Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catrike 700/20 First Impression

It's .7 miles of a 6% to 7% downhill grade on a wide road with no signals, gentle turns and good pavemen that requires no braking. This is the hill I use to get a good fix on how fast a trike really is. On my old 700 as well as on the new 700/20 I can spin the cranks until I reach a speed of 37mph. After that my legs don't go any faster and any extra speed is in the hands of gravity. All my speeds have consistently been a touch over 44 mph with 44.6 being the fastest. What better way to test the speed of my new Catrike 700/20 set up. The ride today did not let me down I did 45.5mph.

To make sure all things are equal.I used the the same method of setting up my bike computer as I have always used. I take a physical measurement of the outside of the front wheel and input the data into the Cateye computer (not fancy but reliable). Also the total miles at the end are spot on with past rides on the same route and with Ride With GPS.

According to Dana at Bent Up Cycles the Chris King front hubs take up to 200 miles to break in before achieving maximum speed. Right now if you give the front wheel a little spin it will slow down faster then a hub that is broken in.

I ended my ride short at 16.1 miles (1,690 feet of gain) so I could stop at the local school, get some pictures and do some donuts and figure eights to test the stability of my new machine. I also wanted to get back to home to make some adjustments. The Catrike 700/20 (as I call it because of the new 20" wheels) seems just as stable as the old 700 with 16" wheels and lower ground clearance. The extra bit of ground clearance on the 700/20 provides a little more confidence going over speed bumps and the like without compromising  stability. It's to soon to tell but I actually felt that  I had more control of getting the inside wheel to lift on a tight turn then on the old 16" wheel 700.

As for adjustments, again I must say that the quick release levers on the boom clap just don't do it for me. The boom started to twist a little so I stopped and tighten the clamps and with my heel banged the levers the last few inches to close the boom clamp tight. I'll need to fine tune the boom again. Why not use a nice size hex head bolt that can be tightened properly. Once the boom is set who needs a quick release.

The new and lower 25 degree recline on the seat position seemed more apparent after a few miles and my headrest was adjusted poorly so resting my head on the climbs was not really an option. It was still very comfortable but I missed the use of my headrest for those moments when I normally use it. Overall the ergonomics seemed improved and I felt I could get more power to the crank. 

It will take many more and longer rides to truly get a feel for the new Catrike 700/20. Overall this is a fast machine that has taken the 700 to the next level.


  1. Thank for the review! Helping me convince my fiancé to take my Expedition :o)

    1. Expedition is an great trike as well. Get a "pretty" flag and she'll be sold.

  2. Replies
    1. Jesse, I don't have an exact breakdown but it cost a little under $700.