Trident Stowaway I, Posted on November 13, 2015
The Trident Stowaway I and Stowaway II were redesigned in 2014. Both trikes share the same frame, seat and steering components but that is where the difference end. The trike we officially tested, was the Stowaway I but I have rode the Stowaway II as well, just not for an extended length of time. My son Nathan who is 20 years old and is studding mechanical engineering in college, got to be my riding partner for the day. It was a very nice fall day so we loaded up two trikes in my truck and headed out to the metro park by our house. He was riding a trike that was somewhat similar to the Stowaway. I so we got to switch trikes a couple of times on the ride. I was excited to have him on the ride and see what he thought of the Trident Stowaway I as well. Now Nathan is one extremely smart kid, even when he was in grade school and the teacher would see him staring out the window, she would call on him for an answer, thinking she would stump him, it just never happened, he just always had the correct answer. I can see that same thing with him today. I took him to the Recumbent Cycle Con event in Ohio this year and just was in awe of how he could look at a particular trike and pick out the things that was going to make it special or would comment that was not such a good idea they should have made it this way. My dad had some of those same traits, where he could look at someone else’s design and within seconds have a modified better design in his head. I feel Trident was thinking like an engineer and a sales person when they designed the Stowaway. So lets run down some of the Stowaway high points. Folding frame makes the trike more marketable – sales person. Indirect steering, more precise steering – engineer. Throw in a bunch of accessories that people would have wanted to buy anyway – sales person. Put the crank to seat relationship at the right height so you can develop a lot of power on the trike – engineer. Make the trike look attractive – sales person. Measure people and make sure the seat fits a wide variety of people and is comfortable – engineer. Give the trike a very aggressive price so a lot can be sold – sales person. Trident is known as a good quality trike at a low price. I think they really do a good job at delivering just that. Trident has their trike manufactured in China, where just about everyone else manufactures in Taiwan, Germany, England or the USA. Currently China labor cost is still low but rising quickly. Other bicycle manufactures are starting to leave China and moving on to Cambodia for lower labor cost. The people at Trident trikes are smart, they are keeping there overhead super low. Trident does not have a big company headquarters. When you call them, you get Tom at his home. Trident does not have the cost of a big warehouse building and people there doing shipping. Those tasks are subcontracted out to the people at FedEx.
Frame: The Stowaway frame is made out of 100% Chro-Moly steel, TIG welded together with a telescoping aluminum boom. The welds are precise and consistent on the Stowaway and better than you would expected on a trike in this price range. Trident, uses indirect steering on the Stowaway rather than direct steering like their Spike. Indirect steering just works better. When you turn sharply on a direct steering trike, you will notice the two front wheels are no longer going in the same direction. Trident refers to their steering as Ackerman Compensated Crossover Steering. Other manufactures simplify that and call it Indirect steering. The Trident Stowaway can be folded very easily by removing the seat with the two quick release levers and then using the quick release lever on the frame. The rear of the frame folds over the top of the front part of the frame. The Stowaway uses more of a traditional fold rather than a flat fold. The advantage of a traditional fold, is that you do not have to remove your rack bag or pannier to fold the trike. I will have to say that the Trident Stowaway folds easier than some trikes costing almost triple the price. The hinge looked to be well made and Trident gives the trike a 275 lbs weight capacity. Trident also makes an extra long boom for the Stowaway.
Paint: The paint is a powder coat that is applied generously and should last the life of the trike. The paint was smooth and had a nice shine.
Drivetrain: The drivetrains
Stowaway I – is the base model. It uses a Microshift Front Derailleur and a Microshift Marvo LE Rear Derailleur. Shifting is done with Microshift Grip type shifters. The Crankset is a Truvativ 52/42/30 Triple. The Brakes are Avid BB5 Mechanical Disc Brakes.
Stowaway II – is the high spec model. It uses a Microshift Front Derailleur and a Microshift Marvo XE CNC Machined Rear Derailleur. Shifting is done with Bar End Shifters. The Brakes are Avid BB7’s.The Crankset is a High End Forged Crankset with CNC Machined Rings, and an Integrated Bottom Bracket. The seat frame, handlebar and boom are Sandblasted and Anodized Aluminum Alloy.
Brakes: Trident chose my favorite mechanical disc brake system the Avid BB7 brakes for the Stowaway II along with locking alloy brake levers. I have no issue with the mechanical brakes that Avid offers, they are simple, reliable and easy to adjust. Trident chose the Avid BB5 mechanical disc brake for the Stowaway I. The Avid BB5 works almost as well as the BB7, just not quite as adjustable. A super convenient feature of the Avid BB7 mechanical brakes are that each brake pad can be adjusted independently so you can really dial in your brake adjustment.
Seat: The seat on the Trident Stoaway is very adjustable. The seat height can be adjusted from 11 3/8 to 13 3/8 inches. The seat angle can easily be adjusted with one quick release lever from 38 – 45 degrees. Trident’s new seat frame is made of aluminum and much nicer than their older version that was made out of steel. The new aluminum seat frame received some new shaping and fit my lower back and bottom well. The seat fabric is a padded, breathable fabric that is well made. The seat fabric has a reflective strip across the top and a nice zipper pocket. The seat is a bit wider and taller than most other trike brand seats which is a good thing. The Trident Stowaway seat width measured 16 inches and the height measured 22 inches.
Ride: Both Nathan and I felt that the Trident Stowaway Chromoly frame did a good job at absorbing the road bumps. We also felt the Stowaway has a small enough turning circle and was agile enough to keep us happy. We both thought the Indirect steering was a nice improvement over the direct steering on the Rover. I felt pedal steering was very minimal and I only felt it when pedaling harder than normal, but typically you can get some pedal steering out of most trikes. Overall we both like the Trident Stowaway I, there was never an OMG moment that this trike did that better than any other trike ever made. The Stowaway I and Stowaway II are worth a look at if you are looking for a low price performance style trike.
Accessories: Trident mudguards, neck rest, rear rack are all quality pieces. Pass on the rear light and mirror you can do better.
In Conclusion: Trident has produced a nice trike with a lot of features that you would not expect in such a low price range. Respectable weight at 38 bs.
Pros: A lot of value packed into a trike that had a decent ride and nice handling.
Cons: The Stowaway never wowed me but never dispointed me either. Seat fabric was well made but a little less breathable than others and a bit warmer.
Best place to buy: Your local Trident bike dealer or www.industrialbicycles.com
One might compare the Stowaway to the Trident Artifice, Trident Titan, Hp Velotechnik Gekko FX.New updated 2016 review coming soon