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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Australia
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    Default Adult tricycle selection - suggestions

    I am thinking about getting SWMBO an adult tricycle, something like this - http://www.trike-bike.com.au/ (this mob has a few adverse comments made on their website, but overall seem OK.

    Any comments good or bad? Any suggestions on a better brand? (Schwinn, Gomier?)
    Gears, build, brake types,style etc.

    The idea is for her to do a bit more exercise and lose some weight. Age and medical issues rule out running walking gym etc.
    She has tried a bike and likes the idea but does not like the balance (finds it hard to stop start etc), so we thought a trike.
    There are "low step" adult tricycles out there too.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Lyle.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Sutherland Shire, Sydney
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    Default Test ride

    See if you can arrange a test ride of any similar trike. We had one at work some time ago, and found it to be very unstable when cornering. Keep your wits about you when test riding, there is a very short interval between 'everything is fine' to 'oops, there she goes'.

    Alan...

  4. #3
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    Jan 2009
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    Australia
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    Default

    Thanks, I had read that in a few internet searches. You still need to lean into the corners much the same as a bicycle. Speed is a big issue when cornering. For my SWMBO I don't think she'll be breaking any speed records.
    I am more concerned with the build, equipment fitted and quality.

    Re cornering, I wonder why no-one has built a trike with a frame that willl tilt when cornering???

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
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    11,536

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Re cornering, I wonder why no-one has built a trike with a frame that will tilt when cornering???
    possibly because you would need to convert the drive chain to a drive shaft with universal joints at both ends
    regards from Canada

    ian

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia.
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    Default

    I have ridden a few tricycles on and off, the last time was about 5 months ago when I test rode one of these.

    http://www.electricbicycle.com.au/mo...ansporter.html

    I wouldn't suggest this is a really flash tricycle, it's not bad, but it certainly wasn't awe inspiring.

    The one you referred us to, looks pretty good, reasonably stable looking, and, light enough to be nice to ride, which is the most important factor.

    May I suggest you look seriously at the electric version, they really make a world of difference. Last year we spent three months in Europe, with part of that being six weeks in far northern Germany from the Polish border over to the Dutch border. To say we encountered plenty of electrically assisted push bikes, would be a gross understatement. They were everywhere, mostly ridden by some seriously older people having a ball.

    Essentially they come in two types, electrical assist, where one has to pedal to get any input from the electric motor, or a twist-grip arrangement like a motorcycle, where pedaling is not a requirement.

    The type to get are the electrical assist, often referred to as pedelec (PEDal ELECtric). Firstly these can have a 250W motor, which for a relatively heavy tricycle, would be my choice. Secondly and most importantly, you need to pedal, even only a slight bit and you will get assist automatically.

    We rode quite a few hire push bikes in Germany, plus, I got to ride some really good privately owned pedelec jobs. One of these belonged to a relative, who, as a result of medical conditions, cannot allow his heart rate to exceed 130 bpm. This severely curtailed his possibilities of bicycle riding, enter a pedelec pushbike, his and his other half have now re-continued riding. Walking is very hard for him, so this has been perfect.

    Whilst out one day we came across a Scotsman who had lived in Germany since the building of the Berlin wall. He is now in his eighties and built a pedelec pushbike for he and his wife before they became available fully finished in shops. He couldn't speak highly enough of it with some interesting comments. One comment was, there really isn't a headwind when you have a motor in the front hub. Feeling a bit off because of a quick self induced health change, riding home with the assist at maximum makes it very doable. Because the motor makes riding so easy, he and his wife now go out much more than before, getting quite a health kick in the process.

    By the way, the really good and pretty smart batteries available, are not cheap. They seem to last for about 500 to 700 re-charges, this is what I was consistently hearing from people who use them to go to work daily and in some cases almost flatten them every day, in which case they work on about 350 re-charges, or a new battery every 18 months, which leaves public transport charges looking reasonably expensive by comparison.

    Also our experience after talking to a group of about 30 over seventy year olds in Germany, who pedal once a week for 8 months of the year, and have done for the last 40+ years, is electric assist has extended their bicycle riding days enormously, as has the fun factor. I have to say though, that most of them were on quite expensive Dutch built masterpiece bicycles costing approximately 2,500 Euro. I really came home with a burning ambition to pick up something like they had here, but the reality is/was that currently, the cost factor is a bit too much with the Australia tax as I was looking close to $6,000 AUD.

    To answer your question, tricycles are good, but their real downsides are their weight if they are made well. They require good triangulation from the riders seat post section, which the ones you sent us to, appear to have. You should test ride one and check out it's inherent stability. Also, unlike the movie clips supplied, I think you should wear a helmet, I thought they were a legal requirement in Qld?

    Mick.

  7. #6
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    Jan 2009
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    Australia
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    Default

    Mick, thanks for the excellent reply.
    I too had a long hard look at the electrics, but like you they were way past my budget.
    I was going to surprise SWMBO with a trike for her birthday, but will re-think that and try for a test ride somehow before buying.
    We are in NSW and the helmet rules apply here. I think the video was done as advertising and may have not had the helemt for that reason (but I too would have thought it would have been better with the rider wearing one).
    SWMBO can still walk and pedal, but has balance issues hence a stable platform is prefered. I even thought about a pedal quad.
    Thanks for your input.
    Lyle.

  8. #7
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    Tasmania
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  9. #8
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    Jan 2009
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    Australia
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    Default

    Thanks oldgrain.
    I have gone away from the electric.
    But will certainly check the others out too.
    Lyle.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Sydney,Australia
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    Default

    I always worry about the quality of the brakes - you can puff and wheeze all you like to go faster, but stopping in a hurry is something only the bike can do - or a car or brick wall. I've had a number of 'accidents' over the years as well as a more than a few close calls, all because the brakes wouldn't stop my considerable mass going down a hill.

    The main stopping power on a bike is the FRONT wheel, not the back wheel/s, which makes me wonder why they fitted the disk brakes to the rear wheel (on those bikes with the upgraded brakes) and still left the old fashioned, hard to adjust 'calliper' brakes on the front wheel?

  11. #10
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    Jan 2009
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    Australia
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    Default

    Thanks bsrlee.
    I had thought about the brakes.
    If really pushed I could change the front wheel hub to take a disc brake system. I agree with you, they should be mandatory fit.
    I would suspect it is cost that stops them being so.
    But I have not had any troubles adjusting bicycle brakes to be very effective.
    Lyle.

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