Author Archives: Steve Newbauer

BLUESKY CANOPIES


Here is a rather unique canopy which may or may not appeal to you. Since I like having the air on me it has no appeal to me whatsoever. But if it “flicks you Bic” it is available. I had a very hard time finding the price on the website.  However, I finally found it in their catalog. Here is what they show:

“Our popular M4 canopy can be used for many HPV applications for a simple wind and rain fairing. The 8 lb acrylic tinted (or clear) canopy is adaptable but you must make your own attachment and support system. $400 plus $150 shipping.”

In other words all they supply is a hunk of plastic. You are on your own when it comes to mounting it. That has no appeal to me. If I buy a product for my trike I expect it to come with whatever is needed to use it on my trike. I am not at all impressed with what I see on this website. They don’t even have the canopy mounted on the trike they are using to display their product. Instead the guy sitting on the trike is holding the canopy in place with his hands. It is not even centered on the trike when you look at the front view. That seems very unprofessional to me.

There it is folks. Just selling a piece of plastic that one has to figure out how to mount. Nope, I ‘ll pass. I would expect most people would. They need to offer mounting hardware if they are going to sell this product. I wouldn’t know where to begin to come up with what would be needed nor would I want to. How about you?

 

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50 MPH E-TRIKE


Matt Shumaker used a KMX Typhoon tadpole trike modifiying it considerably, especially the frame, to create this powerful monster. There is no doubt about it … he achieved his goal in making a strong frame.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=15634

https://www.electricbike.com/50mph-monster-electric-trike/

 

He lowered the frame 3/4 of an inch and also widened the frame 5 inches and lengthened it 3 inches to accommadate the motor and increase the handling of the trike. With two 15 hp (11,000 watt) motors powering it these modifications are a very good idea. Matt says it will accelerate from zero to forty in 4.5 seconds! That would indeed be exhilarating.

It sounds like a jet airplane going by. He says he has about $6,000 invested in it plus about 200 hours of time. He values it at about $9000. It is all wheel drive with motors for the front wheels and motors for the rear wheel. The trike does have pedals in case they are needed. The trike weighs about 90 pounds so pedaling it isn’t something one would want to do if they didn’t have to.
Matt reports that the range is about 35 – 45* miles on a charge which is a whole lot more than my 80 mile rated BionX battery gets. I am only getting about 20 miles using 80 % of a full charge on my BionX unit … not very impressive. Of course, this is a massive battery in comparison to what I have. (* one place I read 35 if it is babied and another place I read 45 with no remark about babying it.)

With all that power and speed it requires some hefty brakes. He used 203mm Hope 4 piston hydraulic brakes.

Matt reports that he sold this trike for $7500 with only one motor as he removed one.

 

LET’S GO FOR A RIDE


TADPOLE TRIKE BUILDS ON VIDEO


Being a weldor and metal fabricator most of my life I have a keen interest in “homemade trikes”. I made my first tadpole trike as I did my first recumbent bicycle. Here are some videos of others who made their own trikes. I will say this … it is very important to “do your homework” before building a trike. It is imperative that you build it correctly so that it is safe to ride. The complex geometry (angles) of the front end must be correct and the rider’s weight distribution is quite important so that the trike handles properly.

“RELIVE” YOUR ADVENTURE


Relive your adventure? Well, yeah … sort of. Actually I am talking about a smartphone app which is pretty nifty. Anyone who watches Matt Galat’s (JaYoe) videos has probably already seen it as he uses it on his videos.

RELIVE is free and works with Strava, Endomondo, Garmin Connect and Polar Flow apps to create a 3-D mapping of the route you rode.

HERE are other videos concerning this neat app.

TRIKE RIDING TOGETHER AS FAMILY & WITH FRIENDS


I am past 70 years old so I have to think back a ways to remember as a child growing up doing various things together as a family. Still I have fond memories and appreciate those times we spent together. We didn’t have tadpole trikes then. We did have bicycles and motorcycles which we rode together.My parents may be gone but friends are still around and almost daily I am making memories with them riding our trikes When I look at videos online showing families/friends riding together it brings back those memories. Perhaps it will for you as well. And if you are younger than I am perhaps you are still making memories with your own children. Anyway, here are some videos of families enjoying riding together.

HERE are more videos.

TIRE SEALANTS … DO THEY REALLY WORK?


 

Steve Greene recently posted an article on his Trike Asylum blog about tire sealants where various brands were tested and compared. I have never been a fan of Slime and the article isn’t very flattering for Slime as it states and shows exactly what I have observed and experienced with it. In short, it is very messy and only works on very small punctures. As you can see the top performers are: Orange Seal, Stan’s NoTubes and Schwalbe’s Doc Blue product (which is made by Stan’s). Interestingly the Schwalbe product scored better than Stan’s NoTubes. None of the sealants could stop a leak of the largest size hole in the test. The Orange Seal did the best however and might have allowed the tire to be pumped up as necessary to make it home. If someone insists on running tires that easily get flats a sealant may be practical to use. As for me I think I will stick with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires as they have never failed me. I have never had an externally caused flat tire nor a glass cut in the tread … and I used to get both all the time when I ran other tires.

Since Orange Seal scored the highest I offer this video demonstrating how well it works.

I reckon it comes down to personal preferences and the environment one rides in. I know I much prefer to ride my trike than work on it … especially alongside the road or trail. Yep, I like to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’ 

and simply…

ENJOY THE RIDE!

TERRATRIKE RAMBLER E.V.O.


few tadpole trike manufacturers are offering electric motorized  models. One of them is TerraTrike. I applaud this as having a BionX unit installed on my Catrike I really love having it. I have a friend I ride with who has a BionX unit installed on his TerraTrike Rambler. The BionX unit is a great unit as long as everything works right (mine doesn’t), but it is expensive. This E.V.O. model is far less money although feature-wise I much prefer the BionX unit. That being said, this Falco unit is 750 watt vs. the BionX 350 watt and it offers a 2 mph reverse as well as a crawl forward from a standstill. BionX has neither. Of course, the thing about this deal which is a real turn off for me is the fact that it is a TerraTrike trike. I just am not impressed with them as I think they are poorly designed and built. I would  much rather spend  $500 more and get a high quality well designed trike such as Catrike. So many TT owners admit that they regret not buying a better quality trike. For me personally there is absolutely nothing about the Rambler that appeals to me. It would have been a good candidate for a book entitled “unsafe at any speed”.

From here on everything which appears in this article is someone else’s writings and not mine.

$3,499.00 … 750 watt Falco hubmotor with 2 mph reverse and crawl forward from a dead stop feature
website:  http://www.terratrike.com/evo.php
article:  https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/terratrike-adds-750w-electric-assist-its-rambler-recumbent-trike.html

Specification Description:
Drive System Derailleur, Falco 750W 5 Phase Motor
Battery Type/Weight Li-Ion / 36V / 11.6 Ah / 417 Wh
Max. Assisted Speed 20 mph
Range 97 km (60 miles)/Charge
Frame Chromoly steel
Rims/Wheels TerraTrike Black Double Wall
Tires Schwalbe Energizer 20 X 1.75
Crankset Driveline Durabi 400 170mm
Chainrings 52/42/30
Bottom Bracket RPM Sealed Square Taper
Chain KMC Z72 8-speed
Front Derailleur MicroSHIFT Triple
Rear Derailleur MicroShift 8-speed
Cassette/Rear Cogs SRAM PG-830 11-30, 8-speed
Shifters Microshift Mezzo Trigger
Brake Levers Promax Linear Pull, Locking
Brakes Avid BB7 Mechanical
Pedals Comfort Pedal
(subject to change without notice)

TerraTrike’s Electric Vehicle Option (or “E.V.O.” for short) will transform the way you ride and will increase your range by degrees of magnitude. It will allow you to climb hills that were previously daunting, it will keep you spinning through rolling terrain. The Rambler E.V.O. is not intended to be an electric trike. The E.V.O. was designed to help you along your journey while you still get the cardio benefits of trike riding. You will hear and feel the motor turning on and off as it senses your need for assistance. You will still be shifting the trike as you normally would; as the hills get steeper or as you come to a stop.
With a generous range of up to 60 miles per charge, you will have nearly limitless potential. The lithium ion battery can be charged overnight with the included “smart” charger. Simply plug the charger into a nearby outlet, or the battery can be easily removed from its case for charging in a different location.

 

TerraTrike figured out the ideal torque sensor setting and assist level so that it is very predictable and optimized for assistance and range. The top speed is governed at 20 mph. The Rambler E.V.O. motor control accessories available are ‘Wired Plus Minus (WPM)’ ‘Wired Console’ and ‘Wireless Console with Plus Minus’. The trike will still be limited to 20 mph, but you will be able to adjust the level of assist (low, medium, or high) or you can put it into one of three regenerative modes which actually charges the battery on long descents.

 

The optional Wired Plus Minus (WPM) switch also adds a reverse gear. You will need to back pedal while it is backing up due to the drivetrain of the trike. But don’t worry, max speed in reverse is 2 mph. The WPM accessory can also help climb hills by providing a “crawl” feature. It too is limited to 2 mph and is merely intended to get the trike rolling so that you can begin your pedal stroke. After the trike starts to move and you start to pedal you can let go of the plus button and the motor assist will kick in as appropriate.

– Electric Assist Hub: The E.V.O. is available in a traditional deraillured system external hub with electric assist
– Direct steering: Horizontal handlebar position provides responsive leverage to steering inputs, and provides a tight turning radius
– Steering stack with bushing/bearing combination for smoother steering
– Chromoly steel frame is lightweight, smooth riding, and capable of supporting up to 300 pounds
– Comfort mesh seat for extra lateral support
– Simple operation, seamless experience
– Powerful 750W direct-drive hub motor
– No pedal resistance when battery isn’t used
– 5 phase motor provides more torque & power
– Up to 1000 recharge cycles per battery
– Industry-leading 5 year motor warranty

Although the following is not a very recent article it is still helpful …
https://electricbikereport.com/electric-recumbent-trikes/

 

4 WHEEL DRIVE REAR SUSPENSION ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST FAT TIRE QUAD


What more could you want in an off road human powered vehicle? This beauty is nearly unstoppable. It is an L Trike  or Camel Trike made in China and sold from China thru ZZMERCK (Zhengzhou Merck). I find their media coverage a bit confusing. One place they call it an L Trike and another place they call it a Camel Trike. It is not even a trike so I don’t know why they would call it either one. Googling “L Trike” turns up nothing, but Googling “camel trike” gets results. It doesn’t come cheap … $7500-$8500. It looks nice, but I don’t trust the quality of Chinese products. Hopefully this is well made. I will say though that this trike is definitely complex in its design which translates into … “there is a whole lot of stuff that could go wrong and cause problems”.

I said it is rear suspension and it is, but at first I thought it was full suspension, but after taking a closer look at it I guess it is not.This quad weighs approximately 110 pounds (50kg) so it is not light. The wheels are laced rather uniquely. Although I have seen this before I don’t think it is all that common. They are laced only on the inside of the rim. No spokes attach to the other side. This is covered in one of the videos further below.

The one thing I noticed is that the cables are hanging way down low where they could easily snag of lots of stuff riding off road. They created lots of road clearance only to place the cables way down low. That makes no sense! I see it all the time on people’s trikes. Some people just don’t seem to care about such things even if you point it out to them. I wonder if they would change their tune if a drooping cable ruined their day causing a bad wreck. At the very least it could cause serious damage to the cable and possibly other things.

4×4 Fat Tire Recumbent Quad

Model/Price: Model: MF426E, Price: US $7,500-8,500

Website: http://zzmerck.com/products/recumbenttrike/2017-09-28/398.html

Brief description: four-wheel drive system, aluminum alloy 6061 frame, Vee 26×4.8 tire, DNM air spring suspension, SRAM11 speed, 500w mid drive motor, 48v 20ah lithium battery, climbing angle more than 35 degrees. For All Challenging Terrain!

SPECS:
Transmission system     
Front derailleur: Sram NX11
Rear derailleur: Sram NX11

Drive system   
Crankset: Flywheel crankset
Flywheel: Sram NX11 11 speed 11-42T
Chain: Miche 11 speed
Chain tube: Nylon
Pedal: Exustar clipless pedals
Novatec bearing secondary drive hub
Customs Aluminum alloy 7075 secondary drive
Fouriers chainring
Customs power divider
Customs shaft, hub, shaft hub, cardan

Brake system    
Front brake: Avid E3 hydraulic disc brake
Rear brake: BB7 disc brake

Wheel system 
Rim: Alloy
Spokes: 304 stainless steel
Tires: Vee 26-4.8 foldable tires
Front hub: Novatec customs hub
Rear hub: Customs shaft hub

Suspension system
DNM air spring suspension (double chamber)

Electric system
48v 500w mid drive motor
48v 20ah lithium battery

Light system
Led headlight

Frame: Aluminum alloy 6061 T6
Seat: Nylon mesh

No way could I do this on my tadpole trike. I would find myself in a real predicament. This quad goes right up it …

 

The next video definitely demonstrates that it is all wheel drive …

This next video is suppose to be a demonstration of the quad riding thru snow, but there is very little snow on the ground so it isn’t much of a test. A standard trike with standard tires could go thru most of the snow shown, but probably not all the uneven ground, etc. as there would be traction problems  …

The next 4 videos are about the design and bulld of the quad. You may have to pause them to read the English captions in order to follow what is being said.

That is a lot of money to lay down to attempt some off road fun, but hey, if you have it to spend you might as well go for it. You can’t take the money with you when life is over. BTW, you can’t take the trike with you either. We can only enjoy them here in this life … so do your best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MATT GALAT’S WORLD TOUR


As many of you know a fellow tadpole triker by the name of Matt Galat is currently on a 5 year long trike journey around the world which started in China and is to end in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Matt is a videographer and creates excellent videos of his journey and life. He posts them on variouls social media … Matt’s FACEBOOK  page, JaYoe FACEBOOK page, Matt’s YOUTUBE channel, Matt’s JaYoe website, and more.

HERE is a map of Matt’s planned route.

Sometime back Matt added a drone to his video tapiing and it has added a lot to the quality of his videos giving them an altogether new perspective. His videos were always good and interesting, but with the drone footage added in they are even better.

Most of us could never take such a journey, but thru Matt’s videos we can truly enjoy and “live” his adventurous journey vicariously.

Matt rides a yellow HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS20 recumbent tadpole trike. He started out pulling a trailer, but decided to discontinue that and just haul those things he needs on his trike.

Matt had a set back in his trike journey. He had started it as planned riding a different trike pulling a different trailer when while still in China he was hit from behind by a big truck. He received a broken shoulder (collar) bone as a result and his trailer and trike were pretty much totalled. He had to convelest for quite some time during which time he got reoutfitted in preparation of starting his world journey all over.

Matt has also experienced some knee joint pain which threatened his journey causing him to interupt his ride for awhile. Fortunately now that he is back underway so far his knee has held up pretty good and he has been able to continue his journey.

Matt has coined the Chinese words (phrase) “JaYoe” for his journey … as it means “to add fuel”. As time goes along more and more people are discovering Matt and his trike journey. Great interest is building and his story continues to capture the attention of local news media.

I have written articles about Matt previously:

JaYoe! … Just Add Fuel

The JaYoe Nation Podcast

JaYoe … New Trike and Trailer

Hit From Behind By Truck

Matt’s World Triking Adventure

Epic Adventure on a Tadpole Trike

HERE is an interview with Matt on Laidback Bike Report’s YouTube video which was streamed live on July 16, 2017.

If you have never watched any of Matt’s videos I invite you to do so as they just might grab your attention and not let go. That is the effect they have on me. Like Matt, we all need to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FINAL WORDS


With ongoing eye sight problems I am forced to end my writing new articles … at least for now. I am not saying I am leaving forever, but I need to give my eyes a break in hope of adding time to their usefulness. Looking at a computer screen as much as I do is very hard on my eyes. This will be my last posting. I can’t say what the future holds. I may be back, but I may not. I have enjoyed the journey thus far and trust many of you have as well. Thanks to all of you who have helped make this blog as successful as it has been. I will miss participating in this blog, but as the saying goes … “all good things must come to an end”. Perhaps we’ll meet up again. Goodbye for now my friends. Happy trails to you … maybe we will meet up again. I hope so.

BTW, there is a FREE GIFT waiting for you.

And if you like the song above HERE is another rendition of it I really like.

PERFORMER JC-70 AND JC-20 ASSEMBLY


Here is a video showing in detail the assembly of a couple of models of Performer tadpole trikes. It starts out showing what comes in the box the buyer receives and then proceeds on how to put it all together.

RECUMBENT TRIKE RIDE WITH MY DOG


PERFORMER JC-70 TADPOLE TRIKE REVIEW


RECUMBENT TRIKE DOG ATTACK


am sure many of us have had to deal with loose dogs which come at us. Some are friendly while others are vicious acting. We never know what may result. For certain it is scary and unnerving. Nobody wants to get attacked by a dog and bit. I have experienced it and had to make a trip to the emergency room as I could look right down inside of my arm as a result of a bad dog bite. And the owner wasn’t even willing to pay for my medical bills. Here is a video by Ed Miller, a well known tadpole trike pilot. He is also known for his trike canopies .

Loose dogs are extremely dangerous. I have had a few incidents where they ran right in front of me and put me down when I was on bicycles and motorcycles. One of my friends had a loose dog run right in front of his bicycle and he suffered for months recuperating from his injuries. And most dog owners who allow their dogs to run loose have very bad attitudes and basically tell the victim “F____ you!” if you dare say anything to them.

JSRL DESIGN VS TERRATRIKE’S NEW HEEL SLINGS


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 my writing this I have not been able to fnd the new one online and it appears as though TerraTrike’s website isn’t showing either one of them right now as the page won’t open for the old one and the new one is not yet shown. The new one is considerably more expensive ($55 vs. $40), but it is worth it as it works great. 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:

https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/heel-slings-get-my-vote/

https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/heel-slings-vs-spd-shoes-pedals/

https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/pedals-pedals-read-all-about-it/

https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/leg-suck-its-not-a-pretty-sight/

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 …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

RECUMBENT RANGERS ON THE WITHLACOOCHEE TRAIL


BUMPIN’ INTO BENTS


More and more I too am “bumpin’ into other tadpole trikes out on the trails. No, not literally. I have not collided with any of them, but I sure am seeing more and more of them making their appearance. I like seeing the numbers growing.

FIRST RIDES ON TADPOLE TRIKES


I like what the wife says at 2:45 into the video below … “I see long rides in our future”.

HOW TO ADJUST STEERING ON THE PERFORMER TRIKES (models X, E AND F)