velobeat.com is a Recumbent Trike forum for enthusiasts and beginners.

Recumbent trikes enable an unparalleled level of comfort to human powered pedaling power and are sometimes the only option to those with certain special needs. Some of the fastest human powered vehicle land-records are set by recumbent trikes or "velomobiles."

Boston-area trike commuters?



  • Is anyone commuting by trike in the greater Boston area? Narrow streets without shoulders make this seem like it might be pretty sketchy?



  • According to this Massachusetts government guidance on bike lanes, https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/10/25/SeparatedBikeLaneChapter3_GeneralDesign_0.pdf, I think I see a minimum recommended bike lane width of 5 ft.

    A typical recumbent trike of tadpole design looks to come in at around 30 inches wide. So it would appear that at least for newer cycling lane construction, you're going to have almost a foot of space on either wide of you.

    I think the important consideration here is comparing the width to a DF or recumbent rider whose greatest width is often the handlebars or the rider itself. Assuming a person is about 20 inches wide at the shoulder, then you're looking at 10 inches or 5 inches on both sides. It doesn't sound like much of a difference!

    One thing I would think about is that perhaps on a trike, you worry less about stability, and you just focus on going straight, where as on a two wheeler, you might be swerving more to avoid things. So perhaps the "effective width" of the rider is not as different!


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