Monthly Archives: March 2015

FAHRRADI FARFALLA FFX … A TRUE WORK OF ART


fahrradi farfalla ffx equals

That is some Italian math!

Athough it is a quad and not a trike I thought you, the reader, might find this interesting. This is the FAHRRADI FARFALLA FFX. Don’t ask me to say it. I have a hard enough time writing/typing it. Anyway, it is a pedal powered Ferrari.  Instead of burning up the roads with a 809 horsepower internal combustion V-12 gasoline engine this tamed down vehicle still draws a crowd as it moves along oh so slowly in comparison to the real Italian stallion … under human generated power via the pedals … making it quite possibly the ultimate green supercar.

fahrradi farfalla ffx 1

What do you think?

Fahrradi Farfalla FFX front interior

It weighs 220 pounds and has 11 gears. Put some sort of a floor inside there and you definitely could haul the groceries. You could even stretch out and sleep.

Fahrradi Farfalla FFX interior

Fahrradi Farfalla FFX overhead view

It was created by Austrian artist Hannes Langwelder who previously created the Ferdinand GT3 RS modeled after a Porsche 911.

It is my understanding that  this pedal powered machine was modeled after two different Ferraris … the FFX and the Enzo. One article said … “with clear Enzo and FXX influence”.

Here is a real Ferrari FFX …

Ferrari_FXX

And here is a Ferrari Enzo …

Ferrari Enzo

You can read more about it in Gizmag. And HERE is another article on it. And yet another article HERE.

If this jalopy grabs your fancy it can be yours for the small price of 1.6 million dollars. And I thought the Windcheetah was expensive. Actually that is only about a million dollars more than the real thing … all 809 hp of it. Hey, as they say … if you’ve got it, flaunt it! You might end up being the envy of every kid on the block. Some are saying that this is the ultimate green vehicle. It looks red to me … Ferrari Red, in fact. But hey, what do I know?

As for me, I am thankful to have my ‘run of the mill’ Catrike Trail tadpole trike. And it too is a green vehicle. It may not be the ultimate green vehicle, but it most definitely is green … see? Hey, don’t laugh … I just may be able to go faster than that red bomb.

left side view of trunk bag on rear rack

VERSA BARS


Versa Bars from TerraTrike

TerraTrike offers a nifty accessory … Versa Bars. Here is what TerraTrike says about them  … “designed to help riders enter and exit their trike more easily, the Versa Bars are a simple and effective solution. The bars mount easily to the existing handlebar tubes on any of our current TerraTrike models, and can be positioned however fits you best. There are two Versa Bars (for the left and right handles) included per package.”
Features:
Design helps riders enter and exit the trike
Side mounts offer standard bottle cage spacing
Bars accommodate computer, phone and light mounts
Provides an alternate hand position for increased comfort
$89.95

http://shop.terratrike.com/product-p/versa-bars.htm

SHAFT DRIVEN … WHY NOT?


Shaft driven tadpole trikes? Yeah, why not? I would love to get rid of all that chain and sprockets. Shaft drive has been used on motorcycles for many years and some bicycles have had it. Yes, I know there is a loss of efficiency going from chain and sprockets to shaft drive. There are usually pros and cons to everything.

There is a recumbent bicycle which has shaft drive. I think it is in it’s “kickstarter” program at this time. The bike is called the Mirage Nomad. BROL has a good article on this bike.

shaft drive recumbent Mirage Nomad

Here is another recumbent bike with a shaft drive …

shaft drive on recumbent bicycle 4

shaft drive on recumbent bicycle compilation cropped

I want to be sure to give credit to the designers of this shaft drive recumbent bike so here is that information found on YouTube where these images came from: Meche Final Year Project, Team Laidback, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University of Belfast

I share this about the shaft drive recumbent bikes because if it can be done with a recumbent bike there is no reason why it couldn’t be done with a tadpole trike. I would assume it is only a matter of time before someone comes up with a shaft drive setup for a tadpole trike. I will be interested in seeing it.

Meanwhile I guess most of us will just have to contend with all that chain. Hey, maybe if we could ever get rid of it we could figure out something else to do with it …

chain dog

Do you suppose?

TIRE WIPERS … A GREAT IDEA


Every once in a while I come across something where I can’t help but say to myself “why didn’t I think of that?” Such is the case with this nifty little invention … tire wipers.

tires wipers

Using this little gadget helps clean off foreign matter which if left on the tire could work it’s way into the tire and cause a flat. I wonder how it would do with mud. I have more problem with mud than anything else. Anyway, at $18 they are affordable.

HERE is an article written about them and HERE is where to buy them.

tires wipers in package

The article says that they are installed at the exit (front edge) of your fenders. I would think they would be placed on the entry (rear edge) so that work to remove foreign matter as soon as possible. Also if they work for mud I would think they would be more effective wiping the tire of mud before it gets to the fenders. I could be wrong about this as far as which is more effective. Obviously on the front edge of the fender they would be facing the opposite direction from what they would face on the rear edge.

Looking at the picture I see the clear plastic tubing and notice that the steel is in two pieces with a gap in the middle of the plastic tubing. This obviously would allow the steel scraper to be able to move like it is hinged. I don’t know if this is needed but apparently the person making this has deemed it is. I would be curious as to how a solid piece of steel would work . I would think it would work fine with the possible exception of being a bit harder on the plastic fender where the unit mounts.

I may try making my own and making them a bit different to see if I can come up with something effective for removing the mud from the tires before it gets up into the fenders, brake levers, etc. Anyway, I wanted to share this product with you the reader in case you want to give these a try. They may help you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

SCHWALBE ONE – A NEW RACING TIRE


Schwalbe One 3

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. For those who are after speed … TAH DAH! Schwalbe offers their new tire … the ONE. That’s right … Schwalbe One is what they call it. They already offer the Ultremo tire which is a racing tire … fast is the name of the game. The One tire is slightly heavier, but Schwalbe says it makes up for it in lower rolling resistance. And it is more durable and has better puncture protection.They are reported to be “very fast” and as having “very good grip”. Sounds good to me.

“Schwalbe One is the fastest and at the same time the most reliable competition tire we have ever produced,” emphasized Holger Jahn, Managing Director Technology at Schwalbe.

So now Schwalbe offers the Durano, Durano Plus, Kojak, Stelvio, Ultremo and One to those who are into speed. The One tire is available in traditional, folding and tubeless … at least in some sizes. Schwalbe lists them available in 700, 26 and 20 inch. I find Schwalbe’s website quite difficult to use when it comes to trying to locate their tire offerings.

These tires are not inexpensive. The 20 inch 406 (23-406) list price is $72.19, but from the German source I use one can buy 3 tires for $109.63 (including shipping) which breaks down to $36.54 apiece. The only thing is these from this German source are folding type not traditional.

Just a side note here — I personally don’t like folding type tires. I equate them with the automotive temporary tires … just something to get the vehicle down the road to a tire store to get the regular tire repaired or replaced. It is quite inferior to the regular auto tire and only intended for temporary emergency use. Folding bicycle tires are quite inferior to most regular tires. They have to be in order to be able to fold. They are okay to carry along in case a tire goes bad and needs to be replaced while out riding … especially on a long journey. Most definitely they are a small size when folded up and easier to carry.

Here are some websites where you can find more information about the Schwalbe One tires:

Schwalbe One webpage

Schwalbe One tires

Review

Rolling Resistance

I think I will stick with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. They do anything I am capable of and offer the ultimate in flat prevention and high mileage. Regardless of the tires chosen hopefully we can all …

ENJOY THE RIDE

$45 HOMEMADE TADPOLE TRIKE


When I read this I couldn’t believe it. I mean $45? Come on! I had about $600 in costs when I built my first tadpole trike. How could someone possibly build one that cheap? What do you say we take a look-see? They say a picture is worth a thousand words … so get your wallet out … I can use the money. 🙂 Besides, I don’t know much about this trike to write much about it. A man and his grandson built it for the grandson. They worked together on it so it made for a nice project for them to share together on. And, of course, the grandson has a feeling of accomplishment to go along with the fun of riding it.

$45 DIY tadpole trike left side view

$45 DIY front view closeup

Using bicycle forks like this is not something new. For those who follow tadpole trikes and pictures commonly seen online you may be familiar with Fortrike from Brasil. I plan on posting an article about this brand in the near future. They use the front bicycle forks like this on their trikes.

$45 DIY tadpole trike top front view

$45 DIY tadpole trike headset detail cropped

$45 DIY tadpole trike back half side view

$45 DIY tadpole trike right side view

View complete photo gallery HERE.

The trike has 24 inch front tires and a 26 inch rear tire. The seat consists of 2 pieces of plywood, some anti-fatigue foam mats cut to shape, and a basketball jersey.

$45 … would you believe?

DIY PEDAL GENERATOR FOR ELECTRIC POWERED TRIKE


I ran across this recently and found it intriguing. It is a DIY Pedal Generator for Electric Bike or Trike. What a neat concept … pedaling to produce your own electricity to operate the motor to propel your trike.

Here is the YouTube description: A pedal generator for a chainless bike or human power – electric serial hybrid. Easy to build DIY project presented by Thomas Senkel. Free Plans for aluminum parts included.

I will be the first to admit I don’t fully understand it all, but it looks really neat.

A Keyde front hub motor is used as a generator. It is nominal rated with 160 rpm @ 36 V and 250 W. You dont need any electronics, just a 3 phase bridge rectifier. The lithium ion battery is 12s (44 V) and 2x 25 Ah. The motor power is up to 5 kW. Top speed more than 80 km/h (50 mph),
Range 60 km (37 miles).

One would obviously have to know what they are doing and have the necessary machinery and equipment to tackle this DIY project. Ya gotta admit this looks impressive.

This also allows you to go pretty fast compared to a regular conventional human powered trike.

Another great aspect of this is that it allows you to eliminate the long chain run typical on a tadpole trike.

Here are a couple of videos of his e-bike showing what this design and build is capable of.

Like I said … pretty impressive! Regardless of whether or not you are a strictly human powered  triker or motorized …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

HOW TO LOCATE PAST ARTICLES ON THIS BLOG


Recently a reader made the suggestion that I “revisit” the subject of safety … outfitting a trike with effective lights, flags, etc. I have already written several articles previously so I really don’t think I need to write more at this time. I think it would be better if I gave a bit of instruction to readers in case they don’t know how to use the features available to locate postings about certain subjects. On the far right hand side you will see a column which has various things shown. The very first one is a “SEARCH” box where you can type in what you are searching for on this blog and then use your keyboard’s ENTER key to submit the search request. If you are looking for a certain posting this is probably the most practical means of locating it (providing you know what to search for). Here is what the search box looks like you should see:

WP blog search box

Another way to locate past postings might be more practical if your search is for something which can be “categorized”. Much further down is a listing of CATEGORIES. Just scroll down until you see it. As an example this reader was interested articles on safety. So just scroll down until you see the category “safety” and click on it. All postings I have written on safety will be shown. 

WP blog categories

Between these two methods it should be fairly easy to locate what you are looking for. You will see a search results page with the various articles shown. To read the past posting just click on it’s title and it will open up in it’s own window. I hope this helps.

ADAM’S MOTORIZED KMX TYPHOON TRIKE


KMX motorized with canopy cropped

Ten months of on and off work produced this nifty machine. I am so very impressed with the results. Obviously a lot of thought, planning and work went into it. You can even back up with this puppy by just pedaling backwards. Now that is neat!

Bike: KMX typhoon
Motor: Cromotor V2 with a temperature sensor from Methods
Controller: Lyen 10kW 24 FET modified by Zombiess.
Battery: 18s4p Lipo ( 75V, 32 Ah )
CA: Cycle analyst V3
Rear wheel: Mopped 16″ alu rim with a motocross studded tire laced by JRH.

KMX motorized with canopy raised up

As you can see he has a pretty aggressive tread on that rear tire. With all that power he no doubt needs it.

KMX motorized with canopy rear view

Even his safety flag pole is electrified …

KMX motorized with canopy left side view

You can read more about this trike and future plans HERE. It sure looks like he is enjoying the ride. And I truly hope all the rest of us do as well … even if our ride isn’t this elaborate.

FAKERY … I LIKE IT IN THIS CASE


saw this video posted on Facebook. It is not about tadpole trikes. It is not even about any other kind of trike. And it is not about recumbents. But I think you will agree that it is quite unique. Notice this Harley Davidson motorcycle sitting in the bicycle lane waiting on the traffic light to turn green. Shame on him!

fake Harley bicycle

Now watch as the light turns green and the rider takes off.

fake Harley bicycle 2

SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

It is fake … it’s really a bicycle.

fake Harley bicycle 3

Pretty neat, huh?

fake Harley bicycle 4

I bet that is one heavy bicycle.

DETERMINING PROPER CHAIN LENGTH


chain run 2

The chain of a bicycle or tricycle is something which is sometimes ignored and taken for granted. Yet it is so very important. You can have the very best bike or trike and components money can buy and keep it all in tip top shape, but if you ignore the chain to where it fails or it just breaks you can’t and won’t go anywhere. Some other parts on a cycle could fail, even fall off, and you would still be able to ride it, but if the chain fails you are “dead in the water”. You will just sit there and “spin” all day.

I have previously written about chains mainly covering care, maintenance and wear. HERE is a link to that article. And HERE is another article on this subject where I shared a video produced by ICE trikes.

When it comes time to replace the chain or if the boom is being repositioned more than a short distance it is imperative that the chain be the correct length for everything to work correctly and without causing any damage to the rear derailleur (if you have such an animal on your trike).

Below is a very short video covering how to determine the correct chain length. In the video the rear derailleur “cage” is referred to. The cage is that portion of the derailleur that has the two small idler pulleys the chain runs thru. Here is a picture with the cage outlined in red. Please be aware that in this picture the chain is not positioned on a “center” cog as is necessary in determining the proper chain length. The picture does, however, show the cage in the approximate 6 o’clock position.

rear derailleur 6 o'clock position 2

Near the end she said the rear derailleur should be in the six o’clock position in relation to the rear derailleur. Although you hopefully understood this I want to clarify it. The cage with the two idler pulleys should be in the 6 o’clock position. In other words the two idler pulleys should be in line with each other vertically (perpendicular off of the ground/floor) one above the other … like the picture above shows.

I caution you when replacing a worn chain … do not put a new chain alongside of a old worn chain to match it’s length as a worn chain will be longer than a new chain so this method is flawed. If your old chain was the correct length you can safely count the links and match them on the new chain. Or you can use this method shown in the video to determine the proper length. Keep in mind however, that this method using the position of the cage in the 6 o’clock position may be slightly off depending upon your particular application. Be sure to check it carefully according to the instructions in the next paragraph.

The thing you need to be sure of is that when the gear selection is largest chain ring (sprocket) on the front to the largest cog (sprocket) on the rear your derailleur will handle it and that the cage not come too far forward horizontally and run out of “effect” to where the chain tightens up. If this happens the chain can damage the derailleur. In the opposite gear selection … smallest sprocket on the front to the smallest on the back the rear derailleur cage should handle the chain without the chain coming back onto itself and rubbing as the pedals are turned.

One way to determine proper chain length is forget about running the chain thru the rear derailleur and just place the chain over the largest front chainring (sprocket) and on the largest rear sprocket and add 2 links or 1 link + Power Link (missing link). After you make the chain this length then go ahead and route it thru the rear derailleur before assembly. Be sure not to have a twist in the chain when you go to connect the two ends together.

Too short of a chain is more of a concern than too long. Too long will just result in the chain drooping and possibly the derailleur not being able to handle all the extra chain resulting in not being able to go into all the gears. And as I said, too short of a chain can result in damaging the derailleur … turning it into a pretzel. And rear derailleurs are just too expensive to go around making them into pretzels.

HERE is ParkTool’s excellent webpage on this subject. And HERE is Hostel Shoppe’s webpage on the subject of adjusting the boom and determining proper chain length.

Ensuring that the chain is the correct length and keeping it in good shape we enable you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

SOME INTERESTING INFO ABOUT VELOMOBILES


Velomobiles are an interesting animal. Some are quite streamilined and slick looking. They look like they could fly if they had wings or compete with the fastest of race cars. Of course neither is true. But don’t underestimate them. There truly is somthing to that slick looking design.

velomobile trisled

The view from the pilot seat might even look like your are looking out of the cockpit of a jet fighter plane.

oceancycle velomobile for ICE cockpitt view looking forward

view from cockpit of velomobile

Did you know it takes 3.5 times more physical effort to ride a bicycle than it does a velomobile? So while a well conditioned bicyclist may be able to ride at 25 mph someone of the same physical ability can pedal a velomobile along at 30 plus mph. Keep in mind that this is dispite the fact that the velomobile weighs far more than a bicycle.

HERE is a list of velomobiles which have been made in the world.

Here are a couple of intersting informative articles on velomobiles to read:

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/09/the-velomobile-high-tech-bike-or-low-tech-car.html

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2012/10/electric-velomobiles.html

Another factor is that they offer a degree of personal protection not found on a bicycle or even a tadpole trike. This one was hit by an SUV. Obviously it is a bit messed up but that is not true of the pilot.

smashed by suv at 20 mph

According to what I have read the top maximum speed of a velomobile obtainable on level ground is about 50 mph. That’s pretty impressive.

This velomobile is said to be capable of going about 80 mph.

velomobile - sleek fast looking 3

I would say that that is definitely putting the pedal(s) to the metal!

velomobile - sleek fast looking 2

So I can’t help but wonder what we will see in the future in the realm of velomobiles. Buck Rogers, move over!

velomoble space rocket

I find velomobiles interesting and intriguing, but persoanlly they don’t appeal to me other than the fact that they would be nice in inclement weather. I like being out in the open with the air fully on me as I ride along. But hey, if piloting one of these slick looking vehicles is your cup of tea … go for it. With or without a “shell” hopefully we can all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

I can’t leave this subject without having some fun. Here is proof that these things are fast …

velomobile wins

VELOMOBILE WINS!!!

Hey, I worked long and hard to deceive you!

ELECTRIC ASSIST MOTORIZED “VELOCARS”


TRIKE TO THE FUTURE

It must be something in the water … seems everybody and their brother is getting into making electric assist motorized “velocars” (technically they are velomobiles) built upon a tadpole trike. Here are 3 of them … the ELF, the e-Fox and the Tripod. The concept is great. The problem I have with every design I have seen thus far is the fact that they make them too difficult to get in and out of. I mean, why not just put a door in the side like a regular car or truck has? Someone who is elderly, overweight and out of shape, or has various physical problems could not possibly deal with the design of these. I don’t understand the mentality here and I certainly don’t agree with it. It is flawed from the git go. If I were going to design one of these that would be one of the top priorities … easy entry and exit. I understand that the strongest body is one piece and that a door takes away from that. However, for me it is not an option. A door is essential. The designer just simply has to work with that. Well, I spun my wheels on that one. On with these 3 designs.

****************

The ELF made by Organic Transit is probably the best known of the 3 at this point in time so I will start off with it. One might say it has an “elfin” quality (pun intended). At 160 pounds it weighs considerably less than your more common family car (if you have a family car). BTW – I have seen the weight listed as 132 and 150 also, but their website shows 160 so that is what I am going with. It has a 350 pound payload. The electric motor is 750 Watt. It has a 15 mile range on a full charge. It takes 2.5 hours to charge plugged into a 110 volt wall outlet or about 7 hours using the solar panel on a sunny day. They offer 3 models.

ELF Bike

One thing I noticed about the ELF is that there is no floor in it. It is open to the ground. I see good and bad in this. The good is that one doesn’t have to worry about the floor being strong enough to put one’s weight on. In hot weather having air coming up thru the floor area would probably be a God-send. With no floor there is nothing to get messed up tracking all sorts of debris from one’s shoes. The bad is that one’s feet and legs could get injured if they go down and make contact with the ground while the trike is moving. Another bad aspect is that water and other “stuff” could and would come up on the rider. With no floor there is not anyway to carry stuff around that you might prefer to simply toss on the floor if there were one. In cold weather cold air would come up thru there. Hmmm, can’t seem to win for losing. No doubt being able to place one’s feet on the ground is the means of the “reverse gear” to back the velocar up.

ELF e-trike interior

ELF e-trike description

They offer a bunch of accessories. Check them out HERE. Doors (pictured below) can be added for about $200.

ELF e-trike doors

I mentioned that they offer 3 models. They are the basic model which is what I have shown in pictures thus far. The second model is a 2 seater. Actually I just discovered that they have a 3 seater as well.

ELF e-trike 2 seater

And the 3 rd model is … well, most of us wouldn’t qualify for it … it is for the police. Actually I am only kidding. I think anyone could buy this model. It has some extra features such as stronger motor and battery pack with higher speed and range on motor/battery only. It is even a traditonal police black and white vehicle … cute. Actually it is not just for police. Here is what they say … “community policing, events management, corporate and academic campus maintenance and grounds, and any situation where you need to all-day performance with heavy payload capabilities, comfort, visibility and more.” This model is heavier duty in most areas. It is also about 45 pounds or so heavier. Some of that extra weight is due to it having dual battery packs. We are talking a whopping 1000 watt electric motor and double battery pack enabling the trike to go 28 mph and 45 mile range on battery & motor only.

ELF e-trike police

HERE are the various models and features that can be ordered.

****************

Next let’s look at the e-Fox made by Nu Way 2 Commute out of North Carolina. It is built on a TerraTrike Rover.

Update Bulletin: I just read that the kickstarter fund raising for this e-trike was unsuccessful.

The Nu Wa y 2 Commute company website is no longer available.

So this project is dead in the water. Consequently I am not

going to spend much time and effort writing about it.

 e-fox

132 pounds, 36 volt 15 amp hour battery, 500 Watt hub motor, 30 miles per charge with upgrades available.

 

http://www.gizmag.com/e-fox-velomobile/29531/

****************

Lastly let’s look at the Tripod. It is made in Portland, Oregon by Columbia Cycle Works. The operator sits higher and more upright than most tadpole trikes. This helps not only to see better while traveling along, but it also helps others to see the operator of the vehicle and the vehicle better. It comes with a retractable battery-charging cord, lights, horn, and windshield wiper. The top part is removable. The windows open as does the sun roof. The top lifts up aided by gas filled struts so that one can get in and out of it. It has a 500 Watt hub motor which will propel the 110* (without a battery) pound vehicle up to the maximum legal speed allowed of 20 mph. Any faster than that you will probably find yourself dealing with the police. The Tripod doesn’t come with a battery so that means that the buyer has to come up with his own battery. The 110* pound weight I mentioned does not include a battery. An exterior keyed lock, locks the hatch when not in use. All 3 wheels have disc brakes. The Tripod comes in three bright colors: lime green, tangerine orange and canary yellow. The cost of a Tripod is US$7,450. Because Tripods are made to order, completion usually takes two to three weeks from the time of order. Also, because they are made to order a one-half purchase price non-refundable deposit must be received with the order. The remaining balance is due at the time of shipment. All purchases are handled by certified check or through Paypal.

tripod velomobile left side view

tripod velomobile front view

GIZMAG article

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Of the three of them it looks to me like the ELF would be the easiest to get in and out of although I would say even it would be a bit challenging for many folks. And the ELF is by far the cheapest base price. At least for far less money than the Tripod which doesn’t even come with a battery.  Batteries are not cheap so add that onto the price of the Tripod and you are definitely talking about some money. I really don’t understand the considerable difference in the price of these two machines. The Tripod is half again as much as the ELF, and did I mention that you still need to buy a battery?

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While I am at it I will mention one other brand that is out there … the HORNET. It is Canadian and is pretty much a velomobile built around a 350 Watt electric motor.  It is a little bit more than the ELF in cost, but far less than the Tripod. And it comes with a battery. There is no top for it however so the rider is exposed to the weather. This is a bare bones model. Lights and turn signals are extra cost accessories. A larger motor is also available as is a 26 inch rear wheel. Overall I am not impressed with this offering although I will say that is is one of the lowest cost velomobiles I have seen and it even comes with an electric motor. It is just not in the same category of these “velocars”.

Hornet velomobile

Gizmag article

****************

Well, that is it as far as these 3 offerings. What do you think? Are these “trikes to the future”? Hold on … next week there will probably be some other new offering. Everybody and his brother is getting into this. You knew that, right? It will be interesting to see if these trikes succeed and the companies can stay in business.

TIRES SIZES … ONE BIG MESS


Leave it up to man to really confuse things. In the early days of bicycling tire sizes was fairly simple and easy to understand. Have you taken a look at it nowadays? It will give you a headache, I tell ya. I am not going to try to explain it as I don’t understand much about it myself or do I care to try to. What I will do here is provide a link to a webpage where the late Sheldon Brown explains this complicated mess.

http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

Along with all the different tire sizes comes the matter of which tires safely fit which rim … which is equally a mess. Forget correct math and common sense and logic. Originally a 26 inch tire measured pretty close to 26 inches on the outside. Of course, that was back when tires were balloon tires. Nowadays it is all different. Oh, there are still 26 inch balloon tires around, but there are so many other sizes as well.

Basically as I understand it tires are measured and designated by either inches or metric. The first number is the outside measurement even though it may be much less in reality. I told you it is confusing and a mess. Let’s use 26 x 1.75 as an example. As stated, 26 is the outside height of the tire. Again, it may be in inches or it may be metric. Most of us are familiar with the Catrike 700 model trike. It was named 700 because the rear wheel and tire are 700 mm. 700 mm is taller than a 26 inch tire. 700 mm is 27.5591 inches. 26 inches is 650.4 mm. Got it? A 700 tire is much narrower than a 26 inch tire. That brings me to the next part of this identification and designation process.

A second number or letter code would indicate the width of the tire. (26 x 1.75, 27 x 1 1/4…650B, 700C…). To add to the confusion we have fractions, decimals and letter designation. It is enough to make your head spin and give one a headache. And to increase the confusion even more 1.75 is not the same as 1 3/4 in tire sizes. Mathematically they are the same, but that is where it ends. These two tires are not interchangeable. So we need to be careful and know what we are doing when it comes to buying tires and installing them on a rim. The width of a tire is very important and critical when it comes to fitting a rim.

I suggest to others that if you don’t know and understand the system in place go to someone who does. Hopefully those working in a bicycle shop can safely and correctly help in this. Just don’t ask me. 🙂 I don’t begin to understand it all. I am satisfied to know what tires my trike takes so that I get the right ones that will fit correctly and are safe to use.

By the way, buying inner tubes to fit correctly can be the same challenge. You don’t want a 20 inch 451 innertube as it will be too big in diameter for a 20 inch 406 rim. Always be sure you are getting the right inner tube. I have even had sales people in a local bike shop grab the wrong one off of the shelf even after I told them it was for a 406 rim. Some of them need to be educated as well. I told you it was a real confusing mess!

Well, do your best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

SOLOVJOV 3X3 TRIKE – FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (AIN’T HAPPENING)


Trike S-4

all wheel drive trike 14

Ah yes, one of the earliest James Bond movies … From Russia With Love. I remember it well. As you can see I titled this posting after the movie title. This has nothing to do with movies nor James Bond, but it does have something to do with both Russian and tadpole trikes. And after all, that is what this blog is supposedly about. To cut to the point I am talking about a tadpole trike which is Russian. Unfortunately it is not in production at this time. A unique trike it is for you see it is ALL WHEEL DRIVE. As you can see on the side of the boom it is a Solovjov 3 x 3. They list it as “Trike S-4”.

Not only is it unique in that it has 3 wheel drive, but it can also be rear wheel drive or front wheel drive. The amazing thing about it all is that with all the extra parts involved it still only weighs a respectable 35.27 pounds according to their WEBSITE.

The trike features adjustable rear suspension. It is fitted with 3 Magura hydraulic drum brakes and the company says they plan on offering the option of hydraulic disc brakes. The boom does not adjust in and out so they have made the seat to slide back and forth on the frame to provide a little bit of variance in rider X-seam. I say a little bit because it is only 4.13 inches of travel. A telescoping boom offers much more adjustment than this so I would expect that both very short riders and very tall riders would have a problem as far as this matter of adjustment. Besides moving the seat forward and backwards on a frame is very undesirable as it effects the trike’s handling.

As to other specifications here are some details:

wheel width center to center is 29.5 inches, 7 inches of ground clearance, 67 inches overall length, 31.5 inches overall height, 8 foot 2 inches turning radius, three 20 inch 406 wheels, indirect steering, bar end shifters, aircraft aluminum frame, titanium drive shafts/bolts/etc., and the rear rack is made of stainless steel tubing.

The company says it warrants everything for 1-2 years. Here are photos of this trike. I think you will agree that it is intriguing.

all wheel drive trike 1

all wheel drive trike 13

all wheel drive trike 2

all wheel drive trike 3

all wheel drive trike 12

all wheel drive trike 5

all wheel drive trike 11

all wheel drive trike 4

all wheel drive trike 8

all wheel drive trike 7

all wheel drive trike 7 all wheel drive trike 6

all wheel drive trike 10

all wheel drive trike 9

Like ol’ Forest, that’s about all I have to say about that. I don’t know if there will ever be any of these trikes produced and sold. I reckon’ time will tell. Right now, it ain’t happening … with or without love. But it is from Russia. Let’s all try to …

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