Blog Archives

PEDAL POWERED USB CHARGER


I am sure most of us who are old as dirt like me remember the generator dynamo light sets we had on our bicycles. They worked, but the amount of light varied according to the speed we rode. They could be very dim or we could ride so fast that we could burn out the bulbs (which I did many times). In short, they lacked good technology to better regulate the power being produced. Yet they did work. We have certainly come a long way when it comes to bicycle lighting. I only mention these old generator dynamo light sets because what I am writing about here is something which looks very much like the generator dynamo of old.

This new generator dynamo very much incorporates modern day technology, but its purpose is not to produce power for lighting. Nope, this unit provides 5 volts of D.C. current for a USB outlet so we can power up all sorts of modern day electronic gadgets to charge them as we ride. I don’t know much about it, but I find it intriguing.

The cost is reduced to about $33. However, the website shows it is “currently out of stock”.

Specifications
PBDNC10
Pedal Power Waterproof Bicycle Wheel-Powered USB Charger Energy Generator Dynamo
Pedal Your Bike, Generate Power & Charge Your Device
Generates Electricity and Charges from Spinning Bike Wheel
Charge Your Phone or Other Device While Riding
(If it has a USB Cable you can charge it!)
Attaches to Almost Any Style Bike Old or New
Connect Your Device Directly into the USB Port
Built-in Lithium Battery Recharges While You Pedal
Lightweight, Durable, Shockproof and Made to Last
Waterproof Marine Grade Construction
Easily Mounts and Un-Mounts from Bike frame
Dynamo Quickly Disengages from Tire
USB Output: 5V/1A
Battery Capacity: 3.7V/700mAh (Li-Ion)
Works with Smartphones, MP3 Players, GPS, Tablets, etc.
Dimensions: 5.0″ × 5.0″ × 2.4″
Pyle is helping you save the environment with every pedal of your bicycle. The Pedal
Power Wheel-Powered Energy Generator allows you to ‘Go Green’ and charge your
device while riding! Simply mount the dynamo to your wheel and the built-in
rechargeable battery creates and stores power with every rotation.
The system fits virtually any size and style bike and quickly attaches and detaches. If
you have the USB cable, you can charge it.
(Works with all your favorite devices: Smartphones, MP3 Players, GPS, Tablets, etc.)
Reduce, reuse and rethink about the environment with the Pyle Pedal Power!
www.PyleAudio

Keep in mind that this product is designed to use on a standard bicycle so using it on a tadpole trike might involve some ingenuity mounting it so it would line up properly and work on a trike wheel. Some trike frames might be more challenging than others. Of course, it could be operated on any one of the three wheels of a trike. I assume that sooner or later it will be back in stock. The website does provide an email service to notify when it is back in stock. I really like the idea of being able to recharge a cell phone or other devices … and doing so while we are riding. It all helps us …

ENJOY THE RIDE

BTW … there are other products out there besides this one:

Chain Charger

Ebay $25 free shipping

Wind Powered

Ebay $28.49 free shipping

and there are several others

HELP! I CAN’T GET UP


The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be. To be blunt, some of need help for one reason or another. Getting into  the seat of a tadpole trike can be challenging enough for some of us, but getting back up out of the seat can be even more challenging. I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? 🙂             Let’s just go with the bad news and get it out of the way.

“SKY HOOKS” don’t really exist. It is too bad as they would be extremely popular. My first introduction to the imaginary sky hooks was when I was in the Navy. Along with the “mail buoy watch”,  “relative bearing grease”, “batteries for the sound-powered phones”, “shore line stretcher“, “a long weight” and several other pranks the sky hooks were a fun thing to play on gullible newbies. Anyway, a sky hook is a device which has a hook on both ends or at least the top end and a closed strap on the bottom end. One end hooks up to someplace up in the sky and the other end is used to hoist or hold something up. If we had two sky hooks it would be the cat’s meow in helping us get up out of our trike seats.

All joking aside let’s get to the good news. There really are devices available to help us get in and out of our seats. Various trike manufacturers offer them for their trikes. Here are some examples:

my favorite is the one pictured below

HERE is what Utah Trikes sells.
HERE is what PowerOnCycling sells for Catrike. (I like these & they are lower cost than most others.)
HERE is TerraTrike’s VersaBars.
HERE is HP Velotechnik’s StandUpAid.
HERE is another product for Catrike:
And HERE is the same product for Catrike from another source.

In order to use these Catrike Stand Up Assist bars as illustrated the vertical handlebars would have to be moved much further forward than I would want them. I like my vertical handlebars out near the ends of the horizontal bars coming off of the steering heads. Moving them forward greatly changes the leverage and control feel.

My experience in attempting to pull back and down when trying to get up is that the trike wants to roll/move (slide) backwards and this makes for a serious problem in trying to use any of these sort of devices. Others have said that these work and they don’t have this problem, but I can’t see how it is possible based on my own personal experience.

My thinking of an ideal means of help in getting up out of the seat is to have the assist bars way up high above one’s head and forward a ways so you pull yourself up rather than having a bar down low where you push yourself up. Also pulling down from above would work much better as far as the trike staying in place and not rolling backwards. Such an overhead bar could be made to telescope in and out so that it isn’t always high in the air. It could telescope out and lock once extended upwards. Of course, it would have to be made pretty strong to be used like this. Hmm, maybe I’m still thinking about those sky hooks. I really think someone needs to get serious and invent the sky hook as it would make all this so simple and work so much better than any of these aids. 🙂 

So if you need help getting in and out of your seat you might want to look into one of these aids. They are all we have available for now. I wonder if there is any money in inventing a sky hook. Hey, Enjoy the Ride … and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

 

 

 

EVOLVE TRIKES


evolve-trike-ready-to-ride

Evolve Trikes  … interesting concept, but they are sure having problems getting into production and to market. Years and years seem to be passing by and still they are waiting for things to come together. It just doesn’t seem to be happening. Yep, they seem to be having trouble evolving to market.

Since it’s inception they have made some changes in its design. The main boast is that it folds faster and smaller than any other trike.

evolve-trike-the-fold

When I look at the design construction of trikes I am always concerned about how ell they are made and whether or not they are likely to fail. Mind you I am not an engineer, but I do have well over 50 years experience at welding and fabricating. In welding my “specialty” was repair welding. That means I worked on a whole lot of things that failed and required repair. In making the repair it was usually easy and obvious to see why the item failed. And in repairing it I always made it much stronger so that it didn’t fail again. Looking at many trikes I see areas of concern in many of them. They just look weak and apt to fail. Many folding trikes concern me for this reason. This one not only is no exception, but it is even more of a concern as it just looks weak. Any trike can have a failure, but some seem to have far more than others. Again, looking at the way they are constructed I can see why. A simple basic rule is that the more complex something is the more likely it will have issues over something with less complexity.

HERE is an article about this trike. And HERE is BROL’s article.

evolve-trike-in-suitcase

Here it is disassembled and folded up into a suitcase. The video  below shows how it is done.

I don’t know what the weight limit is for the Evolve trike, but I think that it would be best for those who weigh very little. A heavy rider would stress those areas which are already suspect of failure.

I personally don’t think I would buy one of these trikes as it just has the appearance that problems would develop due to failure in one or more parts of the frame.

evolve-trike-top-of-crucifix

The folding hinge is quite often a concern and this one is no exception. When I look at something like this the thought that comes to mind is “designed to fail” due to being underbuilt. Mind you, this is far from the only tadpole trike which in my opinion looks underbuilt.

evolve-trike-the-fold-joint

Another factor is wear and sloppiness developing in these areas. Things get loose and movement takes place where there should be no movement.

evolve-trike-crucifix

I know that the Evolve people are not going to like what I have said here and perhaps some of you may not either. I have to say what I think about these things. I hope I am wrong and this trike would hold up well. But my gut feeling is otherwise. I like the concept. I am just concerned about the quality of the build. Manufacturers underbuilding products brought a lot of repair work my way over the years. I would not want a trike that requires repair and reinforcing it to make it stronger. That would be my concern here. This may be okay for someone who rides very little and needs a small folding trike, but I could not recommend it for anyone who does serious riding. I don’t care how good of a warranty it may come with and how good the company may be in taking care of customers … when you are many miles from home and have a major failure leaving you stranded it is not fun. Nope, I will stick with my non folding Catrike which I am confident in … that it won’t fail me. I like to …                                                       KEEP ON TRIKIN!                                       …. and ….

ENJOY THE RIDE!

MASA SLINGSHOT, A BIT OF NOSTALGIA


masa-slingshot-racer

The era was the 1970s … 1975 as I understand is when the first of these were introduced here in the United States. A rather unique recumbent trike of the tadpole configuration came on the scene. Even though it originated in Japan it was the United States where they were most prevalent. They were big and heavy yet supposedly they were built for racing on oval tracks. Obviously they were not designed for touring and general riding. They were quite long compared to tadpole trikes of today. Their days were numbered and now they are more less a collectors item. Not only were they long, but they had a wide wheelbase so they are not too practical as far as fitting on trails and thru various openings. Speaking of being long … the chain on these was 13.5 feet long. That is a lot of chain in case you didn’t know it. Most modern day tadpole trikes have about 9 to about 10.5 feet depending upon how far out the boom is adjusted. Some say that these Masa trikes did not handle well and could tip over easily … that too much of the rider’s weight was on the back wheel. That being said you can also read that the trike handles well and doesn’t tip over as easily as modern day trikes. Take your pick. I give up. Well, I have already said more than I know about them. 🙂  So I won’t say anything more. I will just post a couple of videos where they are featured and talked about.

HERE are lots of pictures of two of these trikes.

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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

Masa Slingshot Trike, tadpole trike, tadpole trikes, tadpole tricycles, recumbent trikes, recumbent tricycles, recumbent tadpole trikes, recumbent tadpole tricycles

GOPRO MOUNTS TIPS & TRICKS


GoPro cameras are very popular and take high quality pictures and video. Many tadpole trike riders use them. GoPro has numerous accessories and mounts available. Here are three videos explaining it all.

 

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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

FOLDING ALUMINUM RAMPS


The last two days I have been busy working on fabricating a set of folding aluminum ramps for my friend to use to get his tadpole trike in and out of the back of his pickup truck. He only has a six foot bed so the ramps had to fold in order to store them inside.

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aluminum folding ramps

They are 8 foot long with a 21 inch long section of 1/4 x 4 inch flat bar which lays on the tailgate.

aluminum folding ramps folded 3

 

aluminum folding ramps partially unfolded

There are hinges in the middle connecting the 4 foot sections of C channel and at the top connecting the C channel to the 1/4 inch by 4 inch flat bar. The flat bar extends back off the tailgate about 2.75 inches and is bent down about 15 degrees or so to match the angle of the ramps as they come up to the tailgate. Currently there are no angle aluminum pieces in place at the end of the 1/4 x 4 inch flat bar, but I think it is going to need this added to help keep the ramps from moving. On my truck they stayed in place well as is, but on my friend’s truck they don’t. I originally had in mind placing  aluminum angle pieces on the end of the flat bar and even drilled and tapped holes for them already.

aluminum folding ramps 2

These pictures show the ramps set up on my truck and not on my friend’s. I ran my trike up and down them to test the ramps out. The ramps work fine and will be a big help to him as his HP Velotechnik Scorpion fs 26 electric trike is quite heavy to lift. There is a 1/4 diameter round rod with the ends bent 90 degrees which goes thru holes drilled into the 1/4 x 2 inch flat bar pieces on the bottom end of the ramps. The rod spaces the ramps apart and maintains the spacing. It is also almost pavement level so it can be easily stepped over as the trike is rolled up and down the ramps. The C channel is quite thin so it is very lightweight to handle. I personally would have selected thicker stronger material to use but these were given to him free so they are what were used. If I were making ramps for myself I think I would make them shorter than these although there is some merit to longer ramps as they provide lesser incline to deal with. There are pros and cons to both. Longer ramps means more flexing … especially when thin wall material is used.

Where the two 4 foot sections of C channel are hinged together there is a 12 inch long piece of the 1/4 x 4 flat bar used to strengthen the joint in the flimsy thin wall C channel. It is bolted down on just one side to the C channel and simply lays down in the other C channel section when unfolded.

aluminum folding ramps middle hinge

Here my friend is trying out the ramps for the first time.

aluminum folding ramps with trike

Here is a short video showing the ramps I made being used.

I would estimate a total of about $100 for materials and hardware is involved in making your own. It could even be less depending upon the design and hardware used. I drilled and tapped holes in the 1/4 thick flat bar for the hinges.  Both pan head and flat head (countersunk) head screws were used as well as some 1/4 x 20 nuts where no 1/4 inch plate was used.

These ramps could be made in one day if you have everything needed and the knowledge and skill level to accomplish the task. Our local Metals Supermarket will do all the cutting free if the material is purchased from them. I have a horizontal cutting band saw so I cut it myself. I have found that most places don’t do a very accurate job of cutting metal to the specified length and this bothers me. When I cut metal I try to get it cut within 1/64 of an inch. Sometimes 1/8, 3/16 or even 1/4 inch more or less doesn’t matter in the scheme of things but sometimes it can really cause problems. I am a perfectionist in my work and strive for accuracy. I am retired from a lifetime of welding and fabricating so I rarely do much of this sort of thing anymore. Well, that is enough tooting of my horn. I just want you to be aware that if you have the metal cut someplace it may not be cut accurately.

So, if you have a need of a ramp loading system it can be done. Here is proof.

Of course, you can buy ramps. Depending upon what you get it will be a lot more expensive … about $400 – $500 for one popular manufactured ramp system. I just found another source for under $200 … 5 Star Manufacturing Telescoping Aluminum Ramps  They look like they would work pretty good. And I just found some others as cheap as $101.75. Walmart sells a set for $140.

telescoping aluminum ramps

I think this is a 7 foot set which would be perfect for most applications. The only thing is I don’t know about how well they would stay in place without doing something to help keep them in place. They telescope in to about 4 foot in length so they would fit readily in most any type of vehicle.

7 foot aluminum telescoping ramps $150

With ramps to help us load and unload our trikes it will help us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

AZUB TRICON FOLDING TRIKE FOLDING BY ITSELF


don’t know how they did this but the video is pretty neat … a video of an AZUB TRICON FOLDING TRIKE FOLDING BY ITSELF.