Catrike 700(s)

The orange frame shown in some of the pictures was my first Catrike 700. It was one of the first 100 built (no. 69) and was signed by Paulo. After a crack developed in No. 69, Catrike shipped me a new 09 frame. At that time I decided to go with a little more subtle color (black). I’ve since sold the black 700 and replaced it with a white one, purchased from Bentup Cycles as usual. I’ve gone with a SRAM 10 speed drive train for the first time. I like it a lot.

I think that the 700 is probably the best value out there in trikes. There are things that I don’t like about it,  but overall it is a very high quality trike that does everything very well. I find the 700 to be very comfortable and fast. For those reasons, I have ridden a 700 in every long distance ride (50-100 miles) that I’ve done. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be without a 700 in my collection unless Catrike comes out with an improved model.

What don’t I like about the 700? These things are relatively minor. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the steering geometry. Compared to my Trice trikes, I just hear too much tire scrub while turning the trike. It feels like the ackerman is not correct (on any of the Catrikes that I’ve ridden). The direct steering feels crude and not very precise to me – like I’m just pushing the front wheels side to side with a stick. I know that many people think that it feels “sporty” but not me. I prefer the very precise feel of the indirect steering setup of the Trice.

Another thing that I don’t like is the seating position relative to the front wheel center line. It feels like I’m sitting too close to the front axle. Come to think of it… maybe that’s why I hear so much tire scrub. Maybe the weight distribution is so biased towards the front that the tires complain in the turns. On panic stops, the rear of the trike gets very light and can lift quickly into the air ( a “stoppie”). In contrast, the seating position on Trice trikes is more centered. The front wheels are out further in front of you. Panic stops do not induce the dreaded stoppie.

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