Thru the passing years I have tried a number of different headlights and taillights. Some were near the best available at the time I bought them but as time passed other lights came along which were superior to what I had already bought and had been using. That’s the way the cookie crumbles as they say. Or as a good friend used to say … “you’ll have that!” I have not been much of a fan of USB rechargeable lights for a couple of reasons … 1) the charge often does not last long enough and when it is depleted the light no longer works. It this happens in the middle of a ride it leaves you without a working light. And 2) I have experienced too much trouble with the USB charging ports going bad and the charging cable plug no longer plugging into the light leaving me with no way to recharge it. So I have purposely stayed clear of most USB rechargeable lights. I do have 6 or 7 rechargeable taillights at this time. One of them is difficult to recharge because of this problem mentioned. Just today I received a new light to replace the one I am having trouble with. This is a quality control problem in manufacturing as far as I am concerned. From brand new out of the box there were problems with the USB port. I like and want bright flashing taillights and headlights on my trike as I want to be seen. I rarely ever ride at night so I don’t need an extremely bright headlight so I can see where I am going. I just need lights that others can readily see in the daytime. Besides rechargeable lights I also have lights that run on AA and AAA batteries. For taillights I like the Niterider Cherry Bomb 35. I use my Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 taillights as my main taillights but if they should fail during a ride I have the battery powered lights to use and I carry extra batteries along with me should they fail. Cygolite Hotshot Pro taillights are offered in different brightnesses. When I first bought mine the most powerful one they had was 150 lumens. Since then they have come out with 200 as well as 250. The 150 is plenty bright so I never bought a 200 or 250. They not only cost more but the charge in these models don’t last as long as the 150. I think they come in 50, 80, 100, 150, 200 and 250 lumens. I know one needs to be careful when shopping for them online. You may be looking up 150 but the search results often show other powers and you many not notice this when looking at the search results.
I have changed my light configuration several times over the years. Just recently I made a major change in the taillight dept. I removed all of the battery powered lights and just have the rechargeable lights now. Even the BV 35 lumen taillights are very bright and would do the job all by themselves. They are just smaller than I care for plus the charge doesn’t last long enough in them.They came free with my headlights so the price was right.
I used to take our dog with me on rides. Unfortunately that ended as he developed health issues and was suffering so we had to make the hard decision to put him down.
A few years have passed and now we have a new puppy. So far he is not taking to riding with me as well as our first dog did. Our first dog would ride in an open basket just fine but this new puppy can’t be trusted. He will jump out. So something was needed to ensure that doesn’t happen. I came across this Sunlite basket with a top cage on it. It is working great thus far but I am concerned our puppy will all too quickly outgrow it. Hopefully if that happens I can go back to using the other basket I have hoping he will ride in it and no longer try to jump out. Time will tell.
This basket is made to mount on a rear rack. It has quick release spring loaded clamps that hold it onto the rack. Of course, this is only good for small dogs. If you have a larger dog then you will need some other way to accommodate him or her. Probably the most practical thing is using a trailer. But if this basket appeals to you there are several sources where it can be purchased. Modern bike advertises the cheapest but they add on a $25 shipping charge. Whatever you decide to do enjoy the ride and having your dog(s) along. And …
I like ribbon streamer flags. HERE is a source for them. Sarasota Sun Creations is the name of the company. The flags sell for about $40 each. There are quite a few different ones to select from. Those bright colors and the fact that the streamers move around a lot in the wind really draw attention to the flag. The streamer type flags I have had in the past fade out rather quickly in the sun and all too soon become rather ineffective compared to what they offered when brand new. Of course, the same is true for my full size safety flags. My streamers also frayed badly and all too quickly and easily. I don’t know how these would do. If I were wanting an effective safety flag I think I would give this company my business. I have my own supply of custom made safety flags however so it does not look like I will be buying any of these. They do wear out and fade out so I don’t know how long my supply will last me.
Stay safe out there. Use effective safety flags. They will help you …
Many of us are familiar with Utah Trikes. Here is an opportunity to get more familiar with them. This video takes you thru the process of receiving a customer order and all that is involved in preparing it … building the trike to sell it to the customer. I found it interesting. Hopefully you will too.
Catrike makes a “frame bag” which looks similar to this bag but as you see this mounts to the seat back and does not require a frame to fit into. That means it will fit various brands and models of trikes. Smoky Mtn Saddlebag Max as it is called offers quite a bit of storage space. They have a Facebook page. Please note that this bag is not waterproof.
Don’t ask me why, but they call this one their black model (makes no sense to me) …
And this one they call blue on black (makes sense to me) …
Poweron Cycling sells this bag for $65. Their shipping charge is $13 to my address. Other well know online stores offer it as well … all for $65. Utah Trikesshipping charge is $11. Amlings Cycle shipping charge is $10.
Custom made safety flags seem to be popular and in demand. There are only a few sources I have heard of for them and I am not sure they are all still around. One of them I know that is is Lewis Ballie. You can visit his Facebook page HERE.
HEREis another source of custom flags. And HERE is another one. HERE is another one. Although I abhor the name ‘Devil Woman’ this flag maker chose I will include her HERE. In doing an online search for custom made recumbent flags I was surprised to discover how many search results turned up. These I have linked to are only a few of them.
And HERE is a website I recommend concerning safety flags. I fully agree with what they say. High visibility colors and lots of movement are required for a good safety flag. If a flag can’t be readily seen and attract attention it is worthless and serves no purpose. I see flags that can barely be seen up close much less farther away. I have had people tell me they saw my flags from over a half mile away.
I know that there are those who won’t use safety flags. They make ridiculous excuses like “a flag slows me down” or “I don’t like to hear the flapping”. I would rather ride .5 mph slower while being seen then living dangerously not being seen. And I love hearing the flags flapping as I know they are doing their job keeping me safe.
Yes, I know there are lights … something I also highly recommend in addition to the safety flags. I have very bright flashing taillights and headlights which can be seen far off, but I have had people tell me that they saw my flags before they saw my lights.
TerraCycle is well known for high quality products for us cyclists. Their flag holder (mount) is no exception. It is definitely more expensive than other flag holders I have seen ($38) but hey it is really well made and will definitely do a superb job of holding a flag pole. As you can see it is easy with this mount to adjust the angle forward to back of the flag pole (or even sideways if you have the mount positioned sideways on the trike).
It is available for both 1/4 inch and 6 mm flag poles. The mounting clamps are available in 1/2 thru 1 1/4 inch diameter or you can order it without any clamps. To order their flag pole mount click HERE
With these mounts the flag can be placed various places … rear stays, seat frame … anywhere that will work for you. I highly recommend not having your flag pole positioned where people can get their eye poked out riding or walking into it. I see this all the time … flag poles that pose a serious threat of injury of others. Be considerate of others and think about what you are doing. Don’t be part of the problem. Wouldn’t you feel terrible if you were the cause of somebody losing their eye?
Personally I remove my two flags after each ride so I need a system which is easy and quick to do this. My Catrike flag pole holders work great for me but I had to come up with my own mounting system which wasn’t hard to do
If you have not come up with what works for you or if you want to possibly improve what you have consider these TerraCycle flag mounts.
I think it is safe to say that we humans are easily persuaded to buy things we would not have likely bought if we had not been exposed to advertising. I have long thought of adding turn signals to my trike and I have looked online a few different times for them. However, I never bought any until a couple of months ago when an ad I saw on Facebook caught my attention. I was hooked. I should have known better as I have learned that whatever the claim being made is, especially when it comes to “sale price” the item is usually at least twice as much as it can be found elsewhere if one bothers to look for it. Such is the case with these turn signals. I stupidly bought them thru the FB ad only to find them for considerably less online later. The turn signal set arrived and I tried them out in the comfort of my living room before I installed them on my trike. They worked great inside of the house but out in the real world I quickly discovered that they are totally worthless in the daylight. The brightness of the sunlight makes it impossible to see the control panel. They would be fine using them in darkness as then you could see the lighted buttons. Yes, I have them installed now for a few weeks but I have not been able to use them at all. Totally worthless! The taillight and turn signals themselves are quite bright and can readily be seen. The problem is the rider simply can not tell if the lights are on or off. Totally worthless! HERE is the same taillight/turnsignal set for less than half of what I paid for it.
The control switch is wireless. As you can see there are “warning lights” in the center which definitely are attention getting. The only problem is if you dare use it you may attract the attention of the police as the idiots who designed and make these lights choice to use bright flashing red and blue LED lamps. Where I live that equates to the emergency lights on a police vehicle. I can just envision getting a ticket for impersonating a police vehicle. As much as I would like to be able to recommend this turn signal taillight combo, I can not. I can only repeat myself … TOTALLY WORTHLESS! (in the day light) … I am talking about the wireless controller used to turn the various lights on and off. There is no problem seeing the turn signals and warning lights.
Terra Cycle (not to be confused with TerraTrike) makes some great accessories for our trikes. One of them is their seat side mounting kits for a bag so we have a really convenient means of storing stuff nearby us with ready access to it. We can easily reach it while seated on the trike. Here is a video featuring this mounting kit illustrating how it mounts and works.
I have written about bar end mitts previously: My First Impressions and Now That I Have Used Them For Awhile. However with Winter approaching I thought I would write about them again. Back in 2018 I bought a pair and installed them on my trike. I have always struggled with cold hands and feet. And because of this I have tried several different things. Unfortunately I am unable to tell you that I have found something that really works well for me.
My opinion of the bar end mittens is mixed and hasn’t changed. I really like the concept but the actual experience of them is another matter. Two things come to mind … 1) the physical size of the bar end mitts and 2) the insulating quality factor of the bar end mitts. My bar end mitts come up lacking in both areas. My bar end mitts are way too small inside. They are too small even for my bare hands much less bulky gloves or mittens on my hands. Because of this my hands are in contact with my brake levers and those aluminum levers do get cold in the winter time. And the insulating quality of my bar end mitts do nothing to keep that cold from transferring right thru to my hands. Even with gloves or mittens the cold still gets conducted thru all the material involved. With gloves or mittens on there is not enough room inside of the bar end mitts to be comfortable and work the controls (twist shifters and brake levers). I used my bar end mitts one winter season and removed them in the Spring. I reinstalled them the next winter but removed them within a few weeks as they just don’t do the job for me. Just being too small and cramped up inside is enough to make for a bad experience for me. Some suggested to me that I should get bar end mitts that are made for an ATV as they are larger. I will say this about bar end mitts … a factor that I really liked is that they eliminate the wind/cold air by blocking it. I may look into the ATV size at some point in the future. Installing the ones like I have now presents a problem as a trike with vertical handlebars is different than a bicycle’s handlebars. Bicycle bar end mitts are not made for our trikes. It is hard to find really good and effective insulation and if and when you do it costs money. Admittedly, my bar end mitts were inexpensive. They have poor insulation qualities even though the ad said otherwise. It is kind of like many politicians … they’all say anything to get elected. Many manufacturers will say anything to sell their products. Hey, if you attempt to ride thru the winter maybe bar end mitts would help you to …
I readily admit that I have not been a big fan of rechargeable lights. I have had a well known brand name rechargeable headlight go bad on me soon after I paid good money for it. But I think it is mainly because the ones I have tried just don’t last long enough for my needs. They run out of charge before I am done riding. But that is just a part of it. Another factor is that when they stop working they require a recharging which is impractical while out riding. With lights that run on alkaline batteries I can simply carry extra batteries with me to replace batteries which have ran down and be on my way quickly without further concern. I have found better lights which the battery charge lasts longer. My headlight usually provides two days of riding before needing recharged. Even when the red light comes on indicating recharging is needed the light still works quite well for another full day of riding. Well, anyway I have both types of lights I use so I am covered. My HEADLIGHT although only rated at 300 lumens is an excellent daytime light. I bought it 13 months ago and have been using it almost daily since. I have noticed that recently the charge is not lasting as long as it used to. Now I am charging it pretty much daily instead of every other day. That is what happens with Lithium-Ion batteries when they start to lose their life’s service. The light has held up well thus far … always dependable. So I assume I will eventually replace it with another one just like it. I already have a second one I can switch to at any time as it is mounted right beside of the one I use daily. At only $13 including a taillight which comes with it they are cheap enough. The taillight is quite bright also but the battery charge only lasts about 4 to 5 hours in them. Even so I am quite pleased with these lights for the money. A fellow tadpole trike rider really liked my headlight so he ordered one for his trike. I originally bought mine thru seeing the headlight flashing so brightly on yet another tadpole trike. I was quite impressed at how bright it appears. It really gets the attention of others. Of course, there are brighter lights but why … why would anybody think brighter is needed? I just want to be seen … not blind others and get them upset with me. I already get an occasional complaint about my headlight being too bright. I would rather have it said about me that “I am not too bright”. Hey, …
Anybody who has followed my blog for any length of time should know that I am a firm believer in “being seen”. I use and highly recommend bright flashing headlights and taillights as well as highly visible and attention getting safety flags. Thru the years I have employed several different lights and flags. I have made several changes and always tried to improve what I have. I am well pleased with all the lighting and flags I now have. This particular posting is concerning my taillights. Believe it or not, I have 8 of them on my trike. Seven of them can be seen in this video. The 8th one is in between the seat back and the trunk bag and points downward toward the pavement. It is only for riding at night which I rarely do. Normally I only have one taillight on as I ride and it is the middle top one. I only use the others when I am riding somewhere that I am concerned about extra visibility such as busy/dangerous streets and roads. When I turn 5 to 7 of them on you can bet traffic sees me. I look like an emergency vehicle all lit up with bright flashing lights. If I were to come upon a situation along a trail where I stopped to do maintenance work or help someone who had an accident and was injured I would use the extra lighting to be sure other trail users are aware and exercise caution as they approach. Thus far I am talking about daytime use. At nighttime I would only use the lights on flash mode where again I want to be sure others exercise caution approaching the area. I would never use my headlights or taillights on flash mode at night time otherwise as it is offensive and distracting to motorists as well as confusing to them as well. My point is concerning the multiple taillights … I have them if I need them and they can and do come in very handy.
I am sure some of you have seen people trying to sit themselves down on a tadpole trike and going about it all wrong. And for anyone who has physical issues such as balance, lack of mobility, etc. it can be dangerous to attempt if not being done properly. There are basically two ways to go about sitting down on a tadpole trike. One method is to step over the boom. The other method is to back up straddling the boom. Stepping over the boom can be quite dangerous and risky for some people, myself included, as they may misstep and trip themselves causing a nasty fall. As the saying goes, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT … AND DON’T WANT A REPEAT PERFORMANCE. So I always straddle my boom and back up. This video by Laid Back Cycles illustrates all of this as well as the assist bars which can be added to a trike.
Years ago I came upon these pictures another trike dealership made up. They are funny so I am including them here.
I seldom recommend products to others. My reasoning is I don’t want them to be upset with me if they don’t care for their purchase. Just because I like something and have been well satisfied does not mean someone else will. Anyway, today while I was out riding I looked down at my headlight and thought to myself that I was very pleased and impressed with it. So, guess what? I decided to recommend it to others.
Anybody looking for a good USB rechargeable headlight and taillight combo? I highly recommend this one. It is a 300 lumen BV made in China (what isn’t anymore?). I have been using it for several months now and really like it. It is plenty bright for daytime use … really gets attention. The charge usually lasts me at least two full riding days. Even when the red light comes on indicating low battery the light still lasts me all day and remains bright. It is fairly small yet extremely bright for daytime use (flash mode). It can be bought at various sources including Amazon, Ebay and Walmart. The price varies from one source to another. Right now the best price I have found online is $15.99 with free shipping at IberaUSA (BikePakMart). The taillight is also quite bright but it only lasts me about one day on a full charge. I seldom use the taillights but there is certainly nothing wrong with them.
As lumen rating goes 300 isn’t all that much nowadays but I tell ya … I don’t think one would want or need anything brighter than this light for daytime use. It really gets attention! They advertise the taillight as”a bonus included free” and that is the way I look at it. I was buying a headlight not a taillight. It seems oftentimes headlights are advertised as a headlight-taillight combo. As I stated, there is nothing wrong with it. It too is quite bright and attention getting. I simply seldom use these taillights as I have other taillights I prefer over them. Believe it or not, I have 8 taillights mounted on my trike. I normally only use one but when I am riding out on a busy/dangerous road/street I turn others on to make sure traffic sees me. If I turn them all on I look like an emergency vehicle. They are handy if I come upon an accident scene or a trail maintenance stop.
To the naysayers who say that ya gotta have a headlight of well over 1000 lumen I say to you that you don’t know what you are talking about. Keep in mind I am talking about riding in the daytime … not after dark. I would be the first to agree that 300 lumen is quite insufficient for night time riding. 3000 lumen would be more in order. BUT IN THE DAYTIME 300 LUMEN IS QUITE SUFFICIENT. Anything more is overkill and totally unnecessary. And brighter lights can be a menace to others. Even my 300 lumen headlight can be a problem for some people as they say it is way too bright and bothers them. It is rare for anyone to complain but it does happen. I just tell them “sorry, but I am trying to stay alive by being seen by motorists”.
So, if you are looking for a good headlight for daytime use (particularly in flash mode) I would think you would be well pleased with this light.
For those who don’t care to venture out riding during colder temperatures there are “indoor trainers”. However nearly all of them are made for bicycles. They may or may not work on a tadpole trike. I highly recommend one that is made for tadpole trikes … the Sportcrafters trike trainer which is a set of rollers as shown above.
I would have one if I had the money to spend on one but I don’t so I stick with my bicycle trainer. It works but I know that the rollers would be far superior. I don’t usually ride indoors anyway. I go out thruout the winter months and ride boldly ride.
The Sportcrafters rollers come in two different models for tadpole trikes. They no longer offer their basic model. Now they have all models with built in resistance to provide a true workout. Here are the two models available for tadpole trikes:
OverDrive Trike Trainer (MR110) $199
Resistance mimics real-road conditions, and is well suited for active trike riders who want to maintain fitness. Click HERE to read more about it.
Double OverDrive Trike Trainer (MR120) $249
So many customers have asked for more resistance from the OverDrive trike trainer for strong interval sprints that we are happy to offer the Double OverDrive trike trainer with two identical progressive resistance drums. Click HERE to read more about this model.
So if you are among those who don’t go outdoors and ride during colder temperatures and/or snow on the ground this is an option so that you can …