Blog Archives

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

CATRIKE MODEL LINEUP


I came across a video where all the different models of Catrike tadpole trikes are shown and described. I was impressed with it so I thought I would share it here. Please be aware that since this video was produced Catrike has come out with two more models, the 550 and the Dumont.

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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

AH … TO BE A KID AGAIN


It sure is neat to see kids riding tadpole trikes. I sure wish I would have been introduced to them when I was a kid. Tadpole trikes just were not around back then so it wasn’t possible for me in my childhood. I never heard of them until about 12 years ago. Here is a custom built trike being ridden by a kid and he is obviously enjoying himself.

I don’t know when the modern day configuration (low slung recumbent tadpole trikes) were first made. Recumbent bikes have been around since the late 1800s. Actually the first patent for a recumbent tadpole trike was in 1869 … before chain drive came along. It was a far cry from those we have today however.

I believe that the Japanese MASA Slingshot racing model appeared about 1974.

masa-slingshot-racer

The first modern day type recumbent tadpole trikes were all custom made by individuals before any started being manufactured and available to purchase. Anyway, fortunately riding a tadpole trike as an adult somewhat makes you into a kid again. 🙂

Ya just can’t get away from that ol’ “recumbent grin”. Here is my grand niece riding my Catrike Trail trike for the first time.

abby-riding-my-catrike

And here is my wife with that recumbent grin/smile riding my homemade trike back in 2007. I was still building it and didn’t have it painted yet.

lucys-recumbent-smile

And here she is once more with that recumbent grin while riding my Catrike Trail. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. It is a screenshot of a paused video of her riding and the video itself was poor quality from making a copy of a copy a few times and each time it lost some quality.

lucys-recumbent-smile-2

The infamous “recumbent grin” I chalk up to bringing the kid out in us. And it definitely helps us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

Yep, keep on TRIKIN’ and you can keep on smilin’

DOES THIS GET YOUR ATTENTION?


planet-bike-1-watt-headlight  pb-blaze-1-watt-headlight-on-full-power

have used a 1 watt Planet Bike headlight for many years now. I almost always use it on flash mode as I almost always ride in the daytime and rarely at nighttime. At only 1 watt it is amazingly bright. This is due to the excellent optics employed. It is not a great light for nighttime use, but for for daytime with the flash mode it is superb. It operates on two AA batteries and they last an amazingly long time … like around 20 hours or more. I usually use rechargeable batteries in it which are super economical to use. I recently had a problem with my light as it would shut itself off almost immediately after turning it on flash mode. I just assumed it’s time had come after giving me many years of faithful service. I ordered another headlight to replace it. Meanwhile I removed this one from my trike and brought it inside the house. I started messing around with it and determined that the problem was a simple one and one I could fix. The battery contacts just needed cleaning. Now it is working great again. Here is a video of it I just took inside the house. It shows it on flash mode. Now I ask ya … would this get your attention?

It has always worked fine for me and many people have commented that they saw my headlight flashing from a long distance. It is also quite visible from the side also which is an added plus as many lights are not very visible from off to the side. I like the idea of others seeing me while I am out there and am a firm believer of the importance of good lighting front and back as well as highly visible safety flags.

I have also experimented around with taillights and although I really liked what is shown in this next video I opted not to keep it because white light showing on the back of a vehicle is illegal.

As can be seen in the next video I now have a very bright red taillight which is so bright I would not dare use it at night time as it would be blinding to others. It is so much brighter than my other taillights that it makes them look dim when, in fact, they are also plenty bright, especially at night.

The concept of being able to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

appeals to me. How about you?

RACING ON ICE


Technically (officially) it is still winter even though much of the United States has been having Spring like weather. So … because it is still winter according to the calendar I bring you “Ice Bike Races” … even though the video is 10 years old.

And as an added bonus here is another video … one which I think you will find somewhat hilarious as one after the other would be rescuer falls thru the ice.

STEERING IN A SKID


grew up learning how to steer in a skid/slide … first on a bicycle, then a motorcycle and finally a car. As a kid my dad taught me how to steer a car in a skid. When I say taught I mean he showed me how to do it. At 16 years old I can remember driving my parents’ car down the city street purposely placing the car into a skid sideways between parked cars along the sides of the street and controlling the skid as I drove past them.

car-slides-off-road-in-curve-reduced

A few years later while in the navy I drove a ’63 Corvette on a particular curvy road south of San Diego, CA where there was a sheer drop off along the edge and very rough cliff like terrain below and nothing along the sides of the road to keep a vehicle from going off over the edge. I would put the Corvette into a controlled skid in the curves as I sped around them. Yes, it was foolish and dangerous as it could have very easily and quickly resulted like what is pictured above. I wouldn’t not do any of this today, but as a teenager and into my early 20s I thought nothing of it. I am saying all of this to say that learning how to control a skid or slide can save your butt should you find yourself in such a predicament.

steering-in-slide

I find in riding a tadpole trike on a slippery surface such as snow or ice the trike can all by itself sometimes seem to go into a sideways slide. Without taking proper needed action when this happens it could result in an unwanted unexpected disaster. For me it just comes natural to turn the handlebars and steer out of the skid. It is “second nature” as they say. I find it fun and challenging. Many times I have purposely put my trike into slides just to steer out of them.

steering-in-slide

As illustrated in the drawing above when the rear wheel of a trike slides sideways you should steer in the same direction you are sliding to control the skid. As the trike straightens back out you should turn the front wheels back straight. Learning how far to turn the front wheels and for how long is crucial to successfully controlling a skid. You can also over compensate and make matters worse. If you fail to straighten the wheels back around at the right time you can cause the vehicle to skid the opposite direction. It is best to practice all of this in an empty parking lot where there is plenty of room to slide around without concern of hitting anything.

This video shows the rider steering in a skid. Notice at the very end when he tips over it is the result of the trike going from the slippery surface onto dry pavement and the tire “caught” suddenly and caused the trike to tip over.

The best advice I could give anyone to learn how to steer out of a skid is as I stated previously … to practice in an empty parking lot where you have plenty of room around you. Of course, I am talking about riding on a slippery surface such as snow or ice. I would also caution you not to try this if the slippery surface is not continuous. What I mean by that is that the snow or ice needs to cover the entirety of the area where you are riding. You don’t want to be sliding sideways and then suddenly hit dry pavement (like the rider in the video above) as that could be very dangerous resulting in a bad sudden tip over … a violent one where you could easily get injured. Even if you don’t normally ride in such conditions it would be good to learn this skill so you know what to do if it ever happens to you when you do ride. You could find yourself riding on a surface where there is loose dirt or gravel or a wet spot suddenly come up where the rear wheel starts to slide sideways. Again, I caution you about the rear wheel sliding sideways and then suddenly hitting dry pavement as the trike is likely to tip over suddenly. I can’t over emphasize this.

Riding over uneven surfaces can cause a trike to go into a skid/slide … especially if you are already in a turn (going around a curve).

trike-tip-over-red-arrow-2

Even riding on some surfaces like in the image above can be hazardous. This was on dirt and probably loose dirt at that. The rider knew to steer with the slide to try to control it and recover from it. Most of the time this works, but sometimes things just go wrong and the end result is not what was expected or wanted.  This person tipped over. Fortunately they were not injured. I personally think the reason they tipped over is because the rear wheel slid into a stone or something causing the slide to end and tipping the trike over suddenly. Just going over uneven ground can cause it. It doesn’t take much sometimes to cause such a scenario. It is also noted in the video that she could not maneuver as she would have liked to because of a cactus plant sticking out in her path. That in and of itself could produce the results she experienced.

Here is the video which goes with the picture above:

The rider is most fortunate that the rollover didn’t result in serious injury. She went right onto large stones.

Sliding sideways can be fun as long as you can safely control it, but it can also be extremely dangerous when things go wrong. Be careful out there. Do your best to keep it upright and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

TADPOLE RIDER GROUP on FACEBOOK


trfbg-cover-photo

I have started a Facebook Group with the same name as this blog, Tadpole Rider. It is more less an extension of this blog. By that I mean if you enjoy reading this blog you will likely enjoy the FB group. In fact, you may enjoy it even more as it will be sort of a “real time” deal where I and members can post, comment and interact whenever we are online and logged in. We can discuss various topics and give advice. We can attempt to answer one another’s questions and resolve issues. We can share our experiences and knowledge with one another. We can post pictures and videos. All it takes is a Facebook account to visit it and a request to join the group if you want to post and comment. I invite you to come check it out. Just click on the link provided below to go to it.

Tadpole Rider Group on Facebook

There are some specific guidelines and rules to follow. There aren’t many, but what ones I have established are crucial and must be adhered to.
1) This group is about tadpole trikes so only postings and comments pertaining to tadpole trikes and riding them are allowed. (Don’t post about bicycles here. There are other groups for those who want to post about bicycles.) Anything else will be deleted as it is in violation of this rule. If a member repeatedly violates this rule they will be privately warned (if possible) and if they continue to do so they will be removed from membership.
2) All postings and comments must be clean and wholesome as well as respectful to others. No one will be permitted to argue and ‘get ugly’ with other members. Again anyone who violates this will be warned privately (if possible) and if they continue on they will be removed from membership.

That’s it! Simple enough and I think quite reasonable. Please come join. The more the merrier and, indeed, the better the group will be.

Tadpole Rider Group on Facebook

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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

NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU ARE SORE


body aches

Many of us remember the movie ‘Love Story’ where the famous quote “love means never to have to say you are sorry” came from. BTW, that is a lie of the devil. Just the opposite is true. Real love always means saying you are sorry if you wronged, offended and hurt someone … not just saying it, but truly meaning it. Anyway, taking that phrase and “running with it” … NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU ARE SORE comes to mind when it comes to riding a recumbent. Now I know there are some who still have issues … recumbent butt, problems with tingling feet, etc. … but for the most part most of us I think would agree that making the switch from a conventional (traditional) diamond frame bicycle to a recumbent bike or trike has eliminated pretty much all the soreness, pain and problems we experienced riding DF bikes.

When I made the switch over to recumbents I started out with a recumbent bike. Then a short while later I got a tadpole trike and found it is even more comfortable than the recumbent bike. I also found it to be more fun to ride and safer. Consequently I had no more desire to ride my 2 wheel recumbent bike so I sold it.

Various things make for the comfort to be found on a recumbent trike. There are differences in seat types, seat angles, seat sizes, lumbar support (either built in or aftermarket add on), frame and layout dimensions, tire type, size and inflation, etc. … all of which affect personal comfort.

A mesh seat has tension adjustment via the straps which make a big difference in how the seat feels when sat upon. The seat straps can be adjusted individually to different tensions or they can all be adjusted the same. Personally I like them all just as tight as I can get them.

mesh seat straps

There are also various add on things such as seat pads/cushions some use which add greater comfort. I personally use an open cell foam pad sandwiched between my mesh seat which I find helps immensely to add more comfort. Here is a picture of it. The red arrows point to it and the blue arrow indicate the width. As you can see it runs the entire length of the seat (bottom and back). It even sticks out the front where it adds comfort for my legs. The foam pad is encased in a zip up king size pillow case to keep it clean. It was modified to fit the pad.

my foam seat pad

Here is what the open cell foam pad looks like …

black foam pad with lines added

I have drawn black lines around it to help others see the shape and dimensions of it as without them it is hard to detect. It is a 2 inch thick pad and 12 inches wide by 35 inches long. It could be cut shorter, but I opted to leave it full length as I like having it stick out the front like it does. It may have looked better if it stopped at the front of the seat, but it definitely is more comfortable with it all the way out where it is.

Pads or cushions can also be placed on top of the seat rather than sandwiched in between.

There are neck rests available which can make a world of difference, especially for someone who has neck problems such as arthritis, degeneration or injury. Most of the neck rests available from trike manufacturers are not very comfortable. I personally would not have one of them. There are a couple of after market third party makers of neckrests which are far more comfortable and popular. Finer Recliner seems to be the most comfortable and popular as well as reasonably priced. Here are a couple of examples of them …

Krispy Steve's headrest

finer recliner neck rest

After trying two of Catrike’s neckrests both of which felt like a brick I sent them back for a refund. I then made my own neckrest and it is super comfortable … like leaning back on a cloud. I love it and I am a person who absolutely needs a neckrest as I have arthritis in my neck. I couldn’t ride much without it. With it I can ride for hours on end.

my headrest

There are yet other options which can add comfort to our ride. Canopies add shade from the sun and partial protection from rain and snow.

white canopy

Fairings or windscreens are available to help block the air from us and provide some protection from rain.

fairing on trike 2

Of course, for ultimate protection from the elements one can always go the route of a velomobile or velocar.

Sundrider left side view

ego velomobile 4 cropped

Ah yes, our trikes are like sitting in a recliner chair on wheels …

recliner chair tadpole trike

I am fond of saying that the hardest part of riding a tadpole trike is trying to stay awake. 🙂  No more sore butt, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, etc. like I constantly had riding a diamond frame bike. Yep, for me it really is a matter of NEVER HAVING TO SAY I AM  SORE. And it helps me to be able to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A PICTURE IS WORTH A 1000 WORDS-HOW MUCH MORE A VIDEO


A new video series has made it’s appearance on YouTube. A man and his wife who are from Canada have joined the ranks of tadpole trike riders. He just bought a new Catrike 559 which is featured in this video.

This is the introduction video for their Recumbent Trike Series. They have been videoing the entire process from trike shopping, purchasing, and right through to riding and touring, They state that they will be loading more episodes shortly. This video is very well done and so I would have to say that I am looking forward to seeing more of their videos.

CATRIKE LUST


reckon there are all sorts of things a person could possibly lust over. And I reckon that many of us have our favorite brand of whatever product we might talk about. I will readily admit that of all the brands of tadpole trikes that exist I have my favorite. Here is a hint … “here kitty, kitty”. I think I can safely say that I don’t lust over it. I am very fond of it however. There are several quality trikes on the market and Catrike is among the best of them. The person who made this video apparently agrees …

TADPOLE TRIKES … FUN AT ANY AGE


Yes, riding a tadpole trike is fun at any age and tends to bring out the “kid” in all of us. Ha ha! I came across this video and thought others might enjoy it as much as I did.

This family lives in Ukraine and the husband has built several various recumbent trikes, bikes and at least one quad. He has produced several VIDEOS of the family riding them. I highly recommend the videos.

Speaking of “fun at any age” HERE is an article about “baby boomers” and recumbent trikes. A local cycle business where this article comes from reports that recumbent sales are a major player in their business and the reason for the business boom they are experiencing.

TADPOLE TRIKES EXPLAINED


From the land “downunder” comes this video promoting tadpole trikes in general and the Greenspeed brand in particular … (thanks to Glen Aldridge for posting this video on Facebook)

I thought I might throw in this “Why Ride A Recumbent Trike?” here. And here is their Trike FAQ. This website is also Australian.

TADPOLE TRIKES EXPLAINED


Here is a video from the land ‘downunder’ (Australia) sharing about tadpole trikes as an informational and promotional video. Special acknowledgement and appreciation goes to fellow tadpole rider, Glen Aldridge, for posting the video on Facebook.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS … WHICH TRIKE TO BUY


Another nasty winter day is here and so I am working on this blog trying to come up with something to post on it. I came across this video. I had watched it before quite some time ago and life went on. I didn’t realize that one of the people featured in it is someone I have come to know about since then. Upon revisiting the video I made the discovery. So without further ado here is Matt Galat checking out trikes at a dealership.

Of course, the trike he has now (the one he was riding when the wreck happened … when he got hit by a truck over in China) is none of these trikes mentioned in the video. That trike was an HP Velotecknik fx26 Scorpion.

DOES RIDING A TADPOLE TRIKE MEAN YOU ARE HANDICAPPED?


am sure I am not alone. More than once I have had people say or do something which clearly indicated they thought I have some sort of a physical handicap because I am riding on my tadpole trike. Most certainly there are people with varying physical problems that ride both tadpole trikes and delta trikes. These trikes are great for enabling such folks the ability to ride when they probably would not be able to otherwise on traditional bicycles or perhaps even tricycles. Just a few weeks ago I had a couple of road construction workers come running over to my aid when they thought I was in trouble. They thought I was handicapped and couldn’t get myself going. Even after I told them I was not and that I was okay they still seemed to continue to think that I needed help and acted as if they hadn’t even heard me. I have had people ask me if I was injured while serving in the military.  I have had to explain to them that the trike is simply a human powered vehicle like a bicycle.

People sometimes tend to think improperly about things they are not familiar with and don’t understand anything about. I guess I can understand that even though when this happens it is almost laughable at times.

As I mentioned recumbent trikes can be adapted for use by those who are handicapped so this is a good thing. I have come across stroke victims who do great on a tadpole or delta trike. Sometimes a tandem trike is needed as the handicapped person is not able to handle riding a trike on their own. The physical problem may be something as basic as balance. They can no longer ride a bicycle but they do fine on a trike.

Whether the trike pilot is handicapped or not may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

OBSTACLES WE ENCOUNTER


Life is full of obstacles and while riding our trikes it no exception. Whether it be natural such as a fallen tree, a flood, etc. or man-made such as a barricade set up, a bollard, a kissing gate (how many of you know what that is?), a detour or road/trail closed sign, or some other nifty thing placed in front of us … they all accomplish the same thing … slowing us down, making things more difficult, costing more time and effort, causing us to turn back having to give up progressing onward … at least on that particular pathway we are attempting to travel on.

fallen tree on trail

It is a lot easier for a person on foot or a bicycle to deal with this than it is for a trike rider.

flooded trail 2

Encountering flood water and attempting to ride thru it can be risky business. It just may be deeper than anticipated and you can get a sitting bath. If the water is cold and/or nasty that isn’t so good. I speak from experience.

kissing gate

This is a kissing gate … try to get thru that on a trike. Some are made so you can, but this one above isn’t one of them. The one pictured below a trike can get thru, but just barely. These certainly are not very convenient.

kissing gate in England

 

Bollards just usually slow us down, but some are spaced too close together for a trike to get thru. For sure be careful when approaching bollards. They have a nasty habit of jumping right out in front of tadpole trikes. 🙂

bollards 2

I see these signs a whole lot more than I care to … mostly due to trail flooding from the rivers they run alongside of.

trail closed sign 2

As a volunteer Greenway Ranger for our local trail system I report problems I encounter while out on the trails and many of them I take care of myself as long as I can. I cut and remove lots of fallen trees and tree branches. I like riding on the trails so I do what I can to help keep them open.

Well, all I know to say is … OBSTACLES? … YOU’LL HAVE THAT! … Let’s all try to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Q and A


Questions and Answers … Yep, you’ll have that … questions that is. And that brings me to my next point … are you an ambassador for tadpole trikes or more of an embarrassment? We are going to be asked questions as tadpole trikes are neat and catch the attention of others. I will be the first to admit that some questions we get asked are rather ridiculous and a bit frustrating to deal with. Probably one of the worst is … “Is that thing comfortable?” I mean … there we are sitting down leaning back looking like we could easily fall asleep and someone asks that question. I will admit that I have not always been a good ambassador for tadpole trikes in responding to some questions I get asked. Sometimes the right and proper answer does not always come to me immediately. Sometimes I have answered the question with a question. For example, when asked, “Is that thing comfortable? I have come back with “Does it look comfortable?” But I think the best answer to that question is simply to say “Yes, it is very comfortable”.

It is all so easy to fire back quick answers to some questions. However this may not always be the appropriate thing to do. It is not that the answers are incorrect or untruthful. It is more of a matter of being a good ambassador vs. being sort of a smart aleck. Here are some examples:

Q) How fast will that thing go?  A) As fast as you can pedal it.

Q) How do you steer that?  A) With the handlebars.

Q) How much does one of those cost?  A)  More that the car you drive. … or … If you have to ask you probably can’t afford one.

Q) Where can I get one of those?  A) From a store that sells them.

Do we take the time and put forth the effort to talk to people and answer their questions about tadpole trikes? Or do we give one of these quick answers to get on our way knowing that we were not really helpful and certainly not being a good ambassador?  Depending upon the questions asked it usually doesn’t take all that long to give a sufficient helpful answer. Most people are really all that serious about getting deep into discussion about tadpole trikes. Most people are satisfied with relatively short answers as long as they are helpful and politely answered. For instance, when someone asks me how much a tadpole trike costs I usually tell them that they can be purchased starting at around $700 up to about $12,000. If they want to know more beyond that I take the time to talk to them more. Most people are satisfied with that answer.

Tadpole trikes are becoming more and more popular with each passing day. With the sub $1000 offerings more and more people are buying them. People are discovering that they can ride in extreme comfort and have lots of fun at the same time. Hey, maybe we will start seeing so many trikes that we will want to start answering the question about comfort differently to discourage them from getting one. 🙂

Hey, seriously … we do need to be good ambassadors out there.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

TRIKE MINDED PEOPLE


found this video on the Facebook Recumbent Trikes Group and thought I would share it here …

I am envious. I have one other tadpole trike rider I ride with. We can’t seem to get anyone else to get together to ride. Some say they will but we never see it materialize.

TOE IN … A VERY IMPORTANT MATTER


The steering geometry of tadpole trikes is complex and it is important that everything is right in order for proper and safe operation. Toe in is a common steering setting found on cars, trucks, buses, etc. Here is a drawing of this adjustment using a car for illustration:

car toe in toe out

On a tadpole trike this adjustment should never be set to where there is toe out. Most manufacturers recommend about 1/16 of an inch toe in. However, the truth of the matter is the closer you can get it to neutral and still handle well the better. By neutral I mean the wheels are straight … no toe in and no toe out. If this adjustment is off very much it can seriously effect the handling as well as wear the tires out very quickly as the rubber will be “scrubbed” off.

Making this toe in adjustment is relatively easy, especially on a direct steering trike. On an indirect steering trike it is a little bit more involved, difficult and time consuming. A tape measure can be used although I personally think there is a better way which is easier and more accurate. They make a tool to do this. Catrike sells one called the Calibro. It sells for about $50. It is rather large and so in my opinion is a bit difficult to use. Keep in mind that oftentimes there are such things as cables, wires, spokes, fender braces, etc. to contend with. Trying to use a large tool in these areas can be challenging. Again, personally I think there is a better way (better tool and much much cheaper … maybe even free). I use a telescoping radio or tv antenna. I already had two or three of these laying around so the price was right. 🙂

telescoping antenna

It is the “cat’s meow” as far as I am concerned. For those who don’t understand this American expression, “cat’s meow” simply means perfect or ideal. Just make sure the antenna telescopes out far enough to reach the distances involved. I don’t advise using the tires to measure off of as you may not get as accurate measurement on them as you will on the wheels. Of course, if you wheels are out of alignment or bent you won’t get an accurate measurement.

checking toe in adjustment

The way to measure the toe in on a tadpole trike is to take measurements between the front and back of the front wheels. The measurement should be taken as close to the center of the wheel as possible front and back. You many have to go on the bottom of the boom on the front and on top of the boom  in the back to keep the measuring position the same height off of the ground front and back. The measurement in the front should be approximately 1/16 of an inch less than the measurement in the back. When the rider is seated on the trike this measurement will change somewhat … depending upon the weight of the rider and the frame of the trike (what it is made out of). This is covered in the first video below. The wheels will tend to toe out a little with the riders weight on the trike. Ideally this measurement and adjustment should be made with the rider seated on the trike distributing his weight as nearly normally as he can. To do this it will require another person actually taking the measurement and doing the adjusting to get the toe in set properly. On my trike when I sit down my toe in measurement changes about 1/16 of an inch. So if I am doing this by myself I know I can set the toe in at 1/16 of an inch and then when I sit down in the trike the toe in will change to 0 or neutral … exactly where I want it. Here are a few videos showing how to set the toe in on a tadpole trike … both direct steering and indirect steering.

This first video shows TerraTrike trikes:

This next video clearly shows using the telescoping antenna to set the toe in adjustment on a Catrike:

The third video shows adjusting the toe in on an ICE trike:

Lastly, this next video shows the Calibro tool being used on a KMX trike:

Calibro tool

Did you notice that these guys are riding on the wrong side of the trail? 🙂

I have found that this toe in setting can change by itself even when the lock (jam) nuts are tight. So I highly recommend checking the toe in measurement periodically to make sure it hasn’t changed. Rembember handling and tire wear will be effected should the toe in adjustment get off too far.

TRIKES IN ‘DA HOOD


Jerry Blackerby has several good videos on YouTube available for viewing. Check them out:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU0Gjg5ZmNvYZiR442VMlw/videos