August 31, 2022 4 min read 11 Comments

We have been getting a lot of requests for trikes lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to walk through our journey trying to produce a trike that Boogie Bikes could be proud of and our customers would love…..spoiler alert, we are not there yet!

In 2020 when we started rolling Boogie Cruisers off the line and getting them into the hands of anxious riders we also developed one of our companies core principals - paying great attention to every comment on social media, every query from our email, and every call to our 800 number.

Along with the most popular questions “what’s the weight (60lbs with the battery 51 without for our 26” bike)”,  “how soon can I get one (then, months, now 2 days ship”, and “what makes your bike better (we offer a great bike with the right components and support it before and after the sale,)” we also got a continuous stream of questions about a three wheeled product – a “trike.”

We had just spent hundreds of hours developing the Boogie Cruiser and thousands of miles of testing…that’s right, thousands, and our customers wanted a new product we didn’t know how to make.  We are, however, simple businesspeople.  We make what people want. When we get a lot of requests or we see an un-filled need (a GREAT bike with GREAT features that’s simple to buy and own with GREAT support – the Boogie Cruiser) we do it.

It's not hard, it’s listening to your customer and trying your very best to do what they want in a way that pleases them and gets them to tell their friends about it.

The only problem, trikes are hard.

We ordered a three wheeler opting to get one that was complete to see how we liked it and what we could improve. Like the Boogie Cruiser we expected to try a few different things and then make it WAY BETTER and have a great product to sell that was supported in the U.S.A.

It turned out to be a lot harder.

Our initial trike had 26” wheels (per our spec, same as the Boogie Cruiser), while fun to ride, it seemed a little “tippy”. If you got going on it and tried to turn, you’d have an issue where one wheel came off the ground.  It also seemed on the initial ride the rider would lean and steer like the bike, but instead of a nice smooth turn, the trike would put the weight on two out of the three wheels and veer to the side of feel VERY unstable.  At lower speeds this was a little better, but each new rider we put on the trike seemed to have the same issue.

We chalked it up to buying what was available instead of waiting patiently for the best product for our customer.

We ordered two more factory ready trikes to try.  Each one different in some way, but experiencing the same issues with each ride.  We picked the one with the slightly wider wheel base in back and I rode it 200 miles. That’s right, 200 miles. We had an avid trike rider who was a local try it….and he LOVED it.

But there was no way around the fact that initially it felt unstable.  I had a few local customers really interested and asked if they would help us out by trying our BEST trike and giving us feedback.

Invariably, they felt un-stable and actually veered to one side when riding. Every single time,  every rider, would sit on our trike and ride it like a bike, leaning to one side or the other.  Somehow we had to figure out how to train riders to turn their “bike brains off,” sit on the seat and steer without leaning.

I liked the trike, it was fun to ride an provided a great way to haul some cargo.  Also, you didn’t have to get off and on at a stop sign.  Just stay seated, and wait…. EASY!

We knew that the customers wanted a solution.  We knew that we could get MANY more people the great Boogie Bike experience with a trike.

So we kept trying.

We ordered yet another trike – Failed.

We ordered a front wheel trike, two wheels in the front, one in the back – worse than the original!

We chopped the seat down to almost ground level trying to move the center of gravity down.  Didn’t work.

We added a differential to the back axle (this was a huge chore) – no fundamental change.

We tried wheels that articulated  - NO CHANGE.

We were at the end. We could not produce a product we could confidently send to 99% of those requesting it and have them LOVE the product.

We decided to take a break.

We focused on the Boogie cruiser and making sure we reached those who wanted it.

We added a 24” x 15” frame (v.s. 26” x 18” frame) cruiser bike to accommodate MORE riders testing and improving along the way!

We rode the trike, used the trike, almost came to blows as partners over the trike.

We still could not make a trike we thought could be adopted easily by our audience.

Here’s where we are. We will not make a product that scares people initially and ask them to “drive it 5 miles, you will get used to it.”

The shipping cost is too much.

We are looking for solutions.  Let us know if you have ideas or want to try one of the trikes we already have. We’d love your feedback.

We’d love a group of folks committed enough to make the 5 mile challenge and see if we really are right and that after 5 miles you will LOVE it.

If you REALLY want a trike and have some ideas for us, or are willing to be part of a pilot order, we’d love to hear from you.   Drop us a line at trike@boogiebikes.com

Let us know, we are still looking for a solution, but will NOT make one we don’t have a clear path to delighting customers with.

Dean DuMez
Dean DuMez


11 Responses

BILL WOODS
BILL WOODS

September 13, 2022

My son is autistic and unable to ride a two-wheeler. He has an adult trike (non-electric). I have used it to get groceries. I would be interested in trying one out. Also, you may want to test on others that are unable to ride a bike since you would not have to ’turn off" their brain

Larry Walley
Larry Walley

September 12, 2022

I am very interested, but being in upstae New York. It is a bit of a stretch to drive 750 miles just to take a 5 mile trike ride. I tried an E-bike/trike, but found it tipsy while turning. I sold the trike. Anxiously waiting for your design team to come up with a solution.

Larry Prescott
Larry Prescott

September 12, 2022

I am a 72 year old man who currently rides a two wheel ebike and am interested in an ebike trike. My 64 wife and I would be interested in helping with test rides.

Greg Adams
Greg Adams

September 12, 2022

My wife, Melodie and I would like to test ride your trike. We live in Tallahassee, and test road your Boogie bike from one of your customers. Melodie has some special needs as she suffers from fibromyalgia. The trike might be the answer for her. We have a 16 mile paved. level trail in our area.

Hank London
Hank London

September 12, 2022

I live in Bergen County, NJ. I would love to test out your trike, and tell you my thoughts and suggestions.

Richard Van Haren
Richard Van Haren

September 12, 2022

Small, 73 years old, a lot of war damage. I would need a 24" with step through frame and the batteries (two) under the box so that the seat was stabile. Because I can old ride bikes, bus or walk it must have brake lights and a brake lock. The lock is because I have to get of and walk over the the push button at controlled intersections. The lights should also be 12 volts, like other vehicles. With the ways laws are going we may also need turn signals. Just like my motorcycles had. Disability Scooters have these. I live in Neenah, WI. I’m on my fourth electric bike.

Diana Thomlinson
Diana Thomlinson

September 12, 2022

I’m interested in a trike because I think it will feel more stable than a bike. I haven’t riden a bike in years and have memories of not feeling completely stable when I last rode. I do try to get out daily for a long walk but think I would enjoy & could go further on a bike/trike. I’m 73, fairly fit, and anxious to be even more active in my flat Illinois neighborhood, so I’d love to try a sturdy, American made trike.

Jeff Laurich
Jeff Laurich

September 06, 2022

I’m in the Milwaukee Waukesha area and would be interested in taking a demo ride on a trike. Then I could offer my ideas.

Jeff

Bob Phillips
Bob Phillips

September 06, 2022

Hi Guys,
I ride my bike 12 miles each day. I’m up to 1,500 miles and still going strong. One day of riding my trail and I would have some good feedback for you. My course has lots of hills and trials and public riding course. We’re coming up on our square to square ride this month that is a 30 mile course from Bentonville to Fayetteville later this month. This ride will draw close to 1,000 riders and would be great exposure for you guys. Not to mention to the of riders who could get a test ride out of it. Let me know what you think.
Thanks, Bob Phillips

Betty Orth and Brian Spicer
Betty Orth and Brian Spicer

September 06, 2022

I, Betty would love to be a test group for the trike. I am a little unsteady on regular bikes after a fall and wrist break (not on my Boogie bike since we just got it today. I have a little trouble turning still and starting stopping. I think I just need to get more confident. But I would love to try a trike if you get the kind out. I think you really need older people to try it for sure since that is probably your market for the trike, I’m 64.

Anna Hanson
Anna Hanson

September 06, 2022

I would be interested in helping to test your trike; I’ve had knee issues and cannot feel secure stopping on my original Boogie Bike, as it’s just a bit too high for me to do so without rising off the seat. I’m happy to see you have a 24 inch frame – if that had been available when we first bought our bikes, I would have ordered that – especially if it was red!

I’ve been wishing for a BoogieTrike, so if I can help refine your models, I’m willing. Thanks – Anna

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