Reviewed by Adulttricyclereview.com
I had the opportunity to test both the TW-Bents Artifice and Trident
back to back at TW-Bents USA distributor Industrialbicycle in Dearborn,
Michigan. When most people think of Dearborn, Michigan, they think Ford
Motor Company. Ford World Headquarters is on the same road as
Industrialbicycles and only about two miles east of their location. I
have had the opportunity to ride the trike on the famous Edward Hines
Drive which is a very busy road but not for cars but for bikes. There is
a nice smooth blacktop path along the side of the road for cyclist,
skaters and walkers. The hard core cyclists ride the shoulder of the
road and car traffic seems to be at a minimum within the park. The
Industrialbicycles staff said Edward Hines Drive it the best spot in the
area for riding and that they ride it often. Starting in Dearborn you
can ride all the way to Northville, a 40 miles round trip.
Visiting Industrialbicycles, you will find 37 different trikes on their
showroom floor and somewhere around six hundred trikes in their
TW-Bents is new to the USA, but not new to the trike manufacturing
business. TW-Bents has been manufacturing trikes since 1999. TW-Bents
builds trikes for a number of different brands in the USA, Japan and
Frame: The frame on the TW-Bents Trident is made out of
100% Cro-moly steel, TIG welded together in Taiwan. The tubing is
shaped and manipulated to optimized the frame for strength but not
sacrifice the ride in any way. The welds are beautiful and equal to the
best trikes in the industry. TW-Bents hinges show no flex and was easy
to operate. All the cable routing was smartly ran through braze-ons
attached to the frame. TW-Bents did a real nice job at finding the right
placement for the braze-ons so you do not have to put those ugly
plastic wire ties around the the frame. I noticed an extra set of
braze-ons on the rear of the frame and was surprised to see that they
ran back to where you could add a disc rear brake. The disc rear brake
mount was so cleanly made, you barley notice it added to the frame. Rack
fittings were also brazed onto the back of the frame and there are
spots to add a rear fender as well.
Paint: The gloss mango paint job on the Trident is as
good as you could ask for. No thin spots, runs or paint imperfections.
The decals are then applied and the final step is a nice clear coat over
everything, to keep everything looking nice for a long time.
Drive Train: The shifting is superb on the TW-Bents
Artifice. The Artifice comes with a premium SRAM Centera twenty-four
speed shifter set. The front derailleur is a Shimano Sora and rear
derailleur is a Microshift which gives the artifice it’s above average
drive-train performance. Microshift is a lesser known brand compared to
Shimano and SRAM, but gaining popularity very quickly in the bike
business. The Microshift derailleurs are also manufactured in Taichung,
Taiwan, the same place that TW-Bent manufactures their trikes and bikes.
Brakes: The mechanical disc brakes and Tektro brake
levers, stops the trike consistently and had no brake rub. I have no
issue with the mechanical brakes that TW-Bents chose for the Trident.
Tchey are simple, reliable and easy to adjust. A super convenient
feature on the brakes, are that each brake pad can be adjusted
independently so you can really dial in your brake adjustment. TW-Bents
chose Tektro brake levers with a simple push button which allows the
brake to be lock in the on position. ICE trike chose a different route,
by adding a brake to the rear wheel and a remote shifter to control the
parking brake. This works well but added almost a pound to the ICE brand
trikes. A rear disc brake can be added to the Trident as an additional
parking brake or for someone who wished to upgrade the front brake to
Seat: Both of our trike testers found the seat to be
comfortable. The seat is extra tall so taller riders should find it more
enjoyable. The seat is contoured nicely for lower back support and has a
nice breathable fabric down the center. The sides of the seat fabric
are padded with a foam, to offer a bit more support and pad the aluminum
seat frame. The seat can be easily removed by loosening the two quick
releases under the seat. The seat angle is not adjustable but felt just
right. With all the curving on the seat frame, the angle is difficult to
measure but I found it to be around 47 degrees. Clamp on water bottle
cages can easily be mounted to the back of the seat frame and the seat
frame has two flag mounts welded on.
Ride: I really liked the ride on the Trident. The
Cro-Moly frame did a fantastic job at soaking up the bumps. Not only did
I think the ride was comfortable for my 170 lbs. Body, but Nathan, our
other trike tester who is 300 lbs., was very surprised by the ride.
TW-Bents uses both direct and indirect steering on there trikes. The
Trident uses direct steering like Catrike and Terratrike. The steering
was spot on, no hint of brake steer or pedal steer, the steering is very
predictable and precise. The Trident ran straight even when pedaling
hard and not holding onto the handlebars. Personally, I felt the
steering was just a tad heavy but I am sure that is why it went so well
in a straight line. I am sure some of the above average ride quality
came from the twenty-six inch rear wheel. The Trident seat height is
twelve inches and the bottom bracket is seventeen inches. The higher
than average bottom bracket height makes the Trident feel like a high
performance, go fast trike but without the super low seat height.
Accessory: The neck rest is probably the best on the market, offering a very comfortable feel.
In conclusion: The TW-Bents Trident has a very nice ride. I was very
impressed with the Trident’s ability to absorb bumps. The handling was
spot on and better than many other trikes on the market. All the frame
braze-ons were nicely positioned and there was no need for any plastic
wire ties to hold any cabling. For someone looking for a trike that they
can stuff inside a small area, keep looking, but for someone that
folding feature is not so important, the Trident is worth a good look.
Pros: Light for a Cro-Mo frame 42.5 Lbs, above average seat comfort, above average ability to absorb road shock.
Cons: Does not fold small. We would have liked to see a
flat fold, like on the ICE Adventure Trikes, no pocket on rear of seat
for carrying small things like a wallet, cellphone, pump and spare inter
tube. At this time there is no front mudguard option.