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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 08-01-12, 08:05 AM   #1
hartjanet
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Terra Trike - Rover 8

For years I've been doing an early morning (4:30am) 9 mile ride on an "up-right" bike. The last year or so I've noticed I've become increasing uncomfortable - hands, arms, sholders, back and butt. So several weeks ago I visited our LBS that's known for "bent" bikes/trikes - Ajo Bikes, Tucson, AZ. With a number of manufacturers represented I was immediately drawn to the Terra Trike Rover 8. I liked the utilitarian look, "tadpole" design/stability but even more, the seat height. Did I mention I'm a young 65. After test driving several "tadpoles", considering my riding style, local terrain and of course comfort, I opted for the Rover 8. Good rider reviews, a solid company and a buy-in price that's hard to beat were also factors. The Rover loaded easily into the rear of my Chev HHR SS and once home the addition of a water bottle and lights was all I needed to prep for this mornings ride. I've always enjoyed watching the night sky brighten as the sun begins to wake. Here in southern AZ the sun gets up early and the cool of the desert night soon gives way to the "dry heat" of the day - great time to be on the bike/trike.


Up early and ready to roll, lights on and I'm off. I elected to follow my normal route - neighborhood streets to a nice multi-use paved path around a park/golf course then back home via the neighborhoods. I felt this would give me the best comparison relative to comfort and time vs distance. Although I had adjusted the seat I found it necessary to make two brief stops (I usually ride this non-stop) to fine tune the pedal/seat reach and seat incline. I also found that leg muscle use and memory was somewhat different than on the up-right - always nice to feel those muscles working. With a few small hills/inclines the internal 8 speed hub came in handy but it took a little time to adjust to the "no pedal" when shifting rule. I enjoyed the relaxed sitting/ride position and the lack of strain/stress on my hands, arms and sholders. On bumpy sections of the street there is no doubt that there is some transfer to the driver, but all in all it wasn't that bad. If I wanted to stay off the streets, Tucson has miles and miles of very nice bike paths that are easily accessible. This ride usually takes me approx. 50 min. so I was anxious to see the difference when I arrived back at the house. A little longer, maybe 5 min., but I did stop twice and even so I was certainly more comfortable and relaxed. With more driving and shifting practice I'm confident my time with be approximately the same as the up-right as it was always a ride not a race.

In summary, I'm happy with the Rover 8 and hope to add some addtion thoughts and ride photos to the site as I progress. If you're considering a Rover 8 I hope this is of help - for what it's intended to be vs cost and comfort it's hard to beat.


Paul Hart
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Old 08-02-12, 10:43 AM   #2
Peter_C
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You may wish to visit BROL http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...splay.php?f=13 it's a sub-forum just for trikes.

If you decide you'd like even more comfort, you may wish to consider upgrading the stock 'CST' tires to 'Big Apples', as they really do increase comfort. Enjoy your new ride, I love my Rover!

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Old 08-02-12, 11:04 AM   #3
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Thanks Peter, I'll give that some consideration as I start to log miles. I check out the "Big Apples", but was wondering if you find that have more road drag due to more surface contact?

Paul
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Old 08-02-12, 01:56 PM   #4
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Thanks Peter, I'll give that some consideration as I start to log miles. I check out the "Big Apples", but was wondering if you find that have more road drag due to more surface contact?

Paul
I really can't say anything about the comparative rolling resistance between those two tires; but most rolling resistance is caused by sidewall flex and tread squirm. So for fast tires you want to see light supple sidewalls instead of heavy stiff ones, and slicks rather than heavy tread. The other part of the equation is weight; which doesn't matter at a steady speed but has a big effect every time you change speed. The weight issue is why racing tires are skinny.
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Old 08-02-12, 02:00 PM   #5
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. . . . for what it's intended to be vs cost and comfort it's hard to beat.


Paul Hart
This long-time recumbent bike and trike rider agrees. There are other models more appropriate for going faster and/or further, but the Rover is a fine trike. It's not the same as an ICE Vortex+ but for many riders it's a superior choice.
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Old 08-02-12, 07:23 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the replys and info. Looking forward to another beautiful morning here in Tucson.

Paul
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Old 08-02-12, 07:35 PM   #7
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Over on BROL (BentRiderOnLine) in the trike section there have been many, many debates and roll-down tests and on and on between the top 'speed' tires VS top 'comfot' tires vs the top 'Flat-resistant' tires. The majority of folks tend to agree that the Big Apple is #3 in speed, #1 in comfort, and #3 (or 4) in flat-resistance.

However, some folks believe that the BA at max pressure (can go from 30psi to 70psi) is actually #1 or #2 on rough roads, and limestone/gravel/etc - due to the design of the tire... that's *not* to say ALL wide tires can be/are fast, but the BA is designed to absorb rather than deflect bumps - I went from plain Marathons at 100psi to the BAs, bouncing between 50 and 70psi, and feel the speed is the same or better, and the comfort is WAY better.

But, also $$$ doesn't fall off trees for some of us, so we can't go buy stuff willy-nilly either! Alignment (toe-set), and checking air-pressure every ride will do far more for your riding pleasure in the end.

I do love my Rover! I know that there are many trike models that are stronger, faster, prettier, etc... but my Rover does very well for me. I have done a nine day tour of the GAP, and I just finished my first metric century (on the towpath - limestone, no less). if I did not have my Rover, my health would still be as bad as it was in 2009.

Ride for fun, ride because you can, and sometimes, ride to even get somewhere
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Old 08-05-12, 01:08 PM   #8
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Thanks Peter C. - will keep the BA's in mind and appreciate the info and support. Paul
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Old 08-06-12, 04:52 PM   #9
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I bought a terratrike speedster with a light aluminium frame end of May, giving a nice ride. Have over 500 miles on it already. Looks almost like your trike. I have weak legs and poor balance at 62 yrs. Yet I have no problem riding this trike. Front wheels are a bit smaller than the back. I was told they do make faster wheels which are thinner. Hubby plans to add a ninth gear for easier hill riding. As for the seat I seemed to slide forward so we reclined the seat one notch back problem solved. I feel safe on the terratrike because it's a head turner looking so different than a bike. Still I have an air horn for the rare air head drivers :-D This trike has shifting as you pedal which I really love!

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