Thinking about switching to a trike
I currently ride a LHT and love it. However, I have epilepsy and have been thinking of switching to a recumbent trike for safety AND comfort reasons.
I'd like to solicit the forums opinions on this matter before making a decision or focusing on a brand.
I gave serious thought to purchasing an ICE trike as a frameset and building it up myself a few years ago after reading the CGOAB journal of Heidi Domeisen. I had contemplated a recumbent for years and a trike seemed ideal for all-day comfort and loaded touring.
In the end I just built a new frameset (a Surly Disc Trucker) and saved >2000 USD. Closer to the KISS principle that generally works. If I had epilepsy then I think I would probably own an ICE trike today, despite the extra cost.
Australia's Greenspeed ships around the globe ,
TIG steel frames .. LHT are TIG welded too ..
2 types .. Delta is 1 wheel in the front, Tadpole the 1 wheel is in the back..
Last edited by fietsbob; 03-22-14 at 09:09 AM.
I rode once with someone who had a CatTrike. They me let try it out, and I gotta say it's an awesome machine.
I've just accompanied a friend to pick up an ICE Adventure Trike and was mightily impressed with the standard of engineering and finish. While I'm nearly played out in terms of cycling now I'm tempted given the sheer comfort and the range of gears (15"to 105") which would be perfect for me. The fact that it folds was a bonus too and it sat easily in the back of my Estate without the need for folding the seats. Like all niche products the price of the accessories and add-ons is startling though as is the buying price.
The Recumbent Quant
I would highly recommend a trike for anybody in your situation. I'm planning on getting one myself for winter riding.
Trikes are wonderful machines for touring and are a blast to ride. (imagine crossing a go cart with a bicycle).
Last edited by fietsbob; 03-22-14 at 10:51 AM.
The trike I mentioned has full suspension....I'm a very nice person and deserve one.
Originally Posted by fietsbob
I just completed a 2 week self contained tour on my 8 yr old ICE T trike. Perfect platform for touring and just plain fun to ride. I own 4 bikes. 2 recumbent trikes, 1 regular 2 wheel recumbent and 1 diamond frame. You will not regret owning a quality trike even if it is not always your main ride.
See my blog for pics under Florida Loop Tour.
Reviewing your blog is why I'm thinking of switching
Originally Posted by bent4me
When I got back into touring in 2005, I initially used a recumbent. I had leg problems I thought it would be ideal with, and I like to try techy stuff. In my case it was a failure.
1) The type of recumbent I tried was very difficult to ride. I got the hang of it in the end, but it was almost impossible to get started on hills, with a load. So if you stopped half way up a hill, you could not get started. Not a problem with tricycles, and in fact the advocates in who sold it to me, had switched to trikes also. So no problem there for you.
2) I got easy ridered so many times with people yelling at me, and buzzing me, and getting chased by people. Or when I finally learned to really control my 2 wheeler, I remember this old lady who said she should get one so she could lie down when out and about. Mostly this was funny stuff, but you needed a thick skin;
3) The physical side was very different. in 05, I hadn't ridden a bike in 20 years, except to the store a few times a year. Yet when i got back on the regular bike I was up to 90 mile days after two days. I have cycling muscles, and they came back fast. Not so on the recumbent, it was very different musculature. One good thing about this was rehabing my legs, it was great for that, but as far as having endurance it was really bad. i would have had to run it for a year to get anywhere near my baseline in regular cycling.
4) I found it was hard on the neck, and not really all that comfortable.
5) I nearly got killed on it when a guy accelerated through me, who had not even seen me. trikes are lower still. I don't think they are safe, unless you use them in a place with zero traffic, or a large population of low rider users so that everyone is expecting them.
6) They can be hard to carry gear on for camping. People obviously manage, but it will either mean less load, more expense, or more resistance. Or all three.
7) Some are hard to pack
8) Most are heavier
9) trikes are less efficient
10) In touring you will often get forced into cages where you have long bridge crossing, or border crossing, that even a regular bike can hardly get through. Some of these I have hit in the last 10 years I could not have good my recumbent through, or at least not without some extreme solution like disassembly and multiple trips.
11) Oddly I thought streamlined, less wind resistance would mean warmer, but in fact you feel the wind running over you all the time, I guess you don't just create a mass of turbulence like a bubble. This was often colder
12) In the rain you get a lot of real estate you don't want wet, really wet
13) I bought a good quality german bike, and the cost was about 3 times a touring bike. I got maybe 2/3rd back when I sold it, so that wasn't tto bad, but certainly more expensive. I could have bought a Sakkit, or Gordon,or a Vanilla for the cost of this LX equipped german thing. A pal who goes to China, found the guy who made their "Made in Germany" frames. So basically you are paying a premium for an LHT level ride.
14) I never got nailed by dogs until I was touring on my upright. I would not want to be at face height with some of those guys chasing me, where the first thing they go after is the head.
However, I can see how it would work if there was a possibility of falling over. I'd like to try a trike, but the whole recumbent thing was not without problems.
The Recumbent Quant
Originally Posted by MassiveD
While some of this is (almost) relevant and on point, some of this is beyond ridiculous.
I just switched to a Catrike Expedition. The main reason was comfort. I don't have enough miles to speak much about safety however I can tell you that I feel that people notice and give me room as much as on a bike if not more. I was out today and a bus driver who had pulled over to pick someone up waited until I passed him to pull out and then waved as I went by. The one thing that's taken me some time to get used to is not automatically putting my foot down on the ground when I stop at a light or sign. I'm loving the first couple of hundred miles so far without the aches and pains associated with spending the same amount of time on a bike.
The comment about trikes being dangerous in traffic is way overatated.
I rode my ICE Q rear suspension trike a lot in Philippinea city traffic (metro area of 1 million people) and had fewer issues than on a motorcycle.
You WILL have to get off the road here on any vehicle at times. Traffic is far more chaotic and doesn't follow the rules much. The stability and really quick steering response of a trike makes that much less of an issue.
Similarly, sharp turns and braking on a well designed tadpole trike are much easier and quicker than on most 2-wheelers.
As often noted by trike riders, traffic tends to to give you more space than on a diamond frame.
Comfort is way better than on any DF, unless you chooae one of the extreme performance trikea. I uaed to regularly do 100 - 180 km rides with absolutely no issues.
Efficiency can be lower, mostly climbing hills. Downhill and and into the wind a trike will be faster than most touring bikes. On the flat probably about the same.
The advantage on hills is that you can gear a trike so low, that you never have to push, even with a load.
I had a 12.9 - 108 gi spread, some go below 10.
And when you get tires, jjust stop for a minute, no need to unclip even.
Mr Negative above is also wrong about load carrying. I used banana bags thar fit under and behind the seat, and can be had in 55 to 70 liter capacities. And you still have space on the rack for tent and whatever. In fact, my 3-person Nemo strapped to the back of the seat, leaving most of the top of the rack open.
Loading heavier items forward and low under the seat really minimizes handling and braking issues, although I stiffened up suspension settings.
A typical touring trike is probably less likely to have fewer issues with load than a DF.
Typically with rider and trike only 30% of the weight is carried on the rear wheel. That and the fact that the 20" wheels commonly used are stronger than bigger wheels means rear wheel failure is less likely, especially with suspension.
There are some negatives. I often ride unpaved roads and tracks where 2-wheel traffic is norm. This means that there is usually a path through mudholes and around rocks. A wide track vehicle just doesn't work well there.
Additionally you need to take care you don't damage the underside on stuff like speedhumps and deep potholes.
For that reason I'm looking to move to something like the Azub Max or Six.
As for which trike, the established manufacturers like ICE, HP Velotechnik,Greenspeed and Catrike all make good machines and have a variety of models to select from.
For touring use I like 20" / 406 wheels all round for gearing, strength and tire availability.
That makes rear suspension very nice to have, and front suspension could be nice on rough roads.
ICE and HPV have rear and full suspension models, and Catrike's Road has rear suspension.
The ICE elastomer rear suapension is simple, robust and virtually maintenance free, HPV's is more sophisticated.
Google around, many people have crossed the USA on trikea, and even the Himalayas.
Last edited by tshelver; 03-31-14 at 09:05 PM.
Walmart bike rider
Perhaps one huge disadvantage.
That would be a good shoulder for a cyclist... However for a trike, it's a disaster. You will not only be forced on the road but be forced well within the road. There are now many of these in Georgia.