You may be asking … “is a recumbent trike for me”? Keep in mind that one does not have to be old or disabled to ride a tadpole trike. But if you happen to be old or disabled recumbent trikes are likely your answer. They are highly modifiable and can be equipped to meet the needs of nearly everybody. From a basic tadpole trike to a FAT trike to a sophisticated velomobile there are lots to choose from. When it comes to riding on thru the winter most definitely 3 (or 4) wheels are far better and safer than only 2.
That is how I got started with tadpole trikes. Winter was fast approaching and I wanted to keep riding … riding safely. I knew 2 wheels were unsafe as a bicycle goes down readily on slippery surfaces. I had already experienced that more than once. Fortunately I never received any serious injury, but I was well aware it can happen. So I built me first tadpole trike and rode it thru the winter. I fell in love with riding a tadpole trike. It is so much more fun than riding a bicycle and it is much much safer. When Spring time finally came around I tried switching back to a 2 wheel recumbent bike, but quickly discovered that I much preferred riding the trike so I sold my bike which I didn’t care to ride anymore. That was in the winter of 2007-2008. So for 16 years now I have had the infamous “recumbent smile” on my face and never a moment’s regret. Recumbent tadpole trikes are difinitely for me. I bought a 2009 Catrike Trail and sold my homemade tadpole trike. I now ride a 2013 Catrike Trail.
Recumbent trikes come in two completely different design builds … a Delta with one wheel in the front and two wheels in the back …. and a Tadpole (originally called a Reverse trike) with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back.
Although my personal preference is a Tadpole design you may find you prefer (need) a Delta design. A Tadpole is like driving a sports car (Corvette) while a Delta is like driving a family sedan (Rambler). Not everybody is able to get in and out of the low seat of a Tadpole trike so for them the Delta is the only way to go. In all fairness there are some Delta trikes which are made low to the ground and built for speed and cornering.
These videos address these subjects:
As shown in the video above there is a lot of difference between a Delta recumbent trike and a Tadpole recumbent trike. I fully agree with the thumbs down for the Delta and the thumbs up for the Tadpole.
One last comment … I have found that riding a tadpole trike brings a whole lot more respect from motorists than one gets riding a bicycle. That, of course, adds greatly to the safety factor.
I bought my Catrike new back in 2009. It came with an owner’s manual. I have never bought another Catrike since but it is my understanding that Catrike no longer supplies a user manual with their new trikes and has not for several years. If you are in need of one, like so many other things, you can find it available online.
Actually if I understand correctly there is just one 63 page manual used for all models. The link above should take you directly to it. Looking at the 2009 manual I see that it covers all models as well. They did not offer a model specific owners manua.
Catrike offers a webpage of “knowledge” which includes links to specific years of their manuals. They show 2004 to 2020 as being available. They also offer videos to view to help with maintenance and repair. Click HERE to visit their knowledge webpage.
Here is some of what you will find there:
Owner’s Manuals Owner’s Manuals are organized by model year. Start with the most recent owner’s manual as that version contains the latest information. If there is something specific to your model not shown, then, refer to the owner’s manual for the model year of your Catrike.
FAQ / Riding Tips Can I Change The Wheel Size? Can I Sit More Upright? Can I Tow a Trailer? How Do I Measure My X-Seam? How Do I Transport My Catrike? What Is The Weight Limit of My Catrike? What Tire Size Fits My Catrike? What Year Is My Catrike? Where Is My Serial Number Located? Is Touch Up Paint Available? Availability of Accessories Accessories
The next section is their videos. Unfortunately none of them are marked so the reader knows what they are about. That is really dumb and rather irresponsible. … C’mon Catrike, you can do better than that!