Spyder idler

Terratrike Spyder First Impressions

The Terratrike Spyder is one of the newer additions to the Terratrike (and Bent Up Cycles) line-up. As part of their ATC (Advanced Transportation Concepts) line, the Spyder is designed to be the tamer of their more performance-oriented trikes. A customer of ours recently ordered one from us and has provided his first impressions in comparison to his Catrike 700.

First Ride on the Terratrike Spyder

From Daniel, 11/19/2023

"Got the Terratrike Spyder on the road for the first time and went up/down the Rock Store Snake 3 times and it felt great!

1. Super comfortable seat

2. Switching to a 11-42 cassette was a good move

3. For me, the seating position (49 degrees) allowed for greater leverage and I was able to sustain a more consistent and powerful pedal stroke when climbing vs. my Catrike 700. For me, climbing on the 700 created stress and pressure on my knees.  I'm sure the difference in seat vs boom measurements came into play. Spyder difference is 4.5” and the 700 is 9”.

4. On the descents, I felt more tippy on the Terratrike Spyder as my center of gravity feels much higher than my 700.  I didn’t want to corner as fast and had to lean into turns more to feel more stable.  Not bad, just different.

5. Even though the Terratrike and 700 both have direct steering, the Spyder’s steering felt more direct and instantaneous.

6. Definitely feel like I’m riding higher or taller due to the seat angle (24 degree difference between the Spyder’s 49 degrees and 700’s 25 degrees). For me, I’m much more comfortable on the Spyder.  I wonder why TerraTrike settled on 49 degrees?

Other than lacking a little confidence in a fast descent, I’m liking the riding characteristic of the Spyder much more than the 700.  More comfortable, less strain on the knees (for me), and I believe I’m able to leverage more power in my pedal strokes and will be able to sustain higher speeds for longer distance for the same effort.  I’m planning on a long flat ride mid-week and will give you my impressions of the Spyder on riding flat terrain."

Second Ride Report

I took the Spyder out for a 28 mile flat ride today.  I’m very happy with this trike!

Terratrike Impressions:

All my riding impressions are in comparison to a 2017 Catrike 700. I’m not dissing the 700 as I believe the 700 to be a very nice trike.  

1. For me, the seat comfort and riding position on the Terratrike are ideal for power transfer and maintaining speed much easier.

2. On most flat stretches, I was able to easily maintain 17mph and was surprised to see myself exceed 20mph on slight descents. On the same ride on my 700, I was only able to maintain speeds of 15mph.

3. The Spyder’s steering feels much more direct.  I believe this is due to the longer length of the hand control positioning from the top king pins vs the 700. I figure the longer lever needs much less input to steer the front wheels. Again, very sensitive steering.  I could simply adjust by repositioning the hand controls further inward, but I’m now use to it.

4. I believe the Spyder has a wider turning radius. It certainly feels this way.

5. When applying power, torque steer is very muted on the Terratrike. On the 700, I definitely felt the boom swaying side to side and felt the wheels swaying in unison. I believe Spyder’s wheels may be positioned further forward (slightly longer wheelbase?) and the addition of the two small frame cross members between the wheel crossmember and the boom hold the trike true under power.  

6. The Spyder developed a creaking sound that I believe I have rectified by pulling the two seat to frame bolts, applying a light coat of grease to all the seat to frame mating surfaces and the two bolts and tightening everything back together.  There’s a little bit of play between the seat and frame mounting points that I believe could be resolved with two very thin fiber or nylon washers placed between the mating surfaces. I purchased some fiber washers for this purpose but they’re too thick.

In conclusion, I’m very happy with the Spyder’s riding characteristics, ability to maintain speed vs. power input, while remaining comfortable throughout the entire ride! Designing the perfect speed trike is a huge undertaking and I’m confident TerraTrike’s engineers fought over how to prioritize speed, weight, and comfort. IMO, TerraTrike succeeded on all priorities and the Spyder doesn’t feel like a compromise product. Congratulations TerraTrike, the Spyder is greater than the sum of its parts!

Front end

We think the Terratrike Spyder is a great new addition to our line-up. While performance oriented, it isn't too extreme. It's more upright seat and lower cranks will make it easier to get in and out of, make it a great climber and put the rider in a comfortable position. Come in and check it out!

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