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  1. #1
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    Adult tricycle for icy conditions commuting?

    My wife broke her wrist this past June in a MTB accident.

    She used to commute to work twelve months a year no matter the temps as long as it was mostly clear of ice and snow. But now the thought of a fall on that wrist keeps her from riding to work on a lot of the cold and icy mornings. I was thinking about getting her an adult tricycle like the Schwinn Meridian or the Torker Tristar because of added stability.

    Her commute is 2.5 miles one way and flat so I was thinking about a single speed.

    Any opinions on the bikes listed above or other options. How uncool are adult tricycles - I'd hate to scar her for life.
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  2. #2
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    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
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    This one from the Frozen Chosen Regatta last year looks pretty cool - not your granny's trike! The biggest question for me would be whether there is adequate room on your roads to safely commute on a trike. Stability and avoidinga spill won't be much consolation if you get hit by a car. I could not do that here, but we have some narrow roads even in summer, and snowbanks or unplowed shoulders narrowing them further in winter. I also think that this is the kind of idea that she should weigh in on, if she has not already.
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  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    I thnk Xplorer is right about both the road width issue and that your wife definitely needs to be in on the decision (just in case you`re intending to surprise her). If she wants that kind of bike, best of luck and I hope she enjoys it. Personally, I`d really like a good excuse for a recumbent trike. Well, I`d like to try one anyway- doubt I`d use it much if I had one because of that skinny road problem. Terratrike has 3s and 8s IG versions for under $1000, if she`s interrested in going that route. Yeah, still pretty expensive- that`s what happens when even the big manufacturers can`t sell tens of thousands of units, I guess.
    http://www.terratrike.com/rover.php
    Also, the classified secion at bentrideronline.com always has trikes listed. Seems like more trikes than two wheelers these days.
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
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    +1 on her input. A bike/trike is very personal, probably why so many of us get attached to ours even thought they are just tools. They are more like extensions of our bodies.

    So how many days are icy? Discretion is the better part of valor. Maybe the car isn't a bad idea some days. A steel cocoon is good if motorists around are incompetent under such conditions. I'd rather not be single again.

    I am trying to get my spouse to consider riding in good weather the 3 miles to work. She shattered an arm in a bike accident decades ago. I have ridden the route and it can be a problem at noon and 3-4 PM when drivers are too busy to drive safely. Ice and empty roads would be safer.

    I wonder what the usual injury from an unplanned 2 wheeled recumbent dismount is? Maybe Rodar can comment. She'd gain some aero, lose some to a flag to keep the same visibility, be as narrow, a bit easier to woman handle into a building than even a folding/dividing trike. Must fit studded tires, and use the standard bike for good days. Not cheap, but keeping weight off and staying fit is worth a lot.

  5. #5
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Unplanned dismounts would likely be kinder and gentler from a lower starting elevation, but I can`t recomend a two wheeled bent for slick roads. Results aside, the chances of going down with a bent are much greater than from a diamond frame. Seems counterintuitive, but the lower you get, the harder it is to balance, and the faster things happen. I`ve ridden quite a few miles of snow and ice with slicks on an mtb, but won`t take my bent out in those conditions, and I cringe whenever I have to do any kind of turn on sandy or wet pavement.
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
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    Hmm, the thought of drifting through icy corners with power to both rear wheels sounds attractive to me. Do trikes have locked differentials?
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  7. #7
    dirtbag
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    I was toying with the idea of getting a recumbent trike (2-wheel front/1 rear config) for this upcoming winter season to commute to work on. I figured it'd be much more stable on icy conditions on my route which consists of a rather lengthy stretch of cobblestones when get slippery when wet. Even worse when icy/snowy. I wouldn't have to worry about vehicular traffic on my commute route as it's 95% on bike/hike paths. But a new trike has been put on the backburner. I hate riding in the cold and I've already got too many bikes. Maybe in the future.

    I think the recumbent trikes look way cooler than the Schwinn Meridian or the Torker Tristar.
    Amolan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    Hmm, the thought of drifting through icy corners with power to both rear wheels sounds attractive to me. Do trikes have locked differentials?
    With no traffic, drifting icy corners would be a blast with appropriate body armor. The slide into dry pavement and 'hookup' could be dramatic. I understand that the racing ones are locked and the usual ones drive just one wheel, but I might be wrong Holdsworth used to make them, but one at least of the British frame builders still does and you can buy a kit to convert a normal bike. Holdsworth (defunct) touted them for 'spastics' - a real selling point there! But that is what we all look like on ice with no studs or with icing sugar snow too deep to cut through with your snows/studs.

    Tadpoles are favored for recumbent and high performance trikes (2 up 1 back) and deltas (one up and two back) are in the utility/cruiser category, though there are exceptions. The teardrop shape is more aero, I guess.

  9. #9
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    You know I went back and reread the OP's original post a second time to be sure I didn't miss something, but - it really sounds to me like this is the perfect case for studded tires.

    She used to commute to work twelve months a year no matter the temps as long as it was mostly clear of ice and snow.
    Decent studded tires make ice a complete non-issue. Snow is still just as much/little of an issue as it was before. But take "huge amounts of snow" out of the equation, and studded tires are perfect.

    I wish I had the picture on this computer, but I got my dad (in his 50's, not any sort of daredevil by any means) a pair of studded tires for Christmas 2 years ago. On our first ride we passed a hockey rink. I rode out on it, he rode out on it - we rode around on the sheer ice on the hockey rink for a while. No problem. Believe me - if it had been the slightest bit iffy, he would have been out of there. :-) Studs really make ice a complete non-issue.

    I was thinking about getting her an adult tricycle like the Schwinn Meridian or the Torker Tristar because of added stability.

    Her commute is 2.5 miles one way and flat
    ...and the disadvantages of getting studded tires, like their slightly (to very noticeable depending on which tire) slower speed, the need to possibly buy a second bike that will actually fit them (needs to take a 35c tire), or their extra cost aren't issues relative to buying a trike either.

    I ride Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires on my winter bike and they sound like for this situation. They're not particularly cheap, but they're the fastest winter tires you can buy that also has a high stud count (technically the Nokian A10's might be better, but they have way way less studs so I wouldn't recommend them - not as good on ice).

    I mean - if you're not biking in the snow (or in just an inch or two of snow), a studded tire really makes winter biking no more dangerous for crashing or falling on your bike than with your regular tires in the summer.

  10. #10
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    No response, I'm just really curious - was there a reason you had in mind why studded tires wouldn't work?

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