Catrike Villager Review

Catrike Villager

People asked and Catrike delivered.  With the aging population many people have had difficulty getting into and out of Catrike other models because of their low seat height.  Once you sit down on the Villager, you’ll immediately realize that this trike’s seat height is noticeably higher than either the Catrike Road or the Trail.  The Road has your posterior at 8 inches, the Trail is 9.25 inches, and the Villager elevates you to 12.5 inches.  You might not think that’s much, but it really makes getting into and out of the trike much easier.

Frame: The frame on the Catrike Villager 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 oversize shaped and manipulated aluminum tubing.

Paint: Catrike pain jobs are a work of art, there is no one in the bike industry that is better maybe just equal to there paint jobs.  There standard paint jobs is everything you want in a paint job, clean, consistent and durable along with seven colors to choose from.  There double coat colors are OMG awesome, and have five more colors to choose from.

Drive Train:  The shifting is superb on the Villager, Catrike choose a premium SRAM drive train combination with ten gears to choose from in the rear and three in the front for a total of thirty. The SRAM GX rear derailleur performed flawless, mating the SRAM GX with the SRAM 500 TT Bar End Shifter and Microshift front derailleur is a combination that Catrike uses quite often.

Brakes: Catrike chose Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes with Avid Speed Dial brake levers. This combination stopped the trike consistently and had no 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. This also allowed Catrike to be able to use a premium brake lever. 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: Not only is the seat higher on the Villager, but the recline is not as laid-back as I have become used to. Again using those other two trikes as a comparison, the Road has a recline angle of 37 degrees, the Trail is 45. The Villager seat back angle can be adjusted from 41 degrees to 51 degrees of tilt so you can have the best of both worlds. Perhaps this isn’t as upright as the chair in your dining room, but it sure felt like it! If you have issues with a strained neck, this trike won’t aggravate the condition.

Ride: One thing I do with every trike is to make every effort to find out where that gone-too-far point is, that combination of speed and turning radius that has me holding my breath and wishing I had taken up knitting instead. Just about any trike can be prodded into lifting a wheel if pushed far enough. The wider you make it, the more reclined you sit, the harder you have to push it in turn to get that wheel to come up. With this seat height of just over a foot, I was concerned about the handling of the Villager. I didn’t need to be.

Sure, I was able to get the inside wheel to lift – but I had to really crank it hard in a turn, harder than I normally ever would, just to get it to come up even a little. Oh yes, toss in some bumpy downhill turns, have the rider lean to the outside, then we might see more air beneath the wheel – but it’s not something that will happen with normal riding.

In conclusion: I found this trike to be a typical Catrike: lovely paint scheme, flawless welds, no-surprises in handling, and all at a price that must have its competition grumbling. Is it the perfect trike for everyone? Of course not. As much as I liked the trike, it’s not one I would want as my only ride. I like to get more of my body weight on my back and not my butt, for example, so the recline is not what I would like for long periods. The seat height is nice – at some point, you begin to not like the squat-and-drop approach to sitting down on most trikes. The performance was better than adequate, though there are times when I do want to ride faster than was easily done on the Villager.

If you feel that you are a “casual” rider – whatever that means – if you like the simplicity of no front derailleur, if you are not interested in climbing the steepest hills, nor racing other riders, then this trike may be the “just right” that Goldilocks found.

Pros: Very light, OMG paint, high seat and adjustable recline, great fit and finish.

Cons: Really none. I like the Villager, Catrike has lots of different models so it should be about choosing the best model for your riding style. So, my only con would be the increased wind resistance from less-reclined seating position.

Best place to buy: Your local Catrike dealer or www.industrialbicycles.com

Pros:

  • A very comfortable seat bottom
  • Easier to get on and off of compared to a tadpole style trike
  • Low price

Cons:

  • A little more tippy than a Tadpole style trike

Best Place to Buy:

Catrike-Vilager-Side
Catrike Rear Side
 
 
Catrike Colors

Trike Detailed Specifics

Frame & Geometry

 

US

metric

Wheel Base

38

in

965

mm

Wheel Track

31

in

787

mm

Total Width

34.5

in

876

mm

Total Length**

69

in

1753

mm

Seat Angle

47/58 

deg

 

 

Weight

34

lb

15,5

Kg

Seat Height

12.5

in

318

mm

Seat Width

14

in

356

mm

BB Height**

17

in

432

mm

Ground Clearance

5.5

in

140

mm

Total Height

28.5

in

724

mm

Height w/ Seat Folded

24.5

in

620

mm

Turning Circle

16

ft

4,8

m

Turning Radius

8

ft

2,4

m

Rider Weight Limit

275

lb

125

Kg

Rider X-Seam Range

39/46

in

99/117

cm

 

* weight includes pedals, mirror, flag, computer mount and neck rest if standard on the model.

**varies according to riders height.

 

 

 

 

Components

 

Brakes

Avid BB7 Disc Brakes

Brake Levers

Catrike Locking Brake Levers

Front Derailleur   

Microshift Triple

Rear Derailleur

SRAM GX 10 Speed

Shifters

SRAM 500 TT Bar End Shifter

Crankset

FSA Gossamer Pro Triple

Bottom Bracket

FSA Road MegaExo

Chainrings

30/39/52

Chain Guard

FSA Guard

Cassette

SRAM 11/36 10 Speed

Chain

KMC

Idler

TerraCycle Sport POwer Idler 15T

Headsets

FSA Zero Stack

Front Tires

 406 Schwalbe Marathon Racer

Rear Tire

 406 Schwalbe Marathon Racer

*All components are subject to change with an equivalent substitute based on availability

Standard Features

 

Rear Fender

Flag Mount & Flag

Mirrycle Rear View Mirror

Multi Purpose Clipless Pedals

Computer Sensor Mount

No Brake Steer

Self Centering

Ackermann Steering Compensation

Structural Front Boom

Quick-Release Indexing Boom Clamp

Aluminum Rod Ends

Low Friction PTFE Flared Chain Tube