TerraTrike Rover Trike Review

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TerraTrike Rover Posted on November 8, 2015

The TerraTrike Rover is simply the number one selling recumbent trike in the world. TerraTrike has achieve greatness, simply by listening to what customers are asking for and giving them exactly that. The team of people that TerraTrike has assembled is just fantastic, which is in part what has got them to where they are today. The Rover is TerraTrike’s entry level trike. TerraTrike offers the Rover in an eight speed external drivetrain, eight speed internal drivetrain and an infinitely variable rear hub call the NuVinci N-360. So many people are attracted to the Rover for a variety of reasons. The number one reason is simple, they can get in and out of the trike easily. The Rover has one of the highest seat heights in the industry. These same people can also use the Rover handlebars to help them get in and out of the trike. Second, is that new entry level riders love the ability to have the seat adjusted to a very upright seat angle. I am still not sure why so many people are so adamant on siting so straight up. It is interesting though, if you tell that same person they can be more efficient and faster if they lean the seat back a bit, they will have some excuse why that is not right for them. I think if you poll these same people a year later, 20% have reclined the seat farther back. Another 20% now feel the seat angle is not such a big deal any more and 60% have never moved their seat to try a different position. Third, is the entry level pricing and fourth is the handlebars shape and positioning. There are many other great features that the Rover offers like being able to convert it to a tandem.
Frame: The frame on the Rover is a simple three piece design that is easily assembled and adjusted to the rider. The frame is steel, TIG welded together and come with a 400 lbs capacity. The beauty of the Rover frame is it’s simplicity and well thought through design. The frame can easily be adjusted to different height riders with four simple Allen wrenches. The welding on the frame was precise and consistent with no gaps or inconsistency.
Paint: The paint was nice. The paint was applied evenly and consistently with no thin spots or runs. The paint looked to be very generously applied. TerraTrike chose a silver color which is acceptable to both men and women. Now If you choose a Rover with the new Nuvinci N-360 your trike will be in blue with a new graphic package. Overall, the paint is as good as you would want, nothing to brag about but good enough to protect the trikes frame from rusting.
Drive Train: One of the Rover unique advantages is no mater which Rover you buy you can easily convert your Rover to a different model. Just change the rear wheel and a few parts and you are good to go. TerraTrike currently offers the Rover with three different drive trains. First, an eight speed external where you have a derailleur that shifts the chain to a different cog on the freewheel. Second, an eight speed internal hub where all the gears are inside the hub of the rear wheel. Third, the Nuvinci N-360 where you have variable hub in the rear wheel that you can change to any ratio you would like within the hubs range.
Brakes: The brakes are ProMax mechanical disc brakes, which do a fine job stopping the trike. The Promax brakes have a solid feel and stop the trike reasonably well. The brake levers have a parking lock where there is a button on the brake lever that you can push and lock the brake in the on position.
Seat: The seat is a simple nylon with straps that hold it securely to the seat frame. The seat was comfortable enough but the seat fabric is not very breathable. Terratrike has a solution, you can upgrade to the Rambler seat fabric which is more breathable or better yet, upgrade to the Rambler trike. The Rover seat height is 16 ½ inches which make it one of the highest seats on the market and it can be adjusted from 35 to 70 degrees.
Ride: The Rover is an entry level trike so you can not expect the ultimate ride at a low price. Like the old saying goes you can not get champagne taste, on a beer budget. So one of the things we liked about the Rover was the small turning circle. We also felt the Rover was very nimble and agile. We also like the upright seating position, if that is what your are looking for. So what did we not like? The steering took a bit more muscle to steer than we liked. There is no bearing in the front of the trike and there is a noticeable amount of friction to turn the handlebars. What was interesting though, was when you were riding the Rover, that extra resistance to turn the handlebars was not noticeable. The ride is stiff, if you live in Florida where the roads and paths are smooth, then no problem, but if you live in the Midwest, prepare to get some filling replaced after those big bumps. Switching the tires out to say, the Schwalbe Big Apple, should smooth the ride out a bit.
Accessories: Terratrike is one of the best companies, when it comes to accessories. Terratrike will be including their new Heal Sling on all trikes moving forward in 2016. One of the worst things that can happen while riding your trike, is to have your foot slip off the pedal which can cause an accident. In our opinion, just about everyone should be riding with clipless pedals and cycling shoes. Clipless pedals and shoes are safer and simply more comfortable than wearing your standard street shoes. For the people who can not be talked into the clipless pedals and shoes, there is the new Heal Sling. Terratrike also had a long list of well made accessories like racks, neck rest, mudguards, seat pads and mounts for lights and computers.
In Conclusions: If you are looking for a solid built entry level trike on a budget, or a trike that is easy to get on and off of, the Rover would be a good choice.
Pros: Easy to get on and off of and the Rover low price and high weight capacity.
Cons: Stiff ride and the ability to really make the trike go fast because of the limited range of gearing.
Heal clearance for smaller rides to the frame.
Best place to buy: Your local Terratrike Dealer or www.industrialbicycles.com