advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

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advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:36 pm

hi all

I am a noob at recumbent trikes (well actually I've wanted one for many many years but never could afford one) however I will be purchasing one in the near future. In saying this, I still don't have alot of money, would prefer to be under $1500 or a little over that.

So I've found 2 options I'm looking at. Unfortunately there are no trikes for sale 2nd hand close by in SE Qld where I live, but I have found this 15y/o Greenspeed GTR for sale
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/australi ... 1037319189
An identical one is for sale in Melbourne and the buyer will sell for $950, however I would have to freight it up here, and that, whilst not necessarily an expensive venture, I would imagine might be a bit of a painful one.

Or I buy this trike brand new from Brisbane
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kenmore- ... 037051952#
which I would get delivered and the seller has gone down to $1750.

So my problem is, do I buy a 15y/o but top line trike in a Greenspeed with the hassles of freight and potential replacing of parts due to age etc, or a brand new (but inferior quality I assume) trike, that is local and can be delivered, with a 5yr warranty etc.

Also I am a tall man (6'7" or 200cm) and the Performer trike can be extended. This appeals to me, however I am not aware if the GTR would suit my length.

As this will be my first trike, and I only plan to use it for some smallish commutes and for leisure rides, getting a high end machine isn't my priority right now, nor if isn't quite the right size for me.

So, any thoughts, advice, opinion anyone has, is greatly appreciated :-)

thanks

Craig
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by BNA » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:44 pm

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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby Aushiker » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:44 pm

gudism wrote:Or I buy this trike brand new from Brisbane
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kenmore- ... 037051952#
which I would get delivered and the seller has gone down to $1750.


glen_aircooled (NSW rider) over at RRI has a Performer trike. Might be worth sounding him out on his experience with his Performer trike. Also maybe take a look at what Flying Furniture have available. I think they offer free shipping. There is also a Sydney recumbent dealer - http://www.recumbent.net.au/

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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:55 pm

Thanks Andrew. I have checked out flyjng furniture and they have some performer trike for around the $1500 mark.
I'll quiz the name you mentioned about his machine etc. Thanks.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby jaffaman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:06 pm

Epic cycles at paddington has had trikes in the past. Not sure they have any now, but they would likely get you one in if you knew what you wanted and would support it mechanically if you needed. May be worth asking them anyway if they could help.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby Riggsbie » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:30 pm

Having owned an unsuspended trike (Greenspeed GT5) and a fully suspended trike (Ice Vortex FS)....,..

I would never ride an unsuspended trike ever again.....

I'd give the Performer a thorough test !


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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby Riggsbie » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:32 pm

I also prefer the hard shell seats, the Greenspeed seats offer no support when cornering hard or against the camber of the road so I had loads of left side back issues from fighting the camber of the road !


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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:47 am

I've gotten some more info on the 2nd hand trike.
Here are the 2 pics I received, and it looks in very good condition. A few deal breakers I think, it appears to only have steering from the left, I'm guessing it was modified to suit the elderly rider. Could this be modified back to have 2?

The seller also mentioned it has Shimano Nexus Auto D gearing, I dont know enough about these, is it a bad thing?

The cheaper trike appeals to me for my 1st trike, as I am in my last year of my nursing degree and have 5 kids so keeping money is better!! But I think this single steering is a killer.....


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Last edited by gudism on Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby Baalzamon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:03 am

No there are 2 handlebars there an I can see the steering on both in the second picture. Look underneath the trike and you can see the steering rods.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:18 am

ah yes now I see it.....I was looking for the manual shifter, but it is where the auto shifter control is. Thanks!
There is a little of a perspective issue in the first pic
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby chuckchunder » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:17 pm

hhmmmm..........

hi Craig

some observations regarding the two trikes. First, the trike in Australind -

from the photo this trike appears to have SachsVT drum brakes. You can identify them from the three bladed outer hub flange in the photo. I would ask for a close up photo of the brake backing plate/kingpin to confirm. Caveat here regarding the following, that being that the VT's on my GTR lasted 25,000km before requiring replacement linings, and the backing plates had reached the stage of needing replacement due to a worn pivot after some 75,000km. You may well not cover those distances in your entire ownership of the trike. That said, when I last spoke to Greenspeed I was told they no longer carried spares for these brakes. I have a pair of linings around somewhere if anyone is interested. On early Greenspeeds the hub backing plate was welded to the kingpin/axle assembly. This means replacement of the brake assembly requires replacement of the whole kingpin assembly, about $450 per side last time I checked.

from the photo the trike does not have a front derailler mast on the boom. This means that you are limited in your drivetrain choices, ie you will need to obtain another boom to fit a front derailler. I seem to recall from one of the earlier listings that this trike that it has a Sachs three speed rear hub with an eight speed cassette, which should be fine unless you have real hills to climb. The cassette can also be replaced with a nine speed to give more range. A front derailler is not necessarily required for multiple front chain rings as you can lean forward and move the chain with your hand (on the chain tube) to shift, most people don't like doing that though. It also occurs to me that if your X-seam is more than about 49" you will need a longer boom anyway. These are available from Greenspeed at about $150 if I recall correctly. You should check with them.

the trike does not have front mudguards. not a problem if you don't plan to ride on a wet road. the front wheels will cover you in sand and grit from a wet road, or whatever is also on the road when it is wet, thinking of you mr dairy farmer whose cows cross the road. Greenspeed supply front mudguards sets for $164 according to their website. You would need to check with them regarding the specifics though, as the kingpin angles and mudguard attachment have changed since this trike was built. Quite sure they would be able to supply them to suite though.

the trike has platform pedals with toe straps. while some are quite happy to use these, or no system of attachment to the pedals at all, you may wish to use a more secure clipin system.

So I would ask the owner to -
supply photos of the kingpin/brake assembly on this trike (pics of the front hub from the seat side of the trike)
supply photos of the gear system on this trike (rear hub, shifters)
supply a photo of the serial number of the trike (found on an aluminium plate under the main tube)

I would check with Greenspeed regarding -
cost of mudguards (if you want them)(mooo)
if the trike has Sachs VT drums, what support they can offer in terms of spares
cost of replacement/extra length boom

based on the photos it appears to be a pretty stock GTR. I rode mine 75,000km+ before breaking it beyond repair. I found it a very stable and forgiving trike with good ground clearance which put up with an unbeleivable amount of abuse. I used it to commute daily, rode Audax brevets, toured and a fair amount of off road stuff (rail trail and gravel roads). I rode up and down curbs at will, and got some air every so often on a particular path (I would NOT recommend these things!)

regarding the trike in Victoria -

firstly these are not identical trikes. if you compare the photos, look in the following areas -
the cruciform on this trike is flat, raising the height of the trike compared to the GTR.
the seat is also raised in relation to the frame, so it sits higher compared to the GTR
the seat back does not have the final shoulder support bend, probably because it is at a steeper angle compared to the GTR
the wheels are larger, at a guess they are 26". compare the distance of the rim from the top of the kingpin compared to the GTR
the right hand handle bar is not the same height as the left, and there is no brake lever on the right hand bar, suggesting one lever for both brakes.
the trike has disc brakes. I'm guessing that the brakes are Magura BIGs hydraulic, but not at all certain.

I would ask the owner to provide _
photos of the tyre sidewall to confirm the tyre size.
photos of the brake assembly and lever to confirm the brake type and set-up
photo of the serial number

the trike appears to have been purpose built for the elderly gentleman. It has a high seat, different height handgrips, single sided brake operation and automatic gears. The extra height may be a stability issue, but then if you don't ride fast hilly descents maybe not. There is much debate at the the moment regarding larger wheel sizes and their speed advantages on Bentrideronline, so larger wheels may also be a good thing. Certainly the extra ground clearance is an advantage for (carefully) climbing curbs and stuff. 24" wheels would limit your tyre choices, 26" would broaden them compared to the GTR's 20". The straight chainline from rear wheel to chainring is a definite drag reducer.

I would contact Greenspeed and ask for what information they can provide about the trikes, that is what the serial numbers are for. You may like to telephone Ian Sims direct and ask about the Victorian one, I'm guessing he may remember that build due to it's custom nature, and provide you with invaluable insight regarding its potential uses. I have always found Greenspeed easy to deal with and friendly.

cheers

chuck
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:11 pm

Hi Chuck.
Firstly thanks for you detailed breakdown! Most appreciated.
In regards to the Victorian trike (which I'm interested in) I quizzed the owner on things you mentioned.
It has 24" wheels and oddly, the seller can't find the serial plate on the trike.

Would it be safe to assume this isn't a genuine GS? I'm not willing to part money with something that can't proved as the real deal (nor would my wife let me ;-) ).

He sent me a lot of extra photos I'll upload when I get home but if he can't provide an image of the serial plate I'm not paying $900 for a 15y/of trike.
Again thanks for your breakdown.
Cheers
Craig
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:01 pm

The seller still can't find the serial plate, however he has emailed the team at Greenspeed in Knoxfield asking them to authenticate the purchase of the trike for me. Me says he would be surprised if they don’t remember his father's trike as he got them a bit of publicity over the years, including when he was shown riding the bike on the George Negus Tonight show.

Guess I will wait to see what happens?
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:05 pm

more photos
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby chuckchunder » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:46 pm

Hi Craig

certainly looks like a Greenspeed, has their proprietary hubs on the front, but who knows? If the seller comes up with confirmation from Greenspeed, I would definitely try and talk to Ian at Greenspeed before buying the trike in the hope of clarifying drivetrain choices at least. The Auto D is either a 3 or 4 speed, and that ain't enough on a trike unless the ground where you live is flat as.
I would still confirm the brakes - still need a photo of the brake calipers at the front hubs. If they are the Magura BIGS be aware that they are left and right handed, so the king pins will not take any other brake caliper. that means if you want to swap them out for an "upgrade", you have to replace the kingpin assembly. having said that, the BIGS on my GTS have 50,000+km and still work fine, with some attention to keeping dirt out of the lever assembly. still work fine means if you apply the brakes hard you should grit your teeth or you'll lose your falseys. They STOP the trike, not just slow it down! pads readily available from discobrakes.com and elswhere.

cheers
chuck

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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:00 pm

Yeah I am a little concerned about the gearing. I currently ride an upright delta trike that i use to transport kids to school (built a box on the bacm and slapped a boat seat on it) and it only has 5 gears and once I hit the only hill in town (and its only little) I'm stuffed!
Whilst where I live is quite flat, and initially I'll only use it to commute to uni and the hospital when on practical, it does worry me that if I get this trike it wont suit me as my riding increases for leisure etc, which it will. It will be my first trike, and i did think that i'd upgrade once i've finished studying, however its still $900 bucks.

My wife thinks I should spend the extra money, buy the brand new Performer X. I guess at least it has 27 gears etc.....no freight issues, warranty.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby just4tehhalibut » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:34 am

The welding and construction looks very Greenspeed for that period and the design of the Greenspeed stickers changed to that style in the early 2000s. The vertical tube under the seat and in front of the rear wheel is not the usual design and probably a support related to the customised seat design. Other things to notice from the pics are that the bar end shifter on the left appears to control the brake on the rear hub (maybe as a parking brake), the two front brakes are controlled by the same brake lever on the left, and the rear derailleur is rigged to just control chain tension. The setup of the seat and bottom bracket is peculiar, the BB to seat height and extra long seat base would suggest that performance was compromised to deal with some disability issue. That seat really doesn't look comfortable. And having both front brakes controlled from the one lever means that you can't use the brakes to steer. The choice of 24" tyres are again probably a tilt towards a disbility issue, raising the trike so that getting in and out is easier; you pay for that with having a choice of tyres that is limited (I don't think that Maxxis even makes that model of tyre in that size anymore), with also having a trike slightly more prone to tilt. Most people would be comfortable with riding with each hand on the bars, resting at about the same height; the bars on this trike are different heights, have a brake lever only on one side and designed for someone with limited to use of the right arm.

What I think of this trike: occasionally a homemade trike pops up on Ebay or Gumtree, mostly failed experiments that pretty much sell for their components. This trike, apart from having Greenspeed stickers, isn't much better a buy than those, just some better components but rather specialised and would take a lot of work to upgrade. It's fairly compromised. If you want a trike at any cost then know that you're spending comfort, performance and possibly any fun on top of the $950.

The other trike that they're selling is more quality. Yes it has drum brakes instead of disc but stopping power is still very good. Standard steering and frame design, easy choice of 20" tyres, a slightly better range of gears (although no front boom or internal gears, just the rear derailleur would kill this deal for me as well). You'd have more fun with this trike not going in straight lines. I'd look for something more like that than buy a compromised design. As to both of their ads mentioning original purchase prices as over $5000 each disregard this as one is a customised trike, the other conventional but from after Greenspeed pumped up their prices by $1000 to get better cred on the US market against their competitors (and it worked). Argue depreciation and obsolete parts if they bring this up. I'd keep looking for a trike.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:32 pm

Just4tehhalibut, appreciate you opinion. Yeah I've made my decision to not go with the trike. I like the price, but as you say, its a trike designed for a person with a disability, and ultimately I think I'll regret it if I were to purchase it.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:22 pm

I have come across this trike for sale

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kurrajon ... 1038012974

Is the Greenspeed GT3 a good trike?

I should add I am 6'7" tall and 100kg. Not sure of my x seam though......whilst I'm tall I'm not all legs if you know what I mean!
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby Mbike23 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:57 pm

www.greenspeed.com.au
You'll find info on the trike and how to find your X seam for sizing.
I'm 6ft and 106kg and ride a GT5 which is the next step up from the GT3. The main difference is disk brakes and the next step in derailers ect, the frame and wheel size are the same. As mentioned earlier by Riggsbie the ride is unsuspended so the bumps can be transmitted to the rider. The mesh seat does mitigate this some what and it only really becomes an issue at speed. Also the surface of the road will have a big impact, as I'm in Melbourne the roads are asphalt so not a big issue.
The wheels are 16" so finding tyres and tubes at the LBS can be an issue and you may need to purchase either on line or at a specialist dealer.
Both the GT3 and GT5 are folders. By removing the seat bolt under the front of the seat you can lift off the seat. There is then a quick release on the main tube and the bike can the be folded in half. This great if you do one way rides and get picked up at the other end.
If you are after a general purpose trike for everyday use then it's suitable. But if you want a speed machine then no.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:16 pm

Thanks Mbike23.
Yeah I am after a general purpose everyday use kind of trike, as it will be my first I'm not too concerned about having an awesome machine.
Unfortunately we got a ludicrous power bill today from running the AC too much over Christmas some I'm niw not sure if I'm in the market right now
:-(
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby Mbike23 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:53 pm

The bills just don't stop. :(
There was one thing missing from that GT3 and that's a rack. Which for a GP trike is essential as you can't put a back pack on to carry your gear.
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Re: advice on 1st recumbent trike purchase

Postby gudism » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:06 pm

Bugger......worked out how to get the money together to purchase and the seller sold it from under me after I'd said yes.....
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