The tips below are the opinion of TRIKKE Tampa only and are intended to provide helpful hints on learning how to ride your Trikke. Using these tips will get you going and then you'll need to work on optimizing your riding style. They have worked for many new riders. It may seem confusing but if you take your time and think about what's being said it will help you start carving on your new Trikke. You're embarking on the ultimate in Fun and Fitness!
Important Note: On the Trikke models that mount the rubber air tires you MUST ensure you have 80psi in the rear tires and 75 in the front. Don't check the pressure by feeling the firmness of the tire, you MUST MUST MUST use an accurate tire pressure gauge capable of measuring pressure above 80psi. If your tires are even 10lbs below specifications it WILL impact your learning ability! You'll need to check the air pressure about every 10 days and add air as needed.
1. We always recommend that you ride with a helmet and safety gear. Pay special attention to where you are riding, your proximity to other people, and especially your proximity to cars if you are learning to ride on a street or in a parking lot.
2. Never pull back on the handle bars unless the brakes are applied. You don't want the front end to come up and the rear wheels to roll out from under you. You will land flat on your back if you do.
3. Some people will tend to jerk forward and backwards trying to make it go. Don't do that. You could pull the front end up and your Trikke can go out from under you.
4. When learning to ride it's recommended to keep your handle bars on a lower, if not the lowest, setting. This keeps more weight on the front wheel while you're learning to ride. Once you become experienced then you can experiment with raising the handle bars for a more optimal carving experience.
Who rides a Trikke?
People of all ages and abilities are riding the Trikke. Mostly, they are in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's because of the health and fitness benefits. There are also youngsters over 70 riding the Trikke. The Trikke IS also very popular with the younger generation but they are more into the fun aspect of the Trikke hence, "Fun Fitness-Machine". People of all levels of fitness are carving on this phenomenal human-powered machine. You get a full body workout and burn 100's of calories with no impact on your joints.
Athletic abilities required?
An athletic background is absolutely NOT required. However, people who are accustomed to skiing or inline skating typically pick it up in a matter of minutes. Don't be discouraged if you can't climb on and speed away at 15 miles per hour. Being an entirely new vehicle, it requires some new skills. Regardless of your athletic background, you can learn to ride a Trikke cambering vehicle in a relatively short period of time --- usually in less than an hour. Just think about when you learned or taught a child to ride a bicycle. You nor they caught-on immediately and it took some practice to learn how to balance and go with the flow of the bicycle. Unfortunately, we didn't have cambering vehicles when we were kids so we're having to learn a new concept as an adult. Just as with anything that is new it takes practice and determination. The Trikke doesn't require so much of balance as it does in rhythm. The rhythm is in the turning of the handle bars back and forth and distributing your weight on the foot platforms. The most important thing to learn first is how to move the handle bars.
How to make it go?
First, you need to be determined that you will learn to ride your new Trikke. Second, you need to be on a completely flat surface or maybe a very slight downhill. Try to find somewhere that will give you the most distance before you have to turn around. An outdoor tennis court or basketball court are ideal places to learn. Do not try to learn how to ride on an incline.
It's easier to quit than it is to conquer. It's really not that hard if you don't put too much into it. Remember, always keep going until you feel the sweet spot. You'll know it when you feel it.
While the Trikke is NOT in motion:
1. Stand perfectly normal on the foot platforms. Don't squat, don't bend your knees (don't lock them either) but stand up in a normal posture. Get comfortable on the Trikke and know that it's not going to tip-over. All three points stay on the ground at all times due to the cambering mechanism. DO NOT think about weight distribution at this time. You need to focus on properly turning the handle bars continuously to the left and right. Weight distribution will come in another step. Sometimes it will come naturally.
2. While continuing in a stationary position and keeping your shoulders parallel to the handle bars rotate the handle bars about 60 to 70 degrees in each direction continuously . Once in motion the degree of turning the handle bars back and forth won't be as much. The steering column will remain pointing at the center of your chest at all times while riding the Trikke. Do NOT move the steering column to the left and right. You must turn the handle bars left and right using your shoulders and keeping your upper body parallel. Your arms will remain fairly straight with a slight bend in your elbows. Most people will start to move very slightly at this point.
3. Once you start moving just keep on that track. If you don't start moving go ahead and put a foot down and give yourself a push-off. Remember, keep turning the handle bars left and right using your shoulders and upper body.
While the Trikke is in motion:
1. You have to be "FLUID" with your Trikke. Think of this; when you're riding your bicycle and you make a turn does your body remain at 90 degrees to the ground, NO. While turning your bicycle you're at an angle to the ground because inertia is keeping you in the seat. While on your Trikke and while turning the handle bars to the left you want the weight of your upper body to very slightly go towards the front left of the Trikke. This happens naturally IF you're staying parallel to the handlebars. NOTE: Do not exaggerate this move by putting too much weight towards the front left. Please be careful and do these riding tips in small steps until you get comfortable and more confident. Click on the picture of the couple riding their Trikke. Notice how they are going with the flow.
2. Coming over to the right. Since we talked about turning to the left now lets bring you over to the right. Keeping your upper body parallel to the handle bars you should now start turning to the right. When you start to turn the handle bars back to the right you should already be starting the weight distribution to the other foot. Don't wait until you're already turned to the right to start distributing your weight but instead you'll need to time it to when you're coming through the center of your turn. In other words, when you're coming from the left to the right and the handle bars are at center you should have most of your weight already on the left foot.
When turning to the left you're putting most of your weight on the RIGHT foot.
When turning to the right you're distributing your weight to the LEFT foot.
This may feel awkward and causes the most confusion in learning to ride. Your brain is programmed to keep you upright and balanced but with riding the Trikke you're almost defying this natural feeling. This is why in step 1 and step 2 I want you to get familiar, comfortable and more confident on your Trikke before getting too aggressive. Don't try and do too much at one time but take steps in learning to ride. Once you can make the Trikke go and you're feeling pretty good then it's time to start trying different ways of riding. Move your feet further to the back of the platforms. Move your feet to the inside of the platform. Once you learn the basics of making it go you can experiment to find out the different ways you can ride the Trikke and the different ways to accelerate and go faster.
1. Keep the handle bars parallel to your shoulders. The center of the steering column will always remain pointing towards the upper center of your chest. Reference the picture.
2. Use your shoulders to turn the handle bars thus, keeping your arms fairly straight while your upper body and shoulders stay parallel as you turn the handle bars left and right.
3. Don't move the steering column to the left and right. Turn ONLY the handle bars left and right.
4. Once in motion you will start distributing your weight on the opposite foot of the direction you're turning. Turning LEFT put weight on RIGHT foot. Turning RIGHT put weight on your LEFT foot.
5. Don't try too hard. Relax, get comfortable and apply one technique at a time. First, turning the handle bars continuously left and right to make your Trikke move slightly - your weight will start distributing naturally. Once you start moving then realize what's happening and hone in on that.
6. When you feel the "Sweet Spot" you'll know it. It will come briefly and go away. Then it will come again and go away. Then, you'll get it, you'll feel the "Sweet Spot", and it will stay more often than not until it never goes away. It's like they say "once you learn to ride a bike you never forget". The same applies with the TRIKKE!
7. Now, click on the picture of the couple again and study their body positions. Their upper body is parallel to the handle bars. The steering column is pointing to the upper center of their chests. They are carving to the right and you see their right knee is up. This is because they are releasing weight off the right foot and applying pressure to the left foot.
What if I just can't make it go?
1. One last tip to help you grasp the concept. Get on a bicycle and ride in a zig-zag. Lean to the left and lean to the right. Go several hundred yards and keep going in a zig-zag and try to grasp the feeling. Feel how you're going back and forth but staying with the flow of the bike? With a bike you mostly lean to turn left or right. With the Trikke it's basically the same except you're standing rather than sitting. Think about it and apply it to your Trikke.
2. Re-read these tips, think about the motion you had on the bike and try to apply any similarities to riding your Trikke.
3. MOST IMPORTANTLY is to stay determined. IF you're having troubles learning to ride, DON'T GIVE UP! You can do it!
Disclaimer: TRIKKE Tampa will be held harmless while using these tips or any other written or verbal suggestions. They are only meant to help you with the basics of learning to ride.