NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

We tend to think that tadpole trikes are a recent invention but we are quite mistaken. They date back into the late 1800s. I would show you a picture of it would likely be sued for doing so. You can see it by doing an online search for “the first tadpole tricycle” (be sure to include the quotation marks) and look at images.

I have written about this before but upon seeing some old tadpole trikes on THIS website from back in 1949 I was reminded of the saying that there is nothing new under the sun.

Do you know where that saying originated?   What has been will be again … is a bible verse found in Ecclesiastes 1:9. “What has been, it is what will be,
And what has been done, it is what will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.”  Eccl. 1:9

We sometimes think we as modern man are so smart but man has always been smart and many things were accomplished long ago most of us have no idea about. I will readily admit that modern man has often times greatly improved what was originally created. Definitely today’s tadpole trikes are an excellent example of this. I will say this … if you were riding down the trail on the original (first) tadpole trike it would probably draw more attention than a modern tadpole trike does.

Yeppur, there have been lots of innovations having to do with cycling over the many decades that have passed. However, most likely there is little that is really something new as scripture holds true … there is nothing new under the sun. And history really does repeat itself. Well, it is time to go for a ride on my tadpole trike. I am doing my best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

MY PERSONAL STORY CONCERNING CYCLING & RECUMBENTS

There is nothing I am about to share here that I have not shared before. I decided to put it altogether in one article so others will know where I am coming from and help them understand my passion for tadpole trikes.

To start with all my life I have been an avid cyclist starting when I was about 6 years old I think. An older cousin helped me learn how to ride a bicycle. I never had training wheels. I just learned to balance my bike right from the start. I first rode a 20 inch bike and gradually got a 26 inch. As a teenager I bought with my own money a white Schwinn 3 speed internal hub English racer style bike. I inverted the handlebars to make it into what was  called a  racer type bike. I was the fastest cyclist where I grew up.  I had a 52 tooth chainring installed and I could really go on that bike.

Stingray style bicycles became popular in my teen years so I made my own 20 inch bike with high apehanger handlebars and banana seat. I could ride wheelies until I decided to end it (literally miles)… far longer and farther than anyone else in town.

When I was in the Navy I bought a lightweight Gitane racing bike … a 10 speed which was all they had at the time. It was a pretty sky blue but it was a prima donna . I swear that spokes would break if I looked at them crosseyed. Over the following years I had several different bikes and continued to ride. It was not unusual for me to ride 50 to 100 miles in a day when I had the time to do so. I was still doing this into my late 30s. I moved to Georgia and found that there was no safe and practical place for me to ride so more than 13 years passed by when I did not ride. I moved back up to Indiana and soon after started back cycling. I found out that there are local bike trails available to ride where I live so I started riding on them. That was almost 17 years ago during which time I have accumulated well over 120,000 miles on them.

As time passed by and my body aged I got tired of dealing with all the discomfort involved in riding a diamond frame bike. It greatly took away from the fun and enjoyment of cycling. I had heard of recumbents and seen a couple of them. I had heard that they are comfortable to ride so I decided to make a recumbent bike.

I used  “donor bikes” and bought a few things like a recumbent seat but I managed to come up with a recumbent bike I started riding which eliminated all the discomfort I had been experiencing on a conventional diamond frame bike. I was really enjoying riding a bike once again. After putting a couple of thousand miles on my homemade recumbent I bought a Sun recumbent bike. In fact, I bought two of them … one for my wife who used to ride with me. They were better bikes than the one I made so all was going well. I put a couple of thousand miles on my Sun recumbent.

However … winter was approaching and I wanted to keep riding. I was concerned about attempting to do so on two wheels as it would be quite risky and dangerous.  I had heard of tadpole trikes so I decided to make my own. I was still working full time so it took me about 3 weeks to design and build my trike. I cut up my homemade recumbent bike and used parts of it to make my trike. It was made out of mild steel so it was heavy. It rode and handled great though as I had done my homework and got everything right in  the construction of it.

I rode it thru the winter and was so happy to have it as it was so safe and so comfortable compared to my recumbent bike. I did not have to concern myself with “going down” riding in snow and  on ice. I made it thru the winter and as planned I switched back to my Sun recumbent bike come Spring only to discover that I much preferred riding the tadpole trike. So I switched back to the trike and never looked back. My recumbent bike just sat around so I decided to sell it. I had my wife’s recumbent bike I could ride if I wanted to. She had stopped riding it and it just sat around.

After I put a couple of thousand miles on it I was able to buy a new 2009 Catrike Trail and I sold my homemade trike to a guy who said he planned to motorize it. As things have always gone for me I was not even able to get the cost of the various components I had purchased to build it.

I loved my 2009 Catrike Trail and it’s “space frame” as they call the solid all one piece frame. After about 3 plus years I discovered a “hairline crack” along the edge of a weld on the underside of the cruciform crossmember. Being a professional weldor I understood what I was seeing and the concern of future failure of the weld so I contacted Catrike sending them this picture to show them what I was seeing. They replaced the frame under warranty.

I was thankful that I received a new frame however, I was not happy that I could not get another space frame. This was 2013 and Catrike had changed the design of the Trail model.  The new frame featured an adjustable seat back angle and the frame design change added 2 pounds of weight to the trike. Ever since then I have wanted to find a used space frame to buy and go back to it. I have no use of the adjustable seat back and definitely don’t like have the trike weigh more. I was hoping Catrike would still have a space frame around that they could send instead of the new design but no such luck. I did not think about it at the time but I wonder if I could have got an Expedition frame and paid the difference. In hind sight I wish I would have checked into it. My 2009 frame was silver but Catrike told me I could have any color they were currently offering so I went with green. All of my old components off of my 2009 trike were reused with this 2013 frame. That is why I have a silver boom with a green frame.

I rode my Catrike for about 7 or 8 years I think before I made the decision to motorize it. BionX  was the big name in e-motors at the time so I went with BionX. That turned out to be a big mistake as it was not only expensive but it didn’t hold up and I went thru a big mess trying to get another motor that worked right … which I never did. So I asked for and received a full refund. This was just before BionX went out of business so it turned out to be good timing. I then tried a Golden Motor and it was faulty right out of the box. I got a refund on it as well and  then went with an eZee hub motor which has been great … until about 6 months ago when a problem developed.  The power would shut off just like I was turning it off with the battery key switch. I checked various things but could not find anything wrong. I suspected that the problem was in the controller which is a rather expensive item to replace. Consequently I did not jump on replacing it. I just dealt with the problem in frustration until finally recently I decided to take the gamble and buy a new controller. I was elated to discover my hunch was right. The new controller fixed the problem and now I am once again enjoying my e-motor assist.

Yes, I am sold on tadpole trikes. I new have about 100,000 miles on my Catrike. It is truly a well engineered and built machine which I highly recommend to anyone looking for a recumbent tadpole trike.

Well, this is my story and I am not only sticking to it but I am stuck with it.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

From the archives … again

This posting from back in 2014 is probably one of if not the most viewed posting on this blog. I don’t know why it is so popular. It would not be anywhere near my top pick.

BTW, It is my understanding that David Bruce no longer makes these trikes.

From the archives … https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/front-wheel-drive-tadpole-trikes-by-david-bruce/

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

ALL WHEEL TILTING AR-3 STEERING COMPARISON

Here is a video about steering on recumbent trikes. It explains the typical commonly found steering and the AR-3 lean steering.

Here is the video description found on YouTube:

“AR-3 Recumbent Tadpole Trike, all wheel tilting mechanism explanation. In depth description and details of standard tadpole recumbent steering, and why the AR-3 all wheel tilting steering is revolutionary.
The Patented steering design is like no other and follows the natural feel of a bicycle because of its center axis steering system cleverly angled forward, which emulates the feeling of a bicycle while banking into turns with all three wheels. KAZEbikes.com for the latest development and video.”

It sounds great to me as in I would like to have it. There is one thing I noticed that bothers me … the seat appears to be placed very far back behind the crossmember of the frame. My guess is that the weight distribution is much different on this design than it is on a regular non leaning design. I definitely don’t like the look of the seat. The part where one’s butt sits looks extremely small. Speaking of the seat there is a video about it …

For more information visit their website … https://kazebikes.com/

$3995 for non motorized version

$5995 for motorized pedal assist version. Pedal assist with 350 Watt Bafang rear hub motor and 36 Volt lithium E-bike battery.

$1595 for the AR-3 frame kit (use your own wheels and various components)

I would think that the frame kit is in high demand. I see that the website shows Out of Stock while that is not the case for the complete trike models. Only a 26 inch rear wheel can be used on  this design. It will be interesting to see a leaning trike out there. Tire wear should be improved since this pretty much eliminates tire scrub from hard fast cornering. Pushing forward on one handlebar while pulling back on the other handlebar is how steering is accomplished.

Specifications AR-3E (motorized version):
The E-bike version is all we have fully assembled.
Approximate Total weight: 48 pounds riding weight. (very light for a trike with motor and battery)
Steering Radius: 8.5’
The frame was FEA static tested to Rider weight of 480 pounds but we recommend 250 pounds for best riding results. I would keep the cargo balanced for a more pleasurable ride.
Width: 36”
Length: 84” (That’s a long trike.)
Height: 26” with backrest retracted. 3“ additional with backrest fully extended.
Ground clearance: 4.5”

How the AR-3 works:
Being prone also gives a great aerodynamic advantage lending itself to going further and faster with the less effort than a conventional bicycle. Obviously many of us don’t wish to or can no longer perch on a standard bicycle seat. The seat on the AR-3 is comparable to a high performance sports car bucket seat.

Articulating all wheel tilting steering for recumbent tricycle and other vehicles providing stability and controlled lean of all three wheels simultaneously.

Consisting of a single front steering yoke that rotates or steers, on a pivoting axis neck, with a negative castor angle and bearing on the stationary frame which forces the rear wheel and frame to actively tilt into the direction of the turn.

The active front wheel leaning linkage consists of, the front steering yolk with horizontal bushings on the outer ends, which only allows the front wheels axles and control arm assemblies to lean in toward the turn producing a camber to both front wheels.

Tie rods, connected to the front wheel’s spindle assembly and anchored to the frame, forward of the pivot axis, actively linking handlebars, front wheel and frame tilt together thus causing all wheels to lean together when directional force is applied.

“All the Benefits of 3 wheel recumbents, but with all the virtues of a bicycle.”                                      (their words not mine)

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

EXTRA WIDE LOAD

14 inches … let’s face it … 14 inches is not very wide. Most of us have bigger butts than that. Yet trike manufacturers seem to be dead set on designing and fabricating their trikes with seat frames that are only 14 inches wide. That means that a very large percentage of tadpole trike riders deal with varying degrees of “overhang” going on and the result is we are not as comfortable as we would like to be or could be if the seat was only a couple of inches wider.

Some people do something about it to try to help while others just deal with it. They add various types of cushions and pads to sit on. This may work but it raises them up higher in the seat effecting the center of gravity and the handling of the trike. This is not good. Also sitting on a cushion is not as safe as sitting down “into” the seat. Sometimes foam is added to the seat frame to make things a bit more comfortable. It can help but it is not as effective as a cushion. The dealer where I bought my trike did this for me. It helped for awhile but the foam did not hold up and self destructed.

There are a whole lot of us who weigh more than we should and subject our trikes to more weight than they are suppose to carry.

Yeah, I know … these aren’t trikes, but they do illustrate my point. I am sure that neither vehicle are made to haul that much weight. And some of us are exceeding the weight limits of our trikes. When I first bought my 2009 Catrike Trail the dealer told me that he has customers riding Catrikes that weigh over 400 pounds  (no, not the trikes … the riders) … far beyond their rated capacity. Yet the dealer said that all of the trikes are doing well handling the weight. Certainly some things are bound to  wear out or fail prematurely as a result of the extra weight they are subjected to.

It would be rather embarrassing to have to have signs like the one above attached to our trikes. No one in their right mind wants to be fat and certainly it is a sensitive topic and a difficult thing to deal with.

I personally started gaining weight in my early 20s while I was serving in the Navy. I was never overweight prior to that. I have battled obesity all of my adult life. It runs in my family, particularly on my mom’s side. I have lost all of my excess weight twice in past years but I have always put the weight right back on and even more. Presently I am about 23 pounds less than I was at the highest point in my past. It is very difficult for me to lose weight. I practically have to starve myself and be very careful what and how much I eat. I currently weigh nearly twice as much as I did when I graduated from high school. That’s not good and the older I get the more of a concern it is. I am 74 now. Fortunately I am healthy as far as everyday life. I can’t even remember the last time I was sick. I haven’t had the flu for more than 30 years and I have never had a flu shot in my entire life nor would I ever get one.

14 inches … just is not wide enough. Why do the trike manufacturers do this?

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

ACKERMAN STEERING

For anyone building a tadpole trike the subject of Ackerman Steering comes into play. It is all important and must be incorporated into the design build if the trike is going to handle properly. The front end steering of a tadpole trike is rather complex. There is  camber, castor and Ackerman steering involved. It all has to be correct if the trike is going to be safe to ride. In short, YA GOTTA DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

There are many videos available explaining Ackerman Steering. Here are a few of them:

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BACCHETTA CT 2.0 carbon fiber tadpole trike

 

Thru the years there have been a few carbon fiber trikes manufactured and sold. None of them have ever seemed to go over all that well and most of them disappeared from the market. The latest one to appear that I am aware of is made by Bacchetta, a company well known for its bicycles. Their trike offering is the Bacchetta CT 2.0  and it lists for $5995 which is not inexpensive but then carbon fiber never is. I consider them to be a “rich man’s toy”.

To my way of thinking making a bike or trike out of carbon fiber is not at all practical. As stated it is expensive and when damaged it is pretty much junk. So why make a trike out of carbon fiber you ask? Mainly because carbon fiber is light in weight while being strong. But not many people need a trike that weighs 1 to 4 pounds less than one made out of aluminum. For those who qualify to meet the restrictions of physical size and body weight the Catrike Pocket only weighs 28 pounds … only one pound more than this carbon fiber trike.

Here are some specs on this trike:

Frame Full Carbon Monocoque w/Internal Storage. 28 Degree Seat Angle.
Idler Alligt 68mm w/Aluminum Drive Teeth
Seat Integrated Carbon w/Vertical Seat Back Adjust
Seat Pad BCT Custom
Handlebar BCT Custom Aluminum
Rear Derail Shimano XT 11 speed, RD-M8000-SGS (extra long cage)
Front Derail Microshift FD-R58-B with 31,8mm clamp, black
Shifters MicroShift BS-M11 11×2 speed for Shimano DynaSys
Crankset SRAM Force 22, GXP, 50-34T 170mm
Bottom Bracket SRAM Force, GXP, BSA68
Headset Tange Seiki 1 1/8″
Cassette Microshift, CS-G113, 11-42 T
Front Brake Tektro M521 Gemini SL Hydraulic, black
Rear Brake N/A
Brake Levers Tektro Gemini SL Hydraulic (with parking brake band included)
Front Wheel 406 BCT Lightweight Disc, Tubeless Ready
Rear Wheel 700c BCT Lightweight Disc, Tubeless Ready
Front Tire 406 Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless, 28c
Rear Tire 700c Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless, 28c
Chain KMC X11 11 Speed
Pedals N/A
BB Height 14 1/4″
Seat Height 7 3/4″
Wheelbase 47″
Weight 27 lbs.
Weight Limit 275 lbs.
Gear Range 21″-120″
Color Matte Black w/Clear Coat- Red or Blue Stripe/Decal Option
Frame Size Standard Only
X Seam 37″-48″
Overall Width 29″
Overall Height 27″
Overall Length 65″-76″
Turning Circle 19′
Track Width 27.5″
Ground Clearance 3″

Looking thru the specs I see some which would greatly concern me and be a real turn off. The fact that is has a very large turning diameter(19 feet) would be problematic as well as the ground clearance of only 3 inches. It could and would get easily damaged. And with only an overall width of 29 inches I would be a bit concerned as to how it corners compared to a trike of 32 or so inches. As you can see it comes with a partial rear fender .

I was just looking at the various options available when placing an order for this trike. Several hundred dollars could be saved by selelcting some of these options. In doing so weight is added to the trike resulting in it weighing as much as some of the lighter weight aluminum trikes such as a Catrike 700. With all the various options they offer one could change the final price considerably … especially upwards. The pictures show a neckrest but I noticed that it is a $130 option. I would think that at $6000 they could include a neckrest which is a necessity in my way of thinking since the seat is 28 degrees.

Naw, I prefer the Catrike Pocket … not a prema donna like this carbon fiber build. It might be a beautiful machine but not at all practical in my opinion. I only need to lose about 50 pounds to qualify for the weigh limit of the Pocket. I  reckon time will tell whether or not this Bacchetta trike remains on the scene or disappears like all the others that have come along in the past. Hey, whatever you choose to ride …

ENJOY THE RIDE

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

A $25 TADPOLE TRIKE

Having made my first tadpole trike I know what is involved in doing so. I definitely saved money in building my own. Never the less I still had about $600 invested in my homemade trike. This man says he only has about $30 invested in building this one. I had written  several sentences about this trike in which everything I said was negative. I came under conviction remembering the saying “if you don’t have anything good to say just keep silent. So I deleted everything I had written. Anyway, here is the video of his $25 trike.

May we all enjoy whatever we ride and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

TADPOLE VS DELTA … “IN” VS “ON”

We all know the saying “different strokes for different folks”. When it comes to adult tricycles we have choices … many choices actually. But I am only interested in talking about “recumbent” so that narrows down the selection some. Basically there are tadpole trikes and delta trikes.

One big difference in these two configurations is the seating position. On a delta trike the rider sits “on” the trike. On a tadpole trike the rider sits “in” the trike. That is to say the seating position is much lower so that the rider is much closer to the ground. There are exceptions to this, of course, as some customers want to sit up erect and high rather than be “recumbent”. There are big trade-offs with this in the handling dept. A low slung tadpole is a blast to ride as it handles like it is riding on rails. But a tadpole with a high seat has no advantage over most delta trikes in the handling dept. Oh well, if that is what they want they can have it. I may be nearly 74 years old but I still enjoy riding a “recumbenttrike which handles great and is so much fun to ride.

Anyway, most delta trikes and tadpoles with high seats can’t begin to compare to a low slung tadpole when it comes to handling.

 

A few months ago I rode a Catrike 700 … a trike built for speed and handling with a 25 degree seat back angle. I have always wanted to ride one so I asked my local Catrike dealer if I could. That is about as recumbent as one can get on a recumbent trike.  My trike is a Catrike Trail which has a seat back angle of 45 degrees. That is quite a difference. I have to admit I preferred riding my Trail over riding the 700. Maybe if I were in my 30s instead of my 70s I would choose the 700. Truthfully at my age I did not find the 25 degree angle very appealing to me. I have never ridden a Catrike Expedition which has a 37 degree seat back angle. I think I would like that angle as the 45 degree angle always has disappointed me in that it won’t go back down any further. If I am going to have an adjustable seat back I would prefer it go back down further rather than up further. Oh well, Catrike didn’t see fit to provide this in their design build. They seem to cater to those who prefer not having a recumbent trike.

Delta trikes can tip over easier than a tadpole. Again, there are exceptions to this. Tadpole trikes can and will tip over. As dirty Harry said … ” a man has to know his limitations”. Delta trikes tend to be much longer than tadpole trikes. This may not be an issue for some folks but it is a real “turn off” for me.  Definitely most folks seem to prefer the tadpole design over the delta.

IN vs ON … speaks volumes to me. IN equates to a sports car. ON equates to a family sedan. So whether you ride a “Corvette” or a “Rambler” (and I am not talking about TerraTrike Rambler) be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

A Rambler isn’t all that bad. Do you remember this song?

 

BROKEN SKEWER BOLT – NO THIRD TIME FOR ME

Perhaps you can not tell what you are looking at so I will tell you. The picture above is of the broken off skewer bolt which goes thru my Catrike Trail’s seat back. I replaced it once before when it broke off. It is broken again. I am not going to replace it again as I am convinced that the bolt is too soft and therefore not up to the job it is intended for. I am going to drill out the holes thru the pieces and go to a 1/4″ hardened bolt. I don’t adjust my seat back anyway so I have no need of the quick release skewer Catrike uses there. Catrike replaced my first broken skewer without charge but I am not going to ask them to do it again. Besides the one they sent me only lasted a few months in service before it sheared off. There is no sense in continuing to replace it with the same thing which keeps breaking. I truly miss the space frame the Catrike Trail had when I first bought my 2009 trike. Catrike can have their new frame … just give me back the space frame. The more complex one makes something the more likely something will go wrong. I prefer to stay away from things like folding frames and suspension. KISS applies for me … Keep It Simple Stupid. I don’t know if it will ever happen but I would love to come across a Catrike Trail space frame and revert back to it. My original 2009 space frame developed a hair line crack in the weld on the underside of the crossmember of the frame so Catrike replaced the frame under warranty. I appreciated that but what I didn’t appreciate is that by that time they had discontinued using the space frame and replaced it with the monstrosity they offer now. I was hoping they might have a space frame lying around somewhere they could send but that didn’t happen. I was stuck with this new frame which I hate. Such is life. I often wonder if I would have just kept my original frame and never replaced it under warranty if  it would have held together or if the hairline crack along the edge of the weld would have failed. Of course, I will never know. One thing about it with the space frame I would not be dealing with broken skewer bolts. The only thing left of my 2009 trike is the boom. I still have my 2009 boom on my 2013 frame. My frame is green but my boom is silver. BTW, the Catrike Trail costs just about twice as much now as it did in 2009. It is ridiculous! I am glad I bought mine when I did. I had a hard enough time coming up with the money involved in 2009. I can’t imagine attempting to buy a trike at today’s prices. I don’t understand how they can justify such an increase in cost. All that money and they can’t even supply a simple bolt that doesn’t shear off. I come from the old school where “design should follow function and not trend” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it”.

Nearly 11 years later I am still …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

DIRECT VS INDIRECT STEERING

Utah Trikes has produced quite a few good videos. Here is one about the subject of direct vs indirect steering. It covers it pretty well and even explains Ackerman Steering.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

REAR WHEEL DIAMETER … 20 VS 26/700

Frequently the subject of rear wheel size comes up as people want to know which is better or preferable. I don’t think I have ever addressed this in all my many postings. Since it is asked so frequently I figured it is past time to do so.

Well, like most everything else there are pros and cons involved. I have had both a 26 inch rear wheel as well as a 20 inch rear wheel. Personally I didn’t notice all that much difference. Never the less I will cover the good, the bad and the ugly of the matter. Don’t ask me why I said that. All I can say in response is that it happens to be the movie playing on GRIT TV as I am composing this.

Let’s start out by covering the obvious … or at least what should be obvious. Having three 20 inch wheels on a trike means that you only need to deal with one size when it comes to spare inner tubes and spare tires to carry along with you.

What may not be obvious is in the realm of performance and handling as well as weight carrying capacity. That is something to consider if you plan on touring and loading the trike down with gear.

A smaller diameter tire will accelerate faster than a larger diameter wheel. That being said a larger diameter wheel will result in a higher top speed than a smaller one. Of course, I am talking about having stock gearing and not messing with the gear ratios. Once one starts changing the gear ratios all of this can and does change. One can accomplish the same things with existing wheel diameter by changing the sprockets diameters in use.

A larger diameter wheel will roll over objects easier than a smaller diameter wheel which means that a larger diameter wheel yields a smoother ride than a smaller diameter wheel.

A smaller diameter wheel is stronger than a larger diameter wheel so it will carry more weight and handle better. A larger diameter wheel has more flex to it than a smaller diameter wheel so it is noticeable in cornering.

A smaller diameter wheel is usually less costly than a larger diameter wheel when it comes to tires to install on it. That being said 26 inch is a very common size with lots of tire choices available. So one might very well come across some good prices on tires.

A smaller diameter wheel requires a smaller trike frame. That may or may not make any difference to people. It is just something I wanted to be sure to point out.

When it comes to folding a trike again obviously a smaller diameter rear wheel folds smaller than a larger diameter wheel.

I have mainly been talking about 20 and 26 inch wheels. I only mentioned 700. Another popular size is 24 inch. They have their advantages but know that 24 inch tires are not as common as 26 inch so the selection won’t be as good.

Changing from one size to another may be problematic as the trike is designed for a certain size. The frame may not be built so that a larger diameter wheel and tire will fit. Also making a change in the rear wheel size will effect the trike’s handling and it may not be as safe. Raising the rear of the trike with a larger diameter wheel/tire will result in lowering the front end of the trike. This will bring one’s feet closer to the ground and cause more of a concern in the matter of “leg suck” and injury.

Anyone considering a hub motor a larger diameter wheel provides more room for a motor to be installed. That means there are more choices of hub motors and with more space available a more powerful motor can be installed than what will fit on a smaller diameter wheel.

Personally I prefer a 20 inch wheel over a larger diameter. It comes down to a personal choice. With either choice one can …

ENJOY THE RIDE

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HOW TO ADD SOLAR PANELS TO A TRIKE

Here is a video about adding solar panels to an e-trike to charge the battery. Tadpole rider, Alex Hofvander, shares about his system.

HERE are other videos of Alex.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

IMPROVING THE TURNING CIRCLE ON ICE TRIKES

As I watch this video it backs up why I don’t care much for ICE trikes. Although the name ICE stands for “inspired cycle engineering” in my opinion ICE trikes are not very well engineered … at least somethings I could name here certainly aren’t. I have ridden a couple of them and looked at others and noticed these things about them. Definitely they all suffer with the same problem … namely it takes a football field to turn one. That is a slight exaggeration but only slight. This video shows and explains further the problems in the design of the steering. When I ride a trike I want to be able to turn sharply. One can get into big trouble when the trike won’t make a turn when encountered. That could be very dangerous. Trikes that won’t (can’t) turn sharply are poorly engineered and are dangerous to ride in my opinion. TerraTrike is another manufacturer which has models with indirect steering which are terrible just like ICE. Just because a trike has indirect steering does not mean that it can’t be engineered to turn sharp. There are other brands with indirect steering which do turn sharp … very sharp. I have a friend who rides a Trident with indirect steering and it turns sharper than my Catrike. It impresses me when it comes to steering.

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

RECUMBENT TRIKES – THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE

Recumbent Trikes – The Essential Guide (2019 Edition)

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

DIFFERENT STROKES (trikes) FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

We are all individuals with different tastes, likes, dislikes, values, thought, etc. As they say … it is what makes the world go around. Some drive a Ford while others drive a Chevy. Some drive a Jaguar while others drive a Yugo. Speaking of Yugo … that reminds me of a joke. A guy goes into an auto parts store and walks up to the counter. The store employee asks him how he can help him. The man says “I’d like a rear view mirror for my Yugo”. The salesman pauses for several seconds as though he is thinking about it. Then he replies back … “Sounds like a fair deal to me”.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well, I will tell ya. Did you ever take a look at the list of trike manufacturers and notice that there are more than a couple? There are a whole lot of them. And most offer several models differing from one another. Tadpole trikes are not cheap to buy. We as individuals can’t all afford the “top of the line” and even if we could not all of us would want what may be considered top of the line. Some can only afford the lower cost trikes and some are happy enough with the lower cost trikes. HERE is a list of trikes by their cost.

Various factors come into play when it comes to selecting the trike which is best for us. Most certainly there is great wisdom in trying numerous brands and models before buying. Research is quite important. We should educate ourselves as much as possible.

Some trikes may appeal as far as cost but they may also not be well designed. They may not handle well. If you are only going to ride very slow and be very careful this may not be an issue for you, but if you like to ride faster and corner hard it would be a major issue.

Some trikes are equipped with high quality components while others have lower “entry level” components which may be a problem as time goes along. On my own trike I upgraded to much higher grade components and was glad I did.

Some trikes are well made and easy to work on while others are poorly engineered and a real pain to work on.

Impulsive buying is definitely not recommended as it may very well lead to buyer’s remorse. Like a car once the trike leaves the store it loses considerable value. There are dealers who won’t take back a trike for the price paid for it even if it is brought back 20 minutes later having never been unloaded much less ridden. Nobody wants to be a victim of that scenario. It is “buyer beware” so choose wisely.

We all want to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ATOMIC ZOMBIE D.I.Y. PLANS

Atomic Zombie … tis rather a strange name, but it is a well known name for do it yourself folks. For $16.95 you can buy a set of plans to build a tadpole trike. They have a few different designs to choose from including a tandem model. You can check their complete website out HERE .

 

FREE GIFT awaits you!

Quadcycle from 1987 Named “Carmichael”

Reaching back a ways here is a custom built pedal powered side by side quadcycle featured on a local TV station.

Unfortunately the video quality is not very good, but you can get the general idea of what this man made so many years ago. I have no idea if it was the first side by side quad ever made.

Here is the video description:

From the VHS video library of Steven K. Roberts comes this local news report of a mid 80s built side by side quadcycle. According to the piece this was designed and build by Norm Ogle with help from Peter Johnson.

If I were a younger man and not having the physical issues I have now in my elderly years I would be fabricating various tadpole trikes and quads. I made one tadpole trike back in 2007 and I was already challenged somewhat with vision problems then.

Lastly, my thanks to Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report for giving his permission to share this video from his YouTube channel.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

DIY (Do It Yourself) VELOMOBILE

It is a lot of work and most certainly not everybody is up to it, but if you are you too could build your own velomobile. Click HERE to see the webpage on this.

FREE GIFT awaits you!