Saturday, June 25, 2016

Comparison of low-end recumbent trikes

I was interested in getting a recumbent trike.  I like my bike, but my balance is not great.  I can't take my hands off the handle bars to signal turns, or to scratch my nose, or really for any reason without tipping over.

I was wondering about a recumbent trike as a way to take the stress of balance out of the bike ride, so I could just enjoy the scenery.

The main thing I don't like about the recumbent trikes is that they are expensive (compared to a regular bike), storing them can be a pain, and that they are so low to the ground which makes visibility an issue.  I'm also slower on a trike than a bike by about 2 mph (this is normal).

But they are fun to ride and my biking distance increased because it wasn't limited by how my bum felt.

My main concern right now is weight and size.  I have to store this trike somewhere and I need it to fit in the back of my minivan with the middle seats still in.  I also need to be able to lift it.

(If you are on an iphone, try the reader view, for some reason, my scrolling table won't scroll.)

TerraTrike Rover Sun Eco tad sx KMX Tornado KMX Typhoon KMX Cobra Catrike Expedition Catrike Villager
Cost $999-1299 899 999 1099 1499 2550 2550
Length (inches) 69.5 70.5-78.75 71.5 71.5 73.5 77 69
Width (inches) 33 31 31.75 31.75 32 32.5 34.5
Height (inches) 29? 34 23.25 23.25 26.5 26 28.5
Material Carbon steel Hi tensel lightweight steel TIG welded high carbon steel with aluminum front boom TIG welded high carbon steel with aluminum front boom TIG welded high carbon steel with aluminum front boom 7005 hardened aircraft aluminum 7005 hardened aircraft aluminum
Weight (lbs) 44-47 46 41.5 41.5 43 35 34
Web page
Speeds 8 7 8 8 24 10 10
Comments fits in my toyota sienna Will need upgraded tires
Fits in my sienna
16” front tires, same frame as the typhoon 20” tires
not cheap, but aluminum frame and well regarded not cheap, but aluminum frame and well regarded

(added 7/13/2016)

My husband and I test rode the Rover, Rambler, Eco Tad, Typhoon, and Villager.

My husband hated both Terratrikes.  He absolutely hated the way they handled.  He was fine with the other trikes.

I wasn't in love with the Terratrikes.  I wanted to like the new 2016 Rambler that I'd heard a lot of good things about, but it was having mechanical difficulties (one of the handlebars was loose and couldn't tighten) and so it was hard to get an accurate feel for it, but mechanical difficulties made me wary and since my husband hated it, we decided to look elsewhere.  The rover fits just fine in a minivan.

The Eco Tad (which I ultimately ended up buying) drove fine.  It was a good solid trike.  It is susceptible to  pedal steer.  I loved the way the seat was adjustable so everyone from my eleven year old son to my husband could take turns riding it.  It isn't geared very high, so if you want to go fast (>15mph) it can't do it.  There isn't a cheap (<$200) way to fix this.

I can lift this bike into my minivan with the back seats folded down and the back wheel slides between the middle seats, and I am good to go.

The KMX typhoon I disliked.  It might have been because the seat was just a tiny bit far back.for me, but yeah, not my favorite.  The seat is also narrower and I kept feeling like I was falling off the seat.  My husband liked it fine.

Catrike Villager - if money is no problem, get this one.  I loved this trike. I didn't notice any pedal steer.  It felt very stable.  It's only disadvantage was that the seat didn't move, you had to move the boom which means you have to change the chain length if someone else wants to ride.  You can add an $150 chain tensioner to make that easier.  The other thing was my ankle kept clipping the front derailleur (or what ever it is called). That was probably do to bad peddling technique, but it didn't happen with the eco tad.

No comments: