Rover Good for All-Around?

Hi Folks,
I posted this earlier today, but after a couple of editing sessions because I wrote it in a hurry, the post disappeared. I don't know if I accidentally deleted it or I did something else to where the admin would delete it wrong, but it was gone. I found this forum and everyone here seems friendly and knowledgeable, which is what I need at this stage of the game, since I'm a total newbie to bent trikes.
Anyway, I am still looking for the right trike and am strongly considering the Rover. The duties I will need (here in SW Florida) a trike to do will be bike trails, countryside neighborhood rides, jaunts of 2-20 miles, eventually some weekend rides out to 40 or 50 miles, sight seeing, and parks, etc. My wife is riding a DF comfort bike, so I will need to keep up with her. I'm not into speed anymore, but what is a good cruising speed considered for the Rover with an internal 8 Nexus? I was looking at a site for a bicycle club in the next county and most of their rides seem to be in the 14-16 mph range, so is this do-able with a Rover (I'm not in shape now, well, unless you call letting myself get slightly round as being in a shape)?
I got to test ride a Rambler, but couldn't try the Rover as it had just been sold. The salesman said the 8-speed Rambler would be similar to the i-8 Rover in feel and handling, except that it's a bit more heavy due to the steel in the frame.
I want whatever I get to last me a long time because I'm trying to think positively and that my wife and I will be able to ride for years to come after we retire next summer.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.


  • 47 pounds i8 rover, about 6 pounds lighter for a rambler i8 (no longer in production).

    check out the wifes usual cruise speed to determine your gearing need.

    rover nexus is setup with a 20-62 gear-inch range, 11 mph if you can spin the pedals at 60 rpm in 8th gear. with good legs, nexus hub, and an efneo gearbox up front ($500), spin the pedals at 60 rpm in 24th gear and do 17 mph.
  • IMO, if you want 15 MPH while pedaling easier go for an external geared trike with chain rings up front.

    A Rover can be converted, although would be easier with external gearing. There are various internal hubs, fore and aft, that can help acquire extra speeds - at a substantial cost.
    Efneo would be the way I'd go, if I had the resources to allow it. That system gives the equivalent of 3 chain rings up front as opposed to others that only give only 2.

    I ride a Rover i8 down hard pack trails, rural environment, down the highway, rural roads, across fields, and where ever I wished to go. Have rode this down the Weiser River Trail twice now, which is a 30 mile trek over hardpack, limestone, pea gravel, forest tundra, and some spots along the trail lead to back country roads. Also use Marathon Plus tires that are fairly resistant to gravel & dreaded goat-head thorns.

    A friend of mine has a Path, which has a NuVinci rear hub and Schlumpf front IGH, and he gets around MUCH faster & nimbler than I do on the Rover. I have to put forth a lot more effort to keep up with @Lilypad
    So I would strongly suggest getting what you can afford & go with a trike that has gearing already in place rather than spending over $1,000 or more.

    In all honesty, get a trike that already has the gearing and your voyages will be much smoother than going from a basic trike model (Rover). However, if you cannot afford a better trike, get the Rover and upgrade it over time.

    ¬ ITL
  • A truism: "No such thing as a a simple answer". I was in a similar situation nearly three years ago before I eventually bought a Rover. You can read about in in my blog at (a couple of years worth).

    I am well pleased but had it to do over I may have chosen The Rambler EVO.... but I would have missed all the exciting fun and education. And at that time it was not available.
  • I don't think I properly worded it correctly about the cruising speed. That bike club that says they average 14-16 mph are people on 2-wheel road bikes and I don't want to run that fast. At those speeds you don't get to smell the roses, lol. I just want to, in a pinch, be able to hit 14-15 mph if the need were to arise. We live out in the countryside and there are sometimes dogs that chase or at times even an irate boar hog that thinks that passing cycle looks a bit sketchy, lol. When we used to ride DFs a lot, I often carried a spray bottle of Listerine mixed with some water. Dogs may love to bite at spinning wheels, but they don't like that smell. Growing up riding both horses and bicycles, my father would issue us a squirt-gun of ammonia for such uses.

    James, my wife right now is averaging around 7.5-8 mph. Again, she's riding a comfort bike, so a sightseeing average would probably be more like 6 to 9 or maybe 10 mph if she was pushing it. We both grew up being out and around nature, and learned to love and respect it. We make games of being the first to spot the deer, turkeys and wild hogs, with occasional stops for photos. We plan on living our retirement at a hopefully relaxed kind of pace, and with pedaling, there are tons of places we want to see.

    Along with the list of duties that I need from a trike, I also want low maintenance and a good degree of reliability, which is one reason for liking the internal 8 speed. I'm 6'1" and weigh-in at about 290 now, the most I've ever weighed. That already puts me over the limit of many other brands and models, but with the 400# max load of the Rover, it covers me and even some cooler bags full of cold tea, sandwiches and sodas!
  • Rover will teat you fine.
  • edited August 3
    Treat you well too. Wear a Kevlar vest to protect your t@@ts.
  • am afraid economics will probably enter the picture if you get a rover - wife will undoubtedly be curious what makes you smile while riding it.
  • edited August 3
    Huzzah! Rover will be a good fit for you then. :) ... minus the wild hog charges. Might have to get a bull bar cage. (kidding)

    I would recommend getting a Tern Cargo Rack and some panniers. DO get an attention-grabbing flag (or 2)!!

    New TT trikes have those Velcro heel slings. Although I prefer clipless to prevent leg-suck. Would suggest platform clipless if you go that route, easier to adjust foot positioning when pedaling & has better footing support.

    Oh, and I highly recommend the head rest. Worlds of difference once getting it set to the sweet spot. If you find a mozzie-free zone one could fall asleep right there! :smiley:

    Later, if you want more mounting room -or- the ease of getting in and out, Versa Bars are a worthy investment when the time comes. Gives optimum mirror mounting locations, water bottle cage mounts on either side, place to install a cycle-computer, phones, AirZound horn, and more! (Did not want to overwhelm you items that can be mounted to the Versa Bars.)

    Enjoy your ride!! :smiley:

    ¬ ITL
  • The Rover can be converted to a tandem if and when you are ready... probably the easiest way to actually ride together.

    I have had my Rover for 3 years now and have lost a lot of weight riding at dinner time doing interval training (without initially realizing that I was doing so). I'll happily explaid what worked for my weight loss if you're interested.

    The first year I had my Rover, I struggled to average 10 mph. Now I average 10-12 mph. I can hit 15 mph and even hold it for a minute or two on the flats, but at those speeds, I find I need to keep an eye on the paved paths I ride.

    I bought my wife a TerraTrike Traveler, so we could ride together. When I ride with her I tend to average 6-8 mph if I "push" her a little bit, but she has a partial knee replacement scheduled for September. I can watch some of the birds, and smell the flowers when I ride at those speeds.

    I just ordered my Rover tandem section today. I'll probably wait til winter to do the conversion. Next year, when we want to ride together, we can ride the tandem.
  • JamesR wrote: »
    am afraid economics will probably enter the picture if you get a rover - wife will undoubtedly be curious what makes you smile while riding it.

    James, you are quite right. The day I test rode one and got home, she asked (VERY suspiciously) what I'd been up to that day!

    Idaho- I used the heel straps when I test rode the Rambler and liked them a lot. They felt very natural. I tried clipless when I used to seriously ride my old DF but never could get used to them. I love that rack you have, looks very strong.The Versa Bars sound like a must have and will have to look into those.
  • Well, so far I've got a test ride on a Rambler with CVT 8-speed last week, and today I tried a guy's Performer JC-70 that he has for sale with 27 speed and a lot of extras, and then when I went back to try the Rover at the bike shop (about 50 miles away, so can't call it a lbs :D ), it still wasn't put together. Our salesman, who has done right by us so far, put me on a Catrike Villager with 30-speed. He was really emphasizing going ahead and jumping up to the higher level bike, and I have to admit that Villager was a super nice ride, but I just can't spend that kind of coin right now ($2550 plus tax, etc). The Performer JC-70 was nice enough, but didn't seem as nice and tight as the Catrike or the Rambler I rode last week. The JC-70 seat is only 9" high, which made it very hard on these old knees to get up and out of that seat. I'm sure versa-bars would help there, though.

    Last week I had found a Rover that was bought new in 2014 and ridden a half dozen times before the lady got injured at work and couldn't ride it anymore. It's been in the garage and her husband wants it gone. It has the Nexus i8 so I may go see it this weekend. While I'd love to be able to run up to Georgia and get the Rambler 16-speed that Florida_Bound found for me, but it's just too far away for me right now and more than twice than what this Rover is that I located ($600). I could use part of that difference in the near future to upgrade the front hub and still be ahead of the game. I hope that they have the Rover assembled at the bike shop by Saturday. That shop is next to the Legacy Trail and the Venetian Waterway Trail in Venice, Fl, and they have very generous policy for test rides. My wife want to ride the waterway trail, so I will hopefully get to try the Rover to see if it fits my needs. My wife's avg speed is now up into the mid-9s since she got her new bike, so this will be a good test for me on a trike. There are advantages to getting a new trike, such as warranty and free servicing for a period of time, so I'll have to see what kind of deal they can me me. I'll have to balance the new trike advantages against what I can buy the older, barely used trike, with the ability to then do some nice upgrades with the left-over money.
    Decisions, decisions!!!!!!!!
  • edited August 10
    Extended Warranty: TerraTrike now offers an extended warranty for 2nd party purchased used TerraTrikes. The warranty is valid for 3 years and applies to all trikes except the Tandem model.
    It is available for $149.95 and can be purchased through our online store or by calling us directly. This IS NOT available through our dealers. A new warranty registration must also be completed for the offer to be valid.

    Have you tried a Greenspeed yet?

    Wondered why TT never made a Rover with more then 8 speeds. Sure glad I did not get the 3 speed used one a few years back, am already riding in 7th on the good days. It's that 8th gear ... have rode in that beastial gear for short distances.
    So why this may not help you, you may find that after a year or so you'll want more than 7 speeds from your Rover. And if I had it to do all over again, I would of liked to of gotten the NuVinci rear IGH. Price was the issue, although looking back I think it would of made a significant difference. (Wonder if there's an upgrade kit?)

    Would say to get as many gear ratios as you can afford, and do not compromise on your comfort.

    ¬ ITL
  • Everyone with a Rover has done upgrades and some are expensive. Did the Cattrike have everything you wanted and will the lbs finance it at a decent interest rate? If not, will your bank give a signature loan?

    All I'm saying is you will probably spend more money later!
  • Thanks Idaho, I did not know about the extended warranty, so that is a big, big plus. I just checked Utah Trikes and the Greenspeeds seem to start at over $3000. Can't go that route. Wanting and needing more than the 8 speeds (the Nexus seems to have a closer jump going into 8th gear than what is on your trike) is mainly what the salesman was telling me and that within a year, I'd be wanting to trade the Rover back in and lose half of what I paid for it. This is why he was pushing to start with the Villager with 30 speeds. We discussed getting as many gears as possible and the advantages it would be in the future as I progressed in my riding skills and the places we plan to ride in our retirement.
    Florida, yes the Catrike has just about everything I'd want already on it except for a rack and lights, all things I can add. Actually, this dealer has a finance offer of 0% interest for 12 months if you borrow at least $1000. That could be paid off by the time I retire next summer and does sound very tempting, but if possible, I'm trying not to start any new financing if at all possible. It is a viable option, though. One way or the other, I probably will be paying more money sooner or later, one way or the other. These are the things I'm doing this juggling act for right now.
  • The choice we made (the Rover X8) was 2 fold. We WANTED derailer system & the $$$. Sure if we had the money we would have moved up the chain so to speak, but being retired and on fixed income that wasn’t going to happen. We pay as we go - no financing for us. We decided it would be easier financially on us to upgrade as we could afford. Not sorry about that decision & having a wonderful time riding & getting some really good workouts! Happy Trails !
  • edited August 11
    The choice we made (the Rover X8) was 2 fold. We WANTED derailer system & the $$$. Sure if we had the money we would have moved up the chain so to speak, but being retired and on fixed income that wasn’t going to happen. We pay as we go - no financing for us. We decided it would be easier financially on us to upgrade as we could afford. Not sorry about that decision & having a wonderful time riding & getting some really good workouts! Happy Trails !

    We are on the verge of retirement and wanting to eliminate as many things being financed as possible. That said, I still hope to work until the summer, and if I absolutely had to take out a small loan, I think I could get it paid off before retirement.

    OK, so some new updates. Today I was blessed with the sale of two rifles that I no longer used (or needed, lol), and so I have a little more cash. I've noticed that the Rambler and Grand Tourismo both are offered with 16-speed sets, and are within $100 of each other, and the Sportster is only $400 more, although that one would require a little bit of financing. The Sportster is still less than the Catrike Villager, but the Catrike does have 30 speeds.
    Anybody had test rides or experience with the 16-speeds in the Rambler, GT or the Sportster?
    I will continue to look for good used trikes, but am still drawn to the idea of a new one with lifetime warranty on non-wearing parts, like the frame, etc. I know that gears and tires and such will need replacement, but that comes with any trike or bike.
  • The guys at my lbs ALL agree that the GT is the finest TerraTrike ever built! That's saying a lot. Also, TerraTrike has a discount on a several (all?) trikes if purchased before the end of August as part of RiderFest- "Save $200 n Ramblers, Travelers, Sportsters, GT's, and Evos Save $100 on Rovers" Coupon expires August 31, 2018. I'm not sure you need the coupon, but I still have one if you do. I hope you can find a way to take advantage of this offer.
  • We're going to the shop tomorrow so I can test ride a couple, and the GT will hopefully also be available for a test. We're taking my wife's bike so she can ride the Venetian Waterway in Venice, Fl, and this way I'll be able to see how we can ride together with me on a trike and her on her comfort bike. That $200 coupon would certainly help if it's required. I wonder if the authorized dealers will honor such a thing, or if it's only for ordering directly from TerraTrike? My wife bought her bike when this shop was having their 10th anniversary celebration, and they gave 10% off everything. The owner told me a short while back that they would give me the same discount but she is away on vacation now, so don't know if they'll do that without her being there.
    I'm still interested in how well the 16-speed works. To go from the 16 to the 20-speed is $400 more, or a hundred dollars a gear. Wow!
  • edited August 11
    There's more to that $400 difference on the Gran Tourismo though. Look at the specs. Wished this website had the ability to use cells or a spreadsheet...

    Gear Inches: 27-106 (AR)
    Crankset: FSA Tempo Double 165mm 34t/50t
    Bottom Bracket: RPM Sealed Square Taper
    Chain: KMC Z72 8 Speed
    Cassette: microSHIFT 12-32, 8 Speed\
    Shifters: microSHIFT Mezzo Trigger
    Brakes: Alhonga Mechanical <- works, standard brake on most
    Tires: Schwalbe Road Cruiser 20 X 1.75(Front), 26 or 24 X 1.5(Rear)

    Gear Inches: 24-116
    Crankset: FSA Tempo Double 165mm 34t/50t
    Bottom Bracket: Integrated MegaExo
    Chain: KMC X10 10 Speed
    Cassette: microSHIFT 11-36, 10 Speed
    Shifters: microSHIFT XLE Trigger
    Brakes: Avid BB7 Mechanical <- Primo choice! Worth the extra alone.
    Tires: Schwalbe Marathon 20 X 1.5(Front), 26 or 24 X 1.5(Rear)

    Gear ratio is slightly better, on highs and lows. Crankset is the same. Bottom brackets, chain, shifters, rear derailleurs, and tires are different. But you're also getting a valuable upgrade to BB7 brakes. For $400 you're getting a deal in the components compared to upgrading them yourself or having an LBS do it.

    ¬ ITL
  • Thank you Idaho! This is the kind of info that I need, and things I totally missed when looking at the comparison lists of components.
    My question then is what has also been asked in the GT section on this forum, are 20-speeds enough, when the Catrike people said you need at least 27 to 30 speeds. I still don't enough to tell if the low-end on the 20 speed is low enough to get up the same hills and with the same ease as on the Catrikes, etc.
  • Well, rain off and on all day, so no trip to the bike shop. I doubt they want their new trikes out being ridden in the rain!
  • I have a trike with a Schlumpf High Speed Drive (fancy for internal crankset doubling the rear gears) and a 14 speed IGH. I very, very, very, rarely use the Schlumpf at all. I spend 99.9% of my time using nothing more than the rear 14 speed IGH. I ride nearly everyday, and most days I don't even use all 14 gears. And, for me, I find anything over 80 gear inches to only be useful for long downgrades. But that's just me.
  • if you run the x30 groupset in the sheldon brown gear-inch calculator you might realize only 12 gears are needed for a reasonable bottom to top progression. rohloff is as good as it gets in that department.

    if numbers trump practicality and you have an interest in carpal tunnel symptoms, utah trikes will have no problem converting your favorite steed to 81 speeds and beyond.

    on the subject of terratrike brakes: have bb7s on one trike, alhongas on the other to compare braking, pad wear, maintenance intervals. i accept that bb7 is 4 times better than bb5, but if anyone can explain how a bb7 set at 4 times the cost of an alhonga set is a significantly better product would appreciate enlightenment (no point repeating what your lbs guys claim - they all ride 2-wheelers with rim brakes).
  • edited August 11
    BB7 stop quicker, having more pad to disc surface, and pad shape is superior of the three.
    From my understanding BB5 are smaller than Alhonga - so would be a step-down.
    Avid BB7 are also a whole lot easier to adjust, specially compared to an Alhonga.

    As for Catrike, they no doubt have triples up front. 3 front + 10 rear and would be able to take on anything save climbing a tree or running the Indy 500 (so to speak).

    Azub & HP Velotechnic (German) are top of the line recumbent trikes. Azub has a full suspension version. Those are in the $5K & beyond range. :P

    ¬ ITL
  • @IdahoTrailLizard -

    this is a terratrike sponsored website. howzabout keeping it that way by posting your ill-considered non-appropriates at bentrider?
  • Birder, thanks for that input on how many gears you use. That says a lot in that the GT with either the 16 or 20 should be sufficient.
    James, ummmmm, no to the 81 speeds from Utah Trike. I really would get carpel tunnel trying to stay on top of all that shifting.
    I did find someone selling a Velotechnik for a very reasonable price, but it is a 24-speed Sport model Gekko 26 FX. I like that you can fold it down in around 10-12 seconds once you know what you're doing, but it's located well over a 100 miles away, and the closest dealer for service and parts is a hundred miles away.

    So, because of the rain we didn't go to Venice where the TerraTrike and Catrike dealer is located, and we went to a different town to have lunch, for the wive & inlaw to shop and for me to look around. Of course I had to look up bike shops on my phone and of the ones I called, only one had a recumbent trike that he had bought to have in the shop. It happened to be a TerraTrike Traveler! He said it had a NuVinci hub, saying it was a 9-speed, but I later saw where it said N380, which I think means 8-speed? After the ladies finished shopping, I just quietly let the van steer itself in the direction of the shop while the ladies chatted, so they didn't notice we weren't heading home, lol. They finally caught on and I had to confess I wanted to see this Traveler.
    ******SPOILER ALERT******
    Tim got spoiled.
    When I arrived, it happened to be a shop that converts bicycles over to electric, and the Traveler had a mid-drive (?) unit on it that will either be Off, E-Assist at 4 different levels, and push-the-button-and-let-it-carry-you-away-at-20-mph-mode. That mode had a name but I forgot it quickly. :D
    The owner had left to deliver a bike, but his helper was there who took it outside for me to try. The first time I rode it it was hard to pedal, but when I turned around and came back, that guy noticed the tires had very little air. We got the tires pumped-up and it was a different machine!
    I rode it up and down a side street with a slight incline and only tried the lowest boost mode, the Economy Mode, because I couldn't figure out how to turn it all the way off. I couldn't really feel it helping me any, but it was easy to pedal up the incline ( so it probably was helping some) and turned sharply. You could say "I rode a Traveler and I liked it!"
    When I got on flat ground after going up the incline I was going 11 mph so my wife insisted the boost really HAD to be helping me. Ok, so maybe it really was helping. The trike was adjusted for a shorter person and the chain had been cut down, so I was rather crowded in the cockpit and my knees were coming dangerously close to my chest (ok, ok, and close to my belly, cause I'm overweight!). Apparently the seat wasn't clamped down because it moved around a couple of times, which occasionally helped give me a tad more room, but then would move back the other way when I wasn't cranking the pedals.
    Overall, it rode-out very nicely. I did not actually check out the top speed, but the helper said it was supposed be able to hit 20mph. I don't think it would do that with my big butt on it, but it still had some pep if I hit the button for fun. That N380 tranny is smooth and nice! No clicking gear-to-gear and it felt like an infinite range of speeds available.
    Hmmm, more decisions to make!
  • edited August 11
    @Lilypad runs a N380 on his Path with a Schlumpf up front. He crosses the Snake River Bridge fairly easily. Roger said many times he is quite pleased with the N380 though he did mention it is heavier.

    Though I'm not as agile and close to the ground like he is, I poke along going across that bridge. Going down the bridge is quite fun. On Rockhopper I hit 32 MPH, although on Rover I start feather-breaking at 22 MPH which is about half way down the bridge.

    Have you tried the Rambler EVO yet? From my understanding there is a kit that has reverse speed at 1MPH and an option to reverse charge the battery when going down grades.
    Wished there was a Rover EVO though. :P Got a Rover for its weight capacity, as was the only affordable option out there, Greenspeed was 3x the price. Then too, when it comes to simplicity and maintenance, TerraTrike would win hands-down.

    @JamesR I don't do Bentrider, sorry. And as much as others post links & comments about other manufacturers of "cycling equipment", past what TerraTrike sells, it should not be an issue when someone is comparison shopping. (Feel free to flag it if you want.)

    ¬ ITL
  • I think TerraTrike should sell all Rovers with the derailleur post as a stock part and option double and triple chainrings. Cheaper and easier solution for riders wanting to deal with hills or raise top speed. ed
  • TimC,

    While I generally only use the 14 gears of my IGH, that hub, a Rohloff, spans a gear inch range of 526%. What does that mean? Basically, it mean the highest gear is 5.26 times as high as the lowest gear. The 8 speed IGHs TerraTrike sells/sold span no more than 307% (Sturmey-Archer: 259%, Sram G9: 292% (the G8 even less!?), Shimano Nexus: 307%). A 21 speed dérailleur spans But a 3 speed hub could theoretically span 600% if it were so designed and built. The NuVinci 380, a continually variable hub/transmission (CVT), spans 380% as the name suggests. It is not an 8 speed, it's a CVT. My point with all this is with our trikes, the total number of gears is not as important as you might suppose. Much more important is the actual ratios of the gears one has. "If you can't climb steep hills, it isn't necessarily that you need more gears, more that you need a lower low gear." -Sheldon Brown


    The late Sheldon Brown was an amazing bike guru. His legacy still lives on with his wonderfully informative and helpful website, now run by what I'll call his disciples. When time permits, anyone interested in a complete bicycle education would do well to make time to read as much of it as possible.

    Anyone who just wants more info might try:

    If you just want to better understand IGHs, try:

    If you just want to better understand IGHs, try:
  • edited August 12
    Have to hiss the forum's edit function. Changed a URL and poof!

    Was a company that sold Rover look-a-likes that had a collar with a front post that could be mounted over their squared boom. I contacted them a few years back asking if it would fit a TerraTrike Rover. Their reply was anything but helpful.

    So @Jrobiso2 found that PowerOn Cycling made a Rover post, though these were hand made in batches. The base however is thin and gets bent easily.
    Then @Moontimber posted he had some taller Rover posts that looked to be made from thicker material. Unsure if he has any still on hand.

    Then shortly afterwards @Jrobiso2 used an E-type front derailleur (no specifics were posted) and eliminated the need of the front post.

    However I have been using the Power's post to mount lights with using a Topeak Bar Extender, and added a Rhode Gear water bottle cage that I zip tied to the post.
    Still would need something to take up chain slack, and I would prefer something either mid-boom or something that could be attached to TT's Low Rider Rack.

    ¬ ITL
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