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.