Category Archives: safety

CATRIKE SAFETY RECALL FOR AXLE SPINDLES (2013 MODELS ONLY)

Back in 2013 Catrike issued a mandatory safety recall for the trikes they produced that year which had black aluminum axle spindles. They also used silver chrome-moly steel spindles. Those were not effected. Only the black aluminum spindles are a concern. Quite some time has passed since this safety recall was issued by Catrike, but there are still some effected trikes out there which have not had the free replacement Catrike offers.

When this first happened I posted an article about it immediately and informed Steve Green, the author of Trike Asylum blog, about it so that he could also publish an article about it to inform Catrike owners. I can’t find the article I posted previously. I don’t know what happened to it. It might have been back during my first tadpole rider blog which I deleted and lost nearly everything … a dumb move on my part as about a year later I started it back up. Anyway, I am posting this safety recall now as it is important and I want to make sure Catrike owners are aware of it.

Here is Catrike’s official webpage concerning this matter:

https://www.catrike.com/safety-quality

 

If you own a 2013 Catrike and have the black aluminum axle spindles and your trike’s serial number is on this list it is most important that you get in touch with Catrike or a Catrike dealer to get this remedied. We all want to be safe and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

HERE is an article on Trike Asylum about this recall.

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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!

TERRATRIKE RAMBLER SAFETY RECALL

I just saw this posted on Facebook and am passing it on …

TerraTrike

Important Safety Recall:
If you purchased a TerraTrike Rambler between May – August 2018, there is a Safety Recall for you to be aware of. TerraTrike is conducting this Fast Track recall with the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to recall the Ramblers affected. No accidents or injuries have been reported; however, this recall is being conducted in order to protect consumers.

Short excerpt from the CPSC Release:
“Recalled models include: TerraTrike Rambler x16 (orange), Rambler All Terrain (green) and Rambler E.V.O. (yellow). The trikes, depending upon model, come with either three 20-inch wheels or three 24-inch wheels. The model names are located on the outrigger tubes that come out of the main tube and connect to the front wheels. The serial numbers included in this recall are listed on the firm’s website at www.terratrike.com and are located under the main tube on a barcoded sticker near the rear wheel. The serial numbers are also stamped into the head (vertical) tube of the outrigger. ” – CPSC Release

Please read the complete CPSC Release here:
http://terratrike.com/recall.php

Here is a portion of the recall notice linked to above …

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Fast Track Recall


Recall Date: SEPTEMBER 27, 2018
Recall Number: 18-236

Recall Summary

Name of Product: Adult tricycles (trikes)

Hazard: The right hand wheel hubmount can bend or break, allowing the user to lose control of the trike, which can result in serious injury or death.

Remedy: Repair

Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled trikes and return them to the place of purchase for a free repair.

Consumer Contact: TerraTrike at 800-945-9110 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.terratrike.com  and click on “Important Recall” for more information.

Recall Details

Units: 600

Description:
The recalled products are TerraTrike adult, pedal powered, orange, green or yellow tricycles. They have two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back and black canvas seat. Recalled models include: TerraTrike Rambler x16 (orange), Rambler All Terrain (green) and Rambler E.V.O. (yellow). The trikes, depending upon model, come with either three 20-inch wheels or three 24-inch wheels. The model names are located on the outrigger tubes that come out of the main tube and connect to the front wheels. The serial numbers included in this recall are listed on the firm’s website at www.terratrike.com and are located under the main tube on a barcoded sticker near the rear wheel. The serial numbers are also stamped into the head (vertical) tube of the outrigger.

Incidents/Injuries:
The firm has received seven reports of the hub mounts bending or breaking. No accidents or injuries have been reported.

Sold at: Authorized TerraTrike dealers, independent bicycle dealers and recumbent bicycle specialty stores nationwide and online at http://www.TerraTrike.com from May 2018 through August 2018 for between $2,000 and $3,500.

Importer: WizWheelz Inc., dba TerraTrike, of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Distributor: TerraTrike, of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Manufacturer: Forever Machine Industrial Co., Ltd., of Taichung, Taiwan

Manufactured in: Taiwan

CATEYE RAPID X SAFETY FLAG LIGHTS

Cateye (not to be confused with Catrike) has out a new product some may be interested in … lights that mount on the safety flag poles. The cost is about $40 and they are 50 lumens. They are available in red and white (clear lens).

Features

  • COB LED (50 lm)
  • Mounts securely to seatpost or seatstay with the rubber band (Ø12-32mm)
  • Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery
  • USB rechargeable (Micro USB cable included)
  • Low battery indicator
  • 6 modes * Charging time: 2h
  • Mode memory function
  • Battery Auto Save (The mode automatically changes to flashing when the battery power gets low.)
  • Attaches to the existing CatEye bracket by using the optional Spacer X

The USB Rechargeable Rapid X provides a bright powerful glow with incredible side visibility. When the battery runs low the low battery Auto Save function automatically changes the light pattern from the current mode to flashing providing an additional hour of riding safety. 6 modes. 2 Hour charge time.

What’s Included

Includes Rapid X attachment base, one large and one small attachment band, and a micro USB charging cable.

TEARING IT UP HERE, BOSS!

Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, mice, rats, potato bugs, bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, lice, mites … the list could go on and on. All these belong to the animal kingdom and they are all considered pests of various sorts and degree. Even animals we consider beneficial and good that they exist sometimes do things which we don’t appreciate and bother us. But I am not writing about these sorts of pests today. Rather I am adding a few other words to that list of pests. These are words that are not of the animal kingdom although certainly sometimes an animal can cause one or more of these words to materalize. If it sounds like I am talking in riddles perhaps I have been so I will get to the point. I live in a northern city in the United States. And like most northern cities we have a serious problem with potholes. Like the list of animals which plague man I add potholes to the list. They are one nasty threat which are out to mess up our day and bring destruction upon our “cycles” regardless of what kind we ride or how careful we  try to be to avoid these threats.

Even our paved trails are not exempt from these nasty holes. Holes of any type regardless of the cause can do some very serious damage to our trikes … most particularly tires, inner tubes, spokes and rims. Even our frames can crack or bend from the harsh impact. Sometimes we don’t see the holes in time to avoid them. And I find that even more often I see them, but circumstances don’t permit me to avoid hitting them. I have objects on both sides of me which have me “penned in” … unable to steer to one side or the other to avoid them. Sadly most cities do a very poor job “fixing” potholes. Where I live is no exception. Both of my front rims are in bad shape due to hitting so many potholes. And some of those potholes were really bad ones.

Hitting pot holes on a bicycle is more dangerous than it is on a trike, but that doesn’t mean that a trike can’t wreck also. Here are a couple of bikes that encountered a pothole while riding along on a road. I sure don’t miss riding bicycles. I feel so much safer on a trike not to mention so much more comfortable.

Definitely holes are worse than bumps, but I would have to add bumps to the list of pests too. Probably the most common and worst of the bumps I encounter are the result of tree roots raising the asphalt or concrete.

These shown above are minor compared to the ones we have on some of our local trails.

And, of course, raised concrete is the worst as it usually means we are hitting sharp raised harsh edges. They too can do some serious damage to our wheels (tires, inner tubes, spokes and rims) and more.

In dealing with such threats certainly suspension would be of some help with the emphasis being on “some” as it can’t totally prevent damage from occurring. However, many of us lack suspension so we must deal with this issue the best we can. Balloon type tires can also be helpful as they offer some cushioning effect. Of course, there are trade-offs in any of the choices we have.

The amount of air pressure we run our tires at also comes into play. The higher the pressure the less forgiving the tires are when we hit holes and bumps. Of course, running too low of pressure on a given tire is also a problem as then we lack sufficient protection having air pressure inside offers. Every tire has a range in which they should be maintained … not under inflated and not over inflated. Certainly FAT tires offer a lot of protection as they are the ultimate balloon tire. I have been running balloon tires on my trike now for several months, but I will soon be switching back to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I like the ride and handling of the balloon tires just fine, but in order to obtain good handling and reasonable speed I have been running them over inflated by 5 to 10 psi and that has no doubt shortened their life. In the past I have always ran the 1.75 width Marathon Plus tires, but this time I ordered the 1.35 width. I have never had that narrow of a tire mounted on my trike so it will be an experience for me. I have seen them installed on other trikes and they look so tiny compared to what I am used to seeing. And going from my 2.15 balloon tires to the 1.35 will really be drastic. And I will be going from a maximum inflation pressure of 50 psi to 100 psi with the Marathon Plus tires. There goes my only form of suspension. But I bet I will be able to ride a little faster. I don’t know though. These Big Ben balloon tires roll really good with the psi I am running in them. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

Be careful out there. Some of those potholes are deep and it is not likely you have a snorkel or scuba diving gear with you much less a ladder. 🙂

We live in an imperfect world and dealing with these pests are a part of it. That is why I titled this TEARING IT UP HERE, BOSS!  We need to stay alert and do our best to avoid these “nasties”. Hey, regardless of these hazards I plan on doing what I can to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

P.S. – I didn’t care for the 1.35 Marathon Plus tires at all so I switched back to the 1.75s.

UTAH TRIKE CUSTOM EZ ENTRY AIDS

Need help? I am talking about help sitting down onto and getting up from your trike’s seat. There are various aids available nowadays. One of them is these custom made EZ Entry Aids made and sold by Utah Trikes. They sell for $140 according to Utah Trikes website . Although they are made for Catrikes they do work on some other brands. I like the looks and design of these. They adjust up and down, lean in or out, swivel 360 degrees and can be clamped forward or rearward on the horizontal portion of the steering  bars off of the headsets. So that they can be positioned pretty much anywhere the rider thinks works best for them. You can’t “beat that with a stick”.

THE ONLY REASON

Today as I post this is December 25th. It is the day when most of the world pauses to one degree or another to acknowledge the fact that God came to earth in the form of a human Baby on a mission to provide a way for man to be saved from the consequences and penalty of his sin. Man can not save himself although many try. That Baby grew into a Man and completed the mission He was on. Unlike us He lived a perfect life free from sin. This was most important as He was to be the sacrifice offering for sin … the only offering acceptable to a holy God. You can read more about all of this in great detail HERE . Sadly the world (most of mankind) has rejected this salvation God offers to us. Doing so comes at a very high price as our eternal soul is at stake. God offers us this FREE GIFT of His salvation, but for all those who reject it and ignore it they forfeit the opportunity He offers to be forgiven of our sin and we then must pay the penalty and answer to Him in judgement. God is love and He demonstrated His love for all of us by dying a cruel agonizing death in our place. His love is AIMED AT YOUR HEART. He has done all that is needed and all that He can and will for us to be saved from our sin. The choice and decision is ours. Once we breathe our last breath it is too late to choose Him and receive His gift of salvation. Our fate is sealed. So I ask you … if you have never responded to His invitation … WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS? Someday your heart will be asking … WHAT WILL JESUS DO WITH ME? The answer to that question can be readily found in His written word … the holy scriptures. God is holy and can not allow sin in His presence. We as sinful people have a problem. Our eternal soul will spend all of eternity either with God (if the sin problem has been taken care of) or apart from God. Being apart from God means spending eternity suffering in anguish in hell fire. God has warned us. We are free morale agents. God created us with the ability to choose to do what we want. We have free will. We are not robots preprogrammed by God to do what He wants us to do. There would not be any expression of God’s love in that. Recognizing and responding to God’s love for us loving Him in return is the ultimate expression of love. It is not a matter of obeying God because we have to. It is all about obeying God because we want to … we want to please Him out of a motivation of our love in return. Yes, God demonstrated His great love for us while we were yet sinners … in the very act of sinning and rebelling against Him … Jesus Christ died for us. Therein is love!

I know there are those who will read this and get upset over it. There will be those who want to tell me it has no place here on a blog about tadpole trikes. But you know … none of that matters. There is not a more important message to communicate to others than this message. In obedience to God I am willing to ruffle a few feathers upsetting some. This timeless message may touch a few hearts and that is what matters. So on this Christmas Day I present the Christmas message. It is not about the many things man does at this time of year … putting up an evergreen tree and decorating it, giving gifts to one another, feasting together as family and friends or any number of the things man does during this holiday. The truth is most everything man does is based on paganism practices the Roman Catholic church brought into our culture. And no where in the holy scriptures are we commanded or instructed to observe the birth of Jesus Christ. And He wasn’t born in December anyway. With all of this being true it is important not to “throw the baby out with the bath water” so to speak. This Christmas holiday does exist in our culture so I for one intend to take advantage of it and proclaim the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ. The reason for the season is truly all about the fact that Jesus did come to earth to provide salvation. He came the first time as a helpless Baby. He will be returning soon … very soon … as the King of kings and Lord of lords. His word tells us that He is coming to pour out His wrath (His anger) on all of those who have rejected Him and the salvation He alone offers. Far better is it to accept and respond to His love now than to be the recipient of His anger later. We are without excuse if we fail to respond to His great love while it is being offered and is available to us. Time is short. Besides none of us know what a day may bring forth. Our last final breath could be seconds away. It is all a most serious matter. The greatest gift is not one placed under a tree. The greatest gift in the One Who was placed on a tree. His Name is Jesus. Merry Christmas to all!

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’

BICYCLE AIR PUMPS & TIRE PRESSURE

Most recumbent tires are high pressure tires … up around 100 psi. If you don’t have an air compressor at home or in your motor vehicle I strongly recommend purchasing a floor type bicycle air pump … one designed to pump high pressure … preferably 140 or 160 psi. That way when you pump up a 100 psi tire you aren’t maxxing out the pump to accomplish it … or maxxing yourself out using it. 🙂

In fact, I suggest getting one of these pumps even if you do have an air compressor available to use as they are quite handy and practical.

Most good quality pumps nowadays have a built in guage making it very handy. I suggest checking the accuracy of the guage initially and from time to time to be sure you are getting the right pressure in the tires.

Here are a couple of examples of pumps available.

Blackburn air tower 3 bike floor pump

Park Tools PFP-4 Professional Mechanic Floor Pump

They can be purchased at your local bike shop. I want to emphasize that it is best to buy a good quality pump and not settle for some inferior pump at a lower cost. I don’t think you would regret paying more for a quality pump. I would also suggest that you talk to a local bike shop mechanic to get their recommedation as to what pump to buy. You could also research them online to get customer feedback.

I am not making any recommendations as to what pump to buy. I am only showing these two as examples of what is available. There are lots of different ones out there. The first pump I have pictured above is a Blackburn Air Tower 3 Bike Floor Pump rated at 160 psi. To the best of my knowledge it is a good quality pump.

The second pump I have pictured above is a ParkTool brand which normally they make pretty good quality stuff. However, the customer reviews of this pump are not all that impressive. That is surprising.

Most pumps nowadays have a dual head on them so that either Presta or Schrader valves are accommodated.

The pump I have is a Pedros Domestique air pump. It is a good pump, but I know that there are better ones available.

In case you didn’t know it an innertube loses air on a continual basis so it is necessary to inflate them from time to time. That’s right … air leaks right thru the rubber so they are constantly losing pressure. The higher the pressure the more they leak down. It is important to keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure. You will get better wear, mileage, handling, and performance out of your tires as well as make it easier to pedal along since low air pressure equates to more rolling resistance.

It is also important that you never over inflate your tires beyond what they are designed for. Doing so can result in destroying the tire and causing a major tire failure which could be disaterous at worst and leave you stranded at best.

I once put about 10 psi more in a knobby tire I used for winter riding. About 10 miles from home I noticed something which wasn’t right in the ride … a pronounced thump of sorts. I stopped and got off to look. My rear tire was literally coming apart … separating from too much pressure in it. Fortunately I was only about a half of a mile or so from a local bike shop so I made it over there and got a new tire. The tire that had just gone bad would have lasted me for several years more if I had not over inflated it.

Yes, proper tire inflation is quite important … especially if we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

DOGS ARE PEOPLE TOO

Yeppur, dogs are people too. At least some of them think so and some of us do too. That’s okay. For sure they are part of the family.

Some of us even look like dogs. Did I really say that? I better restate that … sometimes we have dogs that resemble us. Take a look – – –

(In all fairness as far as I know neither of these national leaders own these dogs they are pictured with. Somebody just made up the images in jest. It is probably true of the images below as well.)

And some not quite as well known …

My point is … let’s see … I knew I had a point when I started this. Oh yeah, we are attached to these critters so it is only natural we want to take them along with us when we go out riding our trikes. Now some people pamper their pets to the extreme and only haul their furry friends in a trailer or basket. That is okay for some of the time, but hey … they need exercise too. So there are options available. Some dogs do better than others when it comes to catching on to what they need to do to walk and run alongside of us or perhaps up in front or even behind us. They learn quickly what is expected of them and what they need to do (or not do) to be safe. Other dogs need help and help is available in the way of devices to attach to our trikes which they in turn are attached to. Using these devices they walk and run safely alongside of us out of harms way. Well, they are unless we run them into something. With extra width these devices add to our trikes we need to be careful we don’t do just that. Some dogs even need a special shield alongside of the rear wheel to keep them from getting into it and getting hurt. Anyway, here are a few of the options available:

http://www.dogpoweredscooter.com/

In my opinion and experience it is best to have a means of both hauling your dog as well as walking and running him … at least if you are riding far enough with him where he needs a break from walking and running. If the dog is small enough he can be hauled in a basket aboard the trike, but a larger dog definitely requires a trailer to accommodate him.

Some people just prefer a trailer anyway regardless of the size of the dog. And, of course, some people have more than one dog so a trailer is pretty much a must to take the dogs along safely and comfortably.

And then there are the MUSHERS … dogs who love to pull

Some dogs are pullers, some dogs need to be pulled and some dogs are pretty much neutral … they just walk or run alongside without pulling or being pulled. It is important to “know your dog” and ensure he is getting his exercise without overdoing it. He may need to ride for awhile and then go at it again. Some dogs may only be good for a mile or so at a time while others can walk and run several miles before needing a rest.

Dogs On Trikes Facebook Group

Me with my dog. He was one great dog …

one could not ask for a better dog.

Some dogs are better trained and behaved than others. Some dogs seem to be more easily trained than others. Consequently some dogs do fine without being fastened into a basket or trailer while others definitely need to be “contained”/”restrained”. Keep in mind that in case of a tip over a dog being hauled in a basket is probably more likely to be injured than a dog which is somewhat free to move about some as he can jump out and avoid being injured … or least being less injured than if he would have been restrained in the basket. Unfortunately there are dogs which will jump out if they are not fastened in and that could be very bad especially if you are moving along when they jump. My wife and I had a dog once that jumped out of the window while we were driving down a highway. The only thing that saved him from serious injury is he had his leash fastened and my wife was able to pull him back thru the window before anything happened.

Keep in mind also that carrying a dog in a basket up high off of the ground raises the trike’s center of gravity considerably making it all the easier to tip over.

I have noticed that most dogs enjoy the view as well as the wind in their face. They often tend to move about just to see what there is to see. This can sometimes be a bit challenging for the trike rider as the movement of the dog can effect the handling of the trike.

Please don’t allow your dog to run loose on his own. It is irresponsible. It is dangerous for your dog and for others. Many “accidents” have happened as a result of dogs running loose. It is bad enough when a dog gets injured in these accidents, but it is far worse for innocent people getting injured as a result of the dog owners negligence. I have known friends who have been seriously injured when a loose dog went right in front of them. Sometimes dogs chase after other cyclists which can be very intimidating. And it is against the law to allow a dog to run loose!

And if you are taking your dog along with you please be a responsible and law abiding owner.

Unless you have a special dog who cleans up after himself, be sure you do it. It is the right thing to do.

It is absolutely disgusting to deal with this scenario … dogs owners who do this deserve to have their faces shoved down into this pile of shit.

Yeppur, dogs are people too as far as enjoying tadpole trikes. With our help and with our responsible behavior we can all …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

SETUP & ADJUSTMENT OF MECHANICAL DISC BRAKES

This is a subject like many others where you can find varying opinions and instructions on how to go about setting up and adjusting mechanical disc brakes. I only have and use Avid BB7 brakes. I started off with Avid BB5 brakes which I would not wish on my worst enemy as the saying goes. They are junk in my opinion. They required almost constant daily adjustment which got old quick. The BB7 is a far superior brake and well worth the additional expense over the BB5 brakes. The main difference between the two besides the brake pads is that the BB5 brake only has one adjustment knob for the brake pad … that is, only one side can be adjusted. The other side is stationary. The BB7 has adjustment knobs on both sides making it much easier to get proper adjustment initially. And once adjusted the BB7 seems to remain in proper adjustment for quite some time. If you have the BB5 brakes you are on your own as I won’t waste my time trying to instruct how to adjust them as they aren’t worth the time and effort involved. My advice is to upgrade to the BB7s. Anyway, I am not going to link to the instructions of others here, but rather I am simply going to share how I go about setting up and adjusting the brakes.

To start out it is important that the rotors run true. If they are bent or damaged they need to be repaired or replaced. There is a special tool to use to straighten a bent rotor, but if one lacks this tool an adjustable wrench can be used if the bend is only near the outer part of the disc. If it is further inward toward the center of the disc an adjustable wrench won’t do. I have a Park Tool straightener, but there are other brands available.

If the rotor is straight and true you can move onto the setup of the brake. Basically by setup I mean positioning the brake caliper and brake pads properly on the rotor. Again, not everybody goes about this the same way, but I am only sharing how I do it and it has worked great for me. Ideally it would be best to do all this with the rider of the trike seated on the trike so that the effect of the rider’s weight is taken into consideration as I am sure things would change a little just like the toe in measurement sometimes changes when the rider is seated on the trike. This is especially true if the rider is heavy. I have never done that myself as it would be difficult if one is by themself to sit in the seat and perform this procedure.

It is most important that the caliper be positioned correctly so that the rotor is centered and parallel to the brake pads. Otherwise it is likely that the brake will rub and make noise, especially when cornering. Also the brakes won’t work as well as they could and the brake pads will wear uneven.

The mounting bolts have special washers which are dished and cupped so that they fit together and “adjust” to the positioning of the caliper over the rotor.

The procedure I use to align the caliper and brake pads on the rotor is simply to leave the mounting bolts loose so that the caliper can move freely.

I then sort of wiggle the caliper around while I turn the brake pad adjustments (red plastic knobs) in so that they tighten against the rotor and center the caliper over the rotor. I initially wiggle the caliper around a bit just to ensure it is freely moving while the brake pads are being adjusted in. Turning these adjustment knobs can tighten the brake pads sufficiently to hold against the rotor aligning it properly. I then carefully tighten the mounting bolts being careful not to move the caliper in the process. An alternative way of doing this is to tighten the brake pad adjustment knobs only partially so that squeezing the brake lever will tighten the brake pads on down against the rotor. Holding the brake lever on (or using some means of holding it on) I then tighten the mounting bolts carefully. Now with the caliper and brake pads aligned the brake pads can be adjusted properly.

Here is a video about centering hydraulic disc brakes which is pretty much the same process as mechanical disc brakes with the exception of having to push the pistons back out..

When adjusting the brake pads I simply back them off just enough initially so that they don’t rub when the wheel is spun. I then pull the brake lever to see how it feels. If it is too tight I loosen one of both of the brake pads a bit more. I also look down at the brake pads to see what the gap is looking like as I want to be sure both pads are evenly spaced out from the rotor. One should try to keep the gap between the brake pad and rotor the same on both sides so that when the brake is applied both brake pads make contact at the same time and not be forcing the rotor over to one side. It should remain straight and not flex (be forced) sideways.

Keep in mind that when cornering hard there is some flex in the wheel  and often times some rubbing will occur between the brake pads and the rotor. If this is bothersome the brake pads can be further adjusted out if needed.

Keep in mind that if a wheel is removed or realigned (adjusting the spokes) or a rotor is removed and then reinstalled or a new rotor is installed the caliper and brake pads may need to be realigned. That is what happened to my trike recently. I adjusted the spokes realigning the wheels which resulted in the need to reposition the caliper and brake pads. Once I did that my brakes worked much better. Obviously having properly working brakes is most important. They will help us …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

HERE is a link to all of Park Tool’s videos.

ARE YOU BLIND?

I am not blind, but I have been experiencing various vision problems over the last several years. I have glaucoma. My mom had glaucoma as did her mom. My grandmother went blind the last few years of her life and my mom nearly did. I am “legally blind” in my left eye. My eye doctor has been trying to save my eyesight I have left. Blindness is not something any sane person would choose and yet many of us who ride tadpole trikes do choose it. We don’t have eyes in the back of our heads and we can only see so far off to the sides. We are not owls with the ability to turn our heads clear around backwards. In short, we need mirrors to see behind us. That is reality and no sane person would argue it. Certainly our laws require left and right outside rear view mirrors as well as an inside rear view mirror. As far as I am concerned they ought to be a legal requirement on all forms of cycles and misc. vehicles.

Susan in Chuck's mirror what's behind no mirror

See what you are missing without a mirror? There is another trike following behind, but without a mirror you wouldn’t know that. Of course, these pictures don’t really illustrate what I am talking about as far as a blind spot. Many tadpole trike riders choose to only use one mirror. I don’t understand it. We are greatly limited in our sight and it is very unsafe for ourselves as well as others. I am sure most all of us have heard of “blind spots”. They are real and they are very dangerous. A blind spot is the area that doesn’t show up in the one mirror some riders have. Obviously that area is closer up to us than what is shown in these pictures.

Here are the blind spots using 2 mirrors. The grey areas are the bling spots. The white areas are where we can see using the mirror(s) as well as with our eyes looking ahead of us. (Ignore the small grey area in front of the rider. I didn’t bother to remove it when I did the photo editing.)

And here are the blind spots areas with only 1 mirror. As you can observe there is a tremendous difference.

Yes, when we choose to only have one mirror we are choosing to be blind on the side we have no mirror. We don’t do it when we operate our cars, trucks, etc. so why would anyone choose to only use one mirror?

I ride with other tadpole trike riders and they only have one mirror. I have to be very careful around them as they don’t see me if I am on the side where they have no mirror … not unless I am quite a distance back behind them. Just recently one of my friends turned sharply to the right and forced me to brake hard to avoid a collision. He had no idea I was there as he is blind on that side and to make matters worse he usually doesn’t turn his head and try to look.  And this situation happens everyday several times a day. I always see them, but they don’t see me. I have talked to them about this, but they stubbornly refuse to install a second mirror. They choose to ride blindly and be a hazard … an accident waiting to happen.

Matt's trike with two mirrors

Matt Galat (JaYoe) … well known for his world travel adventure and videos …

is wise enough to use two mirrors.

When I built my first trike I put two mirrors on it. I have always had two mirrors on my trikes. I can’t imagine not having a mirror on both sides. I don’t choose to be blind … not when it comes to my eyesight nor when riding my trike. What about you? Are you blind? It is a very dangerous thing to ride around blind on one side. It is a very foolish thing as well. And it is a very unnecessary thing as they sell mirrors every day. We need to be safe ourselves and do our part to ensure others are safe from us. In short, we need to be responsible. That means having two mirrors is a must. We all want to …

ENJOY THE RIDE

FLINTSTONE BRAKES & YOU

Hanna-Barbera produced the popular Flintstone cartoon tv series where Fred was known to use his feet as the brakes for his prehistoric car.

We laugh at that and perhaps we have even done it ourselves at times in the past on some types of vehicles. We might have even gotten away with it, but I caution you not to attempt it on a tadpole trike as you may very well regret it. The results could get quite ugly, most serious and painful. LEG SUCK is not something anyone would want to  have happen to them. Leg suck is where the rider of a tadpole trike literally runs over their leg as the leg folds back under the crossmember (cruciform) of the trike frame. I saw it happen once to a friend of mine. It was hard to watch. He was fortunate. He only experienced considerable pain which took several days to get over … nothing got broken. I have myself had this happen a couple of times and experienced the pain of it. Fortunately my pain and suffering was over much quicker. The bottom line is … it is not worth it … keep your feet on the pedals. Certainly it is best to use some sort of means to keep your feet on the pedals so they can’t fall off and come down onto the ground. Tadpole trikes are a lot of fun to ride, but we need always to use common sense and good judgement. Be safe, enjoy the ride and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

STICK CATCHING … NOT A NICE GAME TO PLAY

For those who have quick release wheel axles there is a matter which should be taken into consideration if you never have before. When tightened down the lever should not be pointed forward as many people often do. When they are pointed forward they can easily and readily do catch sticks, weeds, etc. A lot of people just tighten them up in whatever position that they happen to be in. I have seen the result of having these levers positioned facing forward. They are very good at snagging twigs, etc. as we ride along. So I highly suggest positioning them to face backwards if possible or “tucked away” somehow to avoid this problem. Here is one pointing up which is okay.

And here is one sort of tucked in where it would be hard for a stick to get snagged by it.

This applies to both the front and back axles.

This one on a front axle is positioned ideally.

This may sound like nit picking and silly, but from personal experience it can help avoid problems as we ride along. Just be sure that in changing the position of the lever the entire axle skewer assembly is sufficiently tight. You sure don’t want a wheel falling out of it’s proper position like in this picture of a mountain biker. Actually I photo edited this as I couldn’t find a picture online to demonstrate it. Hopefully we won’t be flying thru the air like some bikes do.

Snagging sticks is not a game to be played while out riding. It is much better to just …

ENJOY THE RIDE & KEEP ON TRIKIN’

 

FUN & THRILLING, BUT FOOLISH AND DANGEROUS

 

Here are some fun and thrilling rides, but certainly foolish and dangerous … not to mention harmful and damaging to the trikes. There is a lot I could say about all of this … tempting fate, endangering life and limb and treating brand new expensive trikes like this … but I will refrain and let you think whatever you want about the matter.

SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON HEADLIGHTS

After about 8 years or more of dependable service my 1 watt Planet Bike headlight has started shutting off all by itself. So I am now looking for a replacement.

I came across this webpage which is somewhat unique. I shows many different headlights as they shine forward on the road at nighttime. It has a split screen where you can compare one light with another. You can adjust the split screen however you want it.

HERE is another website where you can compare the lighting from various headlights at nighttime.

HERE is another side by side comparison.

HERE is an explanation of LED lighting with helpful information.

HERE is an article on lumens and brightness.

As you can see, not all lights are equal. In the image above are two lights both rated at 300 lumens. Obviously the one on the left is much much brighter than the one on the right. I also selected some other 300 lumen lights to compare and the result was identical to what you see in this picture. Good optics make all the difference in lights.

In the image below are beamshots of a 350, 700 and 1000 lumen headlights. As you can see the 350 holds its own pretty good against these much more powerful lights. Again, good optics make all the difference in lights.

I bought the 350 lumen headlight shown in the image above. It is a Light & Motion Urban 350 which sells for about $50. I like it fine for nighttime riding … which I seldom do … but I am very disappointed in its pulse mode for daytime riding … which is what I almost always do. As far as I am concerned its pulse mode is nearly worthless in the daytime. There is no comparison between it and my Planet Bike headlight. So I more less wasted $50 on a light I really have little need or use of. I looked at some others which were about twice the price and their pulse mode was very attention getting. I don’t understand why this light I bought fails so miserably in this one area. It’s pulse mode would be fine at nighttime, but in the daytime … like I said … it is about worthless.

Here is a video of my Planet Bike headlight flashing inside my home.

Fortunately my Planet Bike headlight is working again so I am continuing to use it for daytime riding. It turned out that the problem of it shutting off by itself was simply a matter of the battery contacts needing to be cleaned. Its flashing mode is very attention getting. BTW, Planet Bike lights have very good optics.

Here is a still shot of my current headlights at nighttime. I have changed the mounting positions since this picture was taken.

One thing I have noticed about many of the new headlights being sold now is that they have rubber straps to mount them instead of much more solid and secure clamps. I hate these rubber straps as they are a cheap way of making what are otherwise good lights. The rubber straps won’t tighten up and hold the light in position and they make it extremely simple, fast and easy to steal the light. I am constantly having to reach down and reposition my two new headlights as they just keep moving out of position as I ride along. I would never buy another headlight that uses a rubber strap to mount it. They are a joke … only I am not laughing.

Well, I hope this article has helped to shed some light on the subject of headlights. Be safe out there and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

 

 

 

 

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HEADKAYSE ONE – REINEVENTS HELMETS

Headkayse One is a game changer for cycling safety because of Enkayse.

Conventional helmets are made from polystyrene. In a large impact polystyrene deforms to provide what’s known as “sacrificial protection”. This is why you have to be careful not to drop your polystyrene helmet in everyday use, and it’s why manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet after a knock.

Headkayse … pronounced “head case” … hmmm, interesting … is indeed unique. It is scary to think that a brand new conventional helmet can be so easily damaged and rendered considerably less effective in protecting our noggins. It is not only scary, but downright sad and maddening. Who wants to keep buying new helmets quite frequently for fear that our current helmet might not be up to the task of protecting us (even though it might be nearly new itself)?

Enkayse is designed to work differently. It manages the energy of impacts, so it can retain its integrity after more than one impact, large or small. It flexes to the shape of your head for better comfort and security.

Because Enkayse dissipates energy rather than deforming on impact, it also cushions small bumps. Polystyrene can’t do this, since forces which are too weak to deform it are transmitted through. Enkayse provides comfort in protecting from small bumps. This may also have long-term benefits as researchers believe the cumulative effect of small knocks contributes to brain disease over time. Because Enkayse shrugs off little bumps, it means that Headkayse One is durable against the knocks and scrapes that come with everyday use. You can be sure that Headkayse One will stand up to the daily grind. You can view the entire article about this new material HERE.

This is an interesting video (below) demonstrating how conventional helmets are effected by bumps and impacts.

Their website reports that they are 167 % funded in their startup campaign. These helmets don’t come cheap, however, they should greatly outlast a conventional bike helmet which helps offset the price involved.

So if you are a helmet wearer you might consider looking into a “head case” for your noggin. They say they think they will be in production soon (mid 2017). You can pre-order HERE and it should be cheaper than when they start selling them online.  They show about $112 plus shipping charges if pre-ordered.

They will be available in 8 different colors. One size fits all. Be safe out there and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

 

 

 

tadpole trike, tadpole trikes, tadpole tricycles, recumbent trikes, recumbent tricycles, recumbent tadpole trikes, recumbent tadpole tricycles, American Cruiser, Atomic Zombie, Azub, Bikes Reclinadas, CarbonTrikes, Catrike, Challenge, David Bruce Trikes, Edge Recumbents, Evolve, FFR Trikes, Fortrike, Greenspeed, HP Velotecknik, ICE, KMX, Logo Trikes, Outrider USA, Performer, Podersa Cycles, Scarab, Steintrikes, SunSeeker, TerraTrike, Ti-Trikes, Trident, TrikeWars, TriSled, TW-Bents, Utah Trikes, Windcheetah

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

They got the title right …

I came across this video and immediately had to agree with the title … Blinded By The Light. There is definitely a whole bunch of lights there. I assume they own a battery manufacturing company. That top light must be to warn low flying aircraft. 🙂 If I were a car or truck driver coming up behind this I wouldn’t know what to do … probably need to find another route. 🙂 I believe in good lighting, but this is definitely an overkill to the point I would think it would upset others who have to deal with it. I don’t know what their purpose is in having all these lights, but hopefully they don’t ride this around other people at night with these lights turned on .

I won’t even use my bright flashing taillight at nighttime around other people as it would be blinding and offensive to those behind me. Defensive is the goal … not offensive. This next video is of my trike after dark where there is total darkness and no one else around. I have 4 taillights flashing, but one of them is so much brighter than the other three. The other three are plenty bright to be seen quite well at night. The extremely bright one is just too much. As bright as the other 3 taillights are this super bright one prevents the other three from being seen. It is great in the day time, but at night time I would never use it around other people. I would use 2 or 3 of the others and probably only have one taillight flashing and the other(s) turned on steady (no blinking).

Our headlights can also be “too much” Here is my trike with  maximum lumens in use. I would not think of riding around like this in the daytime much less at night. I would only use it when by myself and in need of good lighting to see where I am going (at night time, of course.) Too bright of a headlight can quite literally blind those in front of you so that they can’t see some of what is in front of them. This could easily result in an accident and even someone’s death.

And that is only 350 lumen. There are people out there with several thousand lumen lighting. Let’s all be safe but respectful of others. We all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

REAR WHEEL STEERING = HIGH SPEED INSTABILITY

Now I am not out to attack rear wheel steering per se, but I am reporting what I have read about it as well as my opinion about the design. I am in full agreement with what I have read about rear wheel steering. And what I read about it is exactly what I think it would be like. At slow speed it works okay. At super slow speed it could be a lot of fun and helpful. But I am not interested in always going slow so if there is a handling and safety problem with rear wheel steering it is not for me. This issue comes up because I just recently made the discovery that the tadpole trike maker, Sidewinder, is still in business. I thought they went out of business due to a lot of complaints and concerns about their trikes being unsafe above a certain speed due to stability issues. One thing for sure, there aren’t many Sidewinder trikes around. I have never seen one nor talked to anyone who has. It is reported that some of the most sophisticated fighter jets made can’t be flown without the aid of computerization. They will crash without it. That is about my take on rear wheel steering and riding above certain speeds. Something beyond human input and control is needed in order for it to be safe. There are lots of stuff online to be read about this subject. Here are a few of them:
http://wannee.nl/hpv/abt/e-abd.htm
http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/showthread.php?t=62395
http://forum.atomiczombie.com/archive/index.php/t-7684.html
http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents/trikes/sidewinder/sidewinder-recumbent-trikes.htm
Look at it this way … if rear wheel steering were safe and practical car, truck, bus, motorcycle, etc. manufacturers would employ it. They don’t. I rest my case. We all want to be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!