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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Recum newby looking for advice

    Hi,

    I'm a regular on the touring forum, but know very little about recums, so am here to get pointed in the right direction before making the plunge.

    I do know that I want a trike, specifcally for loaded touring, max 50 lbs with food, water, and winter gear, 210 lbs counting me. I'm old and not a strong pedaler, so it needs to be geared low for the steep hills. I'd like for it to fold for the occasional ride it might take on a plane. As touring is not a race, speed is not a big consideration, but frame weight might be, to the extent that is managable. And seat comfort for long hours.

    Unfortunantly, I do not live anywhere near a lbs that stocks any recums.

    Links to specific makes/models that might fill the bill would be nice, and/or to a forum link that probably has already answered the question.

    Thanks.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  2. #2
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Catrikes are a great brand made here in the USA. They stand behind their product and I can personally vouch for the workmanship I witnessed firsthand in their factory. They have numerous models for any purpose from racing to trail riding and of course, touring. Their models tend to be fairly lightweight, but do not fold.

    There is also an up and coming brand called Performer that is offering relatively low entry-level cost products. This company is based in Taiwan and also has several models including a model with a suspension and rack.

    Terratrikes (though they've never been my favorite in the past) offer a few entry level models that are wildly successful. Their customer service has also impressed me. I'm less familiar with the models they have available, though they may be a good fit as well.

    Whereabouts in NE TX are you located? I might be able to suggest a place to test ride some trikes. That's really the only way to get a feel for what you really need.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  3. #3
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Price range really is part of the answer to this question. There are many different trikes that will and can do what you want. I am a trike rider, I own a TerraTrike (TT) Rover - which if modified could do what you want, but is best known as the SUV of trikes. It is a base-type model with few frills, 400lb weight limit, and 18.5" high seat, and relaxed riding position - great for new trikers.

    UTT - Utah trikes http://www.utahtrikes.com/ is your best single website to learn about most all popular models of trikes. They are also *the* custom shop for TT. They are one of the largest seller's of trikes in North America.

    I do not know if you have ridden a trike yet or not. A few basic guidelines if I may?

    Trikes really are slower than bikes - call it why however you want, weight, 3 wheels, whatever, but most folks are 2-3mph slower on a trike. As you stated, speed is not your critical factor, so this is a non-issue. What IS nice about trikes, what they are known for - - all day comfort! Seriously~! I can do 8hr rides day-after-day on mine. Can really haul a load without feeling it. Can go as slow as you like up a hill, AND, be relaxed at the same time, whenever you stop, there's your chair Pulling a trailer only means slower up hills.

    Shoot for a low gear between 10-14GI (Gear Inch) - use Sheldon's wonderful site to figure gearing http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Suspension vs non-suspension - a $1000 buck question~!? Some love it, and swear by it, and others could care less. Or, get "Big Apple" tires (poor man's suspension) 20X2.00 - great comfortable tire, not slow, very fl@t resistant, change tire pressure to adjust ride comfort - sweet~!

    My every-day ride includes me and 40lbs worth of crap - I am a pack-rat. I weigh in at 325lbs, so me, trike, gear comes out at roughly425lbs going down the path. I built a Wike DIY trailer that I haul 80lbs of dog chow often. My Rover is an 8-speed with a bottom gear of 14.9GI.

    Cheapest around $1500 all set-up, upwards to $4.5K easily - so, what do you want?

    The new GreenSpeed (the father of all trikes) Magnum is out FEB 2012, base price is 3K, has a 400lb weight limit, and GreenSpeed makes *THE* best Touring trikes period.

    ICE, HP, TT, Catrike are you other best choices for brands. TT has lifetime waranty, US made in MI, and is sorta the budget trike company. Wonderful customer service~! The New 'Rambler" just started shipping~! 325lbs weight limit, lots of gear choices, lots of MODs by UTT.

    Here is your start

    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reponses. Leaning a lot quick. Got a PM explaining how Greenspeed was the world standard, and have registered on Bentrider.

    I have called Terra Trike and was impressed with their patience and knowledge. Sorta like the high profile and platform pedals. Not crazy about the grip shifters, preferring barends. They'd have to work with me a bit to get the gear range I'm hearing I'll need. Got 18" on my DF. Utah Trikes bookmarked.

    Peter_C, have you had experience with packing the TT for shipping via UPS/Fedex? Sans a folder, I'd have to ship it twice for a tour planned for next year. Not sure how doable that would be, tho AM sure it'd be expensive.

    How's your rear hold up to long hours on the TT? That's one thing that limits my hours/day on the DF.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    How's your rear hold up to long hours on the TT? That's one thing that limits my hours/day on the DF.
    Generally not ever a problem for recumbent bikes or trikes.

    Have never heard or seen anyone refer to a recumbent as a 'recum'.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  6. #6
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    . . .

    Links to specific makes/models that might fill the bill would be nice, and/or to a forum link that probably has already answered the question.

    Thanks.
    BentRider Online has a dedicated trike forum you would likely find useful.

    I'm prejudiced in favor of ICE trikes but even more prejudiced in favor of good long test rides before you buy even when that requires travel. A trike someone else loves may not be right for you.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Have never heard or seen anyone refer to a recumbent as a 'recum'.
    LOL. I see your point. Now. Well, did say I was a newby, and a bit on the slow side. Proud to introduce you to another way to refer to a bent.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    LOL. I see your point. Now. Well, did say I was a newby, and a bit on the slow side. Proud to introduce you to another way to refer to a bent.
    ...a new, unwieldy way. We refer to them as " 'bents" if we're shortening the name. Occasionally, someone will call them "recumbos." Or, since this is a recumbent forum, "recumbent" is the default style and only other, weird, bikes - like DFs - need descriptors.

  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I've been know to refer to my bikes as recombinants.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    I've been know to refer to my bikes as recombinants.
    Yeah, they're definitely part of my DNA (me, nearly 30 years ago):

    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  11. #11
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Have never heard or seen anyone refer to a recumbent as a 'recum'.
    Yeah.... most people just say "bent." The way you wrote it looks too much like rectum...!
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Jeff, I love that pic, but can't you photo-chop the socks out of it???

  13. #13
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Jeff, I love that pic, but can't you photo-chop the socks out of it???
    They're part of my DNA, too...
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  14. #14
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Unfortunantly, I do not live anywhere near a lbs that stocks any recums.
    Have you talked to these guys yet: http://www.rbent.net/
    ???
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  15. #15
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Thanks for the reponses. Leaning a lot quick. Got a PM explaining how Greenspeed was the world standard, and have registered on Bentrider.

    I have called Terra Trike and was impressed with their patience and knowledge. Sorta like the high profile and platform pedals. Not crazy about the grip shifters, preferring barends. They'd have to work with me a bit to get the gear range I'm hearing I'll need. Got 18" on my DF. Utah Trikes bookmarked.

    Peter_C, have you had experience with packing the TT for shipping via UPS/Fedex? Sans a folder, I'd have to ship it twice for a tour planned for next year. Not sure how doable that would be, tho AM sure it'd be expensive.

    How's your rear hold up to long hours on the TT? That's one thing that limits my hours/day on the DF.
    The shipping issue is a very painful one~! When I bought my Rover, it was shipped to me fully built, and it cost $149 one-way (TT's special pricing too), and took 7 days from MI to OH. *I* do not believe (other than moving, or the like) it's something worth considering. Granted, you *can* break down the Rover into 4 smaller sections, but it's not something to do very often or easily. So in your case, a folder may need be a critical need. GreenSpeed, plus other brands, have the folding down to a science, and for the cost of shipping a non-folder twice (out and back), plus the cost of the packaging, you can easily take those funds and put them towards a folder.

    Yes, if 'cost' is a critical factor (it was for me), a Modified Rover *could* work, could be broken down for reasonable shipping (think it would take like 40 minutes to break-down and pack), but *IF*, you can spend more, you *could* get like the 'best' non-suspended folder trike for around 3K. (there is a video on the TT website showing how to break down a Rover)

    As for time in the seat, it really, really is a non-issue from day one~! Getting your "bent legs" is the only issue. If you can be comfortable in a 'lawn-chair', a trike is wonderful. I am a very slow rider, so I tend to take 6-8hrs on a 30+ mile ride. So most of my rides are between 4 and 12 hrs, out of which, I am only off the trike maybe 30 minutes? Between all of my surgeries and replacement joints, standing and walking is not comfortable to me - mall-walking for an hour cripples me, but 8-9hrs on the trike goofing and riding, I have already down that multiple days in a row.

    I only bought my trike a year ago. Prior to that I had a Giant Suede DX 'comfort' bike. In the year I had the bike, I did 650+ miles, any ride over 20 miles became painful no matter how many seats I tried. In DEC 2010 I bought the Rover, in June 2011 my right hip was replaced, and I was riding my trike 40 days after replacement. Even with the replacement, I've gotten (so far) some 520 miles in on the trike. Comfort is completely a non-issue for me. I have multiple times now, taken my trailer to the pet store some 11 miles away, bought 2 40lb bags of dog food, and brought them home (slowly to be sure). But had a blast, and look forward to *only* getting dog food this way in the future!

    So, assuming you are in better shape than I, getting a trike to do tours with makes complete sense to me. Trikes do better with 2-wheeled trailers, and there are many options (with or without trailers) to carry as much stuff with you as you like. 40lbs on my old bike, is way worse than 40lbs of stuff on my trike - really, the reason I carry all my crap with me on the trike, is I simply do not notice any difference in handling with or without all the gear, and remember, while the Rover is nice, it is very much at the base of the ladder, no frills, very basic, when I bought, was the cheapest new trike you could buy.

    I can not stress enough that daylight, rain, cold are the only limiting factors as how long you can be on the trike at a time. My first public event, was a 25 mile ride, with a free outdoor concert after. Some 800 DF riders, and like 3 trikes, myself and the other two trikes simply sat on our trikes during the concert, everyone else sat on the ground, or also brought lawn-chairs. So that was a 3.5hr ride (for me) and almost 3 more hours of sitting after
    Last edited by Peter_C; 11-04-11 at 11:21 AM.
    Peter_C
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  16. #16
    Senior Member jmio's Avatar
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    recum sounds dirty, i don't like the idea of riding a recum, or cleaning up my recum, or putting my recum away before company gets here, or ya, i lost track! ha

  17. #17
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Yeah, they're definitely part of my DNA (me, nearly 30 years ago):

    Trike vendors should be paying every time that iconic image appears.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  18. #18
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Trike vendors should be paying every time that iconic image appears.
    I wish...

    That was me, nearly 30 years ago. I was building recumbent trikes long before recumbent trikes were cool...
    Jeff Wills

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  19. #19
    eay
    eay is offline
    Senior Member eay's Avatar
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    There is an Azub folding trike (not available yet) that - according to marketing - should fold nicely for plane transport. I believe this link will take you to their blog entry about it. I do not know about any of the other specifications of this trike.

    Getting a trike (even a folding one) in a form that is shippable by freight or, heavens, by plane is not trivial as far as I can tell.
    E

    an HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS (recumbent trike).

    my triking blog

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Trike vendors should be paying every time that iconic image appears.
    1+

    Had a good time yesterday exploring trikes and 2 wheelers in Austin/Dallas. Now I want both.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  21. #21
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    1+

    Had a good time yesterday exploring trikes and 2 wheelers in Austin/Dallas. Now I want both.
    The whole country will thank you if you stimulate the economy by buying both a bike and a trike.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    I think Trident Trikes charge $150 for shipping, also.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  23. #23
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Well, the decision has been made and the 2 wheeler is in the stable. My lbs just happened to have a Sun Tour Easy LE in stock and turned me loose on it today for as long as I wanted. Made a 2 hour run, looking for a downside. And looking, and looking. Darn. I just couldn't find one. Even the reputataion they have for poor climbing, was for me at least, a non-issue. Seemed more stable at 3 mph than my DF. Will add a rack tomorrow and head out for a long, very fun run on one of my regular, very hilly local routes. May never get aboard a DF again.

    Fairing ordered.

    Am putting the trike off for the forseeable future. I like the narrow footprint and high profile of the Tour Easy, as well as it's obvious suitability for loaded touring. The continuous, panoramic view. No more ride time limits due to generalized/specific discomfort. No more sore rear, no more aching shoulders, numb hands. Limited now only by energy level and motivation. Wow. All stuff you guys already knew.
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 11-10-11 at 02:15 AM.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  24. #24
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I hope you mean "Tour Easy"- I switched to a Tour Easy about 9 years ago, after a decade on a P-38 Lightning. Then I upgraded to a Gold Rush. I still have the Lightning and the Gold Rush, and my wife has her Tour Easy and a Gold Rush. I also have this little humdinger. Remember, there is no cure for cycle addiction:

    Jeff Wills

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  25. #25
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    So do you have any trikes Jeff?

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