The TerraTrike Rouge is Terratrike’s newest offering. TerraTrike has always done a good job of putting themselves inside someone else’s shoes and thinking what is important on a trike. The Rouge checks off a number of boxes on so many people’s want list, for entry level riders. I think women in particular are going to love the Rouge. The two biggest concerns I hear from women all the time are that they feel like they are lying down on a recumbent trike, and they do not get how those gears work. The Rouge solves both of these problems. The seat on the Rouge can be adjusted from 40 degrees, all the way up to 70 degrees, which for me is way to upright, but it’s not about me. Terratrike has heard this a lot, along with all trike manufactures, but Terratrike has made their seat more adjustable than the other trike brands and can accommodate the people looking for that extreme upright seat position better that other brands. For the people who are looking for that extreme upright position, Terratrike has created a wedge that installs in the front of the seat so you do not have that feeling of sliding out of the seat. It really is amazing when a male and female can sit on the same trike and have such different experiences on how the trike feels to them.
The Second biggest concern is about those gears. Terratrike has partnered with Enviolo for the drivetrain on the Rouge. The first available continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmission system for bicycles the NuVinci N-170. It began rolling off the assembly line way back in December 2006. The newest continuously variable planetary transmission system is from Enviolo. The benefits for the rider include stepless shifting, which works just like adjusting the volume on a radio, plus you can shift without limitations also under load. I can say this transmissions is amazing, it’s just so fluid, no clunking into gear like traditional bike drivetrains.
The Rouge also offers a higher than average seat height which makes getting in and out of the trike easier. The Rouge handlebars can also aid the person in helping them get in and out of the trike.
Frame: The frame on the Rouge is similar to the Terratrike Maverick. The frame is steel, TIG welded together and comes with a 275 lbs capacity. The frame is well made with nice quality welding and nice attention to detail. The frame has two positions for the seat placement to accommodate different size riders. The 2021 Terratrike has a new seat extender allowing extra tall individuals to move the seat further back.
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 color called City Blue, which I think people will like.
Drive Train: One of the newest drivetrains on the market is made by Enviolo. With our Enviolo stepless manual technology, you can effortlessly change your gear ratio, even under load or while stopped. Thus you can focus on the important aspects of your ride such as traffic or scenery. No more step changes, locked gears, empty pedaling, or creaking.
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 new, wider, and a more comfortable version. Many people are upgrading the seat to the new padded set cover, which goes overtop of the existing seat fabric. The Rouge seat height is 15 ½ inches, which higher than most trike seats. The seats can easily be adjusted from 40 to 70 degrees with no tool by just removing the two seat pins.
Ride: The Rouge is an entry level trike with three, twenty inch wheels so you can not expect the ultimate ride at a low price. So one of the things we liked about the Rouge was the small turning circle. We also felt the Rouge was very nimble and agile. We also like the upright seating position, if that is what you 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 Rouge, 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 fillings 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 is looking out for you! They include their Heal Sling on all Terratrikes models. 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 my 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 are Heal Slings. 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 trike with an upright seat and the easiest gear system to use on the market, the Rouge may be the perfect trike for you.
Pros: Easy to get on and off of, simples drivetrain that can se shifter while sitting still, very upright seat.
Cons: Stiff ride due to Hi-Ten steel frame, 20 inch rear wheel rather that 24 or 26 inch.
Best place to buy: Your local Terratrike Dealer or www.industrialbicycles.com