas but found that the braking was not as good as our other trikes. However when we tried discs on all three wheels, the braking was awesome - even better than our other trikes."

http://www.greenspeed.com.au/anura_history.html
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Old 09-26-11, 09:58 AM   #14
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From Ian Sims (regarding the Greenspeed Anura):

"We tried using just two brakes on the rear wheels as used by some deltas but found that the braking was not as good as our other trikes. However when we tried discs on all three wheels, the braking was awesome - even better than our other trikes."

http://www.greenspeed.com.au/anura_history.html
Indeed, but deltas generally don't have brakes on the front wheel. The Anura is the only one I know that comes stock that way.

Just like on a LWB bike though, you need to be a little careful how much you grab that front brake because with relatively little weight on that front wheel (even with a braking induced weight shift), it's pretty easy to put it into a skid.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:36 AM   #15
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Just like on a LWB bike though, you need to be a little careful how much you grab that front brake because with relatively little weight on that front wheel (even with a braking induced weight shift), it's pretty easy to put it into a skid.
It's not as lethal or unpredictable as a LWB at lock-up - and clearly unlike a tad. Direction doesn't usually change much, just slides - akin to 4-wheeled auto slide.
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Old 09-27-11, 09:06 AM   #16
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Well as far as Im concerned the point of this thread is moot. I went ahead and bought a Terratrike Cruiser. To me it felt far more stable than the delta I rode.
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Old 09-29-11, 05:33 PM   #17
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Congrats!
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Old 10-09-11, 05:25 PM   #18
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The Trizard is not a typical delta.

http://www.recumbentjournal.com/revi...-the-ride.html

After reading that review and two that are on Bent Rider Online I ordered a Trizard. It will be in this week.

Have a tadpole
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Old 10-09-11, 06:08 PM   #19
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I have had a Sun EZ-3 AL, and now have a TerreTrike Path. I like the tadpole path better, mostly because the lower center of gravity allows for a little more aggressive handling in corners (although I have almost over-agressed recently and spent a second or two on two wheels.) But the Sun delta was a lot of fun to ride, and I would easily recommend one to a person who found one at a good price. I am less enthused about the lower price point EZ-3s.
So in other words, I'm not committing.
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Old 10-16-11, 02:56 PM   #20
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Just too confusing! Made an EZ-Tad into a velomobile for 6 years but last year removed the body to sell it. Didn't want to sell it. Very high gearing and the motor made it a 'keeper'. I have a Catrike Pocket I decided to sell instead of the EZ. After riding that tadpole; I decided to keep it. Last week I spotted the old EZ-3 delta- with a factory motor at a very low price on Craigslist. One test ride did it. For straight line use it is great. So now I have all three. This morning cleaned off my new toy. I am just hopeless. Right now it is tadpoles; 2 to 1.
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Old 11-12-11, 08:21 AM   #21
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This has been an interesting thread. A few months ago I tried several trikes ended up buying an Expedition. Simply put I couldn't be happier with it. Now its time to look at a trike for the wife. While the tadpole feels right for me, not sure thats what would suit her best. Thats a decision she'll have to make. Fortunately she has some time to do that, as it may be a few months before we can comfortably drop a couple grand out of disposable savings; whatever she gets will be a quality unit.

I'll keep an eye on this thread.
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Old 11-22-11, 11:17 AM   #22
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And so the great question is still pondered by the sages.

delta-tadpole.jpg
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