archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Mature market adopts the tricycle

Rachel Bachman, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has recently written and produced a feature on human powered recumbent tadpole tricycles, thereby exposing the world at large to our well-kept secret triangular realm. Her presentation, available online HERE, begins with a fun and informative movie, which describes how older mature adults have adopted tricycles as an alternative to bicycles. As Rachel comments, “These aren’t tykes on little bikes”. You will want to read her informative article, which mentions notable distance trikers like Sylvia Halpern of Portland, Oregon, and well-known businesses like Utah Trikes.

October 9, 2014 10:34 PM
These Aren’t Tykes on Little Bikes: A Mature Market Adopts the Tricycle
Well-Wheeled Oldsters Pay Big Bucks for Conveyances They Can Kick Back On

by Rachel Bachman

Wall Street Journal trike article

Tricycles are so hot that some of them are selling for thousands of dollars. But the new three-wheelers aren’t designed for tykes. They’re for grown-ups.

Recumbent tricycles—reclined, cushy versions of the three-wheelers many tooled around on as children—appeal to people of a certain age by being gentler on the body than traditional bikes, and more stable than two-wheel recumbents.

T.J. Mckeown, a 57-year-old retired massage therapist from Palm Bay, Fla., fell and hurt his shoulder while riding a conventional bike last year. He bought a recumbent trike and says he’ll never go back to an upright. Mr. Mckeown rides up to 200 miles a week, including the Sundays he spends with a group of buddies called the Recumbent Rangers.

On regular bikes, “you start noticing pain in your wrist and your neck and certain areas of your anatomy that we won’t get into,” Mr. Mckeown says. “The trikes, there’s none of that.”

Penn Jillette, the speaking partner in the magician duo Penn & Teller, says that riding his recumbent trike around his Las Vegas neighborhood is like wearing leather pants: “You feel like a superstar, but you look like a dweeb,” he says. “People aren’t used to trikes, but I love mine. I feel like [Jimi] Hendrix when I’m riding it, and I don’t care what I look like.”

Recumbent trikes are a tiny fraction of the $6 billion U.S. cycling industry. But trike manufacturers and sellers say business is booming, driven by baby boomers who have discretionary income and are unwilling or unable to weather higher-impact activities like running. Many trikes cost $1,000 to $3,000 or more. (Read more & watch movie HERE)

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