More on the most common questions:
What kind is it? What year was it made?
- It's a US-built version of the Trice, made in late 1995 by Ecocycle. Their design lagged behind
Peter Ross' design changes by a little and only in some areas. So I got the mesh seat with hoseclamp
mounts (details of UK Trice circa 1995) but the frame design and wheel bearing attachments are more like
a 1994 UK Trice. As far as I understand anyway. I also have the matched left-and-right hub brakes, as
opposed to the flipped (and snatchy!) brakes featured on older models. So the US version is not like
any UK version really.... and there'll never be another one like it most likely.
- About $2000. A good price for a custom made bicycle, and the best for a tricycle.
Current range for a recumbent trike is $1500 or so (used) to upwards of $7000 for a fully enclosed
velomobile... Equivalent trikes to my Trice? Check out the pages referenced below.
Does the fairing make you faster?
- No, not on average I'd say. It does make my top speed higher, and it's easier to go faster. I have a feeling that on a long race it might make a difference. But for commuting
it's not a big speed boost --- stops and starts mean that the weight of it is important.
It helps a lot with the rain and cold, but I have to look through it as it's currently
attached so if it's night and raining and headlights are shining on the rain-speckled surface...Yes, I have tried RainX. I'm thinking on better ways to mount it... suggestions are welocome.
How/where do I get one?
- Nowhere :-) That is to say, EcoCycle no longer makes the Trice, and Peter Ross'
design has changed significantly from my older model. Check out his Trice page for latest info. Two other trikes you can buy are the GreenSpeed range (which get the best reviews from everyone, and Ian of Greenspeed is very responsive) and the WindCheetah trike designed by Mike Burroughs (the most beautiful), also very expensive.
How do you steer?
- Very well, thank you :-) Using the handlebars, to turn the t-bar, which pulls the tie-rods,
which turn the wheels. My model can scrub your hands in a tight turn (very low speed
only, so it doesn't happen in normal use). It has rubbed the skin off my hands in an accident,
but I didn't dump and get road rash...
There are many arguments about weight distribution and steering geometry. My trike has
the weight a little farther forward, giving light, responsive handling at the expense of some rear
wheel traction and a tendency to tip forward with hard breaking. It's very nimble.
Is it fast?
- About the same as a regular (road) bike, but much comfier and aerodynamic. I think the Trice is probably a little faster, or at least more efficient.
On my commute the only people as fast as me have shaved legs and really fast
uprights. I'm also not as willing to sweat...
I went on a longish (~30 miles) ride with my dad, a very fit roadie, and
he was always wanting to go faster. At the end of the ride he was totally bushed,
but I was fresh as a daisy, so go figure.
I haven't tried for Maximum Velocity yet, as I really use it as transportation
rather than recreation so much, but someday I'll see just how fast I can go.
Against headwinds and downhill I'm faster than anything else I've seen...
but there aren't too many recumbents around to compete with :-)
Don't you feel scared (invisible, etc.) being so low? (Or, more agressively:) Why don't you have
- I haven't been scared yet, and cars seem to see me fine mostly and give me more space on the road and pass me more safely too. I know the situations where I won't be seen, and I excercise reasonable caution.
The places where I ride with cars I tend to leave enough space from the
parked cars to avoid getting "doored" and that usually places me in the middle
of the lane. Since the Trice is pretty wide looking, cars give a lot of space
and tend to be more careful about passing. All of this is much better than on
a regular bike. Actual width of the Trice is about the distance from elbow
to elbow when I put my hands on my hips.... not much wider than a person on
an upright (or recumbent bike!) but it looks so wide cause there's wheels
out there. The wheels on either side give a nice feeling of security too.
I haven't noticed too much aggression, maybe less than on my upright.
I've been hit once now: I was behind a van which was double-parked, and traffic was going around me to my left and boxing me in.
Then the van started reversing! I think I could have been caught there on a normal bike also, or even if I was walking. Just one of those no-way-out situations... I would never
have anticipated that maneuver. I ended up with a crushed wheel, and the company that
owned the delivery van paid for everything. I was completely untouched.
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