Practicalities of living with a trike

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby [XAP]Bob » 27 Jul 2020, 11:12pm

But you declare it absolutely not a practical vehicle when the experience of a great many would suggest otherwise.
Have you ever actually tried one?


The perceived issues are, in reality, very minor. Storage can be a big concern, and that is situation dependent... but have you ever considered *why* you get out of the saddle for a pothole, or how easy it would be to avoid them when you can see your front wheels.
A trike has a good 35-40cm gap between the middle and outside tracks (model dependant) and hitting a pothole is a relatively minor affair anyway - without that force being aimed squarely between ones legs, and with additional contact patches and stability ... you just deal. (In the same way you just deal by standing up).

Camber almost invariably goes to zero at the centre of the roadway - and I don’t “lean and steer” even on strong cambers, hands resting on the bars is all it takes to stay straight and true.

I think Mr Burrows would disagree about climbing slower, and all the best crop of current pros have adopted the long time ‘bent technique of sitting and spinning up any hill. A trike is heavier than a bike, but a vortex is faster than many “non race” two wheels (bent or otherwise). For pure speed one wants a streamlined, but they *are* generally impractical on the roads.

There are some places I take a different route depending on the vehicle, does t make the trike less practical, just means I choose a different route.
Trikes are a very practical everyday vehicle - if you can store them.



Just looked back at my email from the time... £425 I paid.
Awesome value.
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.

belgiangoth
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby belgiangoth » 27 Jul 2020, 11:43pm

When someone starts cycling they worry about traffic fumes, potholes, climbing. When I started cycling on my laidback I worried about traffic fumes, potholes, climbing. If I get a trike I will worry about traffic fumes, potholes, climbing. And storage/getting it in&out of the house.
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

Marc
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby Marc » 27 Jul 2020, 11:53pm

belgiangoth wrote:Same as you wouldn't commute on a full suspension mtb, the trike may not be your first choice for commuting.

While I wouldn't commute with a MTB anymore (or any other two wheeler for that matter), I've commuted over 45.000km with my trikes since 2013. Usually, my commute was between 15km and 30km one way and went right through the Hamburg city center (Hamburg got 1.8mio inhabitants) at rush hour. Since drivers give you much more attention and space with a trike, you don't likely fall with it and it got more than twice the braking power (compared to a bike), its actually much saver to use a trike for commuting.

But you're right, the trike isn't my first choice. Since last year, its the Milan velomobile. ;)
Except when the temperature is well above 30°C or the snow is too high. Then, I'll gladly take the trike to get to work. Since the commuter trike got electric assist, it can easily plow through 10cm or even 20cm of snow. Luckily, we didn't get much snow the last years, though.

belgiangoth
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby belgiangoth » 28 Jul 2020, 12:25am

I lived for a couple years in Hamburg. I wouldn't compare the issues of cycling in the UK with Hamburg, it's just not fair!

(though, in HH you are required to cycle on the bike paths where provided, no? Is this not an issue with a trike - which would be too big?).
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby Marc » 28 Jul 2020, 8:30am

belgiangoth wrote:I lived for a couple years in Hamburg. I wouldn't compare the issues of cycling in the UK with Hamburg, it's just not fair!

(though, in HH you are required to cycle on the bike paths where provided, no? Is this not an issue with a trike - which would be too big?).

1. riding a trike on a bike path is a non issue. Most of your other concerns are non issues as well (except storing the thing, of course)
2. even if bikes are required to use the bike path over here (often its merely a suggestion, not a requirement), multi-track cycles and bikes with trailers are exempted. With a trike, I can choose if I want to take the bike path, or the street.

reohn2
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby reohn2 » 28 Jul 2020, 9:29am

[XAP]Bob wrote:But you declare it absolutely not a practical vehicle when the experience of a great many would suggest otherwise.
Have you ever actually tried one?

I've test ridden one yes but it's some years ago

The perceived issues are, in reality, very minor. Storage can be a big concern, and that is situation dependent... but have you ever considered *why* you get out of the saddle for a pothole, or how easy it would be to avoid them when you can see your front wheels.
A trike has a good 35-40cm gap between the middle and outside tracks (model dependant) and hitting a pothole is a relatively minor affair anyway - without that force being aimed squarely between ones legs, and with additional contact patches and stability ... you just deal. (In the same way you just deal by standing up).

The bike has a single track a trike has three,I can flick around multiple potholes on the bike,unloading the saddle for comfort should I hit one,which is very rare because of the single track.
I know you just deal with it as I onmthe bike just deal with it,what I'm saying is the is easier and less intrusive on a bike

Camber almost invariably goes to zero at the centre of the roadway - and I don’t “lean and steer” even on strong cambers, hands resting on the bars is all it takes to stay straight and true

I ride a lot of small poorly surfaced lanes some with pronounced camber,some quite twisty where I can't ride the middle due to the possibility of oncoming cars so I disagree.

I think Mr Burrows would disagree about climbing slower, and all the best crop of current pros have adopted the long time ‘bent technique of sitting and spinning up any hill. A trike is heavier than a bike, but a vortex is faster than many “non race” two wheels (bent or otherwise). For pure speed one wants a streamlined, but they *are* generally impractical on the roads

The power to weight is against a trike when climbing,I have no doubt there are some very lightweight trikes out there that would negate that statement but they are far and few between,but for the most part trikes won't beat bikes up hill with riders of the same abilities.
Stability of course isn't a problem on a trike but then it isn't on a bike either 99.99999% of the time

There are some places I take a different route depending on the vehicle, does t make the trike less practical, just means I choose a different route.

There are places I ride that make trikes very impractical and which would limit my cycling freedom.

Trikes are a very practical everyday vehicle - if you can store them

For you and others that find them practical yes they are,for those who don't they're not.
I spent a while considering a 'bent trike and came down on the side that they're not for me for the reasons given,which is my opinion from my POV,yours and others who prefer them have a different opinion,but it doesn't negate mine.



Just looked back at my email from the time... £425 I paid.
Awesome value.

No one could disagree.

To be absolutely clear I'm in no way saying two wheels good three wheels bad,just trying to give an opinion on why a trike won't work for me if that helps the OP one way or the other.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Jul 2020, 10:11am

I know you just deal with it as I onmthe bike just deal with it,what I'm saying is the is easier and less intrusive on a bike

On a bike I am far more concerned about potholes than I am on the trike, because they have the opportunity to deflect me, or unship me.
No such worries on a trike, and the full seat means that comfort really isn't an issue either.

The power to weight is against a trike when climbing,I have no doubt there are some very lightweight trikes out there that would negate that statement but they are far and few between, but for the most part trikes won't beat bikes up hill with riders of the same abilities.

Undoubtedly a racing bike will beat a racing trike, and a touring bike will beat a touring trike.
But a 'bent itself isn't inherently slow uphill, though they do often weigh slightly more.
And the stability advantages don't only exist when climbing...

I ride a lot of small poorly surfaced lanes some with pronounced camber,some quite twisty where I can't ride the middle due to the possibility of oncoming cars so I disagree.

Don't ride *in* the middle, I was pointing out that the limiting case is the centre of the roadway, where there is typically no camber. The vast majority of roads are actually minimally cambered across most of their width, it's only if you assume that a cycle belongs in the gutter that you encounter the worst cambers.
Besides that, the assertion that cambers require leaning and active steering input is just false on a tadpole, you can even ride no hands on a camber, assuming you stop pedalling, by just resting a thigh against the steering.

There are places I ride that make trikes very impractical and which would limit my cycling freedom.

There being some places you choose to take another bike isn't really a damnation of the practicality of a trike. I wouldn't choose to drive through town, but that doesn't mean that a car is an impractical form of transport. It just means that you choose your vehicle for the journey you need to do, or you choose your journey for the vehicle in which you want to do it.

I've test ridden one yes but it's some years ago

I've commuted by bike for ~a decade, 8+ years of that on three wheels primarily.

That's had several years of use of shared use paths and barriers, as well as years of combined rural and busy town cycling. Before that I had a couple of years of rural/town commuting on an upright, and the only time I ever thought "I'd be better off on an upright" was when the cycle path was flooded...
Any other weather (snow, hail, rain, freezing fog, wind) and I'd probably choose three wheels. A fine day would bring out the raptobike if I didn't need to take the laptop to work, but that is a serious "Sunday" machine in the configuration I had it and really "asked" to be pedalled hard... I'd average 22mph over 14 of the 15 miles to work, including traffic lights, hills, roundabouts...

This is important enough that I'm quoting it twice...
There are places I ride that make trikes very impractical and which would limit my cycling freedom.

I can easily imagine people saying exactly the same about driving... There are places I drive that make a bike very impractical and which would limit my travel freedom.

A test ride and regular commuting are two different beasts when it comes to experience. The perceived disadvantages simply don't manifest nearly as significantly as you might think they would. Much like the perception that cycling is a terrible idea because it always rains in the UK: The count of days where the weather is genuinely bad is small - and more importantly those when it wasn't predicted to be bad the day before is vanishingly small.
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.

reohn2
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby reohn2 » 28 Jul 2020, 7:29pm

Bob
We have differing opinions due our own preferences I'm not arguing with anyone,just stating why I'd prefer a bike over a trike from a practical POV.
I didn't want to get into a protracted debate so I'll leave it at that.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Jul 2020, 7:44pm

You say preferences, I say experience...

They’re not a perfect fit for everything, but no mode of transport is.
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.

reohn2
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby reohn2 » 28 Jul 2020, 8:24pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:You say preferences, I say experience...

Your experience doesn't change my preference :wink:

They’re not a perfect fit for everything, but no mode of transport is.

You're right,though some are more perfect than others for any given individual :)
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Lodge
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby Lodge » 30 Jul 2020, 8:54pm

Until I retired two years ago I accumulated circa 50000 miles cycle commuting over a period of about 15 years. The last 9000 or so of those were by trike. At first I was using a Hase Kettwiesel (which is now at 4000 miles) then adding an ICE Sprint (now at 7000 miles). The Kettwiesel was really useful for winter in the snow since it has two wheel drive via a differential. The Sprint is lighter and faster so more fun for the better weather. After a year where I didn't use a car to get to work I sold said car thereby reimbursing the cost of the trikes.

I'm lucky, I had a garage. Without that it would have been difficult to store the trikes. In older times when I did live in a terraced town house I was again fortunate enough to have rear access and an 8x12 foot shed (with lock and alarm!). However that was before trikes and before moving to France/Switzerland.

I was also fortunate to be able to find routes to work that were approx 60% not on the street i.e. cycle paths across fields, along canals, through forests. Average daily distance was 25-30 miles (avoiding the direct 6.5 miles each way route). Admittedly it wasn't the UK, but from a rural French village and across the border into Basel, Switzerland. That said, when I was in the city (Saint Louis & Basel) or skirting Basel EuroAirport it was amazing how much more room I was given compared with using a bike. Something to do with the "what the *** is that" factor (I've now experienced the same back in the UK although I do try to avoid commuting times. I've even taken the Sprint into central Stoke-on-Trent (Hanley) which was much better than I thought it might be).

Many other recumbent trike riders say the same about being given a wider berth. There was a post on this very theme early June this year on the Recumbent Trike UK FaceBook group.

alant82
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby alant82 » 30 Jul 2020, 10:24pm

I spent 2 or 3 years commuting with an ICE Sprint 26 and it was fantastic but I was fortunate to be able to store it in our large shed which was easily accessible, so all I had to do was wheel it out/in every day. I wouldn't have wanted to have been lifting it anywhere. In my experience a bike/trike that's easily accessed will be used more often.
Alan
ICE Sprint 26
Bacchetta Giro 26

belgiangoth
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby belgiangoth » 31 Jul 2020, 12:32pm

I have sometimes experienced the extra passing distance on my SPM - usually on larger faster roads. On smaller local roads they will squeeze past regardless.
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

tatanab
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby tatanab » 31 Jul 2020, 1:46pm

Lodge wrote:That said, when I was in the city (Saint Louis & Basel) or skirting Basel EuroAirport it was amazing how much more room I was given compared with using a bike.
I lived in St Louis for 5 months in early 1999, but only had a bike with me. In 2010 I revisited as part of a tour on a trike - upright flavour. Hell's teeth, the tram lines in Basel are just about impossible to live with. The width is not much wider than the track of the trike. I dropped a wheel into a track only once and had to stop to lift it out because I could not just flick the wheel up since I was hauling camping kit. Fortunately I'd timed my arrival for a Sunday afternoon, so there wasn't much traffic around the city anyway.

Lodge
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Re: Practicalities of living with a trike

Postby Lodge » 31 Jul 2020, 6:55pm

So there's another potential issue regarding the practicalities of a trike - tram tracks. They are becoming more common these days as UK cities re-install them. Yes, one does have to be very aware especially if your trike is wearing narrower tyres (e.g. my ICE Sprint). Those with wider touring or balloon tyres should be fine (wife's Hase Kettwiesel).

But them tram tracks are an issue for two wheelers as well. Easier to avoid with one track vehicle versus three. One third the risk of dropping in but greater injury hazard by falling off.