Blog Archives

TRIKEXPLOR … some interesting offerings

                                                      TRIKEXPLOR

I have written about one or more of the trikes/quads offered by this company before but as time goes by they keep coming out with more offerings. They always look interesting. I won’t elaborate on them as I really don’t know much about them as far as their quality and customer service.

Chinese made trikes have, of course, been around for awhile. And they are known for low cost. Again, I have written about them previously. And HERE is another past posting on them.

TrikExplor is a Chinese company which is something which personally bothers me as I don’t believe we as Americans should be buying all the products we do from China. In doing so we build them up while greatly damaging our own country. Besides that they are a Communist country and I think it is morally wrong for us to do business with them. Please understand I have nothing against the people of China. It is the Chinese government I have an issue with. Furthermore the Chinese are well known for totally ignoring the law and manufacturing copies of well known products selling them at a much lower price.

I truly wish we had such products being offered right here in our own country … made in the U.S.A. … and at a competitive price. I suppose however that the market is lacking for that to happen. Even some of these Chinese offerings are quite expensive … over $7000.

Right now as far as I know such products are not being offered here in the U.S. with the exception of certain offerings from Utah Trikes. I guess only time will tell as to whether or not these somewhat special trikes and quads will catch on and be sold in sufficient numbers for other manufacturers to offer them.

Whatever we choose to ride may we all …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

LOVIN’ OL’ BIG BEN PLUS

For many years I have used Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and absolutely love them. I assumed that I would always use them. However, they now have some competition. Oh it is still a Schwalbe tire but I decided to try the Big Ben Plus tires. It is a balloon tire so it is lower pressure and a softer ride. What I have discovered about them is that they not only ride nice but they handle and roll superb. I am extremely impressed with them. They have a reinforced sidewall. They are E-bike rated. As stated they are a “Plus” tire but they do not offer the flat protection of the Marathon Plus tires. In fact, they have 40 % less flat protection which is a significant amount of difference. I have not had them long enough to know how they are going to wear but I am quite sure they can’t begin to compare to the Marathon Plus tires which get phenomenal wear. So my guess is as long as I don’t get flats I will stick with my new love (Big Ben Plus) and just sacrifice the difference in tire mileage. I am extremely impressed with them.

I had to raise the front fenders up using spacers and longer bolts as these tires are taller than the Marathon Plus tires. Also the rear fender had to be raised for the same reason. And upon installation of the tire on the rear wheel the tire was rubbing. Upon investigation I discovered that it was rubbing on the braces for the seat back angle adjustment. I had to adjust my seat angle up one position to stop the rubbing. I didn’t like having to do that but the only alternative would have been to saw off the braces making them shorter so they would clear the tire.

Since these are balloon tires there is plenty of room inside of them. So I am using heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes with them to help prevent flats. And, of course, I continue to use baby powder liberally inside of the tires and on the inner tubes to help eliminate internal flats.

BTW, I previously tried the regular Big Ben tires and they did not impress me like these Big Ben Plus do. I had ordered the Plus tires but they sent the regular Big Ben tires so rather than going thru the mess and expense of sending them back I just installed them. When they had ran their course I switched back to Marathon Plus. Definitely the Big Ben tires did not do all that well in the wear dept. I still wanted to try the Big Ben Plus so the next time it was time to change tires I ordered the Big Ben Plus. I am so glad I did.

BTW, it is my understanding that the main difference between the Big Apple/Big Apple Plus and the  Big Ben/Big Ben Plus is the Big Ben/Big Ben Plus have a deeper tread so they have more wear available out of them.

Did I mention that I really like these Big Ben Plus tires. Oh yes, I did, didn’t I? Hey, at least I have an excuse … I am getting old. 😉

Tis’ time to end this commentary on ol’ BBP. They are helping me to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HERE is a web page where you can compare the various Schwalbe tire lineup as to rolling resistance, durability,  flat protection, road grip and off-road grip. I will have to admit I take issue with what they show concerning flat protection. Marathon Plus has a 5 mm layer thickness while the BBP has a 3 mm layer thickness. That is 40 % difference yet they show both at nearly the same flat protection on this web page. That makes no sense to me.

 

LOOSING IT HERE, BOSS! (my headlight , that is)

I assume most of us have come across items others have lost and I assume most of us have lost items.. The old adage “finders keepers, losers weepers” come to mind. If we are fortunate it evens out but we are not always fortunate. Definitely I have not been one to have things even out. In fact, I think the only thing I have found while out riding that was of any real value was a Cateye taillight. It is not as bright as some of the ones that have come along since it was manufactured but still it is fairly bright. I seldom use it however. Recently I lost a headlight which I valued and do miss. I was using a universal clamp I have had for quite some time. It adjusts to accommodate various lights. I had switched to this headlight just this morning when I lost it. Apparently I did not have the clamp tight enough to securely hold the headlight. I assume somebody got a nice headlight out of the deal. I thought I knew where I lost it as I noticed it was missing just a short distance past the area I thought I heard something drop. I went back to look for it but didn’t find it. I ended up retracing my ride all the way back home and back again to where I first turned around looking for it. I even got off of my trike and carefully walked around looking for it. No one was around when I had heard the sound of something dropping. I was going across a boardwalk at the time and was nearly at the end of it. So if it did fall there I am quite sure no one else got it. And after a very careful look (three times) for me to have not spotted it would have to mean that it fell and rolled somewhere where it is very well hidden. I had just put brand new batteries in it and it was flashing very brightly which should have made it pretty easy to spot. It is kind of a sickening feeling when you lose something you value. Yes, it can be replaced. I just don’t like wasting money buying something I already had and was working fine. Anyway I immediately went to the LBS (local bike shop … or local bike store) and bought a new headlight identical to it. I like having at least one battery (AA or AAA) powered headlight and taillight as I can change the batteries while I am out riding if I need to. And the batteries last a very long time compared to the rechargeable type. They are another story and have let me down more than once with no recourse while I am out riding. Well, as they say … that is my story and I am stuck with it. So if you are riding along and see a headlight laying near the trail flashing away … well, no, it is not likely mine. That would be too far for it to roll. Hopefully you won’t loose anything … especially anything of value … while you are out riding. It is no fun, I tell ya. It is definitely not my idea of …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

Oh by the way … since this happened I have removed the universal clamp mount (shown in the picture below) and am using the mounts that came with the lights I am now using. I added another mounting post opposite the one which Catrike has on the front derailleur post. It is working out well.

FAT TRIKE RIDERS

Have you noticed the increase in FAT trike riders over the last several years? Yeah, I am messin’ with ya again. I am not talking about people being overweight. I am talking about people riding FAT tire trikes. What brought this up you ask? Well, it all started on the Facebook Recumbent Trikes Group. One of the administrators posted a picture of several trikes all riding together and everyone of them was a FAT tire tadpole trike. If I were a rich man I no doubt would own a FAT tire tadpole trike. I don’t know why. I don’t have much use for one … just like I don’t have much use for a Jeep or pick up truck all jacked up with large wheels and tires on it. I really don’t have any desire for the Jeep or truck, but I think I would ride a FAT tire trike some if I had one. They not only look neat but I am sure they would be fun to ride some places … particularly off road.

Of course, some people live where off road riding is more available and prevalent. In fact, for some that is all that is about all that is available to them. I guess it is all a matter of perspective. I am sure some consider themselves blessed to have the off road scenario while others might very well consider it more of a curse. I have to admit I much prefer riding on nice smooth paved trails with lots of green trees and what I consider beautiful scenery. Most of the western United States has absolutely no appeal to me. I am not even interested in visiting there much less living there. To me it is just barren wasteland … ugly and just of no appeal. That’s me. I am sure there are those who like it … even love it … wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Anyway, as the saying goes … different strokes for different folks. And again as they say … it is what makes the world go around. I mean … some people even like eating oysters (and many other foods I and many others find repulsive). Regardless of one’s position on these various things one thing is for sure … FAT seems to be here to stay … both when it comes to body weight and recumbent trikes. Regardless of what we ride may we always …

ENJOY THE RIDE

and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, even though I don’t have a FAT tire tadpole trike I am definitely a FAT trike rider … but I really don’t want to talk about it. 😉

 

NO WET BUTT FOR ME

Where I live our original trail system consisting of about 21 miles runs alongside of the three rivers here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As one might guess that means the trails flood over making them impassible. So they are closed and remain closed for quite some time sometimes (all too often) That’s a bummer! It is not as bad as it used to be as other trails have been built over the years which are not along the rivers and they usually don’t have flooding issues like these original ones. Never the less it is the original trails called the “Rivergreenway” which are my favorite to ride on, especially this one in this short video here. I came upon this scene and didn’t attempt to go any further as I learned my lesson previously.

Several years ago I approached this same area from the opposite direction and foolishly attempted to ride thru it. I had no idea how deep the water was at that time but I soon learned. It was late winter so the water was pretty cold. Once I started riding into the water I was committed and could not very easily do anything but keep going. This area is about 2 3/4 miles away from where I live and I had a ride home with wet feet and wet butt. I will say this … it was invigorating as in … it is sure to wake one up and get their attention. I have ridden thru other flood water areas before and since then, but this one I no longer mess with. It is deep and to be avoided. No wet butt for me! Yep,  learned my lesson. I like to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

Here is another video I made a few years ago showing lots of trail flooding here in Fort Wayne.

CAMERA MOUNT

Thru the years I have tried various ways to take video as I ride. I have mounted my camera on my trike a couple of different times but never liked the results. One thing I object to is the camera picking up road noise thru the mount I had for it. I have had the camera helmet mounted but didn’t care for that at all even though there was probably the least jarring of the camera that way. Most of the time I have just held the camera in my hand. I really don’t like doing that however. Recently I have been trying out a mount I made using the mount for a headlight. I had to modify the headlight mount in order to mount the camera. Much to my surprise it doesn’t transfer much road noise into the camera.

Where I live and ride the road and trail surfaces are fairly rough so getting jarred around is a problem I have to deal with when it comes to taking video. Much to my surprise the jarring around using this camera mount is not as bad as I expected it would be. Never the less it is still present so I am considering doing some experimentation to see if I can improve upon this.

Also I would like to be able to quickly and easily remove the camera to hand hold it should I come across something I want to catch on video which requires re-aiming the camera or even moving it following the subject matter. Also I want to be able to easily remove the camera (only) and take it with me if I should stop for lunch or shopping while out riding.

Many of us like to video tape our rides and we do so for various reasons. How do you go about it? Please tell us by leaving a comment.

RIDE RECUMBENT!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

LOW COST FULL SUSPENSION TRIKE/e-TRIKE/e-FAT QUAD

Utah Trikes continues to offer their custom models and once again they just may have a winner. I am talking about a full suspension trike (or quad) with or without electric motor assist at a low price. They call it the Revolution Defiance FS. The starting price for the trike version is $2999 but it is currently on sale as I write this for $2599.

Here is a look at the front suspension. And below is a look at the rear suspension.

And below is the 3 speed internal hub along with the external cogs … 8 is stock or 10 as an option.

With a single chainring up forward and 24  (3×8) or 30 (3×10)  speed back aft the rider has a pretty fair selection of gearing. Other internal hubs are available as options.

For those who prefer 4 wheels …

The Revolution e-Quad currently sells for $5999. It has FAT tires, hydraulic brakes and a 1000 watt motor. It also has various upgrade options. In stock format it is not full suspension however … only rear suspension. But hey, with FAT tires who needs suspension? Front suspension is available as a $200 option. Various motor options are available as well. They are all 1000 watt but the top speed ranges from 12.5 mph for the stock motor and increases to 15, 20, 25 and 30 mph respectfully … the top one being the most costly as a $200 option. This is achieved by the rpm and gearing of the motor. All the motors offer a reverse … something very practical on a quad.

Looks inviting, huh? I mean one just might be able to …

ENJOY THE RIDE

on one of these.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

CLIPPING IN … YOUR CHOICE

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

A DIFFERENT VIEW

love watching Matt Galat’s videos as they are always so well done and interesting. For quite some time now he has had a drone he uses to capture video from up above. That really adds greatly to his videos in my opinion. Recently he put together a video of his ride thru Japan from back in 2017. The entire video is drone camera footage. I think it is super neat to watch. I hope you agree …

Click HERE to check out more about Matt’s world touring on his tadpole trike.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

JUST DRIFTING ALONG

I am just drifting along singing my song all the day long. Well, not really but this guy is definitely doing some drifting and I am envious as it looks like fun.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION

 

Today is January 1, 2020 … New Years Day . Yep, a new year is off and running. Some people make a New Year Resolution … something they decide they should do to make a change in their life. I have never been one to do that. for that matter I have never been one to set goals to achieve in life. I just live my life day to day.  For me that works great as I don’t deal with stress or anxiety. I never have. And I don’t have to concern myself with disappointment as a result of something not happening in my life. I am sure some, perhaps many, would argue that my thinking and approach is all wrong … that I have nothing going on to challenge and “grow” me. Perhaps this is true. I don’t really know nor do I care.

Why am I writing this you ask? I don’t know. It is Jan. 1st … New Years Day … and I needed to come up with something to post. Another question is … where am I going with this? And again, an honest answer is I don’t have a clue at this point in time. I got myself into this and now I need to get myself out of it.

Oh yeah, I am suppose to be writing about New Year resolutions. Do you make them? If you do, how well do you do at keeping them? Someone will probably say … this year I am going to ride my trike at least 30 miles a day. They start out with the best of intentions but within a few days they fail to achieve the 30 mile distance. Thus they have broken their word they made to them self and perhaps to others including God. When this happens we tend to be hard on ourselves. It is not good.

Perhaps a different approach is needed. God’s Word cautions us not to boast about tomorrow because none of us know what will happen in the next second of time much less tomorrow. That being the case perhaps we should say”with the Lord’s help I will try to …”.  And perhaps we need to think along the lines of “if I fall short of my goal I will accept it and move on picking back up  and working toward achieving what I started out to do”.  And if we discover our goal was set too high for us to accomplish that is ok. We simply need to lower the bar and do whatever we are capable of. Beating up on ourselves is not the answer.

Here in the United States as well as some other places in the world New Years Day bike rides are quite common. Some people ride by themselves. Others ride together with family or friends. And some ride in planned organized rides in our communities. Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana this community has such an organized ride for bicyclists as well as motorcyclists. It is nice to have these rides available. There is only one problem … ol’ man winter” The weather dept. can definitely mess up our plans. Sometimes the weather is just too nasty to venture out … at least for many of us. I personally have only ridden on a couple of these New Years Day rides as the weather was not to my liking most years. Actually for me, riding the couple of times I did go was enough for me. I am not crazy about going anymore. Riding with a large number of people in close quarters doesn’t appeal to me. I much prefer to ride with just a very few other trikes. I really don’t like riding with bicycles at all. Most cyclists tend to meander around all over the place and pose a dangerous threat to my safety and others. So even if the weather is decent enough to venture out on Jan. 1st I usually just ride by myself staying away from the crowd. To quote the words to a song …. “the name of the game is I like it like that”.

No, I am not making any New Year Resolution, but I will be out there as much as I can riding thru the winter and doing my best to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

MY TRIKE IS CALLING and I MUST GO

I spent 8 years as a sailor in the U.S. Navy but I never heard one of the sirens that are said to call out to sailors. I reckon I am glad no one else on the ships heard that enchanting music and singing voice bidding them to come. Now that I am a landlubber I am hearing a voice. Yeppur, my trike is calling me and I must go. That seems to be very real and applicable for me.

How about you? It is just mighty hard to resist. Hey, the truth is … I don’t want to resist. I truly enjoy every ride and look forward to the next one.

And it is not just my trike that is calling me. Places where I ride beckon me year around …

And seeing various sites, especially wild life, while I am out riding beckon me …

Well, to be honest I haven’t seen this one yet but I would like to. I don’t know if he is just taking a nap or if he croaked.

 

One might even see a rare sight like a Post Turtle …

I still haven’t figured out how they get up there. They always look so helpless on top of that post so I always help them down if I do come across them. In fact, I try to get all of the critters off of the trail or road so that they don’t get injured. Nope, ifin’ I were to stay home I would miss seeing something like this.

In fact, one just never knows what they might come across. I sure would not want to stay home and miss out on seeing something like this …

On second thought maybe I would be better off safe at home.

How bout this one? Now it looks safe enough and very intriguing. I mean you just don’t see something like this everyday …

 

This triker would probably be a lot safer encounter out on a trail than a lot of folks I encounter out there. One thing is for sure … they could not be any worse.

There is nothing on TV I want to see anyway. I would much rather be out enjoying fresh air and God’s wonderful creation. And I know I surely need the exercise.

Yep, I hear my trike calling out to me. Now if it would just warm up a little I would be on my way. I feel I am really missing out not responding to that beckoning call. I hear it now …  Come Steve and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

BRRRR! … HOW TOUGH ARE YOU?

 

I try to go out for a ride almost daily but when winter arrives it gets a bit more difficult to do so. I was planning on going out today (Dec. 18th) but looking at the current weather conditions and forecast I may not be doing so. It is 21 degrees F. and falling with snow flurries and a 12 mph wind gusting to 23 mph and the wind chill factor is 8 degrees. Sitting inside looking out the window it looks like a beautiful day outside … plenty of sunshine. Well, looks can be deceiving.

When I was much younger that would not phase me. I was tough and I could handle it.  I used to ride a motorcycle in nasty winter weather. Once I even wore my ice skates to use as outriggers to keep my motorcycle upright as I rode on ice covered streets after an ice storm. As I have aged (today, the 27th, as this posts is my 73rd birthday) things have changed. And the older I get the more they seem to change. I guess this ol’ bird isn’t so tough anymore. Part of the problem is that I find it harder to keep warm, especially my hands and feet.

I have tried various articles of clothing in an attempt to keep warm. I think I have my upper body taken care of. My lower body seems to be warm enough but my legs feel like ice to the touch. I don’t really understand that. How can I feel warm but have ice cold skin that takes a long time to heat back up once I come inside from being out in the cold? My feet do ok just wearing wool socks and good quality leather shoes. I don’t think they would stay warm enough in this weather however. I can usually last for about an hour before my feet start getting cold. That is something I need to continue to work on. As much as I don’t care to do it I may try just putting plastic bags over my shoes to keep the cold air/wind from them. Somewhere on my computer I should have a picture of a guy on a tadpole trike in the winter. He was wearing either large oversized socks or leg warmers over his shoes to keep his feet warm. He looked like a giant elf with the sock/legwarmer sticking way out in front of his shoe as he pedaled along. I have searched for this picture on my computer and online in order to post it here but can’t find it.

Motivation comes into play. I can’t think of anything that will motivate me to go out riding when it is colder outside then I care to deal with. If I were a rich man, if I were single or my wife was retired like I am  (she is younger than me) … just maybe we would be snowbirds and leave these northlands for a warmer climate for the winter months. I guess only time will tell concerning this. I would move away from here in a heartbeat but my wife has most of her family here and doesn’t want to leave here. Bummer! My family is all gone (deceased) so there is nothing holding me here.

How about you? Are you tough? Can you … do you go out riding in winter weather if you live somewhere that has winter weather? If you do, what do you do to keep warm? Do you struggle with motivation?

This motivates me ifin’ the weather is okay …

That is a beautiful scene and quite inviting to me.

Well, that’s my story and I am stuck with it. And winter has just begun. Oh my! Oh me! Oh no! Maybe I am just having a bad dream and I will wake up to sunshine and 75 degrees. Now I am dreamin’.  But one thing is for sure. I really do want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

I put together this video for this occasion.  Yes, it is a repeat from 2018. I have decided to offer it every Christmas Day each year. It is a compilation of images of recumbent trikes out in the snow … riding in a winter wonderland. Merry  Christmas to each and everyone of you. May you truly know and embrace the reason for the season. 

BTW, we hear all the time that Jesus is the reason for the season. That is not really true. We are the reason for the season. Jesus did not come to earth for Himself. He came for us. We are the reason He came to dwell among us. He did all He could do … all that He needed to do … accomplishing the mission He was on. “The ball is in our court”. The video further below tells the story of the man and the birds. It is a beautiful illustration of what God did for us.

I love this story Paul Harvey is well known for telling … The Man and the Birds:

Christmas is known for gift giving. If you have not already done so please consider taking advantage of this limited time offer …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

INNER TUBES … is there a difference?

Now I ask ya … are all inner tubes created equal? Is it worth it to purchase a certain brand at a higher cost? Here is what I think I know and understand about the matter. In a word … YES! … there is a difference. My answer is based on my personal experience and what I have read about it. I used to use common lower cost inner tubes and I had a lot of flats, many of which were “internal” flats … not caused by a puncture from the outside.

When I first bought my Catrike Trail it came with Presta valves. I had never heard of them prior to that. I quickly learned to hate them so I took action and drilled my rims out larger  to accept Schrader valves. Quite some time passed before I discovered that Schwalbe inner tubes with Schrader valves have a threaded metal valve stem like the Presta valve has. The threaded metal valve stem was the only thing I did like about the Presta valve. I like the idea of having a threaded metal valve stem which with the use of the nut won’t push down into the rim when the inner tube has no or little air in it. So I started buying Schwalbe inner tubes which were considerably more expensive than the inner tubes I had been using.

Some more time passed before I discovered that Specialized also offers the threaded metal Schrader valve stem inner tubes. And although they are more costly than the inner tubes I originally used they are a little bit cheaper than Schwalbe brand. And I can buy them at my local bike shop where they offer “buy three and get the fourth free”. So I have been using these Specialized brand inner tubes for several years now.

Now to get to what I have read about inner tubes. Only a few brands claim that they are made with equal thickness thruout. And yes, they are the more expensive brands such as Schwalbe and Specialized. You might ask “does that matter”? Yes, it does because an inner tube that has thin/thinner areas means that those thin/thinner areas are weaker than the areas which are thick/thicker. A weak/weaker area in an inner tube is more likely to fail in that area.

To be totally fair I have to say that the biggest factor in reducing the number and frequency of flat tires for me was when I started using Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. That in and of itself totally eliminated externally caused flats for me. As far as I am concerned the Marathon Plus is the best tire money can buy. It not only offers great flat protection but the mileage wear out of them is incredible. I have consistently got 12,000 to 15,000 miles out of each of these tires. Previously other tires I used yielded 2,000 to 5,000 miles before I had to replace them. And I buy them for half of what they retail for making them a real bargain. HERE is my source in the U.K. where I buy them.

Lastly I want to touch on internal flats. A few things come to mind here. Before I started using Marathon Plus tires I had started using Mr. Tuffy tire liners in an effort to reduce flats. They did help accomplish this but in the process something else happened. My internal flats increased. Upon dealing with this I observed that the area of the inner tubes which were failing was right where the Mr. Tuffy liner overlapped itself. I read about the use of talcum or baby powder to help eliminate internal flats so I started using it. It helped immensely although I still occasionally got internal flats and still many were caused by the Mr. Tuffy tire liners. When I started using the Marathon Plus tires I continued using the Mr. Tuffy tire liners. That was a mistake which I eventually figured out. I didn’t have any external flats but I had an occasional internal flat. Coming to the realization that I didn’t need the Mr. Tuffy tire lines with the Marathon Plus tires I removed them and just kept on with the baby powder. From then on I extremely rarely ever had an internal flat. I am  sold on Marathon Plus tires and baby powder. BTW, when I apply baby powder I use it very liberally coating the inside of the tire as well as the outside of the inner tube. I rub in in to all surfaces using my hands.

Have you ever noticed when removing an inner tube from a tire that it is stuck to the inside of the tire almost like it is glued to it? That is what happens or at least can happen when there is no lubrication such as I speak of further below. Also have you ever noticed an imprint on an inner tube from something inside of the tire? That is another example of lack of lubrication. Neither of these can happen when baby powder is used. Below is a picture of the imprint of Mr. Tuffy tire liner on the inner tube. It shows the overlap of the tire liner.

You might be wondering what the baby powder does. Well, it more less acts as a lubricant to keep the inner tube from sticking to the tire and to help keep rubbing from occurring. With the lateral forces taking place in cornering the tires move about side to side on the rims and this tends to create rubbing (abrasion) between the tire and the inner tube. And this causes internal flats. So helping to eliminate this abrasive action helps reduce internal flats. One note on the use of baby powder … be sure everything is bone dry as moisture will cause the baby powder to clump together and that causes abrasion and internal flats. I learned this from experience.

And I am fully convinced that the reason on rare occasion I have an internal flat is simply because inner tubes fail. It is that simple. I have done all I know to do to eliminate this and it rarely happens anymore … but … it does still happen. (Fortunately it has been a very long time since the last time it happened.) I have talked to bike mechanics about this … all of this … and they are in full agreement with me. They don’t and won’t recommend the use of tire liners.

Another safeguard one can employ is to use heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes in place of the standard inner tube. Of course, in order to do this there has to be sufficient room inside of the tire. They work best in a balloon type tire such as Schwalbe’s Big Apple or Big Ben as they offer lots of room inside. That thick wall makes for a lot stronger/tougher inner tube which can’t fail very easily from internally.

As far as I know the threaded metal valve stem is not available with the heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes.

Like ol’ Forest Gump … that’s all I’ve got to say about that. I don’t know about you but I much prefer to simply …

ENJOY THE RIDE

and

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

rather than being stuck alongside of the trail or road working on a flat tire problem.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HOW FAST WILL THAT THING GO?

How fast will that thing go? I don’t know how many times I have been asked that. I usually simply answer “as fast as the person riding it can pedal it”. That is a totally accurate and honest answer but, of course, it is not the answer most people want. BTW, I am only talking about riding on a flat level surface … not downhill.

Certainly any trike operating under human power has limitations regardless of the ability of the person riding it. One can only pedal so fast and “spin out” occurs. Although it is true than spin out for one person may be different from another there is a limit for us as humans. I know my fastest pedaling cadence has been about 120 rpm. I think the fastest cadence recorded is 254 rpm. Most fast riders are far lower … 140 to 165 tops. Keep in mind that we humans can not keep up a fast cadence very long. So regardless of the cadence the gearing of the trike is a limiting factor. Change the gearing to a higher ratio and that same rider can go faster before they reach spin out again. However, if the gearing gets too high then the rider can not over power the resistance encountered. That means that there has to be a “happy medium” if you will. Again it comes down to a limitation factor.

Another limiting factor is weight. The more weight the trike is carrying the slower it will go unless one is going downhill. The weight factor involves the weight of the rider, the weight of the trike as it is equipped (any extras added) and any extra cargo being hauled around. Obviously the less total weight involved contributes significantly to being able to achieve faster speed.

This rider doesn’t weigh much at all. Of course, he doesn’t look very muscular.

This Spandex is pretty much fully expanded.

The model of the trike involved comes into play. I already mentioned gearing and weight. Some trikes have higher gearing than others and some trikes weigh much less than others. Aerodynamics makes a difference as well. Air resistance is indeed a factor so a trike with a seat back angle reclined far more than others means that the rider is not experiencing nearly as much air resistance. So trikes such as the Catrike 700, the ICE VTX and the Greenspeed Aero will by design be faster than trikes which weigh more, have lower gearing and more upright seating. I know that there are those who prefer more upright seating and some say they need more upright seating because of physical problems. There are tradeoffs when one goes with upright seating. Safety suffers because handling suffers. The more reclined the seatback is the better the trike will handle. And the better it handles the more speed it can safely handle.

So how fast will that thing go? I DUNNO! And that’s the truth. Perhaps it would be better to ask … how fast have you ridden on that? Now that I can answer.  Speed is a relative thing. What is fast for some is rather slow for others. The fastest I have ever been able to get my trike up to is 30 mph and that is downhill. Others speak of speeds in the 40s and 50s when going downhill. Of course, they have greater downhills to ride than what I have available around where I live. On a flat level surface I spin out at around 23 mph. There are riders who claim they have pedaled in the low 30s.

Maybe the most accurate and honest way to answer the question as asked is to say … “I don’t know. I have never had it to it’s limit so I really can’t say.”

Well, whatever speed you ride at …

ENJOY THE RIDE

and

BE SAFE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

A TRIBUTE TO A HISTORY MAKER (Lucinda Chandler)

 

Lucinda Chandler

She may not look like Linda Carter but you are looking at a real life wonder woman. If you don’t believe me just read THIS article. Among her many accomplishments in life she was the first person to ride a Catrike tadpole trike from one coast of the United States to the other. She chose a Catrike and requested the factory to paint it pink for her. (I love the color pink.) She rode from San Diego, California to Saint Augustine, Florida in 58 days. I wrote about this many years ago on this blog (the original one) but since the entire blog was deleted it is gone forever. Years later here I am posting about this gal as it is a worthwhile story. She was truly an inspiration to others.

Loaded down for her journey she treks along …

Upon completion of her journey these pictures were captured for posterity … one holding up both arms forming a V for victory and the other lifting her pink trike up over her head in victory  …

(Did I mention that I love the color pink?)

She returned home to Martha’s Vineyard following her historic ride where she could be seen riding her trike around the area and became well known for doing so.

Lucinda started a business following her ride across the U.S. She offered  guided recumbent trike rides … organized planned rides for anyone who wanted to try it. It was the first of its kind as far as was known.

With winter coming on she kept riding with the help of a VeloKit on her trike. She was a trooper!

HERE is another article about her.

Sadly she is no longer with us as death came all too early for her. HERE is another article about her. It briefly mentions her death being the result of an unexpected illness.

I am impressed with her and I really do love that pink color. She really …

ENJOYED THE RIDE!

and

KEPT ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BAR END MITTS … NOW THAT I HAVE USED THEM FOR AWHILE

Shortly after purchasing and installing bar end mitts last winter I wrote an article about my first impressions. I continued to use them all of last winter and removed them come Spring. I put them back on a few weeks ago assuming I would continue to use them this winter but about a week ago I took them back off as I decided to try something different. What I am trying to say is I no longer have the same impression of them as I had when I first wrote about them.

They do block the wind which is appreciated. However, they are just too small and there is not enough room inside of them. My hands are not only right up against them which means the cold is transferred thru whatever gloves or mittens I wear and causes my handwear not to work as well as it would and can without this scenario. And because they are too small inside I am limited as to what handwear I can use. In addition to these problems it is nearly impossible for me to twist my twist shifters to shift gears. Working the brake levers is even challenging.

So I made the decision to remove them and just wear my Hotfingers Rip N Go mittens which do a good job of blocking the wind and air from passing thru them. Mittens are a bit cumbersome but I can shift and work my brake levers with them.

If needed I can also wear my hand knit wool mittens inside of the Hotfinger mittens which is warmer yet.

And I can use chemical hand warmers inside of either pair of mittens if needed. It has been working quite well for me … much better than using the bar end mitts.

As an update … I have discovered the best combination for me thus far. I have removed the wool mittens from inside of the Hotfinger mittens and am using the chemical hand warmers inside of the Hotfinger mittens. My thumbs were getting cold so by doing this there is room enough inside of the thumbs of the Hotfinger mittens to place chemical hand warmers and keep my thumbs warm. Of course, I am using twice as many of the hand warmers by doing this but at least my entire hands are staying warm.

I know that there are bar end mitts made for ATVs , snowmobiles and motorcycles which are larger and might be okay. I will keep this in the back of my head in case I need to go that route. I have to admit I am skeptical as to whether or not they would be large enough to eliminate the issues I have with these I already bought. Meanwhile I will continue on with what I am doing now and hope I am done with bar end mitts. They are ugly looking when installed anyway. I think I am going to be able to …

ENJOY THE RIDE 

and

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

using my mittens. Now if I could just find a mitten for my nose.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

CATRIKE DUMONT FULL SUSPENSION FOLDING TRIKE

The Catrike Dumont model has been around now for a few years. It is the top of the line for Catrike and is quite popular. Here is a video chucked full of information about this model …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

WOULD YOU BELIEVE … A WOODEN TADPOLE TRIKE

This video is about the Wooden Recumbent Tadpole Trike Build (2019) …

FREE GIFT awaits you!