Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
flat tyre
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Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby flat tyre » 27 Apr 2011, 12:54pm

Out this Sunday for a trundle around the Southdowns when coming in the opposite direction near Cocking, a group of other cyclists including 2 or possibly 3 tricyclists, one being a tandem (if that is the right word). Set me thinking for the rest of the ride home; why would you want to ride one? I can only think of disadvantages...aren't they unstable? (last time I rode one I think I was 5 and I still have the scars to prove the lack of stability). Isn't there more weight involved? More friction from the extra wheel, more wind resistance, difficulty parking, storage problems? The only possible advantage I can think of is that, if you have a puncture in one of the back tyres you could possibly, depending on your balancing skills, cycle home without having to mend it!

james01
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby james01 » 27 Apr 2011, 1:25pm

You've listed most of the disadvantages, although it depends what you mean by stability. A trike's a lot more stable than a bike if you stop without putting your foot down!
Advantages I can think of : safer riding on ice; people who've lost the ability to balance a bike can still cycle; a good configuration for exceptional load carrying.

tatanab
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby tatanab » 27 Apr 2011, 1:38pm

Why? Because I can and that sets me apart from those who limit themselves to two wheels :lol: . Don't you want to try every type of pedal cycle? Yes we do have tandem tricycles. I have a number of tricycles and bicycles, the bikes hardly seeing any use.

All the disadvantages you list are true, although you've missed the expense because of course they are all custom built machines by only a couple of frame builders. The possible advantage you list of riding on one back wheel is completely impractical and is the sort of thing one does for a only few yards to show off, same as wheelying a bicycle really. The thing you have missed is that they are great fun - that is FUN You mention the South Downs - imagine coming down Duncton hill or Harting, hanging off the side of the thing to get it round the bend at the bottom. Makes me grin just to think of it. Now make that a mountain descent in France, fabulous.

In modern traffic there is the distinct advantgage that most motorists think "what the heck is that" and generally hold back and give more space when passing.

James01 the only time the trike is stable with no rider input is when it is stationary. Stability when moving is something quite different. Ice causes its own problems, different to those experienced by bicyclists but certainly not to be taken lightly. Load carrying on a club rider's machine (i.e. not a trade box trike) is no more than that of a similar bicycle.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby [XAP]Bob » 27 Apr 2011, 1:58pm

Because more is better :)

I have at home:
- A dead recumbent trike (soon to be revived)
- A live recumbent trike (my daily steed)
- A live upwrong bicyle (Old steed of MrsBob)
- A live upwrong bicycle (My backup or 'station' steed)
- An upwrong trike (Not really in use yet)

The upwrong trike is odd to ride, but is pretty fun looking. I bought it mostly for the rear axle, but I'm making it into a decent working trike before I look at butchering it for a power trailer.


Recumbents don't suffer from some of the issues listed - yes they're heavier and more expensive, it's harder to park them (well, not really you just need more space). somewhat lower wind resistance in actual fact, and massive stability, even in high speed corners..

wrt punctures - for two wheels you don't have to take the wheel off the vehicle - the tyre just comes off outwards.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

byegad
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby byegad » 27 Apr 2011, 3:00pm

An upright trike does indeed seem to have many disadvantages, I fell of the only full sized one I tried to ride.
Going recumbent three wheels allow you to ride up almost every hill, stop/start without any of the issues a recumbent or DF bike may have and offers lower wind resistance.
To many people riding three wheels is a 'because it's there' challenge.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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gilesjuk
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby gilesjuk » 27 Apr 2011, 4:05pm

Some people have balance problems and so a tri is necessary?

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quiksilver
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby quiksilver » 27 Apr 2011, 8:15pm

I have always been a bit wobbly on two wheels, so when I reach my twilight years a tricycle may well be the way to keep myself riding. I would imagine two wheels at the front and one at the rear could be quite stable.

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Steve Kish
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby Steve Kish » 27 Apr 2011, 8:54pm

Although I've never actually ridden a trike, I'm attracted to the unusualness of these machines as well as also being attracted to recumbents (also never ridden).
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

Ugly
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby Ugly » 27 Apr 2011, 9:30pm

I rode, raced and toured on a trike for a number of years. Compared with a bicycle the difference is that once you get the knack of riding a bike it is simple to stay upright for most of the time. However the trike is constantly affected by road camber and the ability to tip the thing over. This means that riding at any speed is a constant case of keeping the thing going where you want it to go. Another influnce was that the guys from the TA (Tricycle Assocation) seemed to drink more beer than anyony else!

I've still got a conversion axle up in the loft which I last rode about 18 months ago. put it on a 70s vintage Allin frame , 64 fixed, soon realised why I stopped riding and sold my trike.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby [XAP]Bob » 27 Apr 2011, 10:41pm

quiksilver wrote:I have always been a bit wobbly on two wheels, so when I reach my twilight years a tricycle may well be the way to keep myself riding. I would imagine two wheels at the front and one at the rear could be quite stable.

particularly if you lie down in the middle :)

You need funky steering for two wheels up front, funky drive for two wheels behind.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

3tyretrackterry
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby 3tyretrackterry » 27 Apr 2011, 10:43pm

I am a recumbent triker and the question may also be asked Why Bicycle when you can Tricycle?
Its more comfortable
it can be faster i enjoy it more
Cars seem to be more considerate around trikes
Each to there own i say I also bike as well so i think i can offer a fairly balanced opinion

reohn2
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2011, 12:03am

I've never ridden a trike seriously and unless I need to don't think I ever will,thats not a criticism of them,as someone else has said,to each his own.
For me the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
On two wheels I can get down narrow tracks and through motorcycle traps/stops on local towpaths,two wheelers are far more agile on bridleways and in traffic,lighter so are quicker,they also corner quicker and when I need to wheel my bicycle through any kind crowded street or town centre I can with ease, which I'm not so sure about with a trike and less so if its a 'bent.Then theres road camber :? and potholes :?
Bicycles,tandems or solos, transport in a car far easier than trikes too.
I don't doubt the fun aspect but the fun,for me,is restricted for the things mentioned above.
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I cycle therefore I am.

byegad
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby byegad » 28 Apr 2011, 10:00am

gilesjuk wrote:Some people have balance problems and so a tri is necessary?


That's me. I wouldn't contemplate an upright trike after my fall from one in my youth, well before balance became an issue.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

2007 ICE QNT
2008 Hase Kettwiesel AL27
2011 Catrike Trail
1951 engine

Slidingpillar
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby Slidingpillar » 28 Apr 2011, 9:24pm

Moi aussi.

I have no balance info from the ears so am utterly dependant on what I see and tactile sensation. I like to cycle, so I now have trikes.
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zoxed
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Re: Why tricycle when you can bicycle??

Postby zoxed » 29 Apr 2011, 12:02pm

Having commuted by recumbent trike for many years I can say that stability is the top advantage for me: it is great to have one less thing to worry about on today's roads. No worries about lorry/bus suck, ice, wet leaves, crossing tram lines...

Also as I ride with SPDs I just click-in at one end and click-out at the other: stop/start riding is much more relaxing :-))