HPVs and Recumbent trikes are the best!

Why would anyone pay more for a recumbent trike than a bike?

What do all recumbent riders have all day long, over the suffering bicycle rider?  

              THE RECUMBENT GRIN

By Chonk – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15319464

From ear to ear, for each and every hour you sit on the trike, you just smile and enjoy the experience. Recumbents are ergonomically designed for comfort, suiting most body types. Gear changes are easier with better stability providing greater confidence to the rider. It gives a smooth, sleek ride that has no learning curve and offers you more. I spend more time outside, meeting more people, exploring new neighbourhoods and having FUN!

Recumbent trikes are so much better for your health than the normal bikes.

Advantages of trikes over bikes:

A happy recumbent trike user, photo owned by Deidre Gregorczyk.
  • The trike seat is far more comfortable. No sore bottom and back pain from sitting on that skinny saddle between the legs and crouching over the front handle bars too long. Just sit back and relax.
  • You can lay back to your preferred slant. I slink down further towards the front of the bike improving the stability of the ride. On a bike, I can stand up and press down harder on the pedals for more acceleration, increasing the cycling action, but it cannot be sustained and it certainly does not make me feel more stable. On a trike, you let the 27 gears do all the work for you, cycling for longer (in comfort) and needing less effort to conquer the most challenging climbs.
  • Two wheels in the front and one in the back (a tadpole) concentrates the centre of gravity lower to the ground. Both the body and the trike’s most stable point is approximately where most of the main weight is and it is much closer to the ground. It increases the stability of the trike. This is appreciated most when travelling at the fastest speeds, downhill. I feel safer because my sense of balance feels much better than on a bike.
  • The air resistance or the wind against your face and body, is streamlined better, not full on as in a bike. There is less pressure against you so you don’t slow down as much as you would on a bike against a strong wind.
  • The panoramic views are better on a trike than on a bike, where much of the time is spent looking down, watching out for the next bump in the path. The trike is designed with special stabilizers together with the angle of the seat, that allows a tilt and smoother manoeuvrability over the bumps. I am always looking forward to where I am going, enjoying my surroundings and having a more pleasurable ride.
  • The average trike has larger tyres than most bikes, which gives them a better grip on the gravel road or on a rocky path. The normal trike rides well in the different terrains, but like the bike even larger tyres can be used for the more challenging pathways like sand dunes, rocky downhills etc.
  • Smooth interchange between the 27 gear levels. The system uses 3 large chainrings in the front and 9 in the back, but the change between gears I find is much easier. The gearshifts, on the left and right, are positioned in just the right place to hold comfortably, switching down, pressing with the thumbs (less effort needed) and up with the index finger. The smooth change results in less clanking and derailleur problems than a bike. The trike gears use less force to change gears making it easier for a person with rheumatoid problems in the hands, to control the movement.

 Adaptations with the trikes

If you want to cheat and get around faster, you can add a motor. I don’t recommend this though because less pedaling and effort means less fitness, but as you get older, the temptation increases. It is common for older trike riders to motorize their trikes.

There is a never-ending supply of accessories to help improve your ride, like couplings to join up the trikes. When one partner becomes tired or just wants a break you can join up the trikes. The stronger partner can help the weaker partner. This benefits partners and families to ride together and not leave a loved one at home, particularly when their health is more limited. Increased stability, many adaptations, ease of control, assisted cycling and motorization includes people with disabilities. Their health, muscle strength and inclusiveness with others to cycle in the outdoors can only improve their well-being.       htpps://hspersunite.org.au/recumbent-tricycle-for-hspers/

The ultimate in trike cycling is the way trikes are used and modified by budding students and interested, crazy, amateur adults, that just love a challenge to improve the ride. “H P Vs” or Human Powered Vehicles is the catch-cry as you sail past the school children, followed with a “Cooooooool”. Many schools now include a program on HPVs to teach the students about mechanics, how to change the design to make them faster, like adding an aeronautically designed cover (or fairing), exploring the gear system, studying ergonomics, getting them involved in science and competing. Each year, schools get together, state-wide, to win the race through the best design. Many of these students have become engineers because of their school experience.

 Coroplast Velomobile Photo by Leew at English Wikipedia from Wikimedia Commons



One Response to “HPVs and Recumbent trikes are the best!”

  1. Kai Yee, Chan says:

    It is fun and sounds good! I really want to try it.