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trike wheel size????

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trike wheel size????

Old 07-09-15, 01:58 PM
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trike wheel size????

I am an old road bike rider and I am currently looking at recumbent trikes. Catrike to be specific. I like the idea of the folding version but knowing nothing about trikes, I am curious if the 700c rear wheel is not better than the small 20" rear wheel on the folding version. I would also like to get the wife on a trike since she can't ride a bike. I am concerned about the different rear wheel size. Thanks for your thoughts
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Old 07-09-15, 02:06 PM
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The larger the rear tire, the less takeoff power, and slower to get going, but faster on the top end, in my opinion. If you plan on just cruising around, you would be better off with the 20 rear. Especially if you want folding. Catrike has a 559 with a 26 rear that folds nicely. I have a 26 rear, and I like to go fast as I can to stay up with my wife on a two wheeler. I'm learning that fast and trike don't go together. My average speed over 22 miles this morning was a little under 10 MPH. I working to get to 12 Avg. Only been on the trike 10 days. I think I'll make it soon. Good luck!
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Old 07-09-15, 02:17 PM
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I went to a 26" rear wheel to get the chain and RD further up out of the dirt. I changed gearing to keep the low gear gearing manageable.
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Old 07-09-15, 02:41 PM
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3_ 20" Wheels also means just 1 spare tube and tire

Rohloff IGH in my 20" wheel* and even the chain tensioner can be short . for plenty of ground clearance.

a 34:15 is going to be lower because of the wheel size but not into the warrantee voiding Low-low,

for high there can be a 2 chainring set,

or the Schlumpf Speed drive, its internal Overdrive gear Functions like a 54t when engaged.

* my bike friday bike, I run a 16:53 .. It's like the 16:38 in a 26" wheel

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Old 07-09-15, 07:13 PM
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But------------with a 20 inch rear wheel in some gears the tension wheel on the RD is only a couple of inches off the ground. The spinning wheel blows dirt right on to the chain. Then is there is grass and weeds where you ride, they too get caught up in the RD and chain. As I stated above I went to a 26" rear wheel to get the chain and RD further up out of the dirt and trash.

Additionally with the 26" rear wheel, you can pretty much use standard mountain bike gearing and cassettes.
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Old 07-10-15, 05:38 AM
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Thanks for the replys fellas....I am well aware that the wheel size greatly affects the overall gear ratio. I did not consider the dirt accumulation on the drive train by it being closer to the road/ground which is a good point. I guess my thought was if the larger wheel will allow less rolling resistance than the smaller wheel and is the difference really noticeable. Since that concern has not been mentioned I kinda assume that it is of no issue.
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Old 07-10-15, 07:38 AM
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You really need to evaluate the entire trike as an entity. Everything on a bike (or a trike) works together so you can never change just one part without it affecting something else.

If the folding feature is important to you either for transportation or for storage, that usually means smaller wheels. A few years ago Mrs. Grouch and I went shopping for a trike that she could fit inside of her car. The limiting factor turned out to be her Saturn's trunk height. A folding Greenspeed GT with 16" wheels did, however, fit. Anything with 20" or larger wheels, even folded, was just too high.

Most people will say, and I agree, that bigger diameter wheels will roll a little bit more easily. I think that it's because they provide a more gradual ramp over all the bumps. Aside from that speed is a function of the power the rider is able to produce and gearing. Gearing is easy to adjust. I've got 60/50/39 chainrings on my SWB Rans rocket with 20" wheels and it shifts great.

I can see why people fret about the derailleur arm hanging too low and I suppose that we'll hear from somebody who has had a bad experience with that but, it hasn't happened to Me or Mrs. Grouch, and I've not talked personally with anybody who has had first hand experience with that. It never happened with Mrs. Grouch's 16" wheeled Greenspeed and it hasn't happened with our Kettweisel deltas which have 20" wheels and the derailleur centered between the two rear wheels. We live only 2 miles from the crushed limestone Katy Trail so we do a lot of dusty environment riding and I haven't felt the need to do any more derailleur pulley maintenance than I have with any other bike. I don't worry about it anymore but I don't try to straddle big logs with our Kett-train either.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:52 PM
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It sure sounds like 20 inchers all round is quite workable and I see no problem with a 90" top gear to be a problem with a tad unless they are faster than a DF . I seldom use much over 80' gears on my DF. I coast down hill most of the time. The CT has a 52-12 top gear which for this old feller is probably plenty. I took a short ride on a Terra a couple of days ago and I never got to the 42-12 in a large parking lot, course my body hasn't developed correctly for the riding position either.
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Old 07-13-15, 05:06 PM
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I hopped off the sidewalk at an angle crossing over it once with my 20" wheels on my EZ-1.
The drop of less than 3 inches down Into the grass was Instantly fatal for My RD...

Sure It was my fault.
It was not expensive but the hour walk home In the heat was not much fun...

Not a concern on my Tour Easy with Its 700c rear wheel...
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Old 08-13-15, 07:46 PM
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Tire size and width plays a massive role in how comfortable a bicycle/trike is to ride. The air filled tire itself acts as a form of suspension, the larger the total air volume, the better the tire is at absorbing shocks (assuming the tire is filled to the ideal PSI). There is a pro and con here to weigh. A larger tire is heavier, but it also rolls better. Hard to say how it all works out, lighter is nicer up a hill, but a softer ride is nicer 100% of the time. Personally, I lean towards wider tires. I actually didn't really understand or realize this was an issue until I got my first recumbent bicycle which had very narrow tires on it, I had always ridden mountain bikes with at least 2" wide tires, plenty soft and comfortable ride.
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Old 08-14-15, 09:25 AM
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I have settled on the small wheels. I have one that has 16" and the wife will soon have one with 20". We will see how it goes. I will say it is quite hilly here and low gear is probably far more important than a big inch on the top end. One must get up the hill before getting to go fast down the hill. I see not curbs in our future. Now chuck holes are another issue all together.
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Old 08-14-15, 09:43 AM
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20 inch wheels.

Went to a larger rear tire for bump comfort and to help the top speed.

2003 Green Speed GTO

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Old 08-17-15, 09:01 AM
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Dont forget with a 26" rear wheel and 20" front wheels you are always riding down hill!!!
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