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Would like to hear about the pros and cons of tandem trikes

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Would like to hear about the pros and cons of tandem trikes

Old 03-01-24, 11:07 PM
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Would like to hear about the pros and cons of tandem trikes

My older son (late 20s) and his wife would like to start cycling as a way to explore their area, enjoy the outdoors, and also get healthier, but my son's wife has a health condition that can cause her at random to black out for a few seconds.

So I thought a tandem recumbent might work for them but they are quite expensive and my budget is limited (I would be giving it to them as a gift to support their health goals). Then I saw the Gopher Worksman Side-by-side Tricycle and thought it might be a good option for them.

My son and his wife are both a bit on the heavy side but well under the 500 lb combined weight limit for the Worksman trike.

It's a big investment, so I'd love to get input first from people who have had experience with trikes or other tandem recumbent options that would work for people with health challenges/limited biking experience (including how they fare on trail vs paved settings).

I am new so am not able to post the url to the Gopher Worksman web page, but if you aren't sure you are looking at the same one, it is item # 49-012 on their web site and costs $2,399.

Thanks :-)
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Old 03-02-24, 12:25 PM
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160 pounds is a lot of weight to pedal

The Workman is not a recumbent trike but a variation on the regular "adult trike". You might get more responses at the subforum https://www.bikeforums.net/adaptive-...t-other-needs/ If you think the Workman trike is expensive ($2,400), look at the few recumbent tandem trikes available for truly shocking prices.

Here's what would make me think twice about this trike "Trike supports up to 500 lb between two riders. Tricycle is 73"L x 44-1/2"W x 27"H; 160 lb." That sure is a lot of weight to be pedaling around on. I don't think it would be much fun to ride up a hill. There is nothing in the specifications about more than one gear. That's a definite problem for me. At least some adult trikes come with 3 or 7 speeds so you can downshift when climbing a hill. The Workman seems awfully expensive for what you get.

I actually found one on Facebook Marketplace for $1200 in Manhattan Beach CA. It would be pretty expensive to ship something this big but that price is half the cost of the one at Workman.




One more thing that comes to mind is the width of the side-by-side. Is there a safe place to ride? It would take up twice the width of a standard trike. I see there actually are some used recumbent tandems that aren't way out of sight for cost but for anything as long as it would be pretty expensive to ship unless it was designed to be disassembled.
I see a few people where I live riding adult trikes but they are rare. I see more on Craigslist than I ever see on the streets. Right now there are six of the single rider adult trikes for sale for as little as $200. That tells me that a lot of people who buy them don't use them. There aren't any recumbent trikes listed.

Last edited by VegasTriker; 03-02-24 at 12:50 PM. Reason: found one that is reasonable priced
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Old 03-02-24, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. The weight and width do seem like definite limitations with the side-by-side style. I like the look of the in line tandem trike you posted a picture of, so will look into that style. (hopefully I can find a gently used option for sale in the DC metro area where we are located)

Thanks !
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Old 03-02-24, 05:38 PM
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There is a delta trike (recumbent) which has the feature of being join-able by removing one front wheel and attaching it to the rear of the other trike. That way, you can combine two of them to make a single tandem trike. I think the basic trikes are Sun? Maybe a trike rider on here can elaborate; I can't remember the details.
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Old 03-02-24, 07:32 PM
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Terra trike makes a tandem recumbent trike. They have 2 versions of it. Might want to take a look at them.
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Old 03-02-24, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
There is a delta trike (recumbent) which has the feature of being join-able by removing one front wheel and attaching it to the rear of the other trike. That way, you can combine two of them to make a single tandem trike. I think the basic trikes are Sun? Maybe a trike rider on here can elaborate; I can't remember the details.
Thanks :-)
They look nice. I will check into what it might take to join them.
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Old 03-02-24, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldy1953
Terra trike makes a tandem recumbent trike. They have 2 versions of it. Might want to take a look at them.
Thanks :-)
I like the fact that the 2 wheels are in front. Unfortunately, the Terra trikes get up above my budget (need to stay under $2700 at most for the tandem).

But I can check gently used options in my area to see what might be available.
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Old 03-02-24, 09:00 PM
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Perhaps a decade or more ago I rode alongside a husband and wife who owned a pair of Hase Kettwiesel delta trikes joined to form a tandem. That may have been the one cited by Blazing Pedals. It only took a minute or two to convert them to individual trikes or join them. I seem to remember they said they were about $5K each back then. You can read about the Hase Kett at this review which is quite old but still relevant https://www.bentrideronline.com/arch...ettwiesel.html It's a far better trike than the Terratrike tandem. The Hostelshoppe in Wisconsin has two models selling for just under $5K and the other $7.7K. They are really light and have super components so not cheap.
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Old 03-02-24, 09:23 PM
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Thanks, VegasTriker.
The Hase Kettwiesel tandem trike looks beautiful. A fair bit out of my price range, but it is something I could keep an eye out for used.

What about this one (I am new so can't post links but is it for sale in my area on Craigslist). Here is the title for the listing:
"ADAPTIVE Tandem Recumbent Trike - $1,876 (Chevy Chase/Bethesda)"Any thoughts? red flags from reading their description? It looks from the photos like it is very solid and has some features that might be beneficial given my DILs health concerns.

They only mention the mfr of some parts (Sun), so custom built by the owners, I would guess?

My DIL is short, about 5ft 2", and my son is about 5ft 8" in case that makes a difference...
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Old 03-02-24, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker
Perhaps a decade or more ago I rode alongside a husband and wife who owned a pair of Hase Kettwiesel delta trikes joined to form a tandem. That may have been the one cited by Blazing Pedals. It only took a minute or two to convert them to individual trikes or join them. I seem to remember they said they were about $5K each back then. You can read about the Hase Kett at this review which is quite old but still relevant ...It's a far better trike than the Terratrike tandem. The Hostelshoppe in Wisconsin has two models selling for just under $5K and the other $7.7K. They are really light and have super components so not cheap.
VegasTriker: I forgot to mention, thanks for the additional stats you sent to me in a PM...since I am new, I am not able to reply to it, but appreciate the input.

(And on the local used one on Craigslist that I posted the info about, the brand appears to be Organic Engines. (that didn't look like a brand name to me when I first read the listing)
...and if we look at it, I understand we'll need to take a close look for any rust blisters since they would indicate deeper than surface rust.
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Old 03-03-24, 03:54 PM
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The Organic Engines brand was a legitimate brand of recumbent trike. The only things I know about it is that it is 10 feet long but can be disassembled for shipping so it may have S&S couplers in the frame to separate parts. It wasn't a budget trike. The guy who made them was did custom motorcycles and had this as a part time addition to his regular work. I wouldn't be surprised at anything dating back to 2008 might have surface rust wherever the paint got scratched during use. It weighs 70 pounds which is about twice what a very good single trikes weigh. That's far less than what the Workman side by side weighs. The few reviews you can find out there are positive.
Here are a couple of posts on this trike. As to price, it is a rare commodity and any decent tandem trike is pretty expensive.
Organic Engines Troika
https://www.bentrideronline.com/mess...Engines+Troika
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Old 03-03-24, 06:03 PM
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[QUOTE=VegasTriker;23173887]The Organic Engines brand was a legitimate brand of recumbent trike. The only things I know about it is that it is 10 feet long but can be disassembled for shipping so it may have S&S couplers in the frame to separate parts. It wasn't a budget trike. The guy who made them was did custom motorcycles and had this as a part time addition to his regular work. I wouldn't be surprised at anything dating back to 2008 might have surface rust wherever the paint got scratched during use. It weighs 70 pounds which is about twice what a very good single trikes weigh. That's far less than what the Workman side by side weighs. The few reviews you can find out there are positive.
Here are a couple of posts on this trike. As to price, it is a rare commodity and any decent tandem trike is pretty expensive....

Thank! That's very encouraging to hear. Hopefully it hasn't sold yet so we can take a look at it. :-)
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Old 03-07-24, 11:00 AM
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It is not just Sun delta trikes that can be made into tandem (and triplet) rigs. Hase and Greenspeed deltas have the capability. Probably ANY delta trike can be treated this way even if the manufacturer has not made it an option. That said, I would avoid using ultra-low cost models as a basis for a tandem. The weight of two coupled Sun's is likely about as high as the Worksman trike that is the subject of this thread. Two Greenspeed Anura deltas would make a nice tandem for $3000+. Two HPV Gekko trikes would make an even nicer tandem pair for not much (if any) more money, but finding a pair of them used will be hard and the coupling may need to be DIY. A lot of people underestimate the risks in falling from even a low height. Given the price premium of a recumbent tandem over a regular one, there should be more in it, I think, than that it might be safer for a Stoker that may experience black-outs. It is not. Falling is falling. Just set them up with a standard (upright) tandem (~$600 used) and call it good.
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Old 03-07-24, 12:10 PM
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Thank you for the info. :-)
I recently talked with my son and DIL, and they didn't want me to spend the kind of money needed on even a used tandem trike, so I have settled on getting a single trike for my DIL, and my son will use his regular upright bicycle when they go riding.

And... I just found out yesterday: There is another cycling forum where I had also been asking the same question - one of the members actually has a solo rider Catrike that he is wanting to sell and lives in the same county in VA as I do, so not far at all.

Thanks a bunch to everyone for all of the input. It was a big help for me to get headed in the right direction. :-)
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Old 03-07-24, 01:35 PM
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What model Catrike? They don't make a budget model so the components and weight are good. I've owned a Catrike 700 for a decade. They differ from model to model as to seat height, suspension, and whether or not they fold. I have the lowest seating model at 8.5 inches off the ground. I think the Villager is the highest seat at 12.5 inches off the ground. I've always had low seating trikes and sometimes had people who test rode them have a devil of a time getting back up out of the seat. You can see the specifications for current models at https://www.catrike.com/ by looking at the "models" tab. I would consider a Catrike again if I had to replace my CT700 but might switch to a model with higher seating as I get older.
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Old 03-07-24, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker
What model Catrike? They don't make a budget model so the components and weight are good. I've owned a Catrike 700 for a decade. They differ from model to model as to seat height, suspension, and whether or not they fold. I have the lowest seating model at 8.5 inches off the ground. I think the Villager is the highest seat at 12.5 inches off the ground. I've always had low seating trikes and sometimes had people who test rode them have a devil of a time getting back up out of the seat. You can see the specifications for current models ... by looking at the "models" tab. I would consider a Catrike again if I had to replace my CT700 but might switch to a model with higher seating as I get older.
Thanks :-)
I am not sure which model Catrike it is yet, the poster who offered it is traveling currently, so he is planning to send me the details in a few days when they get back home.

I actually got rid of my Facebook acct since I never used it, but I will check the listings there and if seems a better option than the Catrike, I may rejoin. Thanks!
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Old 03-10-24, 04:10 PM
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I found out that the local person who has a Catrike for sale has a Catrike Road model. If it were for myself, I would prefer a somewhat more upright seat since I have shoulder/neck problems, but otherwise it looks very nice and since it is for my DIL, the reclined seat may work just fine for her.

Unfortunately, though, we've hit a bit of a snag.


My son and DIL own a Nissan Kicks Hatchback. Not a very big vehicle and it doesn't have a trailer hitch.
Is there such a thing as a bike rack (preferably under $300) that would work for a hatchback and could carry one bike and one trike at the same time?

I am realizing that I need to get that solved before I can commit to buying a trike.
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Old 03-11-24, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Radiant68
I found out that the local person who has a Catrike for sale has a Catrike Road model. If it were for myself, I would prefer a somewhat more upright seat since I have shoulder/neck problems, but otherwise it looks very nice and since it is for my DIL, the reclined seat may work just fine for her.

Unfortunately, though, we've hit a bit of a snag.


My son and DIL own a Nissan Kicks Hatchback. Not a very big vehicle and it doesn't have a trailer hitch.
Is there such a thing as a bike rack (preferably under $300) that would work for a hatchback and could carry one bike and one trike at the same time?

I am realizing that I need to get that solved before I can commit to buying a trike.
(my preference for under $300 for a bike rack might be unrealistic since what I am seeing so far seems like they are well above that and would also need a hitch mount. Any brands that would be better choices? Hopefully I can find a gently preowned one available.)
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Old 03-12-24, 02:30 PM
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Well, never mind on the hitch/bike rack inquiry... my son and daughter in law have given it more thought, as well as going out a couple more times with their regular 2-wheeled bikes, and given the extra challenges and expense of not only a trike but also more elaborate bike rack and hitch, they have decided to just stick with the regular bikes (they think that my DIL will be fine enough with it since her black out episodes are pretty rare and usually give her a bit of warning) .

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful advice when I was trying to figure out trike options. :-)
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Old 05-12-24, 12:15 PM
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Cons:
Length
Turning radius
Cost
Transportability
Tests the Marriage

Pros:
You stoker neve falls behind
Conversations don't require yelling
Aerodynamic drafting built in
You won't see yourself going and coming on the rail trail
Tests the Marriage
Stoker can knit while riding.
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Old 05-12-24, 01:18 PM
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Thanks :-)
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Old 05-15-24, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Alpintourer
Cons:
Length
Turning radius
Cost
Transportability
Tests the Marriage

Pros:
You stoker neve falls behind
Conversations don't require yelling
Aerodynamic drafting built in
You won't see yourself going and coming on the rail trail
Tests the Marriage
Stoker can knit while riding.
These are the pros and cons of a single track tandem in either the upright or recumbent format. This discussion is about recumbent trike tandems. There is no balancing dynamic to 'test the marriage' with a trike platform.
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Old 05-15-24, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
These are the pros and cons of a single track tandem in either the upright or recumbent format. This discussion is about recumbent trike tandems. There is no balancing dynamic to 'test the marriage' with a trike platform.
No, these are observations of my wife and I on our tandem recumbent trike. It tests the marriage when she doesn’t pedal hard enough.
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Old 05-16-24, 07:42 AM
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I like the idea of the Hase Kettwiesel tandem, may cost more than a regular trike tandem, but the option of separating the two recumbents allow easier transport and better weight distribution among more wheels.


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Old 05-16-24, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpintourer
No, these are observations of my wife and I on our tandem recumbent trike. It tests the marriage when she doesn’t pedal hard enough.
Eef. That's dangerous thinking right there. Begging the o.p.'s forbearance over a little hijack, but, I can't say that I have ever thought my Stoker was not pedaling hard enough. I take what power I get, and make up any difference towards what is needed myself. On those occasions where I ask for more power I have no choice but to assume I am getting all there is. I make up any difference without complaint or criticism.
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