Monthly Archives: October 2014

ARE YOU SUSPENDED?


fully suspended

Are you suspended? Of course, I am not talking about the kind of suspension shown here nor am I referring to your driver’s license. I am talking about tadpole trike suspension. We do have a choice … no suspension whatsoever, rear suspension only or full suspension (front and rear). For some people having suspension is a must. For others like myself it is not a concern. In fact, I truthfully can’t understand the issue as for me riding a non suspension trike is quite comfortable and I have no desire for suspension. That being said, I am not naive enough to believe what I think about it all matters all that much to most people.

Like most things there are various designs involved in the offering of suspension on tadpole trikes. Some are rather basic while others are complex. Some use plastic elastomers while others use automotive type shock absorbers. Some use springs. Some shock absorbers use a combination of an external spring and hydraulic oil dampening. Some are homemade designs. Here are some examples: (Remember – you can click on these images to view them in their own window and most will be larger for more detail. To return to this page just use your browser’s back button.)

Catrike Road rear suspension only

Catrike Road rear suspension

ICE Adventure rear suspension

ICE Adventure rear suspension

ICE front suspension

ICE front suspension

Here is a video illustrating and explaining how the ICE front suspension works.

complex front suspension

complex front suspension with shocks

HP Velotecknik Scorpion fs26 front suspension

HP Velotecknik Scorpion fs26 front suspension

HP Velotecknik Scorpion Enduro fs front suspension

Hp Velotechnik Scorpion Fs Enduro front supsension

HP Velotecknik Scorpion Enduro fs rear suspension

HP Velotecknik Scorpion fs Enduro rear suspension

homemade front suspension

homemade front suspension

another homemade front suspension

homemade front suspension 2

Some designs work better than others and provide a better ride. Some no doubt will be more troublesome than others as well as noisier. I did not mention seat suspension as it is not common nor very practical. Allowing the seat to move around while riding means that the rider will be moving around and when the rider moves around efficiency is lost in pedaling.

Obviously incorporating suspension into the design and build of a tadpole trike costs additional money. And full suspension costs more than rear suspension only.  Well, like ol’ Forest Gump … “that’s all I’ve got to say about that”. So whether you ride a trike with or without suspension hopefully you will enjoy the ride and we can all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

HEEL SLINGS VS. SPD SHOES & PEDALS


Leg Suck” is a serious matter and concern as it can result is a very bad and painful injury … one which could cripple you for life and cause considerable pain and suffering … a horrific ordeal to go thru. To prevent this from happening it is highly recommended that a rider of a tadpole trike use some means of keeping their feet on the pedals. SPD shoes and pedals are probably the most common means, but there are also others. I currently use SPD sandals and pedals, but I am seriously thinking about getting heel slings to use and get away from the SPD. I don’t like having my feet locked into the pedals. I don’t feel safe with this going on. Should I upset or have a wreck I want my feet to come free readily.

I also like the idea of being able to wear whatever footwear I choose to including boots in the winter time.

One man has come up with a design which he sells. HERE is a link to his website. His name is John Lawrence. Here are some pictures of what he offers …

heel straps 2

A pad is available for the slings for comfort when wearing sandals.

Heel Slings With Heel Pads

Here is an excerpt from his webpage:

“Do you want to keep your feet on the pedals, add power/speed, reduce your fatigue and do so without spending a bundle on clipless pedals and shoes? Well, Heel Slings are what you want.

This simple yet ingenious design allows you to:

– Ride with regular athletic shoes (or sandals if you prefer).

– Pull on the approaching pedal* using your calf muscle (not your shin muscle, like clipless pedals) for less fatigue and more power.

– Eliminates the need to push on the approaching pedal to maintain foot contact which decreases pedaling efficiency.

– Ride safer because it helps keep your feet on the pedals and not under the trike. Large reflectors on the Heel Sling platforms add visibility. Rapidly moving pedal reflectors are VERY visible!

– Quickly and easily lift your feet off the pedals without twisting or turning your foot to disengage the clipless pedal latch.

– Reposition your feet while pedaling for increased comfort. Try that with clipless pedals!

* point your toe slightly and pull with your heel.”

John writes that he will work with those with special needs which is very good of him. I am impressed with his website and what he shares on it.

I take issue with the part about using heel slings to pull back on the pedals like a rider can do with SPD shoes and pedals. Using heel slings to try to do this is extremely impractical since your feet come off of the pedals when pulling back on the heel straps.

Using heel slings could not be any easier or faster …

There are, as I mentioned, other types of devices to accomplish the same thing although I personally would not care for them. They tend to lock your foot in again and are more time consuming and troublesome to use than the simplicity of the heel slings. Also some of them are monstrous sized which doesn’t appeal to me. Here are a couple of examples of other ways to keep your feet from going down onto the pavement:

I reckon’ this one above would be okay for someone who needed them as she discussed in the beginning of the video.

I am sure there are those who don’t object to using the toe strap type devices so if you are one of those by all means go for it. I just don’t like using them.

Having your leg and foot get ran over and pulled back in a position it was never intended to be in is not something anyone would want to experience. We all need to do something to prevent it from happening so we can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

LEG SUCK … IT’S NOT A PRETTY SIGHT


Just recently I saw it happen and it wasn’t a pretty sight. A friend I ride with was riding another friend’s tadpole trike … trying it out. He normally rides a diamond frame bicycle. He has been considering buying a tadpole trike so we are encouraging him to ride this one to get a “feel” of riding one and make sure he wants to pursue it. He has ridden with us for years and knows there are numerous advantages of riding a tadpole trike over a diamond frame bike. We have been hoping he would make the plunge so we are excited about him finally riding this trike as he considers it. Even though he was told about the danger of “leg suck” and was given a pair of SPD shoes to wear and use while riding this trike he chose not to wear them. While pedaling his right foot slipped off the pedal and down onto the pavement. The next thing he was, shall I say, “audibly announcing” that he was in trouble. I saw his leg and foot get bent back and contorted as they went under the crucifix of the trike and drug along the pavement. Fortunately for him he got stopped and nothing got broken nor was any skin damaged. It hurt for just a little bit, but it started feeling better as he kept riding and pedaling. Yes, he was fortunate. A few days have passed and now his ankle and foot is swollen, black and blue and hurts some again. This scenario has resulted in some very serious injuries for others.

Leg Suck, as it is called, can be a very dangerous thing. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“Although recumbent bicycles are generally considered safer than upright bicycles,they do have some specific safety issues. A type of injury characteristic of recumbents called “leg suck” occurs when a foot touches the ground and the bike runs forward over the contact point, causing ligament damage and, in some cases, ankle fractures. The use of clipless pedals reduces this possibility by preventing the foot from slipping off the pedal. But with clipless pedals, remaining clipped in during a front tire or wheel failure at high speeds can result in the recumbent rolling over the rider and taking a clipped in leg or legs with it. This scenario, although very rare, can create severe spiral fractures of the femur rarely seen with upright bicycles. ”

Quite frankly leg suck sucks! I have been most fortunate. I rode my trikes for years without the use of SPD shoes and even though my feet came off of the pedals a few times I never experienced them going down onto the pavement below. Years ago when I checked into SPD shoes I found them too costly. I have a wide foot so the regular width shoes won’t work for me and the extra wide shoes were very expensive at that time. Just a few months ago I learned of some that were quite reasonable in cost so I bought them and have been using them since. Certainly I do feel much safer using them. My only concern it having my feet locked onto the pedals and having an accident where the trike tips over and my feet remain on the pedals because I can’t get them loose (released).

SPD shoes and pedals

One thing I would point out is the boom height and position of one’s feet on the pedals as to their distance up off of the pavement. Certainly the higher the boom the more distance exists between the bottom of the shoe and the pavement. Most trikes have similar boom heights. Only a few are much higher and those that have high booms do appear quite unique. And I am pretty sure that many riders don’t care for riding in that position as for one reason or another they find it uncomfortable and objectionable. Of course, the larger (longer) one’s feet are the closer they will be to the pavement while positioned on the pedals.

Besides SPD shoes their are other options such as heel slings (straps) for the foot to sit in which keep the foot (shoe) from falling down onto the pavement. You can read the BentRider article HERE. I will be featuring these heel slings in my next posting on this blog.

heel straps 2 Heel Slings With Heel Pads

By the way, I tried to find a picture of this “leg suck” online to post here, but couldn’t find a thing. I then got the idea that I would ask my friend to do that again so I could get a picture of it. He declined to help me out on this. I am thinking … “what kind of a friend it this that won’t help out his friend when his friend asks for his help?” Seriously, I sure hope the next time he tries riding the trike he will be wearing the SPD shoes. I really don’t care to see a repeat of this. Leg Suck … it’s not a pretty sight. And we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

TADPOLE RIDER GROUP ON FACEBOOK


There is now a  group on Facebook exclusively for tadpole trike riders and those interested in tadpole trikes. It is currently open to the public.

Tadpole Rider Group on Facebook

There are already three groups I know of on Facebook for recumbent trike riders. Two are for both Delta and Tadpole trikes and the third is for Delta trikes only. So I thought I would start one for Tadpole Riders only since there isn’t one that I am aware of. Time will tell whether there is a niche for such a group.

NEW OR USED … THAT IS THE QUESTION


As with most any item one could name we have a choice of buying brand new or used. Tadpole trikes are no different in that regard. And as with many things there are pros and cons to both. Most products come with some sort of warranty, and again, tadpole trikes are no exception. Buying used, however, means that the purchaser won’t have a manufacturer warranty. As long as nothing major goes wrong that shouldn’t be much of a concern, but if something major were to go wrong like the frame breaking (and sometimes they do break) that would be an expensive out of pocket expense.

Prices for used trikes can be all over the place. Some people want top dollar (nearly new price) while others offer their trikes at a great price … a very good deal. I have seen trikes going at amazingly low prices. And many of the used trikes for sale are extremely low mileage and just like brand new. Sometimes the person selling the trike is a spouse or other family member who has the task of getting rid of the trike when something happens where the original owner/user no longer has need of it. Sometimes people selling under such circumstances don’t know (maybe don’t care about) the value and/or decide on a low price just to sell it quickly.

Another thing on the pro side of buying used is that the seller might have various accessories which they paid extra for which are included with the trike. The cost of accessories can add up quickly and surprise many people what they end up having invested in a trike. I bought my brand new 2009 Catrike Trail back in 2009, of course. The original list price was about $1750, but by the time I paid for the various accessories and upgrades I installed on it I had about $2500 in it.

Most sellers are probably pretty honest, but for sure if I were buying a used trike I would want to be very sure of what I am buying. I learned long ago in life not to just take the word of people. If you are not knowledgeable of tadpole trikes I would strongly suggest having the perspective used trike checked out by someone who is … preferably a skilled bike mechanic.

One word of caution … if you don’t know much about tadpole trikes be careful not to buy an “antique”, especially if it was a model that was not popular or safe. There are a few of them out there. As with anything it is a matter of “buyer beware” and you need to do your homework (research) learning about tadpole trikes if you don’t already know much about them. That is just common sense.

Nope, there is nothing wrong with buying new or buying used. Just be a wise shopper. And enjoy the trike. May we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU


Yes, if you aren’t careful this could happen to you. They say a picture (in this case a series of them) is worth a thousand words. So I will show the pictures and save myself a whole lot of typing …

ooops ... wipe out on trike 1

ooops ... wipe out on trike 2

ooops ... wipe out on trike 3

ooops ... wipe out on trike 5

ooops ... wipe out on trike 6

ooops ... wipe out on trike 7

ooops ... wipe out on trike 8

Ouch! If nothing else happened here there is definitely a bad case of road rash. You can tell by the expression on his face that something is hurting. All I can say is … “been there, done that … and not anxious to repeat it”. Preventing this from happening is a matter of either leaning in sufficiently or slowing down sufficiently or perhaps both. You can see in the first picture that the rider is leaning in, yet this wipeout still happened. I am not sure what happened. I don’t know if leaning in more would have prevented it or not. This can happen so very fast and there is nothing much one can do to prevent it once it starts. Sometimes all it takes is for a tire to go into something (such as a dip, depression or ripple in the pavement … or something sticking up above the pavement) as it is moving laterally and the tire will sort of grab and the trike can readily flip over. It could be a wet slick spot on the pavement that allows the tire to slide and then grab as it hits dry non slick pavement. On a bicycle this is extremely dangerous as the bike can be violently thrown down to the pavement when the tire suddenly grabs.

Keep in mind also that the higher off of the ground you sit the higher the center of gravity is. And this equates to the easier it is for the trike to tip over. Also if you have a trike which allows the seat to be adjusted to various locations including the seat back angle these adjustments change the handling characteristics.  Seats that can be adjusted forward and backwards are the most concern in this regard.

Tadpole trikes have their limits and so do we. Soooooo …. be careful out there! I am fairly sure that we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

TRANSPORTING A TADPOLE TRIKE


There are several different ways to transport a trike when all you have to use is a car. Here are some examples:

If your car trunk is large enough and if you have a folding trike that folds small enough AND IF YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH than you can go the route of lifting the trike in and out of the trunk. (That doesn’t appeal to me.) And as you can see in the picture below it is most likely damage would occur to the car interior as well as the trike. No way would I do this to a vehicle unless is was a “junker” I didn’t care about. (Yes, this is a picture of a SUV or van, not a car.)

folded ice adventure

greenspeed in trunk

If the vehicle happens to be one which will accommodate hauling a trike inside by putting it in backwards (and possibly having to lower or remove the seat or anything else which might be too high) you might have an easier time of hauling it than trying to put it in the trunk. Here is a TerraTrike inside a Camaro. A guy I know hauls a TerraTrike inside a new Toyota Prius 5. Again, if I were to do this I would want to be very certain nothing can and does go wrong resulting in messing up the car. That might mean placing cardboard or something in position to prevent contact with seats, etc.

trike in a camero

As you can see the dimensions of this cargo carrier  below would require a tadpole trike to be folded to fit on it. The ramp is hinged so once the trike would be loaded the ramp swings up and locks vertically. Of course, this requires a receiver type trailer hitch. These are noisy going down the road as they bounce around and rattle. A trike would definitely need to be fastened down or it would get tossed out.
cargo platform with ramp

This vertical haul is accomplished using a bike carrier. I would want to be sure the rear tire or any other part of the trike isn’t in contact with the exterior surface of the vehicle.

tadpole trike on conventional style bike carrier

And this horizontal haul also is using a bike carrier. I personally don’t care for this for two reasons … too difficult to lift trike up there and the trike would mess up the exterior of the vehicle unless caution and measures were taken to prevent it.

tadpole trike on conventional style bike carrier 2

This vertical haul uses a receiver type hitch and trike rack. I definitely much prefer this over the ones above where a trunk mounted bike rack are used.
tadpole trike vertical transport
tip down trike carrier

This I find most appealing of all the systems … a receiver type hitch with a trike carrier which tips down for loading and unloading. This would be the easiest to use. One could have a non tip down rack which is low to the ground making it easy to load and unload, but then if you were to drive certain places the rack could hit and drag on the ground. This tip down rack is fairly high off of the ground when brought back up to the hauling/traveling position. As long as I was able to lift the trike up onto the rack I would leave it up and not use the tip down feature when loading it. Perhaps I would leave it up to unload it too as it isn’t all that high of a lift.

tip down trike carrier 2

Some people transport their trikes with little more than straps to hold it down. They lift the trike up onto the trunk and roll it on up onto the roof. Some leave the end of the trike on the trunk or rear window while others put the entire trike up on the roof. Again, I don’t think much of this system … not if you have a vehicle you care about as this would really mess it up in time. Of course, if there is an air foil (spoiler) on the rear of the trunk to contend with it would complicate things. (Yeah, I know … this is a picture of a Delta trike and not a Tadpole trike.) If I were going to go this route I would either want another person to help get the trike safely up and down without damaging the car or trike. Otherwise I would want ramps to load it up onto the top. It would probably be best to have both. 🙂

trike transport roof & trunk lid

As thin as the metal in cars is I would be quite concerned about it getting dented in by having the trike sit on it like this.

trike rooftop carrier

Of course, one can make their own carriers/racks if they have the ability, equipment, facilities and materials. Here is an example of one:

homemade trike rack 2

homemade trike rack

I didn’t deal with the obvious … pick up trucks, vans, trailers, etc. Whatever means you use to haul a tadpole trike or if you always just ride it from home and don’t ever haul it … may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

TRIDENT ODYSSEY FOLDING TRIKE


Many of us have heard of the Edge e2 folding trike which is reported to fold up to about 45 % of the folded size of the new Catrike Trail Folder. Well, Trident is coming out with a full size model called the Odyssey which is reported to fold up even smaller than the Edge e2. At this point in time there doesn’t seem to be much information available on it online which surprises me since what I have read states that it is supposed to be available this Fall. What little I found online is on BentRider.com. HERE is a link to the article.

Trident Odyssey

Trident Odyssey Folded reduced

Trident Odyssey Folded rear view

I have not seen a price, weight, or much of anything in the way of information. If any of you have please share it so I can post it here. As you can see this trike has a hard shell seat, bar end shifters, Avid BB7 disc brakes, 18 inch wheels and it’s folded dimensions are 31 ½ x 20 ½” x 12 5/8” with wheels and seat on. That is really small! At first glance 18 inch wheels rather than 20 inch concern me as far as finding tires for it, but Schwalbe is reported to make a few of their popular tires (Marathon Racer, Marathon Plus, Kojaks AND Big Apples) in 18 inch. By the way, the Edge e2 has 16 inch tires. The BentRider article states that Trident plans on some changes from their prototype on the trike they end up manufacturing. I don’t know where things stand as far as production and availability but this looks interesting … especially for anyone who needs a trike that folds up small. One thing for sure … carrying a full size trike or two or three in a relative small car is something which would no doubt appeal to some folks (myself included).

I did hear from a man I know who test rode an Odyssey recently. He said that the steering was twitchy …  that is, it was overly sensitive to steering inputs when going straight ahead. He didn’t recommend it for that reason and said that only someone that absolutely has to have a trike which folds up quite small should consider the Odyssey. He further said that the Odyssey should be available soon. He is a trike dealer who sells Trident.

UPDATE: I just found out that Trident expects to have the Odyssey model available in late summer 2015. And they have made some changes from their prototype. I have no idea what the changes are.

With such trikes coming available it helps us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY — I WANT TO RIDE TODAY


 

rain radar

Yep, it’s raining! And that doesn’t equate to being a happy camper. We don’t need the rain at this time. There is rain in the forecast for the next 4 days. Of course, as always it is subject to change and often does. But right now it is raining and that means I am stuck here at home trying to come up with something to write about on this blog. I would much rather be out riding while the weather otherwise is ideal. Winter isn’t far off and that usually means that riding is curtailed considerably.

SDC10823

Last year we had such a severe winter (global warming ya’ know 🙂 ) that I brought my trike inside the living room and set it up on a trainer so I could ride it in the house. I enjoy watching good ol’ western (cowboy) movies (and other genre as well) on YouTube so what better way to watch them … pedaling and getting exercise burning calories vs. sitting in a recliner chair getting neither. Of course, I can also pedal along while watching a video of riding on a trail. Sitting right in front of a big screen TV hooked up to a computer which is connected to the internet easily affords me all sorts of options. With a video of trail riding playing it is like I am right there riding on the trail. That isn’t as neat as actually being there but, hey, it is still rather neat. I don’t know what the weather is going to do this winter. I much prefer to ride outside so I am hoping this winter will allow it. I don’t care to bring my trike in and then take it out so I can ride outside only to have to bring it back inside again. It is too much of a hassle to do so. I have to have my wife’s help and we have to turn the trike over sideways to get it thru the doorway and onto into the living room. (I have never understood why people who design houses seldom seem to take into consideration what is involved in getting items in and out of the house. They seem to build them in such a way that it makes this a whole lot more difficult than it should and could be.)

Speaking of rain and the fact that I am stuck inside trying to come up with something to write here … I am sure many of you have heard this joke before, but for those who haven’t I thought I would share it …

**********

A Russian couple was walking down the street in St. Petersburg the other night, when the man felt a drop hit his nose. “I think it’s raining,” he said to his wife.

“No, that felt more like snow to me,” she replied. “No, I’m sure it was just rain, he said.” Well, as these things go, they were about to have a major argument about whether it was raining or snowing. Just then they saw a minor communist party official walking toward them. “Let’s not fight about it,” the man said, “let’s ask Comrade Rudolph whether it’s officially raining or snowing.”

As the official approached, the man said, “Tell us, Comrade Rudolph, is it officially raining or snowing?”

“It’s raining, of course,” he answered and walked on. But the woman insisted: “I know that felt like snow!” To which the man quietly replied: “Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!”

**********

Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Hey, guess what! The rain is clearing out temporarily … long enough I could get a short ride in I think … soooooo … I will get out of here and give it a try. I hope we can all ….

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

SO JUST WHO ARE TRIKES FOR ANYWAY?


Many of us remember the cereal commercials … Trix are for kids … silly rabbit! Well some say that trikes are for kids, but I beg to differ. There are a whole lot more adults riding recumbent trikes than there are kids. Most certainly there are trikes which are obviously made for kids …

kid on trike adult on kid's trike

And there are trikes which are obviously made for adults …

adullt trike kid on adult tadpole trike

Ya’ gotta’ admit … some look a bit silly. Fortunately there are tadpole trikes made for kids and adults …

kid's trike and adult trike

kids on KMX tadpole trikes

And one thing about it … whether a kid is riding or an adult is riding … tadpole trikes are a blast to ride! Yes, trikes are for both kids and adults … but not for any silly rabbits. And I think most adults would admit that they help bring out the kid in us and keep us feeling younger than we are. May we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

DOES RIDING A TADPOLE TRIKE MEAN YOU ARE HANDICAPPED?


am sure I am not alone. More than once I have had people say or do something which clearly indicated they thought I have some sort of a physical handicap because I am riding on my tadpole trike. Most certainly there are people with varying physical problems that ride both tadpole trikes and delta trikes. These trikes are great for enabling such folks the ability to ride when they probably would not be able to otherwise on traditional bicycles or perhaps even tricycles. Just a few weeks ago I had a couple of road construction workers come running over to my aid when they thought I was in trouble. They thought I was handicapped and couldn’t get myself going. Even after I told them I was not and that I was okay they still seemed to continue to think that I needed help and acted as if they hadn’t even heard me. I have had people ask me if I was injured while serving in the military.  I have had to explain to them that the trike is simply a human powered vehicle like a bicycle.

People sometimes tend to think improperly about things they are not familiar with and don’t understand anything about. I guess I can understand that even though when this happens it is almost laughable at times.

As I mentioned recumbent trikes can be adapted for use by those who are handicapped so this is a good thing. I have come across stroke victims who do great on a tadpole or delta trike. Sometimes a tandem trike is needed as the handicapped person is not able to handle riding a trike on their own. The physical problem may be something as basic as balance. They can no longer ride a bicycle but they do fine on a trike.

Whether the trike pilot is handicapped or not may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A MAGNET FOR WOOD


To the best of my knowledge and understanding there is not and cannot be such a thing as a magnet which attracts wood. However, a tadpole trike seems to do a pretty good job of attracting wood (tree branches/twigs), weeds, etc. I am continually amazed at the number of times I see it happen. A trike with a 20 inch rear wheel seems to be worse than a trike with a 26 inch or a 700 wheel. That’s because they being smaller in diameter allow the rear derailleur to be down nearer to the ground making it even more susceptible to this. We need to be careful while riding so that we do what we can to prevent damage from occurring to our trikes. A tree branch can readily go into our spokes or into our rear derailleur or both. If this happens it is all to easy for damage to occur.

I had it happen to me a few years ago. I tree limb I failed to see (because I was concentrating on vehicular traffic in a street I was trying to cross) came flying up from my left front tire and went right into my rear wheel destroying a few spokes and going on into my rear derailleur. The result was instant hard braking (my rear tire slid to a stop) and the rear derailleur looked like a pretzel. It went right over into the spokes of the rear wheel. The tree branch was about 5/8 to 3/4 inch in diameter and about 30 inches long. Fortunately I was able to straighten my bent up derailleur sufficiently by hand (brute strength) to get it to work enough to ride on and eventually get back home. Upon arriving home I attempted to make a more permanent repair by taking the derailleur off and apart. I got it fairly straight but just couldn’t get it to shift quite right. It turned out that my derailleur hanger got bent some also. I took it off and attempted to salvage it. It looked pretty good when I got done with it, but it apparently wasn’t. I just couldn’t get the shifting to work as good as before. I had to order a new derailleur hanger from Catrike. I ordered a spare while I was at it. Upon replacing the derailleur hanger, the rear derailleur and a few spokes playing “pick up sticks” cost me about $90 (and that was doing it all myself). It would have been far more expensive if I had to hire it done. Although the picture below is of a diamond frame bicycle it shows a rear derailleur bent over into the spokes.

derailleur into spokes

So what I am trying to say here is try to avoid running over such things. Riding alongside of another trike or bike can result in this happening as they can readily flip such an object your way. While I am discussing this an even greater concern is having a foreign object flipped up and into your eye or teeth. That could be a whole lot worse scenario than having parts on your trike damaged. I make a habit of tossing any and all such threats off of the surface of the trail while I ride along. Then I don’t have to concern myself with it and I have done a service for my fellow trail users.

If you are riding along and suddenly feel resistance while you are trying to pedal you should stop pedaling immediately and come to a stop as quickly as you safely can. Then dismount and look your trike over as it is quite possible you have picked up something in the chain/derailleur or wheel. If you continue to pedal or go further forward more damage will occur.

If at all possible it is much better to leave this matter of picking up sticks to ol’ Fido …

puppy with stick

He gets “much o” enjoyment out of it while you won’t.

If you can manage to avoid using your trike as a magnet for wood it will better enable you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

ANTI-THEFT ALARMS


Have you ever thought about putting an anti-theft alarm on your trike? I have, but I not yet done it. I do carry a bicycle cable lock with me so I can lock it up if I want/need to. The idea of having an alarm on it is appealing just to help keep people from messing around with the trike when I have it parked unattended.

There are several different kinds of alarms available and various prices. Of course, we should keep in mind that we usually get what we pay for quality wise. Most of the alarms I have seen are made in China. Here is one such alarm:

There are even high tech alarms incorporating smartphones …

Here is one which mounts under a water bottle holder bracket …

Some alarms are stand alone alarms only while others incorporate a lock as well.

Here is one which is still in development (marketing) stage …

Here is one which appears to be quite sensitive. The only thing is one would have to figure out some way to mount it on a trike as it obviously is not designed for this purpose. That being said, I also don’t know how it would hold up to getting jarred around hitting bumps, etc. as the trike is being ridden. Of course, I reckon that is true of any of them, but one would think and hope that an alarm which is designed to be used on a bike could take this.

Here is one which would only work on some trikes as it needs the open end of a handlebar diameter tubing …

And here are some other alarms …

Just remember this … you can’t necessarily trust others to keep your trike safe …

Here is certainly a very unusual approach to the problem of theft …

This most definitely is not for me. How ’bout you?

Of course, you could always use old technology … Hey, it works! (Just be sure he is well fed and won’t be pacified with a hunk of meat).  🙂

angry dog

You could even be sneaky and camouflage him and just maybe no one will even notice him …

dog camouflage

They might think it is some kind of a fungus growing on your trike and avoid it like the plague.

(Poor dog … it’s not his fault he looks like this.)

Well, there are different means of attempting to prevent your trike from being stolen and after all we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

ENJOYMENT VS. TORTURE


would assume that most of us ride a tadpole trike for enjoyment and the added benefit of exercise. When riding crosses over from enjoyment to torture I quickly lose interest. As many of you know who have read my blog before I have knee joint problems. I can’t do much weight bearing activities. Riding my tadpole trike is something I am able to do since it isn’t weight bearing. However, if I push too hard on the pedals or try to ride too fast it causes me much discomfort in my knee joints. I have been riding with two friends for years now. We ride together 6 days a week most of the time. Recently I told them that I can no longer ride with them as I can’t ride their pace anymore. If I ride a pace I am comfortable with I do fine. I can usually ride for several hours, but if I overdo it I pay a high price and not only do my knee joints let me know it but my lower legs hurt too as the knee joint pain travels down my legs. And it doesn’t go away for several hours … sometimes it even last all night long and causes me problems trying to sleep. It is just not worth it!

body aches

We each know our own bodies and our potential better than anyone else. We should be careful not to overdo it. One thing I always keep in mind when riding on a linear route … however far I ride I have the same distance to ride to get back to where I started. If I have already ridden 20 miles out and my body is speaking to me and I still have 20 miles to go back I will no doubt regret riding that far in the one direction. If we are riding with others their potential will probably be different than ours. So we should keep in mind that if we are riding together with others we could find ourselves in trouble if we are going along with what they are doing and not paying attention to what is going on with our own bodies.

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It is far wiser to cease and desist  than get to where we are hurting or we are just plain worn out … or both. Tomorrow is another day and we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

exhausted feet

LOVE YA’ GRANNY!


am sure many of us can say that we love our granny. Of course, I am referring to “granny gear”, not our grandmother(s) … not that we shouldn’t love our grandmother(s). Most of us probably lost our grandmothers in death long ago and many of us no doubt have lost our parents. Hey, we’re getting old! Anyway, back to ol’ granny (gear). I don’t know what I would do without her. I am pretty sure I just couldn’t make it thru life … at least not up some of the hills.

For those who don’t know what granny gear is it is the lowest gear combination … in other words when the chain is on the smallest sprocket in the front and the largest sprocket in the back.

granny gear

granny gear

When I first bought my trike it came with a 11-32 tooth rear cassette. When I replaced it I went with 11-34 and am so glad I did. Now most of the trikes I read about come with 11-34. Of course, I am talking about trikes that have an external rear derailleur and a sufficient number of gears. Most nowadays are 30 speed. I know there are trikes out there with much fewer gears … typically 8. I don’t think there is anyway I could climb the hills with that gear range. Some of them are quite challenging with my 27 speed and 34 tooth rear cog.

One thing I have never done, but thought about, is to change the small front sprocket to a smaller diameter so that I would have better hill climbing ability. If ever it wears enough to justify changing it I will probably go with a smaller one.

Another option for those with money to burn is to invest in a two speed crankset such as a Schlumpf Mountain Drive.

Schlumpf Mountain Drive

Yet another option is to employ a 3 speed internal hub on the rear wheel in addition to the derailleur system and multiple sprockets. With this setup you can shift the 3 speed internal hub while sitting still and thus change gears … something which could be very handy when you find you didn’t downshift into a lower gear but should have. That is always bad news especially when already dealing with an incline. Of course, any of these options cost money so not everybody could/would/will beat a path to a bike shop to “git-ur-dun”. It is a nice setup if you can do it.

3 speed hub with cassettes

Just think … with a 3 speed internal hub and 30 speed external that’s a total of 90 speeds. And with a two speed crank gearbox it would be 180 speeds. To be quite honest I don’t know if a 7 speed rear internal hub is available with the cassette or not. Of course, there is even a 14 speed internal hub. I doubt if these are available with the cassette but wow … what if they are … 210 speeds … 420 speeds … 840 speeds. Of course, there would be a whole lot of duplication among the gear combinations.

Well, those are some options to improve on ol’ granny. I have to settle for what I have and do my best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’