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.
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.
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.
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.
The rear wheel is a cast alloy and very strong. The manufacturer suggested this rear wheel because I’m pretty heavy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Closeup of the GPS, secondary light and mirror on the trike’s left side.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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