One day. Six different bicycles to test out, and a bright summer’s day with beautiful blue skies.
If it sounds like a perfect combination, that’s because it was. After our first test of recumbent bikes a few weeks ago, this time we were on our way to Maia Ligfietsen in the Dutch city of Dordrecht. To get there, we biked 30km and then took the Waterbus ferry. What a gorgeous ride and a bargain for just €4.
We were on a mission to test the Gekko fx folding trike in particular (Friedel’s current obsession), but someone hadn’t returned it on time, so instead we got to test some other bikes.
We started with the fun Pino tandem, from another renowned German bicycle maker, Hase. It’s not a bicycle we’d ever buy (unless we win the lottery) because we can’t see ourselves using it that often, but it’s a blast to ride. And with one person sitting low down in front, everyone has the perfect view.
Maybe we’ll rent it for a short tour next summer…
While we were testing the Pino, Alicia was trying out a folding Brompton bike.
We briefly tried it and found it a little twitchy to ride but Alicia told us that she soon got used to it. There’s no doubt that a Brompton is ultra practical in Europe for hopping on and off public transport, and the folks from Path Less Pedaled have certainly gone far on them.
Trevor, meanwhile, was still trying to find his perfect recumbent bike. He tried one from Nazca but it was the GreenMachine from Flevobike that really made him fall in love.
Andrew hopped on briefly and loved it as well. It’s a beautiful bike to ride. If only that price tag weren’t so steep – €3,800 (about $5,500 U.S.)!
In the afternoon, we turned our attention to some trikes. Not the Gekko fx that we wanted to test, but the Scorpion fx from HP Velotechnik for Andrew and the Kettwiesel from Hase for Friedel. We both had a lot of fun in these ultra-comfortable trikes, and we discovered a few leg muscles that we don’t normally use.
Turning around took a bit of practice…
What a fun day.
Followed by an equally fun over-crowded boat ride to a campsite on an island.
It’s just too bad the campsite didn’t tell us they were planning an all-night party, with the main music tent set up right beside our tents. Not exactly what you expect from a Nature Camping Site (campgrounds that are supposed to be quiet). We packed up and left at 9pm, and we’ll be asking for our money back…
Next up? Well, the bicycle store has kindly offered to let us borrow the Gekko fx for a few days at home, so Friedel will be trying it out on her daily commute plus some shorter rides over the coming days; possibly including an S240. After that, we’ll put together some more thoughts on touring on a recumbent tricycle.
4th September 2011 at 11:28 am #
By the way the camping you visited by Drdrecht is famous for its parties so never a quit moment! Despite being a nature camping so …..
4th September 2011 at 11:40 am #
That’s funny… why did they join the nature camping group then? And why advertise ‘quiet hours’ on their website. Oh, anyway. It was a nice weekend nonetheless.
4th September 2011 at 4:17 pm #
Last time I forgot to mention that you will be using new muscles groups when using a bent, so I recommend a lot of bent riding (or using the recumbent bicycle at the gym!) before going on your recumbent tour. Id you know that Cruzbikes.com sell a conversion kit for turning a regular full suspension mountain bike into a front wheel drive bent for around $450 US? Thanks for the pics & video! (P.D. : I also love quiet camprounds. For parties, a pub is better!)
12th September 2011 at 2:15 am #
Can we get a link to your first recumbent review?
also, if you’re looking for a less-than-the-moon pricetag recumbent, take a look at TerraTrike, they offer a very barebones trike for 700$ (ya, it has NO bells or whistles, but you can drop $1000 in upgrades and it is still half the price of its nearest competition).
were you able to try a long wheelbase ‘bent? They are a lot better suited for touring due to a more comfortable riding position and better stability.
12th September 2011 at 1:56 pm #
Here’s the first post: http://travellingtwo.com/10067
Thanks for the trike tip!
31st May 2012 at 3:00 pm #
Hi Friedel, I would be interested in your impression of using the Gekko FX for touring as I am considering one for travelling by Bus & Plane. As for a cheaper option Trike I would not recommend Terratrikes. They have Brass Bushings in place of King Pins that are replaceable but mine were quite worn out after only a few hundred Kms. resulting in sloppy steering. When I enquired to the dealer & also Terratrike Head Office they both brushed me off. I would highly recommend Trident Trikes Stowaway models as excellent value & service, however travelling by Bus or Plane may be a problem as they do not compact very well.
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