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Cat trike, Velotechnik, or Performer?

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Cat trike, Velotechnik, or Performer?

Old 07-15-20, 11:09 AM
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Carbonated
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Cat trike, Velotechnik, or Performer?

I have a friend who recently decided he would go with a recumbent due to back issues - he is 40 years old.
There is a Cat trike dealer in the area and took the the villager for a spin and liked it. It retails for $2500ish but he says it will be about $2800 out the door and it's not a folder which isn't absolutely necessary but would be nice. He said he also was interested in the 550.
The same dealer carries Velotechnik though he didn't have any on the floor - the Gekka model interested him and it costs about the same.
I came across the Performer brand and the prices are several hundred dollars less but he would have to drive 450 miles to the dealer.
Can you give any advice such as quality of the above manufacturers, any drawbacks to folders, is back wheel size important and any other things that might help?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-15-20, 02:27 PM
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Both Catrike and HPV are long time brands with lots of satisfied owners (including me). Folding trikes tend to be heavier and more expensive than similar non-folders. Trikes with a bigger rear wheel have higher gear ranges at both ends than 20" drive wheel models. Trikes with higher seats are less stable than trikes with lower seats if you ride them under similar conditions.

I looked at the prices for the HPV and he must have looked at the HPV Gekko 26 sports model which has an MSRP of $1999. I can't find the specifications for the sports model trike so don't know what HPV did to make the price so much cheaper than the Gekko folding model with an MSRP of $3,640. It must be their "entry level" trike.

The Catrike Villager has an MSRP of $2550. It has 20" wheels all around so the gear range is (Gear Inch Range 15.4-87.1). Seat height is 12.5". The Catrike 5.5.9 is a very different trike. It costs a lot more - MSRP $3150 Gear range is the same as for the Catrike Expedition 20.7-117.6 gear inches. Seat height is 11 inches. I folds.
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Old 07-15-20, 03:35 PM
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Cat trike is a Florida company , HP Velotechnik is German

doing much riding other than out of your garage, hauling a recumbent trike needs a trailer on the car..
gearing can be change by the selling shop.
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Old 07-15-20, 04:16 PM
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I owned two nearly identical Catrike Road of the older rigid type. They were great bikes, very stable, and fairly dependable all in all. My only complaints had to do with the front derailleur they were using at the time.
I would expect to want and need dealer support for setup and such. Maint. help is nice with these as well. I would go with the closer place.
Performer is a semi knock off Chinese maker and wouldn't choose to support buying it over Catrike (or the others) if this is intended to be a long time purchase.
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Old 07-15-20, 06:39 PM
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Last year my wife and I bought an ICE Adventure for her and a Catrike Trail for me, both are folders. When folded both trikes fit in the back of our 2018 Focus hatchback. With the rear sear folded down of course.

Well, just because you can do something doesn't mean you will---putting the trikes in the car was a royal pain in the ass. So we bought a 2019 Ford Explorer and the trikes just roll right in; no folding, no fighting, no sweat.


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Old 07-16-20, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
doing much riding other than out of your garage, hauling a recumbent trike needs a trailer on the car..
gearing can be change by the selling shop.
I could fit both of my trikes pretty easily in the back of my Subaru Imprezza 5 door. Non-folded too.
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Old 07-16-20, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
I have a friend who recently decided he would go with a recumbent due to back issues - he is 40 years old.
There is a Cat trike dealer in the area and took the the villager for a spin and liked it. It retails for $2500ish but he says it will be about $2800 out the door and it's not a folder which isn't absolutely necessary but would be nice. He said he also was interested in the 550.
The same dealer carries Velotechnik though he didn't have any on the floor - the Gekka model interested him and it costs about the same.
I came across the Performer brand and the prices are several hundred dollars less but he would have to drive 450 miles to the dealer.
Can you give any advice such as quality of the above manufacturers, any drawbacks to folders, is back wheel size important and any other things that might help?
Thanks in advance!
Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster.
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Old 07-16-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster.
Yes. These days, most shops only stock trikes so it's easy for someone interested in 'bents to not even realize that 2-wheelers exist. Trikes have their place; but at 64 and with no physical handicaps to prevent me from riding my recumbent bikes, the trike mostly stays in the garage.
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Old 07-17-20, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Performer is a semi knock off Chinese maker...
This is off base. Performer is in Taiwan, and has a lot of unique designs. They are constantly innovating (maybe too much, as their product line seems to always be in some sort of flux).

I have owned many different recumbents from many different manufacturers, including Catrike, and I have a Performer in the garage right now. I'd put Performer's products right up there with some of the better companies.

What Performer product have you owned?
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Old 07-17-20, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post

What Performer product have you owned?
I didn't. Looked at a couple of them extensively because the price was so attractive.
Some folks that I (we) met riding our Catrikes later were owners of Performers and had significant issues out of them with parts, drivetrain, boom, frame crack...it was a mess.
I will admit that there is much to be read about how Taiwan makes good frames. The ones they had weren't it.

Aside- Made in USA, as an American, will always trump any foreign product if there is a real choice to be made on quality. I like to keep money at home where I can.
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Old 07-17-20, 04:43 PM
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I agree

Steamer
"Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster."

I agree with you and he has a two wheeler but has back issues and feels more comfortable on the recumbent.
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Old 07-17-20, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
Steamer
"Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster."

I agree with you and he has a two wheeler but has back issues and feels more comfortable on the recumbent.
I was talking about a 2 wheel recumbent.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
Steamer
"Why is your friend not considering 2-wheels? Much faster."

I agree with you and he has a two wheeler but has back issues and feels more comfortable on the recumbent.
Recumbent describes the riding position. A recumbent can have 2, 3, or 4 wheels. Are you saying he already has a recumbent bike?
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Old 07-18-20, 06:17 PM
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No...

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Recumbent describes the riding position. A recumbent can have 2, 3, or 4 wheels. Are you saying he already has a recumbent bike?
he has a 2 wheel with diamond frame - I should have been more clear.
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Old 07-18-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
he has a 2 wheel with diamond frame - I should have been more clear.
So , is there any reason your friend isn't considering a recumbent bike (2 wheels)? Recumbent trikes are fine, but there are lots of people that prefer the ride of a recumbent bike. He should consider both. Both are good for bad backs, but there is a lot more performance potential in a recumbent bike.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:06 PM
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Good question

Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
So , is there any reason your friend isn't considering a recumbent bike (2 wheels)? Recumbent trikes are fine, but there are lots of people that prefer the ride of a recumbent bike. He should consider both. Both are good for bad backs, but there is a lot more performance potential in a recumbent bike.
I will bring it up with him. Best of both worlds - comfort with more performance.
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