By Gordon Koppang
Since I got the Sinner Comfort, my Catrike Villager has become my “buddy bike”. If a friend wants to try recumbent cycling, I offer them a ride on the Villager. On a recent buddy ride, I rode the Villager so my friend could try the Sinner. The Villager’s steering is sharp and fast but composed. The Catrike weighs at least 30 pounds less than the Sinner, so the Catrike is much faster. The Villager’s seat never seemed uncomfortable to me before, but after riding the Comfort for almost two months, the Villager’s seat felt like a real liability. It seems I’ve become accustomed to the luxury of rear suspension and a padded seat.
I’ve put over 500km on the Sinner since late July. About 400 of that has accumulated as I’ve run errands and taken leisurely rides in the park. The Sinner is a better town trike than the Villager. The Sinner’s 21.75-inch seat height makes me more visible to car drivers and getter off the Sinner is much easier than hoisting myself out of the Villagers 12.5-inch seat. The Sinner Comfort really does take the punishment out of curb cuts and rough alleyways. While riding in town, I have not thought, “Gee, I wish I was riding my old Villager”.
I’ve done about 100km of highway riding with the Sinner. On longer faster rides, the Sinner’s weight and height are a real drag. My average speed on those rides (13km/hr) can hardly be called speed at all. The highest maximum speed I recorded was just over 31km/hr. If I’m trying to keep up with other riders, I do find myself wishing for the Villager. My favourite outings with the Sinner to date have been solo off-pavement rides where speed is not a priority and where the Sinner’s two-wheel-drive and rear suspension can prove their worth.
I ordered the Sinner with the optional hitch or “tandem adapter”. Unfortunately, the trike left Holland without the hitch. That was back in June! After many phone calls and emails, I just received word that the hitch is finally in the mail. I will go into detail in another entry; for now it is enough to say that Sinner’s customer service has been deplorable at every stage. I keep my feelings for the trike and my feelings for Sinner’s careless and inattentive staff separate, but the atrocious service has left a negative impression that may prove indelible.