8 speed or 24?

edited June 2013 in Tour II
A few years back I bought my first and current trike, the Cruiser. Since then I was blessed with meeting a beautiful woman who also shares my triking passion. She wants one, badly, but her finances are not exactly perfect right now (we're young, 22, and she's in grad school full time). I'm in a much more secure financial situation, being done with school and working full time in a restaurant management position.

My question is: what is the difference between a Tour II 8 speed and a 24 speed? I'm not a bicycle repairman, I don't know all the technical jargon involved with this. It's still winter so we're planning for some springtime rides. We live in Connecticut, our local roads are generally flat with small inclines here and there; no major hills or anything that we've encountered thus far. When riding my Cruiser, I find myself not even using most of my gears. I know this is going to sound like a really newbie way of explaining my gear use, but I typically stay in 2nd gear on the left shifter and 1st-7th gear on the right shifter. I very rarely ever switch to first or third on my left.

Our goal is to start commuting to and from work which is only about 5 miles both ways, generally flat terrain. A couple days a week we plan on doing some day-rides of about 50 miles or so. Our ultimate goal is to do some touring, hundreds to perhaps a thousand miles one day.

So, what would work best? What's the difference? Our first year anniversary is coming up later this month and I wouldn't mind surprising her with a trike. I would prefer to save a few hundred if all the extra gears won't be all that useful.

Thank you much! :)


  • Hi Jeff
    My wife & I just got a pare of tour ll 's in the fall and We are loving them
    We went with base (24 speed) model. I think it is better to have the 3 gears up front and not need them rather than
    needing them and not have them. I could not see spending the money for the heir up grades. you get up grades you don't need.
    You can up grade the base one thing at a time as you see the need. Up grading the 8 speed how ever is a big expense with the shifters
    and gears. I see the base as the best bag for the buck

    Have fun on your tour ll which ever model you get you will love ti.
    TT makes a grate trike
  • Hi Jeff,

    I have to agree with Jim about getting the base. I got the base myself I think it's a great deal but I did add the bar end shifters after trying one of each. If you can try to find a deal that will let you take one for a ride. I was able to rent a Tour II for the weekend before I bought mine.

  • Lets take your questions one at a time:
    - The difference between the tour II eight speed (External 8) and the 24 Speed (Base) is the 24 speed has the triple chain ring up front, not only giving MORE gears, but gearing over a much wider range. The front sprocket on the eight speed is smaller than your middle ring, so if you were riding together, you in middle ring and seventh on the right side (rear gears), she'd likely be pedalling faster than you for the same road speed and in TOP gear, and have nothing left to shift to as the speeds got higher. In her lowest gear, she'd be struggling, maybe pushing the trike uphill, while you were still merrily spinning uphill.
    - Translate that to your local riding, few hills, gentle winds, no hurry, just riding for fun and exercise, that combo probably wouldn't be too much of an issue. ONE long steep hill though, and she might want to trade trikes with you! :-)
    - IF you plan on still keeping those bikes for your long range plans of "hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles of touring", you WILL hit some mountain riding someday, and for sure some wicked headwinds. If you're doing "self supported" touring (carrying everything you need on the trikes), you will be heavily loaded, making wide range gearing even more valuable.

    My suggestion:
    1. Buy the eight speed for yourself, give her the 24 speed.
    2. Buy another 24 speed, give her a chance to enjoy the ride as much as you do.

    Note: Bar end shifters are almost a necessity for the Tour II. The twist grip shifters are a challenge to shift with your pinkie finger, especially for those of us that have less strong hands. I'd suspect that those that don't go for bar end shifters, often run in any gear longer than they otherwise would if shifting was effortless. Again, that issue might not surface until you were touring, so maybe something for the future?

    The Elite (27 speed) version is well worth the money. Although the extra speeds are mostly meaningless, the Avid brakes on the Elite are somewhat better than the Zoom brakes on the Base or Ext 8 version, because the Avid's seem to need less adjusting. The narrow, high pressure tires on the Elite also tend to make it faster, if that matters. Tires can easily be changed later, of course, and the high pressure tires do result in a harsher ride.

  • I have to agree with Ruden. We have only put 80 miles on our trikes (do to the cold crappy wither) :cry: and I have all ready up graded them to the hi presser tires & the 26" rear wheel (u see we are advt road bike riders and have the need for speed ) I have also put the bar end shifters on my trike. My wife likes the twist shifters. I will up grade hers when they start to give her trouble.
    have fun on your trikes
  • It's settled then - 24 speed it is! The state just got hammered with the snow storm so ordering the trike will have to be put on hold for a bit. Soon as the snow starts melting enough to the point we can actually start riding, I'll be ordering. Right now the roads are impassable, even in 4WD. Thank you everyone for your imput, very much appreciated! :D
  • Awesome Jeffr, don't forget the snowplow option :D

  • I was browsing Terratrike's Facebook page and realized, I never posted an update on the forums!

    About a week after I last posted, I ordered her Tour II 24 speed. Since then we've had lots of fun times on our trikes - rode to work, blew bubbles on them, went to the park, went to the store, even took our fishing rods and went fishing! We both have a vacation coming up next month and we're hoping to possibly do something with our trikes. She loves it and looks forward to riding it every time we go out. Didn't get that many accessories, just a flag, trike lock, panniers, rear rack and I believe a couple of tools.

    I couldn't keep it a secret from her; the day after I ordered it she noticed I was really "antsy" around her and asked what was wrong. It slipped. I told her I got her a trike. The best part of it, it arrived on the 25th of February, our anniversary. :D :D :D THANK YOU TERRATRIKE! And thank you folks for helping decide which model to get. :D
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