Are recumbent trikes fast?


About trike hobo

Steve Greene is a naturalist, philosopher, and teller of tales. He pursues absolute truth in all things, modifying his existence as supported by legitimate evidence. His ideological foundation rests on the respect of life, as he follows a path of health, serenity, and maximum functional longevity. He has authored ten books, and is a noted authority on Death Valley National Park, human powered recumbent cycle touring, fitness and longevity, and professional law enforcement. Steve has not owned a petroleum powered automobile since 2008, as part of his environmental preservation paradigm. He eats a vegan diet, exercises regularly, and enjoys exploring the wilderness. Harmony with nature tops his priorities. To learn more about Steve, please visit:
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6 Responses to Are recumbent trikes fast?

  1. Richard Stone says:

    A good test would be to ride an upright bike after riding the recumbent. That said, that’s pretty fast if the road is level.

  2. Dave Beedon says:

    Steve, you’re teasing me because the question as worded cannot be answered. What is “fast”? Compared to what? Under what conditions (weather, riding surface, etc.)? To simply say that trikes are fast or slow is meaningless. In any case, the speed of a trike is of no concern to me: comfortable riding is.

  3. armadillozack says:

    Of course trikes are fast…! They are as fast as you can peddle…! Lmao….! Unless you have a electric motor, or gas engine if you are so inclined to go faster…! But a trike is as fast as you can peddle and is the same as almost any cycle on the market today, so long as you can make them go in order to propel them in motion to go forward… But I do hear tell that they may be working on a trike to jump to hyper space, but you will have to check with R2D2 or C3PO to find out what are the next inter galactic Expo Dates to see the spec’s on that…! So live long and prosper…!
    Armadillo Zack

  4. trike hobo says:

    I agree Dave that speed is irrelevant when compared to aspects like comfort. I used to have a super fast trike, but it was not comfortable on rough paved surfaces, such as chip-sealed roads – it was death by jittering ;-)

    Keep in mind that it is not yours truly who is teasing you, but rather John Zaenglein who puts these little presentations together. Of course, I am guilty of teasing you in that I am posting John’s movies, but hey, they get more comments than many other types of posts. I have more stuff coming from John, who is a fun fellow to listen to about his new adventuring with a recumbent trike (apparently, he began the three wheeled habit in 2016, and then started his website).

    This question of speed is dependent on many factors, as you mention. When I walk around town to run errands, I can walk either slowly or quickly. However, even if I walk as fast as I can (pretty darn fast), my speed still does not come close to holding a candle to my Full Fat mega fatrike! This fatrike is pretty dog-gone slow compared to standard street trikes in many people’s opinions, but hey, it’s lightning fast compared to walking! If I run errands on the fatrike, I have them done in a mere fraction of the time compared to walking.

    If I compare an all-out racing bicycle made of carbon fiber, something the pros would ride, to an automobile, the bike is a sorry slug of a vehicle. Any car will easily beat it (except perhaps on a curvy downhill mountain pass), so again, like you say … What is fast?

    If a trike pilot is only interested in arriving at some destination as quickly as possible, then why not take the car instead? Or a motorcycle? Seems to me that we leave artificial transportation paradigms behind to enjoy the sensations associated with pedal power instead of horse power. I ride a trike to enjoy the world around me at a pace that is foreign to motorized humans, not to fall back into the typical motorized human mindset of mashing the accelerator down to go really fast. It is fascinating for me to see how much emphasis is placed upon speed in the human powered cycling industry. It is as if our need for speed is something inherent within the human psyche, and we must satisfy it regardless of whether we ride a motorcycle, drive a car, pedal a bike or trike, or walk, the latter of which is seldom seen in modern industrialized societies anymore. Since artificially powered high speed vehicles have taken over the human population of the planet, many folks are simply too unfit to even walk anymore even if they wanted to (we’ve become a nation of slugs ;-) …

    Of course, that last statement makes me realize that maybe riding a recumbent tricycle as fast as possible might just be a really GOOD thing after all! So, I stand corrected – speed matters, and I want to know the question of the hour: Are Recumbent Trikes Fast? Yep, fast enough that former motorized travelers can actually get into shape!

    Okay, enough of this mindless ranting here! Let’s all get out there and ride whatever trike we have like a bat out of hell! Yee haa …

  5. trike hobo says:

    Love your comment Zack – I’m going to go out on the trike to find R2D2 and C3PO to learn more about the hyperspace trikes. And while I’m out there, I’ll look up First Officer Spock. Vulcans are great conversationalists!

  6. Kimball Rasmussen says:

    The “compared to what” standard is (for most people) a road bike. In other words, can you take a trike to a “roadie” event and stay in the flow, so to speak. I have done Cycle Oregon about 15 times over the past 25 years (typically a seven day, 400-500 mile “tour”). My wife and I road a tandem for ten of those years, and single “road” bikes the last few years. I did it on a trike in 2016, and will do it again on a trike in 2017. I find that my trike daily times are about 30% “slower” than my road bike. I also see 300% more scenery, am 400% more comfortable, have 500% more fun, and 1000% don’t care what the roadies might think (although most of them are curious and complimentary). I also chill much more, am more inclined to be courteous and obey traffic rules, and feel less beat at the end of an 85 mile day. If you add the recovery time to the cycling time, the trike is faster.

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