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Stable Non-recumbent Options Wanted

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Stable Non-recumbent Options Wanted

Old 01-10-24, 01:51 PM
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Stable Non-recumbent Options Wanted

Up until a few years ago my wife and I would ride on a regular basis. We are now 72 (me), and she is 67. She has never been an avid cyclist and probably went along more to amuse me, but we rode enough to where she was fine on a road bike and even some trail riding on a mtb, but nothing real technical. At this point she no longer is confident that she has enough balance to even try to ride any of her bikes. I do miss the time we spent riding and she does need to get moving more.

The obvious solution is a recumbent trike, but so far she is not amicable to "riding on the ground" so to speak, and I am not ready to buy a quality trike and let it sit in the garage if she decides it is not for her. I'm still riding an '88 Cannondale, although the same hills seem to be getting steeper with each passing year. I've moved from clips and straps to just clips, just in case.

A few years ago I bought a Handsome She Devil mixte steel frame that I have not yet built up. I have checked out adult stabilizers/training wheels, but I am hesitant due to how poorly/totally unsafe upright tricycles handle. I found a product called Swinging Wheels, seems to be similar to EZ Trainers, that allow the bike to lean and not tip over like upright tricycles. They are frightfully expensive, but that is not a problem if they work. I found a video on YouTube...
https://www.youtube.com/@easypedalbikes6052/shorts

But I'm also looking at any other options. Even dual front wheel tilting bikes.

If anyone has any suggestions I am open to them. Thanks in advance.

John
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Old 01-10-24, 02:54 PM
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I'd think a upright tricycle will be better than anything you add to a existing bicycle. But I've no experience whatsoever with any of that.

Is she okay once she gets going and just is uneasy about stopping or such? For that I'd recommend something with a very slack seat tube angle that will allow her to remain in the saddle and put both feet flat on the ground. I can't tell from their site what the seat tube angle is on the She Devil, but at best, visually it looks only slightly slacker than a typical road bike. If when you build it out, you put a seat post with a lot of offset on it, then that essentially will give it some of what a more slack seat tube will. Of course that affect reach to the bars though that you have to account for with stem length and bar reach.

Smaller diameter wheels than 700C will help too if the frames intended brake mounting places will handle them.

How are you? Could you handle a tandem bike with her as your stoker? I've considered that for my wife that doesn't have the desire to ride.

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Old 01-10-24, 03:57 PM
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Perhaps you could persuade your wife to go for a test ride!
I imagine you may have a shop in your area which sells trikes, and they would be willing to let your wife try one. Once she has tested it, the stability and comfort may convince her.

Adding adult size training wheels seems like a more unsafe option than riding a properly designed trike with reflectors, flashing lights and a flag at the eye level.

A few months ago, I saw a trike where the rider had attached a bright blinking light to the pole that had a bright reflective flag. I thought that was a great idea.
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Old 01-10-24, 05:30 PM
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Here is my opinion... If a person is having balance problems while cycling due to ageing ,it's only going to get worse and eventually they're going to start having balance problems while walking and stepping down or up the stairs or something. I think the priority should be to start some type of workout and exercise program which would help them to regain and maintain their balance... As for bikes I think any type of a bike which has more upright geometry and fat tires would be the best choice. Working on your balance and avoiding falls and injuries should be a priority in this type of situation.
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Old 01-10-24, 06:04 PM
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People, especially older people discount exercise intensity. They think ANY movement is better than none. Not true. To be beneficial, exercise must take you to at least 65% of your maximum heart rate and stay there for at least ... ~20min per session x 3 sessions per week. That can be worked up to, of course. In my opinion, it is hard to give the necessary attention to achieving decent exercise intensity when one is navigating the peculiarities of a bicycle AND dogs, joggers, children ... the best way for older adults to get cardio exercise is indoors. At a gym or at home but inside, on a stable piece of equipment like a Rowing Machine, Elliptical Machine, Treadmill or Upright or Recumbent Exercise Bicycle. Many now come with LCD panels and TV or PC interfaces if boredom is an issue. Trust me, this is better than flailing around outside at a walking pace on a bicycle. A one or two mile walk in the park together is altogether better than a bicycle ride. You can get done in two miles walking what will take 5 miles or more of bicycling. No risk of falling, no gears or other stuff to manage. FWIW.
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Old 01-10-24, 06:24 PM
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Have you considered a tandem?
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Old 01-10-24, 06:41 PM
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Just to clarify, my wife is not exhibiting severe balance issues. She sometimes loses her balance a bit, but so will I at times and I was surfing up until a few years ago. She can go up and down stairs, sometimes without holding onto the rail. We do go for walks on a regular basis.

I "think" her main issue is some decline in balance, though not severe, and an enormous decline in confidence on a bike, especially when stopping. Although it has been a couple of years since she rode, she didn't show a problem when she is moving. We have a lot of hills where we live and I know she is worried about that, but I told her we would ride a beach path. In talking about this, she asked if she could "try" to fall over on the bike once we come up with the best way to go. I told that I would test the falling part.

I have done the shorter stem, more saddle offset, so get her toes to touch when stopping on her old bike; without totally eliminating all leg extension when pedaling.

Right now, since I have the frame and all the components to build it, so I'll do that. I am inclined to try the Swinging Wheels and see how well they work. I'll pop the saddle up and ride it first so I'll understand if/how they will work.

But I am open to other ideas to get her riding and not worrying about falling over.

John

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Old 01-10-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Have you considered a tandem?
Only a recumbent tandem. I don't think I would be able to have enough confidence to take an upright tandem on at my age.

John
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Old 01-10-24, 08:01 PM
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What about a racing upright trike like this? I think they're popular in the UK.

https://roadbikeaction.com/inside-th...jackson-trike/
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Old 01-10-24, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
What about a racing upright trike like this? I think they're popular in the UK.

https://roadbikeaction.com/inside-th...jackson-trike/
I saw that some years ago. I think that one is pretty old. I doubt they are being offered and not sure if that design changes the upright tricycle cornering.

But it is super cool and I appreciate the thought.

John
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Old 01-10-24, 08:38 PM
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I did find this option...

https://www.trisbike.com/

Looks like a lot of fun.

John
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Old 01-10-24, 11:03 PM
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Heres another recumbent, just in case your wife changes her mind.

Azub Ti-Fly\X ? Backcountry Recumbent Cycles

Looks tempting to me!
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Old 01-11-24, 07:21 AM
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How about a crank forward design? With the low seat, stops and starts will be easier.
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Old 01-11-24, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
I did find this option...

https://www.trisbike.com/

Looks like a lot of fun.

John
That is interesting, I know some people that might enjoy one of those.

A lot like MP3 scooters.

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Old 01-11-24, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Heres another recumbent, just in case your wife changes her mind.

Azub Ti-Fly\X ? Backcountry Recumbent Cycles

Looks tempting to me!
If this doesn't work and I decide to try a recumbent trike, I'll probably see where I can have my wife test one out. Maybe even get a used one at first.

There is a builder in Connecticut called Ti-Trikes. Their basic model is sub-40lb, but the seat, hard to call them saddles, appears to be fairly high off the ground; 16"-18"(?).

https://www.ti-trikes.com/t-150/

John
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Old 01-11-24, 11:07 AM
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Biria easy boarding

https://biria.com/series/easy-boarding

you might consider this kind. Easy to get on and off and put both feet down to stabilize your self. Rides well in normal use too.
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Old 01-11-24, 11:25 AM
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just wondering - has she tried a (relatively) small 26” MTB or small hybrid or similar with wide tires ?

maybe the mixte frame you mentioned would result in similar fit / feel ?

or has she tried an old 20” banana seat bike … ? … vintage stingray or similar ?

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Old 01-11-24, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
just wondering - has she tried a (relatively) small 26 MTB or small hybrid or similar with wide tires ?

maybe the mixte frame you mentioned would result in similar fit / feel ?

or has she tried an old 20 banana seat bike ? vintage stingray or similar ?
She has a 15.5" 2001 Trek 8000 that she used to ride on non-technical trails. It has not been used in a number of years. My wife is 5'5".

But thanks for the suggestion.

John
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Old 01-11-24, 03:56 PM
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It sounds to me as if she isn't really interested in riding. If that's the case, every solution you try will be lacking in some way.
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Old 01-11-24, 05:20 PM
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I think wife is more fearful than not interested. I think she is looking forward to the spring type training/stabilizer wheels on a new mixte.

She isn’t interested in a recumbent.

I’m not 100% sold on the spring stabilizers, but they appear safer than rigid ones; and upright adult tricycles. And the wheels can be easily removed.

Since I started looking at more stable 3 wheel bikes a year ago, my take-away has been that most are heavy and/or lower quality. The thought of loading 45-50lbs of #*%& in the back of our van to take a ride along the beach is not an attractive proposition to me.

My hope with this thread was that someone would have had some experience with adding them to a bike and whether they were good or garbage, or use this, or don’t waste your money.

I appreciate the suggestions. They are all very good. Finding an upright bike that is both stable when stopped and safe and agile when riding is somewhat non-existent. The Tris tilting bike I found seemed to be the closest. Depending on how this build goes, I might end up in that direction.

I appreciate everyone’s input. I’ve dropped the mixte frame off at a shop to have the BB faced and the threads chased, head tube faced, and have the cups installed. Will probably decide this weekend on the stabilizers and start the build next week.

Howver it turns out it is always fun to turn wrenches:

John
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Old 01-11-24, 05:21 PM
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The big problem with 'weird' designs is the cost. Oh the cost. Either it's outrageous or the weight will be excessive, and the build quality and appearance subpar. No exceptions. I am NOT talking about 'standard' recumbent designs like the AZUB or HPV recumbent trikes. Nor am I talking about 'crank forward' designs like the Electra series of CF bikes, but they are not exactly cheap. Five, six and more hundred for the build quality of a $300+ hybrid from Giant or Trek. A new or used Electra Amsterdam should make a fine platform for the o.p. wife and if that is too challenging then it has to be a recumbent or nothing. The dual front wheel motorcycles and scooters are stable and viable but dual front wheel bicycles can fall over. They are not self stable, they are horribly expensive, or should be, because of all the engineering of what should be a very simple, light and easy to use vehicle. I'm 65 and I don't really plan to be operating standard upright bikes at 70. One crash at that age (and there have been a couple reported in recent days on here) puts you in the hospital and can leave you with permanent injuries. I stand by my earlier opinion. Indoor exercise equipment for the win. Moderate and/or vigorous walking/hiking/running outdoors is icing on the cake. Sadly, my DW can only ride tandems but is unimpressed by our tandem recumbent. She is 62 and has no plans to stop riding upright bikes. Not even at 80. We'll see.
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Old 01-11-24, 05:41 PM
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Electric bike with low seat and fat tires.
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Old 01-11-24, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
What about a racing upright trike like this? I think they're popular in the UK.

https://roadbikeaction.com/inside-th...jackson-trike/
Really? Ive never ever seen one in the UK. Trikes in general are very rarely seen here, never mind racing trikes!
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Old 01-11-24, 06:09 PM
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Looks like there are Facebook groups also according to Google.

https://tricycleassociation.org.uk/

https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?t=103802

Last edited by seypat; 01-11-24 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 01-11-24, 08:55 PM
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Maybe one of these things???
https://www.streetstrider.com/produc...0aAnbNEALw_wcB

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