Monthly Archives: December 2018

THE NEW CATRIKE ALUMINUM ALLOY FENDERS

I can sum this up in just a few words … “wow, what an improvement!” When I bought my Catrike Trail in 2009 I ordered the full fender set which the dealer installed “half ass”.  The fenders were the Planet Bike plastic which would break out small chuncks where the mounting braces attached.  In 2013 when Catrike replaced my frame under warranty I had to settle for the new frame as they stopped making the Trail with the “space frame” (which I loved and much prefer). Over the years I have done various upgrades with better quality components. This past summer I ordered new front fenders and fender mounts. I had seen the new aluminum alloy fenders on new Catrikes the dealers had in stock so I knew they were an improvement over the old plastic fenders like I had. Upon getting them and installing them I was quite impressed and a “happy camper”. These babies not only look a lot nicer, but they are so much stronger. Just the fender mount itself is such a great improvement. No more braces are needed on the front fenders. Now a flat tire can be fixed without having to remove the front wheels. And the fenders are rock steady … no more flopping around.

Later during this past Fall I ordered the rear fender to replace my Planet Bike plastic fender. The rear fender still uses braces, but at least the fender is mounted solid. The Planet Bike rear fender moved all over the place all too easily. Thank you Catrike. You listened to customer complaints and suggestions and fixed the problem. I have to give credit to ICE and HP … they did it right to start with. The new fenders from Catrike are worth the money in my opinion. With my new fender set I am able to even moreso …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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BAR END MITTS – MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Earlier today I received a pair of bar end mitts I had ordered a couple of days ago. I installed them after getting home from my daily ride, but I wasn’t feeling like going back out to try them. However, later on I decided to try them out. It is a good day for it as it is windy today and feels pretty cold as a result. They definitely made a difference as far as greatly reducing the wind I feel on my hands. In fact, I can’t say that I felt any wind on my hands so they are doing their intended job. I only wore a pair of wool gloves inside of them hoping that the wool gloves would be sufficient to keep my hands warm. They weren’t. This disappointed me as wearing anything more will be a little problematic as there just isn’t a whole lot of room inside of the bar end mitts. Having the bar end mitts installled presents problems as the handlebars are no longer accessable like they were before. I have to use the handlebars to lift my trike up and down out of the back of my truck. And using the locking brake lever is quite difficult now with the bar end mtts installed. I don’t know how much difference there is between brands, but these I bought just don’t allow much room inside. The brake levers are right up against the front of the bar end mitts making them harder to use. Also it would be best not to have my fingers come in contact with the bar end mitts when using the brakes as in doing so coldness is transferred via conduction. I have twist shifters and with the bar end shifters they are very difficult to use to shift gears. So the verdict is out at this point in time. I just wish they was a lot more room inside of them so that these issues were non-issues. If I have to use additional gloves or mittens on my hands to keep my hands warm using the bar end mitts is going to be even more problematic. I will let you know further down the road how it all works out. Meanwhile I hope to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

I put together this video for this occasion.  It is a compilation of images of recumbent trikes out in the snow … riding in a winter wonderland. Merry  Christmas to each and everyone of you. May you truly know and embrace the reason for the season.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD (sometimes it’s chrome)

Recently I bought a new rear rim to replace the broken one resulting from pot holes which could not be avoided. My original rims on my Catrike are black so naturally I would prefer to stay with black. However, when I got my new hub motor it came already laced up in a complete wheel even with tire and inner tube. It was an aluminum color rim so already it did not match the black Catrike rims on the front. And then when trying to find a rim to replace the broken one it was discovered that rims which met all the criteria were not all that easy to find. The bike shop ordered a black rim in, but upon attempting to lace it up there was a problem with the heavy duty spokes not being the correct length to reach properly. Actually I am glad it worked out the way it did as I didn’t like the new rim they ordered as it just seemed way too light of duty. They already had a much heavier duty rim in stock which they showed me before ordering the black rim. They had made me a good price on it, but it was shiny chrome and that just didn’t appeal to me since I figured that it would really stand out. As it turned out I decided to go with it and just deal with having a bright shiny rim. I am pleased to say that sometimes things work out better than one expects. The chrome isn’t bothering me and I have a very strong BMX rim which should hold up much better than the rim that came on this hub motor wheel. It may not be gold, but it still glitters out if bright sunlight. And the truth is riding on our local trails which run alongside of rivers which flood over frequently my wheels and the entire trike is usually covered with mud which greatly dulls any glittering.

My rear wheel is already considerably messed up from mud as you can see in the picture. I had forewarned a couple of friends that they might need to wear sunglasses when around me, but it is not looking like that will be necessary now. I am so glad to have a new rim regardless of the color as now I can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MOUNTING HEADLIGHTS AND OTHER ACCESSORIES

A guy (or gal) just can’t have too many headlights. Ha Ha! One thing about it … ya gotta have some place and some way to mount them as well as computers, smartphones, GPS nagivation, mirrors, etc.  Fortunately there are options available. If you’ve got the money somebody will come to your rescue. Not all of the various means of mounting these devices is expensive, but it can get that way with some of the mounts. Some mounts are after market made by a third party and are fairly generic and fit most trikes. Some are specifically made for brand and even model. Some are a trike brand manufacturer but will work on other trike brands. All that being said if you don’t know what is available you will probably be at a loss and need some help from someone who does. I am afraid I can’t be of much help to you so don’t even ask. I am just reporting what little I know and think I understand on the matter.

There are a few different options for mounting to the front derailleur post …

Below is a Minoura Swingrip Accessory mount …

Below is a TerraCycle (not to be confused with TerraTrike) Light Mount …

Greenspeed makes a neat looking mount …

Here is an ICE mount made to bolt onto the water bottle mount on the front derailleur post …

TerraTrike does offer various mounts for lights and accessories …

This is a boom mount for a TerraTrike Rover …

I used to use this item to mount lights on although mine was black …

I used to have 3 headlights … two on the mount like shown above and the third on the Catrike accessory mount built into the front derailleur post …

Since I rarely ride after dark I decided to remove two of them so I just went back to using the original built in horizontal post on the front derailleur post.

There is also a product called The Nob, but it doesn’t seem to be available and no one seems to know when it will be …

As you can see this KMX trike has sufficient mounts for computers, GPS device and mirrors …

 

There are even axle mounts …

And then there are a bit more elaborate products …

Catrike cockpit mount …

Here is an offering from TerraCycle which I personally use along with the Catrike Cockpit Mounts. It is called a “cockpit mini-Tee” …

 

 

I have my computers mounted to them as well as my AirZound horn. Here is the one on the left side taken before the AirZound horn was installed …

There are other similar products avalable.  Most of them are to aid the rider in getting up out of the seat.

Be safe out there and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

This is a reposting of an article from my original tadpole rider blog which was closed by me some time ago.

Currently a friend of mine who has two tadpole trikes has one of them loaned to a mutual friend so that this person can ride it and know what it is like. I talked to this mutual friend this evening and they reported the exact thing we had expected to hear … that they have now a different perspective … they know what it is like to ride a tadpole trike. They are an avid diamond frame bike rider which, of course, means that they didn’t have a clue what it is like riding a tadpole trike until now. One thing that I heard is that they didn’t feel nearly as comfortable as far as being around motor vehicles. They said that being so low they can’t see nearly as well as they can from a regular bike. They are used to making “eye contact” with drivers, but can’t from a trike. I don’t understand that as I make eye contact all the time as long as the driver is looking. Another comment I heard was when riding between a narrow pathway with a concrete wall of a bridge on one side and a metal railing on the other side it was quite uncomfortable and unnerving for them. They said that all they could see is concrete on one side and metal railing on the other side … rushing by them. Here is a picture of the exact place they were talking about.

Again, this is something I can’t identify with. Of course, I have been riding a tadpole trike for over 5 1/2 years now and have some 22,000 miles of experience riding them. But I don’t ever remember going thru what this person described to me. I guess we are all different. Anyway, most definitely we will experience differences between riding a diamond frame bike and a tadpole trike. Yes, we sit much lower which is good as we don’t have nearly as far to fall. 🙂 Another thing that was mentioned was that it was so easy to reach down and pick up a small tree branch or such off of the surface of the trail while riding a tadpole trike. Most definitely I agree with that. I do it daily and a lot of it. This isn’t something that a diamond frame biker can not do. I am sure that some folks just don’t care to ride anything other than a diamond frame bike and that’s that. That’s fine by me as if everyone made the move to a tadpole trike then they would no longer be unique. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like riding something which is unique. I would love to see several more tadpole trikes out there, but I do hope they don’t become all too common. Now if you really want to try riding something which is truly unique build one of these … except make it a tadpole trike and not a bike:

And if you get it mastered let me know as I would like to come see you ride it. No, second thought just video it and put it on YouTube. I guarantee you would really have a different perspective riding this.

So whether you ride right side up or upside down … do your best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

“MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!”

This is a reposting of an article from my original tadpole rider blog which was closed by me some time ago.

“MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!”

Those of us who are old enough might recognize this picture as well as remember the words spoken by the driver of the station wagon to the motorcyclist. … “MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!” This was from the TV series “Then Came Bronson”.

http://www.huntermotorcycles.com.au/thencamebronson2.htm

The series only aired for one year (Sept. 1969-Sept. 1970). The listing and description of episodes can be found here:

http://www.tv.com/shows/then-came-bronson/episodes/

http://www.michaelparks4u.com/

video clips:

http://www.michaelparks4u.com/then-came-bronson-page-1.html

I watched it faithfully and always enjoyed it. I was an avid motorcyclist starting from my childhood as were all of my family so I had a keen interest in this program. Why am I talking about motorcycles here on a blog about tadpole trikes you ask? Well, I am not … not really. I am just leading into to my subject which is quite similar to this picture and those words. Rarely is there a day go by when I am out riding on my tadpole trike that at least one person and sometimes several will give me a thumbs up and/or say something about how much they like my trike and would like to have one and be out riding it like I am. I am sure most of you have experienced this same thing. I hear words like: that is really neat … that is cool, man … I love it … where do/can I get one … and on and on the comments go. I have been riding my tadpole trikes long enough and all over a wide area that I am known on sight by many folks all over. They see me and say “I just saw you way over on the other side of town a little earlier today”. They even know my dog and ask where he is at if they don’t see him with me. Being retired my riding has become my daily job I go out and do. I am not travelling all over the U.S. like Bronson did, but hey, I have drivers pull up alongside of me and moreless say those same words … “MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!” And it’s cool, man, cool! Well, I have riding to do so I am out of here. Hope you can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

This is a reposting of an article I wrote and posted several years ago …

Now I ask ya … Do you hear what I hear?

Sounds like a loaded question to me! And no, I am not talking about the popular Christmas song. As I ride along I hear all sorts of things. Some things are good … such as birds singing. Some things are not so good … such as mosquitoes buzzing (when I stop or slow down too much). Some things are pleasant while other things are rather unpleasant. Some things are welcome while other things are unwelcome. I mean things like … snap, crackle and pop usually are in the latter category as well as click, click, click … tick, tick … and squeal, squeal. Noises being emitted from our trikes can be and should be a concern. Right now I have a noise coming from my trike which is annoying and embarrassing. I have had a difficult time finding the cause. I was thinking it was coming from the rear cassette, but now have ruled that out. My cassette (rear sprockets) wobbles a little bit as after over 20,000 miles I have something worn inside the hub allowing this. As I pedal I hear this noise on every power stroke of the crank revolving as I push on the pedals. Just today I decided to look into the idler pulley as being suspect. I thought of it before, but more less ruled it out. A friend had another idler pulley among his “collection of parts” so I got it from him and installed it in place of my idler. That was it. Now it is as quiet as a proverbial church mouse. And yes, I am doing something about the wobble of the cassette. I have a new rear wheel ordered and am waiting on its arrival. I am not writing this to tell you about my personal problems, but rather I am using this to illustrate that we need to be listening for the various sounds out there as we pedal our way along. And we need to learn what sounds are normal and ok so that when we do hear something that isn’t we can alert to it. I suppose one could employ something like this little device to drown out such sounds, but I would not advise it.

Yes, some sounds are good sounds while others are not. Some need our attention. If ignored long enough we may find ourselves walking instead of pedaling along. There is nothing wrong with walking, but when we have our trikes along it presents a problem. And we all should do our best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

NOW YOU STAY (ALL ABOUT PARKING BRAKES)

NOW YOU STAY!!!

There is a joke about a woman who drives her car into the parking lot at a shopping center to do a bit of shopping. A man nearby sees her exit her vehicle and then turn toward the car pointing her finger saying “Now you stay!” Thinking she is talking to her car he says to her … “Lady, why don’t you just put it in ‘park’?” What he couldn’t see from his vantage point is the small dog seated inside the car which the lady was talking to.

Now that has absolutely nothing to do with tadpole trikes, but I thought it was appropriate to lead into what I want to discuss here … some means of getting our trikes to ‘stay’ when we dismount and leave our trikes unattended.

Both ICE and HP Velotechnik offer a parking brake … either a caliper type or disc type as both are options.  If any other manufacturers offer a parking brake I am not aware of it.

That being said, Catrike now comes with locking brake levers … a huge improvement over the Velcro strap they used to provide.

So unless your trike comes with some sort of parking brake or locking brake levers you need to come up with some means of keeping your trike where you leave it as I assure you that saying to your trike “now you stay” isn’t going to work.

Using a Velcro strap works, but are a pain in the neck to use in my opinion.

I have also used a heavy duty rubber band of sorts to wrap around the twist grip and hook both ends around the brake lever. This worked pretty good, but again it was a bit of a pain to use.

And I used plastic cable ties which also worked pretty good. It only required one hand to use it. I much preferred it over the Velcro strap.

There are locking parking brake levers which are my preference. They are what I have used for several years now.

For me to use them they require two hands to engage the lock.  They sure beat using the Velcro strap method.

There are other ways to keep your trike from taking off on its own, but these are the most common means that I am aware of.

One thing I want to mention is that if your trike has a rear brake it is intended to be used strictly as a parking brake. Braking the rear wheel, especially by itself with no front brake application, can be dangerous and have bad consequences. The two front brakes on a tadpole trike are plenty powerful and effective enough to stop a trike. There is no need of using a rear brake.

Regardless of what means you use to keep your trike from departing the scene without you aboard I hope you can always …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!