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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 1 of 11

Epster

Did you see the woman who broke the speed record held by a man . I think she was clocked in at 184 MPH. I was amazed I didn't think humans were able to get up to that speed on a bike.

Way to go Epster and Bill, May the wind always be on your back.

     Nancy

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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 2 of 11
Thanks much for getting back with your thoughts on the manufacturers. I've heard good things about Catrike, and what they did for you is awesome. I will try to get in touch with them. Cruz was not on my list yet, so thanks again for that add - for sure I'll follow up.

If your ever looking to fill in some time, I would appreciate any routes, clubs, orgs, or the like added to my website.

Have a great day!
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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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@n566192l wrote:

Epster,

Wow, 11,000 miles, go girl.


Smiley Happy Thanks Nancy. @n566192l

 

It took me 33 months to pedal 11,000 miles. My upright cycling friends rib me about my low mileage. To them 10,000 miles a year equates to being a real cyclist, so to them, I'm just a tourist. Smiley Happy

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 4 of 11

Epster,

Wow, 1100 miles go girl.

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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 5 of 11

@BillontheBike 

 

I can't imagine any trike manufacturer would be unhappy with a review and comparison as long as it was well researched and earnest, so go for it! Smiley Happy

 

We adore Catrikes (https://www.catrike.com). These trikes are manufactured in Florida by a top-notch team. Their trikes are beautifully engineered, well-built, sturdy, and not-easy-to-damage. I say the last part because I am nothing if not a 10-year-old boy in a 60-year-old woman's body, and in 11,000 miles I've not managed to do more than wear out a couple sets of tires. Also, they stand behind their warranty. They replaced our frames when we discovered that the (totally gorgeous, but apparently not long-wearing) Hyper Yellow paint we initially ordered had worn through in places. Catrikes simply exchanged our old frames for new ones.

 

Then there's Cruz Bikes (https://cruzbike.com) with which I am personally unfamiliar, as I've never ridden one, however, I have read about and discussed their many accomplishments and racing records. They are doing incredible things in ultra racing and, of course, in recumbent bike design. 

 

At the World Senior Games the other day, someone told me something about Catrikes having a new/old recumbent bike (rather than a trike) in the works. I know nothing other than that rumor, but you might ask them about their plans to create another 2-wheeled recumbent.

 

Cruz has no plans that I know of to manufacture trikes, but again, you can certainly ask them about any plans to create a 3-wheeled recumbent. 

 

There are other USA recumbent manufacturers, of course, TerraTrikes being one of those. I can only say that relative to their online community, TerraTrikes rather sucks. I have tried multiple times over the past 2 years to get a response out of their customer service people regarding my account and have gotten nothing but crickets. If that horrid customer service protocol is any indication of the company, well, uh, they will never sell me a trike, I can tell you that. Smiley Happy

 

Here's somebody's review of US made recumbent trikes from mid-summer: https://anyonecanbike.com/2018/07/21/the-5-best-american-made-recumbent-trikes-for-2018/

 

Hope these meanderings are useful to you. Smiley Happy

 

Happy cycling!

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 6 of 11
Thanks for your very in-depth reply, glad to hear your back on-line and can give some more comments. I'm looking forward to adding some future posts on trikes and look forward to your input. Lastly, if you by chance know any particular trike makers that don't mind being compared to other trikes, I have a new section on my site that will be giving indepth comparisons/searches (I'll be discussing those made in the USA in the coming weeks). Appreciate if you drop a note.
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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 7 of 11
Hi @BillontheBike, sorry for the long delay in response. I've emerged from my racing season as of yesterday, so ... Smiley Happy 
@BillontheBike wrote:

 

As an experienced triker, when out in a group, are you able to ride and get draft off of others?  

 

Certainly. We use this technique regularly in road races.

 

 

Is there any hill grade when out triking that becomes an issue?

 

This will depend upon the 'engine' driving the trike. Trikes are heavier than uprights, as they have a third wheel. That 3rd wheel also creates additional rolling and wind resistance. While someone somewhere has probably tried to stand up while riding a delta trike (this would require different handlebars than those in the linked-to photo) a person cannot pedal while standing up on a tadpole trike, so the fact is that hillclimbing is not generally an easy thing on a trike. But of course, not everyone wants to race up a hill, and of those that do, not everyone is equally fit fo the task.

 

One of our annual race events is a hillclimb. Hubby and I live at just under 6,000 ft above sea level and train on an 11% hill. Out on the trail, I find that I can charge up a 5% hill at 18-22 mph depending upon wind direction as well as the topography leading up to the hill (meaning: how fast can I approach the durned thing, anyway? Smiley Happy) Then again, there's one particular 6% hill that has me gasping and slowing to 12 MPH every time, too. Smiley Wink

 

So I think it depends upon the day, the individual and that individual's goals as much as anything.

 

 

How long when an average rider trike before they would think its a good time for a break, assuming nothing extraordinarily challenging on the ride.

 

Hm. I can only speak for myself, and here's the thing: I get up hours before dawn, down a few cups of coffee, and dash out the door for the trail. This means that I'm going to have to stop at prit near every bathroom I find in the first 2 hours of training because a.) restrooms tend to be irregular features of bike trails and b.) I realllllllly hate training with a full bladder. 

 

But bodily function issues aside, I have no problem riding 100 miles a day. Trikes are EZ chair comfortable and support the rider without creating pain. Indeed, they are the perfect vehicle for someone with neck, back or knee pain, as trikes tend to eliminate or minimize those.

 

We consider a 30-50 mile trail ride a walk in the park. 

 

On clarification, from something I read somewhere was that leg suck on trikes could be eliminated with clipons.  The power grips you show look pretty good.  However, they said if clipons were used, although very infrequent, that accidents have resulted in femur's getting broken with trikes whereby leg injury with bikes was normally the fibula that would get broken.  Don't know if ever ran across that.

 

I've pedaled 11,000 trike miles and experienced zero injuries with Power Grips, that's about all I can say on this subject. (Which is to say I cannot speak with authority regarding leg injuries related to various pedal types.) I bet Dr Mirkin, a triker, knows, though. Here's his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DrGabeMirkin/

 

My weight  carrying discussion was that upright bikes are not as good (the inherent design) as trikes for carrying behind seat loads and more susceptible for instability.    As you said though, likely really not to make much difference.

 

Like all racers, we look to reduce vehicle weight where we can. Of course regular riders will not likely have that desire. So yeah, I agree, it's not a big deal. Smiley Happy Sometime in the future --when I'm not racing-- I plan to get one of those baby trailers, fill it with Italian Greyhounds and hit the trail with the pups in tow.

 

 

I had a pleasant weekend, was able to get in 83 miles, and good old saddle numbness at times - got me thinking about the trike again.  Smiley Happy

 

Awesome ride! Keep up the great work!

 

Thanks for the conversation about trikin' and bikin'!

 

 

 


 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 8 of 11

Hi Epster,

As always, your comments are appreciated and explained thoroughly.  Just a few points of clarification and a few questions for you.  Starting with the questions.

 

As an experienced triker, when out in a group, are you able to ride and get draft off of others?  

Is there any hill grade when out triking that becomes an issue?

How long when an average rider trike before they would think its a good time for a break, assuming nothing extraordinarily challenging on the ride.

 

On clarification, from something I read somewhere was that leg suck on trikes could be eliminated with clipons.  The power grips you show look pretty good.  However, they said if clipons were used, although very infrequent, that accidents have resulted in femur's getting broken with trikes whereby leg injury with bikes was normally the fibula that would get broken.  Don't know if ever ran across that.

 

My weight  carrying discussion was that upright bikes are not as good (the inherent design) as trikes for carrying behind seat loads and more susceptible for instability.    As you said though, likely really not to make much difference.

 

I had a pleasant weekend, was able to get in 83 miles, and good old saddle numbness at times - got me thinking about the trike again.  Smiley Happy

 

 

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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 9 of 11

WoW , Epster and Bill the two of you really know your bikes. Thanks so much for sharing your posts

Nancy

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Re: Recumbent Bicycles and Trikes

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Message 10 of 11

 

Hey Bill ( @BillontheBike)  Thanks for the great article on recumbents.

 

As a trike rider (and Senior Games racer) I have a few comments. 

 

Body position change – not so easy to do with the recumbent. With the standard bike I can raise up off my seat to allow my blood less resistance for lower body blood flow.

 

It is true that a person cannot stand up to pedal on a recumbent, and so to ride up a hill at a two-digit clip, one must develop strong leg muscles. As to the lower body blood flow issue, that's coming from the tiny seat that most upright bikes have and thus is not an issue with a recumbent, for rather than resting your body weight on your tailbone, your entire torso is supported by a comfortable seat. Blood flow is not inhibited with this design.

 

Falls – further to fall with a standard upright bike. The body COG is much lower in the recumbent. The risk for head injury is higher with the standard upright, although general body injury has its own risks with the recumbent, especially with something called leg suck – foot slips off pedal and get pulled under the wheel.

 

Right: with three wheels and a low to the ground riding position it is difficult to fall off a recumbent trike. I was a frequent crasher while riding an upright bike, but in 11,000 miles of riding a recumbent trike have yet to have an accident or fall off. 

 

There are fixes for 'leg suck'. One is the clip method as shown in this video:

 

 

 

Another is Power Grips

(read all about Power Grips here: https://www.thoughtco.com/power-grips-pedal-straps-review-365585)power_grips-56a097ec3df78cafdaa309c8.jpg

 

Safety in traffic – the recumbent sits lower and harder for traffic to see. Consider using additional accessories to help the driver see you.

 

While it is true that recumbent trikes sit lower to the ground than upright bike, I am not sure that automatically translates to less visibility. Yes, when crossing a road with multiple lanes of traffic, it is necessary for the triker to be alert and defensive, for it may be difficult for all lanes of traffic to see you. Of course the first line of defense is to only cross at a light, and to do so within the crosswalk according to traffic lights.

 

We used to stay off roadways and only rode on bike trails. If you are leery of traffic, I suggest you stay on bike trails. To make ourselves obvious, we wear neon yellow helmets. In addition, each of our trikes has a safety flag on a 7' pole; we wear bright (neon yellow, orange, green) clothing, and also use lights, reflectors and an abundance of caution whenever riding whether on a bike trail or in the bike lane on a road. We find that when triking in a bike lane on a street, automobiles are quite aware of our presence and they tend to give us wider berth than when we rode bike lanes on uprights. That being said, it is probably best for all senior riders to start out riding on bike trails.

 

Weight carrying – the recumbent design offers easier weight distribution with loading behind the seat. The bicycle’s performance is negatively affected with most rear mounted bags.

 

Well, sure, extra weight is extra weight. We train with saddle bags on, and remove them (along with other unnecessary-for-racing gear) for races. I cannot see that the average rider is going to notice  drag from saddle bags unless they fill them with rocks. Smiley Happy

 

So those are my thoughts. If anyone has questions about recumbent trikes, I'm happy to share what I know. Smiley Happy

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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