August 10, 2022
What Wheelbase Works for You? All bikes and trikes have a choice of wheelbases. The wheelbase of a recumbent trike is based on the distance between the axles of the front and back wheels. You have your choice of a short or long wheelbase, with both offering comfort, stability, and a safe ride. Here we look at the differences between the two to help decide what wheelbase works for you. Short Wheelbase Recumbent Trikes Short wheelbase recumbents are about 35 to 40 inches. They have a smaller turning radius and, therefore, better maneuverability. Because they have a more equal weight distribution between the two wheels, front-wheel skids are less likely. The trike is also shorter overall, making them easier to lift, store and transport by car. The short wheelbase is best for people who have a smaller vehicle or who travel with more than one trike in their vehicle. Long Wheelbase Recumbent Trikes A long wheelbase averages about 64 inches. They are stabler than short wheelbase models, and many people find them easier to learn to ride. In theory, they will stretch your whole-body weight across the frame, which some say gives you a little softer ride. However, they are harder to lift and transport. A long wheelbase is favored by people who travel longer distances. However, they do require more space for transporting them via car so that you will need a pickup or SUV. You can also consider investing in a foldable long wheelbase trike, but this will be more expensive. What are the Benefits of Recumbent Trikes Despite Wheelbase? More people are discovering the joy of triking over biking thanks to the many benefits they offer, including: Safety Recumbent trikes are lower to the ground, which reduces the risk of taking a tumble and experiencing serious injuries. As people get older, the idea of the trike is appealing, especially if they begin to experience balance issues. You can stop safely if you encounter wildlife, other cycles, dogs, or small children darting in front of you and are far less likely to tip when taking corners. You can also ride faster with less worry of falling. Comfortable Ride The recumbent trike is far more comfortable than traditional upright bikes. Because you feel safer, you can relax more while riding, which is easier on your body and mind. They are also designed using ergonomics so that your body experiences less stress on the joints, spine, neck and even wrists. Recumbent trike riders often find they can ride longer and get in more exercise because their joints don’t ache like they do on an upright bike. People who find walking difficult can also discover the recumbent trike as a comfortable way to exercise. No Balance Worries It takes skill to master riding a bike, but the extra wheel of the trike means there’s no learning curve. Although you have to get used to how everything works, such as the breaks and gears, you can take to the trails without worries about the balancing act involved with cycling. They are easy to ride with a nice smooth spin on the peddles for an easy gait you can maintain for miles and miles. Wear Comfortable Clothes Say bye to padded bike shorts and spandex tops. You can wear whatever you like without the worry of feeling uncomfortable, thanks to the chair that accommodates your entire body. There isn’t any pressure in the “crotch” as you ride so you aren’t restricted by those chunky, bulky padded shorts. The seats of the recumbent trikes are more like chairs, designed for long-distance rides that distribute weight evenly for comfort. You’ll still need a helmet, but padded shorts are a thing of the past, even for the long-distance triker. It’s Exercise That’s Loads of Fun There’s no getting around the fact that triking is fun. It is a unique way to get exercise and fresh air so you can continue to live a very active lifestyle well into your 70s and even 80s. You can easily travel further distances and keep the pace you desire, whether you’re a speed demon who wants to beat your personal best or someone who likes a leisurely pace to take in the scenery. Regardless of the speed you prefer, you’re getting a good low-impact aerobics workout that’s easy on your joints and great for your heart. You can burn calories, build strength in your legs and hips, and have fun doing it. Social Experience If you used to get out running or cycling with friends or family often but just can’t keep up anymore, the recumbent trike is the answer. You can join in the fun, remain more social and not feel you’re being left behind. Your recumbent trike is speedy fast, allowing you to keep up comfortably. It’s also a great conversation starter. You can meet new people anxious to learn more about your unique little trike. Storage With more storage, you can travel farther and feel more prepared for any eventuality. The trike also has tons of accessories for all kinds of gear, whether it's your trike safety kit, a change of warmer or lighter clothing, or camping gear for long-distance road trips. Which Is Right for You? Whether you choose the short wheelbase for easy storage or the long wheelbase for added comfort, the recumbent trike is one of the best ways to keep active. Choosing between a long and short wheelbase still comes down to one thing: comfort. You should always test ride your recumbent before you make your choice. It needs to feel right for your body. Everyone is different, and with your lifestyle, you want to know if your recumbent trike will meet your needs and allow you to travel the trails comfortably. For more information on recumbent trikes, speak to the Laid Back Cycles team. We will make sure you find the perfect wheelbase and features perfectly suited for your activity level. As always, the best way to determine which trike is right for you is to test ride them all. With so many options, fits and features available these days, it is impossible for a “one trike fits all” model. Test riding is crucial. Stop in and ride them all!
August 03, 2022
Tandem Recumbent Trikes The classic bicycle built for two, also known as the tandem bike, is a great way to get around with friends, family members or your significant other. They are also a great option if you want to get out there but could use a little help when it comes to pedal power. Tandem trikes offer more stability and allow you to ride together even if you have different abilities. Here we look at the tandem recumbent trike as an often-overlooked option for people shopping for the perfect trike experience. What is a Tandem Recumbent Trike? Tandem recumbent trikes are a two-seater trike designed for traveling with a friend. They are extremely comfortable, safe and easy to ride even if you and your partner have different ability levels. In fact, it’s the perfect solution if you have a friend or partner who wants to keep active but who can no longer depend on their own strength and endurance to continue cycling on their own. The pilot or captain takes the front seat, where they manage the controls and steering, while the stoker or navigator takes the back seat to help provide pedal power and navigate. Why Choose a Tandem Recumbent Trike? A tandem trike lets two riders hit the trails without anyone getting left behind. If you find you or a friend can’t keep up with a group when out triking or cycling, this is the perfect solution. It’s great for families as well as you can take turns pedaling, and younger kids can be carried in a trailer cycle. The stronger, heavier rider rides up front to maintain better control of the tandem trike. Tandem trikes also provide more speed. If you like to trike, but want to get where you’re going faster, two sets of legs get you there in record time. It’s the perfect way to tour if you’re traveling with another person. Last but not least, if someone you like to spend time with has never felt comfortable triking, this is the ideal solution to hit the trails together. Challenges of the Tandem Trike The most common complaint about the tandem trike is they are harder to ride when going uphill or taking corners. For hills, with a little practice you can learn how to pedal together while shifting to low gear. It’s all downhill from there! For corners, the main challenge is the length of the tandem trike. You have to get used to going slowly around those corners, but at least the extra wheels keep your turns very stable. One last thing is that some people find it’s harder to carry on a conversation on a tandem trike compared to riding alongside a travel companion. However, most love the companionable feel of the tandem as they don’t have to yell back and forth. Managing Cadence Differences Cadence is the speed and rhythm each when riding a tandem trike or bike. It’s important because it helps you find the right pace that is suited to both of you. Because one of the benefits of tandem trikes is keeping you and your companion together for the journey, finding a good pace to suit your weaker pedaler is important. However, it also has to do with leg length which can cause issues if there is a big variance in your height or body structure. Adjusting the crank length can help both pedalers keep pace. A shorter crank allows a slower pedaler to go faster, while a longer crank can slow a speedy pedaler down. Since you’ll want to accommodate the slower rider, a crank about 175 mm tends to work well, while 165 is ideal for those with limited ability. Independent Pedaling System (IPS) This is an especially important feature of the tandem trike. The IPS allows one rider to coast while the other pedals. If one rider is in better shape and stronger than the other rider, this is a wonderful way for your companion to enjoy some fresh air pedaling as much or as little as they like. Just be sure the stronger rider understands this is the deal so they don’t end up exhausted and frustrated with the arrangement. Test your skill level to manage carrying the load of two, starting with shorter trips until you get a feel for the extra weight of your companion. Will a Tandem Recumbent Trike Be Wasted Money? If you can invest in a tandem and will have someone who will see health benefits to your excursions, it is never wasted money. In fact, if you choose, you can also ride the trike alone if there are days your pal isn’t in the mood for a ride. Although it’s not the most practical solution for all cases, if you do have people in your life who will be going out with you on regular rides, then it really is an excellent investment for your health and social life. Unexpected Pros of a Tandem Trike There are some unexpected advantages to the tandem trike, including: Two people can travel with less emergency gear such as spare tires, pumps, brake pads, etc., leaving more room for things like foul weather gear, food, or camping gear It is lighter weight to carry than two separate trikes You can travel farther faster when touring, even if you take turns here and there to coast One person can navigate while the other continues triking, so you don’t have to pull over as often It’s a great way to strengthen a relationship, and you can spend more quality time with each other Families can save money with a single high-quality tandem and a trailer cycle as opposed to buying four or five high-quality bikes or trikes You can spend more time with people you love who don’t have a bike or trike of their own You can get loved ones out and about who are often left out of physical activities due to disabilities As you can see, the tandem recumbent trike is the perfect solution for families, couples, or friends with different abilities.
July 27, 2022
Recumbent Trike Suspension Suspension on recumbent trikes creates comfort and traction for your ride. It helps keep your ride smooth when you encounter bumps in the road and becomes more important if you tend to ride on rough terrain. Although it might seem it is only required when heading out on bumpy, sloped trails, it really is something to consider even if you tend to keep to paved paths or roadways. Remember, you can encounter potholes, uneven terrain, and other obstacles no matter where you ride. Here we look at recumbent trike suspension, how it works, and why it is something to consider when choosing your trike. Types of Recumbent Trike Suspension As mentioned, suspension is directly related to the types of surfaces you’ll ride on. Even the most comfortable seat won’t do much to keep you comfortable when you encounter rough terrain or bumps. There are two types of suspension on adult tricycles: 1. Rear Suspension Only: As the name implies, rear suspension only has the suspension focused on the rear of the trike. Rear suspension trikes flex when you need to smooth out your ride. Many riders feel the rear is the place to be for suspension as this is where you tend to feel the bumps the hardest. Trike manufacturers offer rear suspension only as opposed to full suspension so there are options on price when full suspension isn’t necessary. 2. Full Suspension: The addition of front suspension offers one major benefit to riders which is that it makes you feel safer maintaining speed. The thing with front suspension is, unless your hit something like railroad tracks where you are hitting pretty much the same unevenness by both front tires at the same time, your front wheels will be hitting unlevel terrain individually. This means it doesn’t do as much for bumps in the path as you might expect. For most riders, full suspension isn’t necessary. However, it lets trikes lean or roll through turns to the outside, so again if you like to go fast, you’ll feel you have more control both on rough terrain or when going up and down slopes. Which Suspension is Right for Your Trike? How do you know what suspension is right for your trike? Here are the advantages of both types to help you decide: Full Suspension Recumbent Trikes Budget Isn’t As Much of a Concern: If money is no object, full suspension is more within your reach. They tend to cost much more, especially when compared to a standard trike. If you have the budget, most will say this is the ultimate ride, especially if you’re riding faster, on rougher terrain. You’re All About Technical Trails: If you aren’t out there moseying along on basic, paved trails in local parks but instead are hitting heavy-duty technical trails, then full suspension is your best friend. Those challenging, rocky trails with plenty of tree roots or sudden slopes cry for full suspension. That’s actually why they build full suspension. You get both front and rear support, so you have improved traction, a smoother ride and improved control and handling when you hit the rough stuff. You can feel more confident on the trails with full suspension so enjoy your ride a lot more. You Need More Comfort: You can definitely improve comfort with a good seat or seat accessories. But really, when it comes to comfort, your full suspension trike is designed to absorb those jarring bumps. If your body can only take limited exertion, or you tend to travel for longer, rougher rides, full suspension is not only more comfortable but can also reduce fatigue. As a result, you can travel farther and faster if that is the kind of trip you love. You’re a Speed Junky: If you love the exhilaration of going fast, you want to avoid those jarring bumps that can leave you feeling a little worse for wear at the end of what should be a thoroughly exciting, fun ride. Front and rear suspension absorb those bumps when you are going fast. This is something rear suspension alone won’t do for you on seriously technical trails. Good options for full suspension trikes include Catrike Dumont, Catrike eCAT Dumont, and some ICE trike models. Rear Suspension Recumbent Trikes Budget is a Concern: On the flipside of the budget scale, if money is a concern, then as mentioned above, you’re going to be facing higher costs for a full suspension bike. The rear suspension is a better option as they are easier to manufacture with fewer moving parts to worry about. In fact, you should consider maintenance costs for full suspension as it does add up over time. With rear suspension, you’ll enjoy a smoother ride, but without the higher price tag. You’re More About Leisurely Rides: If you love a leisurely ride on paved, smoother trails, then you really don’t need that additional suspension. The rear suspension trike is just right when you like smoother trails where you might like to go fast but can hit some bumps in the road. Or maybe you enjoy unpaved roads in the country that do have some bumps that you tend to feel mostly at the back of your trike. You can absorb those bumps without the need for front absorption with the rear suspension trike. You Want a Low-maintenance Trike: Because you’ll have fewer parts to contend with than a full suspension trike, the rear suspension is a lot easier when it comes to maintenance. Keep in mind all trikes require some maintenance for improved safety and performance. But generally speaking, the fewer parts your trike has, the easier and less expensive maintenance becomes. You Want a Lightweight Trike: Rear suspension bikes are lighter because, again, they have fewer parts. However, just remember it all depends on the trike design. If weight is important, but you have a higher budget and tend to ride on more challenging trails, check the weights between the rear and full suspension, so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to own the ideal trike for your needs. Good options for rear suspension trikes include the Greenspeed GT20 RS and some ICE trike models.
July 20, 2022
How to Transport Your Recumbent Trike Transporting your recumbent trike can pose an issue because of its size. However, if you’re interested in using your trike in your travels, you want to transport it easily. Here we look at the best ways to transport your recumbent trike so you can get out there and experience trails near and far. Choose a Folding Trike If you’re shopping around for a 3-wheel bike and plan to travel to trails further from home, the folding trike is your best option. Some of the best folding trikes include: Terratrike Traveler: If you have a sub-compact car, you can fit two Travelers in the back and still have room for other things. It’s an excellent choice when you trike with a partner. Catrike Trail, 5.5.9, & Dumont: This is a great option if you want a foldable, extra comfortable trike. It has plenty of features to make cycling a pleasure including a padded seat, padded wrist rests, and an ergonomic adjustable seatback. Greenspeeds: All Greenspeed trikes are designed with a quick-fold feature using a 6mm Allen key to release a single-seat bolt. If you travel to trails often, this is the easiest choice. It basically takes under a minute to release the frame hinge and get it in and out of your vehicle. It’s also ideal if storage at home is an issue. Whether you’re shopping for your first adult tricycle or find you’re traveling more often, the folding trike offers hassle-free transport. Trike Ramps Trike ramps are used outside the vehicle allowing you to roll your trike up into your SUV, minivan or pickup truck storage area. Although most trikes are quite lightweight weighing about 35 pounds, a motorized trike adds another 17 pounds or so. This is getting up there for some people. If you have limitations on how much you can lift, or just find the trike too awkward to handle, the trike ramp is ideal. The ramp is simply two aluminum rails you hook to the trunk and rest on the road. You then remove and store the ramp in your vehicle when you don’t need it. You simply attach the ramp, align the wheels of your trike with the rails, lift the third wheel and roll the trike up into the storage area. This is a convenient, lightweight accessory that is also very affordable. Easy Load Ramp System and Trays If space is an issue in your vehicle, the easy load ramp and tray system are ideal. The tray affixes to the rear of any vehicle offering an easy way to load and transport your trike. Just make sure that if you drive a car, you have at least 16” between the road and the tray to avoid damage if you hit dips. To be safe, you can use an adaptor purchased at an automotive store to reduce the risk of damage for lower vehicles. This raises the tray to the required 16”. The ELRS-Tray uses a standard 2” receiver hitch on the transporting vehicle and is 48” wide by 40” from the vehicle to the back of the tray. The tray hooks up to your vehicle lights so your brake lights, running lights and turning signal are all in synch with the tray’s lights. The frame is adjustable so you can use it for longer trikes. When not in use, the tray is raised and locked flat against the back of your vehicle. Reflective red and silver safety tape makes it more visible when in the upright position. The tray stays securely in place with a pin to lock it when not in use. To load your trike, you remove the pin and then fold the tray down. There is a convenient place to store the pin on the rack, so it doesn’t get lost. Two aluminum ramps affix to the tray so the trike can be rolled up to load it. Be sure to center the trike on the tray so it doesn’t stick too far out on one side. This avoids the trike being hit by other vehicles on the road. Lock your brakes to stabilize the trike, remove the ramps and you’re ready to go. Vehicle Racks If you own an adult trike that doesn’t fold and you really don’t want to invest in a foldable trike, a vehicle roof rack is an excellent option. Roof racks are ideal for smaller, lower cars and allow you to mount up to two trikes. If your trike seems longer, you can also buy a longer bike tray. The strike is secured by the wheels which affix to the roof rack bars using straps. In most cases, you’ll have to remove the trike seat, unless it is a trike where the seat folds down. However, the rack really isn’t an option if you have an SUV. It is close to impossible to safely and easily get the trike up onto the roof. In this case, you’ll want to go to our next option, the trike/bike ramp. Trailers Although you can also consider a trailer towed by a receiver hitch, it is not an affordable option. You’ll need a receiver hitch designed for the year, make and model of your vehicle. You’ll also want to make sure it is installed properly which means having it done at your car dealership if you aren’t very handy. This gets very expensive. When you consider the benefits of a trailer, they match up with a ramp and tray system. It really makes more sense to go with the more affordable, easier fold-up tray option mentioned above. Transporting your recumbent trike offers you the opportunity to experience new, more challenging trails, whether you are driving to trails an hour away, or in the next state. You can choose the best option to allow you to easily transport your trike suited to your budget, type of vehicle and level of ability to lift and load your trike.
July 18, 2022
These Are Our Top 8 Picks for Recumbent Trike Accessories in 2022 When you want to make the most of your cycling time out on your recumbent trike, accessories can make a big difference. Recumbent gear helps improve your experience and provides the little details that keep you safer and more comfortable. Here we look at the top eight accessories to take your 3-wheel bike experience to the next level. Categories of Recumbent Trike Accessories There are four categories of adult tricycle accessories: Safety: Under this category, you’ll find the accessories that help improve your trike’s visibility to drivers. However, they also allow you to remain more aware of your surroundings so you can keep an eye on vehicles, pedestrians, and other cyclists. This would include accessories such as flags, lights and mirrors. Comfort: Whether you cycle 20 minutes a day, or spend hours on the trails, additional comfort is always a welcome feature for the avid recumbent cyclist. These trikes are designed for comfort, but some models are not as generous with comfort features. If you find your recumbent tricycle lacking comfort, there are lots of accessories available to make your ride more enjoyable. As a result, you can travel further, for longer. Storage: If you use your trike to run errands, or enjoy longer rides where a change of clothes or supplies are required, storage comes in handy. Under this category, you will find everything from cup and phone holders to stow-away bags. Accessibility: These accessories make it easier to get into and/or operate your adult tricycle and include handle accessories or chain adjusters. When shopping for trike accessories, you can filter available products to make it easier to find the items that will meet your needs. The Top 8: Here are the top eight recumbent trike accessories for cyclists: 1. Water Bottle Holder for Recumbent Trikes Even a 20-minute cycle calls for hydration. A water bottle holder makes it easy to travel with your water within reach so you can rehydrate as you burn calories and use up energy. The hotter the day and the more vigorous the pace, the more you perspire. A water bottle/cup holder is the perfect place for your favorite sports drink, morning cup of coffee or water. 2. Safety Flag for Recumbent Riders Unfortunately, the world isn’t quite ready to keep an eye out for recumbent trike riders yet. Therefore, when out on the road, you need to draw more attention to yourself. Safety flags are the perfect solution. While they can also be used on trails, safety flags are something you shouldn’t travel without when riding in high vehicle traffic areas. Even when riding on the sidewalk, crossing at a crosswalk is dangerous when riding so low to the ground. A safety flag can be attached to your trike to draw attention to yourself as a lifesaving accessory must when riding in busier areas. 3. Phone Holder for Trike Riders Even if you aren’t phone-obsessed like most people today, riding with a phone provides a quick way to reach people if you run into issues. Whether you are running late, experience a flat tire, or are in an accident, having your phone nearby keeps you in contact with loved ones, work and emergency services when required. A phone holder makes it easy to reach for your phone and reduces the risks of having it fall out of your pocket. You can also access music, make calls and keep in touch so people know you are safe. And let’s not forget the convenience of navigation apps when trying out a new trail. Apps are also available to track your miles and let’s not forget the all-important selfie opportunities to share your travel experiences along the trails. 4. Front Rear Light Mounts for Recumbents If you ride at night having lights on your trike keeps you visible to runners, cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. In fact, they even help during the day. 5. Mirrors for Recumbent Trikes Mirrors allow you to keep an eye on everything going on around you. The busier the trails or roads you ride, the more important mirrors become. It never hurts to know who or what is coming up behind you whether it is runners, cyclists, pedestrians or vehicles. You can avoid accidents and injuries to both yourself and those sharing the roads and trails when you become more aware of your surroundings. 6. Bag and Rack for Recumbent Trikes Don’t get caught unprepared for issues like a flat or chain issues that call for quick repairs. A bag and rack are ideal for riding with tools to make repairs that allow you to get home safe. It’s also the easiest way to carry other things you need such as extra water, snacks, or foul weather gear. You can prepare for different scenarios that might interfere with a smooth, pleasant ride. These bags are easily mounted to the coordinating rack on your trike, so they are out of the way but easy to access when you need it. 7. Speedometer for Trikes If you love to challenge yourself, having a speedometer mounted on your trike helps keep track of your speed to improve your personal best. However, it can also be used to measure how far you ride, your average speed and more. 8. Recumbent Trike Car Rack When you head out on an exciting road trip, whether it is a picnic, a camping trip or a weekend getaway you don’t want to leave your trike behind. A trike car rack is the most convenient way to bring along your trike without taking up much-needed storage space on the roof or trunk of your vehicle. Although foldable trikes are another option, they take up a lot of space in your trunk. With the trike car rack, you get the best of both worlds. You can bring your trike along for the ride but still have enough space for all your other camping gear or luggage. These are just some of the accessories that make your recumbent bike rides safer and more enjoyable. You can hit the trails with confidence knowing you’ve got all the latest gear and accessories to plan the ultimate triking adventure.
July 08, 2022
Video Transcript Hi, this is James, Master Trike technician at Laid Back Cycles. Today we are going over direct steering versus indirect steering. Which one is better? Okay, I got you there. One is not really better than the other, they are just different. Indirect steering essentially puts the steering on a bearing underneath the seat and operates two tire rods. Because of the way it's levered it takes a lot less energy to move. Also, the wheels can be engineered because of how they have the tire rods. The initial movement is less but as you turn, it turns the wheel more. This can give you a little bit more stability when you're going really fast; and also gives you a really good turn radius for when you're on a bike path and you have a single lane. Now direct steering also has this advantage. As its name implies the handlebars are directly connected to the wheels. This has several advantages because like a sports car you are directly connected to the road. You actually feel everything, and you can correct when you have those little bumps or little divots inside of the road. You can react to it a little bit more because there's more input to the driver of the trike. It's a simpler system run through us a single tie rod. How it rides versus the indirect depends a lot on the frame designs and the steering designs. A whole bunch of things will affect the feel. The design of the handlebars, the angle of the head tubes on both systems, and what the engineer was thinking when they designed the overall trike. So, we're going to take these things outside and show you a little bit about the differences. The direct steering is very well planted. You can feel the road, you have total control over it, and the ability to move it is actually not that hard. You can do it with one hand pretty easily. This system on this Gran Tourismo is perfect. The Greenspeed, especially the GT20, has one of the best steering systems out there. One hand is real easy and it's not jittery in any sense. And when you turn it has a natural progressive feeling. This thing is great. So, we just got back from our ride over here and as you can see, in actual practice, there's not a whole lot of difference between the two different types of steering. There is a difference in feel though; so you might prefer one or the other. But again the trike is more important than the steering. You should be able to feel comfortable in it before you even get to that point. And then from there if you have two trikes that you like and one happens to be direct steering and one is indirect, pick the one you're most comfortable with. But if you want to know more about the subject you should check out this next video.
July 06, 2022
Folding Recumbent Trikes Whether you have storage issues at home or want to travel to the best trails with your recumbent trike but it doesn’t fit in your car, it can be very convenient to have a folding recumbent trike. They come with all the features you love while allowing you to fold them up to fit in the trunk of your car, or store them more easily at home. Here we look at the folding trike, their features, benefits and who they are ideally designed for. What is a Folding Recumbent Trike? The folding adult tricycle can be folded down when not in use. This makes it both easier to store and easier to transport. There are folding trikes available to match practically any standard model, including motorized trikes. Many fold up so compactly you can even use them when abroad, or when traveling on the train or bus. This provides more freedom to seek new trails and explore towns and cities to expand your vacation destination possibilities. Cost of Folding Trikes Be prepared to pay more for a folding recumbent trike in some cases. Although you might think of the folding trike as compact, and therefore more affordable, they require special mechanisms that allow them to fold. This can add to the cost of the 3-wheel bike for some models. Price the trikes out and if they seem to be on the higher end, ask yourself if you really need a folding recumbent tricycle. Are there other transporting options? How does this price compare to the cost of the folding feature? Will you have to sacrifice features to find an affordable folding model? How often will you need to transport it? Does it justify the additional cost if there is one? Do you travel with a friend? If so, can their vehicle be used instead of yours to accommodate the trikes? Who Uses Folding Recumbent Trikes? For the most part, owners of folding trikes are people who tend to travel more often with smaller vehicles. The length of the trip isn’t what counts but instead the ability to access trails too far off to cycle to. So if you have a smaller vehicle and want to explore new trails either locally or in another state, the folding recumbent trike is an excellent option. However, people who live in smaller homes such as condos with limited storage also benefit from a folding recumbent trike. What are The Best Folding Recumbent Trikes? There are many options available to suit just about any cyclist’s needs including: TerraTrike Traveler: This is the best choice for really small cars, especially if you cycle with a friend or partner. It can fold down small enough to fit two even in a sub-compact and still allows room for other things like overnight bags, picnic lunches, etc. It also offers an excellent ride with features you’ll appreciate like the strong carbon steel frame, direct steering, and disc brakes. Catrike 5.5.9, Dumont, and Trail: These trikes offer extra features you’ll appreciate if you love taking longer rides. It has not just an extra cushy seat, but also padded wrist rests, and an ergonomic adjustable seatback. You’ll also love the advanced self-centering technology, no-break steering, and convenient rear-view mirror for added safety and confidence. All Greenspeed Trikes: Greenspeed rules in the world of folding recumbent trikes and are the ultimate smaller trike. If you aren’t big on fussing over folding and unfolding the trike, they are a great choice. They offer a quick-fold design and a quick-release hinge on the frame. People find they can tackle the folding in less than a minute. ICE Adventure E-Assist Models (also many ICE models): If you love long rides with more controls, this electronic trike is the foldable choice for you. People love the higher, more accessible seating position, and the boost of power when faced with hills on more rugged trails. They use a Flat Twist Fold with an updated handlebar that keeps everything aligned when folding and unfolding the trike. It also offers the types of features cyclists look for including a nice wide cockpit, ergonomically correct seat and a smooth ride. Considerations When Choosing a Folding Trike There are four things that become more important when choosing a folding trike: 1. Folding Mechanism Make sure you understand how the folding mechanisms work. Have a demo, then try to fold, lift and unfold the trike on your own. You want to make sure you can manage the folding mechanisms and also lift it easily into and out of your vehicle or storage space. Consider how much strain the folding puts on the frame, and also if it will mess with the alignment if not folded properly. 2. Weight Since you are choosing a folding trike so you can either store it or transport it, you will ultimately have to lift it often. You’ll need to make sure the weight and flexibility of the trike are a good match for your lifting capabilities. It might sound all well and good if it becomes compact, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the trike will weigh less. The average trike weighs about 35 pounds and the average motorized trike weighs about 52. So, fold it and lift it to get a feel for how manageable it is before making a purchase. 3. Maneuverability This refers to how maneuverable the trike is when folded. Some can’t be rolled, which means they will be harder to maneuver. It goes back to point number two. If you have to depend on lifting and carrying the trike instead of being able to wheel it part of the way, it becomes more difficult to handle. 4. Folded Size Just because the trike folds doesn’t necessarily mean it fits anywhere. Be sure you understand the folded size. Although the fold reduces the length, it then makes it wider. Measure the storage area of your vehicle, as well as where you store it at home to make sure it fits. The folded trike is the ideal choice if you want a trike you can pop in the trunk of your small vehicle and head out to discover new trails, parks and towns. It is also an option if you have a smaller home with limited storage. In some cases a very compact foldable trike even allows you to take your trike along when traveling abroad. For more information about folding recumbent trikes, speak to our team.
June 30, 2022
Video Transcript Laid Back Mickey here! Hey, you just bought your trike and now you are wondering what to do. Well, probably the first thing you should do is get out and ride. But, before you do that, I have a couple questions for you. There are three things that you want to know after buying a trike. You will want to know about maintenance, about accessories, and where to find community. Let’s start talking about maintenance. When it comes to maintenance there are the A,B,C’s. The A stands for air. You will want to make sure you put air in your tires. I see so many people riding on low air, and that means you don’t get to go very far or very fast. If you ride with low air it also makes the tires more likely to get punctured. Most tires are anywhere from 50-60 PSI. So, if they start to get low make sure you have a tire pump on hand to keep the air in your tires. Next is the letter B, and it stands for the brakes. You want to check your brakes and make sure they are working. When you buy your trike most of the break in is in the first 90 days. So, any time from 30-90 days after buying your trike you will want to bring it in to either our shop or a different shop to have a once over on your trike. Have a checkup and to make sure all your cable stretching and everything else is all tightened up and ready to go until your next tune up. And last is the letter C which stands for chain. Your trikes chains need to be lubed in order to roll properly over the gears. So, if you put a little lube on the chain with an applicator, that should keep it clean and help your trike continue to function properly. We also have a maintenance video featuring James, our Master Trike Technician, on how to keep basic maintenance on your trike. So that’s all on maintenance! Did you guys know that 80% of you watching this video right now are not subscribed to the Laid Back Cycles channel? Go ahead and subscribe, and also hit the bell notification to get all the cool videos that are coming up that will tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about trikes. The next thing we want to talk about is the accessories. Just a minute ago we talked about lubing your chain, so it might be a good idea to keep some in your garage for when you need it. Another cool accessory is the trike bag that can hold all your stuff for when you ride. You might want to get a little bag or even a rack with the bag so you can carry all your trike stuff as well as snacks for the road! You can also get a front light and a taillight so that you can be seen while riding in the day or night. The lights of today are LED lights, so they are super bright and depending on the kind you get they can be seen day or night. Safety is key! You will also need a water bottle holder because you will be taking water with you on your rides. You may not drink a lot of it while riding but you may need a sip here and there. You also need a flag to put on your trike so that you can be seen by cars and people riding behind you. It is another key factor in your safety while riding your trike. A good thing to have on your trike at all times is a repair kit and tools in case you were to ever get a flat tire while riding. This includes a pump, a spare tire, tire levers, and a patch kit (in case you get two flat tires). Investing in good tires is a great way to prevent this. For instance, the Marathon or Marathon Plus are great tires because of their high thorn resistance. But make sure you have all the accessories you need when you are out and about in order to ride safely. A great place to purchase your accessories is on our website, laidbackcycles.com. Even if you are not located in Northern California we do ship nationwide. The last thing I wanted to go over today is community. You might be asking yourself the question, where can I ride? With a trike you can ride on the bike trail or on the street. But remember, if you ride on the street make sure you have a flag and bright taillights for your safety. There are different groups you can join, for instance we have our Laid Back group here in Northern California. If you are somewhere else in the states, you should find your local trike shop and ask them when’s the next ride! You can also invite your friends to ride, you can ride a three-wheeler with a two-wheeler. But make sure you get out there and ride and invite others to join you! If you want to know when we are having our next ride at Laid Back Cycles, go ahead and go online and sign up for our newsletter and we will send an update for each ride we have! So that was all about what to do after getting your trike. Now it is time to ride! If you have any questions give us a call or check out our YouTube videos to get all the info on the latest accessories, what we are doing at Laid Back, and a lot more cool stuff. We look forward to seeing you on the trail!
June 29, 2022
Which Recumbent Seats are Most Comfortable? You might be thinking to yourself, aren’t all recumbent seats designed for comfort? And generally speaking, the answer to this question is yes. Because recumbent trikes have a reclined seat, they offer better support. They are designed to “cup” your whole body, but people come in different shapes and sizes. Therefore, when choosing a recumbent seat, you have to consider your size and shape, as well as where you intend to ride your recumbent trike. Like any seat, what is comfortable for one person is not going to be as comfortable for another. Here we look at the different types of recumbent seats to help you decide which is the most comfortable for you. Design of the Recumbent Seat Recumbent tricycle seats are usually about the height of a dining room chair. That makes them easy to get in and out of, but also can cause issues if you tend to go faster and take a lot of corners. When you think of the positioning of the seat, you can imagine that the higher up you are, the easier it becomes to take a topple, because you are closer to the position of a traditional upright bike. With a trike, you combine a lower seat with three wheels for added stability. When you see models with a seat lower to the ground, that is a high-performance trike designed to go faster and avoid issues such as wind. But if you are limited in how low you can go when getting in and out of the trike, the low design won’t be right for you. Performance vs Comfort The hammock-style seat is designed for extra comfort and support for your entire body. If you’re all about performance, you have that added balance, but the chair might not be as comfortable compared to other types of recumbent seats. For example, high-performance trikes tend to have seats with a carbon fiber shell that is quite rigid. They are also quite narrow, so they are suited to someone who is leaner. Cushioned Seat This seat is designed for the everyday rider. Regardless of your weight, you’ll find an ICE Ergo Luxe seat accommodates you nicely. In fact, it also comes in size options both narrower and wider. This seat is also quite cushiony, compared to the hammock, high-performance style seat. It offers excellent breathability thanks to ventilation areas, so you get everything you would want in a seat: Soft seating Support Breathability Size options The option for a skinny or wide version offers the same features, but with a more customized “fit.” Wider Seats If you prefer, you can also get a mesh seat with straps on the back which offers a more hammock-like quality. This gets you back to the comfort vs performance discussion providing more flexibility but not as much cushion. In this design, you use the straps to adjust the amount of support you prefer, as opposed to the extra padding. If you want an extra-wide seat, the Greenspeed Magnum, the ICE Adventure HD, and the TerraTrike Rambler are good options for you. Recumbent Seat Pads Often, we invest in a trike that meets most of our needs, but over time we find it isn’t as comfortable as we like. It could be because you start taking longer rides, or you simply find you don’t feel as supported as you’d like. If you have a TerraTrike but wish the seat had more cushion, no problem. The TerraTrike company understands no one seat is going to please every customer. That’s why they make accessories you can add to your trike. Instead of thinking you need an entirely new seat or even a new trike, you can just invest in the extra cushions to improve comfort easily. Other trikes that don’t have a lot of cushions like the Catrike 700 and the Expedition can also be made more comfortable with a Ventisit cushion. Adding a recumbent seat pad increases the cushion for a comfy ride. Other Recumbent Trike Accessories As mentioned, over time you might find your trike is lacking certain comforts you didn’t think about at the time of your purchase. For example, if you have a Catrike, most come with a built-in wrist rest for added comfort. Something like an ICE trike could use extra support in the wrists. Luckily there are add-ons to improve your wrist support. As well, while many trikes come with headrests, if you purchase a model that doesn’t have enough neck support, you can buy a headrest accessory. It’s all about what makes you comfortable when you are out riding. Other Comfort Considerations for Adult Trikes Because of the low to the ground, wider design of the adult trike, not all adult trikes are designed with additional suspension. As a result, you might find that on certain types of trails your ride is a lot bouncier than you’d like. If this is the case, consider investing in wider tires. The average trike has wheels in the 1.25 or 1.5 width range. However, upgrading to 2.0 width on your trike provides a lower pressure tire, so you feel like you’re riding with a brand-new suspension system. Keep in mind that if you do plan to hit trails that are more rugged, there are many trikes like the ICE Adventure or Catrike Dumont, that come with rear or full suspension. It makes more sense to consider investing in a suspension system if it’s within your budget. If you don’t have the budget to invest in models with a suspension system, this simple tire hack is the best way to enjoy a smoother ride. As with any equipment used for physical activity, it takes time to work in your new trike and get a feel for the true comfort of your ride. Much like a new pair of running shoes, you need to get out there and use your trike “in situ” as they say to understand if it meets your needs. When it comes to comfort, you might find your ride isn’t quite what you expect. Using accessories and add-ons helps customize your ride to suit your needs. Get Comfort Accessories for Your Trike Video TranscriptLaid-back Mickey here. Hey, today we are talking about whether or not trikes are comfortable. Trikes have a reclined seat that supports your body. It is meant to cup your whole body so that when you sit back it is like a Lazy Boy with wheels, or at least that’s what I call them. Most trikes are about the height of a dining room chair. Now when you go lower to the ground, those trikes are faster and more performance-oriented trikes. So, the wind blows over, but the comfort is still there. The seat is still a hammock style seat that is going to support your body. Now there’s different seats that are more performance based, but maybe they are not as comfortable. They aren’t as comfortable because they are a carbon fiber shell. If you are skinnier, then it might fit you nicely. It’s performance, it’s rigid, it has a lot of performance qualities so you can push on it hard and it won’t flex. But you know what? For me, I don’t fit my butt into that. So, if you are a little wider it doesn’t fit as well. Let me put this one away.Let’s take a look at this Ice seat. This seat is for the everyday rider. You can be skinny, you can be a little bigger, it doesn’t matter because it has a lot of cushion to it. This seat has breathability with ventilation areas, it has a great cushion, and it supports your body. This is a great seat. So, they have two styles of this one, they have a skinnier and a wider version, and they are both great. You can also get a mesh seat with straps on the back and a hammock like quality. This has a lot more flexibility but not as much cushion like the seat on the ICE trike. But you don’t need all the extra cushion because it has the different straps to provide the support. This is an extra wide seat that comes from the Greespeed Magnum. So, if you want a wider seat the Greenspeed Magnum is a great choice as well as the Adventure HD and any of the Terratrike ramblers are going to be good.Maybe you already have a Terratrike and you wish it had more cushion. Well, they make extra cushions for your trike. The Terratrike company makes cushions to add onto already owned trikes. You can get extra cushions that way. Maybe you have a type of Catrike that doesn’t have a lot of cushion like the 700 and the Expedition. You can add on something like this venti sit that will give you more cushion. Some people ask if they can get wrist rests. Most Catrikes already come with a wrist rest already built in. And with the Ice Trikes you can buy them as an add on to provide your wrists with extra cushion and support. I also recommend you get a head rest. When you are going up a hill, the head rest provides your neck with support and allows you to rest your head. When I’m riding, I don’t normally use the head rest. I only use it about 10-20% of the time. But when you need it, you need it, and it makes it more comfortable. Another way to make your trike more comfortable is, let’s say you have a bouncy ride, you can get wider tires. A lot of the trikes come with a 1.25 or 1.5 width tires. But you can increase to a 2.0 width on many trikes. It gives you a lower pressure tire, so maybe you aren’t going to race, but it’ll give you a suspension feel without the cost. So that’s a great way to make your trike smoother and cushier. Talking about suspension, on many trikes like the ICE Adventure, you can get rear suspension and full suspension. On the Catrike you can get full suspension. You can also upgrade your tires for a suspension feel. Or just go rear or full suspension on your trike and you’ll have a great and smooth ride going down the street. Anyways this is Laid-back Mickey, thanks for watching this video. I’ll see you in the next one.