2006-06-14 13:17:31 UTC
became fascinated by some folding recumbent trikes, made by ICE.
It seems really cool to be able to watch the world go by from what looks
like a deck chair! And always to have a comfortable seat on one's
travels. But still to be getting exercise, and my abdos sure could use
And then there's all that stability, think of actually being able to
look behind me or take my hands off handlebars to signal!
And I like the terminology. "Bent" suits me fine, as does "Dark Side".
So I want to know what's wrong with them (apart from cost and weight, of
course). I'm puzzled by these handlebars under the seat. How do you turn
a recumbent trike? Do you fall out at every bend (I heard of someone in
Cambridge who did, though that was an upright trike)?
Is it very hard to get up hills? I live in a hilly district. Can they
get through doors or between bollards?
I'm not that much of a speed freak, so the fact that all the speed
records for human powered vehicles are held by faired bents is not of
immediate concern. I'm more afraid of not being able to control the
vehicle beyond a certain speed. But then it seems they are easier to brake?
Maintenance could be a hassle. I've never seen a bent in France. My
colleague tells me she has only ever seen them under circus clowns.
I'm divided on the image issue. I have a reputation as a nut-case which
I'm keen to keep up, but France is a nation very hostile to script
breakers and I'm limit as it is with my Childfreedom. A bent on a
_French_ road might get more attention than I really want. Besides
which, it might even interest the police - it seems the status of
tricycles is ambiguous here and according to some opinions they are not
allowed on roads. Moreover, some of those bents really do look
uncomfortably like wheel-chairs, and my superstitious side would feel it
unlucky to send out a signal of being disabled.
The use that most draws me would be for long distance touring, but for
that, the contraption would have to be portable and planeable. I
discovered, when touring with Flyzipper, that I give up after about 35km
not so much because I am tired, as because I start getting sore at seat
and wrist. They say this doesn't happen on bents. On a more daily basis,
it is probably less practical than my beloved bike for local commuting?
Although I do like the idea of being able to sit out the traffic lights,
sunning myself or reading Trollope.
I'd be keen to try such a machine and see how it feels. I doubt that
would be possible here, but is there somewhere in the Southern UK where
I might come for a test ride? I'd particularly like to be able to rent
one for a while to see about how liveable it is all around.
Finally, what are people's opinions here of what constitutes essentials
as well as nec plus ultra luxuries in a bent trike? What are dream
machines in this category? Mine would have to have a good rack system
for luggage, be easily foldable, have very reliable brakes, why not
hydraulic discs, have a good gear range and easy shifting, perhaps a
Rohloff, perhaps have modular electric assist that can be added or
subtracted as needs develop or disappear...
At the moment I'm only dreaming, so I'm not even thinking about price. I
suppose up to about $5000, but too much more would cost me the sacrifice
of too many vacations.
Ile de France