Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Candy Store

As some of you know I have been in the market for a new trike. Catrike has an end of year sale with $200 off so I wasted little time in visiting my friend Laurence at JerseyBents. He has quite the assortment of recumbents from major manufacturers as ICE, HP Velotechnik, Terratrike, Azube, Trident, Rans and Bacchetta. I was a kid in a candy store. Initially, I was looking for a folding trike and had my eye on Catrike's New Trail. Then I got this need for speed and started looking towards the Expedition and even the 700. If those didn't work I would bite the bullet on an ICE.
Why only these 2 manufacturers?
1)Catrike offers great "bang for the buck" and is Made In America.
2) I have an ICE and I know first hand it's comfort, quality and handling.
I have owned other brands, some good, some not so good. These are expensive machines and I cannot afford more lessons.
My first trike to try was the New Folding Trail. I loved the new seat cushion but I immediately dismissed it as it was not reclined enough. I next tried the 700 which was an extreme, unfamiliar design for the "tourer" in me. It had a surprisingly nice ride and not as harsh as I anticipated even with those high pressure "Hammerhead" wheels. The recline is extreme and you have to rely on the neck rest which did not sit well with me. Then I was off on the Expedition and like Goldilocks, it was just right.  Unfortunately, test rides are confined to a neighborhood with no hills. It is difficult to get a true feeling of performance and comfort without getting out for some serious miles. I was initially concerned about "Direct Steering" as my ICE is "Indirect and works great. It does seem stiffer requiring more effort but I had no doubt it would handle well at speeds. My other big concern was aluminum frame and no suspension. I tried to find patches of rough road and also pedaled onto the sidewalk. It was not bone shattering and for the brief time seemed more than manageable and plenty comfortable. The Expedition and the whole Catrike line is very well engineered and a true value in the recumbent trike market. I will have to decide soon if I want to take advantage of the discount. Laurence is a great dealer and I highly recommend JerseyBents.
Now all I have to do is make a decision.
Laurence and The Trail

Black Beauty 700



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