Thursday, June 19, 2014

Catrike 700 "Red"

New Catrike 700 ordered.

I ordered a new Catrike 700 frame set and I'll be setting it up for comfortable cruising and touring. After seeing some other trikers set up their 700's for touring I decided that a 700 can indeed be a great touring trike.

First let me say...I still stand by my comparison of the Catrike 700 to the Catrike Expedition for the average casual rider and first time rider. But the new version Catrike 700 with 20" wheels and it's modified frame is proving it's worth as a touring trike for the serious rider. In addition things have changed for me personally so I'm replacing my Expedition with a 700 set up for cruising and hopefully some light touring. The new 700 "Trucker" as I call it (named after the popular Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bicycle) will sit beside my other 700 that will kept light and fast.

The facts:
In September of 2013 I had my left hip replaced followed by a replacement of my right hip in December of the same year. Though the pain in the hip joint is long gone the muscles of the hip will need some more time to recover. They're still tight from scar tissue and I still have some occasional foot numbness when standing too long. Measured on a weekly basis (maybe better to say a monthly basis) final recovery is progressing well. In addition the entire leg takes a big hit from hip replacement and it'll take time to work out the stiffness in my leg muscles and regain their strength. My rides are now up to 20 miles and I avoid riding two days in row.

Observations:
Since September I've put close to 1,000 miles on my 700 breaking in my new hips. My Catrike Expedition as seen very little time on the rode. Needless to say I've spent a lot more time on the lighter and quicker 700 so as not to stress out the hip recovery process by riding the heaver Expedition. When I do take the Expedition out my hips are a little more sore then after rides on the 700 (lately after my 700 rides I'm no worse for wear). Over time I figured out that seat angle of the Expedition, more then the extra weight, is putting extra stress on hips. Not a lot but just enough to be noticeable. 

I've become very comfortable with the 25 degree seat angle on the 700. In comparison to the 37 degree angle of the Expedition I find the lower seat angle easier on the new hips and it seems I can breath better (torso straighten out more) and I can exert more power to the pedals in a more reclined position.

Conclusion:
Practically speaking the new Catrike 700 with it's 20" wheels, slightly higher ground clearance then the old 700, stretched out frame and it's low center of gravity can be morphed into a safe and comfortable long distance trike with mindful component selection. I have also come to appreciate the narrower width of the 700 compared to most other trikes. The inch or two less on the width has made a big difference for me when transporting the 700 and negotiating some tight pole barriers on some paths I sometimes ride.

Other trikers Catrike 700 setups.

Steve's Catrike 700 here at his Trike Asylum website.

Dan's 700 here at Spokes Fighting Strokes

Gary's 700 here at the the "Rider Stories" page on Trike Asylum.

Jame's 700 here at the the "Rider Stories" page on Trike Asylum.


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