Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bike vs. Trike

I had another opportunity to ride the upright bicycle again and have a few thoughts on its comparison to the bent trike. In no particular order...

1. Higher seating position allows more visibility above car hoods and other obstacles.
2. Slimmer and lighter, 17 lbs for a high end road bike compared to 33lbs for quality bent trike.
3. Can be easily pushed by the stem while standing up off the bike. Pushing a recumbent trike would require the rider to hunch over while walking behind or alongside it.
4. Much more availability of parts for easy repair.
5. Bicycle stores love you. Recumbent riders are hated at most bike shops due to their size.
6. More easily transportable compared to a non-foldable recumbent trike.

1. Too much upper body weight is placed on the hands especially while going down hill which makes it more difficult to produce hand signals.
2. Balance is required which makes it difficult to change directions quickly.
3. The need for balance on a bicycle also makes it difficult to go up extremely steep hills where low gears and therefore lower speeds are necessary.
4. It also makes it more difficult to start from stop on a hill.
5. There are many areas where bikes aren't allowed, but often times security will allow a recumbent tricycle pass for whatever reason. Perhaps they think the rider is disabled? They know the rider can't conveniently push a tricycle like then can a bike?
6. A bit scarier. If the front wheel comes off or goes flat, it could lead to detrimental occurrences.
7. Handling is not as good as a recumbent trike. A trike can turn from left to right to left again w/no hesitation.
8. An upright DF is not as good for the back as a bent trike.
9. Views aren't as good. While it takes a bicycle rider an unnatural effort to look up, a bent rider is in a reclined position perfect for looking forward or up.
10. Isn't as respected on the road by motorists as a bent.
11. Endurance is much weaker.

1. A trike is less efficient b/c it doesn't let the rider stand up and use body weight to create assisted momentum during the pedaling cycle.

Although on an upright bicycle, the rider can stand up, the gears have to be significantly increased to maintain a constant cadence. A tricyclist can create even more momentum by pushing back against the seat which is option an upright cyclist doesn't have. An upright cyclist is capped at the riders weight, while the recumbent tricylist is limited by muscle power. Since the tricyclist doesn't need to balance, the rider can use a significantly lower gear that wouldn't otherwise be possible with an upright bicycle.

2. Trikes are slow.

This is true only while going uphill. Trikes can go much faster during a downhill run.

3. Motorists can't see you.

Ironic b/c motorists claim that, but they're constantly approaching bent riders saying, "I can't see you." Motorists typically leave much more room for bent tricylists than upright bicyclists. Motorists also often times slow down to get a closer look at the bent trike than they would a much more common bicycle.


Post a Comment