Rambler upgrades

I am new to trikes, and found cycling as a great form of exercise. I am 54 and need to loose weight. I just never got used to the pain in the bottom from traditional cycles. I am considering the Rambler with the n380, and considering upgrading to a 26 in rear wheel. I ride mainly concrete paths some hills but nothing to major. I would appreciate any advice or comments anyone might have.


  • edited January 15
    Greetings, and welcome to the Forum!

    Test ride several different trikes before deciding. If possible, try climbing a hill typical of the hills you are likely to encounter where you hope to ride. I find most people who buy a first trike, later decide they want/need lower gearing for hills and any off trail riding. To that end, I would encourage you to test ride the Rambler EVO with electric assist, and also the Rambler AT (All Terrain). I'd also strongly recommend you test ride a TerraTrike (TT) Grand Tourismo, the best trike in the TT fleet IMHO. I'd hold off getting a 26" rear wheel until you have ridden the trike for a while. The bigger wheel will make hills much harder unless you have the trike geared lower.

    We all love our trikes, but some of us, like me, have had to adjust to the fact that our trikes will always be slower than traditional bicycles. Trikes weigh more, have 50% more wheels to propel, and trike riders aren't able to stand on our pedals for more power as we can on a bike. All these work to make trikes slower than bikes.

    Don't be frightened away from electric assist because you want to lose weight, I've lost roughly 60 pounds in two years of trike riding, and the last 25 came off after I added electric assist (EA). The key word to attend to is "assist". This means you must pedal to make the electric motor "help" propel you. Most of us who have added EA find that we now ride more frequently, and average more miles and more mph with EA. Most of us continue to lose weight too.

    The Nuvinci 380 is a wonderful piece of equipment. Personally, I love it. Perhaps a word of caution is in order though, many long-time bike riders say the Nuvinci's are as smooth as butter, but they say they feel as if they are riding through something as think as butter. I just put a Nuvinci N380 on my wife's TT Traveler (the Traveler is the only TT to fold, so if taking your trike inside your car is important, consider the Traveler trike) and I put it on a 24" wheel for her. We did lower her gearing to compensate. So, another consideration for you is the 24" wheel (stock on the AT) TT now has.

    Please give us some more details about you so we can get to know you better. Where is home for you; how long have you been riding, etc.. Best of luck with your decision.
  • edited January 17
    Agree with TrikeBirder's points. The N380 is a fine piece of equipment but expensive particularly if you opt to go eassist later as it would restrict you to a mid drive or relacing a wheel with a hub motor and something other than a Nuvinci in the rear and leaving you with a redundant N380.

    A ext rear cassette ( 8 or 10) on a 24 in rear wheel on a Rambler or a GT deserve careful consideration and readily upgradeable. Also ext cassettes are readily replaceable and inexpensive
  • I am in Lincoln Nebraska, i have ridden off and on for 10-15 years. My last bike was a Marin Stinson, a comfort bike, but it was stollen over the winter. I have tried different seats but never and comfortable and experience some hand numbness. It is supposed to be in the 50’s the next few days so I will get out and do some test rides.
  • rambler, 20-inch fronts, 26 rear could add heel-strike to your riding pleasure.

    n-380 in a 24-inch wheel with patterson crankset would give you 17-102 gear-inches, about same as Stinson. get the 165mm crank length and pop big bens up front probably no heel-strike.
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