Urban Cycling/Triking Tips


This page is a collection of simple, practical tips about triking in an urban (city) environment, generally as a commuter (i.e, not "just for fun").

Others have done longer and better treatments (John Forrester of "Effective Cycling" fame, for example), but perhaps you'll find something useful here as well, especially if you are a triker. Much of this stuff is trike-specific, but quite a bit is probably of general use.

I've divided this treatise into several sections: "The trike" covers characteristics your bike should have if you plan to use it for urban cycling; "Other equipment" covers the extras that you probably should have on your bike or on your person; "The city" deals with the urban environment itself; and "You" covers how you should behave if you want to be a safe and effective rider.

The trike

Other equipment

The city



About the only disadvantage of a trike in the city is the width - and that really just stops you sneaking up alongside stopped columns of cars. The benefits of triking in the city far outweigh this disadvantage. It's almost impossible to fall off a trike, even if you get bumped. You can travel very, very slowly without wobbling. Because you don't have to take your feet off the pedals, you can start quicker at the lights, getting you out in front and visible more quickly. You don't have any "startup wobble". You have a comfy seat while waiting in traffic. Cars tend to give you more room. If you are hit, you have better protection than on an ordinary bike (the recumbent seat protects your back, the chainwheels protect you out front, the front wheels provide some protection at the sides). If you hit something, you will probably do it feet first rather than head first. And trikes brake really well, which is very useful in urban environments.

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Page last updated 12 September 2004.