WHY GET ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST

Definitely e-assist has really caught on. Of course, there are those who still resist the idea and speak out against them. That is the way life is. People have resisted just about anything one can name in the early days of its introduction. In fact, I was not in favor of e-motors on trikes unless one truly needed one. Even until this day I still somewhat feel that was believing that if a person is able to ride without one they should not take the plunge until they really need one. But I don’t make an issue of it with anybody. I believe in just leaving people alone and let them do what they want. Anyway, this video touches on the subject of getting e-assist.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

RECUMBENT TRIKES … ARE THEY FOR YOU?

You may be asking … “is a recumbent trike for me”? Keep in mind that one does not have to be old  or disabled to ride a tadpole trike. But if you happen to be old or disabled recumbent trikes are likely your answer. They are highly modifiable and can be equipped to meet the needs of nearly everybody. From a basic tadpole trike to a FAT trike to a sophisticated velomobile there are lots to choose from. When it comes to riding on thru the winter most definitely 3 (or 4) wheels are far better and safer than only 2.

That is how I got started with tadpole trikes. Winter was fast approaching and I wanted to keep riding … riding safely. I knew 2 wheels were unsafe as a bicycle goes down readily on slippery surfaces. I had already experienced that more than once. Fortunately I never received any serious injury, but I was well aware it can happen. So I built me first tadpole trike and rode it thru the winter. I fell in love with riding a tadpole trike. It is so much more fun than riding a bicycle and it is much much safer. When Spring time finally came around I tried switching back to a 2 wheel recumbent bike, but quickly discovered that I much preferred riding the trike so I sold my bike which I didn’t care to ride anymore. That was in the winter of 2007-2008. So for 16 years now I have had the infamous “recumbent smile” on my face and never a moment’s regret. Recumbent tadpole trikes are difinitely for me. I bought a 2009 Catrike Trail and sold my homemade tadpole trike.  I now ride a 2013 Catrike Trail.

Recumbent trikes come in two completely different design builds … a Delta with one wheel in the front and two wheels in the back …. and a Tadpole (originally called a Reverse trike) with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back.

Although my personal preference is a Tadpole design you may find you prefer (need) a Delta design.  A Tadpole is like driving a sports car (Corvette) while a Delta is like driving a family sedan (Rambler). Not everybody is able to get in and out of the low seat of a Tadpole trike so for them the Delta is the only way to go. In all fairness there are some Delta trikes which are made low to the ground and built for speed and cornering.

These videos address these subjects:

As shown in the video above there is a lot of difference between a Delta recumbent trike and a Tadpole recumbent trike. I fully agree with the thumbs down for the Delta and the thumbs up for the Tadpole.

One last comment … I have found that riding a tadpole trike brings a whole lot more respect from motorists than one gets riding a bicycle. That, of course, adds greatly to the safety factor.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

DEKERS ELECTRIC TRIKES … PRODUCT OF POLAND

I came across this brand of electric trike as the result of the owner of the company requesting to join the Facebook Tadpole Rider Group.

Unfortunately their website does not offer English. However, the Google Chrome browser will translate it. I don’t normally use Google nor do I recommend it as they are just too big for their britches and are up to no good with all their power and money.

To the best of my understanding Dekers presently produces 3 models and they custom build trikes to meet their customer’s personal needs. They cater to those with disabilities.

Website

Facebook

YouTube videos 

 

ZADZWOŃ
Tel.: 791 628 486

NAPISZ
E-mail: kontakt@dekers.pl

ODWIEDŹ (physical address)
ul. Konecka 28a
26-333 Paradyż

They offer a two year warranty. As you can see in their videos the hub motors offer plenty of power spinning the rear wheel at speed easily.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

WRIST RESTS ADD GREAT COMFORT

I was under the impression that I had covered this subject before but upon conducting a search I did not find anything other than an article on new handlebars I bought that came with the mount for the wrist wrests. Since I had the mounts for them I went ahead and bought them. WOW, what a difference they make! That being said, now that I have been using them for a few years I find them a bit uncomfortable and wast to make a change in them. Catrike uses a pretty firm rubber compound. I want to find something softer to use to replace them. BTW, I am open to ideas/suggestions.

There are a lot of different brands of tadpole trikes on the market but only a very few that I am aware of offer wrist rests. There is good news however. Trike owners and trike dealers have been using the wrist rests that are available and installed them on trike brands that don’t offer them. Utah Trikes installed Catrike handlebars with wrist rests on a Sunseeker FAT Tad trike.

That is one solution. Below is another solution.

As you can see in the picture above of the HP Velotechnik wrist rest they have a removable mount which would be used on other brands of trikes. Yep, both HP and ICE wrist rests can be installed on most trike brands. And, of course, there is always the option of a person making their own and saving the money involved in buying them. Of course, rarely do they turn out looking as good as the ones that can be purchased.

Yes, wrist rests make a big difference in comfort. I would have to say that adding them to my trike was some of the best money I ever spent to improve my ride and personal comfort.

I would have to say that this is one time ICE and HP outdid Catrike in the design of their wrist rests. That is so hard for me to admit as it is so rare in my opinion. The man said it in the beginning of the video … recumbents are all about comfort and wrist rests add greatly to any tadpole trike.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

I DON’T RIDE TO …

was looking thru David Goldman’s videos and found this one I thought I would share here with you. He explains why he rides as well as why he doesn’t ride. That may not make much sense to you now but watch the video as it explains it.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

CYCLING WITH DISABILITIES FACEBOOK GROUP

There is a Facebook group for Cycling with Disabilities. I know nothing about it so I can’t share much of anything more. It is a Private Group with 295 members as I write this. This is a group dedicated to cyclists with Disabilities. The goal is sharing information, tips, technical bike info, stories and accomplishments. Share your stories of overcoming difficulties and tips on what helped you.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/502865517575070

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

 

RECUMBENT TRIKE RIDING IS OFTEN GOOD PHYSICAL THERAPY

It should come as no surprise … riding a recumbent trike is often good physical therapy. Here is David’s testimony.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

RIDING LEGALLY BLIND

This is a subject I can honestly say … BEEN THERE, DONE THAT! Yep, awhile back I was riding daily with extremely poor vision. It was downright dangerous and I had some close calls. I was usually riding by myself so I didn’t have anyone around to help me stay safe. I had some harrowing experiences. I am glad to say that I survived all of them and am here to talk about it. But rather than talk about my personal experiences I would rather talk about the solution two friends  have come up with. One of them is legally blind and it would be very dangerous for her to ride entirely on her own. Her friend who she rides with leads the way. On the rear of her trike she has two extremely bright flashing taillights which are large in diameter and sort of a purplish pink color. The legally blind gal can follow behind her and is able to see these lights and follow her. They also employ two way radio communication which enables the lead trike to inform the other trike of any information needed to keep her safe and help her know what she needs to do or expect.

The bright taillights flash very rapidly and can be seen from a very far distance away. Whenever I see them from afar off I always know it is them as nobody else has taillights like those.

The lead trike can communicate such things as: slowing down, stopping, turning left or turning right … whatever is pertinent so that the other trike can take such action as and when needed.

I have known these two gals for several years now and we have often conversed together and sometimes ridden together. I think it is great that they have come up with this system that works so well for them. It enables the legally blind person to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, now I am totally blind in one eye but can see fairly well out of my other eye. So it is much safer for me now than it was some time back. I am enjoying daily rides feeling fairly safe out there.

3 WHEELS 1 LEG

 

I just discovered this tadpole rider, Paul Fogarty, and his Facebook page he is using as his blog. He is a disabled person who doesn’t let that stop him from riding. He is indeed an inspiration to others. With no arms and only one leg he rides a highly modified tadpole trike adapted to his needs. He is new to triking and his trike is a work in progress to get it all set up for him to effectively serve his needs. I am impressed with his accomplishments. Check out his FB blog page and perhaps give him a shout out to encourage him. And may he be able to continue on trikin’ and …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

BTW, Paul has an ICE Adventure tadpole trike on order.

Paul also has a personal FB page for those interested in checking it out.

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

WILLIAM GALLOWAY – A TRAVELING MAN

While riding along the Maumee Pathway this afternoon (4/27/2020) I passed another tadpole rider going in the opposite direction. We waved at each other but didn’t stop to chat. I had noticed that he was loaded down and pulling a trailer. I got up the trail a little way further and decided to turn around and catch up with him. As I came up behind him he pulled over to the side off of the trail and stopped. I did the same and we sat there talking together for about an hour getting a little acquainted. For the past 2 and one half years he has been crisscrossing the United States riding his yellow Catrike 700 loaded down and pulling a trailer. He said he is on his 6th journey at this time. He is headed back east now. He is from New Jersey. It was neat meeting up with him. He has lots of stories to tell. I told him about my having this blog and asked his permission to write-up an article about him to post. William said that he is 58 years old (if I remember correctly). He shared with me that he  was interviewed by Gary Solomon of LaidBack Bike Report. HERE is that interview. Gary interviewed him when he was in Utah headed to Washington on his 5th journey crossing the nation. He had started out his 5th cross country journey in Orlando, Florida where Catrike had just replaced his original red Catrike 700 with a brand new yellow 700 as a serious mechanical problem had developed.

William told me that he is looking into adding an electric hub motor to his trike so we talked a little bit about hub motors and batteries. As you probably know adding an e-motor to a trike is not cheap. He could definitely use any help others are willing to offer.

As we sat there talking I had to get on down the trail as I know he did so we parted company. I think we both could have stayed there alongside the trail talking for a lot longer but all good things must come to an end as they say.

Here is a video he made. There is a lot of wind noise in it so bear with it.

William made this video before I met him. In it he mentions his plan to go to Indianapolis and then onto Fort Wayne where I am at.

I had another video posted up above but YouTube shows it is no longer available so I removed it and placed this one in its place. The following paragraph was written about the video which has been removed.

I found it interesting what he said about this journey he has been on. It started out riding from the East coast of the U.S. to the West coast and then back again to get back home, but once he got back home he made the decision to just KEEP ON TRIKIN’ so now he is on number 6 crisscross of the nation. I surely wish him well and safety on his journey.

HERE is an article on William.

” I want people to know that there are people with disabilities who need help but are not getting it.”

Here are a few links for William Galloway:

YouTube Channel

email:    fundraiser3000@gmail.com

paypal.me@williamg799

Facebook page

Instagram page

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR REASON?

Here is a video showing several tadpole riders sharing why they ride a tadpole trike. I am sure most of us can readily identify with and agree with them.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

E-ASSIST … SOME DON’T GET IT

Frequently the subject of the use of electric motor assistance on a trike comes up on a Facebook group discussion. And sadly there are always some folks who attack and criticize and pass judgement on anyone who dares to use e-assist. In doing so they usually boast about themselves being able to ride their trikes unassisted. It gets old even though I would rather imagine those same people have heard/read others say that with the use of e-assist they are able to ride further, faster and with no or greatly reduced discomfort while getting far more exercise than they can possibly get trying to ride without the help of a motor. And they greatly enjoy riding thanks to their e-assist. I know from personal experience that all of what I am saying is true. Having e-assist has made a huge difference in my life.

Anybody who has been following me thru the years and reading what I have written about motorizing a trike knows that I am against it if one doesn’t need it. That hasn’t changed one iota.  Motorizing a trike defeats the purpose of a human powered vehicle … namely getting exercise. I rode for as long as I could pedaling along and as time passed I suffered more and more in pain and discomfort. Many others have the same testimony.

Those that pass judgement on those of us who have turned to e-assist need to be thankful that they are still able to ride “unassisted”. I just hope that if ever they come to the point where they too need to turn to e-assist they will wake up and understand just how wrong they have been in their stance against those who use e-assist. Hopefully they will REPENT. And may we all just …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

“FAUX PEDALING” – FAKING IT HERE, BOSS

Recently I have been coming across the term faux pedaling. I had never heard of it before so I had to look it up. It isn’t the easiest term to find much of anything out about. To start off the word faux is French and means “fake”. Here is the dictionary definition of faux:

made in imitation; artificial.
“a string of faux pearls”
not genuine; fake or false.
“their faux concern for the well-being of the voters didn’t fool many”

Basically from what I have been able to gather it is pedaling without any physical effort … not putting any pressure pushing on the pedals. With e-motor assist this is possible if the rider wants to do it. There are those who say it is cheating. It is true that one doesn’t build up leg muscle or burn as many calories when faux pedaling, but the good news is the rider is still getting exercise spinning the cranks around. And if they are spun fast enough the rider can get a cardio workout even if they are not building leg muscle. That being said, usually the faux pedaling is done slower than what the cycle is traveling so it is obvious that something is going on that just doesn’t look right. One thing I have often done with and without e-motor assist is to pedal backwards while going forward. I have tried pedaling forward while going backwards, but found that it just doesn’t work.

So what is my point in bringing this subject matter up? I don’t know. I may not have one other than to mention that I am sure there will be naysayers out there who want to sound off and protest against this. Keep in mind though that there are some folks who are not physically able to push hard enough on the pedals to propel the cycle. They are doing good to be able to faux pedal. At least they are out there getting some exercise and …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

And they are only able to do so with the aid of e-motor assist. Yes, the motor is doing most of the work, but that is a whole lot better than being a total couch potato. So just maybe others need to be kind and cut them some slack. None of us know what tomorrow holds. We could be among those who find them self saying “Faking it here, boss!”

FREE GIFT awaits you!

UTAH TRIKE CUSTOM EZ ENTRY AIDS

Need help? I am talking about help sitting down onto and getting up from your trike’s seat. There are various aids available nowadays. One of them is these custom made EZ Entry Aids made and sold by Utah Trikes. They sell for $140 according to Utah Trikes website . Although they are made for Catrikes they do work on some other brands. I like the looks and design of these. They adjust up and down, lean in or out, swivel 360 degrees and can be clamped forward or rearward on the horizontal portion of the steering  bars off of the headsets. So that they can be positioned pretty much anywhere the rider thinks works best for them. You can’t “beat that with a stick”.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HELP! I CAN’T GET UP

The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be. To be blunt, some of us need help for one reason or another. Getting into  the seat of a tadpole trike can be challenging enough for some of us, but getting back up out of the seat can be even more challenging. I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? 🙂             Let’s just go with the bad news and get it out of the way.

“SKY HOOKS” don’t really exist. It is too bad as they would be extremely popular. My first introduction to the imaginary sky hooks was when I was in the Navy. Along with the “mail buoy watch”,  “relative bearing grease”, “batteries for the sound-powered phones”, “shore line stretcher“, “a long weight” and several other pranks the sky hooks were a fun thing to play on gullible newbies. Anyway, a sky hook is a device which has a hook on both ends or at least the top end and a closed strap on the bottom end. One end hooks up to someplace up in the sky and the other end is used to hoist or hold something up. If we had two sky hooks it would be the cat’s meow in helping us get up out of our trike seats.

All joking aside let’s get to the good news. There really are devices available to help us get in and out of our seats. Various trike manufacturers (as well as 3rd parties) offer them for their trikes. Here are some examples:

Note: Keep in mind that I have not looked into shipping charges  to know where the best price can be found.

HERE is what Utah Trikes sells. They have several offerings, but I like the ones that they make “in house” which are illustrated in this video below. Although they are made for Catrike they say they will work on most tadpole trikes which have direct steering.

HERE are the UT Custom EZ Entry Aids featured in the video above. $140

 

HERE are the ICE Helping Hands (shown above) for the Adventure model. $150

HERE are the ICE Helping Hands for the Sprint model (shown below). $155 (most other sources I have seen charge $163)


HERE is what PowerOnCycling sells for Catrike. (I like these & they are lower cost than most others.) $95 plus $13 shipping

HERE is the Thrive Cycling Assistive Arms (shown below). $149

HERE are TerraTrike’s VersaBars (shown above). $90

HERE is the HP Velotechnik Stand Up Aid for the Gekko model (shown above). $89

HERE is the HP Velotechnik Stand Up Aid for the Scorpion model (shown below). $259


And HERE is a product for Catrike from TerraCycle (shown above). $149

And  HERE are the extra long version of the Catrike Assist Arms from TerraCycle (shown below). $169

And here are some other offerings for Catrike:

In order to use these Catrike Stand Up Assist bars as illustrated the vertical handlebars would have to be moved much further forward than I would want them. I like my vertical handlebars out near the ends of the horizontal bars coming off of the steering heads. Moving them forward changes the leverage and control feel quite noticeably.

My experience in attempting to pull back and down when trying to get up is that the trike wants to roll/move (slide) backwards, especially as the rider removes his/her weight off of the seat. This makes for a serious problem in trying to use any of these sort of devices. Only straight downward pressure will keep the trike in place. Others have said that these work and they don’t have this problem, but I can’t see how it is possible based on my own personal experience. Definitely I think that the design and placement of these will greatly determine how well they work … meaning some would work better than others. It is just my thinking and opinion as I have never tried any of them.

I think the idea of a sky hook would work best. 😉 Yep, I really think someone needs to get serious and invent the sky hook as it would make all this so simple and work so much better than any of these aids. A “lift seat would be nice though. 🙂 

So if you need help getting in and out of your seat you might want to look into one of these aids. They are all we have available for now. Hey, Enjoy the Ride … and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

 

PROS & CONS OF ELECTRIC MOTOR PEDAL ASSIST

Those who have been following my writings from the git go  probably know that I got my start in this writing articles about tadpole trikes on Steve Greene’s Trike Asylum blog. One of my earliest articles (To Motorize Or Not To Motorize, That Is The Question which was posted on April 5, 2013) was on the subject of motorizing a tadpole trike and I made it pretty clear that I was against it. I made an exception for those who truly needed it Never the less I ruffled some feathers and caught some flak for writing the article. I have to admit that when I wrote it I didn’t know much about the subject of motorizing a trike. I don’t recall whether or not I was even aware of “pedal assist”. Anyway, since that time I have gotten myself a bit more educated about pedal assist. I also finally reached the point I felt I would benefit from having electric motor pedal assist. I have had one on my trike now for awhile so I have experience with using it and feel I am qualified to write about it. I am loving it. Anyway, I am reposting the early article I wrote so you can read it here in this posting. You will find it at the bottom of this article I am now writing. As you read thru it you should be able to pick up that I was thinking that this subject matter is about propulsion by a motor and not pedal assist.

Recently a fellow triker brought up the matter of a tadpole trike being a Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) … that is to say, they are suppose to be. Hey, that is exactly the position I used to hold so I know where he is coming from. We are all familiar with the terms “Pros & Cons” … stating those things in support or favor of and those things which are not if support or favor of. After having a motorized pedal assist trike and riding it quite a lot already I though it would be good to try to write an unbiased opinion and report on the pros and cons of having a pedal assist motor enhancement. Of course, now I speak only of “PEDAL ASSIST”. I like the description … “it’s like having a built in tail wind”. I am still against a motor propelling a trike where the rider is not required to pedal.

I will state the things that come to mind as pros as well as those things which come to mind as cons. I will say upfront that the list will be considerably lop sided as I have been giving thought to this matter and have to say that there is very little I can come up with to put on the cons list while there is a whole lot that comes to mind to place on the pros list. This certainly is not an exhaustive list. As I think of more I will add them to the lists.

THE PROS

1) It makes pedaling easier not requiring nearly as much pressure to be exerted on the pedals. This greatly helps in hill climbing and those with knee joint problems, pain and weakness.

2) The rider can go considerably faster even though they are exerting the same amount of pressure on the pedals and using the same amount of energy as they did previously. For instance, climbing a hill that used to slow me down to 2 to 4 mph I can now ride up at 14-16 mph if I want to.

3) If the rider tires out during a ride the motor assist helps them to get back to wherever they started from or need to get to.

4) If riding has become a chore rather than the fun it once was then pedal assist can make it fun again.

5) It enables a rider to ride at a faster pace so that being able to ride with faster riders is now possible. You still won’t be able to keep up with a lot of the roadies however as they really go. Funny thing is they are allowed on bike trails and some bike trails ban pedal assist bikes and trikes. It is not right.

6) It is a real blessing to have when you need to zip across a busy street when a break in traffic finally comes along. It can propel you across fast and out of any danger.

7) When you need to make good time to get some place faster than you normally could again the motor is such a blessing.

8) Having the ability to accelerate  quickly and go fast can be a big help in getting away from a dog or person you might be concerned about as far as your personal safety. Of course, most dogs can run faster than 20 mph.

9) Because you are still pedaling, but pedaling easier you actually get more exercise. You can pedal at a faster cadence which is a very good thing as many of us pedal way too slowly anyway. And because it is easier to pedal you can ride longer.

10) Someone who has had problems with hernias and are concerned about overexerting them self and causing serious problems can greatly benefit from having pedal assist.

11) Having electric motor pedal assist does not mean that you have to use it. You can ride with it turned off just like it wasn’t there. And quite honestly most of the time I can’t tell the difference between riding my trike as it came from the factory and riding it now with the motor and battery installed but not turned on.

12) If you have long downhill grades you can set the controls to generate rather than use power and in doing this you  recharge the battery. You can also just ride along recharging the battery if you are strong enough to pedal with the resistance involved. Or if you are up to the task even on level ground you can pedal along recharging the battery if you are physically up to it. Please note that the charging rate in this mode is very little so it would take a lot of time and travel to put much of a charge back into the battery.

13) You can play with the minds of the road bike riders  by being able to ride their speed and maybe even pass them. Some of them however ride much faster than a motorized pedal assist can go (legally).

14) When riding off road the pedal assist is great to have. It makes such adventure so much easier and enjoyable and even safer as one doesn’t always have the strength to pedal in/over/thru some places.

15) It reduces the stress being placed on the drive system (pedals, crankset, chain & sprockets) as the motor is helping to turn the rear wheel.

16) If you are riding with others and you have to stop or slow down and they keep going having the pedal assist motor makes it much easier to catch back up with them.

17) It is great when riding into a headwind. Other than feeling the wind you can truly say “what wind?”.

18) Going with a hub motor does not effect your existing gearing.

THE CONS

1) The motor and battery add weight to the trike. It has added over 20 pounds to my trike and all on the back. That being said, much to my surprise and delight the only time I can tell there is additional weight is when I lift it. When I ride I can’t tell it at all.

2) Being able to go faster is fun, but it also adds a measure of danger and concern that didn’t exist riding slower. You may tend to go into curves faster than you should. If you are not used to handling a trike at higher speeds you could crash.

3) It is expensive to add a motor to a trike and the battery only lasts so long before it needs to be replaced at considerable cost. My conversion kit costs about $2500 and the replacement battery costs about $900 to over $1200 depending upon which battery one has. There is always the chance that the manufacturer will either go out of business or simply not offer a replacement battery later on if they opt to make some changes in their product offerings.

4) Some trails don’t allow the use of any motors on  them. I personally don’t think that this should apply to pedal assist systems and I would hope that trails which say no to them will reconsider and change their position on this.

5) Motorizing a tadpole trike adds to the value making it more of a target for a thief.

6) Adding a crank drive motor eliminates one or two of your chainrings upfront greatly effecting your available gearing.

7) Motorizing a trike makes it so much fun to ride that your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend will want to ride it and cut you out of the picture. 😉

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

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TO MOTORIZE OR NOT TO MOTORIZE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

I am getting into something here which I will state upfront I am very opinionated about. I”M ‘AGIN’ IT! To my way of thinking motorizing any type of human powered vehicle is defeating the whole concept of the thing … exercise. I mean, come on … if you want a motorized open air vehicle buy a motorcycle for crying out loud. I rode them for over 50 years of my life until I finally decided I would give it up for strictly pedaling around. I was also riding a bicycle all those years so I still got some exercise … just not nearly as much as I do now.

I am sure that there are some folks who are not able to pedal to get around … perhaps can’t use their arms and hands to propel a vehicle either and so they may NEED something in the way of a motorized trike. But there are a whole lot of folks out there who are perfectly capable of pedaling who really don’t NEED to go this route.

That being said, I know it has become pretty popular. The man I sold my homemade tadpole trike to told me he planned on motorizing it. There is lots of information out there on the subject. And I am sure riding a motorized tadpole trike is a lot of fun even though it could lead to an added element of danger. And there may be some folks who just need help pedaling up hills as just maybe their bodies can’t deliver what it takes.

Obviously there are two main ways to go … electric motor or gas engine. Those who oppose gas engines because they “pollute” would no doubt only consider the electric motor route. But I AM STILL AGIN IT!

Here are some pictures of various setups:

KMX trike motorized

KMX trike motorized

gas engine motorized trike

gas engine motorized trike

solar charging motorized trike

solar charging motorized trike

ecospeed motor on boom

ecospeed motor on boom 2

And I say to ya’ll …

KEEP ON PEDALIN’

(We all need the exercise!)

By the way,  one needs to be aware that there are trails where it is against the rules to ride a motorized bike or trike. Our local trails here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area do not allow them. Only motorized wheelchairs are permitted. When it comes to “pedal assist” it is not fair to ban them. They are as much as a human powered vehicle as the roadies out there zooming by at 25 plus mph while my top speed is only 20 mph with pedal assist. HERE is a good article on the subject.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

CAN TADPOLE TRIKES REALLY FLY?

tadpole-trike-flying

Can tadpole trikes really fly? No, I don’t mean like what you see in the picture above. I am talking about flying aboard a commercial passenger airliner. And I am talking about flying for free. The answer to that question is a definite maybe.

Note – Please keep in mind that I am no expert on this subject and most of what I am about to say is simply my thoughts and opinion. You need to check into this to find out for sure how all this works if you have in mind to take your trike with you as a mobility assistive device.

I think it is up to the airline as to whether they will accept a trike as a “MOBILITY ASSISTIVE DEVICE”. By that I mean whether or not they are convinced that a person truly needs and uses a trike for mobility out of necessity so that it qualifies. If they will then you are “in like Flint”. I Googled this subject, but didn’t find much about it. For some of us our trikes truly qualify, but for others we would be less than honest if we try to use this approach to get free transportation for our trikes. It comes down to our honesty and integrity. We will all stand before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ and give an account for everything in our lives.

Keep in mind that the airlines mostly deal with wheelchairs and power scooters. Their informative webpages and written articles are not geared for tadpole trikes so trike owners must pursue this on their own and work it all out. That being said, the following airlines have written about mobility assistive devices:

AIR CANADA  AIRLINES   ALASKA  AIRLINES

AMERICA  AIRLINES DELTA AIRLINES  HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES    UNITED AIRLINES

There may be more and probably are, but I didn’t readily find anything more to list here.

The following is found on Hawaiian Airlines’s website:

What’s an Assistive Device?

Assistive devices are:

Any piece of equipment that helps a passenger with a disability to cope with the effects of the disability. Assistive devices help people hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily life, and may include medical devices and medication, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, walkers, crutches, Segways, canes, braces, portable toilets, and other devices, equipment or items that help people with disabilities.

*****

I would think if Segways qualify a tadpole trike certainly ought to. 🙂

HERE is a general article on the subject. Like I said, I can’t find much available about this subject. My guess is (and it is only a guess … I could be wrong) some airlines might be more accommodating (easily persuaded) than others. That being said they are all under the same regulations and requirements. HERE is the FFA Guidance.

Stowage of Wheelchairs, Other Mobility Aids, and Other Assistive Devices

U S Dept. of Transportation – Disabilities

Definitely whether a tadpole trike is flying for free or being paid extra for the trike needs to be properly prepared for the trip to ensure it is protected and arrives unscathed and intact. Some components should be disassembled and removed and the trike should be wrapped in some sort of protective material.  Parts that stick out extra far such as the boom  and crankset, neck rest, etc. are best removed and wrapped up individually. They can be attached securely to the trike so long as they are not protruding out and vulnerable to getting damaged or snagging on something. The chain should be removed. Again, it can be attached to the trike. It should be in some sort of container to keep any oil/dirt from getting onto anything else. Lights may need to be removed as they may be vulnerable to damage.

Wet cell or Lithium-ion batteries are an additional concern and must be addressed to be in compliance with safety requirements of airlines. At the very least the airlines need to be informed of such batteries and their location. It is best to avoid taking such batteries aboard an aircraft.

Traveling with a tadpole trike will require arriving at the airport earlier than normal in order for them to process and load your trike on board the plane so it is important to communicate with the airline to know what they require concerning this.

Note – A reader of this blog commented after this article was posted that it is very easy to have the airline accept a tadpole trike as a Mobility Assistive Device as they are not allowed to question the owner about the nature of their disability. He also said that the trike is loaded onto the plane with little to no disassembly.

Note from me about the note above –  I personally would be very concerned about handing my trike over “as is” to be loaded onto an airplane. I would be concerned about mirrors being snapped off and lights being broken or broken off and missing. And I would be concerned about other damage happening if other items are in contact with the trike during the time it is in the plane.

So, yes … tadpole trikes can really fly … and it would indeed be great to have your trike with you if you are able to ride it where you are heading to. We all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!