Search Results for SPD


Shimano developed the SPD clipless system. In fact, SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamic. Other companies have since come out with compatible products.

SPD shoes and pedals

Using clipless pedals is a good idea when riding a tadpole trike if for no other reason than to prevent injury from “leg suck“. For those who don’t know about leg suck it is the term used to describe what can happen when your foot slips off of the pedal and onto the ground below. Upon making contact with the ground below as you are travelling along you can literally run over yourself with the crucifix of the trike. That can not only be very painful, but it can cause serious injury. It is not something you want to experience. I saw it happen to a friend as I was riding with him at the time.  I was slightly behind him and on his right side so I saw it quite well. It was not a pretty sight to see happen. He was fortunate that he didn’t get hurt any more than he did.  He was quite sore for a few days as he was recovering from it. And it definitely got his attention and now he won’t ride without the SPD shoes.

leg suck illustration

Pardon my stick man drawing. I couldn’t get anybody to volunteer to illustrate this so I had to draw this. I can’t say as I blame them. I could not begin to draw how horrific this is and what the contortion of the foot and leg is actually like during this. I am sure it isn’t nearly as effective as a picture of someone really experiencing it.

Much has already been written about the use of SPD shoes and pedals. I have past articles on this blog about them. The most recent one is HERE. What I want to get into here is how to properly set up the cleat position on the shoes and adjust the pedals for the cleats. Again, there is already much available online about this so I am not going to try to duplicate it here. Instead I will simply provide links to articles and embed videos about the subject. What I do want to emphasize here is that the cleats need to positioned so that your feet are in their “natural position”. We are all different. What is the correct position for you probably wouldn’t be right for someone else and visa versa. These articles and videos do a good job of explaining it all. To start things off HERE is an excellent article.

Shimano spd cleats

The cleats can be moved about forward to backward, side to side and rotated slightly in either direction.

shoe cleat placement with arrows

As can be seen in the picture below there are two sets of holes to choose from … one set is behind the other set.

SPD cleat on shoe

SPD cleat hardware

Shimano SPD cleat nut plate

SPD cleat positioning

Having the SPD cleats properly adjusted will help us to …



Leg Suck” is a serious matter and concern as it can result is a very bad and painful injury … one which could cripple you for life and cause considerable pain and suffering … a horrific ordeal to go thru. To prevent this from happening it is highly recommended that a rider of a tadpole trike use some means of keeping their feet on the pedals. SPD shoes and pedals are probably the most common means, but there are also others. I currently use SPD sandals and pedals, but I am seriously thinking about getting heel slings to use and get away from the SPD. I don’t like having my feet locked into the pedals. I don’t feel safe with this going on. Should I upset or have a wreck I want my feet to come free readily.

I also like the idea of being able to wear whatever footwear I choose to including boots in the winter time.

Heel Slings to the rescue. I started out using JSRL heel slings which I really liked at first. A few years later I came across the newer design TerraTrike offers and bought them. I have to say I much prefer them over the JSRL heel slings.

The ones offered by TerraTrike just work better. They are easier to use and hold ones foot in place better. And they look nicer. I caution anyone attempting to buy the TerraTrike ones be aware that they still have to older model they are selling which are inferior to the newer design. They are shown on right in picture below.  I would advise against buying them even though they are less money.

Please note that when I originally wrote this article it was about the JSRL heel slings as  the TerraTrike product didn’t exist to my knowledge. So from here on down you will read quite a lot about the JSRL heel slings. And it was written with my full support and endorsement of the product. As stated above I can no longer recommend it as my first choice as I find the TerraTrike product superior.

As to the JSRL product HERE is a link to the website. A single individual makes and sells these heel slings. His name is John Lawrence. Here are some pictures of what he offers …

heel straps 2

A pad is available for the slings for comfort when wearing sandals.

Heel Slings With Heel Pads

Here is an excerpt from his webpage:

“Do you want to keep your feet on the pedals, add power/speed, reduce your fatigue and do so without spending a bundle on clipless pedals and shoes? Well, Heel Slings are what you want.

This simple yet ingenious design allows you to:

– Ride with regular athletic shoes (or sandals if you prefer).

– Pull on the approaching pedal* using your calf muscle (not your shin muscle, like clipless pedals) for less fatigue and more power.

– Eliminates the need to push on the approaching pedal to maintain foot contact which decreases pedaling efficiency.

– Ride safer because it helps keep your feet on the pedals and not under the trike. Large reflectors on the Heel Sling platforms add visibility. Rapidly moving pedal reflectors are VERY visible!

– Quickly and easily lift your feet off the pedals without twisting or turning your foot to disengage the clipless pedal latch.

– Reposition your feet while pedaling for increased comfort. Try that with clipless pedals!

* point your toe slightly and pull with your heel.”

John writes that he will work with those with special needs which is very good of him. I am impressed with his website and what he shares on it.

I take issue with the part about using heel slings to pull back on the pedals like a rider can do with SPD shoes and pedals. Using heel slings to try to do this is extremely impractical since your feet come off of the pedals when pulling back on the heel straps.

Using heel slings could not be any easier or faster …

There are, as I mentioned, other types of devices to accomplish the same thing although I personally would not care for them. They tend to lock your foot in again and are more time consuming and troublesome to use than the simplicity of the heel slings. Also some of them are monstrous sized which doesn’t appeal to me. Here are a couple of examples of other ways to keep your feet from going down onto the pavement:

I reckon’ this one above would be okay for someone who needed them as she discussed in the beginning of the video.

I am sure there are those who don’t object to using the toe strap type devices so if you are one of those by all means go for it. I just don’t like using them.

Having your leg and foot get ran over and pulled back in a position it was never intended to be in is not something anyone would want to experience. We all need to do something to prevent it from happening so we can …



As you can see in the picture above I have crankarm shorteners installed on my trike. I am a short person and have short legs so shortening the crankarms is a god-send for me. Prior to getting the crankarm shorteners I purchased and installed some pedal extenders. I liked them but with the crankarm shorteners installed I don’t need to use the pedal extenders anymore because the crankarm shorteners do the same thing … positioning the pedals further out away from the crankarms. For me they are just the right amount so I don’t need to add pedal extenders in the mix. I know that the crankarm shorteners are not fabulous looking but they are quite functional. BTW, I have written various articles in the past about crankarm shorteners. Click HERE to read them.

And for those who take note that I am using regular BMX platform pedals with no type of foot retention … YES, I am well aware of the subject of “leg suck“. After all, I have written about it several times on this blog. I have tried SPD shoes and pedals but don’t care for them. I have also used heel slings which I like quite well. I used them for years but took them off and ride without them because truthfully I don’t need them. In over 86,000 miles of riding a tadpole trike my feet have come off of the pedals a few times but never have I had a problem with my feet going down onto the pavement. So I am not concerned about leg suck. If ever things change for me I will go back to using heel slings.

The use of crankarms shorteners is a matter of “killing two birds with one stone” and they help me greatly to …


FREE GIFT awaits you!



Most of us are familiar with “leg suck” where the rider of a tadpole trike  can experience their foot dropping down off of the pedal and onto the pavement where it is then drug underneath of the crossmember of the frame resulting in serious painful injury.

One of the main ways of preventing this from happening is the use of special shoes/sandals and pedals known as SPD. Although this system is quite popular it is not the only means of preventing leg suck from occurring. I have written about all of this before and I am not hear to do so again. I am writing this article because something keeps happening over and over again which ruffles my feathers. There are many people who insist that others use these SPD shoes and pedal. They try to force their will onto others. On trike forums this happens all the time. There are various reasons why some of us don’t like SPD shoes and pedals and don’t care to use them.

I have used them and I am one of those who don’t like them. My reasons don’t really matter but I will share it anyway. First of all even if I didn’t have any issues with my feet (which I do have) I don’t like to “clip in” because I want to be able to remove my feet from the pedals quickly and easily. If I were to tip over I don’t want my feet clipped to the pedals. If I were to be involved in a wreck I don’t want my feet clipped to the pedals. I could get seriously injured or be unconscious and my feet would still be clipped in. That concerns me. Even if someone were to come along and happen to know how to release the clips it might be painful and even cause more injuries. And if first responders have no idea how to release the clips that would also pose a problem.

Another reason I don’t like using SPD is because I have neuropathy in my feet. That is nerve damage for those who don’t know what neuropathy is. As a result of the nerve damage my feet hurt all the time and are quite sensitive. Being clipped in is rather uncomfortable for me.

Many people object to being clipped in because of foot discomfort. Like me they need to be able to move their feet around a bit on the pedals. Also many people find the SPD shoes/sandals uncomfortable to wear and need to wear comfortable shoes/sandals while riding.

I would never consul anyone to not use some sort of protection against leg suck even though there are those who don’t have a problem with their feet gong down onto the pavement if their feel get bounced off of the pedals. Some tadpole trike riders do not use any means of protection and do just fine without it. I am one of those people. I have spent money on various protective systems and used them. However, I stopped using them and just ride with BMX platform pedals wearing whatever footwear I want to and do just fine.

In closing I just want to appeal to others to stop trying to force your personal preference and opinion of the matter onto others. Leave them alone and let them choose whatever they want to use in this matter. There is nothing wrong with educating a “newbie” about the danger of leg suck and perhaps the various options available to help prevent it from happening. Please stop at that. It is their choice, not yours. And may we all …


FREE GIFT awaits you!


There is good news for those who have been looking for the popular Nashbar Ragster sandals. They are once again being offered by on their website. That being said I noticed that on both Amazon and Ebay they are still showing either “sold out” or “not available”.

The Ragster sandal is a lower cost sandal which is a good quality product. It is a SPD cycling footwear. They are definitely much more affordable than the well known and popular Shimano and Keen brands.

Right now the price is about $50 which they show is a sale price as their list price is about $56. When I bought mine a few years ago I got them on sale for about $35. I don’t know if such sales will be appearing in the future. We can only hope so. At least they are back available again and that is good news. BTW, HERE is a conversion chart to help with the shoe sizes.

HERE is a good article on cycling sandals.


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500 miles (800 KM) per charge … that is the claim of this product of Denmark. It’s a fully suspended  e-trike with *fat tires for $6013 US (€5,340). HERE is their website.  And HERE is their FAQ webpage.

*They call these fat tires, but they are only 2 inch wide tires … not hardly “fat”.

I would think it would be likely and tempting to take this trike off road, but that battery looks mighty vulnerable and it certainly is not a bash plate.

The battery provides power for motor, lights, mobile, and automatic gear shift system. The battery box is removable, shock and water-resistant.

Assisted range up to 500 miles (800 km). Designed for 37 mph (60 km/h), restricted to 15.5 mph (25 km/h).

It has a TIG welded 4130 Chrome Moly steel frame.

Design principles:

• Comfortable ride position
• Full suspension
• Drive anywhere
• Handle high load
• Long distance e-assist
• Resilient drive systems
• Waterproof electronics / electrics
• Adjustable e-assist configuration
• Fast charging
• Many gearing options
• Power and speed when needed
• Elegant design

Weight: 90.4 pounds (41 kg)
Max. load: 441 pounds (200 kg) (rider and/or luggage)
Seat height: 8.25 inches (21 cm)
Seat angle: 35 – 50 degrees
Max tire width: 2” (5 cm)
Suspension travel:  5.5 inches (14 cm) front, 5 inches (13 cm) rear
Track width: 30.70 inches (78 cm)
Wheel base: 43.3 inches (110 cm)
Width: 33.46 inches (85 cm)
Length:  74.8 – 82.68 inches (190 – 210 cm)
Turning circle: 13 feet (4 m)
Rider height: 59.05 – 82.68 inches (150 – 210 cm)

Gear chain: Shimano
Front Rims: Rigida Andra 40, 20″
Rear Rim: Rigida Andra 40, 26″
Spokes: 2,34 mm stainless
Front hubs: Novatec 36 spokes, 20mm axle
Rear hub: Shimano 36 spokes, quick release
Cassette: SRAM NX 11-42
Crankset: SR Suntour 44, 170 mm
Bottom Bracket: Torque Sensing BB
Rear derailleur: SRAM NX 11 speed
Gear shifter: SRAM NX twist shifter
Pedals: Shimano SPD + Normal
Brakes: Tektro Hydralic Disc brakes (160mm)
Right Brake levers: Front brakes, parking brake
Left Brake levers: e-brake (if ebrake option selected)
Rear shock: DNM Air spring 165 mm
Front shocks: DNM Steel spring 190 mm
Rear fender: SKS – Black
Motor cog: Disc mounted – 21 teeth
Battery: 60V, 1.5 kWh – 5.0 kWh
Motor: BLDC, 250w – 3000w
Controller: Sinusoidal Field oriented control
Computer: Cycle Analyst

Mounting the battery down low under the seat certainly helps to lower the center of gravity and greatly improve the trike’s handling making it more stable. I just think it ought to have a bash plate to protect it from damage. It looks like a fun trike, but I am sure I would be working at doing something about being limited to 15.5 mph. That is ridiculous. When people ride bicycles 25 mph and faster it makes no sense to limit an e-bike/trike to such a low speed. I tell ya … idiots are in charge!


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Anyone who has followed my writings over the years knows that I personally use and have recommended JSRL Design Heel Slings. I have always liked them and still do, however, there is a new product out which I recently bought and must say I much prefer over the JSRL product. The keyword here is “NEW” as Terratrike had an older product which isn’t nearly as good as their new one. At the time of this writing both versions were available when I checked. I assume the earlier version will disappear once they are sold out. So if you are n the market for these be careful you don’t buy the earlier version as you would probably be very disappointed. We are talking all new and improved here in their latest version.

The big difference between these two products (JSRL vs TerraTrike) is the JSRL heel slings use a steel cable which works, but it sags down making it harder to use. The TT product has a steel flat bar bent like a U with Velcro straps attached which adjust for shoe size. It fits snugly and doesn’t sag so it is easier to get in and out of. I only installed them today and rode about 20 miles with them trying to stay dry as I dealt with Tropical Storm Irma’s rain. I fell in love with these TT heel slings right away. There is a world of difference between the two.

I found myself bending the flat bar almost immediately as it was bent in too far for my liking. It worked as is, but I like it better now that I bent it a little bit. That is one good thing about these heel slings … they can be tweaked to fit the individual’s shoe and riding position on the pedal by bending the flat bar. I am not saying that this is something TT intended the purchaser to do, but it certainly doesn’t do any harm as long as one doesn’t bend the metal back and forth to where the metal becomes fatigued and could weaken and even break off.

I may look into trimming off some of the excess Velcro strap as I am not too wild about it sticking way out beyond what is needed to do the job.

I have written various articles in the past about heel slings, foot retention, pedals and leg suck:

Here is a picture of TT earlier version just so you know what it looks like and can avoid buying it thinking you are getting the most recent one I am recommending here. As you can see there is quite a difference. The first version was rather flimsy, not nearly as practical and was harder to use.

Regardless of what means you choose it is a very good idea to do something to prevent leg suck. It is not something you want to experience. Be safe out there and …


FREE GIFT awaits you!

SCARAB TRIKES (product of Texas)

Scarab trikes 320 vs 2026

Please note … these trikes are no longer manufactured as in “out of business”.

Scarab trikes … made in the good ol’ U.S.A.  Available in two models … 320 (20 inch rear wheel) $2550.00 … or 2026 (26 inch rear wheel) $2650.00. With 54 speeds it offers some impressive gear inches. Equipped with drum brakes and indirect steering.

Scalab yellow 2026 ft front view

Scarab states that with the seat laid back at a comfortable *42* degree angle, air resistance is much less. At 20 MPH on a SCARAB trike, you will be using only about 75% of the effort normally needed on a conventional bike. Optional seat angles are available down to 30 degrees.

Scalab yellow 2026 ft right side view

Trikes include complete frame, all components, cordless computer, rear rack, left hand side rear view mirror, computer/mirror mount, rear fender, and are available powder coated in various colors. Normal colors (red, yellow, black, white, etc.) are usually available quicker than custom colors.
Both models are completely assembled and ready to ride (5 minutes from crate to street).

Scarab crucifix

WHEELBASE 42” (2026 is 45″)
TRACK 32” (outside measurement of width app. 36″)
LENGTH 77”-80″ max. (depends on model and boom adj.)
GEARING SRAM 3X9 hub, 9 spd. cassette
INTERNAL RATIOS 0.734, 1.00, 1.362
SHIFTERS SRAM twist grip w/ thumb shifter incorporated for rear hub
TIRES Comet Primo 20 X 1.35 (Schwalbe tires available as options)
RIMS Velocity Aeroheat (ISO 18-406 36H front-ISO 18-559 32 H rear)
*SEAT ANGLE* 45 degrees (actual measured angle is 42 degrees)
SEAT HEIGHT 10” from ground
BOTTOM BRACKET HT. 16 1/2″ (approximate measurement-depends on boom length)
BOOM LENGTH Adjustable telescoping boom (will handle riders from 5’0″ to 6’6″+)
GROUND CLEARANCE 3.5” under the handlebar center section
WEIGHT Approx. 33 lb. without accessories (bags, bells, whistles, etc.)
TURNING RADIUS 7′-8′ RADIUS (as speed increases, obviously radius increases as well)
GEAR INCH RANGES Gear inch range is from 17.2050-182.6568 depending on crankset

Scarab front spindle

Scarab rear qtr

Scarab yellow front qtr

Cruising along at 18 mph on a Scarab trike:

Scalab yellow 2026 ft right side view close up

Barry Beuershausen
210-212 Dowlor
Refugio, TX 78377
361 526-4458
Email Address:
(Note: when emailing, please put “Scarab Trikes” in the subject line due to spam filters)


FREE GIFT awaits you!


Heel Slings With Heel Pads

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.

Heel Slings rear view

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:

heel sling pedal installation

(Remember – you can click on any image in WordPress blogs and have them open up in their own window. Often times they will be larger so you can see more detail. To close the window of the image just use your browser’s back button.)

heel sling on pedal

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!

heel sling pedal rotated down

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.

heel sling parts

With the use of my heel slings I will be able to …


(without concern of leg suck)


Trident trikes have been around for a few years now. The company is based out of Lincolnton, North Carolina. The trikes themselves are made in Taiwan. The trikes are pretty well designed and have good quality components. The one thing that is particularly unique to Trident trikes is that they give you a lot for your money … as standard equipment at no extra charge. These include such things as a full fender set, a rear view mirror, a taillight, a rear rack, and a safety flag. On my Trike Prices page you will see both of these models listed with links to the website page for them. The Stowaway 1 sells for $1579 plus $125 shipping (total $1704). The Stowaway 2 sells for $1799 plus $125 shipping (total $1924). There is not much difference in the appearance between these two models since the difference in price between them is in what components they come with. The Stowaway 2 comes with “rat traps” on the pedals. I personally don’t care for them as they tend to mess up the shoes and can become uncomfortable. And I definitely would not recommend them as far as depending upon them to prevent “leg suck” and injuries resulting from such. I would recommend using either SPD pedals and shoes or “heel slings”.

Trident Stowaway 2

Here is what Trident has to say about the Stowaway models:

Introducing the Redesigned Stowaway Trikes Both offer an incredible component mix at a value price.

Both Stowaway models use our Powder Coated Aircraft Quality 4130 Cro-Moly Tig Welded Frame, as well as Avid Brakes/ Promax Levers with Parking Brake, Double Wall Alloy Rims with Kenda Kwest 100 psi Tires, and Ackerman Compensated Crossover Steering, but that is where the similarities end.

The Stowaway I is our Base Model. It uses a Microshift Front Derailleur and a Microshift Marvo LE Rear Derailleur. Shifting is done with Microshift Gripshifters. The Crankset is a Truvativ 52/42/30 Triple. The Brakes are Avid BB5 Mechanical Disc Brakes.

The Stowaway II is our High Spec Model. It uses a Microshift Front Derailleur and a Microshift Marvo XE CNC Machined Rear Derailleur. Shifting is done with Bar End Shifters. The Brakes are Avid BB7’s.The Crankset is a High End Forged Crankset with CNC Machined Rings, and an Integrated Bottom Bracket. The seat frame, handlebar and boom are Sandblasted and Anodized Aluminum Alloy. For all you Short Crank Afficianados, the Stowaway II will also be available with 160 mm Cranks for an additional $50. 152mm Crankarms are also available by request as well as “Z” steering bars for extremely short X Seams.

Our customers spoke and we have listened. The new features of the 2014 Stowaway 1 & 2 include our new Aluminum Seat . Many people have asked for a seat frame with a little less lumbar curve. 3 adjustable seating heights, and 4 adjustable seating angles are standard on the new seat frame.An optional adjustable neckrest is also now available on our accessories page. An improved Idler system that is as nice as anything on the market and a nicer Mirror. Stowaway 2 also has adjustable handlebars. New for 2015-: Schwalbe Marathon Racers 20 x 1.50 or Schwalbe Trykers will be standard on Stowaway 2 Models.

As with all Trident Trikes (except Spike)- we don’t charge you for the extras!! Also included with both models are a Rear Rack, a full set of 3 Fenders, a Safety Flag, a Mirror, and a Rear Light.

Stowaway Folding Trikes are shipped to you in 1 box it is 95% Assembled- . Lastly, you always have the option of picking up a fully assembled trike in Lincolnton, NC – about 30 miles NW of Charlotte, NC. However be aware if you choose this option, I will have to charge you 6.75% NC Sales Tax

The Stowaway 2 is now available in limited quantity in the Wasabi Green color!!

The Stowaway is Available in Carolina Blue
and Wolfpack Red


As you can see the biggest difference between the 1 & 2 models is the quality of components installed on them. For no more money then is involved between the two most definitely I would advise anyone to get the Stowaway 2. Just the fact that it comes with the Avid BB7 disc brakes and Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires instead of the Avid BB5s brakes and the Kenda Quest tires that come on the Stowaway 1 would be worth the price.

Trident Stowaway folded

As you can see the trikes come with indirect steering. Some people like and prefer indirect steering over direct steering while others prefer direct steering. And as you can see in order to fold the trike it is necessary to remove the seat. They offer an optional neckrest as well.

Trident Stowaway features

Here are a couple of videos about these models:


Trident Stowaway 1 Specs


Trident Stowaway 2 Specs


If the money you have available to purchase a trike is limited the Trident Trikes certainly are an option to consider. My understanding is that the company is great to deal with and do their best to take care of the customer. The trikes can be purchased by ordering them directly from Trident, buying them directly at the Trident headquarters in North Carolina, or buying them at one of their dealers located in the U.S. or in a few other nations (Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, France, Malaysia, and Norway). BTW, if you happen to have a dealer near enough to you there could very well be an advantage of purchasing it thru them instead of ordering thru Trident. Many dealerships offer a free service on the trike after one year of ownership. Also since the dealer is involved they stand behind the product and make things easier to deal with if a problem were to develop with the trike.


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 …


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 .


Just recently I saw it happen and it wasn’t a pretty sight. A friend I ride with was riding another friend’s tadpole trike … trying it out. He normally rides a diamond frame bicycle. He has been considering buying a tadpole trike so we are encouraging him to ride this one to get a “feel” of riding one and make sure he wants to pursue it. He has ridden with us for years and knows there are numerous advantages of riding a tadpole trike over a diamond frame bike. We have been hoping he would make the plunge so we are excited about him finally riding this trike as he considers it. Even though he was told about the danger of “leg suck” and was given a pair of SPD shoes to wear and use while riding this trike he chose not to wear them. While pedaling his right foot slipped off the pedal and down onto the pavement. The next thing he was, shall I say, “audibly announcing” that he was in trouble. I saw his leg and foot get bent back and contorted as they went under the cruciform of the trike and drug along the pavement. Fortunately for him he got stopped and nothing got broken nor was any skin damaged. It hurt for just a little bit, but it started feeling better as he kept riding and pedaling. Yes, he was fortunate. A few days have passed and now his ankle and foot is swollen, black and blue and hurts some again. This scenario has resulted in some very serious injuries for others.

Leg Suck, as it is called, can be a very dangerous thing. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“Although recumbent bicycles are generally considered safer than upright bicycles, they do have some specific safety issues. A type of injury characteristic of recumbents called “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. The use of clipless pedals reduces this possibility by preventing the foot from slipping off the pedal. But with clipless pedals, remaining clipped in during a front tire or wheel failure at high speeds can result in the recumbent rolling over the rider and taking a clipped in leg or legs with it. This scenario, although very rare, can create severe spiral fractures of the femur rarely seen with upright bicycles. ”

Quite frankly leg suck sucks! I have been most fortunate. I rode my trikes for years without the use of SPD shoes and even though my feet came off of the pedals a few times I never experienced them going down onto the pavement below. Years ago when I checked into SPD shoes I found them too costly. I have a wide foot so the regular width shoes won’t work for me and the extra wide shoes were very expensive at that time. Just a few months ago I learned of some that were quite reasonable in cost so I bought them and have been using them since. Certainly I do feel much safer using them. My only concern it having my feet locked onto the pedals and having an accident where the trike tips over and my feet remain on the pedals because I can’t get them loose (released).

SPD shoes and pedals

One thing I would point out is the boom height and position of one’s feet on the pedals as to their distance up off of the pavement. Certainly the higher the boom the more distance exists between the bottom of the shoe and the pavement. Most trikes have similar boom heights. Only a few are much higher and those that have high booms do appear quite unique. And I am pretty sure that many riders don’t care for riding in that position as for one reason or another they find it uncomfortable and objectionable. Of course, the larger (longer) one’s feet are the closer they will be to the pavement while positioned on the pedals.

Besides SPD shoes their are other options such as heel slings (straps) for the foot to sit in which keep the foot (shoe) from falling down onto the pavement. This is my personal preference as I don’t like using SPD shoes and pedals. You can read the BentRider article HERE. I will be featuring these heel slings in my next posting on this blog.

heel straps 2 Heel Slings With Heel Pads

I like these TerraTrike version of the heel slings (pictured below) better than the cable type (pictured above).

By the way, I tried to find a picture of this “leg suck” online to post here, but couldn’t find a thing. I then got the idea that I would ask my friend to do that again so I could get a picture of it. He declined to help me out on this. I am thinking … “what kind of a friend it this that won’t help out his friend when his friend asks for his help?” Seriously, I sure hope the next time he tries riding the trike he will be wearing the SPD shoes. I really don’t care to see a repeat of this. Leg Suck … it’s not a pretty sight. And we all want to …


FREE GIFT awaits you!


Every time I go riding I ride with Arthur Itis. You may not know him personally (I hope you don’t), but I rather imagine you have heard of him as he is quite well known. Ol’ Art is no friend of mine, but he is my constant companion. I really don’t like him at all and I would much rather ride without him, but alas, I have not been able to get rid of him. I have had bad knee joints for many years now and weight bearing activities are not part of my capabilities. Riding my tadpole trike is about the only form of exercise my knee joints can handle and even this is not without some pain and limitations. I find that I can usually ride about 19 to 24 miles before my knee joints start communicating with me. Even so I often can ride 35 miles or so without too much of a problem. I also have some arthritis in my neck which necessitates my using a head/neck rest when I ride.

There are two things I want to share with readers concerning riding and living with bad knee joints. First, I use a supplement called Dr. Williams Joint CPR. I have been using his joint supplements for several years now. I have tried several others but none helped much. This product I highly recommend as it is quite effective. Both of my knee joints are bone on bone and so bad that most people could not walk or function. But taking this supplement I am able to walk and function fairly normally. I just can’t remain up weight bearing for long periods of time.

joint cpr

The other thing I have discovered fairly recently is that using SPD shoes/sandals and pedals helps as I can get some relief by pulling back on the pedals instead of pushing down on them. I only do this briefly but it does seem to help.

SPD shoes and pedals

I assume eventually I will have to go the route of knee joint replacement surgery, but I am putting it off as long as I can. So with this supplement, daily exercise riding my tadpole trike and trying to lose weight I am able to do so. One of my goals is to …


for just as long as I can and like I do with everything it is a matter of “one day at a time”.


The last two days I have been busy working on fabricating a set of folding aluminum ramps for my friend to use to get his tadpole trike in and out of the back of his pickup truck. He only has a six foot bed so the ramps had to fold in order to store them inside.

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aluminum folding ramps

They are 8 foot long with a 21 inch long section of 1/4 x 4 inch flat bar which lays on the tailgate.

aluminum folding ramps folded 3


aluminum folding ramps partially unfolded

There are hinges in the middle connecting the 4 foot sections of C channel and at the top connecting the C channel to the 1/4 inch by 4 inch flat bar. The flat bar extends back off the tailgate about 2.75 inches and is bent down about 15 degrees or so to match the angle of the ramps as they come up to the tailgate. Currently there are no angle aluminum pieces in place at the end of the 1/4 x 4 inch flat bar, but I think it is going to need this added to help keep the ramps from moving. On my truck they stayed in place well as is, but on my friend’s truck they don’t. I originally had in mind placing  aluminum angle pieces on the end of the flat bar and even drilled and tapped holes for them already.

aluminum folding ramps 2

These pictures show the ramps set up on my truck and not on my friend’s. I ran my trike up and down them to test the ramps out. The ramps work fine and will be a big help to him as his HP Velotechnik Scorpion fs 26 electric trike is quite heavy to lift. There is a 1/4 diameter round rod with the ends bent 90 degrees which goes thru holes drilled into the 1/4 x 2 inch flat bar pieces on the bottom end of the ramps. The rod spaces the ramps apart and maintains the spacing. It is also almost pavement level so it can be easily stepped over as the trike is rolled up and down the ramps. The C channel is quite thin so it is very lightweight to handle. I personally would have selected thicker stronger material to use but these were given to him free so they are what were used. If I were making ramps for myself I think I would make them shorter than these although there is some merit to longer ramps as they provide lesser incline to deal with. There are pros and cons to both. Longer ramps means more flexing … especially when thin wall material is used.

Where the two 4 foot sections of C channel are hinged together there is a 12 inch long piece of the 1/4 x 4 flat bar used to strengthen the joint in the flimsy thin wall C channel. It is bolted down on just one side to the C channel and simply lays down in the other C channel section when unfolded.

aluminum folding ramps middle hinge

Here my friend is trying out the ramps for the first time.

aluminum folding ramps with trike

Here is a short video showing the ramps I made being used.

I would estimate a total of about $100 for materials and hardware is involved in making your own. It could even be less depending upon the design and hardware used. I drilled and tapped holes in the 1/4 thick flat bar for the hinges.  Both pan head and flat head (countersunk) head screws were used as well as some 1/4 x 20 nuts where no 1/4 inch plate was used.

These ramps could be made in one day if you have everything needed and the knowledge and skill level to accomplish the task. Our local Metals Supermarket will do all the cutting free if the material is purchased from them. I have a horizontal cutting band saw so I cut it myself. I have found that most places don’t do a very accurate job of cutting metal to the specified length and this bothers me. When I cut metal I try to get it cut within 1/64 of an inch. Sometimes 1/8, 3/16 or even 1/4 inch more or less doesn’t matter in the scheme of things but sometimes it can really cause problems. I am a perfectionist in my work and strive for accuracy. I am retired from a lifetime of welding and fabricating so I rarely do much of this sort of thing anymore. Well, that is enough tooting of my horn. I just want you to be aware that if you have the metal cut someplace it may not be cut accurately.

So, if you have a need of a ramp loading system it can be done. Here is proof.

Of course, you can buy ramps. Depending upon what you get it will be a lot more expensive … about $400 – $500 for one popular manufactured ramp system. I just found another source for under $200 … 5 Star Manufacturing Telescoping Aluminum Ramps  They look like they would work pretty good. And I just found some others as cheap as $101.75. Walmart sells a set for $140.

telescoping aluminum ramps

I think this is a 7 foot set which would be perfect for most applications. The only thing is I don’t know about how well they would stay in place without doing something to help keep them in place. They telescope in to about 4 foot in length so they would fit readily in most any type of vehicle.

7 foot aluminum telescoping ramps $150

With ramps to help us load and unload our trikes it will help us to …


FREE GIFT awaits you!