ARE YOUR HANDS TOO CLOSE TO THE TIRES?

For many years I dealt with my hands being closer to my tires than I liked. In time I discovered something which could and would change this. It involves buying new handlebars. Catrike’s 559 model has taller handlebars than all their other models. I don’t know why that is but I am not complaining. I took advantage of it. My original handlebars were from a 2009 Trail. They were reused on my 2013 Trail frame when Catrike replaced my 2009 frame under warranty. The wrist rests did not exist in 2009 so when I bought the 559 handlebars I got the mouning bars for the wrist rests. I took advantage of that and bought the wrist rests … one of the best upgrades I ever made.

I ride on our local trails and some of them follow along our local rivers. They tend to flood over and river silt gets deposited on them making a muddy mess. With my hands so close to the tires mud builds up on my brake levers and twist shifters. It is a muddy mess to deal with. I no longer have that problem now that those components are higher up away from the tires.

This picture shows that the 559 handlebars are taller than the Trail’s handlebars.

Yes, replacing my original handlebars with 559 handlebars was a great decision. It raised my hands up higher away from the tires and provided a way to mount wrist rests. I like it when a plan comes together. So if you deal with this same issue you might want to try this.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

NEED A CATRIKE OWNER’S MANUAL?

I bought my Catrike new back in 2009. It came with an owner’s manual. I have never bought another Catrike since but it is my understanding that Catrike no longer supplies a user manual with their new trikes and has not for several years. If you are in need of one, like so many other things, you can find it available online.

Click HERE to locate one for your Catrike.

Actually if I understand correctly there is just one 63 page manual used for all models. The link above should take you directly to it. Looking at the 2009 manual I see that it  covers all models as well. They did not offer a model specific owners manua.

Catrike offers a webpage of “knowledge”  which includes links to specific years of their manuals. They show 2004 to 2020 as being available. They also offer videos to view to help with maintenance and repair. Click  HERE to visit their knowledge webpage.

Here is some of what you will find there:

Owner’s Manuals
Owner’s Manuals are organized by model year. Start with the most recent owner’s manual as that version contains the latest information. If there is something specific to your model not shown, then, refer to the owner’s manual for the model year of your Catrike.

Current | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

Technical
Basic Cleaning And Maintenance
Dealer Quick Start Guide
Spindle Replacement Instructions (2013)

Front Fender Installation

20″ & 26″ Rear Fender Installation

700c Rear Fender Installation

Road Rear Fender Installation

Trail & Villager Rear Fender Installation

FSA Headset Assembly

Rack Assembly (all models)

RockShox Monarch Information

Mechanic Reference Installation Manual

FAQ / Riding Tips
Can I Change The Wheel Size?
Can I Sit More Upright?
Can I Tow a Trailer?
How Do I Measure My X-Seam?
How Do I Transport My Catrike?
What Is The Weight Limit of My Catrike?
What Tire Size Fits My Catrike?
What Year Is My Catrike?
Where Is My Serial Number Located?
Is Touch Up Paint Available?
Availability of Accessories
Accessories

The next section is their videos. Unfortunately none of them are marked so the reader knows what they are about. That is really dumb and rather irresponsible.      …   C’mon Catrike, you can do better than that!

I hope you find this helpful.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

DOUBLE DECKER TRIKE RACK

Many tadpole trike riders transport their trikes to get to places where they ride them. Hitchrider makes trike racks for this purpose. They offer a kit to convert their single rack into a two trike rack. Here is a video about it.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT & FIX ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS ON E-BIKES

I can personally identify with this as last Saturday I started having problems with my e-motor on my trike. Power to the motor keeps cutting out so I need to go thru things in an attempt to find the cause and fix it. I am hoping it will turn out to be something simple and inexpensive but I am fearful that it may be the controller. I have a new battery ordered as my present one is old enough to start showing major concerns. It should be getting near the end of its life. Like many others, I am pretty much on my own as there are no e-bike shops anywhere near me that are experienced and know much about working on e-bike motor systems.

This video is nothing profound … just everyday common sense.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

EASY LOAD PRODUCTS

Easy Load has been around for several years now offering a few different products to help in the loading and transporting of trikes. Check out their products HERE. You can email the owner, Scott Reiter, at: sr.graphics@sbcglobal.net. BTW, both Scott and his wife are fellow tadpole trike riders.

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!

TRIKE MAINTENANCE TUTORIAL

Although this video is about bicycles much of it applies to trikes. It is a lengthy video as it covers pretty much everything. Here is an index to help if you locate specific topics.

1. 0:25 THE FRAME
1.1 1:00 frame inspection,
1.2 3:59 what frame areas to protect,
1.3 4:53 the bolts – greasing, fastening,
1.4 7:12 the seatpost / the clamp, cleaning, greasing, fastening,
1.5 11:02 the headset – cleaning, assembly,
2. THE FORK
2.1 18:18 fork inspection,
2.2 18:58 the suspension fork basic maintenance,
3. 21:27 DISC BRAKES
3.1 21:41 the reach adjustment (levers),
3.2 22:42 the calipers adjustment (eliminating the rubbing),
3.3 25:57 replacing the brake pads,
3.4 28:33 bent brake rotors – the causes,
3.5 29:35 truing the rotors,
4. 30:49 V-BRAKES
4.1 31:12 how to improve the braking power,
4.2 34:51 the braking pads – inspection, cleaning,
4.3 36:09 replacing the pads,
4.4 37:46 adjusting the V-Brakes,
5. THE CALIPER BRAKES (ROAD)
5.1 45:54 adjusting the caliper brakes,
6. THE WHEELS
6.1 49:53 inspecting the rim, the spokes and hubs,
6.2 52:55 removing the wheel – quick release,
6.3 56:19 removing the rear wheel (derailleur with the clutch),
6.4 57:44 removing the wheel – through axle,
6.5 1:01:02 removing the tire, replacing the inner tube,
6.6 1:07:45 air pressure inspection,
6.7 1:09:15 the hubs – cleaning, greasing, assembly,
6.8 1:18:14 truing the wheel, (longer verision https://goo.gl/gwTokd ),
7. 1:23:54 THE DRIVETRAIN
7.1 1:24:19 adjusting the rear derailleur,
7.2 1:32:39 adjusting the front derailleur,
7.3 1:35:13 the derailleur capacity,
7.4 1:40:12 the cassette – removal and installation,
7.5 1:43:39 the square taper crankset – removal and installation,
7.6 1:49:34 the two-piece crankset removal (e.g. Hollowtech),
1:55:38 the self extracting chainset,
7.7 1:56:57 inspecting the drivetrain, when to replace the chain,
7.8 2:00:12 removing and installing the chain (the quick link and the connecting pin method),
7.9 2:09:12 the proper chain length,
8. THE PEDALS
8.1 2:11:00 the pedals – removal and installation,
8.2 2:14:34 the clipless pedals adjustment,
9. THE CABLES
2:15:49 replacing the housing and the cables – the proper length)

*********

Keeping your trike properly maintained will help ensure that you …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION STILL EQUALS …

I am sure most of us remember the saying “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure” … or … “is worth a pound of cure”. It proved true today while I was out on my daily ride. The small bolt (machine screw) which holds my flag pole holder onto the back of my seat frame broke off and everything went south. At least it tried to. Fortunately I have a plastic cable tie around the flag holder bracket securing it to another place nearby which does not allow the flag holder to fall down onto the ground. I also have my two flag poles connected together by a small elastic bungee cord which prevents the loss of a flag as I ride along. Between these two safeguards I didn’t lose anything. I replaced the broken bolt upon arriving back home and everything is good to go. I have lost various stuff before so taking these preventative measures have paid off.

In the picture below you can see the black bungee cord connecting the two flag poles together.

And here is the plastic cable tie (yellow) which saved the loss of the flag holder. The red line points to the bolt that broke.

Yep, an ounce of prevention still equals (is worth) a pound of cure.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

LOW COST TRAVEL TRAILER

It is almost hard to imagine this … pulling a fully supplied mini travel camper on your journey around wherever you choose to go. And the cost … equally amazing … only $150 total. I saw this mini camper video a few years ago. It just resurfaced so I thought I would share it here as I am sure many of you will find it as fascinating as I do. As for me I would be very uneasy this day and age being inside of such a structure. There are just too many people out there who are dangerous and threatening to others.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

SECURING YOUR TRIKE FROM THEFT

A tadpole trike is a rather expensive investment and so having it get stolen is a serious concern for many. Trike owners are always asking for advise on forums concerning locking up a trike. Here is a video about securing e-bikes with advise on the matter. It is highly recommended that viewers wear eye and face protection while watching as this video is “shattering”. I noticed one thing they didn’t show concerning cutting locks is the use of a cutting wheel with a battery powered angle grinder. (see video further below.)

Lastly here is a video about various locks …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

11 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR TRIKE FASTER

Utah Trikes has some good videos. Here is one of them …

… WARNING … FOR SPEED DEMONS ONLY …

(only kidding … there is some good info here applicable to all)

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

“CAT EAR” WIND NOISE FILTERS FOR VIDEO CAMERAS

Cats are known to have excellent hearing. They are also known to be hunters of prey. When the Lord Jesus Christ created them He equipped them with ears designed to deal with wind. A cat’s ears have hair which helps break up and greatly diminish wind noise. Have you ever noticed how much wind noise there is as you ride your trike? Have you ever placed your hand up by your ear as you ride along and noticed that when you block the wind from going past your ear you can hear much better? If you have not done so give it a try.

BTW, they make devices to use on a helmet to block the wind from passing by your ears.

I made some which attach to my eye glass frame stems. They work pretty good but I don’t use them as they look goofy.

I have watched a lot of videos and one thing that absolutely ruins an otherwise good video is wind noise in the audio. Sometimes it is so bad that it blocks out whatever else was recorded. Just like with our ears wind passing by the microphone of a video camera is quite noticeable. Video cameras with built in microphones as well as external microphones need to have what I call a “cat ear filter” on them to act as a wind filter. You can buy these. Some work better than others. Here is one for a GoPro camera …

 

BTW, these filters are commonly called “dead cat filters” but I don’t like that name so I call them cat ear filters.

Years ago I decided to experiment with my video camera to see if I could come up with a good effective wind noise filter. I tried several different things. Some worked better than others.

After trying several different things I finally settled on something that has worked great. Even in strong winds it prevents most wind noise from occurring.

To start with I used a plastic eye drop medicine bottle cut to make sort of a funnel with the smaller diameter neck down over the microphone area on the camera. The bottom of the bottle is cut off to make it open. In the picture below I have drawn red lines to show where I cut the bottle. I used the section in between the red lines.

 

I used clear silicone to glue the bottle in place. Silicone works quite well and is fairly easy to remove if ever I want to. The bottle is filled with a man-made fiber material (pictured below) which is the stuffing from inside of a stuffed toy.

Over it at the cut off bottom of the bottle is a piece of black felt like material. Then the last piece is a tossle off of a hat. It and the black felt like piece are also siliconed onto the bottle to hold it all together.

As I stated earlier I experimented with various things including stopping with just using the black felt like piece. I was after near perfection and after adding the tossle I achieved it. Here is a video I made on a windy day. I am riding with a friend talking to him. You can hear a clicking sound coming from one of the chain tubes on my trike. I am telling my friend about it in the beginning of the video. Without the wind noise filter I doubt if you would even be able to hear what I am saying but as you can hear my voice comes thru quite well.

Here are some more homemade wind noise filter videos …

HERE are the Google search results for wind noise filters. And HERE is Amazon’s search results.

 

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!

TAKING THE LANE

Growing up I never heard of “taking the lane”.  As a child and up thru my teen years I chose to ride on the left (wrong) side of the road against traffic. My thinking and reasoning was that I was able to see the traffic ahead of me coming at me and, if need be, I could take evasive action to keep from getting hit. I never had a policeman stop me for doing this. Later as I grew into adulthood I started riding on the right (correct) side of the road but I stayed over to the right as far as possible trying to stay out of the way of all traffic. BTW, now I try to avoid riding on the left (wrong) side of the road as I came to realize that doing this does present problems for motorists. It can confuse them and shake them up.

In recent years I started hearing about riding out in the lane of traffic “taking the lane”.

When I first heard it I thought it was nuts … asking for disaster. I started experimenting with riding out in the traffic lane and found that there was no problem in doing so. I got more and more comfortable with it and came to the realization that it is safer and better than riding over on the right hand side. So now I take the lane almost all the time. The exception to that is if I am riding somewhere that has a very wide lane where there is plenty of room for motor vehicles to safely pass by me . I am also leery of taking the lane of a road where there are hills and curves which would make it impossible for a motor vehicle coming up behind me to see me in time to avoid colliding with me. It is best just to stay off of roads like that as they are just too dangerous. I want to be safe out there and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, I haven’t mentioned designated bike lanes. The concept sounds good but I find them objectionable to use as they are just dangerous. Motor vehicles drive in them, park in them, cut cyclists off not paying any attention to them. Then there is the fact that a cyclist is trapped in a narrow lane between moving motor vehicles and parked motor vehicles. The parked motor vehicles pose a real threat as doors are opened just as the cyclist is riding by. Also the parked vehicles start pulling out often not paying any attention if cyclists are riding along coming up to them. I have also noticed that the surface of bike lanes is usually the worst part of the street as far as the surface. There are lots of manhole covers, pot holes, debris, etc. to contend with. It is difficult and dangerous trying to move about to avoid it.

529 GARAGE … A SERVICE FOR THOSE CONCERNED ABOUT THEFT

A few weeks ago a comment was left on my article entitled “Our Trikes are Missing” posted on April Fools Day. I took a look at it and thought it would be good to post an article on this blog about this service. Here is what they say …

“In 2013, we set out to create a sustainable program that helps reduce bike theft, promote cycling, and make cities and campuses more bike friendly. The result is the 529 Garage.”

“Our strategy is simple – galvanize riders, shops, police, schools and cities with a common set of tools that allow communities to become better organized than the criminals. Cities that we have joined forces with have seen meaningful, double-digit results in the first two years.”

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

HOW TO GET INTO AND OUT OF THE SEAT OF A TADPOLE TRIKE

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.

**********

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.

**********

FREE GIFT awaits you!