Reviewed by Adulttricyclereview.com
Catrike 5.5.9 Review on November 9, 2015, updated December 1, 2020
asked for a 26 inch rear wheel trike that folds and Catrike delivered.
When Catrike was designing the 5.5.9, comfort and versatility was at the
top of the list. Catrike called the 5.5.9 a premium grand touring
trike, designed for spirited, long distance riding. I will have to say
it is the most comfortable riding Catrike I have ever ridden. The
Catrike 5.5.9 is not just a Catrike Trail Folding trike with a larger
rear wheel. The Catrike 5.5.9 is a totally new trike from the ground up.
Catrike has made many upgrades to make the 5.5.9 over the top
comfortable. The 5.5.9 is Catrike’s longest trike, having a longer wheel
base will help smooth out some of those bumps. One of my favorite
features is the two transportation wheels and kickstand on this trike.
The 5.5.9 while folded can easily be rolled around the house or garage
effortlessly. The Catrike 5.5.9 also comes with a kickstand so the trike
can be folded up and stood on end for storage. One of the things that
set Catrike apart from other brands is that Catrike comes with some of
the “got to have” accessories. Our 5.5.9 test trike came stock with a
rear fender, mirror, wrist rest and clipless platform pedals.
The frame on the Catrike 5.5.9 is aluminum, TIG welded together in
Florida. I would have to say the welds are beautiful and of the highest
quality in the industry. The frame is constructed out of oversized,
shaped and manipulated aluminum tubing. Catrike does it all, cutting,
bending, welding, heat treating, painting and assembly of your trike all
under one roof.
Paint: Catrike’s paint jobs are a
work of art. There is no one in the bike industry that is better (maybe
just equal) to Catrike’s paint jobs. Their standard paint jobs are
everything you want in a paint job: clean, consistent and durable, along
with seven colors to choose from. If you buy your Catrike in the winter
when Catrike sales are a bit slower, Catrike will give you five
additional colors to choose from.
The shifting is superb on the 5.5.9. Catrike chose a premium SRAM
drivetrain combination with ten gears to choose from in the rear and
three in the front for a total of thirty. The SRAM GX rear derailleur
performed flawlessly, making the SRAM GX with the SRAM 500 TT Bar End
Shifter and Microshift front derailleur. Catrike uses this setup quite
often on their trikes. Bar end shifters are Catrike shifter of choice
and mine as well. Bar end shifters just make sense for me. I feel they
are easier to use than the grip type shifters you see on most other
brands. Grip type shifters work fine on a traditional bicycle but not
such much so on most recumbents. If God knew I wanted to ride a trike
with grip type shifters, he might have put my thumbs on the other side
of my hands. I feel I do not have as much control of the grip type
shifter compared to the bar end type shifters.
Catrike chose my favorite mechanical disc brake system the Avid BB7
brakes with the Avid Speed Dial brake levers. This combination stopped
the trike consistently and had no brake rub. I have no issue with the
mechanical brakes that Avid offers. They are simple, reliable and easy
to adjust. A super convenient feature of the Avid mechanical brakes are
that each brake pad can be adjusted independently so you can really dial
in your brake adjustment. Catrike chose a simple Velcro strap that you
wrap around one of the brake levers for your parking brake. I really
like this because it is simple and adds no weight to the trike. This
also allowed Catrike to be able to use a premium brake lever. ICE trikes
and Hp Velotechnik chose a different route by adding a brake to the
rear wheel and a remote shifter to control the brake. This works well
but added almost a pound to the ICE trikes.
Catrike was the first company to offer a padded seat and it was a huge
home-run for them. People love the idea of a padded seat and without
even sitting in it would say “Oh, that seat is way more comfortable that
the mesh version.” Catrike did a nice job on the seat, they used a
breathable foam pad that did not hold much heat yet offered a nice
amount of cushioning. ICE trike followed with a breathable vented,
padded seat about two years later, one upping the seat on the Catrike.
Hp Velotechink for 2021 will have a breathable padded, vented, seat out
that the back and bottom are independently adjustable. Everyone in the
trike industry are always trying to one up each other which has lead to
some amazing trikes on the market today. The seat height of the 5.5.9 is
one of Catrike’s highest, at 11 inches making it easier to get in and
out of. Only the Catrike Villager has a higher seat with it being at 12 ½
inches. The seat angle on the Catrike 5.5.9 can be adjusted from 44 to
51 degrees. I found the seat angle on the 5.5.9 to be quite comfortable.
I found the ride on the 5.5.9 to be very nice. The 5.5.9 was my
favorite Catrike until the Dumont was introduced now the 5.5.9 is in
second place. So who does the Catrike 5.5.9 appeal to the most? Well,
most people looking to buy a trike. The 5.5.9 has most things people are
looking for, easy to get on and off of, good quality, comfortable ride,
26 inch rear wheel and it just makes me look cooler and faster than I
am. The Catrike 5.5.9 has it all except one thing, front and rear
suspension. I found the 5.5.9 to be a very comfortable ride, I am sure
some of the changes, like lengthening the frame, adding a larger 26 inch
rear wheel and adding a padded seat, all helped in making the 5.5.9
Catrike the most popular trike.
Catrike has been very successful with the 5.5.9., the 5.5.9 has stolen
sales from the Trail, Expedition and Villager which I think is fine.
Pros: Folding, light weight, 26 inch rear wheel, OMG paint, high seat and adjustable recline, great fit and finish.
The Catrike 5.5.9 gained a bit of weight over some of the others
models. Catrike has lots of different models so it should be about
choosing the best model for your riding style.
Update from 2015: The Dumont which has front and rear suspension is now Catrike’s most comfortable riding trike.