Trailmate Desoto Classic Review
The highlights of Trailmate’s Desoto Classic Trike is its low step through frame, easy pedaling gearing and western style seat. The Desoto Classic is available in three versions: freewheel, coaster brake and three speed coaster brake along with three wheel sizes: 20″, 24″ and 26″. Trailmate also gives you four standard colors to choose from: blue, red, lavender, green, and they can also do a custom painted color for an up-charge. Trailmate has the frames made in China and packages the trike in USA for shipment to their dealers.
Frame: The frame is made of steel that is TIG welded together. The welding is good; smoother than the offering by Sun Bicycles on their comparable trike. The paint on our test trike was adequately sprayed on and was evenly applied but lacking a bit of depth and shine. The frame come in two parts and is a pain to put together if you are installing a coaster brake or three speed. The frame has a 250 Lbs limit which is about the same as other trikes we are reviewing. If you need a stronger frame with a higher capacity, check out the industrial trikes and heavy duty trikes. We have seen a lot of Desoto Classic with bent chain guards. This is not a problem with the chain guard, just a problem with the trike user. Many people, for some reason, feel the need to step on the chain guard to boost themselves up onto the seat. The chain guard was never designed for this, hence the bent chain guards.
Gearing: The gearing on the single speed freewheel version is easy and most people will find it not too difficult to pedal. Trailmate offers a coaster brake kit where you can stop the trike by pedaling backwards a quarter turn like a bike you rode when you were a kid. Trailmate also offers a three speed kit which is preferable and very nice. The three speed kit gets you a coaster brake also so you can stop the trike with pedaling backwards, and it has one gear that is easier to pedal and one that is harder to pedal compared to the single speed version so you can adjust to how you like to pedal.
Braking: The three speed coaster brake kit worked very well and stopped our trike easily. The coaster brake is ideal for people who may have some arthritis in their hands, low hand strength or just feel safer with the coaster brake. All Trailmate Desoto Classic’s trike comes with a front hand brake which can stop the trike just fine by itself.
Seat: The western style seat was wide and comfortable and appealed to us. The seat from the Desoto Classic and the seat on the Sun trikes were very similar. We had numerous people ride both and the seats were liked equally as well.
Ride: The ride was good but we did not care for the steering so much. The fork is raked out very far compared to other trikes we are reviewing and gave the Trailmate a less steady and precise feel.
Other Stuff: Trailmate offers the Desoto Classic with a vinyl coated rear basket, front fender, reflector set, flag and front brake with parking lock. Options include rear fenders, coaster brake kit and three speed coaster brake kit, mag wheel upgrade, heal supports foot straps, and a lifetime frame warranty. Weight 66-71 lbs.
Pros: Trailmate has been building the Desoto Classic just about forever. It is a proven well-constructed trike with a large western seat. The seat is more adjustable than the seat on the Sun Traditional and wider than the Low Steps seat. Available in single speed freewheel, single speed Coaster brake and three speed Coaster Brake, 20″, 24″ or 26″ wheels and four colors. If you live by the ocean, the Desoto can have plastic mag wheels which not only look cool but do not rust. Comes with a vinyl coated rear basket, alloy rims and chrome plated front fender. 66-71 Lbs.
Cons: If you get the coaster brake kit or three speed kit, it adds a high level of complexity to get the chains and frame adjusted properly. Wimpy looking fork compared to other trikes and raked way out made it less responsive compared to the Sun Traditional or Low Step.
- Options for different wheel size and gears
- Comfortable and adjustable seat
- 66-71 Lbs
- Any upgrade from the single speed adds complexity
- Fork makes it less responsive compared to other trikes
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Trike Detailed Specifics
- Seat height (seat to pedals):
Wheels and Tires
- Front wheel size: 20/24/26 x 1.75″ alloy standard
- Rear wheel size: 20/24/26 x 1.75″ alloy standard
- Ground clearance:
- Total width: 29″ (737 mm)
- Length: 70″ (1778 mm)
- Total height: 43″ (1092 mm)
- Standover height:
- Basket size: 15 x 21 x 9″ (381 x 533 x 229 mm)
- Weight: 58 lbs (26 kg)
- Max payload: 250 lbs (113 kg)
- Frame material: Steel