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Suspension on recumbent trikes?

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Suspension on recumbent trikes?

Old 04-06-20, 11:27 PM
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Camilo
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Suspension on recumbent trikes?

Due to a shoulder injury, I'll be off my road and mountain bikes probably for all or most of the 2020 cycling season. I'm viewing this as a chance to try out recumbents - probably a trike with low steering handles so I won't improperly stress my shoulder and have little or no risk of falling and re-injuring.

Because I'm a newby, and could be looking at only one season of use before selling, my inclination is to find something that is "entry level", basic features, relatively inexpensive, but decent enough to be worth riding. I have no easy access to dealers so really can't do in person shopping. I'm getting a pretty good idea of something that would suit me, the brands that offer a decent quality entry level trike, general new pricing, gearing, effect of wheel size, foldable vs. not, steering, adjustability, etc.

One question, based on a used one that might be available: how important is rear suspension? My inclination would be that since I'm 99% on pavement and the other 1% on decent gravel or packed dirt, I don't really need it. To me, it doesn't fit in the realm of "most basic", and does seem to add a little weight. I'm not a weight weenie, but it does rub me the wrong way to add weight for something I don't really need. Is it worth the little bit of added weight?

As I move forward, I'm looking hard to find a lightly used one from a good name in entry trikes and what pops up will make some decisions for me. I'm a decent bike mechanic and have built up and maintained many two wheelers, so the idea of checking out and working a used trike doesn't bother me at all. This strategy is not optimal, but I'm really just looking for something to get me through the season, and get me familiar with this type of ride, maybe as a starting point and learning experience to move forward in the future. I realize that it's not hard to spend real money on a good trike, just not ready for that yet.

Thanks for any other insight you have.
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Old 04-07-20, 06:43 AM
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I agree that you probably don't need suspension, and a used trike will be best from a cost and resale perspective. I found out the hard way that a 20x1.1 rear tire is very susceptible to pinch flats on RR tracks and have a 20x1.3 on now. Tires in the 1.3-1.5" wide range will handle rough pavement and gravel/crushed stone better.
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Old 04-07-20, 12:45 PM
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unikid
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Have you already read this page? It contains a lot of links to other useful pages as well: https://www.performercycles.com/recumbent-trikes-guide/
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Old 04-07-20, 01:00 PM
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Camilo
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
Have you already read this page? It contains a lot of links to other useful pages as well: https://www.performercycles.com/recumbent-trikes-guide/
Thanks for the link. It seemed familiar- I might have come across it a few weeks ago when I started. But it was very good to read the info on suspensions.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:20 AM
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The website that hosts that article make a couple of very nice Tadpole trikes and one (new) Delta trike. I would buy any of them in a heartbeat if I was interested in buying a recumbent trike. Their is not IMO any such thing as an "entry level" trike. That's just another term for a manufacturers cheapest, ugliest, poorest performing model. It's there to make you trade up to something better. They have very little resale value. A Performer trike is a bit less expensive than others because you have to do more assembly. I'm good with that. Few people ever think that they are ready to spend the money that a good trike costs but it is essential. A trike more so than a bike needs to be made well and have some attention paid to weight savings. Any cheaper than a Performer and you just don't have something anyone will want to buy off you. FWIW.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:46 AM
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I had one last year during recovery from a heart surgery. The seat stays go straight to the shoulder blades. For a sternotomy, and maybe too for a shoulder: Owwww. The tire was a stiff one. A 2.2” balloon tire was a huge improvement so I definitely see a place for suspension. But they’re expensive! And rarer. Especially used.

All the ones I see have air springs which I think is a shame, coils are plusher.

It wasn’t fast. Weight was not the reason.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:40 AM
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While nice riding, suspension is usually not needed. Besides trikes without it are far cheaper and lighter.

Last edited by rydabent; 04-16-20 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 04-15-20, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
The website that hosts that article make a couple of very nice Tadpole trikes and one (new) Delta trike. I would buy any of them in a heartbeat if I was interested in buying a recumbent trike. Their is not IMO any such thing as an "entry level" trike. That's just another term for a manufacturers cheapest, ugliest, poorest performing model. It's there to make you trade up to something better. They have very little resale value. A Performer trike is a bit less expensive than others because you have to do more assembly. I'm good with that. Few people ever think that they are ready to spend the money that a good trike costs but it is essential. A trike more so than a bike needs to be made well and have some attention paid to weight savings. Any cheaper than a Performer and you just don't have something anyone will want to buy off you. FWIW.
So you think the Performer bikes are OK quality for a start? I've been looking a lot and I just can't find anything new or used in that price range, once I get shipping into the equation, if I can even get them shipped. Performer's business model is based on free shipping and end-user assembly. Which because of my circumstances seems to be hitting my price point, assuming they aren't junk. (which from what I've read online, they aren't). I actually like putting together bikes and other stuff so the assembly part of the equation doesn't bother me.

I totally understand the general rule of you get what you pay for. I have high-ish end DF bikes and love them. But I also have plenty of fun riding when I am traveling and rent a much more basic bike. I'm thinking I could have a lot of fun on a trike in this price range given I'm not sure of my level of commitment in the long run.
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Old 04-16-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
So you think the Performer bikes are OK quality for a start?
Not just for a start. Any of their bikes/trikes if treated right could last for as long as you want them to. Longer than that even. Here and here are a couple of Performer bikes like most people never see them. The pictures on Performers website are scanned in factory photos without any background or customization. Big difference right? The Highracer has a 10sp Microshift drivetrain. Who does that for an entry level bike? BTW make sure you ask for TRP Spyre disc brakes instead of the stock Avid BB5's. Even Avid BB7's have lost their 'darling' status. TRP's are the go to mechanical disc of choice.
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Old 04-17-20, 06:16 AM
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Performer has a lot of happy customers. They're not junk.
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Old 06-01-20, 05:56 PM
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Having owned rigid and rear suspended trikes I find the lighter weight of rigid more beneficial than the better ride of rear suspended. The best solution for me was to run the least acceptable tire pressure in tires with flexible sidewalls.
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