FIVE THINGS FOR NATIONAL BIKE MONTH

May is almost over but fellow triker David Goldman managed to get this video out while it is still May. (I almost typed April.) As usual he has a good message to us.

As much as I want to be out there riding I can’t. I am stuck here at home waiting on a technician from Frontier FIOS to show up to fix our internet service which has been going out frequently for a couple of weeks or more now. They said it was my router going bad so they sent me a new router which arrived yesterday. I hooked it up and it doesn’t work at all. I went back to my old router and it is working perfectly. And here I sit unable to go riding. We are having 4 days of rain with very few breaks in the rain where I could go riding. Boo Hoo! I really want to …

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TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT

As the saying goes … “been there, done that”… and have the surgical scars to prove it (as well as the Xrays). Knee joint replacement is a very common thing. However, I think it is safe to say that nothing man made can compare to what the Lord Jesus created when He designed us. I am quite thankful for my man made knee joints, but they don’t measure up to what I was born with. Anyway, here is a fellow triker sharing with us about what he experienced.

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GOING FEET FIRST

 

One thing is for sure … sooner or later we will all go feet first as we all have an appointment with death. However while alive we have the choice before us to go feet first … riding a recumbent, that is. Many have already discovered the joyful pleasure and great benefits of doing so.

Yep, it is appointed upon man once to die followed by God’s judgement of us. There is no escape from it … no way to avoid it … no choice. But we do have a choice to ride a recumbent and by doing so experience so very many great benefits. They are far more comfortable than a conventional bicycle. They are safer, more fun and still offer great exercise which may even postpone your appointment with death. BTW, there is one way to avoid leaving this world feet first. That way is referred to as the “rapture” where those who belong to God  will be taken up off of this earth to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. That is going up “head first” avoiding death here on earth and going feet first. Meanwhile, my plan is to continue going feet first on my tadpole trike. If you have already tried it you know what I mean. If you haven’t tried it I invite you to do so. I don’t think you will regret it.

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Revolution eQuad RS – Pedal-Electric Hybrid Recumbent Quad

There is just no end to the products the craftsmen at Utah Trikes produce. They have been making quads for several years now. Their Catrike quad is very popular.  Of course, evolution is involved. For instance they went from using a hub motor on the rear axle to a Bafang crank drive motor behind the seat. I would prefer the hub motor as I am not a fan of crank drive. As I understand the hub drive is still available but only in a solid steel axle with no differential. That would wear out rear tires quicker.

For those wanting to know what my objection is to crank drive e-motors it is simple enough. Cycle drive trains were not designed to handle the extra power a motor puts on them. Of course, the same thing could be said about a wheel but I think a wheel can better handle a motor than a drive train (chain and sprockets) can. Crank drives are known to destroy drive trains and replacing various sprockets, idlers, and chain is expensive.

Understand that Utah Trikes manufactures this quad from the ground up. They are not taking a pre-manufactured tadpole trike and converting it into a quad like they have on some of their other offerings. Starting price is $6599 plus $599 shipping. It is what I call a rich man’s toy. That is more money than I paid for one of my toys  in years past … a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi. 555 horsepower according to the dynamometer of ground shaking window rattling brute power.

Check out their webpage on this toy.

Their statement:

“The UTCustom Revolution eQuad is the culmination of nearly 15 years of building custom quads. The Revolution eQuad has been designed to get you where you want to go on road or off.”

Mind you I have not as much as seen one of these much less sat on one. Never the less for what it is worth the handlebars look so high to me that I would think they would be uncomfortable. That is probably because I am a short person. For a taller person that may not be true at all.

There is a choice of two different seats.  One has it own seat frame which slides back and forth. It sits up right. It is shown in the picture above. The other is a fully adjustable recumbent seat with mesh material pictured below as well as most of the other pictures.

Quads are definitely more stable than trikes but as can be seen in the video below this rider is able to lift a rear wheel off of the pavement. So if one worked at it hard enough a quad could be tipped over.

I have to admit there are times I would like to have such a toy. My trike is just not practical to take off road riding. I have discovered  a few off road dirt trails just off of a paved trail I ride nearly everyday (the paved trail, that is). I have been riding on them a little bit but I would ride on them a lot more if I had a quad like this.

Let’s go off roading …

Looks like fun indeed. But at my age (mid 70s) most of my off road fun is behind me. It is probably just as well. I would probably find myself wrapped around a tree or worse. They say with age comes wisdom. I know better but dealing with temptation is hard. Here is a picture of me just a few days ago …

A trike does fine on this trail as long as it is not muddy or uneven ground. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have ridden on it 3 or 4 more times since the first time I tried it. These dirt trails were bullt for motorized 4 wheel ATVs by a guy who lives nearby and a couple of his friends who ride with him. I have only checked out a couple of them thus far. I would love to ride on all of them but I am concerned about my trike not being up to it. I would most likely get stuck as well as tip over. I am sure over time curiosity will get the best of me. Hopefully I will be able to …

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FRIKAR E-BIKE VELOCAR TRIKE

From the Norwegian makers of Podride their newest offering is this e-motor version. The problem is like their Podride the  Frikar is still  not available. It is only in prototype and not in production. They are taking pre-orders however. They show a production startup of Spring 2022. and actual availability in 2023.

Personally I would prefer Podride’s quad version as it would be more stable.

One thing for sure, whether 3 wheels or 4 wheels the rider is protected from the weather. Of cours,e being closed up inside of a velocar is quite uncomfortable in hot weather. It does say that the canopy is removable. In hot weather I would prefer not to be inside of any body unless it has air conditioning. Hey, they may offer it at some point in the future.

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GREENSPEED MAGNUM RECALL

WizWheelz Recalls GreenSpeed Magnum Recumbent Trikes with Quick Release Axles Due to Crash and Injury Hazard’s. This is not the first time a recall has been issued concerning quick release axles. I always make sure mine are tight as well as positioned facing backwards so that they can’t catch weeds, tree branches, etc. Anyway, if you have a Greenspeed Magnum be sure to look into this.

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INADAQUATE FENDER DESIGN

just arrived back home from a trike ride. It is misting out so the streets, sidewalks and trails are all wet. I have always had fenders on my trike. I would not care to ride without them. I get plenty wet with them. I would be totally soaked riding without them. Even with them I get pretty wet as water still is flung off of the tires and the fenders do very little to stop it. The outside of my upper leg and my hip area get wet as do my arms. The water goes thru 3 or 4 layers of clothing and my arms are constantly wet., especially my left arm

Above is a picture of my sweatshirt sleeve. You can see the wet area and some stains from muddy water which got splashed up on me.

The problem is very obvious … poor fender design. Most manufacturers just don’t care that their fenders are inadequate.. They just don’t care that their fenders don’t do the job. There is one exception that I know of and that is HP Velotechnik. The fenders for their Scorpion are excellent and are the way all fenders should be designed. So trike manufactuers … if you are paying attention … please care enough about your product to improve upon the  design. Your customers will appreciate it. I love my Catrike but I would surely enjoy it a lot more if I could ride it without getting all wet.

I ride a Catrike.Trail. I ordered it with fenders and at that time Catrike used the cheap plastic Planet Bike fenders. They would flop around like a chicken with its head cut off.

They were poor quqlity and the mounting system used was lousy. Finally Catrike came out with aluminum alloy fenders and fender mounts similar to what ICE trikes have.

This is a vast improvement over their previous mounts. So I ordered a set and installed them when they arrived. They are much better but I still get wet. I would love to see Catrike and other trike manufactuers offer fenders like the HP Velotechnik fenders I mentioned. Then I could ride on wet surfaces and not get wet. A fender set is not an inexpensive purchase and I don’t want to spend more money for another set of fenders, but I would if they were available. I thought of buying the HP Velotechnik front fenders but I don’ know if I could mount them on my Catrike or not.

Using wider tires such as Big Apple or Big Ben adds to the problems as the fenders are not made wide enough to accommodate them. But just being wider in and of itself would still not solve the problem. They need to come down on the inside like these examples. Then the water being flung off of the tires could not land on the trike rider.

If I were much younger I  might try fabricating my own or at least an add on piece which would provide this “wall on the inside”. Maybe I could make them and sell them. But alas I am an old man now and my fabrication days are far behind me. I no longer have my welding shop and all the equipment I had in it. Oh, I could still do the work, but my eyesight is quite poor making it very hard if not impossible or me to do a lot of things I used to do.

Here is a trike with homemade fenders which are unusually large to accommodate wide tires.

So unless Catrike and other manufacturers wake up and produce and sell fenders that actually work I guess I will just go on getting wet. It is bad enough when it is warm outside but getting wet in cold weather just is not all that pleasant and enjoyable.

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STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING … BUT I AM GLAD

Yes, strange things are happening for sure. I am talking about my eZee hub motor which is now over 4 years old and has over 50,000 miles on it. It has never given me a moment’s trouble. However, a few days ago while out riding I stopped for lunch at a restaurant several miles from my home. When I came back out to continue my ride as I took off I suddenly heard and felt something inside the motor break making a loud noise and then the motor just spun and the trike didn’t move. I kept trying the thumb throttle and every once in awhile things would work and the motor  would propel my trike. So I headed home and made it back okay. Of course, I was concerned about my motor and what had happened. The next day I got my trike out and discovered that things had changed. Now the motor worked every time and always propelled the trike. However, the clutch was slipping sometimes. I rode it and it did okay. It seemed dependable and the clutch was not slipping all that much. Since then I ordered another hub  e-motor. I removed my eZee hub motor conversion kit and installed the new hub motor conversion kit. It did not come with any installation instructions but I didn’t need any. I got it installed okay. It also did not come with any setup instructions and that was a major problem as I did have a  clue how to program the digital display console. I found what I needed to know more less online and printed out the instructions as well as took some notes from a couple of YouTube videos I watched. I got it programmed okay but it didn’t work right. It would only do 12 mph. I contacted the seller and they had me make a change in the programming in the digital display console. With that the top speed went down to 4 mph. I contacted them back and they had me make another change. With that change the top speed went down to 2.5 mph. I was so frustrated and upset. I made the decision to to uninstall the new motor conversion kit and reinstall my eZee motor kit. I took my trike out for a short spin around my subdivision obtaining a top speed of 30 mph. I contacted the seller telling them I want to send their e-motor kit back to them for a refund as I am very disappointed in it. It has been about 3 days and I haven’t heard anything back from them. I better be hearing something soon or I will be contacting Amazon and/or my credit card company. I sure wish e-motors were available which are made here in the U.S. and there were local sellers to deal with. Everything is made in China and it is a mess dealing with China. The eZee motor is also Chinese. Strange things have been happening with it. First I heard something break inside and the motor just spun. Then it finally started to work again and has quit just spinning. Right now it seems to be working pretty good. I can’t explain it. It makes no sense to me. Yes, strange things are happening, but I guess I can say that I am glad it is still working. The brand new one I bought failed to work and the seller hasn’t helped me get it remedied. China is not known for quality control in their manufacturing. I was glad that I was able to go back to my old motor. I just hope the eZee motor keeps on working as I want to …

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I LIKE SAVING MONEY. HOW ABOUT YOU?

I don’t know about you but I like saving money whenever I can. Of course, I want quality for my money. A good price is not a good price or deal if it lacks quality. I have mostly bought Avid brand brake pads since I bought my trike. They are not inexpensive …. like$22 a set. A few years ago I came across some inexpensive brake pads made in China. What isn’t any more? And, yes, those $22 Avid brake pads are made in China. Anyway, I decided to try the inexpensive brake pads. I ordered several sets of them. It cost me about $2.50 per set. That is a huge savings … $22 vs $2.50. And the good news is they have been excellent quality … every bit as good as the Avid brand. I have been very well pleased with them. I just replaced the brake pads on my trike recently. I could have waited longer but I was pretty sure the right side was getting rather worn and I didn’t want to procrastinate and end up with  a metal to metal situation. Anyway I got 16,775 miles out of this last set so I got my money’s worth out of them. And I just ordered  8 more sets for $2.50 each. And that includes the shipping.

So what is the difference between Avid brand brake pads and  these inexpensive ones you ask? The best answer I could give to that is … $19.50 … that is the difference.

One thing I have learned is when shopping online for them not to jump on what appears to be the best price as if I wait and keep looking I always find them cheaper. I have had problems trying to order them from Aliexpress. I have been buying them on Ebay. Sometimes the price looks good but then I discover the shipping is considerable.

For what it is worth, I would not be at all surprised if many of these various brands of brake pads are made in the same factory. Years ago that was very commonplace in China.

Speaking of saving money, I like buying my tires for half of what most people pay for them. It can be done. I have done it for years.

Anyway, hey, I like saving money. How about you?

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HOW TO OPERATE A CRANK DRIVE E-MOTOR

It is no secret … a crank drive motor is hard on drive trains. And if the rider does not know how to properly use that extra power being applied to the pedals the drive train can be destroyed quickly. Here is a video sharing advice on how to operate a crank drive e-motor.

Anyone using a crank drive e-motor would be wise to heed this advice. I was aware of what is shared here and followed this advice. My drive train was still quickly destroyed. Personally I don’t and I can’t recommend crank drive e-motors. After replacing badly worn parts of my drive train I went back to using my rear hub drive and much prefer it. My local LBS sells and services e-bikes including installing Bafang units on trikes. They say the same thing … a very simple truth … crank drive systems are hard on drive trains and they don’t recommend them.

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INSTALLING A REAR HUB MOTOR KIT

My eZee rear hub motor came from Grin Technologies and I installed it myself. Here is a video showing the installation process on a bicycle. It is similar on a trike.

I did not need the torsion bar as the eZee hub motor does not have anywhere near enough power to need it.  I had to spread my rear dropouts further apart to fit the unit in. The wheel my eZee motor was laced into did not hold up. I had to replace it . I bought a much stronger BMX rim and had it laced up by a professional wheel builder at my LBS. It has held up fine. After my experience with BionX and Golden Motors I have been well pleased with the eZee hub motor.  And then when I tried the Tongsheng crank drive motor which greatly disappointed me the eZee was a joy to go back to. The only disappointing thing about the eZee is I don’t have pedal assist … only a hand throttle. Oh I bought pedal assist when I first got the eZee hub motor kit. I paid a lot of extra money for it and still had to pay more for a different crankset as my Catrike crankset would not work with the torque sensor. Then I paid more to have my LBS install the torque sensor for me (with my assistance) only to discover that the torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies sent me a different one but it required an even different crankset which we could not find available so I never got the torque sensor installed. It was just a lot of wasted money and effort. So during the 4 years I have had the eZee hub motor I have only had a hand throttle. Now I have gotten good at using it … so much so that I can pretty well duplicate what pedal assist feels like. One thing about it just buying the hand throttle would have saved me several hundred dollars which I ended up wasting. My advice to anyone wanting pedal assist is to by a unit with it built in. The eZee motor does not have it built in and the separate torque sensor which goes into the crankset bottom bracket is not at all practical. If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought it.

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A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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