Riding the Trike – Interim Report

Eli Post

My article last month on acquiring a trike generated a lot of interest. Some thought it might be a good step for them to take, while others had a family member or friend in mind. Others just enjoy reading my articles.

In any case, I took possession of my trike on May 2 and am sharing my initial observations and experiences.

Generally, I am happy with the purchase. It’s given me additional, precious time on the roads. However, there is a downside: Toting the three-wheeled monster around is a definite chore. 

So far, I’ve only done short test rides to familiarize myself with the controls, especially the electric-assist ones. Here’s what I have to report.

  • I store the folded trike in my hatchback. Besides having to unload the trike, before I can ride I also must re-install the seat and the battery, and make a few other adjustments. The process takes about a half hour before I am ready to roll. It’s not an ordeal, and entirely within my expectations, but it forecloses the option of a spontaneous ride. With my two-wheel upright bike, I could watch the weather and wait for a window of opportunity for a short ride. All I had to do after driving to a start location was throw on the front wheel.
  • The ride itself is comfortable, especially when you have a lounge-chair instead of a hard saddle. The thrill of speeding along with the wind in your face is still very much with you.
  • Friends who spend the winter in Florida tell me trikes are ubiquitous there, but they are still rare in New England. As a consequence, I am frequently stopped by strangers who are simply curious, considering a trike for themselves, or just friendly. Motorists give you more respect, and crossing major roads is somewhat easier.
  • I still am getting used to the electric-assist element of the trike. The motor responds to your cadence and cuts out when you stop pedaling. I have seven gears and nine assist levels. Only experience riding on the road will tell you what combination works best on a given terrain.
  • The salesperson I dealt with used to be in service and has been terrific in getting back to me on technical questions.
  • My test rides have all been on my own, but I’m looking forward to group rides when I become more adept with the control of the trike.

The article was edited by Tim Wilson.