With just a "little" prompting my wife has given me a new book on trikes for my birthday. I am a new trike owner, and as always anything I get into I will read almost anything and everything I can get my hands on about the subject.
The book is "Free on three". It is a little pricey ($40) for a paperback, but it is huge with 736 pages. It appears to have almost everything you would want to know about trikes. Not only does it have all the information written by the author, it has pieces by major bike store owners, and trike manufacturers. IMHO it is a really great book.
Your post proves "different strokes for different folks". I wanted my money back as soon as I completed reading a randomly selected chapter not available on the Amazon "preview".
As you note, it contains pieces written by manufacturers and store owners - essentially pr/marketing fluff/corporate history stuff for the most part. All of that is available for free on the web/from the manufacturers themselves - or for the price of a few electrons for an email. I thought that the author's contribution was a simplistic "travel journal" written in a proselytizing-environmentalist tone. The printed version was poorly edited, with grammar and punctuation errors throughout while the Kindle version (yes, I 'read' that also - my friend gave me a printed copy not knowing I'd already bought the Kindle version[actually, my sister had bought it for me]) lacked most of the pictures from the printed version --- though the pics were available online.
I found it the worst waste of "bike book money" I have ever spent.
Obviously my mileage varied from yours.
(My opinion is also partially due to having found over 90% of the non-travel-journal information included in the book on the 'Net. CGAOB/other websites have equal quality trike-travel-journals for free; a 5 second, not very specific Yahoo/Google search returns at least 20 depending on your specific search terms.)
Last edited by drmweaver2; 12-12-11 at 06:43 PM.
Reason: corrected the comment on why I had both Kindle and printed versions (bad memory).
So far Im about 25% of the way thru the book. I might as well say right up front I think the book is worth the price. Is it perfect, and are some of the things people say against it true---yes to a certain degree. How ever let me take the one section that I have finished and others pan, the section by trike manufacturers. Personally I find it interesting how these companies got started. I especially like the stories of the start up of the American builders.
Am I astounded by each and every new page with some information that I didnt know--in a word no--but on the other hand I didnt expect to be. I think the intent of the author was to just bring together a great deal of information and history of the trike. As I say so far I am pleased.
A final report so to speak. I have now finished the book. I still say the book is worthwhile. About the only negative thing I can say is near the back of the book it got a little tedious.
However on the whole since it is the only book I know of devoted to recumbent trikes, I dont see why some would roundly pan the book. It does cover almost all aspects of bent trikes. Look on the positive side since it is the only bent trike book, it is the best trike book.