Matt Shumaker used a KMX Typhoon tadpole trike modifiying it considerably, especially the frame, to create this powerful monster. There is no doubt about it … he achieved his goal in making a strong frame.
He lowered the frame 3/4 of an inch and also widened the frame 5 inches and lengthened it 3 inches to accommadate the motor and increase the handling of the trike. With two 15 hp (11,000 watt) motors powering it these modifications are a very good idea. Matt says it will accelerate from zero to forty in 4.5 seconds! That would indeed be exhilarating.
It sounds like a jet airplane going by. He says he has about $6,000 invested in it plus about 200 hours of time. He values it at about $9000. It is all wheel drive with motors for the front wheels and motors for the rear wheel. The trike does have pedals in case they are needed. The trike weighs about 90 pounds so pedaling it isn’t something one would want to do if they didn’t have to.
Matt reports that the range is about 35 – 45* miles on a charge which is a whole lot more than my 80 mile rated BionX battery gets. I am only getting about 20 miles using 80 % of a full charge on my BionX unit … not very impressive. Of course, this is a massive battery in comparison to what I have. (* one place I read 35 if it is babied and another place I read 45 with no remark about babying it.)
With all that power and speed it requires some hefty brakes. He used 203mm Hope 4 piston hydraulic brakes.
Matt reports that he sold this trike for $7500 with only one motor as he removed one.
Being a weldor and metal fabricator most of my life I have a keen interest in “homemade trikes”. I made my first tadpole trike as I did my first recumbent bicycle. Here are some videos of others who made their own trikes. I will say this … it is very important to “do your homework” before building a trike. It is imperative that you build it correctly so that it is safe to ride. The complex geometry (angles) of the front end must be correct and the rider’s weight distribution is quite important so that the trike handles properly.
I am past 70 years old so I have to think back a ways to remember as a child growing up doing various things together as a family. Still I have fond memories and appreciate those times we spent together. We didn’t have tadpole trikes then. We did have bicycles and motorcycles which we rode together.My parents may be gone but friends are still around and almost daily I am making memories with them riding our trikes When I look at videos online showing families/friends riding together it brings back those memories. Perhaps it will for you as well. And if you are younger than I am perhaps you are still making memories with your own children. Anyway, here are some videos of families enjoying riding together.
HERE are more videos.
Steve Greene recently posted an article on his Trike Asylum blog about tire sealants where various brands were tested and compared. I have never been a fan of Slime and the article isn’t very flattering for Slime as it states and shows exactly what I have observed and experienced with it. In short, it is very messy and only works on very small punctures. As you can see the top performers are: Orange Seal, Stan’s NoTubes and Schwalbe’s Doc Blue product (which is made by Stan’s). Interestingly the Schwalbe product scored better than Stan’s NoTubes. None of the sealants could stop a leak of the largest size hole in the test. The Orange Seal did the best however and might have allowed the tire to be pumped up as necessary to make it home. If someone insists on running tires that easily get flats a sealant may be practical to use. As for me I think I will stick with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires as they have never failed me. I have never had an externally caused flat tire nor a glass cut in the tread … and I used to get both all the time when I ran other tires.
Since Orange Seal scored the highest I offer this video demonstrating how well it works.
I reckon it comes down to personal preferences and the environment one rides in. I know I much prefer to ride my trike than work on it … especially alongside the road or trail. Yep, I like to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
ENJOY THE RIDE!
A few tadpole trike manufacturers are offering electric motorized models. One of them is TerraTrike. I applaud this as having a BionX unit installed on my Catrike I really love having it. I have a friend I ride with who has a BionX unit installed on his TerraTrike Rambler. The BionX unit is a great unit as long as everything works right (mine doesn’t), but it is expensive. This E.V.O. model is far less money although feature-wise I much prefer the BionX unit. That being said, this Falco unit is 750 watt vs. the BionX 350 watt and it offers a 2 mph reverse as well as a crawl forward from a standstill. BionX has neither. Of course, the thing about this deal which is a real turn off for me is the fact that it is a TerraTrike trike. I just am not impressed with them as I think they are poorly designed and built. I would much rather spend $500 more and get a high quality well designed trike such as Catrike. So many TT owners admit that they regret not buying a better quality trike. For me personally there is absolutely nothing about the Rambler that appeals to me. It would have been a good candidate for a book entitled “unsafe at any speed”.
From here on everything which appears in this article is someone else’s writings and not mine.
$3,499.00 … 750 watt Falco hubmotor with 2 mph reverse and crawl forward from a dead stop feature
Drive System Derailleur, Falco 750W 5 Phase Motor
Battery Type/Weight Li-Ion / 36V / 11.6 Ah / 417 Wh
Max. Assisted Speed 20 mph
Range 97 km (60 miles)/Charge
Frame Chromoly steel
Rims/Wheels TerraTrike Black Double Wall
Tires Schwalbe Energizer 20 X 1.75
Crankset Driveline Durabi 400 170mm
Bottom Bracket RPM Sealed Square Taper
Chain KMC Z72 8-speed
Front Derailleur MicroSHIFT Triple
Rear Derailleur MicroShift 8-speed
Cassette/Rear Cogs SRAM PG-830 11-30, 8-speed
Shifters Microshift Mezzo Trigger
Brake Levers Promax Linear Pull, Locking
Brakes Avid BB7 Mechanical
Pedals Comfort Pedal
(subject to change without notice)
TerraTrike’s Electric Vehicle Option (or “E.V.O.” for short) will transform the way you ride and will increase your range by degrees of magnitude. It will allow you to climb hills that were previously daunting, it will keep you spinning through rolling terrain. The Rambler E.V.O. is not intended to be an electric trike. The E.V.O. was designed to help you along your journey while you still get the cardio benefits of trike riding. You will hear and feel the motor turning on and off as it senses your need for assistance. You will still be shifting the trike as you normally would; as the hills get steeper or as you come to a stop.
With a generous range of up to 60 miles per charge, you will have nearly limitless potential. The lithium ion battery can be charged overnight with the included “smart” charger. Simply plug the charger into a nearby outlet, or the battery can be easily removed from its case for charging in a different location.
TerraTrike figured out the ideal torque sensor setting and assist level so that it is very predictable and optimized for assistance and range. The top speed is governed at 20 mph. The Rambler E.V.O. motor control accessories available are ‘Wired Plus Minus (WPM)’ ‘Wired Console’ and ‘Wireless Console with Plus Minus’. The trike will still be limited to 20 mph, but you will be able to adjust the level of assist (low, medium, or high) or you can put it into one of three regenerative modes which actually charges the battery on long descents.
The optional Wired Plus Minus (WPM) switch also adds a reverse gear. You will need to back pedal while it is backing up due to the drivetrain of the trike. But don’t worry, max speed in reverse is 2 mph. The WPM accessory can also help climb hills by providing a “crawl” feature. It too is limited to 2 mph and is merely intended to get the trike rolling so that you can begin your pedal stroke. After the trike starts to move and you start to pedal you can let go of the plus button and the motor assist will kick in as appropriate.
– Electric Assist Hub: The E.V.O. is available in a traditional deraillured system external hub with electric assist
– Direct steering: Horizontal handlebar position provides responsive leverage to steering inputs, and provides a tight turning radius
– Steering stack with bushing/bearing combination for smoother steering
– Chromoly steel frame is lightweight, smooth riding, and capable of supporting up to 300 pounds
– Comfort mesh seat for extra lateral support
– Simple operation, seamless experience
– Powerful 750W direct-drive hub motor
– No pedal resistance when battery isn’t used
– 5 phase motor provides more torque & power
– Up to 1000 recharge cycles per battery
– Industry-leading 5 year motor warranty
Although the following is not a very recent article it is still helpful …
What more could you want in an off road human powered vehicle? This beauty is nearly unstoppable. It is an L Trike or Camel Trike made in China and sold from China thru ZZMERCK (Zhengzhou Merck). I find their media coverage a bit confusing. One place they call it an L Trike and another place they call it a Camel Trike. It is not even a trike so I don’t know why they would call it either one. Googling “L Trike” turns up nothing, but Googling “camel trike” gets results. It doesn’t come cheap … $7500-$8500. It looks nice, but I don’t trust the quality of Chinese products. Hopefully this is well made. I will say though that this trike is definitely complex in its design which translates into … “there is a whole lot of stuff that could go wrong and cause problems”.
I said it is rear suspension and it is, but at first I thought it was full suspension, but after taking a closer look at it I guess it is not.This quad weighs approximately 110 pounds (50kg) so it is not light. The wheels are laced rather uniquely. Although I have seen this before I don’t think it is all that common. They are laced only on the inside of the rim. No spokes attach to the other side. This is covered in one of the videos further below.
The one thing I noticed is that the cables are hanging way down low where they could easily snag of lots of stuff riding off road. They created lots of road clearance only to place the cables way down low. That makes no sense! I see it all the time on people’s trikes. Some people just don’t seem to care about such things even if you point it out to them. I wonder if they would change their tune if a drooping cable ruined their day causing a bad wreck. At the very least it could cause serious damage to the cable and possibly other things.
4×4 Fat Tire Recumbent Quad
Model/Price: Model: MF426E, Price: US $7,500-8,500
Brief description: four-wheel drive system, aluminum alloy 6061 frame, Vee 26×4.8 tire, DNM air spring suspension, SRAM11 speed, 500w mid drive motor, 48v 20ah lithium battery, climbing angle more than 35 degrees. For All Challenging Terrain!
Front derailleur: Sram NX11
Rear derailleur: Sram NX11
Crankset: Flywheel crankset
Flywheel: Sram NX11 11 speed 11-42T
Chain: Miche 11 speed
Chain tube: Nylon
Pedal: Exustar clipless pedals
Novatec bearing secondary drive hub
Customs Aluminum alloy 7075 secondary drive
Customs power divider
Customs shaft, hub, shaft hub, cardan
Front brake: Avid E3 hydraulic disc brake
Rear brake: BB7 disc brake
Spokes: 304 stainless steel
Tires: Vee 26-4.8 foldable tires
Front hub: Novatec customs hub
Rear hub: Customs shaft hub
DNM air spring suspension (double chamber)
48v 500w mid drive motor
48v 20ah lithium battery
Frame: Aluminum alloy 6061 T6
Seat: Nylon mesh
No way could I do this on my tadpole trike. I would find myself in a real predicament. This quad goes right up it …
The next video definitely demonstrates that it is all wheel drive …
This next video is suppose to be a demonstration of the quad riding thru snow, but there is very little snow on the ground so it isn’t much of a test. A standard trike with standard tires could go thru most of the snow shown, but probably not all the uneven ground, etc. as there would be traction problems …
The next 4 videos are about the design and bulld of the quad. You may have to pause them to read the English captions in order to follow what is being said.
That is a lot of money to lay down to attempt some off road fun, but hey, if you have it to spend you might as well go for it. You can’t take the money with you when life is over. BTW, you can’t take the trike with you either. We can only enjoy them here in this life … so do your best to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
As many of you know a fellow tadpole triker by the name of Matt Galat is currently on a 5 year long trike journey around the world which started in China and is to end in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Matt is a videographer and creates excellent videos of his journey and life. He posts them on variouls social media … Matt’s FACEBOOK page, JaYoe FACEBOOK page, Matt’s YOUTUBE channel, Matt’s JaYoe website, and more.
HERE is a map of Matt’s planned route.
Sometime back Matt added a drone to his video tapiing and it has added a lot to the quality of his videos giving them an altogether new perspective. His videos were always good and interesting, but with the drone footage added in they are even better.
Most of us could never take such a journey, but thru Matt’s videos we can truly enjoy and “live” his adventurous journey vicariously.
Matt rides a yellow HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS20 recumbent tadpole trike. He started out pulling a trailer, but decided to discontinue that and just haul those things he needs on his trike.
Matt had a set back in his trike journey. He had started it as planned riding a different trike pulling a different trailer when while still in China he was hit from behind by a big truck. He received a broken shoulder (collar) bone as a result and his trailer and trike were pretty much totalled. He had to convelest for quite some time during which time he got reoutfitted in preparation of starting his world journey all over.
Matt has also experienced some knee joint pain which threatened his journey causing him to interupt his ride for awhile. Fortunately now that he is back underway so far his knee has held up pretty good and he has been able to continue his journey.
Matt has coined the Chinese words (phrase) “JaYoe” for his journey … as it means “to add fuel”. As time goes along more and more people are discovering Matt and his trike journey. Great interest is building and his story continues to capture the attention of local news media.
I have written articles about Matt previously:
HERE is an interview with Matt on Laidback Bike Report’s YouTube video which was streamed live on July 16, 2017.
If you have never watched any of Matt’s videos I invite you to do so as they just might grab your attention and not let go. That is the effect they have on me. Like Matt, we all need to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Here is a video showing in detail the assembly of a couple of models of Performer tadpole trikes. It starts out showing what comes in the box the buyer receives and then proceeds on how to put it all together.
I am sure many of us have had to deal with loose dogs which come at us. Some are friendly while others are vicious acting. We never know what may result. For certain it is scary and unnerving. Nobody wants to get attacked by a dog and bit. I have experienced it and had to make a trip to the emergency room as I could look right down inside of my arm as a result of a bad dog bite. And the owner wasn’t even willing to pay for my medical bills. Here is a video by Ed Miller, a well known tadpole trike pilot. He is also known for his trike canopies .
Loose dogs are extremely dangerous. I have had a few incidents where they ran right in front of me and put me down when I was on bicycles and motorcycles. One of my friends had a loose dog run right in front of his bicycle and he suffered for months recuperating from his injuries. And most dog owners who allow their dogs to run loose have very bad attitudes and basically tell the victim “F____ you!” if you dare say anything to them.
More and more I too am “bumpin’ into other tadpole trikes out on the trails. No, not literally. I have not collided with any of them, but I sure am seeing more and more of them making their appearance. I like seeing the numbers growing.
I like what the wife says at 2:45 into the video below … “I see long rides in our future”.
Most recumbent tires are high pressure tires … up around 100 psi. If you don’t have an air compressor at home or in your motor vehicle I strongly recommend purchasing a floor type bicycle air pump … one designed to pump high pressure … preferably 140 or 160 psi. That way when you pump up a 100 psi tire you aren’t maxxing out the pump to accomplish it … or maxxing yourself out using it. 🙂
In fact, I suggest getting one of these pumps even if you do have an air compressor available to use as they are quite handy and practical.
Most good quality pumps nowadays have a built in guage making it very handy. I suggest checking the accuracy of the guage initially and from time to time to be sure you are getting the right pressure in the tires.
Here are a couple of examples of pumps available.
Blackburn air tower 3 bike floor pump
Park Tools PFP-4 Professional Mechanic Floor Pump
They can be purchased at your local bike shop. I want to emphasize that it is best to buy a good quality pump and not settle for some inferior pump at a lower cost. I don’t think you would regret paying more for a quality pump. I would also suggest that you talk to a local bike shop mechanic to get their recommedation as to what pump to buy. You could also research them online to get customer feedback.
I am not making any recommendations as to what pump to buy. I am only showing these two as examples of what is available. There are lots of different ones out there. The first pump I have pictured above is a Blackburn Air Tower 3 Bike Floor Pump rated at 160 psi. To the best of my knowledge it is a good quality pump.
The second pump I have pictured above is a ParkTool brand which normally they make pretty good quality stuff. However, the customer reviews of this pump are not all that impressive. That is surprising.
Most pumps nowadays have a dual head on them so that either Presta or Schrader valves are accommodated.
The pump I have is a Pedros Domestique air pump. It is a good pump, but I know that there are better ones available.
In case you didn’t know it an innertube loses air on a continual basis so it is necessary to inflate them from time to time. That’s right … air leaks right thru the rubber so they are constantly losing pressure. The higher the pressure the more they leak down. It is important to keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure. You will get better wear, mileage, handling, and performance out of your tires as well as make it easier to pedal along since low air pressure equates to more rolling resistance.
It is also important that you never over inflate your tires beyond what they are designed for. Doing so can result in destroying the tire and causing a major tire failure which could be disaterous at worst and leave you stranded at best.
I once put about 10 psi more in a knobby tire I used for winter riding. About 10 miles from home I noticed something which wasn’t right in the ride … a pronounced thump of sorts. I stopped and got off to look. My rear tire was literally coming apart … separating from too much pressure in it. Fortunately I was only about a half of a mile or so from a local bike shop so I made it over there and got a new tire. The tire that had just gone bad would have lasted me for several years more if I had not over inflated it.
Yes, proper tire inflation is quite important … especially if we all want to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
This is a subject like many others where you can find varying opinions and instructions on how to go about setting up and adjusting mechanical disc brakes. I only have and use Avid BB7 brakes. I started off with Avid BB5 brakes which I would not wish on my worst enemy as the saying goes. They are junk in my opinion. They required almost constant daily adjustment which got old quick. The BB7 is a far superior brake and well worth the additional expense over the BB5 brakes. The main difference between the two besides the brake pads is that the BB5 brake only has one adjustment knob for the brake pad … that is, only one side can be adjusted. The other side is stationary. The BB7 has adjustment knobs on both sides making it much easier to get proper adjustment initially. And once adjusted the BB7 seems to remain in proper adjustment for quite some time. If you have the BB5 brakes you are on your own as I won’t waste my time trying to instruct how to adjust them as they aren’t worth the time and effort involved. My advice is to upgrade to the BB7s. Anyway, I am not going to link to the instructions of others here, but rather I am simply going to share how I go about setting up and adjusting the brakes.
To start out it is important that the rotors run true. If they are bent or damaged they need to be repaired or replaced. There is a special tool to use to straighten a bent rotor, but if one lacks this tool an adjustable wrench can be used if the bend is only near the outer part of the disc. If it is further inward toward the center of the disc an adjustable wrench won’t do. I have a Park Tool straightener, but there are other brands available.
If the rotor is straight and true you can move onto the setup of the brake. Basically by setup I mean positioning the brake caliper and brake pads properly on the rotor. Again, not everybody goes about this the same way, but I am only sharing how I do it and it has worked great for me. Ideally it would be best to do all this with the rider of the trike seated on the trike so that the effect of the rider’s weight is taken into consideration as I am sure things would change a little just like the toe in measurement sometimes changes when the rider is seated on the trike. This is especially true if the rider is heavy. I have never done that myself as it would be difficult if one is by themself to sit in the seat and perform this procedure.
It is most important that the caliper be positioned correctly so that the rotor is centered and parallel to the brake pads. Otherwise it is likely that the brake will rub and make noise, especially when cornering. Also the brakes won’t work as well as they could and the brake pads will wear uneven.
The mounting bolts have special washers which are dished and cupped so that they fit together and “adjust” to the positioning of the caliper over the rotor.
The procedure I use to align the caliper and brake pads on the rotor is simply to leave the mounting bolts loose so that the caliper can move freely.
I then sort of wiggle the caliper around while I turn the brake pad adjustments (red plastic knobs) in so that they tighten against the rotor and center the caliper over the rotor. I initially wiggle the caliper around a bit just to ensure it is freely moving while the brake pads are being adjusted in. Turning these adjustment knobs can tighten the brake pads sufficiently to hold against the rotor aligning it properly. I then carefully tighten the mounting bolts being careful not to move the caliper in the process. An alternative way of doing this is to tighten the brake pad adjustment knobs only partially so that squeezing the brake lever will tighten the brake pads on down against the rotor. Holding the brake lever on (or using some means of holding it on) I then tighten the mounting bolts carefully. Now with the caliper and brake pads aligned the brake pads can be adjusted properly.
Here is a video about centering hydraulic disc brakes which is pretty much the same process as mechanical disc brakes with the exception of having to push the pistons back out..
When adjusting the brake pads I simply back them off just enough initially so that they don’t rub when the wheel is spun. I then pull the brake lever to see how it feels. If it is too tight I loosen one of both of the brake pads a bit more. I also look down at the brake pads to see what the gap is looking like as I want to be sure both pads are evenly spaced out from the rotor. One should try to keep the gap between the brake pad and rotor the same on both sides so that when the brake is applied both brake pads make contact at the same time and not be forcing the rotor over to one side. It should remain straight and not flex (be forced) sideways.
Keep in mind that when cornering hard there is some flex in the wheel and often times some rubbing will occur between the brake pads and the rotor. If this is bothersome the brake pads can be further adjusted out if needed.
Keep in mind that if a wheel is removed or realigned (adjusting the spokes) or a rotor is removed and then reinstalled or a new rotor is installed the caliper and brake pads may need to be realigned. That is what happened to my trike recently. I adjusted the spokes realigning the wheels which resulted in the need to reposition the caliper and brake pads. Once I did that my brakes worked much better. Obviously having properly working brakes is most important. They will help us …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
HERE is a link to all of Park Tool’s videos.