A Trek trike?

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Yesterday, Cyclelicious mentioned a bike related article in the November issue of Fast Company magazine. The article covers the development of the Trek Lime bike and the Shimano Coasting system. The full article does not appear to be available online, but you can see a few development renderings of the Lime at the online “Trek Lime Sketchpad” slideshow. I haven’t read the article yet, but I am going to pick up a copy of the magazine as soon as I can.

Speaking of product development at Trek, here is an interesting presentation board from the Trek ID group. The “Sole Ride” tricycle, which features a rear basket, looks like it may have been based on an earlier version of the Lime design. Very cool! I’m not sure if this concept is going to make it past the drawing board, but I would certainly like to see an adult tricycle like this from Trek. What do you think?

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28 Comments

  1. Fritz October 29, 2007 at 4:40 pm -  Reply

    I think Sun Bicycles (a brand of J&B Imports) more or less owns the “recreational adult trike” market in the USA, though I guess that could be a tossup with Workman.

    I’ve only seen a small handful of adult trikes in use, generally by handicapped and elderly individuals who can’t or won’t drive. I also regularly see this guy boldly taking the lane in heavy traffic on his trike in San Jose.

  2. Marrock October 29, 2007 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

    My girlfriend have been carless for about six years and she uses a Worksman folding trike, not because of age but due to a small issue with balance, so she feels safer on it.

    As far as industrial & recreational bikes and trikes, you’ll have a hard time finding better than Worksman.

  3. James October 30, 2007 at 7:35 am -  Reply

    I have never ridden a Sun, but I have ridden Workman trikes many times. I used to work for a company that had a couple of them in the warehouse. After everyone who worked back there went home, we (the designers) used to race the trikes around the columns on the dusty slick warehouse floors. Man that was fun. Anyway, I don’t know what the official speed record is for a 75-pound industrial tricycle, but I know that I rode that thing a lot faster than it was intended to go.

    Of course, adult sized trikes do have a more practical purpose than stress relief at the end of a long work day (as Marrock points out). I know that a handful of companies currently sell them in the US, but I think that market will grow. I’ll be in China next week and I am sure I will see quite a few trikes on the road carrying heavy loads. Bikes with trailers are great, but nothing beats a trike for carrying cargo.

  4. Fritz October 30, 2007 at 11:49 am -  Reply

    James, speaking of racing trikes around, no doubt you’ve heard of the uniquely British sport of racing upright trikes.

  5. James October 30, 2007 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Great link Fritz!I hadn’t seen that. I should move to the UK and become a trike racing superstar.

  6. bikesgonewild October 30, 2007 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    …uk trike racing…not a carbon frame in sight, bunch a’ double front brakes & great cornering style by a lotta guys on the far side of sixty…cheers, mate…

  7. Ron October 30, 2007 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

    i’d go grocery shopping with a trike!

  8. Bubba October 31, 2007 at 2:25 am -  Reply

    Trek should copy the velomobiel.nl Quest and build them in large numbers here in America. It’s stupid not to make these marvelous machines readily available here in the USA. Only Trek has the engineering expertise to pull it off. Unfortunately, Trek seems to lack the vision to openly accept such a departure from their old upright bicycle designs.

  9. Captain Sarcastic October 31, 2007 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    >>>>Trek seems to lack the vision to openly accept such a departure from their old upright bicycle designs.

    You’re right. What idiots they are for not transitioning their model lines to the fully-faired recumbent platform. Demand would be through the roof!

  10. James October 31, 2007 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    Good one Captain, that comment cracked me up.

  11. Bubba November 1, 2007 at 12:56 am -  Reply

    Hi, Captain Sarcastic. My i.q. is off the scale and here’s just some of what I’ve done in my life:

    Coined “Inclusive” and “Inclusive Democracy” concepts from math term.
    Original creator of “Lights On! Tampa!” art display/contest.
    Proposed “Floating Riverwalk” for Tampa
    Proposed Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension to St. Pete w/rail link.
    Developed simple chewing gum cure for delinquency, criminal behavior
    Proposed GA’s HOPE Scholarship Program (precursor to Bright Futures)
    Proposed Law & Rule Obeying Gays in the Military executive order & 1st
    thing timing
    Proposed Tuskeegee Presidential Apologies and NIH Victim Restitution.
    Presidential advisor to President Bubba “Bill” Clinton, 1972
    Presidential advisor to Presidents George W. & G. H. W. Bush, 1971
    (George H.W. Bush led the plumbers in killing JFK & many others)
    Wrote poems for Dead Poets Society (& sax solo)
    lyrics “Light and Day” Spotless Mind
    speeches for Braveheart, Independence Day, Armageddon, Deep Impact
    Titanic, Good Will Hunting, Cast Away, LOR, Wag the Dog

    What have you done, except scoff at visionaries? The obvious answer is that you have done nothing, ever in your entire life; and furthermore you can’t imagine anyone else’s prescience, either. I submit you are merely a dullard, a dolt, and a flibertygibbet. Good day.

  12. bikesgonewild November 3, 2007 at 1:53 am -  Reply

    …sheesh, bubba, ya fergot to mention how ya performed yer own shoulder surgery after ya dislocated it, patting yerself on the back…

    …just mentioning…

  13. Bubba November 3, 2007 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    Bubba said…
    Trek should work to it’s own strengths, and gearing up to make velomobiles here even on the tiny scale of European production would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    However, for every velomobile made here, that’s one less automobile America needs to import, there’s that much less air pollution, that much less oil we need to import, and one more fatso getting fit and less likely to keel over.
    Trek could apply for a grant to build velomobiles here, cover all their expenses, and every member of Congress would support the effort.

  14. James November 4, 2007 at 8:13 pm -  Reply

    Anon, thanks for that link. Hmm, how di I miss those trikes.

  15. bikesgonewild November 6, 2007 at 2:28 am -  Reply

    …& btw, bubba, trek, like cannondale & specialized will work to their own strengths when the time is right & thats when they know they can make a serious profit on a velomobile, not when they can fulfill someone else’s vision…

  16. Bubba November 7, 2007 at 4:16 am -  Reply

    rek is the foremost American manufacturer, the only group intelligent
    enough to perceive the importance of this opportunity in the United
    States. Trek has the common sense to know that this play needs to be
    made, now, not for Trek, not for America, but for the entire world …
    once it is pointed out to them, of course.

    The investment is miniscule. Imagine going to car shows with a velomobile with a giant TREK logo on the sides. The free publicity alone would justify the prototype. Look, I am a genius. Good Will
    Hunting and A Beautiful Mind were both modeled on me. I have, what, a hundred times your intelligence? Two hundred times your intelligence? Gimme ah duh! Gimme ah duh duh!

  17. bikesgonewild November 7, 2007 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    …whoa, pal, i’m surprised that your vastly superior intelligence & charming communication skills, haven’t led ‘trek’ to jump on the ‘bubba bandwagen’…it would seem that you have all the right answers to all the obvious questions…

    …i’m presently working w/ bobbin spools, a used heart rate monitor, aluminum bike spokes, a pair of vice-grips & a potato to build, yes, i knew you were erudite enough to figure it out, a ‘brain-o-meter’…why limit yourself to guessing how much more intelligent you are than others ?…it could be that you’re not a lowly 100 or 200 times, but maybe 300.14159265 times smarter (i’ve worked this out to a trillion decimal points but, gosh, it just seems endlessly non-repetitive)…

    …anyway, we don’t need to give you a ‘duh’ or a double ‘duh’ cuz you are your own best ‘duh’…

  18. Anonymous November 9, 2007 at 8:33 am -  Reply

    I mowed the yard yesterday. Take that, Bubba

  19. Anonymous November 21, 2007 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    If Trek or Electra or anybody produces an adult upright trike with more style than Worksman or Torker, great for them. I found that recumbent trikes that didn’t have a very low seat (usually “delta” style)often got tons of attention from folks who wanted a more comfortable ride or had balance issues, carrying cargo was secondary. Often the recumbent trikes were out of the price range, leading the customer to ask about upright trikes. These were less expensive, but our shop only sold them with a non-refundable 25% deposit. There’s the rub: shops are reluctant to stock trikes or velomobiles, and customers are reluctant to order sight-unseen. The issue with shops has to do with floor space/mechanic time to assemble/how often they sell/low margins. The business case for a company getting into trikes can’t be that great.

    Jimmy

  20. Bubba November 21, 2007 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    Trek can make a world class velomobile.
    True, they may need to expand into online sales, big boxes, even auto or motorcycle dealerships at least initially. It will take work to get started, doubtless.

    But I EXPECT Trek to do this. I refuse to believe Trek Bikes could be so asleep at the switch. Trek needs to continue to foster its reputation for innovation. (Apple didn’t know anything about walkman radios, either.) Selling to cheap old people is not the way to go for Trek, I’m not suggesting that at all.

    Most of a velomobile is high end bicycle components. Trek knows carbon fiber molding, and understanding faired vehicles should be a natural top priority. It is inconceivable that Trek does not sponsor human powered vehicle races. That is their business, not building better bicycles.

    I’m through discussing this with imbeciles. Go ahead and waste your lives and Trek’s unique legacy by forever clawing through a million tiny specialist shop competitors. Trek can go ahead and just wind up as a bought American brand name for Fuji Heavy Industries, but don’t say you were caught unaware. The way forward is clear. Just “use your good eye”.

  21. bikesgonewild December 3, 2007 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    …again you’ve shown even a ‘visionary’ can be myopic & not beyond looking through fingerprint smudged lenses…

    …why the fascination w/ waterloo, wis. ?…why not specialized or cannondale ?…why not step outside the box w/ companies like giant (still the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world, i believe) or even yamaha or honda ?…

    …you sound, by your posts to be more of a conceptualizer than an inventor so why not utilize your strengths…

    …a suggestion…why not conceive & propose a “collective awareness” program amongst several large bike companies as has been done before in other competing businesses…a “for the good of us all” concept…

    …if this ‘practical velomobile’ is truly a vision for you, why limit the concept by putting all your eggs in one non-responsive basket…

    …i’m only even bothering w/ this because i fell prey to your “superior” negativity by responding w/ my own…in a positive world, thats less than productive & perhaps a little callow on my part…

    …if you’re as smart as you say, then perhaps a wider field of vision would be an intelligent step in the right direction…at least if you honestly believe you wanna see this through to the logical conclusion…

    …yer call, bubba…

  22. Bubba December 4, 2007 at 12:01 am -  Reply

    Trek is the leader. Trek must lead as only Trek can. Shimano’s group dynamic idea, is novel and helpful, but only one step in the right direction. It is time for another, and another. You must push from supply if you are to be of use here. We all have the same amount of time. What you propose will follow Trek’s leadership into the future, so get behind this. That you can now conceive of it, that in itself is a beginning.
    And don’t think Trek has no response. They’re watching what we say here, they know who you are, and eager eyes will turn the tide, to stem the rearward slide, and take us forward into the future. Of that I have no doubt. We are close to rock bottom here. We can’t go anywhere but up.

  23. countersTrike December 11, 2007 at 12:37 pm -  Reply

    Going the route of those dangerous (1950-ish)granny style trikes is very unfortunate. Having fallen from one countless times until I seriously hurt myself (in the 1970s) prompted me to lower the seat. Recumbents were not common, so I had the only lowrider trike in town for many years.

    In the 1990s I discovered velomobiles. Exciting and similar to safety, speed, comfort to the recumbent style trike I had fallen in love with; only fully closed, or head out, convertible, etc.

    In 2003, I bought a commercial velomobile kit; in 2005; I had the only fully enclosed velomobile in the city.

    Very pleasing to see more trikes in becoming available. I am not thrilled with the overall design lack of change, but a baby-step from 2 wheels to 3; an I applaud that!

  24. tim September 16, 2008 at 11:04 pm -  Reply

    I ride a sun trike and i enjoy it a lot. As for the whole speed thing i;m content with my 12 mile per hour max speed

  25. Anonymous February 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm -  Reply

    I just bought one for my wife she has a disability and it looks great ! With its aluminum frame cow hide seat and grips I love it and so does she. I own 4 bikes from canandale mountain to klein road bike and its so much fun to ride this trike. The only change I would make is to buy a smaller seat its to big ! However if you have a big You know what it will support it ! LOL Its not a cheap bike but you get what you pay for !

  26. Kay January 31, 2010 at 2:44 pm -  Reply


    tricycles have the 2 wheels at the wrong end my design has the 2 kingpin steering wheels in the front and this enables a huge difference in the stability of the trike.
    even allowing the rider to back it on sharp turns
    http://www.storydad.com/forum/index.php?topic=602.0

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