Monthly Archives: September 2015
Anyone who reads the postings on Recumbent Trikes Group on Facebook have probably already seen my recent posting there about heel slings. For some time now I have considered buying them to try. I finally did about a week ago and have been using them. At first I didn’t care much for them, but I figured out that part of my problem with them was simply getting them “tweaked in”. The pedals I am using probably are not ideal for use with them. I simply used a pair of pedals I had on hand. After studying the pedals and the routing of the cables thru the pedals I decided to reroute the cable. That made a big difference and helped a lot. Now as I ride with my feet in the heel slings I really like them … so much better than using the SPD shoes and pedals. Yes, heel slings get my vote! As for the pedals I will probably buy some other ones which are better suited for mounting these heel slings to.
I understand the danger of “leg suck” while riding a tadpole trike even though I personally have never had an issue of my feet going down onto the ground if and when they come off of the pedals. That being said I know it ‘could happen‘ so it is best to do something to prevent it. I know most people turn to SPD shoes and pedals and really like them. I am not a fan of them myself as I don’t like having my feet locked to the pedals. So that rules out SPD, rat traps, and straps. I find SPD shoes to be uncomfortable to begin with. I need to wear shoes/sandals I am comfortable in. I also need to be able to move my feet around on the pedals a little bit as I ride. With the use of heel slings I can do all this.
Please note: When I originally wrote this article I wrote about the JSRL heel slings product as it was the only such product available I was aware of. Then TerraTrike came out with their version of heel slings which didn’t much impress me. However, more recently they have a new design they offer which I really like. I bought them and use them. I highly recommend them over the JSRL heel slings.
If you are looking for the TerraTrike product be sure you don’t get confused and buy the older version which is still available.
Here (below) is a picture of the JSRL heel slings.
Although it is claimed that heel slings can be used to pull back on the pedal much the same as can be done with SPD pedals I would argue that doing so is not as easy nor practical. The main reason for this is because the foot is not attached to the pedal like it is with the SPD system so when you pull back against the heel sling with the back of the foot the foot lifts off of the pedal. At least that is what happened when I tried it. Supposedly one is to point their toes downward as they pull back on the heel sling with their foot. That seems ridiculous to me. Going thru all that isn’t worth it. For me it is a non issue thankfully since I don’t pull back on the pedal using SPD pedals.
Here is how the cables and hardware are installed:
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The cables are adjustable for different size shoes and it really is important to get the adjustment right. Since cables are flexible and sag down under their own weight the further they are extended the more they will sag down. This makes it more difficult to get one’s feet into them. I personally think they need some means of preventing them from sagging down as it would make it so much easier to get into them. My shoe size is small enough that the sagging is not as much of an issue as it would be if I wore larger shoes.
At first I found it a bit difficult to get my shoes/sandals positioned properly into the heel slings. However, with the tweaking I did and with a little practice now I can get in and out of them fairly quick and easily. And getting out of them is so much quicker and easier than it is with the SPD system. I no longer have to concern myself with my feet being fastened to the pedals should an accident occur or a roll over take place. That is something I think about as it could happen. And if it did happen I might not be able to get my feet loose from the pedals. Also someone coming upon the scene of an accident is not likely to know how the SPD system releases. Lastly, it could be very painful and even dangerous to move the feet and legs to release them from the pedals. Yes, heel slings get my vote!
The one thing I think would greatly improve this product would be for the pedals to be counter weighted so that they would be positioned in the ready position for use instead of rotating way around due to the weight of the heel slings hanging off of them. This would take considerable weight however … unless it was hung way out in mid air on the opposite side of the pedals. Even with this problem I still found them fairly easy to use once I got the hang of it. In the picture above the cable is adjusted most of the way out …. must be for the BigFoot Monster … so the weight is considerable and the pedal is rotated way around to where it is upside down. My pedals are not rotated nearly this much.
John Lawrence sells his heel slings thru his website, JSRLDesigns, LLC. Here is the basic kit he sells. Heel pads are optional and recommended if you wear sandals. John seems to be a nice guy to deal with and genuinely sincere about helping his customers and giving them total satisfaction.
With the use of my heel slings I will be able to …
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(without concern of leg suck)
Recently while out riding I spotted a Google Maps Street View car driving around obviously capturing images of the streets and off to the sides as he drove using the many cameras mounted on top. It is the first time I have actually seen one of these cars in person. As I rode my trike down the street along with a friend who was riding his DF bike the Google car turned a corner and started down the same street we were on. We passed each other so I can only assume it is just a matter of time before our images will be available to see on Google Maps Street View. I read that they blur the faces of those captured in their pictures.
Seeing this car got me to thinking about how often I use Google Maps including street view. I use it for personal stuff, but I also use it a lot in connection to my trike riding. I find it to be an extremely handy tool. For those who have never used it here is a video instructing and showing how to do so.
Some folks get their kicks following these cars around … something which is not appreciated and understandably so. I find the camera car intriguing so I decided to see what I could find concerning it. Here is a video on them.
Google’s “Dream Team”
Google uses other means to go places where their cars can’t go. The above shows 3 of those means. Most photography is done by car, but some is done by trekker, tricycle, boat, snowmobile, camel, and underwater apparatus.
The “trekker” is where a person walking on foot carries a similar rig strapped to their back.
Here is a video which is quite informative about the trekker setup and how it is used as well as many other means Google has used to get their pictures.
As you can see a trike was placed on a boat to capture images from the water.
Although the street view is not available all over the world the regular maps and satellite images are to varying degrees. Again, it is my understanding that certain areas either can’t be shown at all or can’t be shown in detail and/or zooming in is not allowed. Sensitive areas are blurred as required by law.
Here are the 15 cameras presently used in their setup. In addition to these cameras there are also laser sensors to detect buildings, etc. for their 3 D images.
As these vehicles travel the world they have captured some very interesting things in still images. Some things are funny while other things are embarrassing. Various criminal activities have been photographed and some arrests have been made as a result. As you can probably imagine the drivers of these vehicles have encountered some interesting situations and behavior including having guns pointed at them as they drove by. Here is a sampling of some of the stuff the cameras capture.
One popular video is a commercial about an embarrassing moment caught on Google Map Street View cameras.
You can read about Google Street View HERE. There is some interesting reading as to some of the technology which is on board these cars and what they may be up to in addition to taking the pictures.
Speaking of the Street View feature I was riding down one of the streets in my area along with a friend when a Gogle Street View Camera car drove past us from the opposite direction. It took awhile but the images taken were eventually available when Google updated their images of that area. Here is a captured screenshot of that moment.
There is a game of sorts I used to participate in where you see a street view image without being told where it is. It could be anywhere in the world and the person is supposed to figure out where the location is. I did pretty good at it. I usually could figure it out. It was both fun and challenging.
Getting back to tadpole trike riding and Google Maps … I mentioned that I find them a very handy tool which I have used numerous times. I have checked out trails, routes, areas, restaurants, access points, etc. of places I intended to ride. I have looked at areas adjacent to the trails I ride to get a better idea of what is there. I have checked out rails far away from me to see what they are like. I have looked up places where other trike riders live and/or the area where they ride. I have used the various features to learn what an area is like I need to go to so that I will know where I need to go and how to go about getting there before I attempt it. The satellite images and street views are most helpful in this. I have used the satellite images and street views to create an image I then can edit and add to it showing various things to others to help them understand something I am telling them about. I have done this on this blog many times.
Here is a place I would love to ride my tadpole trike. In doing so I would be along the very same street the Lord Jesus walked when He was here on earth. This is said to be the route He took as He struggled with the heavy wooden cross carrying it to the place where He was crucified on that cross for your sin as well as mine as He carried out the plan for salvation for you and I. You can read more about it HERE.
I have ridden down streets and trails using Google Maps … although it was a ride in “virtual mode”. In doing so, I have been places I most likely will never be able to ever actually get to in real life. There are just a lot of great aspects of modern technology we have available to us nowadays. I for one am very thankful for such technology. I just hope they never catch me on camera “relieving myself” alongside the road or trail.
How many times have you ridden up to an intersection with a traffic signal and had to stop on red only to discover that you could sit there all day long and the light won’t change for you unless a car or truck comes along which “trips” the light? Yep, bicycles and motorcycles often don’t have what it takes to cause the traffic lights to change. So what is a person to do? If we go thru the light when it is red we could get arrested.
Well, I have good news. The law makers of some 16 states thus far have passed the Dead Red law. It applies to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. There is a catch, however. Unfortunately these 16 states did not make the law uniform. So one needs to know what the law is in the particular state they are in. After coming to a stop at a red light you are permitted to go thru it when it is safe to do so. However, you can’t do so immediately in most of the 16 states.
Here is a list of states and limited information as to how long you must wait before you can proceed. I applaud the passing of this law, but it really needs to be uniform and sensible. As you can see some of the wording looks dangerous … open to interpretation and opinion. I like Tennessee’s “allowed when safe” as it makes the most sense. It is all too dangerous when the lawmakers leave it open for interpretation and opinion.
I used to ride motorcycles and I had one for awhile when I was in the Navy. I can remember when I was in Charleston, S.C. where just about a block from the main gate of the Naval Base there was a traffic light that would not change for me. I used to pop a wheelie and bring the front wheel down onto the pavement where the sensing unit was at which would trip it. Otherwise it would not change. Fortunately I never had to deal with any police about popping a wheelie.
Anyway, dealing with traffic lights that won’t change for us is a serious matter and problem so I am glad that the state legislators are finally doing something to help. Running a frozen red is reasonable, and even necessary, but this actually makes it legal. Dead red laws just make sense. 34 states do not yet have the Dead Red law. One of the problems is the lack of knowledge of this law. Even many police don’t know about this law. So if you are in a state which has the Dead Red law and you have followed it, but still find yourself dealing with the police … be nice and respectful, but by all means, do educate them about this law.
In closing I just want to say that I was not aware of this law until very recently. I just stumbled across it while researching something else online. Actually I came across THIS TEST of one’s knowledge of Indiana cycling laws. This Dead Red law was part of that. I didn’t get it right as I had never heard of it. Otherwise I scored very high on the test. I was surprised to discover my own state, Indiana, has passed this law as Indiana seems to be one of the last states to pass sensible and needed laws. This is a law which should have been passed many decades ago. It is a law the other 34 states need to pass. I just hope the lawmakers make it uniform and sensible, but I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. What I am going to do as long as possible is to …
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I think we all knew it would just be a matter of time before Catrike came out with a full suspension model. And just like they did with the rear suspension offered on the Road model creating something unique in design the same holds true of the new front suspension. Unfortunately in the pictures I have seen of this new model none of them show the front suspension very well. Hopefully that will change soon and I can include an image of it here. Meanwhile images are about all I can include as there just isn’t much information about this trike available at this time.
Basically from what I understand the Dumont is pretty much like the 559 with a 26 inch rear wheel and very similar rear suspension in appearance only as Catrike also redesigned the rear suspension to increase lateral stiffness with a new yoke, yoke pivot, axle and a fully triangulated swing arm.
The yoke redesign includes oversized 37mm ball bearings, triangular side tunnels, and underside opening. The result is a 53 percent increase in stiffness. The updated yoke pivot boss now has a 360 degree three axis profile and a 25mm through axle.”
Again my understanding is that in the design of the front suspension the all too common phenomena of “diving” when braking has been eliminated as well as the problem with turning and experiencing similar diving. The front suspension uses elastomers although they are different than those found on ICE trikes. The elastomers are made of a different material and are said to be superior to the material used on some other trikes such as ICE.
I have not seen a price yet, but it is a pretty sure bet that it will be the most expensive model to date. Suspension on a trike most definitely adds to the price.
It will be interesting to see just what further information is released about this model. I would rather imagine that there will be many people interested to purchasing this machine.
I have to admit if I were in the market for a folding trike I would really like one that folds up into a much smaller configuration like the Evolve or Trident Odyssey do. That being said, I am concerned about both of these models as far as how strong their frame components and hinge areas are. It just seems like making them so that they fold up so small would greatly take away from the strength of the frame. I hope I am wrong about this, but that is something that concerns me. One thing about Catrike … they are all about quality and great and thoughtful engineering.
This new model should be available in October of 2016. At least that is the most recent news release from Catrike.
You may have to wait in line awhile if you want one. That would be my guess, anyway.
HERE is BentRiderOnline’s recent article on this new model from Catrike. Here is a top view of the front suspension.
Until such time as Catrike releases some more images of this new model or someone manages to capture some showing this front suspension we are pretty much in the dark. I have searched online about three times now and there just isn’t anything more I can find. I have attempted to crop and enlarge this image of the front suspension, but as you can see it really doesn’t show all that much.
Catrike has a few images posted on their Facebook page. Hopefully they have another great model in their lineup. Knowing Catrike it is a pretty sure bet.
And HERE is a news release from Catrike.
Update — Recently I read that the price for the Dumont will be about $4500. I also read that the front suspension is not retroactive, that is, it can not be installed on other Catrike models.
And here is a video produced in Sept. 2016 …
Here is a powerful story of a man stricken with Parkinson’s Disease who hasn’t given up. His story is very inspoiring. Thanks to his tadpole trike he has been able to live a much more normal life than he would have if he gave in to the disease.
God’s Word declares: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Another way of stating this is that history repeats itself. (BTW, that includes “global warming”.) We have a tendency to think that our modern day tadpole trikes are a relatively new innovation, but the truth is they have been around for a very long time. Now I am not talking about thousands of years, but they do go back about 140 years or so … 1875 to the best of my knowledge and understanding. I can’t post a picture of it here for fear of being sued so HERE is a link to a website where you can see it.
Velocars have been around for a long time also and they still exist today. The one pictured above is from 1928.
One of the very earliest was made in France by a man and his son. Their family name was Mochet. Slowly their product evolved from pedal power to small gas engine powered. The engine was 125cc which meant that no driver’s license was required to operate one. For a very long time there was no reverse gear, but eventually one was added. Much of the early history of this company and their product was during the Great Depression when money was scarce and life was difficult. Eventually they offered a model with a 175cc engine which required a driver’s license. They started producing commercial vehicles and went exclusively with those before closing the factory in 1958. Prior to closing Mochet produced 30 to 40 vehicles a month. Toward the end they produced a 750cc engine vehicle. Their demise occurred when the law was changed reducing the engine size from 125cc down to 50cc for no licensing required. They had produced vehicles for 24 years before shutting down. And it all started out as pedal power. I wonder what would have happened if they would have just remained all pedal power instead of motorizing them.
There is a well written and informative article found HERE about this company and their products. Here is an excerpt of the article:
“The pedals were connected by chains to an intermediate drive shaft located under the seats. From there, two chains with different gear ratios drove the rear axle. The gears were selected with a small lever under the driver’s seat that connected to an interesting clutch system. Mochet kept making improvements, adding a third gear and then a separate chain that was permanently engaged. It turned on a freewheel whenever one of the other gears was engaged, and acted as first gear when the lever was positioned in neutral.
People Powered – Velocars, Microcars, the Wars & the Mochets
As bicycles at the time got more gears, so did velocars finally getting up to 5 in 1940. The rear wheel hubs had unusual drum brakes with the shoes and linings on the outside of the drum. When you squeezed the brake handle, the brakes squeezed the drum. The Velocars were quite popular, believe it or not. They weren’t built by the thousands by any means, but people used them on holiday, to go to work, or to the store. You could get one with a little pickup-like box on the back to use as a delivery vehicle.”
Velocars have had the form of tadpole, delta and quad. Some have had handlebars while others have had automotive type steering wheels. Some have had full bodies while others had only partial bodies.
There were even 2 wheeled models. Here is one.
And here is a guy who made a modern day quad …
And here is another modern day one …
Lastly here is one I think you will enjoy watching …
Yes, tadpole trikes have been around for awhile, but that is not to say that they haven’t been greatly improved since their early days. Even the enclosed trikes are greatly improved over the early ones. Compare these two:
Yep, we have come a long way, baby!
It is great to know that thru the many years man has been able to …
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Back in my teenage years and into my 20s and 30s I used to love hill climbing. However, it was a bit different back then. Here is a picture of me engaged in some hill climbing.
Obviously it is not a good quality photo. Yes, hill climbing then was a lot of fun. This particular hill was long enough and had the right incline to it that I could “wheelie” my way up it. Serious hills however are not conquered by riding a wheelie. In fact, the least amount of front end up into the air is desirable.
I tackled some pretty steep hills including some that looked like they would be impossible to climb at the very top … to get over the top where the edge protruded forward like I have drawn here with the blue arrow pointing to what I am talking about:
It could be done and I and a couple of my friends used to do it all the time. We had to do it just right however or the consequences would have been disastrous.
I never got involved in competition. I only did this for fun and recreation. I loved motorcycling … both on and off road. In competition there are two goals. The first goal is to make it all the way to the top and over the crest of the hill. May competitors fail to accomplish this. The second goal is to make it up the hill faster than anyone else. I used to love watching hill climbing competition as I did other motorcycle competition … racing, trials, etc. Yes, hill climbing on a motorcycle was a lot of fun.
Now I am much older and my motorcycling days are over. Oh, I would still enjoy some of it if I were to do it, but it is not worth the risk of injury. Things change a lot as we age. I am nearly 69 now and I definitely am not in the physical condition I was in 40 years ago when I used to do this kind of stuff. I continued to ride motorcycles on roads over the years, but I made the decision a few years ago to sell my motorcycle and just stick with my human powered machines. I found that I was riding them and ignoring my motorcycle. I was surprised by this as I assumed I would continue to ride a motorcycle for a very long time … right up until I felt I needed to quit for personal safety reasons. I have no regrets making the decision to stop altogether. I truly enjoy pedaling along on my tadpole trike. That brings me to the point of this posting … hill climbing on a tadpole trike. Now I am not talking about off road riding, but rather strictly riding on paved surfaces whether they be trails, streets, roads, or sidewalks.
The difference between my motorcycle hill climbing days and now is that the motorcycle hill climbing was lots of fun. I sure can’t say that about climbing hills on my trike. Nope, not at all. It is just something that comes with it and has to be done. I find no enjoyment in it. But there are some differences which I want to point out. Climbing a hill on a motorcycle (off road) involves a certain amount of speed. You usually can’t go very slow and have much hope of making it ‘up and over’. Both balance and traction would be one’s undoing if the speed was too slow. On a tadpole trike on pavement climbing a hill is usually pretty slow going, but the good news is that balance doesn’t enter the picture. One can go as slow as they care to as long as they can turn the crank pedaling along. I have climbed many hills at 2 mph or even a touch less at times. And if I want to or need to I can even stop to rest or pick up a piece of trash or a tree branch laying on the trail and then resume my climbing.
Of course, this would not be possible without the use of “granny gear”. Ah yes, good ol’ granny gear! What a difference gearing can make. For those who don’t know what granny gear is it is simply the lowest gear one has on multiple gear trike. On a typical derailleur system it is when the chain is on the smallest sprocket in the front and the largest sprocket in the back. In the picture of the bicycle below you can see this gear combination.
It doesn’t take long to get into serious trouble trying to climb a hill if the rider fails to shift into a low enough gear. Then there are trikes that don’t have low enough gearing available and so the rider on such a trike either really struggles or doesn’t even attempt to climb hills they know they can’t make it up. What can I say except “Sorry about your luck”.
No, I can’t say as though I am enjoying climbing hills nowadays, but I am enjoying the fact that I can and am. And I am relatively sure that in doing so it helps me to …
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How do you balance that thing? … Just one of the dumb questions I have been asked. And some comments are as dumb. One such comment I have heard a couple of times is … “That thing sure looks uncomfortable.” And then they ask me about it. I usually ask them if they have a recliner chair or have ever sat in one. If they say yes I then ask them if it is/was comfortable to which they reply “Of course”. Then I tell them that sitting on the trike is much like sitting in a recliner chair. They don’t know what to think or say then. One person went on to say … “Well, it just doesn’t look comfortable to me. I think I would prefer a regular bike.”
Then there are those who come up with statements like … “I will give you $125 for it.” I tell them … “That wouldn’t even buy the fenders on it.” Most people have no concept of how much money is involved in a tadpole trike.
“That doesn’t look safe! I would be afraid to ride something like that.” I occasionally hear that. What can I say? In my opinion having ridden diamond frame bicycles for nearly 60 years before switching over to recumbents I think it is far safer than being on 2 wheels. Of course, anything we operate is only as safe as the way in which we operate it. But inherently a tadpole trike is far safer than a bike. And most tadpole trike riders would readily tell you that they get far more respect (from drivers of cars and trucks) on their trike than they ever did on a bike.
Another common question is … “Is that hard to ride? It looks like it would be.” My answer is … “No, why do you think that?” Then I go on to explain that it could not be any simpler. There is no balancing involved like there is on a bike so that in itself makes it easy. It is quite comfortable, easy to pedal, has excellent brakes, handles like a sports car and is a blast to ride.
Another often asked question is … “How do you steer it?” Again, my comeback is usually … “The same as you do any bike … you use the handlebars” … while I am demonstrating it for them.
I try not to get smart with them although I have to admit it is challenging not to at times. Remembering that as a tadpole trike rider I am an ambassador. I want to promote tadpole trikes and help others take notice of all they have to offer. I would like very much to see many more of them … just so it doesn’t get too crowded out there. 🙂
Yes, as the numbers grow we can all …
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Take a peek at Matt’s new trike and trailer as he explains it all in detail. It is one fancy rig.
Here is Matt’s video description:
I am about to take off for the JaYoe World Tour 2.0… and my new trike and trailer setup has been upgraded and is ready to go. Let me give you a little tour of my new rig.
– My new trike is the same as the first one, a HP Velotechnik Scorpion 20fs, but this time I had it painted “JaYoe” yellow.
– The front chain ring this time has been upgraded to a Schlumpf Speed Drive, instead of a bulky derailer.
– Terra Cycle in Oregon (http://www.t-cycle.com/) have hooked me up with some amazing new brackets and accessories to mount my phone, camera, and Garmin 1000 Edge cycle computer.
– My seat cover was custom sewn by a company owned by a new friend in Pakistan. His company is called Paktrike, and the seat cover he made for me is awesome! (https://www.facebook.com/Paktrike)
– Terra Cycle also hooked me up with a bracket that allows me to put 2 side bags on either side of my seat, this is going to be incredibly useful on the road!
– The side bags are from a company called Arkel (www.arkel-od.com/), and not only are fantastic quality and are large enough to suit my needs, but they are waterproof too. My rear panniers are the same.
– My new Trailer is awesome. Produced by a company called AIDOO in Germany (http://www.aidoo-tec.com/), it has been designed and built according to all my needs on the road! The ideal trailer for a trip around the world!!
– On top of that, I have upgraded and included more lights on the trailer, adding visibility, powered by a SON hub dynamo and a USB Converter E-WERK by Busch & Müller (http://www.nabendynamo.de) http://www.bumm.de/produkte/e-werk/e-werk.html
An Amazing Kit! So let me give you a little tour!
All the points in this video are mapped out on the JaYoe Map page, so if you are interested to go exploring yourself… you will know where to go. Check out the map page at: http://jayoe.com/map/#
The JaYoe Travelogues follow Matt as he rides his trike from China to USA. Thru 100 countries he ventures, seeing, doing and meeting along the way.
If you are interested in following my journey around the world, visit my the following links…
Matt is all healed up, newly equipped and ready to go … once more embarking on his epic trike journey. I am sure we all wish him well and safety. And I know I am sure looking forward to seeing more of his excellent videos of his journey. Yep, he is about to redefine that saying …
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Feet first … those words have different meanings, but mostly people think of it as being dead and carried out feet first.
Well, I think you will be pleased to know that I am not talking about that. Nope, not at all. Rather I am talking about riding a recumbent where one’s feet are out in front of them. As far as I am concerned it is the only way to go. It is definitely far more comfortable riding in this position.
The word recumbent means reclined or laid back. When one is reclined their feet are out in front of them. Overstuffed recliner chairs are very popular. In fact, as soon as I get thru writing this article I plan on going out into the living room and sitting in one. I not only plan on sitting on one, but I plan on reclining in it and probably falling asleep and taking a short nap. The older I get I am finding I need to do this daily if I possibly can.
I already did my reclining with my feet out in front on my trike this morning and rode getting some exercise before the heat of the day built up. Yep, there is no escaping it … we are all going feet first. We have a choice though. We can go feet first now as well as later. I plan to …
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as long as I can and just maybe it will help delay going feet first the other way.
Another velomobile is trying to make it to market. The Ginzvelo it an interesting design.
That large opening in the front, for instance … ah, air! That would help reduce the riding in a greenhouse/sauna effect so common in most velomobiles. That large opening would certainly help, but I would still want large air vents up around the canopy and I don’t see any. And in the cold weather I would think that large opening in the front would allow too much cold air in.
It uses the ICE Adventure trike. This is classified as a Human Electric Hybrid (HED) and, of course, is also classified as a bicycle as far as where it can be ridden and parked. At the time of this posting the Ginzvelo is in a kickstarter program.
Chassis: ICE Adventure
Electric Drive: E-BikeKit 500w Brushless Hub Motor
Battery: ALLCELL 48V 20 Ah
Max Speed (electric only): 20 MPH
Max Speed (human only): 30 MPH+
Range (electric only): 75-100 miles
Range (Human only): unlimited
Storage Capacity: 2 cubic feet
Lights: All LED Headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals
If I understand correctly at present during the kickstarter campaign there are two options currently being offered as far as “models”:
Sparten model for $3900 includes: The Atrix Shell, Headlights, Tailights, Turn Signals, Storage Net and free shipping to the lower 48 states. (note: does not include the trike, electric motor or battery)
Ginzvelo model for $6900 includes: A complete Ginzvelo with the Atrix body, ICE Adventure chassis, Headlights, Tail lights, Turn signals, 500watt E-Bikes kit, 20 AH Allcell battery, storage net and included shipping to the lower 48 states. After the kickstarter program ends the price is expected to go up to just under $10,000.
It has a 500 watt motor in the rear wheel hub. Using this size motor instead of the larger 750 watt does help to extend the distance one can travel on a single battery charge.
One thing I really like about it is how simple and easy it is to get in and out of. Most velomobiles are rather challenging and would be too difficult and unsafe for many people to even attempt to get in and out of.
This velomobile weighs only 85 pounds … not bad considering all that one sees which is extra beyond what a basic tadpole trike weighs. The monstrous HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS 26 with electric motor pedal assist weighs just over 68 pounds … twice what my Catrike Trail weighs. And it is just a plain tadpole trike, not a velomobile. So 85 pounds is pretty light considering it has the velomobile body on it.
The use of an ICE trike would not be my choice as I don’t care for the indirect steering (doesn’t turn sharp enough) nor the seat (too small). I would have much rather they offer it using a Catrike which has direct steering and a larger seat. I have ridden with ICE trikes and often they could not make the turns I made with ease. They had to stop and back up, go forward, stop, back up, go forward … just to get around the turn we were making. That is ridiculous! There is no excuse for such engineering design.
Ginzvelo reports that the velomobile has no suspension. If suspension is desired it must be ordered from ICE for an additional cost ($600 for rear suspension & $1200 for full suspension). One can buy a brand new car for the kind of money we talking here.
For an additional $200 the Ginzvelo can be outfitted with blue and green gel paint that glow in the dark to increase visibility at night. [Also looks really cool] Other more unique aesthetics are considered carefully on a case by case basis for marketing purposes.
Notice in the picture below that the opening in the front is missing. According to the question and answer page on their website it has been changed in the current design. All the air flow comes in from under the body. It still exits the same out the back behind the rider’s head.
Who knows, maybe someday we will see lots of velomobiles running around instead of so many cars. They are kinda cute!
Update (2/4/2016) — I just checked their WEBSITE and saw that they are selling their product now.
GinzVelo Atrix [BACKLOG 65 DAYS]
A complete Ginzvelo with the Atrix body, ICE Adventure chassis, Headlights, Tail lights, Turn signals, Drive System, 20 AH battery, storage net and included shipping to the lower 48!
NOTE: DUE TO BACKLOG OF ORDERS, DELIVERY IS CURRENTLY DELAYED BY 65 DAYS
The SunSeeker Eco Tad SX Recumbent Trike is featured in this video below from Utah Trikes. The Sun Bicycle manufacturer changed the name of their recumbent division to SunSeeker back in September 2014 so if you are not aware of it it is still the same company as the more known Sun bicycles and trikes. There are riders looking for lower cost trikes and trikes that sit higher (18 inches) and are highly adjustable. This trike qualifies in each of these criteria. At a starting price of $899 it is the lowest cost trike available.
As I stated this trike lists for $899 as the starting price. That includes a SunRace 7-speed derailleur and 11-32 cassette in the rear and a 38 tooth chainring. It comes with 170 mm cranks. That makes for a range of gear inches of about 22 to 65. And that means that hill climbing would take a lot of effort and high speed via pedaling would not be obtainable. Again, this trike is not designed for nor intended for high speed anyway.
It has a fully adjustable, mesh-back saddle with a padded bottom. The handlebars adjust both horizontally and vertically. Locking brake levers come standard on it as does two water bottle holders which mount on the handlebars where they are quite convenient. There are also two extra water bottle mounts on the seat back. Ordering this trike from Utah Trikes one can readily get it highly customized (for additional cost).
Standard tires are Kenda Kwest 20″ x 1.5 “. The rims are single wall so they won’t be as strong as the more common double wall rims found on most trikes. But then this trike is not built for speed and handling so hopefully this would not be an issue. Because the frame is a straight line design there is no need for idlers in the chain management.
The Eco Tad comes in three stock color options: Red, Blue, and Navy Blue. Utah Trikes charge $49 to paint it metallic blue or $199 to paint the trike whatever other color the customer selects from the nearly 3 dozen colors they offer. They also have one special black paint job they offer for $299. Utah Trikes charges $250 shipping charge for trikes ordered from them.
I will insert here that if a person starts adding on a lot of extra options, especially some of the more expensive ones such as improvement in the gearing the initial low cost of the trike escalates quickly. It makes no sense to end up paying a lot of money to equip such a trike when it is an “entry level trike”. You certainly could never begin to recoup such additional expense output if you wanted to sell it later on. The buyer would be better off buying a better trike to begin with.
HERE is Utah Trike’s article on this trike.
Detailed Specifications —
Frame Material: Hi Tensile Lightweight Steel
Trike Weight: 46 lbs
Total Weight Capacity: 300 lbs (Rider) + 75 lbs (Cargo)
Wheelbase: 37-1/2in (95cm)
Wheel Track: 31in (79cm)
Total Length: 70-1/2in – 78-3/4in (179-199cm)
Total Width: 31in (78.7cm)
Total Assembled Height: 34in (86cm)
Ground Clearance: 8.5in (22cm)
Bottom Bracket Height: 13.5in (34cm)
Steering Type: Direct Steer with 2-way adjustable handlebars
Steering Pivot Type: Cartridge Bearings
Ackerman Steering: Yes
Turning Circle: 70in (1.8m)
Seat Height: 17-18in (43-46cm)
Seat Width: 16.5in (42cm)
Seat Angle: 45-90 degrees
Country of Origin: Taiwan
I will throw this out for what it is worth … if I were in the market for an entry level trike I would go with this one over the TerraTrike Rover. I just think it is a better design and a little better quality that the Rover. The Rover is quite popular, but as a highly experienced weldor and metal fabricator when I look at a Rover I am not impressed as far as the design and materials used. It just looks chintzy to me.
To the best of my knowledge this trike is the lowest priced trike available at this time. Keep in mind that this is not a speed trike, but is strictly for leisurely riding. It might be just the ticket for those working with a tight budget and don’t need or want a sportier, more efficient, better handling trike. Yes, this just might enable them to join others and …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’