Which is better 4 weak legs?

Type 1 diabetic with neuromuscular issues, spinal nerve damage. My legs aren't as strong as they use to be. I really miss riding. I had a Two wheel recumbent but sold it after issues becoming light headed. I'm dreaming of a recumbent trike. I've had a semi recumbent and was comfortable, but I'm wondering if a fully recumbent, pedals higher than my butt, would give me better use of strength. The only issue I had with recumbent two wheel was my hands going numb and my arms hurt holding the high handle bars. I like the grips low so my arms are more relaxed.
So which one makes better use of leg strength or should I say which one lets me ride longer and climb hills better, semi recumbent like pics I've seen of the Rover or the feet higher like a Sportster? My town has a GreenWay Trail and not far is some Rails to Trails, so I'm not near vehicle traffic if I get weak and have to rest. I've dreamed of one of these for so long. I try to go for walks but can't make it far. With a recumbent, I can go for miles not having to support my body on my legs.
I'm 6', 220. I appreciate any advice.


  • Feet above butt can have circulation issues. Hell you can have circulation issues on a Rover where your feet aren't that high.
  • I would say if you can sit in the low seat of the Sportster, then get that. Make sure the gearing is good for you, for hills and such.

    Consider a BionX pedal assist. Weak legs - you might need it
  • I forgot about circulation. I had a dvt blood clot in 2009. I thought feet high as your heart was best?
    I have trouble with hills on any style from traditional to recumbent. The local trail is concrete on top of city flood wall, all level. Near by is walk/bike trial over the KY Lake Dam, all level. Then up in IL are rails to trails, never more than 2% grade. Though that 2% can last for 8 miles straight. So sounds like I'd love the Sportster. Now it selling a few things to come up with the money.
  • edited April 2017
    I don't have a lot of leg strength anymore and the Rover works fine for me.  The pedals are higher than the seat but not much.  The electric assist may help a lot of your legs get too tired.  I personally would buy a trike where you sit higher to help you get on and off.

    What seems level will feel different on a trike, depending on your weight.  I was living in SW Florida and it is very flat.  Going over an incline on a small bridge was difficult.  You are used to pedaling one speed in one gear.  The e-assist will help with that.  Also, if you don't have a lot of hills and will never ride over them, you don't need a ton of gears.  But, don't expect to go really fast like a 2-wheeler.  Some of us can and others can't.  I just enjoy the scenery as I ride.

    Any exercise will help your conditions and a trike is a great option.
  • I am a type 1 also, 40 years in June. Going to get Rover or Rambler for us. She is type two. She has more leg/feet issues than I at the moment. I don't see us getting a low seat Trike. I would make Funniest Videos top 5 trying to crawl out of one of those.
  • I think your right. I was thinking about which would be the most efficient peddling. I wasn't thinking about getting in and out of the seat. I'm not use to one gear. My first bike as a kid was a 3 speed. My recumbent 2 wheel was 28 speed I think. I could fly on it. It was an EZ Sport SX, 36" rear wheel. I wish I'd kept it, but my family convinced me it wasn't safe. Problem is I'll have to sell my car to buy a used 3 wheel recumbent trike. I've got to do something to get outside moving again. Never thought I had depression, but feeling like I'm useless to anyone. I guess that's depression. I'm still waiting for more test but I'm being told I have an imbalance in my brain chemistry. I either don't make enough of the wake chemical or to much of the sleep one. Cataplexy, my muscles are shutting down as if R.E.M. stage sleep, but instead of while in deep sleep, it's 24 hours a day. I've gotten worse because I'm not active. Job fired me after diagnosis saying I was a liability fall hazard. Family says 2 wheel bike dangerous for same reason. I try to walk, but my knees buckle and I fall.
    I just want a recumbent trike, a 5 point racing harness, helmet, wind in my beard and bugs in my teeth!!
  • My 2 wheel was 26" rear wheel. Not sure where my head was when I said 36. Lol
  • Everyone speaks about getting in and out, seat height, etc. Everyone is right, but also wrong. Go sit and try every model!!!!
    THEN decide what's right for you.

    Rover = high and easy for obese folks like me

    Rambler = high and easy for regular folks, more gear options than Rover. Good all-around trike. I would have this one except I'm very obese.

    Travelor = slightly lower but mostly it's sold as a folding trike for transport.

    Sportster = low seat, gearing can be racer or same as Rambler, you choose.

    In the end, really, sit in and try them all before deciding.
  • Looks like the nearest dealer is in St.Louis. About 3 hours north. I don't remember seeing a flag on the map for Nashville. That's 2 hours drive south.
    I think I'd enjoy being a dealer. I'd have to move to a area with higher number of potential customers. Paducah KY isn't very active.
  • Call first and make sure they have all the models on the floor for testing. Too many dealers carry nothing in stock and just fill customer orders.

    A few hours drive is worth it to know you're getting what's right
  • Do these fit in a minivan? I have a Ford Contour sedan I'm thinking about selling. But I also have 05 Ford Freestar. The 3rd row seat folds into the floor. Maybe the trikes rear wheel fits between the second row bucket seats ?
  • Take it with you to test
  • I have a 2010 Ford Escape and my Rover fit in it until I put 24" wheels on it.  Your only issue may be height but, if you lower the seat back when you put it in the car, you should be ok.
  • 3rd seat folds flat into the floor. I'm hoping the rear wheel fits between the 2nd row buckets. They can be flipped up or removed, though there too heavy for me to pull out. There isn't a center console between the front seats. I could prolly put a 12 foot board in the Freestar and close the hatch. The Freestar was bought by family member when I couldn't get in and out of my car anymore and eventually a wheel chair or power chair will fit in it. Was going to sell my car to buy a trike. Now looks like money from car will go toward a riding mower. Anyone on here built one of these? I've got a barn with a few bike parts. I've got 2 traditional bikes that have the rear swing arm with coil over shock thingy. I built my 2 wheel recumbent. Found just the frame of an EZ Sport on eBay for $60. Had a slight bend in one rear arm. Straightened it, then took wheels, crank, gears, derailleur and brakes off my new schwin mountain bike. Hince why there are frame parts in the barn now. Lol
  • Been searching all over the net. Can't find anything I can afford. No damaged ones I could repair. One place sells just the frames, but they want $300. Still be up to $1,000 by the time I get all the other parts. Wish there was a charity that helped disabled persons get one of these.
  • We went and bought her Rover yesterday. She drives a Ford Windstar.
    We took the bench seat out of the back. Didn't even have to lay the seat down to put it in. And that's where it sat overnight. Her bench seat sat overnight
    in the yard with a tarp over it.
  • We had a 99 Windstar. Removing the rear seat was very hard. At 275k miles we gave it to my brother. Then I started using a wheel chair, so we got a Suburban, then when gas price almost hit $4, we traded for a Chevy HHR. I hated that car. When GM couldn't fix the dangerous recalls, we traded it for a 05 Ford Freestar. Basically same body as Windstar, but rear seat folds flat into the floor. The second row bucket seats are actually heavier and harder to take out than the Windstar though.
  • I have issues with my lower legs and feet. The sharp stabbing nerve pain and numbness. On a recumbent bike, I can ride for couple hours at a time. Walking I can only stand 10 minutes at a time. I want a trike this time. I worry a cataplexy spell will hit while I'm riding.
    I might redesign a brake handle so it's under spring tension and will apply brake if I let go. Like a dead man switch. I'm going to put a squeeze grip momentary contact switch on the riding mower, spliced into the under seat kill switch circuit. If my car sells soon so I can buy a mower.
  • You hated your HHR?  I loved my 2006 model.  My son is still driving it.  And, our dealer in Northern Virginia fixed the recall with no problem.  We had previously had the issue where the key would not come out of the ignition so that may have helped with the second recall.  

    Never tried to put my trike in that car.  Don't think it would be long enough.  I could put a 26" 2-wheeler standing up in my Windstar with the rear seat removed. With the rear wheel in first, there should be plenty of room.
  • We had no problem with the ignition on our 2009 HHR until the recal was done. Then it started hanging up and cutting out while driving. The second and more deadly recal is the electric power steering that goes out at any time or speed with no warning. Unlike a hydraulic system that one can still steer if it goes out. The electric system would freeze and I could no longer steer the car. Thank God it only happened at slow speed with us. I went off the road in a curve when it froze once. I was terrified it would freeze on the interstate at 70 mph. GM kept telling us they didn't have enough parts to do the recalls. I was working at a Chevy dealer as the warranty administrator during this time. I knew that GM had not made any redisigned parts, but using the exact same part. The theory being the new part would most likely out last the car before it failed again. Our HHR got worse after first recall. The Cobalt and HHR are the same car mechanically. GM announced recall on Cobalt steering two years before it would issue it on HHR, knowing it was the same dangerous part on both. We'll never buy GM again. When I worked for them, I saw first hand there quality has went to crap. Trade the HHR off before it kills someone.
  • I'm going to have to search the internet for that recall.  There is a website for HHR owners but I haven't been on it in years.  My son just hit a deer that crunched his hood and pierced his AC coil.  After this repair, I think I will turn the title over to him so he can trade it in.

    It was a great, peppy, sporty car and I still see many down here in Florida.  Sorry your experience wasn't as good as mine!
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