Reviewed by Adulttricyclreview.com
TerraTrike Sportster Reviewed on November 9, 2015
The Terratrike Sportster is TerraTrike flagship trike. Made in the
USA, the Sportster delivers for people looking to go fast yet is not a
trike that is super low to the ground. The Sportster has a seat height
of 15 ¼ inches which would be considered high for a go fast trike. The
Sportster is light, only 30 lbs. for the SL version and 36 lbs. for the
Base and 37 lbs. for the GT Version. TerraTrike made the frame in the
the USA out of 6000 series heat treated aluminum which is how they were
able to get the trike weight down so low. I am happy to say that
TerraTrike has made a great trike even greater for 2016 with their new
steering system. Terratrike will be going away from the two bushings
used on the Kingpin and replacing the bushings with a lower bearing and a
delrine upper bushing. We got invited to attend the TerraTrike open
house for their trike dealers. The event is very well run and I can’t
say enough good things on how the the TerraTrike team treats their
dealers. We got to see all the new 2016 models and got to ride all the
new models, as well. I was the the most impressed by the new Sportster,
with 24 inch front wheels and a 26 inch rear wheel. I knew the bigger
wheel would ride a little smoother and I was anxious to try the
Sportster with the 20 inch front wheels vs the Sportster with the 24
inch front wheels. I also thought the larger front wheels were going to
be a problem and would limit the ability to turn sharp or rub the seat
or my leg, but none of that happened. The test area that Terratrike had
set up was perfect, it had smooth pavement, bumpy pavement, turns,
straight-aways, some up hill sections and down hill sections. I got the
opportunity to ride every model of Terratrike, back to back.
Frame: The frame on the Sportster is a non folding
aluminum, TIG welded together and comes with a 250 lbs capacity. The
frame is actually made in the USA and painted in the USA. I am happy to
see TerraTrike make the trikes here rather than Taiwan, like the other
Paint: Terratrike will be offering some new matte
finishes on the Sportster for 2016. I personally liked the new matte
green they showed at dealer days. The paint looked to be a powder coat
which is very durable and it looked to be applied evenly and
Drive Train: You can get the Sportster with three
different component offerings. First, is the Sportster eight speed
internal hub trike, where all the gears are inside the hub of the rear
wheel. Second, is the Sportster GT which is a 27 speed drivetrain with a
front and rear derailleur. Third, is the Sportster SL which comes with
Carbon cranks and SRAM top of the line components.
Brakes: TerraTrike stuck with their ProMax mechanical
disc brakes on the Sportster. The PorMax brakes do a fine job stopping
the Sportster. The Sportster GT and SL brakes get upgraded to their Avid
BB7’s. The Avid BB7 brakes are my favorite non hydraulic disc brake.
They just work so well. They are very easy to adjust and you can get
replacement brake pads at just about any bike shop. The brake levers
have a parking lock where there is a button on the brake lever that you
can push and lock the brake in the on position.
Seat: The seat fabric on the Sportster has been
upgraded for 2016. The Sportster seat fabric is very breathable and now
comes with some side padding. The seat fabric is held in place by simple
nylon adjustable straps that are buckled behind the seat frame. The
Sportster seat angle is very adjustable. It can be adjusted from 40 to
70 degrees so know you can find that perfect seating position. The seat
can be slid easily along the main tube of the frame for the ultimate, in
adjust-ability. Being able to adjust the seat independent from the boom
is a nice feature. The rider now has the ability to position themselves
closer or farther away from the handlebars, if they choose.
Ride: Typically, I would have to say that I am not a
huge fan of aluminum frames on non suspended trikes. Aluminum frames
typically just have a stiffer ride than Chro-Moly frames. I will have to
say the the Sportster frame is one of the softest riding aluminum
frames on the market. At Terratrike demo days, I kept going back and
forth between the Sportster GT, Sportster 24 and Rambler 24. They all
rode well. For someone not wanting to go to a suspended trike, I think
the 24 inch wheels may be the ticket. The larger wheel rolls over bumps
better than smaller wheels, carry their speed better, and just give a
smoother ride. On the negative side, the 24 inch wheels are not as
strong as the 20 inch wheels. Their 24 inch wheels raise the rider’s
center of gravity up, making the trike slightly less stable. If you are a
casual rider, it does not make a difference on the extra height. If you
want to ride the trike around corners like you just stolid it, you will
want the smaller 20 wheels. The new steering on the 2016 Sporster is
much lighter than the two bushing set up on the 2015 models and older,
which is a nice improvement.
Accessories: Terratrike is one of the best companies
when it comes to accessories. Terratrike will be including their new
Heal Sling on all trikes moving forward in 2016. One of the worst things
that can happen while riding your trike, is to have your foot slip off
the pedal which can cause an accident. In my opinion, just about
everyone should be riding with clipless pedals and cycling shoes.
Clipless pedals and shoes are safer and simply more comfortable than
wearing your standard street shoes. For the people who can not be talked
into the clipless pedals and shoes, there is the new Heal Sling.
Terratrike also had a long list of well made accessories like racks,
neck rests, mudguards, seat pads and mounts for lights and computers.
In Conclusions: If you are looking for light, sleek, and fast, the Sporster might be just the right trike for you.
Pros: Light, sleek, fast and made in the USA. Quick handling nice workmanship and paint.
Cons: Stiffer ride than a chro-moly frame.