does this make sense for experienced but in stroke recovery

edited October 2011 in Rambler
I'm getting close to ordering a Rambler or Rover. I'm formerly a long term cyclist, usually on mtn bikes w/100psi tires used for commuting 12-20 miles per day for over 15 years, with a high of 4k miles 20 years ago when I was 40.

I have been out of serious biking about 5 years, but had a stroke 6 months ago and it's time to get back on wheels! (Just sold my 2 motorcycles, no longer have a DL.)

I would like to bounce some things I've been toying with, to see how well they have worked (or not) with others. As a result of my stroke I have a very weak right leg, and a virtually useless right hand. I did ride a Rover in a bike shop, was glad to find I could get in and out by myself no trouble. But although I used to do all my bike and motorcycle work myself, that's no longer feasible for me. So I hope to have wherever I get the bike from to set it and options all up for me. And since the nearest LBS that has these is 20 miles away, I really hope to 'do it right' the first time around.

I'm leaning toward Rambler due to all I've read, but hope to try one at least in a shop before deciding for certain over the Rover.

What I'm considering:
1.Putting my clipless pedals on so my weak foot won't drop off.
2.Having shop install 2-brakes-at-once lever on left handlebar. Hope this has 'parking brake' feature.
3. Have shop move 8-speed handgrip to left side.
4. Order w/ 100psi tires instead of stock 40lb. (I HATE loosing long coasting when riding on squishy tires.)
5. Have shop install rear rack so I can use panniers, also 2 mirrors, flag, rear fender, and computer mount and computer.
6.Plan on 8-speed internal hub so adjusting or scraping derailers will not be an issue. Hope it has enough range for both hills and some speed.

Am wondering if 8-speed internal hub and 20" wheel will be right for me. I will start out on very flat bike paths, but as strength returns will like longer (~20 mi) rides with some short but rather steep hills. Used to ride my 2-wheeler between 12 + 15 mph, sometimes on long stretches slightly over 20mph. The larger rear wheel would give me more top end but make hills harder (?impossible?) Also wondering if shorter than 170mm cranks would be a good idea. I used to 'spin' at 90-110 crank rpms, and have read that spinning with stock length cranks is tough and what limits top speed for many.

Suggestions/input are welcome. Note I delibrately held off on lights cuz will be a long time b4 needed...will probably port blinking red and white leds off my 2-wheeler.

What should I forget about? What have I forgotten that are strong "should haves?"

Paul H


  • First, if you have really steep hills, as you stated, I would probably go with a 24 speed Rambler, or you could order a custom Rover with 24 speeds. In either case, they would be derailluer trikes. I climb 10% grades with the Rover stock 8 speed, and I am 71 years old. Much steeper than that, and I would add a lower gear.

    Clipless pedals are the way to go in my opinion, for almost all trike riders, for safety and convenience. I have ridden the stock tires on my Rover with 40-45 pounds, and the tires I have now can be pumped up to around 60PSI. I do not like the harsher ride of the higher pressure tires, so I would prefer the softer tires on a trike, but you could also look at Big Apples at about 55-60 pounds. 100 PSI tires are going to give a hard ride, so you have to think about the places you are riding and how "bumpy" they are, and what your comfort level is.

    I think I would try the stock braking arrangement first, but I would have BB7 brakes installed on whichever trike you buy.
  • I agree with CaptBob (again). While the 8-speed is fine for inclines and regular hills, if you need to tackle any number of steep hills, you'll have to get better gearing. I just did a 17-mile event this last weekend, and tackled overpasses and hills which simply don't exist in my neighborhood, which told me that I will have to consider a lower low and a higher high if I want to do this kind of event again.

    If you purchase from Utah Trikes, they have several customizations available, including a NuVinci hub which will add about $350 to a standard Rambler, and keep it within the same price range of the higher end derailleur models. That will give you a bigger range, but I believe you'll have to do something about the chainring (smaller) in order to get a better low end. Still shouldn't cost as much as a higher-end model.
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
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