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Old 06-08-21, 04:38 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 267

Bikes: Raleigh Route 2, Motobecane Sprint Ultegra, Performer JC-70 Recumbent Trike (soon)

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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
There is something to be said for the simple 3X10 gearing already on your trike. You can get parts at most bike shops and if you need service they can do it. When you get into hubs like the ones I have used in the past (SRAM dual-drive and Schlumpf Mountain Drive) that gets a lot more iffy. Nobody that I could find in Las Vegas with a population of just under 2M is experienced in their repair. I had to do it myself.

You can use a gear range calculator to compare the range for any combination of gears. I like either Sheldon Brown or Mike Sherman's calculators. Your new trike has a gear range of 25.5 to 123.5. That's a little narrower than my Catrike 700 with a gear range of 20.9 to 124.2 using the same calculator. I ride mostly in the middle range and almost never use the lowest gears on the trike.

If you look up the current cost for just the hub unit for the Rohloff 14 speed it costs right around $1,500 to 1,600 depending on the source. Then you need to add to cost of rebuilding the rear wheel with new spokes. Add it up and you have darn near doubled the cost of the trike. Most new riders have a hard time with the hills until they develop the muscles needed to propel a trike. It's somewhat different from what you use on a DF bike. Give it a chance and you may save a bundle.

I've read a few posts on people who bought a Performer trike. About the only negative comment I remember is that it takes a bit of mechanical knowledge to assemble the trike. Having assembled two trikes myself from a frame and components I can agree with that. It's nice to be able to check and adjust the toe-in for example. It's a critical setting for getting the most mileage out of your tires and when set right makes the trike easier to pedal.
I will have little issue, I assume, with the assembly and have actually been researching trikes for years off and on to decide what I wanted to buy. I know I am getting ahead of myself with this concept as no matter how well equipped the trike will be, my legs are only so equipped to pedal it. I agree there.

Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I agree with nearly all of post #2. I have a Performer from 2017 and the 10sp is 11-36! A 10sp 11-32 seems awfully ... close, but I don't claim to know it all. Still, the first thing I did to that BIKE was swap out the 30T granny for a 24T. Yah, a gear range starting around 16" and I don't find that impossibly low on a bike. There are trikes out there with low ends in the single digit gear inches. A 30 year old may not be ready for that quite yet but I would keep the knowledge tucked away, 60 comes up awfully fast when you are having as much fun as you will be having. A Rohloff on a Performer is kind of like a Bosch aftermarket fuel injection racing unit on Hyundai Econo-sedan. You saved a bundle (well played) buying that trike instead of an ICE or Cattrike so why would you even consider for a second blowing those savings on a $1500+ rear hub with only a ~535% overall gear range?
I will admit, I honestly have no idea how to make sense of ratios and charts. Inches, for example, is so confusing to me. The reason why I am considering the hub is because I plan to do trikepacking and long distance day rides with this trike and I am a firm believer that the only things that make more expensive bikes worth the money are the components and frame technology when you get into carbon setups or titanium where welds are critical. An aluminum tube frame on a trike is very basic, and most frames are going to be welded and butted properly from the beginning so frame to frame, brands can be very competitive, yet cheaper trikes like Performer's will sacrifice their base shiftsets and brakes, etc, but with upgrades a Performer frame can be just as viable as a Catrike or Ice. Because of this theory, I don't mind spending money on worthwhile uprades. Much like a $25k Jeep Wrangler can be upgraded to be better offroad than an $85k Toyota Land Cruiser with the right parts. a $2k Performer trike and a $3k Catrike both roll off the line sans internal hub. I have been assuming, based on video research and vlogger posts, that the internal hubs are a necessary upgrade for the sake of long term durability. Derailleurs break and fail much more often and are exposed to the elements and road grit, etc, so they, while more easily obtained, will fail far more often, and realistically give you less range than a hub. The range I envision likely doesn't give me any benefit, I just did the guesswork math and assumed it would. The closer ratios you can get, the easier your cadence can be managed while loaded down with gear.

I appreciate the responses, I am literally clueless about ranges and trike muscle use, etc. Forgive my lack of understanding of some of your points you made.
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