Category Archives: tadpole trikes
Just letting you know that the Tadpole Rider group on Facebook is closed. It is suppose to be totally deleted, but something went wrong in the process and it is still up … just stuck in limbo. I have attempted to contact Facebook for their help, but that is next to impossible the way they have things set up. I know my decision to shut down the Facebook group disappoints many people, but I just had to do it as I just got worn out. Between the Facebook group and this Tadpole Rider blog I was consumed and it was taking its toll on me. It needed to end. It is something I have thought about for quite some time. Now that I have closed down the Facebook group I feel so relieved and am enjoying not being tied down to it. I apologize for the abruptness of it. I purposely did not announce it as I knew it would lead to some folks getting downright nasty and ugly in what they have to say. I wanted to avoid that. I truly appreciate the following and the interest the Facebook group had. I thank all of those who joined as members for your loyalty and contribution. The group grew to over 1200 members in a year. I wanted to post this notice here on this blog so it would help some of you know what has happened to the Tadpole Rider Facebook group.
HUB MOTOR VS MID DRIVE MOTOR … yes, the argument goes on. Some say Mid Drive is the only way to go while others say Hub Motors are the only way to go. Hey, they both go and like with most everything there is good and bad & pros and cons concerning each. HERE is a well written and informative article about the subject. I think I made the right decision. I like hub motors. Mid Drive just doesn’t appeal to me. They are hard on the drive train and if the drive trail fails while you are out riding you are done for as the motor can’t help you. With a hub motor you can still go on down the road/trail since it doesn’t rely on the drive train. My thinking and position lines up with the conclusion of this article and this company has worked with them both and speak from experience and hands on knowledge.
Although this following video (and nearly all others I have seen on this subject) is about bicycles it does a good job of covering the topic.
There are several trike work stands available as well as lots of homemade DIY ones. I have written about them before. I recently came across one I haven’t seen before until now so I thought I would feature it here. It is the “TRIKETABLE REPAIR STAND” manufactured and sold by Carriage House. I like the looks of it … simple, practical, low to the ground so it is smaller in size than most others. It is designed to be used on the ground/floor or set up onto something to raise the trike up higher if desired.
Designed to fit every make and model of recumbent trike on the market. This bench mounted recumbent trike repair stand quickly adjusts to cradle your trike and hold it firmly in place. Rugged enough for shop use, simple and effective design for the casual or enthusiast rider.
It sells for $225 with free shipping to the continental U.S.
It is quick and easy to adjust to accommodate various trikes. I like the use of the V shaped rubber rollers to cradle the frame holding it securely without messing up the paint job of the frame.
Sooner or later all trikes require work to be done on them. Having a workstand makes the task far easier and pleasant than trying to work on them without one. If you have the “moola” (money) and don’t mind spending it you might want to consider this TrikeTable Repair Stand.
Keeping your trike properly maintained and repaired will enable you to …
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This is an interesting trike. I have a hard time understanding some of this man’s English, but the trike is pretty neat. If nothing else, seeing how he has mounted the skis on the front wheels might give others an idea of how put skis on their trikes, myself included. I have thought about it.
Anyone who has been following this blog knows I had a BionX hub motor system installed on my trike and that I experienced various problems with it that BionX never got resolved to my satisfaction. Consequently I requested a full refund and got it. Dispite the problems I experienced I really liked having the hub motor system on my trike and I really miss it now that I am without it. It has always been my intention to replace it with some other brand. I have spent a whole lot of hours researching to learn what is available in order to make a decision I am hopeful is the right one for me. I have listened to the counsel of others and considered the options.
I ruled out mid-drive systems as they just don’t appeal to me. If for no other reason I don’t like the idea of putting all the strain and wear and tear on my drive train. Also most mid-drive motors I have heard while watching videos of them were loud and I found that objectionable. I don’t like the idea of having a motor hanging on the end of my boom and I am not willing to give up two of my chain rings up front in order to have a motor placed there. I have 27 speeds and I want to keep them.
I like hub motors even though I know it makes dealing with a flat tire more complicated and difficult. But I usually run Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and don’t get flats so that isn’t much of a concern. There are two basic types of hub motors … brushless gearless and brushless geared. As with most things there are pros and cons to both. After much studying I made the decision I wanted to stick with the brushless gearless type which is what BionX is. Hub motors with gears inside of them require replacing the gears periodically as they wear out. I didn’t want to get into that. Also brushless geared hub motors are usually noticeably louder that the brushless gearless type. I like my motor to be quiet. I mean … I may want to sneak up on somebody. 🙂 Seriously, I just like keeping a low profile. I would rather not draw attention to myself and my trike by having it produce noise others hear. Besides it is both annoying and embarrassing.
In my research I found that it is extremely easy to find hub motor kits for 26 inch wheels (and larger). However, finding them for 20 inch wheels is somewhat challenging. The lead mechanic at a local bike shop was also looking for a hub motor system for me and said the same thing. He found it difficult finding a hub motor kit for a 20 inch wheel. But with a lot of time and perseverence I did find a few. Within these “few” I had to select one and that can be difficult. I read all I could about the different ones. Only a few of the few had much of anything written about them so that narrowed it down some as I didn’t want to go into this blindly.
There are various sizes of motors available. My BionX was 350 watts. I have seen 250, 350, 400, 500, 600, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000, 5000, 10000, 15000 and even higher. I am sure riding a trike with a large motor would be exhilirating. However, I am pretty sure I would end up wrapped around some tree or worse. Besides the larger the motor the more battery power it requires and uses. The bottom line is one only needs enough power to do the job. My 350 watt BionX motor was pretty decent power-wise so 500 watts should be about perfect and sensible. BTW, here in the U.S. the legal limit for road use is 750 watts. In Canada is it 500 watts and in Europe it is only 250 watts. (I sure am glad I don’t live in Europe.) 250 watts is ridiculous. That won’t even climb many hills.
Most of the hub motors have the wires coming out of the end of the axle. That absolutely turns me off so I didn’t consider any of them. I don’t like the idea of their vunerabilty of getting damaged. So with this criteria the candidates were narrowed down considerably.
I am not going to name brands here for fear of offending someone who happens to have one of those brands. I may or may not have something against any of them. I am not here to put any other brands down or to advise others what I think they should buy. I am only concerned about what I think will be the best choice for me.
After a lot of deliberation i chose the Golden Motor Canada Magic Pie Edge hub motor. It is not the cheapest by far, but it is still reasonably priced. I bought my battery, charger and rear rack for the battery seperately as Golden Motors didn’t have what I was looking for. The total cost for the hub motor kit with the extra options I selected was $781.50. The battery, charger and rear rack was $560.49. Altogether it comes to about $1350. The BionX system I just had was nearly $2500 so you can see there is quite a difference is cost. As I said earlier the BionX was a 350 watt motor. This new one is 500 watts. The BionX battery was only 11.6 aH (the largest they offer). This new one is 20aH. I have seen as high as 50aH. I based my decision on this 20aH battery on what I experienced with the 350 watt motor and the 11.6aH battery. The range I got out of that combination was not very impressive … only about 35 miles on a good day. In colder weather it drops way off. The replacement cost of the BionX battery is over a thousand dollars. I can replace this battery for less than $400 (at least that is what I see currently looking at batteries). I would probably opt to spend more however and get a lithium-polymer battery next time instead of lithium-ion. They are still far less money than the BionX battery costs and are a much more powerful and higher quality battery than the BionX battery. I wanted to get a lithium-polymer battery at this time, but I also wanted to hold the cost down so I opted for the lithium-ion.
One thing I want to address here is the matter of the pedal assist mode and torque sensing being built into the circuitry inside of the hub motor. BionX does this. It is great until something happens to it like what happened to mine. My pedal assist feature stopped working. Fortunately it was under warranty so BionX replaced the hub motor. Unfortunately the motor they sent to replace it was the wrong motor … much less power than the one I had that went bad. This new motor I ordered does not have pedal assist or torque sensing built into the circuitry inside of the hub motor. It is a seperate external component which costs about $145 or so extra as it is optional. At first I was upset about this, but after thinking it over I changed my tune. If something were to happen to the torque sensing unit and it quit working it is a far easeir repair (for me) than BionX repair would be. Warranties don’t last all that long and then we are on our own. Repairs are out of pocket at that point. I don’t know what BionX charges for a new printed circuit board, but I would much rather replace the external torque sensor than have to open up the hub motor and replace the printed circuit board inside.
Lastly, this new motor has a few features BionX doesn’t have. It offers a reverse feature so one can use the motor to back up. It can be programmed offering three different selections of the rider’s choice as to how much power the motor is delivering. Typically one programs it to have a low power choice, a medium power choice and a high power choice. These can be selected as one is riding. By law here in the U.S. an e-bike (e-trike) can’t go any faster than 20 mph on roads when being powered by the motor. It seems so silly when there are riders who can obtain 40 mph or so thru pedaling. Many motors are capable of propelling the bike/trike faster than 20 mph, but by law they must be limited to a top speed of 20 mph. With this motor being programmable one could choose full power as one of the 3 available selections. That would propel the cycle much faster than the 20 mph top speed allowed. I tell you what … I won’t tell if you won’t. 😉 I am sure there are many who would choose to have full power available as one of the selections. It not only would provide the highest top speed obtainable, but it would provide maximum acceleration and performance. Anyone up for a drag race? Am I getting too old for that?
Well, that’s my story thus far. It is all on order. And yes, I am very anxious to get it and get it installed and working. And then I hope to …
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I will keep readers updated. BTW, as stated, this is round two and hopefully it will be the final round.
If you can handle the weather this looks like it would be fun …
Utah Trikes is known for their customization services. Here is one of their projects. With 1600 watts there is plenty of power. Along with all that power is plenty of noise … something I find quite objectionable. I guess it doesn’t bother some people.
What will they think of next? We talk about the extreme comfort of a recumbent tadpole trike comparing it to a recliner chair and then somebody comes along and undoes all that has been accomplished in creating such a dream machine. I am talking about standing up while riding a tadpole trike. Yes, you heard (read) me right! Hard to believe, huh? The picture up above is just a drawing, but this thing really exists. Actually the inventor/builder has had several prototype models thus far … with the goal of improving it with each new design build. Obviously the appeal of this machine would probably be only those who are into skate boarding, snow boarding and surf boarding. That leaves me and a whole lot of other people out. I guess I am thankful I was born when (and where) I was as there are just many things younger people do that I am so glad were not around when (where) I grew up.
See? I told you so. It doesn’t appear to be human powered, only electric hub motor powered so there is no exercise involved in riding it. And that is one big hub motor so I assume it is fairly powerful. I found this video which explains several things about this machine.
It is a tadpole trike, but it certainly isn’t recumbent. It is just the opposite of recumbent as the word recumbent means “prone position” or “lying down” … no , it doesn’t mean “feet forward out in front”. There are a whole lot of tadpole trikes being sold labled as recumbent and they really are not recumbent at all. I read that there is a seat kit available for this trike so I reckon it may be able to transform (morph) into a recumbent trike of some sort. 🙂
I look at this and it just screams UNSAFE. But then that is what I think of skate boarding too … insane! It is like tempting fate. I can’t imagine trying to make a panic stop on/with this trike.
Riders of conventional tadpole trikes can ride on a 100 mile ride all day long in great comfort. One sure couldn’t do that on one of these. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. I don’t understand it, but that is okay I guess.
Here is a newer prototype …
Here the inventor/builder takes the trike for a ride around his city …
I wonder how many of these he will sell. Hey, in this crazy world we might be surprised. Hey, if they can ENJOY THE RIDE more power to them. Too bad they aren’t getting any exercise in the process.
No, you don’t plant ii in dirt, expose it to sunshine and add water. I am talking about the HP Velotechnik Gekko FXS tadpole trike … the first expandable trike designed to accommodate short people (kids and smaller adults) and grow as they grow (well the kids anyway). In the case of short adults this trike is just as happy to remain one size all of its days.
What is differnet about this trike is not only does the boom telescope in and out for adjustment like most other trikes, but the frame itself adjusts telescoping in and out up to 2.7 inches (7 cm). All of this and it folds too!
The seat is also high tech in that it has various adjustments available including adding/removing and moving around foam pieces to accommodate the rider as they grow and their bodies change.
HERE is the Operator’s Manual.
HP also offers some special features as options for those who have children with special needs. They have a harness system to help hold the child safely in the seat. They also have straps to securely hold the child’s feet onto the pedals.
In addition to the above mentioned features they have an assistnace pole attached to the steering head with a brake lever in case the child is not capable of safely handling everything themselves.
Yep, this trike is designed to meet the need of your child from a youngster to adulthood … growing as they grow … and without the feed and water your child requires. And having a trike that grows as your child grows will help keep a smile on their face because they will be able to …
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This isn’t my mom, but it reminds me of my mom. If she were still alive at an age when she was still able like this mom, I am quite sure I could be making a video like this one of my mom riding my trike. She rode bicycleS and motorcycles for many years and really enjoyed it. i occasionaly rode with her many years ago. Lots of fond memories filled with fun are mine these many years later. I am pretty sure my mom would be a tadpole rider today if she lived her life in a different time span. And she too would be wearing the infamous “recumbent smile”.
For those on a tight budget here is an option available for a fairly reasonable price. One can also get the same trike without the FAT tires and wheels for a lesser amount. And, of course, one can also get the same trike without the electric motor system.
And Utah Trikes offers the same trike with a Bafang motor mounted on the end of the boom. This particular one is customized for the customer. It has dual cargo racks on the sides and dual batteries mounted undernearth the cargo racks.
I came across this video and thought it would be a good one to share with others. This man rides a HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS26 Pedelec trike which is a factory made electric motorized trike rather than an after market add on kit.
In case you had not noticed in many parts of the world we have entered into a season of colder temperatures. It doesn’t take much to notice it around where I live as the trails are nearly void of cyclists and there are very few walkers out. Most definitely we notice the colder temperatures with our bodies, but one thing I have noticed as well it it’s effect on my bell and squeeze bulb horn. In warmer weather both are fairly loud, but in colder weather their volume level decreases dramatically. Fortunately during such weather I really don’t have much need of using either one.
Another effect of colder temperatures I have noticed is that my battery for my electric hub motor loses a considerable amount of it performance range capacity. In warm weather I usually get 35+/- miles out of a full charge. In colder weather I am doing good to get in the low 20s. That is something which I am not happy about although truthfully in the winter time I don’t usually ride much farther than the low 20 mile range.
Of course, as humans we notice the wind chill effect on our bodies when out in colder temperatures. Just riding provides “wind” and if there is actual wind (which we usually have here in NE Indiana) we can really notice it, especially when riding into the wind. So riding along at 15-20 mph is not something all that pleasant in colder temperatures. Oh yes, we can always bundle up as much as needed … at least up to the point we can’t function. 🙂
For me personally definitely Spring and Fall are my two favorite seasons. Summer and Winter not so much. Too much heat or too much cold most definitely effect me. I try to ride regardless of the weather … but only to a point as I like to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Sooner or later if we ride any kind of a cycle with pneumatic tires we are likely to get a flat tire. Many of us have been fixing flats since childhood so we can handle flats when they happen. However, some riders have never done so and don’t know how and are intimidated by such a challenge. In today’s world there is help as close as our computers/smartphones/tablets. There are quite a lot of tutorials available in the way of videos where things are not only explained, but they are shown making it even easier to understand. Here is one such video which is pretty comprehensive:
And here is another:
One cardinal rule is never use a sharp object such as a screwdriver as a tire lever. This young person in THIS VIDEO uses two of them.
If you find you have a damaged tire that you are concerned about continuing on riding on there may be hope for it. HERE is an article I wrote on dealing with such tires.
HERE is an article I wrote on rear wheel removal and reinstallation.
Here is another video on changing a tube:
One tip I would share here which makes a whole lot of sense, but is seldom mentioned in instructional videos is to use the punctured inner tube to discover the location in the tire where the puncture occured. Simply carefully remove the inner tube from the tire paying careful attention to its exact positioning in the tire so that you can later place it upon the outside of the tire the same as it came out. Pump the punctured inner tube back up with air to discover the location of the leak. Once you know where the leak in the tube is at you can determine where to look in the tire for the cause of the leak. The cause may or may not be there, but if it is still there it is most important to remove it before installing the new inner tube. Otherwise it will just cause the new inner tube to fail also. Be very careful running your fingers around inside of the tire attempting to locate the cause of the flat as you could get cut or otherwise injured.
When I watch most instructional videos I usually find at least one thing they cover which I take issue with and don’t agree on. That’s okay, I guess. They can do whatever they want and I will do the task the way I want. That is just the way things are in this ol’ world we live in. I guess the most important thing is that we “git ‘er dun” so that we can …
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