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Thread: trikes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Default trikes

    I am trying to get back into cycling but now have balance issues so am considering a trike. Question 1; can trikes use the trails in the area? Question 2; is there a place to rent a trike in Alexandria or Arlington? I would need to try it out and also need to determine where I would park it at home. Thanks for any information provided.

  2. #2
    KLizotte's Avatar
    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Arlington, VA by way of MA and London, UK
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    Yes, you can ride trikes on all of the trails here. I would not, however, try to cross Roosevelt bridge with one because it is so narrow.

    I don't know of any place that rents trikes in the local area. Best place to go for trying out lots of trikes is Mt. Airy Bicycles in MD (about 45 minutes from Arlington on a Saturday) and/or Bikes at Vienna along the W&OD. I found the former to be far more knowledgeable and useful but it's best to try out both.

    Trikes are easy to ride in low traffic areas or along busy roads with good sight lines. I would not ride one in downtown DC but am fine around Arlington/Alexandria. It helps if you are used to riding around cars otherwise you may wish to stick to the trails till you get used to the lower profile.

    The other thing to know about trikes is that it is hard to get hurt if you tip over given that you are only six inches or so from the ground but they will tip over if you take a sharp turn and do not lean to the side to counteract the wheels trying to come off the ground. If you are moderately flexible the leaning is easy but you need to make it a reflex. I rode my trike for the first time in two months due to the nice weather and forgot to lean when I tried to did a u-turn. Opps, when right over. Neither me nor the bike were hurt at all; just my pride. I'm sure it looked rather funny to the bystanders. Just wanted to mention that since you said you have balance issues.

    Trikes are slower than regular bikes, esp up hills. They also work the muscles differently. I bought my trike from Mt. Airy last fall but am having knee problems when using it. Still need to figure out what the issue is. Other than that it is super comfortable and provides a much different riding experience than the upright.

    Lastly, please note that trikes are generally more expensive to buy and equip than uprights. But they hold their value well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Leesburg, VA
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    An ex of mine had wrist issues and rode a trike for those reasons (no pressure on wrists). I rode her trike, a catrike pocket, to work a few times. Its a load of fun, especially downhill. Kind of like a little pedal powered go kart. If they were cheaper and easier to store I may have one. They aren't as fast as an upright bike but railing a downhill sweeping corner on one is a special kind of fun.

    I'll second Liz, Mt Airy and Bikes@Vienna are the two I know of in the area that have trikes in stock. I'm pretty sure Mt Airy doesn't rent, but Bikes@Vienna might. Call and find out. Bikes@Vienna is just down the street from the W&OD so you can test ride there. Mt Airy had a simple road loop near the shop for test rides.

    You may also try bentrider online (a large recumbent forum). Lots of trike riders there.

    If nobody rents, you can at least test ride and take measurements at both shops and figure out storage that way. I used to hang my exes trike from the ceiling by its rear wheel (against a wall). I found that to be the most space efficient, but lifting it into place was tough (even light trikes are rather heavy).
    Last edited by jabberwocky; 02-08-2017 at 01:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Arlington, VA (W&OD MP4.5)
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    My wife has a Catrike Trail. No major problems on the trails around here, though as already mentioned, the narrow pathways on the bridges (and certain narrow passages on trails) are a tight fit.

    We shopped at both Mt. Airy and Vienna. Both will let you ride around in the parking lot.

    The Trail folds. It's not exactly small when collapsed - but folding it makes it compact enough to fit in the back of a small SUV or station wagon. Otherwise, carrying a trike on the car (if that's a concern for you) is tricky.


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