Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Visit the Dark Side: A Recumbent Trike Comes Into My Life

It had been coming for a long time. My curiosity about recumbent bikes had been brewing for a number of years. I owned a 2006 Volae two wheeled recumbent from 2006 until recently, when I sold it to a wonderful guy from northern Alabama. I had put on 10,300 miles on it between 2/06 and 6/09, then went back to upright bikes, especially my beloved fixed gear Pinarello. On several occasions, I had the opportunity to demo recumbent trikes, and had an absolute blast every second of those rides. After lots and lots of research, I purchased a Catrike Expedition recumbent trike from the wonderful folks at the Hostel Shoppe in Wisconson.

Catrikes are manufactured in Winter Haven, Florida, and the frame is a 100% USA made product. My Catrike serial # is CTE3385. This trike frame and component design is intended to be a sport-touring setup. It is not the fastest racing machine, but gives a good account of itself in the rapidity department. The main attraction has been the extreme comfort of the riding position. No neck, hand, back or butt pains so far. I hit the 200 mile mark today, and am totally satisfied with my new trike. I would like to train over the fall and winter, and make this Catrike into a comfortable century machine.
I usually only buy a frame and then add my desired components, but the Catrike comes well equipped with Avid BB7 disc brakes, a SRAM 10 speed drivetrain, and Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires. For now, this will be a good combination. In the Spring, I may experimant with Rotor chainrings and Schwalbe KOjak tires for a speed boost over long distances. I have a Shelter Island ride palnned for later in the week, and that will be the first test of road riding. I have a flag and two-one watt Planet Bike flashers for visibility.

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