Catrike Road Trike Review

RoadSide1medium
Catrike Road, Posted on November 13, 2015

The Catrike Road has been designed, engineered and built with the utmost attention to detail. Catrike goal was to achieve solid performance and the ride-quality expected of a Catrike, but with a layer of comfort and shock absorption. The deadline was to achieve perfection, not an arbitrary launch date for a new model trike. The result is a fast and truly stunning looking trike, weighing only 38 pounds with incredible handling and comfort. With Catrike bold design choices and careful structural and computer analysis, Catrike was able to design a gorgeous trike with a swing arm, that is 100% CNC machined, very light weight, strong, stiff and durable. The new Catrike Road has 15 new unique CNC machined parts. The Catrike Road is assembled with 12 Teflon coated bearings to avoid any metal on metal contact at the joints. This results in zero stitcheon (static friction) which allows the rear swing arm to move freely. All of the pivot housing is designed and machined in the style of “fork” brackets for a perfect fit and zero play between the bearings and pivots, providing a maintenance free assembly. I am also very pleased to say that you can get a Catrike much faster now than ever before. Up until the 2016 season, every Catrike trike has been made to order. The old procedure was that the bicycle dealer places an order with Catrike and Catrike would build the trike in the color the dealer requested. This process took about four weeks, until now. Catrike for 2016 will be stocking trikes, Hurray!!! Now you can get your Catrike in your favorite color in less than half the time.
Frame: The frame on the Catrike Road is aluminum, TIG welded together in Florida. I would have to say the welds are beautiful and of the highest quality in the industry.  The frame is constructed out of oversized, shaped and manipulated aluminum tubing. The swing arm on the Catrike Road pivots on an oversized hollow alloy axle, actuating the air shock in a progressive manner through a linkage system that pivots through the frame. This suspension is unique, to the Catrike Road, this suspension system provides both shock absorption and very high torsion stiffness.
Paint: Catrike paint jobs are a work of art. There is no one in the bike industry that is better, maybe just equal, to Catrike’s paint jobs.  Their standard paint jobs are everything you want in a paint job: clean, consistent and durable, along with seven colors to choose from. If you buy your Catrike in the winter when Catrike sales are a bit slower, Catrike will give you five additional colors to choose from.
Drive Train:  The shifting is superb on the Catrike Road. Catrike chose a premium SRAM drivetrain combination with ten gears to choose from in the rear and three in the front for a total of thirty. The SRAM X-7 rear derailleur performed flawlessly. Catrike mateded the X-7 rear derailleur with the SRAM 500 TT Bar End Shifter and Microshift front derailleur. Catrike uses this setup quite often on their trikes. Bar end shifters are Catrike shifter of choice and mine as well. Bar end shifters just make sense for me. I feel they are easier to use than the grip type shifters you see on most other brands. Grip type shifters work fine. If God knew I wanted to ride a trike with grip type shifters, he might have put my thumbs on the other side of my hands. I feel I do not have as much control of the grip type shifter compared to the bar end type shifters.
Brakes: Catrike chose my favorite mechanical disc brake system the Avid BB7. Catrike also uses the Avid Speed Dial brake levers which are higher quality and lighter then the brake levers used on other brands. This combination stopped the trike consistently and I had zero brake rub. I have no issue with the mechanical brakes that Avid offers. They are simple, reliable and easy to adjust. A super convenient feature of the Avid mechanical brakes are that each brake pad can be adjusted independently so you can really dial in your brake adjustment. Catrike chose a simple Velcro strap that you wrap around one of the brake levers for your parking brake. I really like this because it is simple and adds no weight to the trike. ICE trike chose a different route by adding a brake to the rear wheel and a remote shifter to control the brake. This works well but added almost a pound to the ICE trikes.
Seat: The seat that Catrike chose The seat height on the Catrike Road is 9 1/4 inches. The seat angle on the Road can be adjusted from 39 to 47 degrees. I found the seat angle on the Road to be quite comfortable.
Ride: I found the ride on the Catrike Road to be a bit stiffer than the ICE Sprint or HP Velotechnik Scorpion. The Catrike’s short wheel base, direct steering and short travel rear suspension gave the Catrike Road that performance sports car feel. I feel design wise, the Catrike Road has the best designed rear suspension in the trike industry. The rear suspension pivots on a massive aluminum tube which is a very good design, simple, reliable, and strong. The linkage system that attached to the rear shock is quite unique. The linkage system lets the Catrike Road have a good amount of small bump sensitivity but when you hit that big bump the resistant to the shock ramps up. I would have loved to see the Catrike Road come with a 26 inch rear wheel but when Catrike designed the Road 20 inch, rear wheels were all the rage. By spring 2016 Catrike will be introducing a trike called the Dumont, it is very similar to the Road but with a 26 inch rear wheel and a front suspension. After riding the Catrike road you realize that Catrike did a very good job with the Road. I felt no bob or efficiency lost with the rear suspension. There was not pedal steering and braking was very good.
In conclusion: If you’re looking for a USA made trike, that is quick handling and light weight, the Catrike Road is worth a good look. I think when the Dumont is introduced in the Spring 2016, it very well might take most of the sales away from the Catrike Road.
Pros: Light weight, best designed rear suspension, OMG paint, great fit and finish.
Cons: Stiffer ride than I personally would like for a suspension trike.
Best place to buy: Your local Catrike dealer or www.industrialbicycles.com
One might compare the ICE Sprint RS, HP Velotechnik Scorpion FX.

2 comments on “Catrike Road Trike Review
  1. Robert E. Borge says:

    I have a 2014 CATRIKE ROAD, last year I drove about 1100 miles, this year about 800 miles so far. I’ve been looking into modifying this recumbent trike that has 20 inch wheels to a 26 inch rear we’ll modification using a UTCustom Basic Wheel Extension Kit. Also modifying the gearing, changing the front three sprockets for a Schlumpf 27T/68 High Speed Drive w/170mm Cranks and Schlumpf EZ-Shift Levers. Also the gearing in the rear with SRAM PG-1050 10 speed 11-36 Cassette; WolfTooth 42T GC Cog for SRAM and a Wolftooth 16 Tooth Cog. With the new fender and tire, tube this upgrade without Labor and shipping is about $1500.

    So before I proceed with these modifications I was looking for some feedback from anyone that might have done some of these modifications to there CATRIKE ROAD. Especially the Utah trike 26 inch modification, and was wondering about lateral stability of the rear wheel. Also any other feedback that they have, negative or positive after they modified there CATRIKE ROAD?

    • brian says:

      Check with Catrike but I believe the conversion from 20″ rear wheel to 26″ rear wheel voids your warranty because it is not what Catrike intended for that trike. Second if you do add a 26″ dropout kit to your frame does it change any of the steering angles on the frame? Are you trying to ride this trike up some unbelievable steep mountains? 16 Tooth in the front trying to shift to a 42 tooth it will never work! The SRAM 11-36 is good stuff add that to a standard 24/34/44 triple crank and call it a day, that drive train will work well and cost you a lot less. Even using a 24/36 gear I would bet you almost never would need a gear that low.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*