Recumbent Trike Hall of Shame

I really don’t get some people. They can’t leave enough alone. They get an elegant, functional piece of equipment and have to turn it into …ummm… schmutz. I really don’t have a word for it.

Why do people buy a low-end Terra Trike and then have to add every bit of bling and gadgetry that they can imagine? Why do they feel the need to turn their trike into a clown-car?

Is it a need for attention? Do they need to compensate for their poor riding/driving skills to make other drivers notice them on the road? I don’t know. Most of them wouldn’t be caught dead off the multi-use path anyway. Who needs flags and lights when the only people that will see you are the are joggers and dog walkers?

Anyway, here are some photos of examples I have seen recently that need to be singled out for ridicule.

Just wrong on so many levels!

I don’t know if this is something for sale, or someone’s creation, but what the heck? A rollbar? No, just no.

Too many flags and lights!

Too many flags and lights! This guy (had to be a guy, he’s too handy with PVC) must want to pull over cars for traffic stops. Those lights are designed for use as replacements for road flares and are marketed to police and safety groups. And you can never have too many flags, right?

Trike with a clown-car canopy

Okay, the clown-car canopy is bad enough, but 30 lbs. worth of hard-shell carriers? Plus the side-mount bag; what’s that for, the six-pack?

trike with excess flags

Another PVC wizard. Seems to think flags will make him safe. Well, they will make him safe to be known as a dork. Note the two forward-facing lights on the roll bar to blind motorists.

Clown car.

Another one that I don’t know if it is a product for sale, or someone’s wacky enhancements. Mega-Clown-Car. I think I see a motor in the back wheel hub, and what is that on the front? A folding bike, or a wheelchair?

Faired trike

Okay, this one is borderline. I don’t mind a good fairing, but what’s with the honking big flag? And disc wheels? If you’re so into aerodynamics, loose the flag.


Another clown car. Again with the disc wheels, do they save as much wind resistance as that drogue chute of a canopy costs you?

clown car trike

Yet another clown car. Where do the golf clubs fit?

Outrider Trike

Luke, I am your father…
Okay, so it’s an e-trike (electric assist) but, don’t you think the helmet and goggles are a little overkill?

I have mixed feelings on e-assist bikes. People justify them with statements like: “I live in a hilly place and I just need a little extra push to help me up.” or “I’d like to commute to work, but if I ride my regular bike, I get all sweaty by the time I get there.” or “They’re for older people who aren’t strong enough to ride fast or long distances.”

Then you get the videos used to sell the darned things with young, fit guys riding them like they are in the Baja 500, flying along at outrageous speeds.

I’m sorry, but putting electric motors on bicycles in most cases is a bad idea and will only end up in abuse that leads to more government regulations.

trike with trailer and canopy

Okay, this is not the clown car. This is the whole circus!

Yes, they sell these.

Yes, they sell these.


Sir, I think your fairing has slid upwards…


Flags! What is with flags? How much is too much? I can see some usefulness for them when you ride in traffic, where you might be behind a car and they might not see you because you are below their window, but a smart rider doesn’t put himself in that position, he sits to the left in clear view in the rear-view mirror and with an easy escape route, if the car backs up. The whirlygigs are especially annoying. They are mostly for the riders’ amusement, because they are not any more noticable from within a motor vehicle than any other flag. They are an affectation.

Made in the shade

When it comes to finding things to attach to a trike, some trikers know no limits. This is not just an umbrella, it’s a special one made for the purpose. Me, I prefer my sunscreen in a bottle.

Lighted flag

Lights on any bike are good for riding at night and the right lights are even useful in the daylight. But as is the case with many trikers, they just don’t seem to know when to say when and go overboard.

Clown car

Clown car. At least he’s not buying in to the helmet nazis.



Glowy lights

As if riding a recumbent trike doesn’t draw enough attention to yourself already.


Stripper pole

Flags aren’t bright enough. Lights aren’t high enough. How about a pole? Looks like a stripper pole!

Pole 2 Pole 1



Clown Car.

Clown Car. That’s all I can say.


Pulling a trailer doesn’t help make it look any less clownish.



These things came up on a trike discussion. Someone wanted to know if it was a good idea. No. Just no.


What if it had a little hand on the end with the middle finger up?

They say you use the tools and materials you know. This guy must be a cabinetmaker.

I wonder how much all that weighs?


That’s all I have for now. I’ll add more as they come across my desktop. I’m sure there will be a steady stream of candidates for the Hall of Shame.

2 comments on “Recumbent Trike Hall of Shame
  1. Race says:

    I can see that you take Great Pride in exalting yourself above others by criticizing them. Why? Does it make you feel superior above others. Who cares if other people do whatever it is that they feel makes them more visible and thus Safer!
    Yeah that’s right, I forgot, it’s cool to get hit by a vehicle that either wasn’t paying attention or didn’t see the trike because it was low to the ground.
    Let me guess… You’re a DF snob that rides around in your wanna be Tour de France racing gear who rides out in the middle of the car lane, thinking that all motor vehicles need to go all the way around you because you’re a BICYCLE. Are you one of those weight weenies, that shave your whole body so that you can be .00001% faster in your imaginary race against your last time?
    Are you a legend in your own mind?
    Do you walk around like a duck that walks like your seat post is permanently inserted somewhere where it shouldn’t be, going Clackedy Clack as you walk around hoping everybody notices you in your too cool racing suit?

    Maybe you’re not, maybe you’re a trike rider yourself, if so, then either way, let people be.
    I know this, there are plenty of idiot drivers out there, that don’t pay attention while they’re driving, and the last thing anyone wants is to be injured permanently or even worse…Dead!

    So, the next time you start to go on your “I’m cool rant, so I’m going to make fun of others” maybe you should THINK about others first.

    Also, before you want to retaliate because of what I have said, I’m just giving you a little dose of your own medicine….how does it feel being on the receiving end, or are you already familiar with that?

  2. You couldn’t be more wrong.
    I AM a trike rider. The photos shown are extreme cases of over-indulgence in gadgetry that people have slipped into. Look, we all try things out and make clever attachments for our trikes, but these would be removed after a day by sane people, not ridden around and displayed as if they are appropriate. I AM thinking of others: those who see these things and either are so turned off by them that they never try a trike, or those who get into triking and think this is normal. Friends don’t let friends ride clown cars.
    The best way to get the attention of idiot drivers, is not by being a clown-car. A recumbent trike is unusual enough already that it gets attention. The best way to get attention and respect from auto drivers is to ride in a way that demands their attention. Ride in the lane like a vehicle. Drive your trike like you are a vehicle, because you ARE. Follow the same rules as other vehicles do. Let the other drivers know what to expect by behaving as another vehicle would.
    Lights are good, if they are bright enough to be noticed in bright daylight. They need to be annoyingly bright for that. But don’t overdo it. You are not a UFO. A blinky that might look impressive at night, often is totally washed out in bright sun. 10 of them won’t be any better. They will just use 10x the batteries. Spend the money on one, expensive, daylight-bright taillight.
    Flags are worthless. Throw them away. Canopies are worse.
    Thank you for policing the internet and finding a page that is buried so deep in the site that I couldn’t remember how to find it. You have done a great service (not). We are all safe from my point of view now, and can be one homogenous, triking hive-mind.

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