Category Archives: upgrades
I can sum this up in just a few words … “wow, what an improvement!” When I bought my Catrike Trail in 2009 I ordered the full fender set which the dealer installed “half ass”. The fenders were the Planet Bike plastic which would break out small chuncks where the mounting braces attached. In 2013 when Catrike replaced my frame under warranty I had to settle for the new frame as they stopped making the Trail with the “space frame” (which I loved and much prefer). Over the years I have done various upgrades with better quality components. This past summer I ordered new front fenders and fender mounts. I had seen the new aluminum alloy fenders on new Catrikes the dealers had in stock so I knew they were an improvement over the old plastic fenders like I had. Upon getting them and installing them I was quite impressed and a “happy camper”. These babies not only look a lot nicer, but they are so much stronger. Just the fender mount itself is such a great improvement. No more braces are needed on the front fenders. Now a flat tire can be fixed without having to remove the front wheels. And the fenders are rock steady … no more flopping around.
Later during this past Fall I ordered the rear fender to replace my Planet Bike plastic fender. The rear fender still uses braces, but at least the fender is mounted solid. The Planet Bike rear fender moved all over the place all too easily. Thank you Catrike. You listened to customer complaints and suggestions and fixed the problem. I have to give credit to ICE and HP … they did it right to start with. The new fenders from Catrike are worth the money in my opinion. With my new fender set I am able to even moreso …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Recently I bought a new rear rim to replace the broken one resulting from pot holes which could not be avoided. My original rims on my Catrike are black so naturally I would prefer to stay with black. However, when I got my new hub motor it came already laced up in a complete wheel even with tire and inner tube. It was an aluminum color rim so already it did not match the black Catrike rims on the front. And then when trying to find a rim to replace the broken one it was discovered that rims which met all the criteria were not all that easy to find. The bike shop ordered a black rim in, but upon attempting to lace it up there was a problem with the heavy duty spokes not being the correct length to reach properly. Actually I am glad it worked out the way it did as I didn’t like the new rim they ordered as it just seemed way too light of duty. They already had a much heavier duty rim in stock which they showed me before ordering the black rim. They had made me a good price on it, but it was shiny chrome and that just didn’t appeal to me since I figured that it would really stand out. As it turned out I decided to go with it and just deal with having a bright shiny rim. I am pleased to say that sometimes things work out better than one expects. The chrome isn’t bothering me and I have a very strong BMX rim which should hold up much better than the rim that came on this hub motor wheel. It may not be gold, but it still glitters out if bright sunlight. And the truth is riding on our local trails which run alongside of rivers which flood over frequently my wheels and the entire trike is usually covered with mud which greatly dulls any glittering.
My rear wheel is already considerably messed up from mud as you can see in the picture. I had forewarned a couple of friends that they might need to wear sunglasses when around me, but it is not looking like that will be necessary now. I am so glad to have a new rim regardless of the color as now I can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Take a peek at Matt’s new trike and trailer as he explains it all in detail. It is one fancy rig.
Here is Matt’s video description:
I am about to take off for the JaYoe World Tour 2.0… and my new trike and trailer setup has been upgraded and is ready to go. Let me give you a little tour of my new rig.
– My new trike is the same as the first one, a HP Velotechnik Scorpion 20fs, but this time I had it painted “JaYoe” yellow.
– The front chain ring this time has been upgraded to a Schlumpf Speed Drive, instead of a bulky derailer.
– Terra Cycle in Oregon (http://www.t-cycle.com/) have hooked me up with some amazing new brackets and accessories to mount my phone, camera, and Garmin 1000 Edge cycle computer.
– My seat cover was custom sewn by a company owned by a new friend in Pakistan. His company is called Paktrike, and the seat cover he made for me is awesome! (https://www.facebook.com/Paktrike)
– Terra Cycle also hooked me up with a bracket that allows me to put 2 side bags on either side of my seat, this is going to be incredibly useful on the road!
– The side bags are from a company called Arkel (www.arkel-od.com/), and not only are fantastic quality and are large enough to suit my needs, but they are waterproof too. My rear panniers are the same.
– My new Trailer is awesome. Produced by a company called AIDOO in Germany (http://www.aidoo-tec.com/), it has been designed and built according to all my needs on the road! The ideal trailer for a trip around the world!!
– On top of that, I have upgraded and included more lights on the trailer, adding visibility, powered by a SON hub dynamo and a USB Converter E-WERK by Busch & Müller (http://www.nabendynamo.de) http://www.bumm.de/produkte/e-werk/e-werk.html
An Amazing Kit! So let me give you a little tour!
All the points in this video are mapped out on the JaYoe Map page, so if you are interested to go exploring yourself… you will know where to go. Check out the map page at: http://jayoe.com/map/#
The JaYoe Travelogues follow Matt as he rides his trike from China to USA. Thru 100 countries he ventures, seeing, doing and meeting along the way.
If you are interested in following my journey around the world, visit my the following links…
Matt is all healed up, newly equipped and ready to go … once more embarking on his epic trike journey. I am sure we all wish him well and safety. And I know I am sure looking forward to seeing more of his excellent videos of his journey. Yep, he is about to redefine that saying …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
We are living in the Last Days prophesied in God’s Word (the Bible) and one of the prophecies tells us of the great increase in knowledge. History proves this out. We are seeing such amazing technology and it just keeps increasing at an incredible rate unlike anytime in previous history. Here are some videos showing some high tech inventions designed for the cycling world.
I really like the concept of this next one as it would sure simplify removal and reinstallation of the rear wheel … the HUB DOCK:
Are you mechanically inclined? If so, here is a DIY (do it yourself) project to motorize your tadpole trike. If you have money to burn you could hire a bicycle shop/independent mechanic to install this for you. This is a 750 watt brushless electric motor. That is the maximum size allowed by law for bicycles in the United States. Like so many electric motors designed for bicycles it doesn’t come with a battery so the battery must be purchased separately. Batteries are not cheap. One can expect to shell out about $1500 total for this kit with a battery. This is both a pedal assist and motor only rig so it pretty much fits the bill. Probably the one main “con” is the fact that it doesn’t sense shifting gears meaning that it will maintain power resulting in mashing gears. That is not a good thing. Of course, one can get around this by simply turning the power way down/off while shifting.
In this next video a KMX trike is shown. I want to include the video description here as it contains some information about this rig. Note the top speed claimed in this vs. the speed obtained on a bicycle equipped with this which was shown in an earlier video. Notice I said “obtained” as there was no mention of top speed. If I remember correctly the fastest I saw on the display was 22 mph.
“48V 750W BBS02 MAX Speed 32 MPH. 1. LCD Panel with FULL features: Speed, distance, 9 levels PAS, FULLY programmable without any patch cables, All done on screen. Motor with built Controller. Full set of new Bottom bracket mounting parts for bikes with 68mm BB Plus Chain ring (will work with 73 mm BB with longer hardware and spacers). Full instructions for installation and LCD set up and programming instruction book. Full set of quick release Wire harness with E-brake levers, throttle, PAS wires, etc. 6. Awesome acceleration, Hill climbing, Top speed of approx. 32 MPH. In the USA is classified as a fully legal 750 Watt Nominal motor by regulations. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico shipping fee is $100.00.”
Here is a video showing and explaining how to install this on a DF bicycle. It would be quite similar installing it on a tadpole trike.
Click HERE for YouTube video search results of the electric motor kit.
Amazon sells the kit with a battery for less than $1200 including shipping.
Ebay sells the kits. They also offer one that comes with a battery. I just discovered something while looking at these on Ebay. You have to be careful as there is tricky selling going on. I saw one of these shown as only costing $70. I thought “WOW!” … and wondered how that could possibly be. Then I scrolled down further and discovered that the seller is charging $410 shipping … bringing the total up to what most of the others are selling for.
Alibaba also sells the kits and is probably the lowest priced. They also sell other wattage models. And they too sell the kit with a battery.
From Alibaba website:
1) Has small current, high efficiency and long riding distance;
2) Light, energy-saving and protective for the battery;
3) Free of maintenance and has a long service life;
4) Produces small noise and is of soft start-up;
5) Has great output power, quick starting and powerful climbing capacity;
6) Gears are made of high strength and abrasion resistant high temperature nylon
7) Reasonably structured and durable in use.
For the 48v 750w motor, we recommend:
48v11.6ah (samsungcell 18650 2900mah,13s4p) dolphin battery
Notice that on the KMX trike the motor is up on top of the boom and behind the crankset while on the ICE trike shown further above the motor is out in front of the crankset and boom. With this unit the front derailleur is not used. The front derailleur mounting tube on the ICE prevents the motor from being placed like it is on the KMX. One could remove the tubing and position the motor on top of the boom, but if you ever wanted to go back to using a front derailleur a new boom would be required.
As the saying goes … “What will they think of next?” … E-Pedals!
Britt Pedals are an invention of a British man named Stephen Britt. Although not a very powerful motor nor a very long lasting battery power these are a quick and rather inexpensive means of motorizing a bicycle or in our case a tricycle. Costing about $300 it is just a matter of removing the existing pedals and installing these in their place. I don’t know much about them and apparently not much is being said as to just how they work. An engineer I am not, but it would seem to me that this is not a very efficient way to go about motorizing a bike. For sure it is truly pedal assist. There is no denying that.
They are not yet in production and available to purchase. They have come a ways though from their beginning as you can see in this picture of what they looked like in their early development.
Here is a video of Stephen Britt talking about his invention. As you can see the name was orginally Fast Forward.
Here is the company statement about the product:
“These replace your standard pedals and provide you with assistance to get you up hills, or carry heavy loads. Each pedal incorporates a motor, gearbox, Li-po batteries and a control board. As you pedal the sensors detect your effort and provide assistance. To pedal without assistance, simply flip the pedals over. They unclip and slot into a charger for charging, much like with a power tool. When fully developed they will provide a range of 10 miles and peak power of 200W. They will retail for around £200 (approximately $300).”
And there have been several articles written about these. The following are just a few of them:
Obviously they offer no protection for the concern of leg suck so using these on a tadpole trike could be risky. And I don’t see any simple solution to this concern.
With only a ten mile range it is good that the pedals can be flipped over so that the battery power can be saved for when you really need it. 200 Watts is considered to be an entry level motor (not very powerful) so I would not expect them to climb much of a hill. I could be wrong and hope that I am. Maybe these would surprise me. I have no experience with electric motors on bikes. I am only going by what I have read. But hey, if these do make it into production and they offer enough assistance they might very well be just the ticket for some to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Some say that when it comes to internal hubs this one is the best. One reviewer described it as “gears without headaches”. At the $320 to $400 range it is reasonable. You can certainly pay a lot more for an internal hub. It is available in 32 or 36 hole (spokes) and silver or black. It can be shifted effortlessly while sitting still or under load. I believe this unit weighs 5.4 pounds. For comparison a typical front and rear derailleur system weighs approximately 3 pounds.
Wikipedia says “The NuVinci CVT further offers the ability to accept multiple inputs while varying speed and ratio, managing torque and providing single or multiple power outlets. By supporting a torque-demand rather than a speed-demand control solution, the NuVinci CVT solves the low-speed acceleration problem inherent in some torque-demand vehicles.”
* CVP (Continuously Variable Planetary) drivetrain technology with an infinite number of ratios
* Simple twist controller enables easy, continuous ratio adjustments while pedaling
* No missed gears, hesitation or noise
* Includes CruiseController shifter
* 6-Bolt disc ready
* 1.8:1 Minimum Sprocket Ratio (e.g. 20/36)
* Cog not included, uses 17-22t HG-style 9-spline cogs, 3/32″ only
* Hub’s shift drive fits behind dropout for clean installation
* Shifter’s cable has quick clip on and off system to allow for simple flat repair
* 360% Ratio Range (0.5 Underdrive to 1.8 Overdrive)
* Approved for use with 250w motors with a minimum 2.1:1 sprocket ratio (e.g. 22/42)
How it works:
An animation of how the NuVinci® continously variable planetary (CVP) works including an explanation of the role of traction fluid in the transfer of power:
This has a full overdrive setting:
Quick Release Axle Hardware is available to replace standard axle nuts:
Here are some articles on the NuVinci N360 Internal Hub:
Personally I like the idea of having an internal hub. I doubt very much if I will ever have one at this stage of my life. Being able to shift while sitting still or when you find you didn’t downshift when you should have is a real plus with these hubs. They could easily help us to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
The Efneo Gearbox is a 3-speed planetary gearbox to take the place of the front derailleur. The Efneo Gearbox, like almost all other planetary gearboxes available on the market, has one specific feature: you can upshift with full load (e.g. you can push the pedals with all your strength and change the gear to the higher one). When you want to downshift, you need to stop pushing for a fraction of a second to let the gear change. It’s very easy to get accustomed to it and after a while you will do it without thinking about it.
Here is some information about it:
+Chain line remains straight on front end
+Immediate gear change and easier than a front derailleur
+It can be shifted sitting still
+Easier chain management
+Reduced Maintenance … No need for tiresome, tricky adjustments
+Since there is only one sprocket the chain length on this gearbox is constant
+The overall gear ratio is 179 percent … equivalent to a front crankset equipped with 28t/40t/50t rings.
The *eventual cost is said to be “above $300”. They are not currently in production and sales. They were just involved in a kickstarter campaign in which they exceeded their goal by 145 %. They are hoping to be delivering the product in August 2015. Right now I think this gearbox can be ordered for the cost of $240. Eventually the price will increase. Shipment is FREE for: United States, Canada, European Union, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
The first gear is running 1:1, the second a 30% increase, and the third increases the gearing an additional 25%. Unfortunately the gear ratios offered aren’t as good on the top end as most trikes with a 3 chainring derailleur setup so top speed obtainable would be lesser. This is the equivalent of 50 tooth while most trikes have a 52 tooth large chainring. I like the idea of it having 3 “gears” in it versus the 2 “gears” found in the Patterson and Schlumpf units. I think this is a nice looking unit. It is available in 170 and 175 mm crank arms. I would want 165 mm maximum length if I were in the market for one of these. The Efneo Gearbox will have its own paddle shifter that controls the gearbox with a single shift cable. The chainring is made from a very high quality Chromoly Steel 32HRC. Efneo offers a chainring for 1/8 and 3/32 inch chains. This gearbox is not recommended for heavy duty use. In the next video installation of this gearbox is covered.
I am continually impressed with Utah Trikes as far as their offerings. Their trike modifications are first class workmanship. And now this …
At this point in my life I have no need or desire to sit more upright on my trike than I do now. If anything, I would much prefer to be able to adjust the seat back down to a more inclined angle. That being said, I know there are people who want or even need to sit more upright. Well, with this $59 option you can … at least if you have a Catrike with an adjustable seat back. These extenders should work on any and all of the Catrike models that have adjustable seat backs. That includes the Villager, Trail and Trail Folder, Road and the new 559. You can order these from Utah Trikes website.
Another feature of these is that you can readily release them and fold the seat down to allow for easier stowage, etc.
Quite a difference, huh?
With companies like Utah Trikes around the future of tadpole trikes looks quite promising. I am looking forward to whatever they come up with next. Meanwhile I am just going to try to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
How ’bout you?
“If you’ve got it, flaunt it” so they say. In this case I am talking about having the money to afford some nice features on a tadpole trike. The Schlumpf HSD (high speed drive) is one such feature. In a word … NICE! They aren’t cheap monetarily speaking, but they sure are NICE! The cost is about $800. They come with a 5 year warranty. Here is a video about them …
Schlumpf is a company out of Switzerland that specializes in internal hubs. Their internal hubs are all located in the front however, and not in the back as is the traditional internal hub location. The beauty of this HSD is that it eliminates the standard front derailleur and improves the chainline besides just giving you higher gearing. Another big advantage is that you can shift at anytime, whether you are stopped or coasting, so you’ll never get stuck in too high of a gear. The low gear is the equivalent of a 27 tooth sprocket and the high gear is the equivalent of a 67.5 tooth sprocket. The standard large chain ring found on tadpole trikes is 52 tooth and the largest available chain ring is 56 teeth. So you can see the huge difference … 52 to 67.5.
A standard 9-speed cassette found on many trikes (11-32) in combination with the HSD provides a gear inch range of 17 to 123, compared to the stock gearing of 18 to 96. Most newer trikes are 10 speed and have a 34-tooth low sprocket. This equates to low-speed gearing of 16. With this kind of gear range a rider should be able to climb almost any hill, as well as be able to pedal at well over 30 mph. Now that is quite a range. I told you it was NICE! Install a 14 speed internal hub in the rear wheel and you can do some serious riding with the gear ratios available without having to deal with a derailleur system and all the inherent problems that come with them. That would really be NICE!
It takes special tools, knowledge and ability to install this unit so it is not something most of us could do ourselves. Even if we were “qualified” the special tools needed are extremely expensive so it would be quite impractical unless you would be installing these for a living. 🙂 Here is a video about installing the Schlumpf HSD …
Note: Utah Trikes states that they install the drive free if you buy it from them.
Here is a picture of the chamfering tool in use on a bicycle …
And here is what the finished chamfer looks like …
As you can see once chamfered there is not much hope to ever going back to a standard crankset. A new boom would be needed to do so.
Here is a video of an ICE tadpole trike with what I would consider the ideal setup I have previously eluded to … internal hubs front and rear which are neat, clean, and nearly maintenance free …
Yeppur! The Schlumpf HSD is really NICE! Now if I could just get someone to buy me one. They are really nice, ya know! So if you’ve got it … you can flaunt it! One last thing … they are really NICE!
HERE is Utah Trike’s article on this product.
As far as I am concerned the very best bicycle tire money can buy is the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I have been using them now for several years and since I switched to them I have never had a flat tire caused from anything external. I have had one inner tube failure caused by the a Mr. Tuffy tire liner which I have since removed as they are not needed and do cause flats internally such as I experienced. Before I use to deal with a lot of flats. I joke about these tires being nearly bullet proof and I think they come close. They are indeed quite amazing!
I personally ride a Catrike Trail recumbent tadpole trike. Here is a picture of me on it.
It is a blast to ride and extremely comfortable. Many compare riding a tadpole trike to driving a go cart or sports car as they handle so well. I have ridden this trike over 33,000 miles. Before I bought this trike I made one similar to it although it was made out of mild steel. My Catrike is made out of aluminum.
Over the years I have tried various other Schwalbe tires on my trikes. All of the various types of Schwalbe tires are quite good … among the very best made in the world, but the Marathon Plus out does them all … flatless and long wear. I highly recommend these tires. I run the 20 X 1.75 406 size. They also come in 20 X 1.35 406 as well as larger sizes for those who have a larger size rear wheel. By far the best price I have found is ordering them online from a company in Germany. bike-discount.de They offer excellent service. Even with the shipping charges coming from Germany they are far cheaper than any other source I have found. I think a maximum of 4 tires can be ordered at one time for the flat rate shipping charge they have. And, of course, the best price per tire is had by ordering 4 at a time. Otherwise it probably would be as cheap or cheaper to order them elsewhere … if you can find a good price on them … something rather infrequent. I have found that the price per tire varies from time to time so sometimes I pay more or less than other times. Early on I paid $37 something apiece. Recently I paid $29.45 apiece.
I will readily admit that these tires are probably the most difficult tires to mount that I have ever encountered. However, there is a way which once known and followed make it much simpler. Once you learn how to do this it is fairly easy. Here is a video showing how to do it: