Monthly Archives: October 2019

VELTOP CANOPIES

VelTop offers canopies for recumbent bikes and trikes. Here are a some videos showing their offerings:

Canopies most definitely offer some added comfort and even safety to our ride and we all want to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ANALOGY OF A CRASH … SOMETHING TO BE AWARE OF

 

Although this story is about a velomobile we all need to remember that a velomobile is a tadpole trike with a shell around it. That means that what happened to this velomobile can happen to a tadpole trike. I have written about trike tip over before.

These videos point that out. This was an accident and accidents do happen. I have had several accidents on my tadpole trike. Fortunately I am still here to talk about it. BTW, rumble strips are very dangerous for small lightweight vehicles including bicycles and motorcycles. At the end of this video I will relate the story of another velomobile that encountered rumble strips.

Back in the summer of 2011 a group of velomobiles (mostly from Europe) rode from Portland, Oregon to Washington, D.C. This organized ride was called ROAM (Roll Over America). There were about 50 velomobiles involved. They came thru Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live and stayed overnight at a local city park at a campground. I went there to see them and meet some of them. I wrote up an article on my Tadpole Rider blog. While talking with some of the riders I learned of one of them that had their ride cut short way back in the western U.S. when going 70 mph downhill and flipped over suddenly when it hit rumble strips. These European riders knew nothing of rumble strips as they don’t have them in Europe they said. This was a very unfriendly introduction indeed. The velomobile involved in this wreck was hauled on a trailer the rest of the way.

The good thing about this was it was only the outside of the velomobile that got “road rash”. That body protected his body. If he had been on a regular tadpole trike he likely would have had an altogether different outcome. It could have been not only road rash but he could have slid right into or under the passing truck.

Yes, sliding around sideways and suddenly have the rear tire catch regaining some traction can easily result in a violent tip over. As the saying goes … Been There, Done That … and I am not anxious to repeat it. Try to be careful out there. We all want to be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TADPOLE RIDER FB Group

TADPOLE RIDER FB Group

I have decided to restart the TADPOLE RIDER Facebook group. It is an OPEN  (PUBLIC) group so anyone can view it without joining. Membership is required however if you wish to post or comment to a posting. If you are interested in joining it you can do so by requesting membership thru the FB group. Please be advised that this group is about tadpole trikes and only tadpole trikes. Postings and comments which do not pertain to tadpole trikes will be removed. Members who repeatedly violate this after being warned will be removed from membership. Postings and comments must not be used for personal attacks on other members. This will not be allowed.

TADPOLE RIDER Facebook group

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ELECTRIC TRIKE OWNERS FACEBOOK GROUP

While looking for tadpole trike groups on Facebook I found this one … Electric Trike Owners. I requested to join and invite you to do the same if you have an electric motor on your trike.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

DIFFERENT STROKES (trikes) FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

We are all individuals with different tastes, likes, dislikes, values, thought, etc. As they say … it is what makes the world go around. Some drive a Ford while others drive a Chevy. Some drive a Jaguar while others drive a Yugo. Speaking of Yugo … that reminds me of a joke. A guy goes into an auto parts store and walks up to the counter. The store employee asks him how he can help him. The man says “I’d like a rear view mirror for my Yugo”. The salesman pauses for several seconds as though he is thinking about it. Then he replies back … “Sounds like a fair deal to me”.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well, I will tell ya. Did you ever take a look at the list of trike manufacturers and notice that there are more than a couple? There are a whole lot of them. And most offer several models differing from one another. Tadpole trikes are not cheap to buy. We as individuals can’t all afford the “top of the line” and even if we could not all of us would want what may be considered top of the line. Some can only afford the lower cost trikes and some are happy enough with the lower cost trikes. HERE is a list of trikes by their cost.

Various factors come into play when it comes to selecting the trike which is best for us. Most certainly there is great wisdom in trying numerous brands and models before buying. Research is quite important. We should educate ourselves as much as possible.

Some trikes may appeal as far as cost but they may also not be well designed. They may not handle well. If you are only going to ride very slow and be very careful this may not be an issue for you, but if you like to ride faster and corner hard it would be a major issue.

Some trikes are equipped with high quality components while others have lower “entry level” components which may be a problem as time goes along. On my own trike I upgraded to much higher grade components and was glad I did.

Some trikes are well made and easy to work on while others are poorly engineered and a real pain to work on.

Impulsive buying is definitely not recommended as it may very well lead to buyer’s remorse. Like a car once the trike leaves the store it loses considerable value. There are dealers who won’t take back a trike for the price paid for it even if it is brought back 20 minutes later having never been unloaded much less ridden. Nobody wants to be a victim of that scenario. It is “buyer beware” so choose wisely.

We all want to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

E-ASSIST … SOME DON’T GET IT

Frequently the subject of the use of electric motor assistance on a trike comes up on a Facebook group discussion. And sadly there are always some folks who attack and criticize and pass judgement on anyone who dares to use e-assist. In doing so they usually boast about themselves being able to ride their trikes unassisted. It gets old even though I would rather imagine those same people have heard/read others say that with the use of e-assist they are able to ride further, faster and with no or greatly reduced discomfort while getting far more exercise than they can possibly get trying to ride without the help of a motor. And they greatly enjoy riding thanks to their e-assist. I know from personal experience that all of what I am saying is true. Having e-assist has made a huge difference in my life.

Anybody who has been following me thru the years and reading what I have written about motorizing a trike knows that I am against it if one doesn’t need it. That hasn’t changed one iota.  Motorizing a trike defeats the purpose of a human powered vehicle … namely getting exercise. I rode for as long as I could pedaling along and as time passed I suffered more and more in pain and discomfort. Many others have the same testimony.

Those that pass judgement on those of us who have turned to e-assist need to be thankful that they are still able to ride “unassisted”. I just hope that if ever they come to the point where they too need to turn to e-assist they will wake up and understand just how wrong they have been in their stance against those who use e-assist. Hopefully they will REPENT. And may we all just …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

GOING HEAVY DUTY IN THE WHEEL DEPT.

bought new front wheels from Catrike in 2018 to replace my original 2009 wheels that had gone the course. They were in bad shape. I was so thrilled to have new wheels on my trike but the thrill was short lived as the new wheels were in worse shape than my old ones in only about a month’s time. In fact, I have been using one of my old wheels for months now as it is in better condition than the newer one. The local streets and trails are in such bad shape that the bumps and holes are destroying my rims. My rear rim that came with my electric hub motor was also destroyed and had to be replaced. I bought a much heavier duty BMX rim to replace the rear rim. I am pleased to report that it has been holding up quite well. So now I am buying two more BMX rims and having my Catrike hubs laced into them. They are the Sun Ringle Envy (rear) rims and are black in color not white as pictured below.

 

They are considerably wider than the Catrike rims which gives them considerably more strength. Truthfully they probably are not what I would have selected as I like the extra structural pieces available in some other rims I have looked at. The picture below illustrates what I am talking about.

My local bike shop suggested these Envy rims to me and I trusted in their expertise. They assure me that they will be quite strong. Still I would be more comfortable with rims like the one I pictured above as I know they would be stronger.

I am also installing Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires in place of my beloved Marathon Plus tires.

I am going with heavy duty inner tubes in the Big Ben Plus tires hoping that they will help in preventing flats … externally caused as well as internally caused. They are 5 times thicker than a standard inner tube. I used them once before but they are just too big and difficult to install in smaller sized tires, especially Marathon Plus which are more difficult to install than other tires.

I am still using baby powder inside of my tires and on my inner tubes. The Big Ben Plus do offer some flat protection but they are 40 % less effective than the Marathon Plus tires … meaning that I am concerned about getting flats. I am hoping all goes well and these balloon tires provide enough cushioning to ensure the new rims hold up okay.

I know I will miss certain factors about the Marathon Plus tires. Probably the biggest factor is the incredible mileage I get out of them. I know that these Big Ben Plus tires will wear out much quicker. That means that they will be more expensive to use. I understand that they are suppose to provide fairly decent rolling resistance performance so that is good. Of course, having e-assist helps eliminate some of the concern over this. I may only use them until they wear out and go back to Marathon Plus. I will just have to wait and see. Meanwhile I plan on …

ENJOYING THE RIDE.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

UPDATE 10-19-2019 … I installed the new wheels with the Big Ben Plus tires today and went for a long ride. I am quite impressed with the tires thus far. They ride nice, roll very good and handle extremely well. Time will tell as to their flat protection and mileage.

WHICH TYPE OF BRAKE PAD SHOULD WE USE?

Brake pads on disc brakes wear out. Hey, they are suppose to. So what do you do when it comes time to change them? It can be a bit confusing. Organic (resin/semi metallic) and sintered (metal/metallic) are the choices. But which one should we choose? It is further complicated by the backing plate … steel, aluminum … even copper. Here is help …

So to summarize what was said in these videos … organic is okay for dry conditions. They are quieter but they also wear out quicker. Sintered if one is riding in wet conditions. They are noisier but they wear longer.

Having good working brakes is most important if we want to safely …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

CATRIKE E-CAT MAKING ITS DEBUT

Electric motor assist has become quite popular and several trike manufacturers already offer models with e-assist. I have noticed over the years that Catrike is consistently slow in coming out with models to compete with other manufacturer products. For instance, they still don’t offer a FAT tire trike which seems strange to me since FAT tire trikes are quite popular.  I have also noticed that when they do eventually come out with new products they are always superb. That is not true of all trike manufacturers. As I write this there is very little information available about the E-Cat. In fact, the only thing I can find about the E-Cat is on Facebook. Two different entities have posted on Facebook about the debut of the E-Cat. For fear of getting in trouble copying and pasting what they have to say I will simply supply a LINK to one of the articles. (They both read the same other than the time and location of their events.)

Here is what Catrike has released at this point:

“At the heart of the E-Cat line is the latest in electric assist systems. The result is a Catrike with the perfect combination of maximum efficiency, comfort and riding enjoyment. The efficient and versatile electric assist drive provides dynamic performance – guaranteeing an authentic riding sensation with minimal pedaling resistance. It delivers active and sporty acceleration even at low cadences, offering powerful assistance as soon as you step on the pedals. In addition, the system’s multi-sensor technology and fast information processing ensure optimum interaction between you and your E-Cat.

Featuring E-Cat specific graphics, the E-Cat line will be available in all eight of Catrike’s signature colors: Moon Rock Silver, Liquid Black, Eon Green, Firefly Yellow, Atomic Orange, Lava Red, Candy Purple and of course Electric Blue.”

Here is Catrike’s new graphic for the E-Cat:

The E-Cat will be shown at the Pacific TrikeFest in Portland, OR on October 5 and then at the Recumbent Cycle Con in Nashville, TN Oct. 11-13.  .

It will be interesting to see what Catrike is offering. The article states that there won’t be any new models for the E-Cat. Instead they are simply using existing models and motorizing them. We can only hope that Catrike will sell a conversion kit so that anyone with a non motorized model can upgrade to the e-assist on their current trike. I have just read that they wii starting next Spring. Here is what the Bosch crank drive motor looks like …

 

FREE GIFT awaits you!