What should I consider when choosing a new trike?
A. One big clue to choosing a good trike that will last many years is to look at which ones are selling consistently well. If a company is producing inferior trikes, sooner or later their business will dry up. They can only cheap-out for so long before the word gets out. With today’s internet forum groups on cycling and trikes, the word of an inferior trike will spread like wildfire, and people will stop buying from that company. Buy from one of the known reliable companies that stands behind its products with excellent customer service. The preferable method to choosing a trike is to go to dealers and actually ride the ones you are considering. If you live in a very large city, this is possible, but not guaranteed because trikes still are hard to find relative to bikes. If you live in a small town like me, you’ll likely have zero opportunity to ride them first, and so must rely heavily on what you can learn online and from other riders.
If you do have the opportunity to personally examine a trike, look first at the welds. If the welds are sloppy looking at all, with gaps, unevenness, and weld splatter, keep looking. Stay away from companies with poor weld quality. Welds from a top quality company are virtually flawless. Also study the paint quality. It should be smooth, glossy, and give the appearance of depth. Assuming you find two or three companies that meet your standards, tell them what your main use of the trike will be, and see which of their models they recommend. If you do that with three companies, you should end up with three different trikes to choose from, which will be made easier if you can at all see them in person.
Ten things to consider: 1) Can I get into and out of the trike easily for my physical abilities? 2) Is the gearing suitable for the terrain I’ll be spending most of my time riding? 3) Is the seat comfortable enough for me? (hard to tell if you can’t take it on a long ride). 4) Are the handlebars well placed for my body structure? 5) What is the warranty? Three years? Lifetime? 6) What do other owners of the trike report on internet forums regarding customer service after the sale? 7) Are the welds and paint impeccable? 8) Are most parts commonly found at bike shops for easy replacement? 9) If having the trike shipped to you, does it come pre-assembled, or do you have to have a fair degree of mechanical savvy to put it together? 10) Is there a return or exchange policy if you didn’t get a chance to see if first, and end up not liking it?
There are a lot more factors to consider of course, so hopefully readers will add comments of their ideas that were not discussed here.
The annual Recumbent Cycle Con is an excellent place to start! The 2017 Recumbent Cycle-Con Trade Show & Convention will be held October 6 – 8 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks, PA 19456. Get all the details HERE.