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.
Last edited by hartjanet; 08-01-12 at 03:02 PM.
Reason: add name