I bought my Catrike Trail new back in 2009. Now, some 12 years later I have over 96,000 miles on it. And I am elated to be able to report that it is like new as far as mechanically. I would not be afraid to start off on a world tour on it just as it is. So I don’t mid tooting their horn. They make an excellent product.
That does not mean that there isn’t room for improvement. I have had problems with their wheels not holding up to what they go thru here where I live and ride. Between bad pot holes and bumps all three of the Catrike wheels have been destroyed. I replaced them with more Catrike wheels only to have them destroyed even quicker than the original ones. So I stopped buying the Catrike wheels and bought some heavy duty BMX rims and had my local bike shop lace my hubs into them. The BMX wheels have held up great and I no longer have spoke breakage problems like I did with the Catrike wheels.
My 2009 frame
Other than the wheels I can’t say that I have had any other issues which come to mind. Of course, I have experienced the usual … various components wearing out such as tires, wheel and headset bearings, brake pad and rotors, shifters, derailleurs, chains and sprockets wearing out, etc. Even so most of these have lasted incredibly long … far beyond their expected life.
About 4 years after buying my 2009 model I discovered a hairline crack alongside of the weld on the bottom side of the crossmember. I am a highly experienced and accomplished weldor so I knew what I was up against. The weld could fail anytime or it could last for many years. Catrike warranted the frame so I contacted them about it sending them pictures to show them what I was talking about.
In my opinion I think they should also have placed a gusset on that side like they did the other side.
Anyway, they replaced the frame under warranty. However, they no longer offered the space frame like my 2009 model had. They sent their new frame which was a 2013 model. I don’t like the new frame and ever since I got it I have wondered if I should have taken my chances on that weld and kept the 2009 frame. Too late now.
For what it is worth I have never seen any pictures of a Catrike with a broken frame. I certainly have seen pictures of other brands with broken frames. In all the years I have been following and reporting on tadpole trikes I have never heard of a Catrike with a broken frame. I would guess that they exist, but it is interesting that I have not seen or heard of any.
My 2013 frame
I am sold on Catrike. I don’t think there is a better tadpole trike made regardless of the cost. And I don’t think there is a better engineered tadpole trike. There is one competitor which I won’t name other than to say they claim to have inspired engineering. Their trikes are quite expensive but in my opinion Catrike is much better engineered and built. I would not trade my one Catrike for three of their models of my choice unless I would be allowed to sell them and buy what I want.
Thru the years I have made changes adding and removing various stuff. Here is a picture of my trike with a canopy I had just installed on it. I also have a hub motor in the rear wheel and two batteries.
I have never owned any brand than Catrike but I have ridden a few other brands. It is a clear choice for me. Now if I could just figure out what they were thinking when they name it. I am referring to the spelling. I know it is pronounced CAT TRIKE, but it sure isn’t spelled that way. CAT RIKE … CA TRIKE. Several times I have seen people spell it CATTRIKE. I wonder why Catrike didn’t do that. But no, they spelled it ….
… just to mess with our minds, me thinks. Hey, whatever you ride and whether you can spell it or not …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
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