The Trice Micro, which I’ve had since 2003, was my first “tadpole” trike (two wheels at the front). Made by I.C.E. in Cornwall, beautifully designed and constructed, low, light, nippy, and enormous fun to ride. At the time, it was just about the smallest trike you could get, which suited me because I only had a rather small and inaccessible basement to keep it in. If I were in the same situation nowadays, I’d probably be looking at something like a Greenspeed gt3, which is considerably cheaper and has the added advantage of being foldable.
The Micro has three 16″ wheels and was originally designed as an uncompromising light, fast tourer for brevet riders (that’s why I.C.E. supplied it with six bottle cages, I suppose).
I ordered my Micro direct from I.C.E., who were very helpful in answering all my silly questions. It took some time to get to the front of the production queue, but it was ready on precisely the day they promised, and six days later it arrived here, dismantled and packed in two big boxes.
It took me most of the afternoon to get from this:
A friend turned up at the critical moment to hold bits of of chain together, and between us we soon had the last few bits bolted on, and were able to take it for a gentle spin around the block. Slightly nerve-wracking at first (will it go round this corner..? — yes!), but by the time we got back I was definitely smiling.
A few minor adjustments, then I took it for a 30km “shakedown” ride (“shake” being the operative word on some of the roads around here). I would have gone further, but I hadn’t put any lights on it yet. A few bits had to be tightened up or adjusted en route, but everything seems to be working, and it’s huge fun to ride.
Interesting, too, to see the reactions of passers-by — no-one here looks twice at a recumbent these days, but on the Micro I’m getting the sort of looks and comments (all good-humoured so far) I was getting when I first started riding recumbents seven years ago. Trikes (other than upright deltas) are very thin on the ground in Holland — even Quests and Mangos are not exactly an everyday sight, although there are a couple of people around here with Sinner recumbent deltas.
A lot of people ask me if a trike isn’t too wide for narrow Dutch cycle paths. The canal towpath between Vlaardingen and Schipluiden is one of the narrowest around here, and the Micro just about fits (its overall width is about 70cm). There were one or two spots where I was riding - very slowly - with one wheel in the grass. [nb: This was at eight on a Sunday morning — I don’t think I would have been very popular riding this stretch in the afternoon when it gets busy…]
With its low ground clearance, the Micro isn’t intended for off-road riding, but it doesn’t seem to have any difficulties with a reasonably smooth path like this one. Notice that the weather has got back to normal, and I’ve fitted the mudguards which are not in the other photos above. You can also see the ice flag (if anyone asks, it’s the antenna for the on-board navigation system…), cheap and cheerful led rear lamp, and a Karrimor front pannier that must be at least twenty years old.