Past 3,000 Miles on the Rover It's a Winner

edited May 2011 in Rover
Here is an update on my experience with the Rover 8 Speed after passing 3,000 miles last week. I started riding my Rover August 5, 2010.

1. Everything on my Rover 8 is stock except the rear tire, which I replaced with a tire with a bit more tread and supposed to be more flat proof. As of now, I have not experienced a flat on my Trike in over 3,000 miles. The original tires still have some more mileage on them, and the two front tires are the CST tires the Rover came with.

2. I have the 8-speed Sturmey Archer hub and have had zero problems with it and very smooth shifting. The hub was redesigned a couple of years ago, and the new generation hub rarely has problems according to what I have found. There is a loop ride I do in the park next to my home several days a week, and I climb a 10 percent grade in 1st gear, at about 5 miles an hour. I am 71 years old, and I know if I was a bit younger, I could probably go up a steeper grade. The low gear is 24 " which is similar to many mountain and road bikes. I can hit 25 mph, and still not "spin out" the 79 inch high gear. Faster than that, and I coast anyway. Since Terratrike is using the same 8 speed hub to power their Rover Tandem, that would seem to indicate that this is one tough hub. That, BTW, is the same hub Terratrike uses in the 8-speed Path and the new 8 Speed Rambler.

3. I have adjusted the steering on the Rover when I first got it, which I placed a thread on this forum about, because the steering was too stiff when it was brand new. ( the dealer apparently forgot to adjust it) I have not touched the steering since, and it is perfect. I did put some blue loctite on the nuts that clamp the tie-rod in place after the toe-in is set, and have never had to touch that either. Prior to the loctite, one of the nuts had vibrated loose a couple of times, and that is the reason for the blue loctite. ( never use red loctite, since you will not be able to loosen it after it sets up) . Here is a post I wrote on the steering adjustment viewtopic.php?f=29&t=442

4. The adjustable seat on all the Terratrike trikes is a must have as far as I am concerned. Since I have my Rover, I had a chance to ride another brand of trike where the seat back is fixed in position, and I found it very uncomfortable. Having the flexibility to adjust the angle of the seatback as you get used to the trike, or when taking long rides, is worth it's weight in gold. I also like the high seat position for getting in an out of the seat easily. On trikes with very low seats that I have tried, I almost had to fall into the seat to sit on the trike, and getting back out of the seat was a chore. On the Rover you just sit down and stand up, no gymnastics involved. Because of the higher seat position, some trike owners thought that the Rover would be tippy. In over 3,000 miles on curvy and hilly paths, traveling at average speeds of 11-15 mph, and much faster downhill, I have yet to see a front wheel lift in a turn. The trick is to lean you body towards the inside of the turn, as you make a sharp turn which is easy to learn, and is required of any trike. The higher seat position takes away the feeling that everything is higher than you as you are almost sitting on the ground, which is the feeling I get with much lower seats on many trikes. I can sit on the Rover and make eye contact with auto drivers in the next lane.

5. Many trikes come only with a 5 year warranty. I was really impressed with the Lifetime warranty on the Rover, although I probably will never have to use it, since it seems rock solid and is made very well.

6. If you read some reviews on other trikes you will see that some trikes have something called "pedal steer", which is when you are pedaling, the trike slightly turns with each pedal stroke. This can be very annoying. The Rover has zero pedal steer, no matter how hard I press on the pedals, and holds a straight line.

7. Some reviews mention "brake steer", where you apply just one brake or one brake harder than the other and the trike swerves towards the applied brake. The Rover has no brake steer, and I can stop it in a straight line with just one brake, which is a good safety factor.

8. Brakes: I had some minor brake squeal at one point, and found that by adjusting the brakes, the squeal went away. Their is a video on this web site on the bottom of this page called Basic maintenance, where disc brake adjustment is covered. http://terratrike.com/manuals.php . Takes just a few minutes and all you need is an Allen wrench.

9. Adjustable handlebars and handlebar position on the Rover, is fantastic. You can tweak the angle of the bars, and once you have the set, your hands and arms rest comfortably on the bars while you are riding. Much better, than some other trikes I have tried. The new Rambler will have the same type handlebars.

10 Upgrades : I like to keep things stock on a bike, especially a new design, to see how well the different components on the bike will hold up and function. So far, the only thing I did change was the rear tire. I thought that not having to change a rear tire because of a flat would be a good idea, but when I did replace the rear tire, I also found out that changing the rear tire is pretty easy to do. I posted how that is done last fall, on this forum. All it takes to get the rear wheel off is a crescent wrench.

All in all, this is a fun Trike to ride, and I have compared it to some other trikes that I have tried after I got my Rover, that cost 2 to 3 times as much as the Rover. To me, the Rover, with it's high seat position, great visibility, smooth ride, comfortable seat, and small turning radius is the best bang for the buck you will find in a Recumbent Trike.

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Comments

  • What a great review! If I can throw in my 2c worth here:

    1. The ability to be able to sit down and stand up without falling down and looking for something to pull oneself up with is worth more than a lot of people realize. Although I rode a Catrike when I was test riding a few weeks ago, I had the most fun on the Rover because I could sit down and stand up. Since I have a temperamental knee, that's really valuable.

    2. I like what you have to say about the S/A hub. I'm starting to lean more towards keeping my new Rambler as stock as possible, trying out all of the components, and making trips to Utah Trikes as necessary to switch stuff out. I was thinking about getting a Nexus hub, but after reading your review (and a few others), I may stick with the stock hub and if I find I don't like or it's twitchy/moody, I'll just save for a NuVinci.

    3. I will get BAs. :D

    4. The adjustable seat on the Terra Trikes is wonderful. The seat on the Rover absolutely loved me. lol. While I wasn't really uncomfortable on the Catrike, the side seat rails were a little too narrow for my tush. Once I lose weight, that wouldn't be a problem of course, and could be remedied by using some sort of extra cushion, but since the Terra Trike was just right immediately, why bother? Also, the lack of adjustability, while not a problem during the test ride, could be problematic in the future as I got used to the trike.

    5. Even when I was going up the little hill at Utah Trikes and even when I was making a hard turn and using the inside brake, I didn't get pedal steer or brake steer. I also didn't lift a wheel.

    6. The two trikes I really liked steering were the Catrike and the Rover. That direct steer is just awesome. The fact that the Rover was just as much fun (actually more - see point 7 below), made me realize that I'd be looking for a direct steer trike. While I don't want to sound all flowery, there's an intimacy with direct steer that indirect just doesn't have. I can point and click and it's done.

    7. The {{{handlebars}}}. With everything else being considered, that was the deciding factor for me. I rode several trikes, all with the usual vertical bars, which are fine. Then I rode the Rover and suddenly my hands and wrists were smiling! Easy to shift, easy to brake, and so comfortable when just riding and the hands relax in a natural position. Frankly, I'm pretty sure that if the Rambler wasn't going to be made with the same handlebars, I'd be a Rover owner now. In fact, if the Rambler gets really delayed (let's say .... Late August/September) I may end up being a Rover owner anyway. It's win/win for me all the way around.

    Thanks again for the fun review Bob. 3000 miles. Wow.
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

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  • The direct steering, to me is more like a sports car versus indirect which reminds me of the older cars prior to rack and pinion steering that used a gear box. That steering was slower and less precise, and not as responsive, vs the feel of the direct steering. By the way the Zoomer SL by Terratrike, is 3 1/2 times more money that the Rover 8 speed, and guess what, it has direct steering.
  • While I know that the Catrike folks would be horrified to read this, but I felt that the steering of the Rover and of the Villager were nearly identical. And with the Villager's price now being over $800 more than the 8-speed Rover...
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • WOW Bob & thanks for the review. I don't have nearly as many miles on my Rover as you do. But I have loved every minute really look forward to my next ride. I also have had no problems with mine at all.
    Enjoy your ride, have fun, and ride safe.
    Ed

    2010 Terra Trike Rover 8

    Younger riders pick a destination and go...Old riders pick a direction and go.............
  • Vegasrenie wrote:
    While I know that the Catrike folks would be horrified to read this, but I felt that the steering of the Rover and of the Villager were nearly identical. And with the Villager's price now being over $800 more than the 8-speed Rover...

    And you have more adjustability in the seat angle with the Rover and other Terratrike products that share the same seat design. The Catrike Villager seat, looks like it only has 3 positions of recline.
  • Captainbob wrote:
    And you have more adjustability in the seat angle with the Rover and other Terratrike products that share the same seat design. The Catrike Villager seat, looks like it only has 3 positions of recline.

    That's exactly it. In fact, I think that the Rambler is set up to be a direct competitor to the Villager. It's 14" (compared to the Villager's 12") direct steer, mesh seat, and (much more) adjustable back. The gearing ranges (from 8 IGH to 24) is infinite, and the starting price of two of the Rambler models are less than the Villager. It's cro-moly steel, but it has an aluminum boom which helps to make it lighter. And the best handlebars on the market :D.

    When it comes out, I predict much screaming on BROL as new Rambler owners rejoice. lol.
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • The comments about comfortable seating prompted me to add my two cents.

    Three weeks ago we took a trip to out "local recumbent dealer" (78 miles away). Besides introducing my nephew to the Rover, I wanted to try out some of the "expensive" trikes I didn't buy or try.

    I've always been of the mind that I don't test drive a Cadillac if I can only afford Chevy. Likewise I rode THE best trike I could afford - the TerraTrike Cruiser. So, I was interested in seeing what the big difference was.

    Well, low and behold, I did not bother riding any of the other models while I was there. None of the other models were as comfortable to site in as my very own TerratTrike Cruiser. ;)

    Caryl
  • caryl wrote:
    The comments about comfortable seating prompted me to add my two cents.

    Three weeks ago we took a trip to out "local recumbent dealer" (78 miles away). Besides introducing my nephew to the Rover, I wanted to try out some of the "expensive" trikes I didn't buy or try.

    I've always been of the mind that I don't test drive a Cadillac if I can only afford Chevy. Likewise I rode THE best trike I could afford - the TerraTrike Cruiser. So, I was interested in seeing what the big difference was.

    Well, low and behold, I did not bother riding any of the other models while I was there. None of the other models were as comfortable to site in as my very own TerratTrike Cruiser. ;)

    Caryl

    The Villager was a little too narrow for my butt, and I'd need a pad in order to ride it all the time. While the lack of adjustability didn't bother me at the time, I already knew it would be a problem in the future. I discovered that the Rover and the Villager steered exactly alike - I already have shouted to the world that the Rover was better because of the horizontal handlebars. Made my wrists and hands happy! But they were both a lot of fun to steer, and now with the price difference in the 8-speed Rover and the basic Villager being over $800, the Rover would be the clear winner in my book. Wow. I'm sorry, but the Villager (while a very nice trike, don't get me wrong), is not $800+ better. It just isn't.

    It's because my budget won't allow me have a Cadillac that I don't mind riding them because they're fun. I'd love to have a fully blinged out Adventure, for instance, and wouldn't mind riding one just to see what I was missing. And then I'd ask myself if it's really $1500-$2500+ better than what I have?

    I have a feeling that my Rambler & me will be looking for Villagers to challenge later :D.
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • Vegasrenie wrote:
    caryl wrote:
    The comments about comfortable seating prompted me to add my two cents.

    Three weeks ago we took a trip to out "local recumbent dealer" (78 miles away). Besides introducing my nephew to the Rover, I wanted to try out some of the "expensive" trikes I didn't buy or try.

    I've always been of the mind that I don't test drive a Cadillac if I can only afford Chevy. Likewise I rode THE best trike I could afford - the TerraTrike Cruiser. So, I was interested in seeing what the big difference was.

    Well, low and behold, I did not bother riding any of the other models while I was there. None of the other models were as comfortable to site in as my very own TerratTrike Cruiser. ;)

    Caryl

    The Villager was a little too narrow for my butt, and I'd need a pad in order to ride it all the time. While the lack of adjustability didn't bother me at the time, I already knew it would be a problem in the future. I discovered that the Rover and the Villager steered exactly alike - I already have shouted to the world that the Rover was better because of the horizontal handlebars. Made my wrists and hands happy! But they were both a lot of fun to steer, and now with the price difference in the 8-speed Rover and the basic Villager being over $800, the Rover would be the clear winner in my book. Wow. I'm sorry, but the Villager (while a very nice trike, don't get me wrong), is not $800+ better. It just isn't.

    It's because my budget won't allow me have a Cadillac that I don't mind riding them because they're fun. I'd love to have a fully blinged out Adventure, for instance, and wouldn't mind riding one just to see what I was missing. And then I'd ask myself if it's really $1500-$2500+ better than what I have?

    I have a feeling that my Rambler & me will be looking for Villagers to challenge later :D.

    There was recently a review done on the Terratrike Zoomer, and one of the things that was commented on in the review was the handlebar position and the direct steering on the Zoomer as feeling so much more natural than the vertical handlebar position used by brands like Catrike. Well the Zoomer has the same basic handlebar position as the Rover and the Rambler.
  • A great write-up to be sure~!

    As I am also a Rover owner, I wish to add my $0.02 as well.

    As I bought mine last DEC, and live in Ohio - I only have about 85 miles to date. I'm a big guy, 360lbs and love my Rover. Unlike Bob, I have made some changes. Not due to poor design or anything, but rather due to my 'engine', etc.

    I changed from the stock chain-ring up front to a 'Lasco' 152mm crank-set with 22/32/44 chain-rings, and removed the 32T and 44T. This gave me a low gear of 16GI so instead of 5mph on a steep hill, I can go 2mph and still keep my cadence at a reasonable level. http://www.terratrike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=735

    I also changed to 'Big Apple' tires, 20X2.00 - to improve the comfort even more.

    The other big change (just now made it) was to Avid 'BB7' brakes. Easy to adjust, more stopping power for my size, and silky smooth feeling. Sometimes it is a case of getting what you pay for. The Rover's stock disc brakes are perfectly fine, and at this price-point, TT could hardly afford to put the *best* disc brakes on it. Since I have joint-pain issues, and I am a bigger guy, I decided to upgrade to the BB7s because I love my Rover so much - and I plan to keep it~!

    As Bob stated, the seat is wonderful! Easy on my knees, and quite comfortable. As for the the handle-bars, I was lucky that the Rover came with the ones it did. I had not thought about it, but having to grip the bars all the time would hurt too much, with the Rover, you do not have too~! I simply lay my wrists on the handle-bars for most of my ride - steering *IS* that easy~!

    I love the rack TT sells, as I am a kitchen sink type guy. (sadly) I carry bout 16lbs of (ahem) gear with me whenever I ride - no muss, no fuss.

    I did roll my Rover once when I first got it. It was ALL my fault too. I was riding it in my driveway, and having to turn very tight to not go on the grass when I turned around, not only did I not lean, but as I tried to turn really fast, I actually leaned the *wrong* way (due to my sudden turn) and was pitched off the trike - kids, don't do this at home~!

    015a802f.jpg
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
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  • Peter_C wrote:
    !

    015a802f.jpg


    What is the PVC for?
    Gordon

    Rover Derailleur 8 w/26" Rear Wheel
    [Front Derailleur Is On The Way!!]
  • Peter & Captainbob -

    Which pedals are you using? I know you're using Crank Bros, Peter, but which ones did you decide on?
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • Vegasrenie wrote:
    Peter & Captainbob -

    Which pedals are you using? I know you're using Crank Bros, Peter, but which ones did you decide on?

    I had been using SPD's for about 15 years. I used to use the dual sided ones, PDM 324, but since I never ride my trike with regular shoes, I decided to use SPD 520L, which is SPD on both sides of the pedal. Inexpensive, and they work great. http://www.terratrike.com/shop/accessor ... od_51.html
  • edited May 2011
    grodo.00 wrote:
    Peter_C wrote:
    !

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    What is the PVC for?

    Before I answer, I want to state that I am a 'dog' person, and have three dogs that sleep with Momma and I :)

    I call it my 'motivator'. It is carried in case I have any troubles with either 2-legged, or 4-legged aggressive animals. I have not yet used it, but prior to carrying it, I had two occasions that I wish I had had it.

    Stick.jpg

    And my baby miss Nyla

    Nylawithkong2011-02-13.jpg
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
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  • Vegasrenie wrote:
    Peter & Captainbob -

    Which pedals are you using? I know you're using Crank Bros, Peter, but which ones did you decide on?

    I have the Crank Brothers Mallet 2 pedals, and LOVE them~!
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Peter - Re: the "Motivator"

    What is it, exactly? Doesn't quite look like a cane, but I can't tell what it is.
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • Captainbob wrote:

    There was recently a review done on the Terratrike Zoomer, and one of the things that was commented on in the review was the handlebar position and the direct steering on the Zoomer as feeling so much more natural than the vertical handlebar position used by brands like Catrike. Well the Zoomer has the same basic handlebar position as the Rover and the Rambler.

    I finally got around to reading Larry's review of the Zoomer, and frankly, I'm blown away. What he wrote about the Zoomer's handlebars and the direct steering sound exactly like what I wrote about my experience with the Rover! He asked the same thing I did about the handlebars - "How come more trikes don't have this?" I'm a newbie and I'm glad to see my observations confirmed by a veteran rider like Larry.

    The things he liked about the direct steer are also the same things I liked about it - responsive. Point and click. I wouldn't be in the least surprised if all of TT's future models from now on have the new handlebars and direct steer. The combination is unbeatable.
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • one thing to remember about those handle bars is fenders! i made that mistake when i got my zoomer. first time i got caught in the rain, my hands, up my arms, and my handlebars got splattered.
  • Peter_C wrote:
    I also changed to 'Big Apple' tires, 20X2.00 - to improve the comfort even more.

    The other big change (just now made it) was to Avid 'BB7' brakes. Easy to adjust, more stopping power for my size, and silky smooth feeling. Sometimes it is a case of getting what you pay for. The Rover's stock disc brakes are perfectly fine, and at this price-point, TT could hardly afford to put the *best* disc brakes on it. Since I have joint-pain issues, and I am a bigger guy, I decided to upgrade to the BB7s because I love my Rover so much - and I plan to keep it~!

    From what I've read on the Big Apple tires, they sound nice, but they just don't seem tough enough for where I live. I'm upgrading to MarathonPlus tires, because we have these killer thorns. I don't know where they come from, but they're everywhere in the summer, they're huge, and they're sharp. I want a tire that can stop a tack, especially with my NuVinci hub and changing a tire on that bad boy.

    I did upgrade to the Avid BB7 brakes. Hoppy's son Jeremiah at T. Ryx is the "gearhead" of the family and said that the BB7's were much better than the BB5's. Jeremiah's the main reason T. Ryx is putting the NuVinci hub on my trike and not TT. Even though TT can and does do NuVinci upgrades, it would be on one of their stock rims. From T. Ryx, I'm getting the bestest/strongest wheel/rim combination built around my hub. Since I'm planning on upgrading the Rover to at least a Rambler (if not beyond) I wanted a wheel that would last as long as my hub will. The hub will stay with me, and if I get the Rambler as planned, we'll get the Rambler 8 and cannibalize the SA8 off that to make my 1sp stock Rover an 8sp. With that and the brakes, etc. I can probably resell it for close to the price I paid for it as a single speed. I'll have to see what folks are getting for Rovers on the resale market.

    Anyways, a shout out to Captain Bob. It was his reviews and comments that sold me on the Rover as my first trike. Like Bob and Peter, I'm a big person and much as I might like the Rambler, right now I'm a tad too sassy in the chassis. :oops: But I wanted to upgrade my Rover a little bit and when I move on to my next trike as my health improves, I'll upgrade the next one some more. Baby steps. Test rode the 3sp Rover at T. Ryx, and it didn't take me more than 50 feet to develop "trike grin." So comfy a ride. And much different than trying to ride a recumbent exercycle in the gym! I need to ride at least 30=60 minutes a day for my diabetes (or some other form of exercise), and I won't get there bored out of my skull.
    Alex in Barstow, California
    Route 66 ... the Mother Road
    Rover NuVinci "Winky"
    Rover by TerraTrike ... customized by T.Ryx
  • Vegasrenie wrote:
    Peter - Re: the "Motivator"

    What is it, exactly? Doesn't quite look like a cane, but I can't tell what it is.

    Made by "Cold Steel" - will never rot, change color, crack, or lose flex - it's light, but strong enough to make *animals* think twice about bothering me - it's a cross between a whip and a stick.
    http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Sjambok-42-Black/dp/B001NQ1WDE/ref=pd_sim_hpc_3 Only like $14 bucks too.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
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  • Hello CCM~! Welcome to the TT forum :-)

    I need to ride (hopefully) everyday for both my joint-pain as well as for my heart issues.

    The 650 miles I did last year on my upright sure made my heart Doc happy. So like you, I'm motivated.
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
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