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How to get used to a trike

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How to get used to a trike

Old 11-27-10, 08:39 PM
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How to get used to a trike

I have a trike on the way, should arrive monday or tuesday. I've never had a trike, or any recumbent before. Is there anything I should do to get used to a trike, set up some kind of cone course like its drivers ed or something, or is it just as easy as just ride it? (I expect its that easy, but I thought I would ask anyway)
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Old 11-27-10, 09:08 PM
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Practice sitting down on the floor with your feet in front of you and standing back up. The rest will come automatically.
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Old 11-27-10, 10:11 PM
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I found it incredibly easy. Even on my test ride with a bad back, I was making it up hills I would have needed to walk on a DF and while getting up out of it wasn't one of my more graceful moments, it was in no way a deal breaker.

The only thing you might need to be careful of with a trike is a foot slipping off a pedal as I've experienced myself.

Other than that, have fun!
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Old 11-28-10, 12:13 AM
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I've had my trike for a couple of months; I found it helpful to ride around in a (vacant) parking lot to get used to cornering and braking. Other than that, just ride!
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Old 11-28-10, 07:30 AM
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+1 on watching out for your feet. Trikes generally have very little learning curve but you don't ever want to experience "foot suck".
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Old 11-28-10, 08:16 AM
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Yep, just to reiterate, foot suck is something to keep in mind - your feet are not that high off the ground, and if they do touch down they will get sucked under the trike- no fun. Beyond that, in hard turns it is possible to lift a wheel, and beyond that, to flip the trike. So practice carving tight turns to find out when the trike starts to tip. But trikes are pretty straight-forward and user-friendly compared to two-wheel cycles- no balancing, no endos, etc.
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Old 11-28-10, 08:50 AM
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I have my brand-new trike (Rover) - and while I *could* do 25-29 miles on my DF bike, there is no way I can (yet) do that kinda miles on my trike. Different muscles I think, and having my feet at a 90 degree instead of hanging under me - it's not because of discomfort at all - my legs just get whipped faster...

I *did* buy a pair of clipless shoes and pedals (Performance - $59.98 for both on sale) - as foot suck happened to me during my pre-buy trial, and once was enough for my knees...
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Old 11-28-10, 12:23 PM
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My ICE trike was the first recumbent I had and they are easy to ride, far easier than a DF bike.

The first thing to learn is actually how to sit on it, stupid as it sounds. Face the front legs astride the boom and in front of the crossbar and just lower yourself down, it is a long way. Try not to use the steering as an assisting device.

Get some form of cycle shoes with clips or rat trap cages for the pedals. I cannot imagine trying to ride a trike without being clipped on, it must be a nightmare.

Starting and stopping is easy as is steering.

Just enjoy it but it will take some time before you get speed up on the flat. You just need to develop your "bent" muscles.

Steve
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Old 11-28-10, 12:50 PM
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I fear foot suck, but I also fear the cost of clip shoes. I wear a size 15, so the choices are a bit limited. What about powerstraps. good enough?
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Old 11-28-10, 01:04 PM
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Dunno about Powerstraps, but I do agree foot-suck is a problem.

When I started riding a trike, I found that it was easy for me to overdo it at first--some muscles were getting overused.

Handling wasn't really an issue. I knew from the start to be mindful of lifting a wheel in turns, and my trike is a Speed, so it wasn't much of an issue. Still, high-speed descents require Zen calm and a light touch on the tiller.

Pedaling also requires a smoother technique to avoid pedal-steer.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:17 AM
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+1 to Steve's comments, and to many others on this thread. To get in and out of my tadpole (Road), I go at it as Steve suggests, but I do reach behind me with my right hand and squeeze the right brake on. I then grab the left pedal with my left hand and lower myself into the seat. I do the same procedure when exiting the trike, us9ng the left pedal to pull my self forward and up. I had been riding recumbent for many years before I got my trike, so my bent legs were established. On the trike, I had to work at relaxing my upper body and avoid yanking on the steering for extra leverage. It's all in the legs. You will know you have it right when you can maintain a good cadence (85 rpm +) and keep the bike going in a smooth, straight line. Previous comments on leg suck are spot on; clipless is the only way to safely ride a tadpole trike, IMHO. Also, mirrors. You'll need at least one as it's virtually impossible to turn your head far enough to peek behind when riding a tadpole. Mike
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Old 11-29-10, 11:25 AM
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Powergrips(tm) are a reasonable alternative to clipless pedal systems. The only thing you *may* find is that tennis shoes may not offer enough support for your soles. The end result if that happens, is hotfoot, numb spots, and/or tired feet. Unless it becomes a problem, though, don't worry about it. I rode with tennies for years with no problems.
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Old 12-01-10, 04:26 AM
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Maybe on some trikes you NEED clipless, but not on all.
I ride a tadpole and have had feet slip from the peddles, but never any problems because of that. At most I hit the ground with little force, mostly I check the foot before it hits.
And I wear any kind of shoes on the trike, just as I do on my bikes. They are transport, not sport.

Getting in and out of the delta trike is no problem either, I have underseat steering.
Getting out I mostly bring one foot over the frame and stand up, but if I have to be straight ahead to open the door I just stand and walk forward, stepping wide around the peddles.
Straddling after getting up and stepping over is possible too, but lifting the leg is not my favorite option.
When some leverage is needed I either use the parking break or get hold of the break before starting the action.
The seatback is high enough for most leverage I need.
Sitting down is just the opposite movement. Sit sidesaddle wise, move the leg over the frame and onto the pedal, add the other foot and off, holding the break helps during these moves.

Learning to steer took a few minutes, I would advice to do that on a quiet street or in a more sheltered space, but if you take it slow you could even do it on a highway.
Getting the right position for the seat/peddle distance took weeks, changing little at any time, getting the seatback angle is an ongoing thing, I move it back a step every now and again. And when I do that I mostly have to adjust the seats position too, but that might also be that I do not have those clamps tight as they can go.
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Old 12-01-10, 04:50 AM
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Got the trike yesterday. Getting in and out doesnt seem all that bad. I brace one hand on the seat and the other on the derailer post in front of me. I can do it without my hands at all, but those spot provide some stability.

I was a bit surprised at the large turning radius. I saw the spec sheet, but until I tried it I didnt expect it as big as it is. I only tooled around for a few minutes, so I have a lot more to try out. Hopefully the rain goes away so I can try riding it tonight.
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Old 12-03-10, 07:37 PM
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Do not ride a trike without having your feet secured with either Powergrips or clipless pedals. If you get a "foot suck" injury, your riding days could be over. Now worth the gamble. I have had my trike since August,2010, and am about to roll past 1500 miles, and my Rover was my first trike. Just get out there and ride. Practice some sharp turns in the beginning , while leaning into the turn, to get a feel for the stability of the trike. You will have a blast on it.
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Old 12-05-10, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Haff
I fear foot suck, but I also fear the cost of clip shoes. I wear a size 15, so the choices are a bit limited. What about powerstraps. good enough?
@@@ Me and my big feet...

I ordered power grips with my new Rover X-5, but they are going back. I found that, unlike the sports trikes with turned up booms, the straight Rover boom means that my feet are somewhat in the way. With ball of foot on the pedal, my heels are really close to the ground or hit it on occasion. It looks like bike shoes and straps with foot in the correct position will have me grazing the ground now and again. I should pay money for this?

I will use my wrong technique and plant the instep on the pedal (stiff shoe, been doing it for years). That way the feet clear. I mounted a pair of mountain bike platform pedals with razor sharp steel studs. They made me bleed enough on the mtn bike last year. Now I want them to keep the shoes planted on the pedals while I figure out the bike shoe thing. Size 50 Eu, now that's a common size.
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Old 12-05-10, 10:38 PM
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I'm not sure I've ever even SEEN a size 50 eu shoes of any sort. 49's, yes, but not 50's.
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Old 12-06-10, 02:53 PM
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With regards to the turning circle.

Yes it is huge and there is no getting away from that BUT

In no time at all you will be doing 3 point or 5 point turns on the smallest of tracks, it just takes a little time to practice. I could get my trike to go everywhere I wanted it to go without any problems.

Steve
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Old 12-06-10, 11:40 PM
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+1 on what Steve said.

I do it with one foot on the ground to push myself back, the other on the pedal for the forward movement, one hand to steer and the other on the dog's harness to guide him through the weird waltz that is a 3 to 5 point turn.
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Old 12-07-10, 05:05 AM
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I've been practicing turning around in my garage. Not a lot of space in there, so I figure its good practice.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:59 PM
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Nashbar has mini-toe clips (stock ID NS-MTC) on sale for $2.99 per pair. I have been using these on all of my bikes and trikes - road, MTB, and recumbent for years. Never had a problem with foot suck on either of my trikes in many thousands of miles. I like them because they are cheap and can be used with virtually any type of shoe. Sure beats the price of Powergrips.

The turning radius is inherent in the design of the steering on your trike. I own both a 2003 Wizwheelz 3.4 and a 2001 Greenspeed GTO. Both trikes are roughly the same dimensions - width, length, and ground clearance. The steering on both is indirect but I can do circles well inside the turning radius for the WW 3.4 if I am riding the GS GTO. I nearly turned the GTO over the first time I rode it when I used the same steering technique I used on the WW.

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Old 12-15-10, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Haff
I fear foot suck, but I also fear the cost of clip shoes. I wear a size 15, so the choices are a bit limited. What about powerstraps. good enough?
@@@ Great Feet Think Alike...

I have size 15. Try getting bike shoes in 15 or 50 EU. I tried the power grip straps with my new Rover X-5. Feet too big. A chap on another trike forum suggested Bike Nashbar's mini toe clips, so I have ordered a pair. At that price, I can afford to experiment.

<https://www.nashbar.com/bikes//CatalogSearchResultView?storeId=10053&catalogId=10052&langId=-1&pageSize=24&beginIndex=0&searchType=resultSet&sortBy=Dollar+Rank%2F%2F1&cn1=&searchTerm=mini+toe+c lips>

For the time being, I have a set of platform pedals from the mountain bike. They have studs for grip and your feet feel somewhat nailed in place. No foot suck this far along. I don't know if you can suck a size 15 under my trike, but who wants to find out that you can.
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Old 12-27-10, 01:00 AM
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I'm sorry... it has to be said... if someone can drop $800+ or more on a trike they can find $24 for a pair of Powergrips. Do it! Thank me later.

H
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Old 12-27-10, 10:10 AM
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So, the trike doesn't fit, but at least it was cheap! If you heels are too close to the ground, can you fit fatter tires to raise the bottom bracket a bit? Altering your pedaling mechanics to accommodate an ill-fitting bike sounds like false economy to me.
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Old 01-04-11, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Haff
I've been practicing turning around in my garage. Not a lot of space in there, so I figure its good practice.
Still waiting for the new thread with photos decribing your new Trike - did I miss it? What did you get?
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