Recumbent Trike Photos

Photos by MJ Klein

Last Tuesday was a very nice day, sunny, bright and with an almost warm wind.  So I decided to take the trike out for a spin and to a park for some new photos.

Asian Trike PR0N

I’m going to give you a really good look at it, and explain the details.  The model is called the Artifice and is made in Taiwan by TW-Bents.

Asian Trike PR0N

There are 2 flags.  Well, actually only one flag, but the staff is 2 piece.  I use the other part of the staff as a whip to defend myself against dogs that chase and want to bite.  It’s very effective!  Once I had 4 dogs come after me together.  I gave the 2 lead dogs a very stern whipping and the other 2 got the message.  All 4 dogs went away, running.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is a nice side view.  Notice the reclining seating position.  With your feet up on the pedals, it’s almost like sitting on the sofa at home.  Very comfortable and relaxing.

Asian Trike PR0N

Asian Trike PR0N

The rear wheel is a cast alloy and very strong.  The manufacturer suggested this rear wheel because I’m pretty heavy.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is shot of the rear wheel, where you can see how thin the tires are.  These tires are designed for speed.  This is not a mountain trike, but a road trike.  The rear flashing light is very bright and highly visible.  The saddle bags are made by Giant and came off my mountain bike.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is a shot of the headrest mounting bracket, and also the seat back quick-release.  This trike is a folding model and the seat folds down for easier transport.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is the main lighting.  It is a made-in-Taiwan high intensity LED light called Mini Sun and it is very bright! The pedals have Shimano type clips so you have to “clip in” and lock your shoes (with special cleats) into the pedals.  That way your feet can’t fall off the pedals and cause you serious injury as a result.  There are 3 chain rings and what we call a “basher” plate to protect them.

Asian Trike PR0N

The Mini Sun has a ring of holes that allow the light to be seen from the side.  Notice the extra accessory mount behind the light.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is the view from the cockpit.  One gets on the trike by standing in front of the cross arm (the tube going across) and simply sits down in the seat.  Then you simply adjust the mirrors and you’re off.  That’s my Colorado GPS on the left, and my Sony-Ericsson mobile phone in a holder on the right.

Asian Trike PR0N

The Artifice comes with special accessories holder bars from the factory.  This is a little unusual as apparently most trike manufacturers don’t normally supply such holders as these.  Let’s take a closer look:

Asian Trike PR0N

This right side accessory bar sports a water bottle holder (water bottle is not present), small zippered bag to hold my phone and pocket change, fender and mirror.  Notice how far out the mirror is.  This placement gives an excellent view of the road.

Asian Trike PR0N

The fender mount is a quick-release type so the fender can come off and go back on easily.  Great if you ride through some mud and need to clean up.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is the left side accessories bar.  There is another water bottle, the GPS and another light.  I placed the secondary light on this side so it would face oncoming traffic and make the trike more visible at night.  This light can also be used as a flasher.  Being on the accessories bar means that the light steers with the wheels.

Asian Trike PR0N

This is a reverse shot from the previous photo.  Here we see the accessory bar and also one of the steering handles.  The shifters are the thumb lever type and the disc brake levers have locking pins that act as parking brakes.  The steering is Under Seat Steering (USS) and indirect type.  This type of steering setup means that the steering position is very comfortable for your hands while riding and the steering is more stable at higher speeds.

Asian Trike PR0N

Closeup of the GPS, secondary light and mirror on the trike’s left side.

Asian Trike PR0N

The trike’s tire sizes are 16″ up front and 27″ rear.  These are the front wheels.  The larger reflector has a battery, solar cell, vibration detector and LED lights that automatically come on at night when they sense vibration caused by riding.   These lights are very convenient as they require no rider action and they just come on under the appropriate conditions.  Very good for side visibility at night!  In this photo you can see the steering bar that goes underneath the trike, as well as the brake disc.

Asian Trike PR0N

This shot shows the main boom folding connector.  By un-doing the quick-release, you can fold the trike basically in half.  Removing the tires and rack allow you to fold the trike up to a reasonally small package:

Visit to TW Bents

This shot shows Walter (the designer) just prior to opening the boom clamp to fold the trike up.  Notice how flat the seat back folds down.

Visit to TW Bents

This is the trike folded.  The rear rack is still on the trike, but even so, it’s folded up quite compactly.  Removing the rear rack allows it to fold up even smaller.  If you wanted to, one could loosen the steering bar and fold down the handles for even more compactness.  Walter removed the accessory bars too.  When I got the trike home I had it re-assembled in less than 30 minutes.  Not bad.

Ashish's Photo of My Artifice

I’ll leave you with this final shot, taken outside our home by our good friend Ashish.  The Artifice is fast!  Without much effort I’ve had it up to 40 KPH.  It is also fun!  Turning corners is like being in a sports car because the trike doesn’t lean into turns.  The speed and comfort make for a fantastic exercise experience.  Climbing hills is even pleasant as you don’t have to worry about stability because you are on 3 wheels instead of 2.  Take your time, stop as many times as you need for rest and make your way up those hills at your own speed.  Owning a trike is a privilege that I am very much enjoying.

Thanks for reading.  Please give this article a rating and let us know how you liked it!

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    1. Brunty, the owner of the company is a friend of mine. i do whatever i can to let people know about his products and company. the trike is a blast to ride; it’s like a sports car. when you come to Taiwan you can try it out!

  1. MJ,

    Congrats on the trike. Looks like a fun and comfortable way to exercise.

    How much beer can those saddle bags hold? 🙂

    1. owshawng, they can hold at least a 6-pack per side! seriously, sometimes i take the trike out to pick up dinner or lunch. drinks go in one side and hot food in the other side. it can hold plenty of stuff.

  2. i’ve always wondered about these trikes as to whether they r actually comfortable to use or not. what sort of range of prices would one be expected to pay? on Tw-Bent’s website there are 3 models – Apoyo, Arrow and Mantis that look like a 2nd person could sit behind? it looks like u have a pretty nice package there, with the accessory holders and saddle bags, you have pretty much everything you’d need.
    very interesting post MJ, many thanks!

    1. hi Dennis. these trikes are very well engineered and are amazingly comfortable. some of them have a wide range of adjustment (like my Artifice) so you can get the seat back angle just how you like it; plus the boom goes in and out to match your necessary length adjustment.

      on the TW-Bents website, those models are single rider only. you can add a rack and bags to carry stuff for a trip, camping, etc., but not an extra person. the newest design is the Artifice and that is the most advanced model to date.

      depending upon whether used or new, you can pay anywhere from around US$700 up to more than US$3,000 for some models from some companies. the Artifice model retails for about US$1,850 from the factory in Taiwan. importers of the model to the US may be able to offer you a better deal (like Actionbent or Recumbent USA). occasionally you can find used models of trikes on eBay or other auction/sales sites. i recommend that you do some research online and see what suits your requirements. to me, it wasn’t worth spending US$3,000 on a trike, but many people do.

      take care Dennis.

  3. they r not cheap things, wouldnt mind having one tho, very very interesting

    1. Dennis, i need to make a correction on the price. the price of the Artifice is about US$ 1,400. they are on eBay in the US for that price. i hope you end up becoming a bent triker!

  4. WOW… green grass!!!

    Well… seen some grass here towards the end of Feb. We had some days where the daytime high temps ranged from about 45F to 58F (7c to 14c) and all the snow we had melted. But then this past Sunday night/Monday morning… we got about 12 inches (about 30cm) of snow.

    I can’t wait for the warmer weather to get here to start riding again. Get rid of all of the snow (so there won’t be any puddles from melted snow) and some 10c weather… and I’ll get my mountain bike out and start riding again.

    Can’t ride just right now anyways. Had some leaking blood vessels in my right eye and underwent some more laser surgery to fix that problem on Monday afternoon. So… vision looks a little cloudy now (from the laser AND from the blood floaters that I had in my eye).

    1. Mike, was the surgery successful? were they able to repair the leaking blood vessels? i hope by the time the warmer weather arrives you’ll be in good shape to ride! take care.

      1. Well… I haven’t seen any new dark, reddish/black looking lines or spots in my vision… which is the sign of a “fresh” blood floater. Right now all of the blood floaters have a lighter reddish/gray look to them which means theyare older. The lines and spots aren’t “blobs”… which means they are kind of thinning out some.

        On the topic of bikes… they had this in the news the other day. I don’t know if Boston had the “zip car” program when you were living in this area or on New Hampshire or not. There are many places throughout the city where you can rent cars for getting around the city rather cheaply and for an hour, 2 hours, and so on. You can even go online and “reserve” a certain car in advance… even just minutes in advance.

        Well Boston is proposing to do a “zip bike” program where people could rent bikes at a cheap rate for getting around the city.

        I think this is a great thing and I think it is something that I would sign up for. It can be a pain to bring my bike into Boston (only 1 way to really ride it into Boston since can’t ride the toll bridges/tunnels in and out of Boston) and bringing it in on the MBTA subway can be a hassle (can only bring bikes on the subway during certain hours of the day during the weekday and anytim of the day on the weekend). Also… can’t bring bikes on the Green Line subway. So this would allow people to take the MBTA bus/subway into Boston… and then rent cheap bikes to ride around Boston.

        1. Mike, re: floater and blobs: that’s good news that none of them are new.

          i don’t remember the zip car program but it sure makes a lot of sense. bicycles even more so.

          isn’t there a sidewalk you can ride on over the Tobin?

  5. hi nhbushman,

    I’m seriously thinking of getting one of these. It seems like the only difference between the Mantis and the Aritifce is that the seat on the Artifice is adjustable. Is this correct? Is the Artifice superior to the Mantis or they’re just the same. How important do you think is the fact that you can adjust the seat? Is that a big deal for you? Thanks.

    1. hi Chris. the major difference between the Mantis and the Artifice is the size. the Mantis has all 20″ wheels, while the Artifice has a 26″ rear wheel and the frame is a lot beefier. i wanted to try the Mantis but Kevin told me it was too small for me. as for the seat being adjustable, well that depends upon the person. it only matters if the stock seat position is uncomfortable for you, and then it would make all the difference in the world. personally, i don’t like to lay back too far, and i’ve adjusted my seat back to be a bit more upright than original. all in all, it’s my opinion that the Artifice is superior. you cannot beat the accessories bars that come stock with the Artifice for mounting your hardware on it. once you get one Chris, you’ll absolutely love it. you’ll be looking for excursions to ride daily!

  6. Totally awesome.

    I’ve never actually ridden a recumbent. Just thought they were weird. But this sucker looks so cool. I’d love to take it for a spin.

    1. Peter, you aren’t alone in thinking they are weird. but once you try them and experience the comfort for yourself you won’t want to go back to riding a diamond frame. my trike is like sitting on the sofa with the headrest and all. the angle of the seat back is adjustable too, so i can get it just right. thanks.

  7. Peter, I have pealed several recumbents, including an WizWheels Path + which has a 8 speed Shimano hub. I love the idea of an internal hub because I’ve never been completely happy with deraioleur shifting and keeping it adjusted. Have you any experience with the intternal hubs?

    Pricewise it ells for $ 1499.00, very close to the pricve you quote for the Artifice.


  8. Great looking trike!

    I’m considering buying a Taiwanese trike I think is built by your friends at TW Bents. There’s a project in Finland making group purchases of recumbent bikes and trikes straight from the manufacturer in Taiwan. That way you can customize your ‘bent just the way you like it and you don’t need to pay a middle-man for importing and sales.

    Your rear alloy wheel caught my attention. Looks cool and sounds like a good idea as the rear wheel of a tadpole trike, since the wheel is under considerable sideways forces during cornering. Have you been able to compare it to a regular spoked wheel on a similar trike? As the alloy wheel is stronger it must also be much less flexible, right? As I’m considering a trike without suspension, I don’t want it to be uncomfortable.


    1. hi Arto, welcome to our blog. ordering direct from TW-Bents is a good way to go. please contact me if i may be of assistance to you.

      re: alloy wheel – i haven’t compared it to a standard wheel. i got it because of my weight being over the rated limit by a small amount. cast wheels aren’t known for being able to take strong lateral loads, and i don’t really take hard turns at high speed on my trike so it should be no problem. you are correct about it being less flexible. i’ve not had any problems with it so far, however. it can support more weight than a standard spoked wheel, and i also think it looks very cool, 😉 thanks Arto.

  9. I took a closer look at the trikes the project is ordering and it seems they’re from the Performer folks over there, not TW Bents actually. I like the TW Bents’ Arrow frame though, so that would be a solid option too. Maybe I should ask for a price quote direct from them too. The Finnish reseller is asking 1390 EUR (1990 USD) including the Dura-Ace shifter upgrade.

    Though the alloy wheel sure looks cool, I might have to take a regular wheel. Since I’m looking for an unsuspended frame, the wheel too should be able to act as suspension. And the lateral loads issue would also get me worried about durability…

    1. Arto, Performer is a good company too. i also know their boss and designer. i say the more quotes you have, the better for everyone. i would specifically ask for a quote on the Artifice. let me know how you make out.

      1. TW Bents wouldn’t give me a direct quote, since the shipping to Finland for a single trike would make it too expensive and they have a local reseller. That almost makes the Performer trike via the group purchase the best choise.

        Since I’ll receive the trike right about when it gets snowy here, I’ll be needing some studded tires. Have you seen Schwalbe tires sold there? Their Big Apples are a recumbent favorite, but they also seem to make the only 20″ studded tires around.

        Well, they might be overpriced there since you don’t have much need for studs on the tires, do you…

        1. Arto, TW-Bents wouldn’t give you a direct quote because there is a local dealer. they fully support their local dealer network. it has nothing to do with shipping. ocean freight it cheap (i know because i operate a trading company). why don’t you check out the prices at the local dealer before you decide what the best choice is? keep in mind that whatever you purchase from a source with no local representation is going to leave you high and dry with respect to spare parts and support. that might not be such a sweet situation if something breaks.

          Schwalbe tires are sold here, and i have Kojaks on the front wheels of my trike but i’ve never heard of studded bicycle tires in Taiwan. we can get pretty much whatever someone wants though. thanks Arto.

          1. Hi nhbushman,
            That’s what I figured too – it wouldn’t be too nice towards their local dealers to compete with them on the price point.

            Almost everything except the frame are pretty standard stuff. So spare parts should be pretty easy to find here too. I’ve heard of people getting good warranty service for their Shimano or SRAM parts in Finland even though they’ve purchased them overseas. Of course it might require some DIY attitude in some cases and it’s a risk worth taking into consideration.

            Thanks for the info, I’ll keep you posted on which trike I end up with.

    1. Rick, i only have knowledge of the Artifice, sorry. i have never seen a Trident (well, maybe i have and didn’t know it). i wish i could tell you about it but i can’t. sorry.

  10. Hello. Please can you tell me where you got the light bracket and light?

    Thanks Steve

    1. hi Steve. the metal bracket came with the trike. that’s standard issue from TW Bents. the light i got at our famous night market here in Hukou. i’ve since acquired a Baoch light set, and it’s very bright. i can swap it back and forth with my DF bike because of the quick release mounting system. i also have a dual mounting adapter so i can have the lights in front and the GPS in the rear. the equipment has changed a bit since i wrote this article. i should do a follow up and show some of the changes i’ve made since. thanks Steve.

  11. hi bush, i bought topeak rack and bag. Where u got the silver bracket that hold the rack mount straight.

  12. Hi Bushman,

    recently when i ride my Artifice trike, there is sound coming under the seat, sound is like ” tse-rek, tse-rek, tse-rek” . I thought it is because of folding point of trike and i lubricate every possible point. But still the annoying sound ” tse-rek” persisit. Does your trike has this sound.

    1. Pema, sometimes. it might be the material of the seat moving over the frame as you pedal. so, make sure that the QR is tight. i used a 10mm socket wrench and really tightened mine down so it doesn’t pop open. check to make sure your rear wheel bearing isn’t making that sound.

  13. It seems that the sound is coming from main boom folding connector. While the trike is in stationery , when i press hard the seat, the sound occurs and and also when i press the main boom under the seat( without touching the seat), it also gives this damn sound.

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