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cornering: trike vs bike

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cornering: trike vs bike

Old 02-08-09, 03:13 PM
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mrteeth
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cornering: trike vs bike

Do trikes corner better than bikes?

I know that trikes have a risk of flipping over, but is this really easier than flipping over a bike or does it just catch people off guard because gentle leaning has no effect on a trike?
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Old 02-08-09, 03:39 PM
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I chose to ride a trike after having several really painful crashes on a Linear long wheelbase recumbent. Three crashes in about 5,000 miles and two nasty hematomas on my hip were all I wanted to experience. The front wheel was lightly loaded and had a tendency to skid on wet corners. Even in the desert there were lots of them due to runoff from lawn irrigation.

I managed to flip one of my two trikes at fairly slow speeds doing donuts around my car while showing it to a long-time friend. I still haven't figured how it happened but it did turn turtle and I was upside down in and instant. Needles to day, he wasn't very anxious to try the trike himself. You soon learn to compensate and lean to counteract for the forces of a turn. I ride agressivly because it is fun and often do lift one wheel a little but in about 18,000 miles have never flipped it again. Just take it easy when you first get one and you will be having lots of fun in a short time.
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Old 02-08-09, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
I chose to ride a trike after having several really painful crashes on a Linear long wheelbase recumbent. Three crashes in about 5,000 miles and two nasty hematomas on my hip were all I wanted to experience. The front wheel was lightly loaded and had a tendency to skid on wet corners. Even in the desert there were lots of them due to runoff from lawn irrigation.

I managed to flip one of my two trikes at fairly slow speeds doing donuts around my car while showing it to a long-time friend. I still haven't figured how it happened but it did turn turtle and I was upside down in and instant. Needles to day, he wasn't very anxious to try the trike himself. You soon learn to compensate and lean to counteract for the forces of a turn. I ride agressivly because it is fun and often do lift one wheel a little but in about 18,000 miles have never flipped it again. Just take it easy when you first get one and you will be having lots of fun in a short time.
I recently tried a trike and was able to lift a wheel just coasting 50 feet across a parking lot without even pedaling. Moreover, I took the same turn several times and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't keep that wheel down (I'm not sure if I would have flipped or not because I instinctively kept putting a leg down).

This concerns me because I spent a lot of time riding a recumbent quadricycle as a kid (powersliding, purposely flipping onto grass lawns, etc), so I'm wondering, do I just need to learn how to ride all over again or are trikes inherently more likely to fall over when turning compared to bikes?

Fun is great and all, but since I'm interested in a recumbent trike to reduce the risk of health problems (prostate, falling, collision, etc) while commuting, fun is my last priority.
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Old 02-08-09, 05:54 PM
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Are you leaning into the turns? (You should be...)
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Old 02-09-09, 01:15 AM
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Short answer, maybe. Long answer, depends on the driver and vehicle combination.

Most tadpole trikes with seat heights around 6" or less will corner better than most tadpole trikes with seat height higher than 10", as will many bikes. The LWB variety of bike may not do small radius turns very well, but actually corner very well at high speed. Many of the people that own deltas will claim that they cannot be flipped in a turn, but there will always be someone who can turn one over. Some kid on a BMX may be the best thing on two wheels, but give that same bike to someone else and you'd think it was bought at a department store. My own trike can definitely corner better than my SWB, and both were designed for good handling. And yet, I dare say I can corner better on my bikes than most trikers on their machines.

I think the real question is: can you corner a trike better than a bike?

For an answer to that, go back to the start of this post...

:)ensen.
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Old 02-09-09, 07:33 AM
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Can a Trike Corner faster than a Bike**********

As an owner of both, I would say that depends on a few factors:

1. If it is a Trike with a high center of Gravity (CG) and fairly upright seating then I would have to say the bike.

2. On smooth clean surfaces, no gravel, oil, water etc. Then I would give the edge to the bike. The thing that tends to slow a trike down in corners is tire scrub. In most other situations the trike should prevail.

3. Now here is the kicker: a skilled triker on a low CG performance trike will in most situations out corner a 2 wheeled bicycle. This should not be surprising. In the motorsports world a GP car will out corner a GP motorcycle. This is because four tires on the ground will generate higher g forces then 2 wheels.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:56 AM
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I have to admit, it suprises me at the sheer number of people who have tumbled their trikes. I ride my trike far more aggressively than I ever did any of my DF bikes and corner it with little concern at speed that I would have had my DF tires off in a skid and me getting road burn. I've had a bit of a skid every now and again, but all three wheels have stayed firmly down.

The only time I've rolled the trike had nothing to do with cornering or speed, but the fact I went broadside down the sharp slope of a ditch after getting whacked in the helmet by a kayak being pulled by a SUV.

All I can figure is that I do lean into the corners. I hook my elbow against the seat and pull as well as lean. It's also quite low and I'm a sturdy girl (Athena). I'm sure those two factors make me kind of like a lowered humvee when it comes to cornering. Low, wide, heavy, takes a lot to flip.
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Old 02-12-09, 05:22 PM
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My Cat corners just fine and a lot smaller turning radius that either of my other bents. Just be sure to lean into it.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:00 AM
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With the correct body english a trike will corner quicker than a bike, correct body english means as far out of the trike as you can get and as close to the ground as possible, playing around with leaning slightly forward as well as over can pay big dividens on some tadpoles as it prevents the front understeering so early.
I have had cars follow me into corners only to realise they are going to fast.
How much warning you get about reaching the limit depends on the trike some feel quite controlable on 2 wheels some don't but normally if you are pushing it you will slide and not lift a wheel, with practice and lots of leaning drifting all 3 wheels is possible.
I currently have a GLR racing trike and if you corner too fast with insufficient leaning it will casually lift the outside wheel an inch or two and you can just push on the handle bar that side to put it back down, if you lean further it will just start to drift slightly, these are at speeds most would not consider sane and certainly beyond a bikes cornering ability.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:13 AM
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Can someone explain 'pedal steer' to the trike-a-ly challenged ?
Why do some trikes say 'no brake steer' when it seems to me you
can easily invoke brake steer just by pulling in one of the levers
and not the other ??

Im entertaining the thought of purchasing an IceQNT or Catrike Speed

Thanks in advance !!
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Old 02-18-09, 10:33 AM
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Pedal steer is exactly as it sounds. Pedaling forces change the direction of travel. But it is not as bad as it sounds. If your cadence is fairly constant, then pedal steer becomes a small weave down the road. Causes vary. For some trikes, pedal forces can actually flex the frame causing the rear wheel to mis-align slightly from the axis of the main frame. Other riders tend to move the handlebar slightly as their bodies and arms sway from side to side.

It is possible to prevent brakes steer, but only in the design of the trike. It is reported that Greenspeed uses a negative scrub radius on their steering that helps to negate brake steer when using one of the front brakes. I use a self-equalizing brake system of my own design, as shown in the diagram below.

It is not obvious, but the cable is only clamped at the second brake. The second brake is only activated by the housing as it is supposed to be modified to allow the cable to run freely through.

:)ensen.

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Old 02-18-09, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
Can someone explain 'pedal steer' to the trike-a-ly challenged ?
Why do some trikes say 'no brake steer' when it seems to me you
can easily invoke brake steer just by pulling in one of the levers
and not the other ??

Im entertaining the thought of purchasing an IceQNT or Catrike Speed

Thanks in advance !!
First of all Pedal Steer can be caused by a variety of reasons and it is all usually related to the rider and not the trike and will usually go away one the rider adapts to proper technique:

1. Pedal Steer can result from unevern mashing on the pedals. This can be resolved by developing an even circular spin and keeping your cadence up....usually above 65 rpm.

2. It can also be caused by holding the steering lever too tight and this is usually the primary cause. On a Trike you want to have a very light grip on the steerer and just let your legs do all the work.

Regarding Brake Steer:

On many of the newer trike designs from the major builders this has been elliminated. However some trikers actually like a little brake steer. They sometimes use it to assist in cornering. What usually happens on some trikes that have no brake steer is that when one pulls just one lever is a sliding of the wheel in question. However, the trike will maintain a straight line. Anyway, the sure way to take full advantage of the Trike's braking capabilities is to use both levers.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:11 PM
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Thank you very much for these great, detailed answers !!!
Im going to the Catrike rally on the 28th to check them and
hopefully see if a Speed is doable(?)

Plusses are...I would like to buy local for Catrike, but the ICE-QNT
breaks down easily which would be better for my living situation......hmmmmmm

Its always fun learning new stuff ! Again, thanks for your help !
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Old 02-19-09, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
Can someone explain 'pedal steer' to the trike-a-ly challenged ?
Why do some trikes say 'no brake steer' when it seems to me you
can easily invoke brake steer just by pulling in one of the levers
and not the other ??

Im entertaining the thought of purchasing an IceQNT or Catrike Speed

Thanks in advance !!
I ride a Trice QNT and have always loved it. Of course, I will admit that I've never had the opportunity to try anything else. The only way I could try a trike at all was to go to the Ice manufacturer in England. I was hooked before I finished the first loop in the parking lot while I waited for my husband to get settled in the model he tested. I was absolutely determined to have one long before we finished the 5 mile loop around the Cornwall country side.

I do sometimes wonder how my Trice compares with other models, but since I'm not going to shell out the cash for a new one any time soon, I just stay happy with mine.
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