Monthly Archives: April 2015

NUVINCI N360 INTERNAL HUB


SONY DSC

Some say that when it comes to internal hubs this one is the best. One reviewer described it as “gears without headaches”. At the $320 to $400 range it is reasonable. You can certainly pay a lot more for an internal hub. It is available in 32 or 36 hole (spokes) and silver or black. It can be shifted effortlessly while sitting still or under load. I believe this unit weighs 5.4 pounds. For comparison a typical front and rear derailleur system weighs approximately 3 pounds.

NuVinci 360 internal hub 2

Wikipedia says “The NuVinci CVT further offers the ability to accept multiple inputs while varying speed and ratio, managing torque and providing single or multiple power outlets. By supporting a torque-demand rather than a speed-demand control solution, the NuVinci CVT solves the low-speed acceleration problem inherent in some torque-demand vehicles.”

* CVP (Continuously Variable Planetary) drivetrain technology with an infinite number of ratios
* Simple twist controller enables easy, continuous ratio adjustments while pedaling
* No missed gears, hesitation or noise
* Includes CruiseController shifter
* 6-Bolt disc ready
* 1.8:1 Minimum Sprocket Ratio (e.g. 20/36)
* Cog not included, uses 17-22t HG-style 9-spline cogs, 3/32″ only
* Hub’s shift drive fits behind dropout for clean installation
* Shifter’s cable has quick clip on and off system to allow for simple flat repair
* 360% Ratio Range (0.5 Underdrive to 1.8 Overdrive)
* Approved for use with 250w motors with a minimum 2.1:1 sprocket ratio (e.g. 22/42)

How it works:

nuvinci n360 cvt hub diagram

An animation of how the NuVinci® continously variable planetary (CVP) works including an explanation of the role of traction fluid in the transfer of power:

This has a full overdrive setting:

Quick Release Axle Hardware is available to replace standard axle nuts:

NuVinci-QR2-quick-release-for-internal-gear-rear-bicycle-hubs

Here are some articles on the NuVinci N360 Internal Hub:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuVinci_Continuously_Variable_Transmission

http://www.bentrideronline.com/?p=9928#more-9928
http://www.fallbrooktech.com/cycling/n360

Personally I like the idea of having an internal hub. I doubt very much if I will ever have one at this stage of my life. Being able to shift while sitting still or when you find you didn’t downshift when you should have is a real plus with these hubs. They could easily help us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

 

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PEDALS … PEDALS … READ ALL ABOUT IT!


The question is sometimes asked … “WHAT PEDALS SHOULD I GET FOR MY TADPOLE TRIKE?”  Definitely there are options. I have written some about this previously, especially in regards to the concern with injury from “leg suck“.  So why write about it again you ask? I “dunno” … it just seemed like I should … to share about those options.

As to pedals there are so many to choose from nowadays one could probably get a headache trying to figure it out. There is everything from old school platform pedals …

 standard platform pedals to more exotic platform pedals …

A GPS sensor inside lets you track your bike if it's been moved.  and it goes on …

platform vertical edge

and on …

platform pedals orange

to even more exotic (some might call it bizarre) …

amoeba bicycle pedal And there are lots of platform pedals in between all of these. One thing to keep in mind is that when your shoe is pushing on just a thin piece of metal … platform vertical edge … it could bother your foot after awhile. I know it bothers mine when I used pedals like that. It is good to have pedals that more less grip the bottom of your shoe so your shoes stay in  place on the pedal, but these thin edges might be a problem. Some pedals seem to “grip” better than others. Some are downright risky as one’s shoe readily slip off of them.

It is highly recommended that some type of pedal be used which keeps the feet from coming off of the pedals and going down onto the pavement below. This is because of the concern of injury … namely leg suck. “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. I saw it happen to a friend of mine. It wasn’t a pretty sight. There are various types of pedals available that are used to help prevent this.

One of the oldest types of restraining devices is the toe clips and toe straps. I always heard them referred to as “rat traps” when I was a kid growing up. Another name for them is “quill”.

rat trap strap pedal

 

Hase has a pedal with both a rat trap and an elastic heel strap which sell for about $43 each. That’s right, you order them individually specifying left or right.

hase hookpedals

Some people use just a strap …

foot belts

Power Grip makes a strap which works to hold the foot onto the pedal by turning the foot sideways a bit and placing the foot thru their strap. Upon straightening the foot back around in line with the pedal their strap tightens down onto the shoe to hold it is place.

power grips pedals

And then there are some really specialty items …

platform pedals buckle

From there we get into other special pedals which have clips on them to clip special shoes onto them so one’s feet can’t come off of the pedals. The very thing that these pedals and shoes do is “clip in/on” so it seems so stupid to call these “clipless pedals”, but that is what they are called. It stems from the fact that the foot is held in place without the use of toe clips and toe straps. The clipless pedal was invented by Charles Hanson in 1895 so they have been around for awhile.

The most common and popular are known as SPD. There are two different types … road bike and mountain bike. There are considerably different from one another. The road bike type are large plastic and stick out on the bottom of the shoe making them difficult and impractical to try to walk in. The mountain bike type are metal, smaller and are recessed up into the bottom of the shoe making them far more practical to walk in. In the picture below you can see a comparison of the two. The road bike type on the right is getting pretty messed up from the abrasion walking on it.

SPD road and mountain shoe comparison

Catrike trikes come with combination platform and SPD pedals. One side is a platform pedal and the other side is an SPD pedal.

Catrike stock pedals

These are what I am currently using.

There are other SPD pedals … strictly SPD … so one pretty much has to be wearing the special SPD shoes in order to ride the trike.

Can you imagine trying to pedal this (pictured below) with just regular shoes on?

eggbeater 2  These are commonly referred to as “Egg Beaters”.

Two other types of clip in pedals are somewhat common. They are the Speedplay “Frog” …

speedplay frog pedals  and the Shimano  SPD road pedal …

SPD road pedalsThere are yet 2 or 3 others I have heard of which I won’t go into here.

Heel slings” are another method of keeping one’s feet from coming off of the pedals and down onto the pavement. I have never tried them, but they look like they would work better than most methods other than the SPD type.

heel straps 2

heel strap closeup

In closing I want to mention my thoughts on this matter of  keeping one’s feet safely on the pedals. I spoke of the different means of doing this. Some would work better than others as far as accomplishing that. Some are difficult to get in and out of. I personally would never use any of these which would not allow me to quickly and easily get my shoes free from the pedals in an emergency. The simple strap type and the toe clips with the toe straps may allow the shoe to be removed easier than some of the others, but then I would be concerned that my foot would come out of it when I don’t want it to. Also the use of a strap over the foot doesn’t appeal to me as I find them uncomfortable. And they can mess up a shoe in time.

Given the available options the SPD mountain bike type pedals and shoes seem to me to be the best option. I have these myself. The problem I have in using them is “comfort”. The shoes I don’t think are nearly as comfortable as the shoes I would wear if I were just using platform pedals. After riding for awhile with SPD shoes and pedals my feet start hurting. I don’t have that problem with my regular shoes. The heel slings I think would be another good option.

Another factor is that I like to be able to move my feet around a little bit on the pedals as I ride. You can’t do that when you are ‘locked in’. For me it adds (brings on) fatigue and soreness in my feet and legs that I would not otherwise experience. Darn leg suck issue anyway! I rode for years using platform pedals and have had my feet come off of the pedals several times. I have never had any problem with my feet going down onto the pavement. Never the less I am always very much aware of the very real danger and concern. It could happen and if and when it does it can get ugly folks! That’s all I’ve got to say about that. I will include a few videos here at the end. Be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

Oh, I almost forgot. I don’t want to leave the gals out. They even make SPD shoes especially for you … as ridiculous as they are:

SPD high heel shoe

  black high heels  red high heel shoes

(When I first saw this I assumed it was a hoax … that these really don’t exist … that they are photoshopped. However, take a look HERE.)

Well, anyway … on with the show … the videos that is.

Sue from All Out Adventures explains the pros and cons of: 4 different pedal-types for recumbent trikes, Heel and Toe Support pedals, Powergrip pedals and clipless pedals .

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GLOW IN THE DARK?


glow in the dark

 Have you ever wanted to glow in the dark without exposing yourself to high doses of radiation? Well, now you can, but only temporarily. Volvo, the Swedish car manufacturer, has teamed up with UK design company Grey London and startup Albedo100 to create a unique reflective spray paint designed to save cyclists’ lives. They have created a light-reflective spray designed to enhance the visibility of cyclists on city streets after dark. LifePaint is a washable material that can be applied to all manner of things — from helmets and clothes, to dog leads or backpacks — and lasts for around a week after being applied.

LifePaint by Volvo

Although the paint is invisible to the naked eye, and won’t damage or discolor fabrics, it dramatically glows in the glare of headlights, illuminating cyclists riding at night. Technically it is not paint; it’s a washable material that lasts about 10 days after application. It’s also completely invisible until it’s hit by the glare of a car’s headlights — then it glows. The spray isn’t available everywhere yet. Right now, it’s available in six cycling shops in Kent and London, and if it does well, Volvo may move the product internationally. Hey, if you wanted some of this product you should have been in London recently. Volvo gave away 2000 cans of it … thru local bike shops in the city.

As you can readily see in the image below this paint really does make a significant difference. The bicycle and rider that doesn’t have this paint applied is barely noticeable in comparison.

glow in the dark bikes

I remember watching a movie where someone sprayed a liquid mist onto themselves and others and it made them invisible. I could see where that could be very handy if such a product really existed. But, alas, it doesn’t. But, hey, this product does exist and when applied it makes a person visible along with just about anything else it would be sprayed on. So we can go from “Can you hear me now?” to “Can you see me now?”

BTW, I just discovered that there are at least a couple of similar products already available here in the U.S. and no doubt they are a whole lot less money. Also they are more of a regular and permanent paint. Being a regular paint means that they can’t be used on just anything, but spraying a bike/trike frame or wheels shouldn’t be any problem.

               Krylon glowz spray paint           reflective spray paint Rust-Oleum

Riding in the daytime or at night amid cars, trucks, buses, etc. can indeed be hazardous to your health. Anything which can help us be seen is a good thing and will help us to continue to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

THE CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG … 559 THAT IS


cat's out of the bag

CatrikeLogo

Letting the cat out of the bag means “to tell people secret information, often without intending to”. Obviously this isn’t really the case here with Catrike and their newest model of tadpole trike. They certainly intended for people to know about it. I just thought it made for a catchy title for this article.

I am sure many of us already know that Catrike finally came out with their 559 model. Still there just doesn’t seem to be a overabundance of information available about it. Maybe it is just too new. Oh the usual information is shown on Catrike’s 559 webpage. The specifications and description is available. I really don’t know what else one should expect at this point in time. Reviews? I can’t find much. So I will mostly just look to Catrike and here is what they say …

Introducing the innovative Catrike 5.5.9, a premium Grand Touring Catrike. Experience high performance and spirited long-distance rides with extraordinary comfort.

Catrike 559 3

Here is a video which pretty much tells the story of this model:

Catrike 559 folded

Here is a video which shows how it folds:

Features:
Padded seat
Ergonomic adjustable seat back
Roller wheels for rolling when folded
Padded wrist rests
Rear Fender
Flag Mount & Flag
Mirrycle Rear View Mirror
Multi Purpose Clipless Pedals
Computer Sensor Mount
Brake Lever Velcro Strap for Parking
No Brake Steer
Self Centering
Ackerman Steering Compensation
Structural Front Boom
Quick-Release Indexing Boom Clamp
Aluminium Rod Ends
Low Friction PTFE Flared Chain Tube

MSRP $3,150

available in these colors

Catrike color chart 2015

At least the cat is out of the bag.  kitten coming out of paper bag

Here kitty kitty! (ain’t he cute?)

I would rather imagine that we will hear more about this model further along.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

SAFETY RECALL NOTICE FOR TREK BICYCLES


Trek Recalls Bicycles Equipped with Front Disc Brakes to Replace Quick Release Lever Due to Crash Hazard

I came across this just now and although this blog is about tadpole trikes I know that there are bicyclists who read it and there are tadpole trike riders who still ride diamond frame bikes. As stated Trek bicycles manufactured from 2000 to 2015 year models which are equipped with a front disc brake and the quick release axle have been recalled to replace the front quick release axle. Apparently the handle of the quick release when in the open position can go beyond where it should stop and actually get into the disk brake causing a serious accident and resulting injuries. Trek advises anyone with one of their bicycles made between these years and so equipped with a front quick release axle to immediately stop use of the bike and get this resolved. This involves about 900,000 bicycles in the U.S. and 98,000 in Canada.

Trek bike quick release lever problem 2

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2015/Trek-Recalls-Bicycles-Equipped-with-Front-Disc-Brakes-to-Replace-Quick-Release-Lever/

Recall Summary

Recall date: APRIL 21, 2015             Recall number: 15-118

Name of product: Trek bicycles equipped with front disc brakes

Hazard: An open quick release lever on the bicycle’s front wheel hub can come into contact with the front disc brake assembly, causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle, posing a risk of injury to the rider.

Description: This recall involves all models of Trek bicycles from model years 2000 through 2015 equipped with front disc brakes and a black or silver quick release lever on the front wheel hub that opens far enough to contact the disc brake (see Figures 1 and 2). Bicycles with front quick release levers that do not open a full 180 degrees from the closed position, are not included in this recall.

Incidents/Injuries: Trek reports three incidents, all including injuries. One incident resulted in quadriplegia. One incident resulted in facial injuries. One incident resulted in a fractured wrist.

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the bicycles immediately and contact an authorized Trek retailer for free installation of a new quick release on the front wheel. Trek will provide each owner who participates in the recall with a $20 coupon that is redeemable by December 31, 2015 toward any Bontrager merchandise. (The coupon has no cash value.)

Consumer Contact: Trek at (800) 373-4594 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online atwww.trekbikes.com and click on Safety & Recalls at the bottom of the page for more information.

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

 

VELOMOBILE MULTIPLICITY


So what do you call a whole bunch of velomobiles which are gathered together? Certainly not a herd. Anyway, I spotted this video and it caught my eye. I think it starts out with only 4 of them initially, but as the ride goes on their numbers keep increasing. Regardless of what their grouping together should be called, it sure looks like they are having fun. And you will notice that they really do go faster than a standard tadpole trike. That streamlined body really does help.

The good thing is we don’t have to be riding a velomobile to have fun riding. I only wish I could find a bunch of trikers near me to ride with like these guys are doing. Well, whether you find yourself riding in a pack or by yourself … HEAD ‘EM UP, MOVE ‘EM OUT … and you too can …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

CATRIKE FACTORY


Here is a video of the Catrike Factory in Orlando, Florida. It shows various scenes of the product being manufactured as well as the sounds heard in the factory.

And here is a video of the 2011 Catrike Rally & Factory Tour …

IT’S ALL ABOUT GEARING


Yep, it’s all about gearing … this article that is.

gearchart 27 inch

Without sufficient gearing climbing hills or going fast is challenging to impossible. I know money most certainly can be a limiting factor when someone if purchasing a tadpole trike. Some people buy a low cost trike that comes with very limited gearing only to discover they would very much like to have more gearing available. To then try to modify such a trike to give it more gearing might very well cost more than what a trike that already had such gearing would have cost. An entry level trike with such modifications is not the same as a higher cost and quality trike which came with gearing. To my way of thinking it doesn’t make any sense to invest a bunch of money into a low cost trike attempting to upgrade it. And you could never hope to sell it for any more than the original trike you bought would be worth.

By definition “gearing is the aspect of a bicycle drivetrain that determines the relation between the cadence, the rate at which the rider pedals, and the rate at which the drive wheel turns. There are at least four different methods for measuring gear ratios: gear inches, meters of development (roll-out), gain ratio, and quoting the number of teeth on the front and rear sprockets respectively. The first three methods result in each possible gear ratio being represented by a single number which allows the gearing of any bicycles to be compared; the numbers produced by different methods are not comparable, but for each method the larger the number the higher the gear. The fourth method uses two numbers and is only useful in comparing bicycles with the same drive wheel diameter.” Wikipedia

I am not going to even attempt to get into any depth here about gearing. Anyone interested in all the technical aspects of this subject can “read all about it”. Besides, I don’t know much about it myself and really don’t have much interest in learning about it. Most of us really have no need of all the technical aspects of it. We just need to know the basics. For anyone who wants to delve into this further the late well known and respected avid cyclist and knowledgeable mechanic, Sheldon Brown, (who even became a tadpole trike rider late in his life) wrote many articles about gearing.

The most common and lowest cost type of gearing is via sprockets and derailleurs. On derailleur setups gear ranges of almost 700% can be achieved. However, this may result in some rather large steps between gears or some awkward gear changes. The front crankset may have up to 4 chainrings attached to the crankset and typically the cogset attached to the rear wheel may have between 5 and 11 sprockets. I personally have never seen a crankset with 4 chainrings. A derailleur system is highly efficient … up to 99 % efficiency.

There are also internal hubs for front and rear which are really nice, but considerably more expensive. Internal hubs are available with anywhere between 2 and 14 speeds. With internal hubs one can downshift while sitting still … something which would be so very nice when you find you are in too high of a gear and pretty much sitting still unable to take off. Having an internal gear hub also means that there is no concern of damage happening from exposure to foreign objects which can all too easily happen to a rear derailleur. Also a rear derailleur is exposed to dirt, mud and grime and can really get messed up. With internal hubs the efficiency drops off and the more gears a hub has the less efficient it is. Just so you know … even though a cycle may be said to be 21, 24, 27, 30, or any other number of speeds (or gears) … it ain’t really so. That’s because in some of the various gear combinations available shifting between the sprockets some of those gear ratios are duplicated. A 27 speed, for example, may only actually have about 24 speeds in reality.

Some trikes are outfitted with both an internal rear hub and a rear derailleur which equates to having a whole lot of gears to select from. We are talking 81 or 90 speeds minimum with a 3 speed internal hub and either a 9 or 10 speed derailleur system. Again, some of those combinations are duplicated so in reality the actual number of speeds/gears is less.

The bottom line here is most folks want, need and prefer to have sufficient gearing on a tadpole trike. Keep this in mind as you contemplate what trike to buy. Even the 8 speed models are not sufficient for some riders. It is far better to buy what will work for you than to settle for something you will be disappointed with. Yep, having sufficient gearing will help you …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

EFNEO GEARBOX


 

Efneo Gearbox 3

The Efneo Gearbox is a 3-speed planetary gearbox to take the place of the front derailleur. The Efneo Gearbox, like almost all other planetary gearboxes available on the market, has one specific feature: you can upshift with full load (e.g. you can push the pedals with all your strength and change the gear to the higher one). When you want to downshift, you need to stop pushing for a fraction of a second to let the gear change. It’s very easy to get accustomed to it and after a while you will do it without thinking about it.

Here is some information about it:

+Chain line remains straight on front end
+Immediate gear change and easier than a front derailleur
+It can be shifted sitting still
+Easier chain management
+Reduced Maintenance … No need for tiresome, tricky adjustments
+Since there is only one sprocket the chain length on this gearbox is constant
+The overall gear ratio is 179 percent … equivalent to a front crankset equipped with 28t/40t/50t rings.

The *eventual cost is said to be “above $300”. They are not currently in production and sales. They were just involved in a kickstarter campaign in which they exceeded their goal by 145 %. They are hoping to be delivering the product in August 2015. Right now I think this gearbox can be ordered for the cost of $240. Eventually the price will increase. Shipment is FREE for: United States, Canada, European Union, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

Efneo Gearbox $240

HERE is an article about this product. And HERE is another article. And HERE is a 3rd article.

The first gear is running 1:1, the second a 30% increase, and the third increases the gearing an additional 25%.  Unfortunately the gear ratios offered aren’t as good on the top end as most trikes with a 3 chainring derailleur setup so top speed obtainable would be lesser. This is the equivalent of 50 tooth while most trikes have a 52 tooth large chainring. I like the idea of it having 3 “gears” in it versus the 2 “gears” found in the Patterson and Schlumpf units. I think this is a nice looking unit. It is available in 170 and 175 mm crank arms. I would want 165 mm maximum length if I were in the market for one of these. The Efneo Gearbox will have its own paddle shifter that controls the gearbox with a single shift cable. The chainring is made from a very high quality Chromoly Steel 32HRC. Efneo offers a chainring for 1/8 and 3/32 inch chains. This gearbox is not recommended for heavy duty use. In the next video installation of this gearbox is covered.

HOW TO FIX A FLAT TIRE ON THE FRONT OF A TADPOLE TRIKE


Here is  Utah Trike’s video on how to fix a flat tire on the front of a tadpole trike:

And here is another video produced by the Bicycleman dealership:

 

REAR WHEEL REMOVAL & REINSTALLATION


Removing and reinstalling the rear wheel on a tadpole trike can be a bit challenging … more so than it is on a diamond frame bicycle. This is mainly due to the extra weight of a trike over a bike and the fact that things seem to be a bit more compact, especially if you have a 20 inch rear wheel. Here are a couple of videos showing how to do this on a bicycle as well as on a tadpole trike. Basically it is the same procedure for either one.

The Bicycleman dealership has produced a video showing and explaining how to remove and reinstall a rear wheel in a tadpole trike which is equipped with a rear derailleur. Their video title says that the video is about changing a flat tire, but the video doesn’t even touch on that.

Notice that he does not say anything about shifting the front derailleur onto the smallest chainring. It does make it easier so I would highly recommend it. Also notice that in both of these videos the cycles are in work stands which makes it far more easier than trying to do it sitting alongside of the road or trail. Ideally it is best to have some means of holding the back of the trike up while removing the rear wheel and while it remains removed. Otherwise the rear derailleur and chain will be sitting on the ground. Most trike riders are not going to be carrying some sort of portable work stand along with them so this can be a challenge. One solution would be to tip the trike over on it’s left side while the rear wheel is off. I personally carry along with me a package of wet wipes to clean my hands if and when I get oil or dirt on them while performing repairs. Doing so will help us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


Safety while riding is and always should be a major concern. Bright flashing headlites and taillights are quite important as are highly visible safety flags. They help us to be seen. But what about being heard when that is needed? Horns and bells to the rescue. When it comes to horns is just being loud all that is needed? My response to that is most definitely no. I have a loud horn, but all too often it is like no one hears it. I get no reaction out of them. They just seem to ignore it. That’s not good. I have asked people … “Didn’t you hear my horn?” Their response was “Yes, but we didn’t know what it was so we didn’t pay any attention to it”. That is disappointing and a concern as my life as well as the welfare of others may depend upon it.

I personally have a MegaHorn which is supposedly 105 decibels. Like I said, I am not impressed with it for the reason I stated above.

mega horn

Did you ever notice that most people seem to hear and react to car horns? (Click HERE if you want to listen to different car horns.) Actually a typical car horn is not all that loud decibel-wise. They are usually anywhere between 90 to 110 decibels. There are bicycle horns around that are rated at 130 to 140 decibels which I will cover further on in this article. Does the idea of having a loud horn that sounds like a car horn appeal to you? It does me.

There is a new product which fills the bill. This rascal isn’t cheap to buy ($95), but it is loud and it does sound like a car horn. Interestingly the name of this horn is “LOUD BICYCLE HORN“.

Product Specs:

Water resistant, you can use it in rain and snow
Loudness and pitch: just like a typical car horn
Honk duration: up to 30 seconds straight, but please be respectful
Batteries: Mini USB rechargeable, lithium batteries that will last 1-2 months on a charge
Dimensions: 6×4.5×4 inches at its widest extent
Weight: 1.5 lb

Here is what the manufacturer says about their product:

“We want biking on roads to be safer. Cycling on roads can be frightening and dangerous. This horn prevents accidents by alerting motorists with a familiar sound, and gives more people the confidence to travel by bike. Why does it work? Drivers react to car horns before they even look. A driver that gets beeped at while backing out of a driveway, or entering traffic will immediately brake. These kinds of reflexive reactions are perfect to keep cyclists safe. Some motorists don’t realize that their driving habits can be dangerous for cyclists. Drivers will learn to be more aware of cyclists after a Loud Bicycle horn is honked at them.”

$95 seems like an outrageous price, but then I have to ask myself … which is better and more sensible … to buy a loud horn for $25 to $40 that people ignore or spend $95 for a horn that people react to?

loud bicycle horn in box

I am not sure what one would be up against mounting it on a trike as it is designed to mount on bicycles. I assume something satisfactory could be figured out though. I definitely think that of all the bicycle horns out there this one would get the best results.

There are other horns on the market. Some are difinitely loud. Two that are rated at 140 decibels are the AirZound and the Hornit.

AirZound

Hornit

As for the Hornit, normally I am not much of a fan of the “electronic” chirping sound, but perhaps since it is quite loud it might be okay. The AirZound is popular. The main thing I have against the AirZound is the fact that it has to be pumped up with air. And having the extra compressed air bottle to mount and run the air tube between it and the actual horn … well, neither of these appeal to me. Comparing the two of them I think I prefer the Hornit.

Other bicycle horns may not be as loud, but have other features such as a strobe light along with the horn. If people were looking in your general direction having a bright strobe light that lights up when the horn is sounded would be okay, but often times they are not looking your way and that is why you are honking your horn.  If they were looking your way, hopefully they would see your flashing strobe light you have on while riding. And they might even see your safety flags. I have had people tell me that they saw my flags before they saw my flashing lights even though the lights are quite bright and really get their attention. Anyway, here is one such horn … the Orp Smart Horn:

When I compare the sounds these different horns make I think the one that sounds like a car horn is most effective. I readily admit that it is just my opinion, but I fully agree with the manufacturer that people do pay attention to a car horn and immediately react either by braking, turning, moving over or at least looking.

But if you really want to be heard …

HERE is a lesser version (cheaper too).

Of course, I have been talking here about dealing with motorists for the most part. When it comes to dealing with pedestrians I try not to use a loud horn unless I find it necessary. Instead I use a squeeze bulb horn which is plenty loud and people notice it. Actually the volume level is easily adjustable … dependent upon how hard and forcibly you squeeze the bulb. It is actually a “kiddie horn” from Walmart which cost $5. I could not be happier with it. I sawed it off to shorten it which didn’t effect the sound or volume any. I enjoy using it on the trails and such especially where children are around as they like hearing it since it is a kiddie horn. I get lots of smiles from children and their parents. (If you want to hear this horn honk click HERE. It is heard at the beginning and at the end of this video.)

my squeezbulb horn

I like bells also but I no longer use them as I always have trouble with them ringing by themselves when I hit bumps. And it doesn’t take much of a bump to ring them. Even my expensive “ding dong” bell sounds off on bumps … just money wasted.

And for the bell lovers out there …

In parting I just want to say that even if people on foot or roller skates, etc. are not following the rules and staying over to the side it doesn’t give us the right to run them over on our cycles. We need to check our attitude. Be kind to one another out there. It truly will pay off and help us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FORTRIKE — PRODUCT OF BRASIL/BRAZIL


Fortrike under pier

started seeing these tadpole trikes online awhile back. I think I first saw them on Facebook and that’s mostly where I have been seeing them. They are a bit unique in that they use regular** bicycle front forks instead of stub axles. This is somewhat common for individuals who build their own trikes, but quite unusual for a company producing them. They seem to be selling quite a few of them.

Fortrike

http://www.fortrike.com.br/modelos.html

https://www.facebook.com/manoel.m.barbosa/photos (lots of images)

on the edge

on the edge 3

I assume that this is a picture of their storefront …

Fortrike storefront

Fortrike 2 front fork

They obviously are manufacturing the forks themselves **rather than using forks off of bicycles. Individuals who make their own trikes often “cannibalize” parts off of “donor bikes”. You can get away with that on a very small scale, but it would be nightmarish and most impractical if you are building lots of trikes.

manufactured parts

As you can see the X-seam adjustment is accomplished by sliding the crankset along the boom … similar to the design of the Atomic Zombie trikes.

front boom

fortrike.com

They have even made at least one tandem …

Fortrike tandem

It is not likely that we will be seeing these trikes being sold in other far away countries, but hey, they sure seem to be popular where they are being built. And that’s good if you are in business making and selling them. I like their marketing photos as they are often pretty surroundings in the background …

2 Fortrike trikes

Maybe someday we will see someone riding along touring in another country on one of these. Keep a look out and meanwhile …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

TADPOLE TRIKE MAKES RECORD JUMP


I am currently 68 years old. I grew up with a keen interest in bicycles, motorcycles and cars. I rode my bicycles and motorcycles a lot and had a blast doing so. I used to do a lot of off road motorcycle riding and really enjoyed it. I was pretty good at it. Although I mostly rode my motorcycles on trails I did some hill climbing, playing around on a couple of race tracks and did some jumping (although I was no Evel Knievel).  I also went to hill climbs and a lot of different kinds of motorcycle races. I saw some of the best competitors around in my day. They were very good. However, as time went along I started seeing things done on motorcycles and bicycles that were unheard of in “my day”. I am talking about jumping thru the air amazingly high and doing various tricks while flying thru the air before landing.

       motorcycle stump jumping 2  motorcycle stunt jumping 4

I am sure most of us have seen what I am talking about. Definitely the fact that the motorcycles have greatly improved suspension help enable riders to do these fantastic jumps. I figured it was just a matter of time before I would start seeing some of these same crazy wild things being done on a tadpole trike. I was right. It has started. Check out this guy …

trike-jumping-2 reduced

Some would say that he has more guts than brains. I tend to agree with that. That’s not even a suspended trike. A lot could go wrong and likely would. The result could be disastrous … even fatal. When I see individuals do things that are so very dangerous I can’t help but wonder why they would do it. To my way of thinking it is not “normal”. Flying thru the air with the greatest of ease may be okay for circus performers using safety nets, but this is altogether different. There is no safety net here and that ground below is unforgiving. I don’t think I would even care to watch stuff like this as I am not into witnessing such things when they go wrong. And things do go wrong …

motorcycle stunt jumping 3

BTW, in case you hadn’t already figured it out … this image of the trike jumping isn’t real … I created it.

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April Fools !!!

Hey, I didn’t want to break the tradition. 🙂   Well, did I fool ya? Please feel free to comment.

My suggestion is not to try doing any dangerous “trike tricks”. That way you stand a much better chance to continue to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

For those who don’t know what April Fools Day is you can read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html

In short is is an old custom here in the Untied States (as well as Canada, Europe, Brasil, and Australia) where we play tricks and hoaxes on each other on the first day of April.