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Reviews from $4,097.78

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The ICE Vortex is the ultimate long distance, high performance racing trike. It combines style and speed to create what is arguably one of the world’s most desirable racing trikes.

  • Vortex 2012

    Vortex

    Un-hinged folding frame
    Schwalbe Durano 700c rear wheel and 20" front wheels
    V section white rims with red anodised nipples
    Air-Pro glass fibre hard-shell seat
    Avid BB7 disc brakes
    SRAM X9 components
    32.33lb (14.66kg) weight
    Adjustable seat recline from 25o upwards

    From $4,097.78

  • Vortex Plus Main Image

    Vortex+

    Un-hinged folding frame
    Schwalbe Ultrimo ZX 700c rear wheel and 20" front wheels
    V section white rims with red anodised nipple
    Air-Pro carbon fibre hard-shell seat
    Tektro Auriga Hydraulic disc brakes
    SRAM XX components
    28.75lb (13.04kg) weight
    Adjustable seat recline from 25o upwards

    From $5,547.67

Vortex

From $4,097.78

Vortex 2012
Suspension
Front suspension (travel) -
Rear suspension (travel) -
Gear Components
Front derailleur Microshift Triple
Rear derailleur Sram X9
Shifters SRAM TT500 bar end carbon
Chainset Truvativ Elita 30/39/50 170mm
Cassette SRAM PG 1070 11-36 10 Speed
Gear range 22.50"- 122.72" (1.80m - 9.79m)
Chain YBN S10C
Idler ICE Speed-Tech pulley
Chain tube ICE Custom low friction
Brake Components
Front brakes Avid BB7 160mm disc
Brake levers Avid Speed Dial 7
Parking brake -
Parking brake lever -
Colour/s
Powder coat colour/s Polar White & Red Graphics
Dimensions
Overall width 29.5" (750mm)
Overall height 27.8" - 29.7" (705mm - 755mm)
Overall length 78.5"-88" (1994mm-2235mm)
Folded width None
Folded length -
Folded height -
Seat height 6.5" (165mm)
Seat angle adjust 25 - 32 degrees
Bottom bracket height 12" - 15" (305mm - 380mm)
Turning circle 18' (5.5m)
Rider weight limit 230lbs (104kg)
Max tyre width 47mm
Overall weight 32.33lbs (14.66kg)
Rider size range 37"- 48" (940mm - 1219mm)
Track width 27.5" (700mm)
Wheel base 48.5" (1232mm)
Ground clearance (ride height adjusted) 2.75" (69.85mm)
Wheels & Tyres
Rear rim Alex DA22 Aero White
Rear hub Chosen 36 hole lightweight disc compatible hub with 4 sealed cartridge bearings & alloy freehub body, White . Red hollow quick release axle
Front rims Alex DA16 Aero White
Front hubs ICE W26 Pro disc with sealed cartridge bearings, White
Spokes & nipples Stainless black double butted with red alloy nipples
Rear tyre Schwalbe Durano 700c (28x622)
Front tyres Schwalbe Durano 20" (28x406)
Seat Type
Seat type ICE Air-Pro GRP
Frame & Geometry
Frame ICE Optimised frame with 4130 Chromoly cruciform and 7005 series heat treated rear section and lightweight boom
Fold None
Steering
Trackrod ends Igus Long Life
Headsets FSA Orbit-X A-head type
Handlebars ICE Custom Lightweight One-piece
Stem ICE custom
Standard Fit Accessories
Flag ICE reflective 3 piece
Mirror Zefal Mirror and ICE mount
Accessory Mounts
Dynamo mount -
Rear disc parking brake mount standard
Rear V brake parking brake mount -
Rear rack mounts Yes
Bottle mounts Front boom + Frame + Seat X 2

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Total cost: $4,097.78

Includes UK VAT and delivery to dealer within the UK. Delivery to other markets is not included.

Santiago, here I come

By: Jaap Scheele - The Netherlands, 25 July 2013

Edition: Vortex
Good Points: The looks, the thrill of a descent, and of course it's speed
Bad Points: The way the mudguards look...
How do you ride? Commuting to work 2/week, and long distance cycle trip (Santiago)

Review:
I've bought the Vortex as an impuls after I had driven a trike during a bike show. Although it wasn't a Vortex I soon fall in love with the Vortex after I started my internet search to find the ultimate long distance race trike. And I've not been disappointed! Imidiatly after the purchase I took it for my first and major trip: from the Netherlands to Santiago de Compostella in Spain. I did more than 2600 km, including rough roads, a lot of serious climbing, and even quite some off road. And the Vortex just was great. Even uphill I was one of the faster. And downhill: nothing can compare or compete! What a thrill that gives. And of course: the enthusiastic reactions of other people on the looks of the Vortex making it even more special :)

This Recumbent Is My Lamborghini!!

By: Chuck Bernal - TX, 17 July 2013

Edition: Vortex
Good Points: Handling, weight, speed, looks very cool
Bad Points: Sometimes makes quirkty noises
How do you ride? Daily rides around our neighborhood and trails (about 20-25 miles daily)

Review:
Due to a spinal cord injury, I am not able to ride a regular 2 wheel bike. I starting riding recumbents about 15 months ago starting with a Sun EZ-3 USX HD - good for beginning but bulky and heavy (I called it my Chevy Malibu) a good workhorse recumbent but not great. I began to research recumbents and learned about the ICE Vortex and immediately wanted one. I found one used (a year old) and bought it. It is my Lamborghini! I love how it looks and handles. The ride is amazing and having it I was able to increase my daily cycling by 50%. Amazing!

Vortex+ The best gets better!

By: John Elliott - California, USA, 21 August 2012

Edition: Vortex+
Good Points: ICE Quality, Engineering, Support. Vortex performance!
Bad Points: Lack of adjustable steering positions.
How do you ride? Triathlon/Ironman competition, fast and long training rides.

Review:
I like a fast, highly maneuverable trike, and the Vortex is all about quality performance. The usual ICE exceptional attention to fit and finish is a given, including ample brazed on hard points for fenders, water bottles, etc. As with other ICE trikes, the engineering features are superb, and well coordinated for the purpose of this machine. To start with, it has a narrow track – something missing in the early vortex models, and the handling really benefits from this feature. It corners extremely well, and really gives you plenty of warning as you approach the tip limits found on every tadpole trike. The famously predictable ICE indirect steering just seems to keep getting better with each new model, and is at the top of the game on the Vortex +. The temptation is to test the limits on every corner. ICE sacrificed the folding capability for 2012, and kept a relatively long wheelbase. The trike is really not much longer than the 2011 (about 2-3cm by my measurements), but without the folding mechanism of the previous Vortex, it feels as if there is more structural rigidity in the corners. The Vortex+ actually looks longer than it is, possibly due to the reduced height and white paint. The cockpit biomechanics are going to be a matter of personal preference. The 2012 is lower, has a different seat with different padding, and does not have adjustable handlebars. The new seat is lighter than the 2011, even with the foam blocks used in place of the vented mesh material of last year. It is pretty comfortable, but the foam blocks are just a bit stiff until the rider gets used to the feel. The seat sits lower on the frame, and the front seat mount is carbon, molded into the seat. This requires that you follow the ICE directions for getting in and out of the trike, or risk damaging the seat. There are more seat angle positions available than on last years model. The lower position of the seat has prompted ICE to use a second pulley on the power side of the chain at the rear, and a short chain tube at the rear return side (Removable for those who hate chain tubes! No problems during the first 300 miles of fast riding without the rear chain tube). This rear pulley arrangement is to eliminate chain slap of the seat in certain gears. The pulleys – front and rear – are considerably oversized, as ICE testing determined the larger diameter pulleys had less performance loss than last years standard size. This rear pulley does, however, somewhat limit the ability to add a fabric storage bag under the seat. This is offset by the molded in hip ‘wings’on the seat, which have pre-drilled holes and mounting flats for bottle cages. These areas also look to be usable space for adding small nylon bags. The exceptional handling is also aided by the new lower center of gravity, which does have a minor disadvantage: The ICE bottom brackets have usually been a bit lower than other brands, aiding comfort to the feet during extended rides. On the Vortex+, the lower height combined with the lower bottom bracket makes for very close tolerances between heel and road. Minor heel scuffing is likely to occur under some conditions until the rider adapts to the trike. This fortunately hasn’t taken too long, but some riders with a shorter boom extension and larger feet may have more of a learning curve. On the road, the Vortex plus readily demonstrates how all these performance features come together. This trike accelerates and climbs noticeably faster than the 2011 model. In fact, the gearing feels lower than it actually is on steep hills. The wheelbase selection ensures a very stable trike on fast descents: Even 40+mph descents feel very controlled. The handling is superb, and the seating should be good for a majority of rider preferences. It is a fun and fast riding experience. So what are the downsides? Aside from the minor issues on seating and rare heel strike described above, (and the lack of folding, which might be a problem for some), there are a couple of weight saving issues that I would have been happy to do without. The first is the elimination of a cable housing on the front derailleur. This does save weight, but also complicates boom adjustments. This is a relatively minor complaint, and seldom presents a problem unless the boom is adjusted frequently for different riders. More serious, in my opinion, is that the adjustable steering position feature was eliminated. Although it is undeniably heavier than the elegant integrated stem/bars of the Vortex +, the 2011 adjustable steering allowed for perfect arm reach selection regardless of seat position. On the current model, however, changing the seat angle will change the reach, and some positions are enough of a stretch that a metric century ride can be uncomfortable for my shoulders. This will vary for riders with different arm lengths and seating preferences, however, and may not be a problem for other riders. Quibbles aside, this is rapidly becoming my favorite trike. It may not be suitable for self-supported touring or dirt trail rides, but when it comes to speed, cornering, and stability, this is the trike that sets the benchmark.

2011 Vortex +

By: Chris Kanash - Canada / Alberta, 18 August 2012

Edition: Vortex+
Good Points: Build quality, Ride, Comfort.
Bad Points: Rear derailer fine tuning.
How do you ride? Some evenings about 3 hours per.

Review:
I have been doing research on trikes for many years and ICE does have the best that I have seen. I have had back issues since I was in a car accident in 2000 and this trike has enabled me to get back to riding again. I never experience any pain even with no suspension. I can ride for three hours and my legs might be a little sore but thats it. On my trike I have most of the accessories available. I might eventually go with a Rohloff hub or similar type. BTW anyone who tries my trike, wants one. Pricy but I think it's worth it. I ordered it with the mesh and hard seat. I need to get the easy release clips for the hard seat so I can use it. One last thing, if you like to go fast then this is the trike. Larger back wheel and easily cruises at 40k.

Quality trike

By: John Snook - UK, 17 August 2012

Edition: Vortex+
Good Points: Service, shipping, packaging, manuals, ride
Bad Points: Cant think of one yet
How do you ride? Fast road / touring

Review:
I received my trike today in its sturdy packaging and had it assembled within 2 hours. With the comprehensive instructions, the assembly process was very straightforward. I took it for a short test ride and was immediately impressed by the responsiveness and handling of the machine, it's FAAASST and corners like its on rails! It certainly turned a few heads and put the 'recumbent grin' back on my face after an absence of several years. Interestingly the rush-hour had started and i didnt feel at all intimidated by traffic given the low profile of the trike, in fact cars and trucks gave me significantly more room than when i'm on my upright. I have to say that the ICE staff were very patient, friendly, professional and in all a pleasure to deal with. I'll post a fuller performance review shortly. Big thanks to all at ICE.

Love it! Her name is Candy. :)

By: Lanier Meeks - USA, Georgia, 13 August 2012

Edition: Vortex
Good Points: Weight, seat fit, handling, speed
Bad Points: Front deralier - Micro shift (tried two of them) would not dial in
How do you ride? Paved roads

Review:
Received the Vortex on 3 July. Its not the + model, but I did get the carbon seat. Wise move as it fits me like a glove. Upon arrival, I could not get the front derailer to shift to the large chain ring without overthrowing. Many phone calls and emails to Utahtrikes (the business I ordered from here in the states), they were baffled. They even sent me a replacement micro shift, but it performed the same. Finally, I sent ICE an email. After communication for a few days, a different derailer was on it's way. Once the part arrived it was installed, and has worked flawlessly. My previous trike was the Terratrike Rover with a metropolis crank and a Nuvinci n360; rode it for one year ~3700 miles. Let's just say it was like going from a pickup truck to sports car when switching to the Vortex. Way more fun, especially on windy days. Not nearly as fatiguing.Fast, fun, comfortable trike with very sexy lines; top of line customer support! What's not to like? Get one now!

Vortex 2

By: Simon Holmgaard - Denmark, 24 July 2012

Edition: Vortex
Good Points: C700 rear wheel, fast slick looking bike.
Bad Points: rack
How do you ride? Fast travel light

Review:
Replaced my Trice Q. Added a super minimalistic rack made from a front carrier, capable of carrying small front bags. Changed the gearing: Q-Rings and 11-23 casette. Replaced chain tubes with terracycle idlers. I enjoy the folding capability.

2012 Vortex+

By: Steven Hess - USA/ Maryland, 23 July 2012

Edition: Vortex+
Good Points: quick acceleration, great handling
Bad Points: are there?
How do you ride? Pleasure, Exercise

Review:
WOW! That's all I have to say. This is a comparison of the 2012 V+ with my 2011 Vortex. The trike is light! When I lift them both the '11 Vortex is noticeably heavier in the front. I was concerned that climbing ability would be harder with the V+.'11 Vortex (10 speed gear) 18-127.6GI '12V+ 25.5-122.7GI Here's the funny part: with the '11 Vortex I have to be in granny or 2nd gear to climb the same hills. I didn't feel any extra effort with the V+ on those hills even though I was 6-7GI higher. WEIGHT DOES MATTER. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Speeds. I've done 29.5mph sustained for 2 miles on flats and have hit low 40's on many hills. Just don't have anything big enough and long enough here in MD. Average speed for most rides 14 to 16mph a solid 3mph faster than the '11 Vortex. You don't want anyone to see you riding slowly on a V+. It wants to go go fast. Did I say it feels light? Handling: I've had to do a few "panic" maneuvers and the V+ never even hesitated to do what I wanted it too. At moderate speeds it would throw you off the seat if it weren't for the bucket. It turns HARD, PRECISE, and SURE. End of story. Ride Comfort: Bumps-You feel them. I felt them on the '11 Vortex as well. Hurt? No. I have yet to hit a bump hard enough to cause me pain or discomfort after the ride. The seat feels firmer than the '11 Vortex but it feels fine to me. It felt a bit warmer on the back as well and today was mild temperature wise. I seem to prefer the hardshell to mesh. Mesh is comfortable, but I like to sit on the seat rather than in the seat. Miscellaneous: Gear shifts quick and crisp. More chain noise. Not sure if it's the chain/cassette or chain/idler, but it is more noticeable on the V+. Reminds you that you are riding a Ferrari. Handlebars fit me very well and if you are 5'9" to 6'2" range I think you will find it suitable as well. In conclusion, I like it, I like it, I like it! Did I say I like it?

Vortex handling

By: John Elliott - California, USA, 23 September 2011

Edition: Vortex (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: Build Quality, ICE reputation for engineering and reliability/service
Bad Points: Track is a bit too wide for my tastes
How do you ride? competition, long and hilly training rides.

Review:
I own a custom built 2010 Vortex with hard shell seat, and a 2006 QNT re-built as a narrow track Vortex via addition of a Vortex rear sub-frame and steering arms, while retaining the stock mesh seat. As a challenged athlete, I use these trikes for 100-150 miles a week of training rides to prepare for the cycling stages of Triathlon and half ironman events, and for an occasional criterium. These trikes are each set up for weight savings and maximum performance, and have helped me to a number of leader board finishes. Yet each of these ICE trikes, even highly modified, is still a very nice day touring machine for 50-100 mile rides! This is probably at least partially because the ICE combination of a premium chrome molly alloy main frame with 7000 series aluminum booms offers the best of both worlds, comfort and stiffness. The Vortex can be ordered in a variety of wheel sizes: I picked a 700c wheel for each trike for a number of reasons. A 20 inch wheel accelerates more quickly than the larger wheel, and allows lower gearing. But, the 700c wheel climbs faster/more easily, and is less effort to keep up to speed. The advent of 36 and 38 tooth cassettes eliminated my need for a 20” wheel, so both trikes were built with the larger rear wheels. Likewise, a variety of gearing options can be used on the Vortex: Both of my trikes are set up in fairly similar manner - 3x10 drive trains, with triple Rotor Q rings in front, and SRAM 10 speed cassettes in back. The QNT/700c is geared for technical courses with steeper hills and/or tight curves/short straights - 16-105 gear inches. The Vortex is for faster courses with less extreme hills - 22-120 GI). They each have Velocity Aeroheat front rims (Ti spokes on the QNT, C-Xray on the Vortex), and folding Stelvios on the fronts. They each use a 24 spoke 700c American Classic 420 Aero rear wheel with Conti 4000s tire for racing, or Ultremo DD for training. The shifters are SRAM bar-end, and the brakes are BB7 disks with Extralite levers on the Vortex and SRAM magnesium levers on the QNT. The QNT is noticeably heavier than the sub-30 pound Vortex, mostly because of the much heavier mesh seat, and older steering system. Carbon or mesh seats are available, and I use a mesh on the QNT, carbon on the Vortex. To get the QNT mesh seat to fit with the Vortex sub frame, the seat ends up with less maximum recline angle than the hardshell Vortex, but is still on the 'most reclined' notch on the rear seat mount. The Vortex is using the Velokraft ultralight carbon seat, and is also on the 'most reclined' notch. Both seats are at angles that fall within my comfort zone for all day rides. The mesh seat trike is somewhat more comfortable after mile 50, but the carbon seat is not a problem at all. The Vortex carbon seat is more reclined, but feels higher off the trike (it isn't) than the mesh seat QNT. It feels more like you are 'on' the trike, while the QNT feels like you are 'in' - partially due to the more compact geometry of the cockpit from the narrow track width. The fame bars of the mesh seat does provide much easier means for attaching bags and accessories compared to the carbon seat. The rear boom length adjustment on the trikes is different to accommodate the different seats - the QNT is about 6 inches shorter than the Vortex. Combined with the 2" more narrow track on the QNT, the differences in handling are notable. The Vortex is a very fast machine, and races very well, but while the Delrin steering feels more precise and quick than the older style QNT rod end ball joints, the cornering doesn’t feel as fast as the QNT/700. It corners very well, but doesn't feel as nimble and 'toss able' as the QNT. Again, either of these trikes is sufficiently well mannered and predictable to be used for commuting or day tours in addition to racing. With my choice of large rear wheels, the only negative I have noticed is that the rear of both trikes will slide slightly on extreme hard and unbanked turns - 15mph right turns at residential intersections would be an example. More so on the QNT than the Vortex, but there is no hint of fishtailing, just a sound as the rear tire moves sideways to keep up with the steering angle. This was not a problem with a 20" rear wheel, but a 700/23 tire just can't grip like a 1.35" Kojak 20" tire. Despite my expectations from watching other trikes with 700c wheels, these rear rims don't distort - a cyclist videotaping during a criterium showed me in an extreme unbanked corner, and there was no indication of rim distortion with the American Classic 420 wheels! The QNT with a 700c wheel in back did not become any more prone to tipping than before the change, and while it is possible to get it on 2 wheels, it retains the same reluctance to tip and ease of correction as it did with the smaller wheels. The Vortex with a 2" wider track has even less penchant for tipping, but at the price of somewhat less sporty handling feel. The Vortex is offered as a fast trike, and mine are further modified for racing at different types of events. And each meets their purpose while being fun and confidence inspiring. But the wheelbase and track differences radically impact the handling characteristics between the two trikes. If I could only have one trike from any manufacturer, I would favor the creation of a narrow track carbon seat Vortex, with slightly more reclined seating, a shorter wheelbase, and would keep two rear wheels with gearing for different conditions, and a mesh seat to use for Century level events.

Great trike

By: ray forsyth - oregon, usa, 22 September 2011

Edition: Vortex (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: many
Bad Points: seat
How do you ride? Very fast recreational

Review:
Well , after having my vortex 2 for 1 year I feel I can give a very objective opinion . After my firat ride I decided that someting had to be done to improve the seat comfort . There is not enough cushion to ride on many of our roads which have been re-covered with what we call " chipseal" . This is a coating to make roads last longer bult involvesa later of rocks and oil . I took the seat cushion apart and inserted the foam padfrom my volae seat , plus wedged of foam in the bottom and top for a cushion of approx. 4 inches . great ride now! I took off the side panels on the seat as they just get in the way for moving to the sides on fast cornering. After 5 months I decide to upgrade and lighten the trike .I took off all the tubing , except for a foot long piece to prevent it from hitting the carbon seat .Then I put on a 10 speed kmc sl gold-ti chain to lose a whole pound! Also put sramk 10speed bar ends on for shifters . Ido not like twist grip shifters .Next step I put on a10 speed rear derailleur wit a cassette of 11-23 for gears . On the front I have a 24-42-58 as we have many mtns and flats for all types of speeds. WhenI would wnt to sprint or needed lots of power I tended to pull on the bars . So I put the bars at my optmum angle , drilled small holes and put pins in to lock the bars in place . I also shortened the heighth of the bars by an inch and a half . I have been using conti tires on the front . The narrowest and inflate to 115 lbs .On the rear I have had a conti gatorskin 23 fo all of the 5,000 miles I have put on the trike I have loved the windscreen I put onright from the start , especially on cold winter rides I,m a little dissapointed that 51 mph seems the fastes i can go , I know it seems that I made a lot of changes , but that is what I have done on every bike I have ever owned I think it has been the best deciscion I could have made and ai highly recomend it.I would like to maybe put 451 20 inch tires on it for more speed ,but that is in the future.

Vortex FS

By: Steve Mott - United Kingdom, 07 April 2011

Edition: Vortex (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: Everything
Bad Points: Schwalbe Kojak tyres
How do you ride? Long country rides but I tend to hammer it.

Review:
ICE Vortex Review. I've ridden a Windcheetah recumbent trike for some years. Unfortunately they no longer make spare parts for it so I was looking for a replacement. I love riding it so knew it would be a hard act to follow. I looked at all the manufacturers I could find. I narrowed it down to the ICE Vortex. I didn't want to buy one without having ridden it first. I went and spent the day at their factory in Cornwall. They could not have been more helpful. I packed all my gear before I drove down but discovered I'd left my shoes behind. They asked around all of their staff and found someone with the same size feet as me who lent me their shoes for the day. I tried the Vortex 700C, 20 inch, and 20 inch full suspension. I ended up choosing the 20 inch full suspension. I had expected to prefer the 700C but the 20 inch was noticeably sharper and tighter when cornering at speed. I had expected the suspension to feel heavy and to slightly deaden road response but it didn't. The feel is very light with only a slight weight penalty. I have now done about 300 miles on it so can give a more informed opinion of what it's like to own and ride one. It is a machine of great aesthetic beauty. In black with red detailing it looks superb. But it's not just a piece of bike porn. Ride. The ride is very comfortable. After four hours in the saddle no feelings of numbness or tingling. The mesh seat pad looks hard but actually has just the right amount of give. I haven't ridden it in the hot weather yet but I can't imagine sweating being a problem. The shape is great around your hips and lower back. If you want to brace yourself and really power on the pedals you can. There are small wings that come out of the seat just above your hips. They hold you snugly in place and are fully adjustable. Gives you great confidence in really leaning into the corners. Also included with it is a sheet of self adhesive foam padding that you can cut to suit your individual shape. Drivetrain. You can choose the spec from the different options on their website or they will help you choose your own tailor-made set up. I went for XTR front and rear mechs with a 9-32 cassette. On the front I chose a Truvativ Firex 48-36-26. Where I live there are a lot of hills so I wanted low gearing. Having said that at the top end I've only spun out at over 30 mph. Suspension. I wasn't sure how the suspension would behave if I took it to the limit. I regularly ride from Camberwell to London Bridge. This has to be worst bit of tarmac I know of anywhere. It's like somebody took big bites out of it and spat lumps out back on the road. I found that I could just cycle straight through it and ignore the holes. It took them all in its stride. One of my favourite runs is a long sweeping downhill into Dulwich. Some years ago they put speed bumps in which used to slow me down. I rode straight at them on the vortex at over 30 mph. Leaving the ground after each bump with the suspension just taking it all was exhilarating. Both front and rear are elastomer. Depending on how much you weigh and how soft or hard you want the ride to be you can fit different elastomers. Steering. The steering took a bit of getting used to after having ridden the Windcheetah with joystick steering for years. After a few miles I settled in and found to be very light and responsive and totally accurate. You can easily steer with one hand even at speed. This leaves the other hand free for having a drink, eating a sandwich, or waving at bemused bystanders who have never seen anything like you before. The handlebars are also both individually adjustable for width and rake. Brakes. The brakes are Tektro Auriga Pro. This is the first time I've had hydraulic brakes and although it said on the assembly instructions that they were easy to fit I didn't find it that easy. Theoretically you just squeeze the lever hard to centre them. I had to fiddle with them a bit to get them not to rub. Having got them set up they are excellent. Modulation is good and they have awesome stopping power. Braking hard doesn't affect the steering at all and there is no noticeable nose dive. Accessories. All of the accessories are well thought out and designed. The front mudguards easily removed with one allen key so you can easily take them on and off according to the weather. Small details like the central computer mount and front light bracket are well thought out with good attention to detail. I also got the chainring guard. Easy to fit and saves the rings from accidentally getting knocked or the inside of the car getting accidentally ripped by the rings. Folding. Folding it is very simple. A couple of screws under the front of the seat and one quick release at the back takes it off. Then all you have to do is undo the two quick releases and swing the handlebars flat. Undo the the quick release for the main hinge and slide it sideways. It is spring-loaded so in its normal position works as a safety lever stopping the frame accidentally folding up on itself in motion if the quick release becomes accidentally undone. The rear wheel folds between the front two. I hadn't ridden a folder before and expected there to be some flexing but there isn't. It feels rock solid. The only things I have changed are the tyres. It came fitted with Schwalbe Kojaks all round. After 300 miles the right front was worn down to the cloth and the left wasn't far behind. The rear is wearing fine. I've previously used 20 inch Schwalbe Duranos. They were brought out as a replacement for the old Stelvios which were super fast. The Durano is still fast but it is also virtually indestructible. The profile is narrower than the Kojak and has a higher psi; 115 compared to 95. With the full suspension I run them as hard as rocks with no jarring. This reduces rolling resistance and adds speed. The tyres are now faster than I am so I need to get fitter and catch up. I'm delighted that I bought it. I have a problem with my right arm which is unlikely to get any better so I will be riding a trike until I’m old and wrinkled. I'm very happy to ride this particular one.

Vortex FS

By: Steve Mott - United Kingdom, 07 April 2011

Edition: Vortex (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: Everything
Bad Points: Schwalbe Kojak tyres
How do you ride? Long country rides but I tend to hammer it.

Review:
ICE Vortex Review. I've ridden a Windcheetah recumbent trike for some years. Unfortunately they no longer make spare parts for it so I was looking for a replacement. I love riding it so knew it would be a hard act to follow. I looked at all the manufacturers I could find. I narrowed it down to the ICE Vortex. I didn't want to buy one without having ridden it first. I went and spent the day at their factory in Cornwall. They could not have been more helpful. I packed all my gear before I drove down but discovered I'd left my shoes behind. They asked around all of their staff and found someone with the same size feet as me who lent me their shoes for the day. I tried the Vortex 700C, 20 inch, and 20 inch full suspension. I ended up choosing the 20 inch full suspension. I had expected to prefer the 700C but the 20 inch was noticeably sharper and tighter when cornering at speed. I had expected the suspension to feel heavy and to slightly deaden road response but it didn't. The feel is very light with only a slight weight penalty. I have now done about 300 miles on it so can give a more informed opinion of what it's like to own and ride one. It is a machine of great aesthetic beauty. In black with red detailing it looks superb. But it's not just a piece of bike porn. Ride. The ride is very comfortable. After four hours in the saddle no feelings of numbness or tingling. The mesh seat pad looks hard but actually has just the right amount of give. I haven't ridden it in the hot weather yet but I can't imagine sweating being a problem. The shape is great around your hips and lower back. If you want to brace yourself and really power on the pedals you can. There are small wings that come out of the seat just above your hips. They hold you snugly in place and are fully adjustable. Gives you great confidence in really leaning into the corners. Also included with it is a sheet of self adhesive foam padding that you can cut to suit your individual shape. Drivetrain. You can choose the spec from the different options on their website or they will help you choose your own tailor-made set up. I went for XTR front and rear mechs with a 9-32 cassette. On the front I chose a Truvativ Firex 48-36-26. Where I live there are a lot of hills so I wanted low gearing. Having said that at the top end I've only spun out at over 30 mph. Suspension. I wasn't sure how the suspension would behave if I took it to the limit. I regularly ride from Camberwell to London Bridge. This has to be worst bit of tarmac I know of anywhere. It's like somebody took big bites out of it and spat lumps out back on the road. I found that I could just cycle straight through it and ignore the holes. It took them all in its stride. One of my favourite runs is a long sweeping downhill into Dulwich. Some years ago they put speed bumps in which used to slow me down. I rode straight at them on the vortex at over 30 mph. Leaving the ground after each bump with the suspension just taking it all was exhilarating. Both front and rear are elastomer. Depending on how much you weigh and how soft or hard you want the ride to be you can fit different elastomers. Steering. The steering took a bit of getting used to after having ridden the Windcheetah with joystick steering for years. After a few miles I settled in and found to be very light and responsive and totally accurate. You can easily steer with one hand even at speed. This leaves the other hand free for having a drink, eating a sandwich, or waving at bemused bystanders who have never seen anything like you before. The handlebars are also both individually adjustable for width and rake. Brakes. The brakes are Tektro Auriga Pro. This is the first time I've had hydraulic brakes and although it said on the assembly instructions that they were easy to fit I didn't find it that easy. Theoretically you just squeeze the lever hard to centre them. I had to fiddle with them a bit to get them not to rub. Having got them set up they are excellent. Modulation is good and they have awesome stopping power. Braking hard doesn't affect the steering at all and there is no noticeable nose dive. Accessories. All of the accessories are well thought out and designed. The front mudguards easily removed with one allen key so you can easily take them on and off according to the weather. Small details like the central computer mount and front light bracket are well thought out with good attention to detail. I also got the chainring guard. Easy to fit and saves the rings from accidentally getting knocked or the inside of the car getting accidentally ripped by the rings. Folding. Folding it is very simple. A couple of screws under the front of the seat and one quick release at the back takes it off. Then all you have to do is undo the two quick releases and swing the handlebars flat. Undo the the quick release for the main hinge and slide it sideways. It is spring-loaded so in its normal position works as a safety lever stopping the frame accidentally folding up on itself in motion if the quick release becomes accidentally undone. The rear wheel folds between the front two. I hadn't ridden a folder before and expected there to be some flexing but there isn't. It feels rock solid. The only things I have changed are the tyres. It came fitted with Schwalbe Kojaks all round. After 300 miles the right front was worn down to the cloth and the left wasn't far behind. The rear is wearing fine. I've previously used 20 inch Schwalbe Duranos. They were brought out as a replacement for the old Stelvios which were super fast. The Durano is still fast but it is also virtually indestructible. The profile is narrower than the Kojak and has a higher psi; 115 compared to 95. With the full suspension I run them as hard as rocks with no jarring. This reduces rolling resistance and adds speed. The tyres are now faster than I am so I need to get fitter and catch up. I'm delighted that I bought it. I have a problem with my right arm which is unlikely to get any better so I will be riding a trike until I’m old and wrinkled. I'm very happy to ride this particular one.

Replaced my road bike

By: David Coode - Canada, 30 September 2010

Edition: Vortex+ (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: Comfort, Speed
Bad Points: I wouldn't feel comfortable locking it up outside
How do you ride? 10km each way commute to work

Review:
I used to be a serious rower, and later I got into road cycling with a local club. When my road bike had one too many miles on it, I took a leap of faith and replaced it with a trike. I didn't find joy in the rides on the road bike - it was great exercise but just not comfortable. After extensive research before buying and now having used the Vortex all summer I am sure I chose the right one for me. I wanted something that could satisfy my need for speed, something reliable and comfortable. The only discomfort I get is muscle fatigue if my recumbent muscles aren't in shape, but it all goes away with more riding. I used to commute on an upright, but it is sooooo much nicer to slide the change of clothes, towel and laptop into the radical bags (I got the small ones) than to mule them on my back. And I think now that I am used to it, I am faster with it than on my road bike. I notice grade so much more than on an upright, but I think it's just because I go faster on the downs and flats that I notice the contrast to a more normal speed on the uphill. I find that so long as my tires are in the 80-90psi range, I can comfortably cruise at 35-37km/h on the flats and usually exceed 50km/h on the downhills on my daily commute. As a reference, I would estimate my average 32-34km/h for the same route on a carbon road bike. I also get a lot more "cool" than "weird" comments from friends than I expected. I do notice some boom flex when I'm riding hard, but I'm happy there is some forgiveness in the frame to keep the ride comfortable - I compare it to a tight sports car: you feel the road, in a good way. To top it all off, the folks at ICE have been outstanding throughout the sales process and in post-sales support. A+ all the way.

My Vortex

By: Elita Baldridge - USA, 25 August 2010

Edition: Vortex (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: Many
Bad Points: Few
How do you ride? Car free/light: commuting, pleasure rides, errands

Review:
I had never owned a recumbent trike before, or actually a decent bike of any kind. However, I because as a biology graduate student, I know that riding more and driving less is good for both me and the environment, I decided to look for the perfect vehicle for all around human powered transportation, and found it in the ICE Vortex. I did not have the opportunity to try it out before I bought it, but jumped in with both feet, based on the number of positive reviews of the previous ICE models. The instructions were easy to follow, although it still took me all day to assemble the trike. I purchased it with Radical bags, bar end shifters, fenders, chainguard, headrest, lights, and quick release kit. I ended up removing the rear fender, because I could never get the thing adjusted so it wasn't trying to twist on me, and I also removed the front chainguard, as it seemed a little bulky, and kept shifting position slightly. The Vortex is a dream to ride, and I have been on long rides (over 60 miles) without having numbness in the posterior, hands, or feet. It behaves very well when fully laden, and you can stuff quite a lot of groceries into the Radical bags. A well designed, sturdy machine, fun to ride, and responsive without feeling twitchy.

An excellent trike

By: David Palfrey - UK, 15 June 2010

Edition: Vortex+ (Vortex 2010 model)
Good Points: Everything except the bad point
Bad Points: It took a lot longer to put together then the 1 hour suggested
How do you ride? Commuting about 100 miles/week

Review:
This is a replacement for a Windcheetah which I had for nearly 10 years. Overall, it's a lovely machine and I am very pleased with it. Putting the machine together out of the box took a lot longer than the instructions suggested - but perhaps I was just being slow (or fussy!). The fiddliest bit was setting the spacing washers for the disk brakes, where I ended up using some extra washers in addition to the ones supplied. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, including most of the accessories, although the bracket for the computer sensor took some head scratching... I didn't go for the head rest, and used a rear reflector bracket in that position to hold the rear reflector above the height of the back wheel, as well as a hook on which to hang the bracket for the radical pannier bags. I also used a piece of dowelling as a bracket for a back light, bolted to one of the off-side holes that would be used to mount the flag holder. Once the trike was on the road, it was a pleasure to ride right from the start. At first, I think I wasn't pedaling evenly, as the chain tended to bounce and cause the chain tube to hit the frame or rear mudguard. A few hundred miles later, that has pretty much disappeared. I extended the boom by about 1cm without adjusting the chain, and I had to tweak the rear gear mechanism for bottom gear, but overall the gears are working very smoothly. The rear view mirror is a really nice addition, and very reassuring. The brakes are light to use, but very effective. I haven't bothered to fit the "love handles" to the sides of the seat, but the riding position is comfortable and very effective, and I am quite happy leaning round fast corners. The steering is light and very precise, and gives me a lot of confidence. So far I have only broken the speed limit once (downhill from SU840884). Has to be done! A great trike and a lot of fun.

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