October 05, 2022
If you’re in the market for a new recumbent adult trike and are leaning towards an e-trike, you basically have two options: The electric motor throttle or The pedal assist These options determine how the power is activated on your e-trike. So how do you know which one is best for you? Here we break it all down to help you decide. Electric Motor Throttle Think of the electric motor throttle as a mini motorcycle. You use a grip shift on the throttle to engage the motor, so your power kicks in. While this is a common type of throttle, there are also triggers and boost buttons available. Regardless of the type of throttle, you have the choice to do all the work, some of the work, or go full power for an effortless ride. You control the amount of power desired with various e-trikes offering different levels of modulation. Modulation is important as it refers to how much control you have over increasing the power. Good modulation is gradual, while poor modulation is quick and comes in sudden bursts. Here are the pros and cons of electric motor throttles: Pros Many riders find the throttle is faster with more responsive power Best for country roads or high traffic areas Allows you to enjoy the ride completely motorized to spare your legs if you tire easily or have mobility issues Cons Poor modulation can be tricky in traffic Less efficient battery since the motor does most of the work Fixed gearing can’t be adjusted to suit the conditions of where you ride Can’t really contend with combined trails or roads where you need to constantly switch from cruising to hill climbing Requires concentration and puts pressure on your hands to control the throttle Some trails do not allow electric motor throttle use Why Choose Electric Motor Throttle? If you have limited mobility or leg strength or suffer from medical conditions that make it difficult to pedal, this is a good option for you. Pedal Assist Pedal assist, also known as electric assist, provides a boost of power when pedaling. Although some provide a “switch” for the power, all models require pedaling. Depending on the power levels of these e-trikes, you can improve your pedaling speed between 20% to 300%. Whether you want to get where you’re going fast without breaking a sweat, want to really accelerate to tackle the steepest hills on the trail or are looking for a gentle “push” pedal assist offers what you need. Bosch motors are designed to respond to your needs so you can enjoy minimal pedaling resistance and reach accelerated speeds even at low cadences. Many systems, such as the eCAT use multi-sensor technology and fast information processing. As a result, you enjoy intuitive interaction that allows you to enjoy the type of ride you need when you need it. Here are the pros and cons of the pedal assist e-trike: Pros Much more intuitive compared to throttle e-trikes Suited for all types of riding, whether it is getting around town, easy trails or more challenging routes with steep hills Less pressure on your hands, focusing on pedaling instead of operating the throttle Mid-drive design provides better balance for the e-trike Excellent for climbing challenging hills because both power and pedaling are fed from the same area, so efforts are more balanced, and wider speeds are reached compared to electric motor throttles You get more mileage because some of the energy is shared through pedaling More acceptable to ride on national park trails Cons Not as good for riding in traffic as you don’t achieve acceleration quickly like a throttle Not recommended if you have severely limited leg strength or mobility Models without sensors can mean underperformance with unpredictable stop-starts and a lack of coordination between pedaling and power Can be pricier than throttle systems Why Choose Pedal Assist? If you love hitting the trails, going further distances, and having the option to accelerate or cruise in comfort, pedal assist is the better option. Two More Considerations When Choosing Your Recumbent E-Trike Here are two more considerations when choosing your recumbent e-trike: 1. Do You Enjoy the Ride? Expect to see a difference in the type of ride you’ll experience with an electric trike. You have to test-ride your e-trike to get used to controlling the trike, based on how you accelerate and decelerate or even take a corner. You’ll also see a difference between the throttle and pedal assist options, as if you love the feel of actually pedaling, you’ll really miss that with a throttle. You want it to feel intuitive and comfortable, as comfort is one of the main reasons you’re choosing a recumbent trike to begin with. Make sure you like the way the trike feels and that it responds the way you expect so you feel safe riding, whether you hit challenging trails or head out to the corner store to buy some milk. 2. What Type of Ride Do You Want? How does the e-trike work, and can you handle it? Do you want to, and can you pedal, or do you want something that works to either boost your ride or take on the full load of the ride for you? If going for the throttle, do you understand how it affects your concentration and the use of your hands? Do you just want to get out there without worrying about keeping fit, or do you want to get the healthy benefits of pedaling? If you are avoiding body pain, where does the pain usually occur? If it’s in the hands and wrists, the throttle is probably not recommended. Do you ride in town more or hit the trails? All these things impact not just the type of power but the entire design of the recumbent trike. If you’re looking for a triking experience that offers the chance to go further, faster and with less effort, the pedal assist is the best choice. The electric throttle motor is really meant for those with limited leg strength and better suited to town riding, as many trails frown upon or even ban throttle use.
September 28, 2022
Classes of Electric Trikes in California While it’s hard not to get pretty psyched about the opportunities e-trikes offer for avid trikers, it’s important to understand e-trikes can introduce new challenges when using California roads and trails. In fact, with so many people opting for e-bikes as their preferred mode of transportation in California, a rebate was actually introduced to encourage people to invest in this eco-friendly option. However, that’s helping to put more e-bikes and e-trikes on our roads and trails. As a result, the California Highway Patrol is set to develop safety standards for e-bike riders based on new legislation. The new guidelines are expected to be introduced by September 2023, focusing on everything from e-bike safety to the rules of the road, with some emergency maneuver skills thrown in for good measure. The new guidelines will hopefully reduce the number of e-riders out there who don’t follow the rules, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. This brings us to the topic of this article, the classes of e-trikes and how they apply to the use of local roads and trails. Let’s take a look at the classes, as well as e-trike best practices, to keep you and fellow riders safe on the trails. The Three Electric Trike Classes As of 2020, there are three classes of e-trikes/bikes: Class 1 A “Class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is equipped with a motor that only functions when you pedal. As well, the trike can only reach 20 miles per hour (MPH) before it stops producing that boost of power. They must have a motor under 750W and be throttle free to align with California rules. The TerraTrike’s E.V.O. (electric vehicle option) is a perfect example of a Class 1 electric assist trike. It meets all the requirements, making it a popular choice for our customers. With a 740W motor, no throttle, and a maximum of 20 mph, it meets the requirements of California laws and is actually not even considered a motorized vehicle. That means if you see trails with signs prohibiting the use of trails by Motorized Vehicles, you can safely continue on unless the sign states more specific trail use rules. Class 2 A “Class 2 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle,” does not require pedaling to use the motor. They also don’t provide assistance once they reach 20 mph. They are limited to motors below 750W but do have a throttle. Class 3 A “Class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” has a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph. Class 3 bicycles are limited to below a 750W motor, have no throttle, and are equipped with a speedometer. Pedelec and moped-style bikes fall into this category. This e-trike also meets the requirements of California’s e-bike rules as it goes to the maximum speed requirement of 28 mph. Common Sense and E-Trike Speeds If you shop around, you can find e-bike manufacturers that produce e-bikes that reach up to 60 mph. In our minds and the minds of California lawmakers, this is not an e-bike and becomes something more like a moped or mini motorcycle. If you choose an e-trike that allows you to go this fast, keep in mind you’re exceeding the 28 mph max in California, which means you’re getting into dangerous territory regardless of where you ride. You’re kind of pressing the rules to work in your favor, and although chances are you won’t get caught zooming down local trails, you’re crossing the line between having fun and what boils down to common courtesy for your fellow riders and trail users. These types of e-trikes and bikes should never be used in public parks or on local roads as you really are putting yourself and others at risk. You’ll also definitely be breaking the law if you’re opening up the full-speed capabilities. Your reaction times also won’t allow you to avoid unexpected obstacles, which puts you and others at risk for serious injuries. Safety Tips for E-Trike Riders With all that said, you can enjoy a much safer e-trike ride with these e-trike rider safety tips: Make sure you wear a helmet no matter where you ride. To make yourself more visible, use front and rear lights and choose accessories with reflective stickers. Whether you are riding night or day, brighter colored, reflective clothing keeps you visible. E-trikes are nice and quiet, which means you might sneak up on fellow riders and pedestrians. Install a horn or bell to provide a little warning as you approach. Call out with a friendly “on your left” so people know which way to step to get out of your way. Make sure you only use trails and roads that allow electric trikes and stick to the designated bike trails and lanes in your area. Keep in mind your lower-to-the-ground position makes it harder for cars and pedestrians to spot you. Ride accordingly, so you’re prepared for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who come into your path and present potential dangers that lead to accidents. Don’t assume parked cars are safe. Watch for sudden vehicle lights that indicate the car is pulling out, as well as car doors that can open into your path. Keep an eye on fellow cyclists who can easily miss you and pull out in front of you unexpectedly. Until you’re used to using your motor, take potholes and uneven terrain at a slower speed to avoid losing control of your trike. Be aware of how your added speed can be interrupted when you hit gravel or wet pavement, and slow down accordingly. If you follow these e-trike best practices, you are more likely to avoid accidents and injuries. You’ll make the most of your e-trike experience without ruining it for others using California roads and trails. Our team can offer advice on the types of e-trikes available that are California compliant.
September 21, 2022
Whether you only use your recumbent trike to get around town or love to challenge yourself on long-distance trails, having enough recumbent trike storage makes a world of difference. Proper storage allows you to plan for the worst while enjoying the best trips possible. Here we look at our storage accessory recommendations for a safer, more enjoyable ride. The Flexible, Adaptable Trike Rack No matter where you roam, the trike rack is the go-to storage accessory. The TerraTrike Low Rider Rack sits behind and below the seat, so you maintain that center of gravity that makes you feel safer nice and low to the ground. It works for storing your electric assist batteries but is also the perfect base for your bags. From picnics to long weekends and riding to work to grocery shopping, you can use the rack for all your trips. The rack can be adapted to various TerraTrike models using the required, suitable fit kit. The Basket for Around Town If you’re out and about doing things like grocery shopping, the basket is your ideal storage companion. The Topeak MTX Rear Basket mounts to the rear rack with the MTX QuickTrack® system. It’s also perfect if you want to pack a lunch or snacks before hitting the local trails for a relaxing day of riding. Convenient Seat Bags Worrying about losing or holding onto your essentials is a thing of the past when you have the right storage solution. Pop everything into a convenient seat bag and travel around with confidence. The TerraTrike Seat Bag is a perfect example of simple storage conveniently secured over the back or bottom of the seat. If you have to take the bag along with you when you arrive at your destination, it has handy handles. This particular bag has 187 cubic inches of storage, making it ideal for all kinds of essentials, including your emergency repair tool kit. Because of its position below the seat, you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way. Out of the Way Side Mounts Side mounts make it easy to travel with one or two bags in tow. If you already use a seat bag, you can add to your load using side mounts on one or both sides. The ICE Side Bag Mount, for example, fits a standard bicycle handlebar bag. Because of the convenient location, you can access things like snacks or drinks without having to stop. Mounts can carry up to 8 pounds each. Handy Pouch for Tools Your essentials are good in your seat bag, but for tools you take along on every trip, we recommend a pouch. They are small enough to hold things in case of emergencies like your tool kit, pump, and spare inner tubes and keep out of the way behind your mesh seat. When you don’t plan to take the bag with you when you reach your destination, you really don’t need handles. It’s the affordable solution for your basic, carry-along tools. Rackless Storage If you don’t have a trike rack and frankly don’t want to buy one, Catrike 700 Arkel Bag Sets are ideal. Unfortunately, they only work with the Catrike 700, hence the name. If that’s your trike of choice, these sturdy bags come as a set and require no hardware. They are of sturdy design, including a high-density polyethylene stiffener. There is also a bag designed for the Catrike Expedition. Two for the Road If you’re looking for mega storage, there are two bags we recommend: 1. Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP With Panniers This is Topeak's largest MTX trunk bag measuring 14.1” x 9.8” x 8.5”-11.4. It is also the most weather resistant using rigid molded panels and flexible 600 denier fabric. Its divided main compartment has a two-stage expanding top and a yellow interior so you can see what you need easily. That’s a game changer for riders who have minimum vision issues. Side panels zip open into full panniers, which add to its massive storage space. It requires an MTX QuickTrack rack with attached side frames for installation. Other fun features include: Clip for optional safety light Water Bottle Holder 3M Reflective Strip Carrying Handle Shoulder Strap 2. TerraTrike Stowaway Bag Make the most of that unused space between the seat and rear wheel with this ginormous storage bag. The U-shape bag nestles behind the seat without interfering with your rear wheel. The location also helps you maintain more control as it adds to the trike’s balance. When paired with other bags or racks, you can really increase your storage capacity. However, this bag alone has a whopping 931 cubic inches of storage space. It opens up completely with zippered sides and also has removable partitions. Interior mesh pockets are great for finicky small things, and each feature makes it feel like it was customized for your needs. It works with the TerraTrike Low Rider Rack and the Commuter and Expedition Panniers. Other features of note include: Secure velcro straps for mounting Reflective strip for added visibility Convenient Cup Holders You know how important it is to stay hydrated when out cycling. That means a cup holder is a must. The TerraTrike Bottle Pocket can be attached within arm’s reach and accommodates almost any size bottle or cup using a bottle retention cord. The strapping system is easy to attach, and it even includes reflective stripping for improved visibility. You can also use your basic Water Bottle Cage if you tend to travel with a regular bottle of water. Either way, be sure to keep water within reach, even when out for a short ride. From a cup holder for your beverage to a pouch for your tools and from a trike rack or basket to mega storage bags, the right storage for your trike keeps you prepared for whatever comes your way. For more information on recumbent trike storage, click here.
September 07, 2022
Comfort Accessories for Recumbent Trikes Recumbent trikes are designed for comfort. However, they might not be perfectly suited to your specific needs. The good news is you can customize your trike to bring it to the next level with easy-to-install comfort accessories. Here we look at some of the best options to optimize your ride for a more comfortable recumbent trike. Comfy Headrests for Neck Support Comfy headrests offer added neck support to help absorb shock. Some awesome choices include: TerraTrike Headrest Designed for all BUT the TerraTrike GTS and Spyder, the TerraTrike Headrest clamps to the exposed ribs of the seat frame for easy installation. It can be adjusted to suit your height with four settings. It offers an ultra-comfortable ride helping your neck absorb shock while deflecting moisture thanks to the closed-cell foam pad and Lycra cover. TerraTrike Sport Touring Head Rest (For GTS And Spyder) If you have a GTS or Spyder, don’t worry, TerraTrike’s got you covered. Designed for trikes using the TerraTrike Sport Touring Seat, you have the same features as above but with a gel pad that keeps you cool. Catrike Adjustable Neck/Head Rest This fully adjustable neck rest is a wonderful addition to Catrike trikes. You can find the perfect setting based on height and angle, making it easier to enjoy those longer rides without neck pain. Greenspeed Magnum Headrest Designed for the standard Greenspeed Magnum, this headrest clamps onto the seat cross brace. It adjusts to fore, aft and height, offering neck support cleverly designed to accommodate helmets. Bump Up Your Seat with Seat Pads Seat pads offer more cushion on your rides, making those longer trips more comfortable. Some excellent seat pads available include: TerraTrike Seat Pad Cover the entire seat with a pad that slips over the top and bottom ends of the seat. It stays nice and secure with a wide Velcro strap. You can choose between the standard pad for 16” seat frames or the wide pad for 18” seats. Enjoy the added pleasure of 1.5 inches of open-cell foam with a breathable mesh designed to wick away moisture. Ventisit - Mesh Seat Pad If you need ventilation, the open weave mesh on this seat pad keeps you cool even on the hottest days. It is also non-slip, so it grips to your seat to stay put. Improve Ergonomics What? You probably chose a recumbent trike because of its ergonomics. But no trike is perfect as they are built to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. You can improve ergonomics with a few comfort accessories, including: TerraTrike Ultra Comfort Seat Wedge The Comfort Seat Wedge is perfect if you want to reduce forward shifting. It creates a raised area when used at the front of the seat, making it feel like you’re riding in a bucket seat. It can also be used at the top for added support in the shoulder blade area. TerraTrike Lumbar Support Cushion If you love your recumbent trike but still find you have back pain, this customizable Lumbar Support Set can be positioned to customize support. It has three removable foam inserts of varying thicknesses and shapes that allow you to position the cushions precisely where you need the most support. They come with a breathable mesh cover allowing you to place the support between the mesh and adjustment straps of the seat for a secure fit. Increase Your Peddling Pleasure If you feel your peddles aren’t doing it for you, you can use a variety of pedal comfort accessories. For example, Shimano Pedals are clip-ons that combine the efficiency of the SPD system and the convenience of a platform pedal. You can customize the entry and release tension settings to make peddling more comfortable. There are also heel supports like TerraTrike Pedals that offer a complete foot platform with a strong, comfortable fit with two oversized straps and stainless steel ringlets. They even have reflective strips to make you more visible at night. If you have trouble getting in and out of your trike, the counterbalance on the bottom keeps your pedals upright. They are also great for people with special needs or motor control issues. Train at Home The SportCrafters Roller is the only trainer designed specifically for trikes. Whether it’s a rainy day or you want to maintain your fitness level with some time at home, the OverDrive Trike Trainer is the answer. It automatically adjusts in resistance as you change speeds. ARC technology means no manual adjustment is necessary. You also increase resistance at higher speeds, so you get the same challenge as you would out on the road. If you want low to moderate resistance, you just turn the trainer around. Easy peasy. Stay Dryer with Mud Guards Nothing literally puts a damper on your ride like a face full of mud or dirty puddle water. With Catrike's fender set, you can guard yourself against mud and water spray to keep dryer and cleaner on the muddy trails. Music and Communication If you want to use your smartphone to listen to music and keep in contact, the XL Smartphone Holder is the answer. It creates an “Instant Bike Dashboard” so you can access your mobile device when you hit the trails. It offers handlebar and stem cap mounts, so your phone is in the ideal position. A built-in lock mechanism holds the phone securely in place. Rocky terrain is no problem, thanks to bumpers that reduce vibrations. You can even answer calls without stopping because your phone is always within arm’s length. Reduce Wrist Pain If you find your wrists feel tired or painful when out riding, ICE Wrist Rests offer comfortable wrist support. This is the perfect solution for riders with limited grip or strength. They are easy to install, as they just snap onto your handlebar. They are also suited for any trike with a vertical 22.2 mm ø handlebar size. Don’t let discomfort interfere with your trike trips. Create a comfortable trike with these comfort accessories. For more information, click here.
August 31, 2022
Making Your Recumbent Trike More Accessible Recumbent trikes have opened up a world of activity for people of all levels of fitness and ability. If you are finding getting out on your recumbent trike is becoming more difficult, there are plenty of accessibility accessories that can help adapt your trike to your changing needs. Here we look at some of the most innovative accessibility accessories to transform your trike into a more accessible recumbent trike. Recumbent Trike Trainer If it has become too much work to lift your trike into your car or from its storage area to enjoy your daily ride, a recumbent trike trainer could help. Although you won’t be able to get outdoors, the OverDrive trike trainer allows you to get in some much-needed exercise to help you stay fit. Because it can adapt to your ideal pace, you can choose to keep it in its original position for more resistance and speed or turn it around for low to moderate resistance. ARC Technology adjusts resistance when you change speed automatically. The trainer allows you to get the same feeling you love when riding on your favorite trails and maintain your fitness level. When you’re missing your rides outside, you can place your trike trainer and recumbent on your balcony, patio or deck. Handy Bars Is it becoming difficult to enter and exit your trike? No worries. VersaBars offer an affordable, simple solution to help you maneuver more easily. The bars clamp to TerraTrike direct steering model handlebars which you then adjust to suit your needs. You can feel safer holding onto the bars as you lower or lift yourself from the seat. You also don’t have to bend as low. As a bonus, they also work with other accessories. You can keep your water bottle or phone within reach or attach a VersaBag to store your wallet or snacks. You can also consider TerraTrike Adjustable Handlebars if you want to get your handlebars into the ideal position. They adjust both the height and angle to improve comfort while riding. There are calibrated marks that make it easy to match both handlebars to the same position. If you ride an ICE trike, Sprint Helping Handles provides a firmer hand grip for added confidence when getting on and off the low seat. Height Adjustments Taller riders often find the recumbent seat is not positioned ideally to accommodate their long legs. The TerraTrike Seat Extender is the perfect solution, allowing you to enjoy any TerraTrike featuring the two-position fixed seat mount. Although it will slightly reduce how well a Traveler model folds, it is easy to install and adjust to make your ride more comfortable. And shorter riders haven’t been forgotten. A crank length adapter shortens cranks, so you don’t have to invest in a whole new crankset. This adjusts for both leg and arm length. The crank adapter also can be used if you have limited lower limb range of motion. Accommodate a Friend If you aren’t getting out as often as you’d like, perhaps you might consider sharing your trike with a friend. This can be a little inconvenient under normal circumstances as the other rider might adjust the chain to suit their needs. The Catrike Chain Tensioner and Greenspeed Chain Gobbler allow you to move the boom, which in turn compensates for the change in chain length. This makes it easier to share a trike because you can put it back to your preferred position without worrying about the chain length. Support Your Feet As your fitness level changes, you might discover you tire more easily out on your rides. This can lead to issues such as slipping feet that become weakened without support. Pedal sets like TerraTrike Platform Pedals provide added support for your feet and ankles. With a complete foot platform, you get solid heel support so you can relax more while peddling. This provides relief for your ankles as well. If you are having more trouble entering and exiting your trike, the pedal set includes a counterbalance on the bottom, so the pedals always remain upright. This pedal set is also very helpful for people with special needs or reduced motor control. Adjustable Accessory Mounts It can become more difficult to maneuver comfortably to reach various accessories on your trike. The TerraTrike Angled Water Bottle Bracket is designed to keep your water nearby without the need to maneuver awkwardly to reach it. Your water cage affixes to the bracket, which is higher up and at an angle, so it aligns with your upper body. Your bottle also won’t leak, thanks to the angle. The ICE Mirror Mount attaches just below the hand grip, so you have an alternative point when adjusting and fixing your mirror. Topeak BarXtender attaches securely to the handlebars or stem to make it easy to attach bells, computers, lights, and horns while keeping them in the perfect position. Using a Greenspeed Multi-Purpose Accessory Mount for your cycle computers and GPS units ensures you don’t lose your way and keep in contact with loved ones when riding alone. Another option for your computer is the TerraTrike Computer Sensor Bracket. You’ll always have the information you need at your fingertips with a safe bracket that provides a sturdy home for any cycle computer. Back Support You might find you experience more back aches after riding longer distances. If this is the case, the TerraTrike Lumbar Support Cushion is just the thing for you. The customizable Lumbar Support Set allows you to choose the right thickness and shape for your pillow with three removal foam inserts. You can decide what configuration provides the best support and simply install the pillow by placing it between the mesh and adjustment straps of the seat. Although it can be discouraging to experience a change in fitness levels or physical ability, it is important to explore your options to help maintain your desired quality of life. When triking has been an important part of your daily regime or a pastime you have come to love, you can transform your trike with these accessories to create a more accessible recumbent trike. For more information about accessible recumbent trikes accessories, click here.
August 24, 2022
These Are the Safety Accessories You Should Be Considering Getting the most enjoyment from your recumbent trike is all the better when you feel safer on your rides. Although your trike is designed for safety, it really doesn’t hurt to look at some of the safety accessories available to provide even more confidence when out and about. Here we look at the best safety accessories for recumbent trikes with something for everyone who wants a worry-free ride. Avoid Mud and Water Spray Whether you don’t let the weather interfere with your rides or are out riding after heavy rains, the spatter from water and mud can put a downer on your day out on the trails. The Catrike Front Fender Set helps protect you against that messy mud and water spray so you can feel comfortable even after pedaling through a massive, unexpected puddle. Safe Night Riding Adding lights to your trike keeps you completely visible even on roads without streetlights. Some great options include: The Cygolite Hypershot 350 Lumen This one-of-a-kind taillight makes it close to impossible not to see you from behind, thanks to the extremely bright 350-lumen bulb. This is a must when out on busier streets but also protects you on those quieter side streets where surrounding lights might not be available to catch the glow strips on your gear. The Combo Light Kit For Recumbents If you want people to see you coming and going, this combo set is the answer. The headlight and taillight are made of durable alloy and have a three-level battery indicator. You’ll never get caught out in the dark without power. The built-in accelerometer ensures you don’t run out of juice. The lights automatically switch to constant burst mode when your battery runs low and will brighten as you slow down. The COB LED Light This light mounts to the seat position and features a built-in acceleration sensor for Kinetic mode. It will shift into High automatically when it senses deceleration and switch over to flashing mode when power is low. ICE Front Light Mount Feel safer out on your night rides with this front light mount. You’ll have a firm light mounting point that you just bolt to the bottle bosses on the boom derailleur post. Its adaptable horizontal tube is 1” in diameter, so it should work with just about any handlebar front lights. Safer Pedals If you like the bumpy trails, pedal conversion kits offer an excellent way to feel more in control and reduce the risk of slips from the pedals. The TerraTrike Comfort Pedal Conversion Kit is a great accessory if you want a comfortable foot support solution for added confidence when pedaling. They mount to your pedals and are usually one size fits all making it easy to convert a standard pedal with secure heel support. There are also Shimano Pedals if you want to improve efficiency. You get the efficiency of the SPD system and the convenience of a platform pedal. You can customize the entry and release tension settings to suit your needs. It also has a sealed mechanism and serviceable cup and cone bearings for less maintenance. Ankle Support If you need ankle support and a completely secure pedal, the TerraTrike Pedals - Platform Heel Support With Straps is the accessory for you. The complete foot platform offers solid heel support, while the two oversized straps help keep you more visible with a reflective strip. The strips and stainless-steel ringlets provide a sturdy, comfortable fit and a counterbalance keeps your pedal in the upright position to make your entry and exit smooth and easy. It works especially well for special needs and motor control issues. This replacement pedal is not compatible with Tandem Pro in the stoker position, so keep that in mind. If you have smaller feet, the Pedal Platform w/straps kit might be better for you. Emergency Repair Kits We always advise you don’t head out on your recumbent trike without a tool kit for emergency repairs. Some great kits to consider include: Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite Tool Kit This Compact Mini Tool Kit has organized tool bits to handle a wide range of adjustments and road repairs. The extender fits into the handle for more leverage, and you’ll have pretty much everything you need to tackle unexpected issues, including: Fine ratchet reversible magnetic handle 2,2.5,3,4,5,6 and 8mm hex keys Two Tire Levers #2 Phillips bit T10 and T25 Torx bits You can simplify hydraulic disc brake work and other minor adjustments. Everything is organized in a compact nylon carrying case for easy storage. Topeak Alien III Bike Multi-Tool Some say this is the only multi-tool you’ll need to bring along on your rides. Its stainless-steel body is built to last while also offering a slimmer profile. It’s all about ease with a take-apart design, self-tightening tools and a nifty nylon bag. Be More Aware of Your Surroundings The Trike Sideview Mirror is great if you suffer from neck issues because you don’t have to worry about turning your head. This mirror is 3” in diameter, completely adjustable and also folds in when trail riding. It even comes with its own wrench for easy installation. You can also consider the Catrike Mirror Mount which affixes to the right side. It also works as a mount for other accessories as a bonus. Make a Little Noise The smooth, silent ride of your recumbent trike is great, but if your trike didn’t come with all the “bells” and whistles, you could announce your approach with the IncrediBell-XL Safety Bell. It’s nice and loud and a bit bigger, so it’s close to impossible not to be heard. Get Noticed with Flags Make sure you remain visible on the road. The Teardrop Flag is made of indestructible nylon fabric and features reflective edging for safer night riding. The selection of bold graphics and colors not only makes you noticeable but also adds a fun, stylized look to your trike. The flags are 36″ x 9″, which you mount to the 48″ flagpole included. Just slide the pole into the seat mesh grommet, and you’re good to go. You can also use the ICE Flag Mount if you want to add another flag. It has built-in seat top holes and is even more effective on the Sprint if you want a more vertical, visible flag position. The mount clamps to any 1” diameter tube on your trike. These accessories help you enjoy a safer ride regardless of the types of trails you love or the roads you travel. Click here to view our safety accessories and place your order.
August 17, 2022
Types of Recumbent Trikes - Delta and Tadpole Recumbent trikes are the perfect solution to keep you active and provide hours of fun out on the open bike trail. If you have issues with balance, joint pain, or just want a more luxurious way to get out and cycle, the adult trike is the perfect solution. However, there are so many choices out there, it can be overwhelming trying to find a recumbent trike right for you. Here we look at the tadpole vs. delta style recumbent trike to help you find the best one for your needs. What is a Recumbent Trike? A recumbent trike is a three-wheeled bicycle ridden in a laid-back position. Instead of sitting upright with your feet on the pedals below, you are lying back comfortably with the peddles in front of you. The adult tricycle is becoming more popular, especially for people in the over 40 age group. They are very comfortable and reduce the stress and strain put on muscles and joints when riding a traditional bicycle. They offer far more support to the back and shoulders, and even the wrists remain more comfortable. You don’t have to cling to the handlebars to steer. Instead, the gears and brakes are at the side, making them quite easy to maneuver. They also have a full “chair” for the seat as opposed to the saddle of a traditional bike. This makes long-distance travel much more comfortable. Recumbent adult trikes come in two main designs: Tadpole Trikes: Tadpole trikes have two wheels in the front and one in the back. Delta Trikes: Delta trikes have one wheel in front and two in the back. Both have pros and cons depending on where you plan to trike and your mobility level. Pros and Cons of the Tadpole Trike When considering the tadpole recumbent trike, they tend to be the trike favored by riders who like speed and stability. Because they have a lower center of gravity with the rider sitting in the trike as opposed to higher up and on the trike, they feel more stable when going fast, especially when taking corners. The wheels at the front make them manage the forces felt on turns more easily. On the con side, what some people don’t like about the tadpole is how low they are to the ground. If you have trouble getting down low, then you may not be as comfortable getting in and out of the tadpole. However, there are many tadpole trike options that have higher seats such as the TerraTrike Rambler, Catrike Villager, Greenspeed Magnum, or ICE Adventure. Pros and Cons of the Delta Trikes The delta trike is good for people less concerned with speed and more interested in a trike they may be able to get in and out of more easily. They also have a tighter turning radius in some cases, but have more risk of tipping. Although they are still low to the ground, when it comes to getting in and out of them, you may have an easier time than you would with the tadpole. You will need to throw your leg over a large center frame which may cause tripping. An interesting feature of many delta trikes is that they can be linked to each other. This creates a tandem trike, perfect for traveling with people of lesser ability than you. On the con side, they aren’t as great for speed. Delta trikes are kind of like higher, top-heavy SUVs that are more likely to take a roll when you make a sharp turn at high speeds. You potentially gain comfort and height with the downside of mobility. How to Choose the Right Recumbent Trike Some key considerations when choosing a recumbent trike include: Where Will You Ride? As mentioned above, the tadpole is great for taking tight turns. If you find you will travel trails with more tight turns, then the tadpole trike is probably best for you. If you travel on more challenging trails but without the tight turns, you’ll still appreciate the stability of the tadpole. Also, if you travel on busy roadways, you want to be able to maintain a reasonable speed which means the tadpole is best. Don’t forget about suspension, as it keeps you comfortable when you hit uneven ground. If you’ll travel paved, smooth surfaces, suspension isn’t as important as it is for technical trails with lots of bumps and obstacles. How is Your Mobility? Even if you are pretty mobile right now, where will your health take you in the next five years? If you already suffer from balance or chronic pain issues, you might want to consider the delta because it’s more accessible than the tadpole. It’s not just about how you feel today, but how you might feel when you retire. So, consider your mobility, the types of trails you’re likely to travel, and how a delta might become more troublesome in a few years. How Does the Trike Feel? Make sure you test ride several models to choose the trike that feels right for you. Do you feel too high or low to the ground? Do you find you aren’t able to keep up with local traffic? Does turning feel impossible? If possible, test drive your trike in an area you are likely to travel so you have a good feel for the trike in the right conditions. And, of course, make sure you can get in and out of it easily. Otherwise, you’re likely going to be less enthused about using it if it feels more like work than fun. Will You Have to Transport Your Trike? If you only ride local trails, transportation isn’t an issue. However, if you plan to explore trails outside your area, you’ll need to load your trike into your vehicle. Make sure it is easy to lift and load and fits in your trunk. Delta trikes are much more difficult to transport since they have a longer wheelbase. My Preference Revealed I prefer tadpole trikes because they are light, compact, and sporty. The recumbent trike industry has made active strides over the last decade to replace delta trikes with tadpoles. Since the dominant manufacturers of today produce mainly, if not only, tadpole trikes, the technology and design heavily outweighs that of delta trikes. Laid Back Cycles doesn't even carry delta trikes in stock because we've found that a tadpole trike can meet any of our customers needs just as well if not better. Remember, delta vs tadpole isn’t the only question to worry about when choosing the right recumbent trike for you. The team at Laid Back Cycle can help you find the ideal trike for happy trails for years to come.
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.