Saturday, September 03, 2016

Sunseeker eco tad sx vs 2011 catrike road

I bought a great Sunseeker ecotad sx (read my review here) from Utah trikes a few months ago then lucked into a well priced older model Catrike Road.

I've had a chance to take them on moderate length rides (around 8 miles) and my husband has taken them on longer rides (around 17 miles).  For the curious, here's what I've found.

2011 Catrike Road


  • much lighter - I can load and lift without problem
  • I'm about 1 mph faster on the catrike
  • sleeker looking
  • more stable at high speeds
  • almost no pedal or brake steer
  • gear range is great


  • because of the width and shape of the seat, I have to fold down both the back and middle seats in my 2007 sienna to fit it
  • low to the ground.  Getting in and out takes some getting used to
  • I feel cars don't see it as well
  • Not easy to adjust for different riders.  Changing the size requires adjusting the boom length and either installing a chain tensioner or changing the length of the chain
  • fingers keep hitting tires when grabbing for brakes
  • have to use a piece of velcro to lock the trike's brakes.  I'm installing locking brake grips soon.
  • Ride is bumpier

Sunseeker eco tad sx


  • Seat is easily adjustable for different riders
  • higher seat is easy to get in and out of and is more visible.
  • granny gear is low enough
  • fits in a sienna with back seats down and middle seats up.
  • handle bars are wider than tires, so if my hands can fit, the whole trike can fit.
  • locking handlebars
  • ride is much smoother 
  • The seat looks like a wheel chair from behind (this is actually good, drivers give the sunseeker a much wider berth than the catrike).


  • High gear tops out at about 15 mph
  • heavy to lift up.  I can do it, but it takes some work
  • twitchy at high speeds
  • When I hit a big bump, I tend to bounce "lower" in the seat and end up slouching.
My husband describes the catrike as like a mountain bike (he's a big road biker) and the sunseeker as a "putt-putt" beach cruiser bike.  On the catrike, my cruising speed seems to be 10-11, but I can hit 12 fairly easily.  On the Sunseeker my speed tends to be 9-10.

I'm very happy with my Catrike (even though it doesn't look like it from the list).  It is my main trike now.  It had some quirks, like my fingers hitting the tires when grabbing the brakes that I've had to get used to, but I love the added speed and handling.  The reclined seat is actually very comfortable.

But I'm keeping the Eco Tad for as long as I can.  This is a great trike, especially to have someone ride along with you.  The seat is easily adjusted for whoever wants to ride.  My husband can ride with me one day and my twelve-year-old the next with very little problem.  

Because it is slower and adjustable, I put my speed demon husband on the eco tad and myself on the catrike.  This puts us at about the same speed and we can enjoy riding together without me feeling like I'm holding him back too much.  (He can still easily outpace me on the sunseeker, but he has to work at it).

;tldr Neither trike is perfect.  If speed (>15mph) and handling is important, I'd pick a catrike.  For comfort, pick the sunseeker eco tad sx.