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KMX Typhoon Recumbent Trike

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Komprehensive Review of the KMX Typhoon

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Iíll go ahead and say it, trikes are expensive. They just havenít reached the point in popularity and manufacturing where they can compete in price with a bike youíd find at Wal-Mart. That makes it really hard to find a trike that is ďaffordableĒ for the entry-level triker.

If youíre new to the triking world and looking to get a high-quality trike and one that gives you the most bang for your buck, look no further. The KMX Typhoon is an entry-level performance trike that will satisfy your cravings for a great ride and it comes with a great price tag. Itís an excellent trike for your commute, fun outings with the family, or getting in a heart-pumping cardio workout.

The Typhoon features double wall rims, Schwalbe Big Apple puncture-resistant tires, it adjusts to a wide range of riders, and the KMX bucket seat will keep you secure flying down those thrill-seeker canyon roads. At home on the bike trails and neighborhood roads, the Typhoon is a great beginner trike that is easily upgradable. With a few upgrades you can turn it into a high-performance racer or make it into an entry-level touring trike. The open road is calling your name, and the KMX is a great trike that can take you there and grow with you.

The Frame

The Typhoon is built with a strong hi-carbon steel frame and an aluminum boom which can be adjusted to fit any riderís reach, making it an extremely versatile trike.

The frame sits low to the ground, giving the Typhoon a sporty, aggressive look and, like many recumbent trikes, it has a low center of gravity that keeps you stable on the fast turns. The Typhoon comes with a stock black frame, but if you want to customize it, we have over 35 color options to choose from.

The Seat

All KMX trikes come stock with their comfortable bucket seat. The sides and bottom of the seat extend upward to cradle your body, which means you wonít slide off when youíre cornering hard. The seat is attached to the frame with an easy-to-adjust clamp that makes sizing the trike a non-issue.

Because the frame allows for so much adjustability, the KMX trikes can fit a larger range of riders than most other brand models. The angle of the seat is also easy to adjust by changing the length of the rear seat supports. Lastly, the KMX seats have side support bars which are intended to be bent as needed for adjustable lumbar support, so that you ride comfortably.

The seat frame is steel, with foam padding, and a black breathable mesh cover. If you want to do a little off-roading, the manufacturer rated rider weight is roughly 210 lbs, but total weight capacity for road riding is 300 lbs.

Steering

For new trikers, the steering and handling on the Typhoon is a dream come true. The steering geometry gives the KMX Typhoon a strong straight-line tendency. Itís self-centering, so if you take your hands off of the controls it tends to straighten out automatically.

If youíre a thrill seeker with a need for speed, the Typhoon will serve you well. At higher speeds you wonít feel any speed wobbles because of itís stability. The 28in. wide handlebars are vertical and the angle and reach can be adjusted to give you more comfort.

Another plus of the Typhoon is that the Ackerman steering compensation, when combined with proper alignment, will minimize tire scrub and makes the handling a blast. Alignment is a straightforward process, done by adjusting the length of the single tie-rod that connects the right and left wheels together. If you find your trike seems to steer a bit with your pedaling, try isolating the power you use to only your legs and avoid moving your hips to get a smoother ride. A little bit of technique makes a big difference.

Gearing

The stock gearing features a microshift 8-speed, twist-grip shifter, Shimano 8-speed rear derailleur and a 42T chainring up front with integrated bash guards.

The stock components have a gear range of 23-71 gear inches which is enough to climb most hills and keep a moderate pace at the high-end. While the stock gearing is great for a light, daily commute or cruising your favorite bike trail, the more serious or stronger rider will likely want to upgrade the gearing for a wider gear range.

Although itís not a ďmustĒ with the Typhoon, upgrading the gearing can be done by us at time of purchase or down the road by the do-it-yourself triker.

Brakes

The Typhoon features Bengal brake discs on the front wheels and 160mm rotors. Although the stock version of the KMX Typhoon doesnít include a rear brake, adding one is an easy upgrade since both the frame and rear wheel already include the disc brake mounts. Dual locking levers, with one located on each handle, will keep your trike in place as you get in and out, or keep you from rolling while you take a quick breather.

Using the brakes is easy. To stop straight you pull both levers simultaneously. For the advanced rider, the brakes can also induce some brake steer by using only the brake on the inside wheel. The brake pads are easy to adjust at the caliper and by adjusting the cable going into the lever.

Chainline

Like other trikes that use chain tubing, you may notice the chain makes a little bit of noise. Donít let that deter you. The tradeoff is that the tubes protect the frame from the chain, and the chain from the dirt. A quick performance modification that will also quiet down the chain noise is to flare out the ends of the tubes with a lighter or torch. In addition to the chain tubing, the Typhoon features a power idler to guide the chain under the seat. The idler is made of Delrin plastic, which has proven itself to be incredibly durable. Overall, the chainline is smooth and efficient.

Wheels and Tires

The Typhoon comes with a 20-inch rear wheel and two 16-inch front wheels. The stock hubs and rims are black, the spokes and nipples are silver. The rims are a 32-hole, double wall rim, which is an upgrade from the single-wall wheels that come with the KMX Tornado. Double-wall rims are incredibly durable. The rims are drilled for Schrader valves (the more common type of tire valve that cars use) and include Schrader tubes.

Schwalbe Big Apple are the tires that come with the Typhoon and are designed for comfort. The Big Apple tires are also a big upgrade from the OEM KMX tires included on the KMX Tornado. The rear tire measures 20 inches x 2 inches and the two front tires are 16 inches x 2 inches. Because of the two-inch tire width you may not win any races, but youíll find theyíll let you enjoy an amazingly smooth ride on most trails. If you want to go a little faster, you can slap on some racing tires and hit the track. The Schwalbe Big Apple tires also come with a kevlar lining that offers great puncture protection and theyíre super durable, lasting on average 1-2,000 miles depending on how you ride and your terrain.

How does it stand up to the competition

Compared to trikes in the same price range, we think the Typhoon is the quality/price leader. Itís easy to handle, agile, versatile, and incredibly easy to upgrade. Compared to the KMX Tornado, the Typhoon offers better tires and rims without spending a lot of extra money. The TerraTrike Rover is probably the closest competitor in price, but the KMX will appeal to the triker looking for a sportier performance trike with better high-speed handling and stability. The KMX Typhoon is a well-built, durable trike that can take the heat. We have ridden it hard, and routinely take the Typhoon on light off-road trails and it holds up great. With the smaller wheels, the Typhoon is low to the ground and fun to ride. It even comes with a rear mudguard, a flag, and a tool kit.

Popular Upgrades

Many people start with upgrades right off the bat while others like to make their upgrades over time. Some of our favorite additions are the rear cargo rack, bottle cages to stay hydrated, and rear view mirrors for safety. Computers and lights are also popular. Probably the biggest upgrade we make that really changes the KMX trike is our UTCustom Mesh Seat Upgrade. Itís even more breathable and perfect for touring. Gearing can be upgraded with a triple crank set in the front to go from an 8 speed trike to a 24 speed, or you can choose from several internally geared options we have available.

The Typhoon is a high-quality trike thatís a blast to ride. Itís excellent for beginners because itís comfortable and handles incredibly well. Go fast, go slow, fly down a canyon or get your cardio workout in; it can handle your style of riding. If you want to be a part of the triking world without breaking the bank, the KMX Typhoon is your ticket in.





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