Author Topic: Newbie on Trike - advice?  (Read 3634 times)

bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Newbie on Trike - advice?
« on: July 05, 2012, 12:22:11 pm »
I'm tonight going to get my hands on a Trice Q as a loaner from the wonderful Auntie Helen, so I can get back to my audaxing....  possibly the coming weekend...  :o

I don't really have any experience at trikes, so can you folks tell me the differences between them and upright bikes, as regards the basics...??

What do I wear? usual bike kit? or maybe not the padded shorts?

Change the pedals and use normal cleated shoes, or what?

How do you carry kit such as overnight gear etc?

Am I likely to get it on a train, or indeed into a Travelodge?  Is it worth removing wheels, or does that make it harder??

Mikey
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 12:55:34 pm »
1 - Don't expect your legs to be up to much for a few hundred miles

2 - Spin (see 1)

3 - Cornering is quick (there is no need to counter steer)

4 - Spin (see 2)

5 - When cornering hard lean into the corner (hard) See 3. DAHIKT

6 - Spin (see 4)

7 - I haven't seen a Q, but I believe the standard (Non NT) version is slightly wider than a normal door frame.

8 Spin (see 6)

9 - Kit - wear what you like (I wear YACF Jersey Baggy shorts, and SPD Pedals/shoes). You do need to be clipped in to keep feet on pedals without strain.

10 - Spin (see 8)

11 - For luggage you really need a rack - just like any other bike.

12 - Spin (see 10)

13 - The mesh seat can be adjusted by  tensioning the straps. Make sure that you tighten the lumbar area to give lumbar support. You'll find when you are not spinning as you should that a lot of the load is put to the lumbar back region. Adjusting this part of the seat is needed pretty much every ride.

14 - Did I say "spin"?

Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 01:04:33 pm »
The back pockets on your jersey will be redundant.

Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 01:13:01 pm »
Kim says: "Do not wear baggy shorts when riding a recumbent through areas that may have bees or wasps."
<i>Marmite slave</i>

bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 01:15:16 pm »
The back pockets on your jersey will be redundant.

Spose I could at a pinch use a backpack the wrong way round?  Bound to be a pain of course.... :facepalm:
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 01:16:11 pm »
Kim says: "Do not wear baggy shorts when riding a recumbent through areas that may have bees or wasps."

The sting in the tail?
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 01:21:04 pm »
I didn't ask her for details!
<i>Marmite slave</i>

bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 01:26:35 pm »
I didn't ask her for details!

.....and we definitely don't want photos....  :sick:
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 01:40:39 pm »
I didn't ask her for details!

.....and we definitely don't want photos....  :sick:

Oh, I dunno; gave the French medic on PBP 2003 a big grin.  Couple cm's left and it'd would've been a "can you take away the pain and leave the swelling..." ;)
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 01:42:47 pm »
I don't really have any experience at trikes, so can you folks tell me the differences between them and upright bikes, as regards the basics...??

It's a recumbent, which means it's heavier and more aerodynamic than what you're used to.  You'll be slow up hills and fast down them.  Conservation of momentum is key to making progress.

You've got a seat to push back into, which means you can generate more torque on the pedals than with traditional honking.  Don't do this!  It'll wreck your knees, and puts a lot of strain on the drive train.  You need to spin, spin, spin.

You do want to push back into the seat, rather than pull on the bars though.  You'll probably find this unintuitive at first.  Finger-light touch on the bars when climbing.

You won't have the right leg muscles for several hundred miles.  It'll be slow, and it'll hurt.

It's a trike, so you can climb as slowly as you need.  Think tortoise and hare.

It's also going to be some 10% slower than an equivalent two-wheeler on account of the extra rolling resistance.

A tadpole recumbent is completely intuitive to steer, unlike an upright trike.  It'll corner more sharply than a bike, and it'll require constant bar input to compensate for the camber of the road.  You can proceed dead slow through narrow gaps a bicyclist would have to dismount for, as you don't wobble to stay upright.

If you overcook it on a corner, it'll roll.  You'll get some warning as the wheel starts to lift, though.  Leaning helps.

There's bugger all weight over the back wheel.  It will lose traction easily on slippery surfaces, especially if you're in a low gear.

You've got more work to do to evade the fairy.  Three wheel tracks make dodging hazards harder than one.  Aim for debris or potholes to pass under your feet, and they'll go between the wheels.

When wheeling it around, pick it up by the rear rack / wheel, and drag it along backwards.  The steering will follow.


Quote
What do I wear? usual bike kit? or maybe not the padded shorts?

Normal bike kit works well for me.  Padding is mostly harmless, but may rub the insides of your legs on long rides. 

Anything placed in back pockets will either end up squished, with running ink, or cause bruises.  Mountain bike jerseys may be a better choice.

Pockets on baggy shorts should be used with caution, unless they have zips.  Gravity is against them.  And baggy shorts are best used with something to stop the beasties flying up the leg.  DAHIKT.


Quote
Change the pedals and use normal cleated shoes, or what?

Yes.  It's impossible to have a clipless moment on a trike, whereas flat pedals require constant muscle tension to keep feet in place in the recumbent position.  It's also a safety thing: If your feet slip off the pedals, the trike can run over your leg.


Quote
How do you carry kit such as overnight gear etc?

The usual way - panniers, rack bag, etc.

There's the additional option of hanging bags from (or strapping things to) the back of the seat.

Bumbags are useful.  As are those fishing/photography jackets with millions of pockets and a mesh back.

An inverted rucksack/camelback isn't unknown, but will further impede your ability to dissipate heat (the seat already reducing your back's ability to breathe).


Quote
Am I likely to get it on a train, or indeed into a Travelodge?  Is it worth removing wheels, or does that make it harder??

I believe this one doesn't fold.  In which case, you might be able to get it on some commuter type train services outside peak hours if you're really lucky, but don't count on it.  You can forget about dangly bike spaces and the like.

If you completely dismantle it and put it in a bag, it will become luggage.

No idea about Travelodge.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 11:16:22 pm »
Thanks for the detailed and very informative response, Kim  :thumbsup: :) :thumbsup:
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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Cudzoziemiec

  • Dormant but requires tea
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 11:46:40 am »
No advice, but good to see you getting on with this, Mikey.
At some point in the ride, you might find yourself in Osaka with Spanish speakers where you had expected Edinburgh talking Greek. This does not mean you are lost, or even off route.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 03:26:00 pm »
Having just done this IME

1) Forget a 200k, certainly this week. You're going to be too slow. Particularly if there's anything even remotely resembling a hill. (You've seen how fast I ride a real bike, and I would have been out of time on an audax, at least for the first month riding the trike)
2) It's a different set of muscles. Your shins may ache.
3) No need for 'bike' kit- it's all wrong, you don't need padding or back pockets. I wore leggings and technical T shirts, but you probably don't have many pairs of leggings. Tight running tights/shorts? SPD shoes for definite, and check the tension on those pedals, they could do with a tighten.
4) Carrying stuff- hang a camelbak off the seat- reaching the water bottle with a duff hand while the other one controls brakes & gears is more than I wanted to do at first. Not sure I could have held a bottle, actually. The rack's good for anything else, panniers or rack pack. Breast/zipped shorts pockets for phone/mp3. Snacks I never found a good way of carrying. I reckoned for me that probably wasn't a bad thing.
5) Lean into corners
6) If you pull on the bars at low speed, they move in the wrong plane. This is disconcerting.
7) Change down for junctions you may have to stop at. You may not get away otherwise.
8) Spin spin spin
9) Listen to that Kim. She knows of what she speaks.
10) Watch out when you park. It doesn't have a parking brake and can roll away. DAHIKT.
11) Forget the train, if you're travelling on your own. You'll never be able to lift it on and manoeuvre it in a confined space with one working hand. Travelodge doubtful too- you'd have to lock it in reception.

12) Have fun  :D They are fun.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 04:11:59 pm »
Snacks I never found a good way of carrying. I reckoned for me that probably wasn't a bad thing.

I use a topeak tri-bag on the Streetmachine, which is enough for a bag of nibbles, ventolin, phone.  The straps will tighten nicely around the boom in the way they don't quite manage on a normal bike frame, though you really need to stop pedalling to access it.  You may need to remove the bottle cage to do the same on a Trice, but the hydration bag approach is far more practical on a recumbent anyway.

I believe the ICE bar bag mount is the canonical solution for this sort of thing, but it's still a bit hackish.

Chalk bag hanging off the seat might work, too.


Quote
7) Change down for junctions you may have to stop at. You may not get away otherwise.

Yes, I forgot about that, as it's something I do for knee reasons whatever I'm riding.  It's something barakta keeps forgetting to do, too.  Obviously with a dérailleur system it's much easier to change back up if you're in too low a gear than it is to change down while you're struggling to pull away, so if in doubt, change down.


Quote
10) Watch out when you park. It doesn't have a parking brake and can roll away. DAHIKT.

Mk 1 elastic band or velcro strap around the brake lever should suffice.  Not as convenient as a rear-wheel parking brake (which allows you to wheel the trike around with the brake still on), but better than it rolling off.


Quote
12) Have fun   They are fun.

Absolutely.   :thumbsup:
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 07:16:22 pm »
Having just done this IME

1) Forget a 200k, certainly this week. You're going to be too slow. Particularly if there's anything even remotely resembling a hill. (You've seen how fast I ride a real bike, and I would have been out of time on an audax, at least for the first month riding the trike)
2) It's a different set of muscles. Your shins may ache.
3) No need for 'bike' kit- it's all wrong, you don't need padding or back pockets. I wore leggings and technical T shirts, but you probably don't have many pairs of leggings. Tight running tights/shorts? SPD shoes for definite, and check the tension on those pedals, they could do with a tighten.
4) Carrying stuff- hang a camelbak off the seat- reaching the water bottle with a duff hand while the other one controls brakes & gears is more than I wanted to do at first. Not sure I could have held a bottle, actually. The rack's good for anything else, panniers or rack pack. Breast/zipped shorts pockets for phone/mp3. Snacks I never found a good way of carrying. I reckoned for me that probably wasn't a bad thing.
5) Lean into corners
6) If you pull on the bars at low speed, they move in the wrong plane. This is disconcerting.
7) Change down for junctions you may have to stop at. You may not get away otherwise.
8) Spin spin spin
9) Listen to that Kim. She knows of what she speaks.
10) Watch out when you park. It doesn't have a parking brake and can roll away. DAHIKT.
11) Forget the train, if you're travelling on your own. You'll never be able to lift it on and manoeuvre it in a confined space with one working hand. Travelodge doubtful too- you'd have to lock it in reception.

12) Have fun  :D They are fun.

I'm actually in Peterborough, and I'm starting a very flat 200 tomorrow, but I am scared and if I pac I'll at least be starting the climb back up. I managed 19 kph average for about 30 mins this morning, but it is v strange, yet tremendous fun!!

I changed the pedals to match my shoes - its much better than struggling to keep my feet up. Well the LBS changed them, and they were very tight...

I've only got bike gear that fits me, post weight shedding, but at least it drys quickly. Birthday soon!!

I like the camelback idea and I've actually got one with the bend and stay where you put it tube.

I use two bum bags, one each side, with bars and money, hairbrush n mirror, keys n phone. Plus my rolltop Ortlieb pannier!!

I'm finding that with my splint on, and with a glove on top, I can easily steer both handed, without too much road shock (at least so far).

Leaning is good, and the bars are pretty intuitive until you actually think about them.... I had to tighten the right one a bit - maybe I was trying too hard?

Changing down - embarrassing lesson already happened, several times !!

Spin is much easier so I'm wirring around, except when I forget which way is the easier gear!!!

Having chased it several times I appreciate parking.

I found out how to lift it onto the rear wheel by hooking my duff left arm under the boom and once it's up there it's a pussy kat... This got me into a Travelodge lift, though my pannier had to come off, and when I got out of the lift my pannier tried to escape by staying in there as the door closed!! They had no seats in reception but I had one!! The door was tight but I've lowered the seat which should sort that!

:-)
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

Cycling heatmap
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bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2012, 07:23:56 pm »

I use a topeak tri-bag on the Streetmachine, which is enough for a bag of nibbles, ventolin, phone.  The straps will tighten nicely around the boom in the way they don't quite manage on a normal bike frame, though you really need to stop pedalling to access.

Mk 1 elastic band or velcro strap around the brake lever should suffice.  Not as convenient as a rear-wheel parking brake (which allows you to wheel the trike around with the brake still on), but better than it rolling off.

I've got a topeak tri bag too - ill use it!!

I think the Velcro brake is a good example of creative lateral thinking - watch this space!

One problem I've found is that if I trickle it backwards the chain seems to love to come off.... Any solutions other than not trickling backwards??
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

Cycling heatmap
https://www.strava.com/athletes/4628735/heatmaps/6ed5ab12#10/51.12782/-3.16388

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2012, 07:47:35 pm »
You could maybe shorten the chain. Helen's taller than us, I never got round to taking a link or two out.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2012, 07:50:35 pm »
One problem I've found is that if I trickle it backwards the chain seems to love to come off.... Any solutions other than not trickling backwards??

"They all do that, sir."  Except, it seems, for barakta's.  Don't think it's caused by slack chain, but might be related to the anchoring of the chain tubes at the idler (there's some angle adjustment there).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2012, 08:27:14 pm »
Good luck tomorrow Mikey 👍

A 200 should get your trike legs broken in 😃

Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2012, 09:35:07 pm »
a pipe grip taken to the chain tube mounting at the pulley can align the the tube at the chain ring end so it does not come of going backwards. phone ice and the can send you the velcro brake holders .yes you will be slower but you will have the most comfortable 200k you have ever ridden  :thumbsup:. oh is case no one mentioned it do not push , SPIN  ;D. have a good ride  :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2012, 07:15:22 am »
Kim says: "Do not wear baggy shorts when riding a recumbent through areas that may have bees or wasps."

Is that what you call "getting a Buzz" when riding the trike?

+1 to baggy shorts and insects.

Also secured pockets or a Bumbag as things will otherwise fall out.

Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2012, 07:19:19 am »


No idea about Travelodge.

We take the Gekkos in without issue and put them in the corner of the room

The Catrike does not fold at all and does not fit!


Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2012, 07:49:39 am »

Good luck Mikey! Thinking of you as you are about to set forth...

Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2012, 08:15:12 am »
Possibly a little late, and others have covered most of the details, but a couple of points which haven't been mentioned.

(i) There have occasionally been people selling recumbent cycle clothing, but this tends to be things like jerseys with the pockets on the front rather than the back.  As Kim says, stuff falls out of pockets on anything resembling normal trousers (like baggy shorts), which makes quickly jumping on the trike to pop down the shops more involved, because you have to put keys and wallet in a pannier, or whatever you're carrying stuff in.

(ii) Depending on the steering, you can find yourself pulling slightly on it when pedalling hard on a hill or for speed on the flat.  This is very easy to do, and you have to actively try not to do it.  Unlike an upright, you'll find yourself weaving if you do this.

(iii) Spin.  Someone may have mentioned this earlier. ;D

Have fun.  I enjoyed owning a recumbent trike immensely.  When I win the lottery, I'll buy myself another one. :)
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Newbie on Trike - advice?
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2012, 08:43:38 am »
I've got a topeak tri bag too - ill use it!!

I think the Velcro brake is a good example of creative lateral thinking - watch this space!

One problem I've found is that if I trickle it backwards the chain seems to love to come off.... Any solutions other than not trickling backwards??
That trike did have some velco straps on the back of the seat for the heath-robinson parking brake - I think I had wrapped them round the middle seat horizontal tube. Have a look, they may still be there.

The chain didn't used to fall off when pedalling backwards so I think that must be a chain length issue. I'm 5'9 with long legs and it was right for me, so you might find it worth shortening the chain. Keep the bit you take off though as you'll need to reattach it before the Q returns to Auntie Helen.

Good luck with the audax!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk