Trying to decide between TaoBao trike or bike for long distance riding
First off, for those who do not know, TaoBao is not a brand. It is a Chinese website similar to ebay; but, without the bidding.
I am considering going on an extended ride this summer. It will probably be about 1,200 km. I have gone on several 100km rides with the local cycling clubs. I have also gone on solo, multi-day, rides of about 400km here in China.
The problem I have run into is that I, quite simply, end up in too much pain, from the saddle, to really enjoy the long rides. By the second day, and sometimes before that, I end up with my perineum (the skin between the anus and the scrotum) tearing and then chafing and bleeding the rest of the trip. It is not something I can “build up to.” I had this happen after several months of 100+km rides twice a week.
When in the US I ride my recumbent most often (I say most often because I don’t feel that bents work well with multi-modal rides). I moved from a bike-E that I rode for several years to a Bacchetta. However, all I have had in China are DF bikes. You will not find a bent, of any sort in a bike shop. I have lived here since 2006 and make it a habit to drop into bike shops when I see them. On one of my long rides (400km in three days, two nights on the road) a shopkeeper got into a conversation with a friend who was with me. The shopkeeper recalled seeing a recumbent being ridden by a foreigner about two years prior; this is how rare they are. However, I have never seen one.
Some of my friends are a bit concerned about my riding a trike because they look like a hand-cycle ( in general, Chinese people have very strong biases against the disabled). My only real concern is that my bike may need to ride as baggage on a train and a trike may be a problem.
Cost is a concern for several reasons, one of the reasons is that I may need to leave the bike behind at some point; or, when I leave the country. Shipping a bike from china can be extremely expensive. Further, bike theft is so common that in one city I lived it was not even permitted to be reported to the police.
One other issue is that, while on long rides, I have frequently found it necessary to “lift” my bicycle. One case is at toll booth. Bikes (and motorcycles) are permitted to take the sidewalk around the toll booths; but, there is often a bike barrier consisting of a pipe fixed about a foot off the ground. Other times I have had to cross bridges that have consisted of a series of planks placed across the top of a series of small boats. Further, bicyclists are frequently required to dismount, this is typical when going through a gate of any sort (and no matter how wide) and sometimes it is required while waiting for a traffic light.
All this leads to me trying to decide on two or three wheels. If I stick with a DF I will probably go a couple hundred KM; but, no further.
This leaves me looking at this two wheel model (there are a couple of vendors; but, they are all the same).
Attachment 312031 From here
I am also considering a few of the trikes. I will admit it, I kind of like the idea of being able to put up the canopy seen in one of them, on bright days; or, while napping.
Attachment 312032 from here Attachment 312033 from here Attachment 312034 from here Attachment 312035 from here Attachment 312036 from here
I really think I would like a trike better; but, I am concerned that it will be a never ending hassle because nothing here is set up with Trikes in mind. Any thoughts on any of these for long distance riding?