By Gordon Koppang
When a guy brings a Sinner Comfort trike in from Holland, the first question might be, “Why didn’t you just buy a Kettwiesel?” The Sinner Comfort trike comes with full-time two-wheel-drive, rear suspension and a cargo rack as standard equipment. Three fenders, a Busch & Müller “Ixon Pure” (with USB charging socket) and a Sigma 509 cycle computer (speedometer) are also standard equipment. A similarly equipped Kettwiesel would cost at least $1,200 dollars more than I paid for the Sinner – and that includes shipping, duty and GST.
The Sinner Comfort really shouldn’t be compared with the Kettwiesel. In terms of intended use, the Sinner seems closer to the Hase Lepus (and Lepus Comfort) that also have rear suspension and a cargo rack. Other competitors include the van Raam Easy Sport and perhaps even the much heavier van Raam Easy Rider (with electric assist). The Sinner Comfort is a town trike – a shopping trike. It weighs 67 pounds. It’s built for comfort not speed. It may not be a touring trike. Time and experience will tell.
The wheel track (centre tread to centre tread is 28.75 inches. I have the optional mesh-back seat with foam-padded base. With my friend Scott on the trike, the seat height was 21.75 inches. The trike is more stable than the numbers suggest. Just riding around, I have only lifted an inside wheel once or twice. Riding in a straight line at about 20km/hr I can give the bars a pretty good tug and not cause the trike to lift a wheel. The steering gets very twitchy around the 40km/hr. At that speed I definitely wouldn’t want to swerve to miss anything. I have cerebral palsy, which impairs my core strength. This makes me susceptible to being pitched around in sudden manoeuvres. My loss of control threshold is a lot lower than a non-disabled person’s would be.
The weight of the trike disappoints me, but I’m impressed by the Sinner’s ability to “hook up” or find traction in loose dirt, gravel and shale. A day or two ago I ran the Sinner through a construction zone where the earthmovers and other heavy equipment had just been. I was surprised that the tires didn’t even spin as I bounced across the rough stuff. I tried to climb a dirt embankment. I was stopped by a lack of power, not a lack of traction. I found a short section of deep unpacked gravel. The Sinner just rolled on through. I’m hoping this means it will be a good winter trike.