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Best Tadpole Trike for the Buck

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Best Tadpole Trike for the Buck

Old 08-22-11, 07:58 AM
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gbalke
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Best Tadpole Trike for the Buck

I'm interested in buying my first recumbent, something both my wife and I could ride.
My thoughts were to find a good quality trike, tadpole design, that won't break the bank. I did some research online and like the looks of the TerraTrike Path. I'd like to get some opinions from trike owners on the Path and other bikes.
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Old 08-22-11, 09:25 AM
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Longest lasting with no major or minor repairs for me- EZ-Tad prototype before Sun took over. Bought in 2004, full shell in Dec. 2004, hub motor installed in 2007, shell removed and new batteries in 2010, 2011: ready to go. Early Suns had frames break, then steering problems; but that was repaired I think.
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Old 08-22-11, 09:51 AM
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Try Bike Center on Manchester. As far as I know they've got the best selection of recumbents in the St Louis area. Nice people too.

I don't think that anybody can define "best" without knowing all of the parameters. In our case, "best" turned out to be a Greenspeed GT3 because we couldn't find a way to fit anything with wheels larger than 16" into my wife's Saturn sedan. YMMV.
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Old 08-22-11, 12:37 PM
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Unless you and your wife have the same leg length you probably want to choose among the relatively few trikes with fore/aft seat adjustment. Most tads adjust for leg length by extending or retracting the boom. Even if you add a spring tensioned idler arm to avoid the need to shorten or lengthen the chain this is a pain.

If you are not interested in speed you might want to consider the TerraTrike Rover both for its seat adjustment and the option of converting it to a tandem.

Given your list of great bikes, I'd also suggest taking a look at ICE offerings. The only downside is that your spouse would likely want her own. <G>

As with bikes, a good long test ride before purchase is usually worth doing.
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Old 08-22-11, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Try Bike Center on Manchester. As far as I know they've got the best selection of recumbents in the St Louis area. Nice people too.

I don't think that anybody can define "best" without knowing all of the parameters. In our case, "best" turned out to be a Greenspeed GT3 because we couldn't find a way to fit anything with wheels larger than 16" into my wife's Saturn sedan. YMMV.
Retro,

I just returned from a trip to Bike Center and was impressed with their inventory of trikes. I was hoping to test drive a TerreTrike Path, settled for aCat Trike Trail for the test. It was a short drive in their back parking lot, but it was so much fun. It's like a Big Wheel for adults. Picked up a couple of catalogs and just need to do more on line research and decide which way I want to go.

Thanks neighbor
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Old 08-22-11, 12:44 PM
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I hope some more owners will get in on this one, i am interested in a tad design also, and the bank issue always a factor.
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Old 08-22-11, 01:36 PM
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I purchased a very early Catrike Road in April 2002, and it's held up very well. Still comfortable and have had zero repairs required; just the usual tuneup/wear & tear stuff.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:07 PM
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Asking what's the best bang for the buck is kind of a loaded question, because we don't know what your minimum specs are. I'd caution against getting something that's too bare-bones, just to meet a price point.

The point about adjustable booms is a good one. You might look into TerraTrike for a trike with a sliding seat. Several of their models have differently-sized booms for rough adjustment, then a sliding seat for fine-tuning the fit. If you and your wife are close in X-Seam, adjusting between the two of you might be pretty easy. The next question: Direct steering, or linkage?
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Old 08-23-11, 01:49 AM
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How about an ICE Sprint?
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Old 08-23-11, 10:38 AM
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I am a happy Rover Owner. FYI - TerraTrike offers a lifetime warranty on all of their trikes.

Like everything else in this world, you can buy a Honda or a Lexxus. Personally, I bought the Rover for two primary reasons;

Seat height is 18.5" and the BB is lower than the seat

Weight limit - the Rover has a 400lb weight limit and I am a 300+ pound guy.

Be sure to learn about the new "Rambler" coming out very soon - a cross between the "Path" and a "Rover" - seat a bit lower, frame a bit more pretty...

The Rover is considered the SUV of trikes. Weighs in at 42lbs, is not meant to be super-fast, but is a great, strong trike meant to last a long time.
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Old 08-23-11, 01:40 PM
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Happy Rover Owner.

On my way to 5,000 miles on my Rover 8 speed in just over a year, with zero problems. It's a fun trike to ride worth every penny.
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Old 08-23-11, 04:00 PM
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I thoroughly enjoy my Trail. I've had it since 2008 and only had to do chain and tire replacement. 6400 miles since Jan this year.
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Old 08-28-11, 05:17 PM
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In the last year we have purchased a used TerraTrike tandem and TerraTrike Path 8 (I'm a lucky, lucky man.) The tandem is the answer to both you and your wife riding, but it will definitely set the bank alarms off if you can't find a used on at a good deal (start following classifieds at Hostel Shoppe, Tandem & Recumbent Rider, etc.)
As far as the Path 8, I think it's a quality trike but where will you be riding it? If you plan to really ride paths, its perfect. If you plan to cruise the rural MO roads, you may find it lacks low end gears (I put a double crank on mine), and should look for a trike with a wider gear range. Again, look for a deal! The Terratrike has to have an underseat bolt pulled to adjust seat fore/aft, so it wouldn't be the easiest to change for two people. It gets into a boom swap if you have a significant height difference. I had an aluminum EZ-3 before this, and I definitely prefer the Terratrike. BTW, I'm north of St. Louis -- in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mobilemail View Post
In the last year we have purchased a used TerraTrike tandem and TerraTrike Path 8 (I'm a lucky, lucky man.) The tandem is the answer to both you and your wife riding, but it will definitely set the bank alarms off if you can't find a used on at a good deal (start following classifieds at Hostel Shoppe, Tandem & Recumbent Rider, etc.)
As far as the Path 8, I think it's a quality trike but where will you be riding it? If you plan to really ride paths, its perfect. If you plan to cruise the rural MO roads, you may find it lacks low end gears (I put a double crank on mine), and should look for a trike with a wider gear range. Again, look for a deal! The Terratrike has to have an underseat bolt pulled to adjust seat fore/aft, so it wouldn't be the easiest to change for two people. It gets into a boom swap if you have a significant height difference. I had an aluminum EZ-3 before this, and I definitely prefer the Terratrike. BTW, I'm north of St. Louis -- in the middle of nowhere.
Mobileman,

Since you're so close, perhaps I could stop over some time, at your convenience, to see your Terratrikes, if you don't mind. No local bike shops seem to stock the TerraTrike Path.
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Old 08-30-11, 03:09 PM
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I wouldn't mind you taking a spin, I wish I would have had opportunities like that in my past. Lots of country roads to ride on where I am! PM me and we can trade contact information and make arrangements.
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Old 09-07-11, 08:19 AM
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I stumbled on a used, home-built tadpole listed in the local Craigslist. Wife was quite excited and we took a drive to see it, test rode it and bought it for her.
Only paid $250 for it, but for what my wife needs, it fits the bill perfectly. I've started a seperate thread, with a couple of pics, which can be found here: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-tadpole-trike

I've shorted the boom, removed some chain links. Plan on adding horizontal bar ends, replacing the bar end shifters with twist grips and replacing the current brake lever with a locking lever. She altready asked about adding a flag!
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Old 09-08-11, 03:46 AM
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Good on ya man! I hope you find your companion trike as well. Haven't forgotten about the Katy Trail ride, I'm just out of town a lot. As for the shifters, I personally much prefer the bar ends to the grip shifters, they just feel more precise and higher quality. but if you decide to sell the bar ends, email me.
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Old 09-08-11, 07:42 AM
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I just feel that my wife would be more comfortable with the twist grips, and she agrees with me. I have a garage full of vintage bikes that could use a set of bar ends, but I will keep you in mind. Oh, and thanks for that tip on the Path in St. Charles. She still has the bike, but I think $1300 is too much for that trike. A similar bike was listed a few weeks ago on CL for $750, and as usual, I failed to pull the trigger! I did ask if her price was firm, considering I could buy a NEW Path 8 for about $1200; even offered a partial trade, 1 or 2 of my vintage bikes plus cash if her final asking price was more reasonable. Waiting for a reply.

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Old 09-09-11, 10:50 AM
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I thought it was overpriced too, but I thought you might be able to eek out a quick and easy test ride. I don't think the seller will get much interest, especially with a Cattrike now appearing on Craigslist for 1250. And that 750 Path you missed? I got it and Franken-triked it with a 24/42 double for the hills around here. Lovin' it, 53 miles on Labor Day! (That is the Path 8 I mentioned earlier in this post.)
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Old 09-09-11, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mobilemail View Post
And that 750 Path you missed? I got it and Franken-triked it with a 24/42 double for the hills around here. Lovin' it, 53 miles on Labor Day! (That is the Path 8 I mentioned earlier in this post.)
Ya know, I had a hunch it was you who got it based on your original post about the Path 8 you recently bought. I just didn't even consider a tadpole until after I saw that ad. It would make sense to ad a FD to the trike to increase your gearing; simple and effective upgrade, and if you have a well stocked parts bin, cheap to do.

Now, may I interest you in a fine British or French vintage bicycle?
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Old 09-10-11, 02:20 PM
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I have tasted the trike kool-aid and I am drunk. I have gulped it, and felt its sweet sticky goodness run down my face. The trike has served an eviction notice to my puny two-wheeled recumbent. The DFs are mocking the eschewed Burley because they know they still serve essential, if little served, roles...but inside they quiver a little.

...Okay, I've been driving for five hours and I'm a little punchy....
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Old 09-10-11, 04:31 PM
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Have you looked a Performer? Very good values, I think.
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Old 09-10-11, 05:34 PM
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I have searched the Utah Trike web site and looked at the Performer Journey as well as a Trident Stowaway I and II. Either of these brands/models would be worth considering. The Stowaway models are foldable trikes at a comparable price.
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Old 09-10-11, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gbalke View Post
I have searched the Utah Trike web site and looked at the Performer Journey as well as a Trident Stowaway I and II. Either of these brands/models would be worth considering. The Stowaway models are foldable trikes at a comparable price.
Frame quality is way better on the Performer.

Just look at these two example of the welds:

Looks like toothpaste on the Stowaway:


Textbook fillets on the Performer:


Yes, one is steel and one is aluminum, so they will look different at the welds, but I think these two pics tell the tale quite well.
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Old 09-28-11, 01:57 PM
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got a performer Jc70-cm a few weeks back and am having a blast on it. total cost was about 1200.00 shipped door to door. good quality and looks great..
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