I was finally able to get my new Cat out and see what she could do. It was overcast and there were lots of puddles after all the heavy rain. It was relatively warm for Christmas with temps in the 50's. The big issue, gusty winds. It was not the most ideal day but I was more than ready for a ride. I avoid puddles with fenders and today my ride was without. For now, it was not as bad as I expected. I do have a rear fender which offers no drag and keeps water off the seat and my back. The 2 issues of major concern on a new recumbent is ride quality and comfort. After all isn't that why we ride a recumbent. You can't really tell by riding around the block a few times. I planned on only 22 miles but it was nicer than I thought and the winds were manageable, so it became 36. I am a "steel is real" guy and was afraid the aluminum frame would be too rough. It wasn't, it rode as nice as my suspended ICE T. I guess it has to do with the longer wheel base and larger rear wheel. Whatever the reason I am glad. I sat on a lot of recumbent seats and some you can tell right away if it's not for you. It takes a 20+ mile ride to know better and thankfully after 36 miles no recumbent butt. As nice as my ICE T seat is I still have to use a "tush cush". I road the Cat without a cushion and I was fine. I assume it has to do with a greater recline putting more weight to my back than butt. With those 2 issues out of the way it was time to see if it satisfies my need for speed. It was certainly faster and I was able to push higher gears but is it going to make a Lance Armstrong out of me, definitely not. On this short ride I would guess I'm 2 mph faster but that still makes me slower than shit. The big rear wheel helps on flats and down hills but it is a detriment when climbing. If touring I would have to drop the gearing. My ICE T gear inch is 15-78, the Cat is 21-114. It's fine for most riding but on tour I would have to drop it to at least 18. Easy enough by swapping out the granny to a 26. Be that as it may I bought this bike as a sport tourer and it is just that. There are 3 issues, 1) It is harder to get out of the seat as it sits low. 2) It needs a better brake lock than the inconvenient Velcro strap. I like the push button brake lever on my ICE T. 3) It has noticeable pedal steer. This has been mentioned on trike forums and they say it goes away in time. If I recall I noticed it on my ICE T when new but now no. Either way it's not a deal breaker.
I was very satisfied with today's ride and surprisingly did not have to fiddle with adjustments. I totally understand why people are so fond of their Cats. It certainly is pretty. I am looking forward to more miles and hope for a long term relation.
This is by no means a review. It is my first impressions from one ride.