E-MOTOR PROBLEM RESOLVED

It has been some time since I first started having a serious problem with my e-motor system on my trike … about sic months now. Whenever I would apply power to the motor using the hand throttle the power would shut off just like I turned it off at the switch on the battery. Then I would have to wait for it to “reboot” only to keep having it go back off most of the time. Once in awhile it would remain on and I could actually use it. I contacted Grin Technologies where I bought it asking them what they thought the problem might be. They said that it most likely is the battery but I have 3 batteries and it does this with all 3 and one battery was brand new at the time. Then they said that it is probably a bad wiring connection. I went thru everything and found nothing wrong. That was the end of their help. They were at least on the right track. The problem had to do with the battery power being interupted. All the time I was suspicious of the controller. Replacing the controller is not inexpensive so I did not jump on it. It use to cost $130 plus shipping but now it is $160 plus shipping. It was like gambling since I did not know for sure that the problem was the controller. Recently I took the plunge and ordered it from Grin Technologies. It only took less than two days to receive it … amazingly quick … about 24 hours from the time they shipped it. I installed it the same morning I received it and went for a ride. The gamble paid off. It works great once again. I sure wish I would have played my hunch much sooner. Anyway, I am rejoicing as I have a properly working motor back again. I have turned to Grin Technologies a few different times previously for technical help and never once did they actually help me. If I can figure this out knowing next to nothing about electronics I would think they should be able to be of help. Oh well, with this working right now I can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, I want to give credit where it is due. I received an email from Grin Technologies offering to see if they could repair my old controller and have it covered under warranty. It appears that the battery power has an issue somewhere inside of the controller. I would, of course, have to return the new controller I just bought. I truly appreciate their offer but there exists two issues. One, I would have to be without my motor for quite some time. I would not care to do that. And two, I doubt if I could return the new controller as I had to modify it to hook the battery power up to it. Oh, and another thing to their credit. I selected and paid for the least expensive shipping when I purchased the new controller but I received it super quick meaning that they must have shipped it the most expensive way … overnight. That was really nice of them.

 

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!

 

eZEE HUB MOTOR REVIEW

have had my eZee hub motor now for over 3 years so I thought I would write a review on  it. After my bad experiences with BionX and Golden Motors the eZee motor has been reliable and performed relatively well for me. That is until recently. I am having trouble with it so I have replaced it with a different brand. I bought a Tongsheng crank drive motor which is what I have been considering if ever I were to buy another motor. That being said I did not know about the newest Bafang crankdrive motor that now has a torque sensor. I probably would have bought it instead of the Tongsheng if I had known about it sooner. The trouble I am having with the eZee motor system has nothing to do with the motor as far as I know. Personally I think my controller is acting up. I bought my eZee hub motor conversion kit from Grin Technologies. I have emailed them several times over the 3 years I have had it requesting their help on a few things. They have replied back but they have never really helped me. Overall the eZee motor has been good but I do want to cover the few things which have not been good. The eZee motor does not have built in torque sensing so a separate external torque sensor which mounts in the bottom bracket must be purchased. It is not cheap. And what they don’t tell you is that in order to install it it requires buying a new crankset … also not cheap … meaning this is all getting rather expensive.

 

I bought the new crankset and paid my LBS to install the torque sensor in the bottom bracket. The torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies then told me that they have had a lot of problems with this particular torque sensor. (It would have been nice if they would have mentioned that upfront and advise against buying it.) They advised me to try a different one which they would send to me at no additional charge. All they asked is that I mail them back the defective one which I had to pay postage on. When I received the new torque sensor I discovered that it required yet a different crankset. My LBS looked but could not find one to order. So for over three years now all I have had is a manual thumb throttle to use. I have not had a torque sensor for pedal assist. All of this mess and expense could have been avoided if only the bicycle industry would standardize the cranksets instead of making various types and sizes.

The rear wheel which the eZee hub motor was laced into did not hold up for me. It cracked open and I had to replace it. This added a lot more expense to my e-trike. I now have a rear wheel which is holding up great. But why doesn’t the supplier of the eZee hub motor provide a rear rim which is better made?

The eZee hub motor requires the older type of rear sprockets known as free wheel. Just recently the free wheel unit has started acting up spinning forward instead of grabbing to propel the trike forward. That’s not good. I went to my LBS and they looked up 9 sprocket free wheel units only to find nothing available like I have now. I would have to sacrifice my lower gearing going from a 34 tooth sprocket to a 30 tooth. My system is just too old and it is hard to find these component parts for it. The industry has gone to 10 and 11 speed. 9 speed has become an antique so to speak. Anyway, they lubricated the free wheel unit and it has been working okay since then. I don’t know for how long though. What I am getting at is it is time to move on. I have the Tongsheng motor kit installed but I am waiting on an extension  cable so I can hook up the speed sensor to get it all working. That cable just arrived in yesterday’s mail so I will be installing it today.

Oh, another thing about the eZee hub motor I don’t care for is that in order to change the nylon gear inside the motor the electrical wiring coming out of the motor has to be cut in two to disassemble it to change the nylon gears. Then all those wires need to be reconnected and resealed when reassembling it. I think they made a change in this in the newer model they are manufacturing. They say the nylon gears inside the motor should last about 9000 miles I think. I had over 40,000 miles on the motor so I ordered a new gear and went to change it when I discovered this about having to cut the wires. I didn’t want to get into that. Even though I had several times more than the 9000 miles on the hub motor the nylon gear inside still looked like new so I simply regreased it and put it all back together. It is still sounding and working the same as it always has so I assume the gear has not worn out yet.

The eZee hub motor is a geared reduction motor meaning that is should be very powerful …   more so than the 350 watt BionX motor I started out with which was a gearless direct drive unit. For some reason unknown to me I have never been able to get any help from Grin Technologies as to why this motor lacks power (torque on demand). It should easily out perform the BionX but just the opposite is true. From a standstill or low speed up to about 12 mph or so the BionX will easily shoot away from my eZee hub motor. Once I am up to 12 mph or so I start gaining on the BionX and pass it by leaving it far behind. It has good top end … 28 plus mph … but on hills I have to assist it as it just does not have the power to climb hills. My BionX would shoot me up and over if I used the hand throttle.

Well, that is my review. Could I recommend it to others? No, not really. If these issues I have described didn’t exist then yes, I would recommend it. But hey, they do exist and as I have stated I have not been able to get any help to resolve them. It is time to move on. I want to get this Tongsheng working and see how it does. It will be great to have a torque sensor and true pedal assist.

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!

FRONT END SHIMMY

It is definitely a scary thing to be going along and suddenly experience a bad case of front end wobble, shimmying or shaking whether you are in a car, motorcycle, bicycle or trike. It can be quite unnerving … downright scary. And it is even scarier when it happens at a high speed which seems to be when it happens the most. You can be going along and everything is fine … then suddenly you are like Elvis … all shook up.. My experience is that hitting a bump just right (maybe just WRONG) sets off the front end shimmy. About all one can do to end it is slow down. Of course, we would much prefer this doesn’t happen. So what is the cause of it? That is not something that can always be answered quickly and accurately as it can be the result of one of a few different things or a combination of them. It can be worn front end components such as tie rod ends. It can be poor inferior design. Some trikes are simply not made well and are well known for this problem. It can be toe in adjustment is off. I personally find that the most common cause is the headsets need to be reset as they loosen up. The type of headsets that Catrike uses is notorious for this. Catrike in their excellent engineering even redesigned the headset as the stock headset had a bad problem of shimmying as the manufacturer designed it. Catrike removed the upper bearing and replaced it with a Teflon bushing to help with this. BTW, Catrike owners may need to replace these at some point in time. You can get them from a Catrike dealer, from Catrike or other sources such as Utah Trikes. They can be bought individually or you can buy both for $25.

This Utah Trikes video covers resetting the headsets … starting at about six minutes into the video … and again at about 7 minutes 50 seconds into the video.

There is one thing that was not mentioned and seldom is. For the best results the rider should be sitting in the seat in the riding position so that the rider’s weight is loaded onto the headsets. This works best to have someone else do the mechanical work unless someone else can take the rider’s place who weighs the same. With proper headset adjustment it should help to eliminate front end shimmy. I wish you well in resolving this issue. It has worked for me. Do your best to be safe so that you can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

CHAIN WEAR & REPLACEMENT

 

I have always gotten phenomenal mileage out of my chains on my trike. I just recently replaced one which had 16,672 miles on it. That is the most I have ever got and truthfully the way it was wearing I think I could have got another couple thousand miles out of it.

I use Rock-n-Roll Gold chain lubricant and am quite impressed with it … more so than any other product I have ever tried.

One of my bike mechanics said to me that I should only get about 1600 miles out of a chain. I said to him “you’re talking about a bicycle, but a recumbent tadpole trike gets far more wear out of the chain than a bicycle”. That is because a trike has 2.5 to 3 standard lengths of bicycle chain compared to a bicycle.That should result in considerable less wear. Even so about 5000 miles is all that one should expect. I have always got far more … usually 9000 to 12,000 miles. One time I got over 14,ooo miles. And, like I said, this time over 16,000.

You may ask me how this is possible. It is possible because of God. That is right! I learned many many years ago to put God first in my finances … to give Him the tithe before I spend money for anything else. He says in His word that if we do this He will rebuke the devourer and we will be blessed. I can not explain this incredible mileage I get out of my chains any other way. The same is true of my tire wear. I have witnessed the result of withholding the tithe. God says it is stealing from Him. One way or another He will get His tithe. If not given freely He will take it some other way. The car or furnace or some appliance will break down costing far more than the tithe would have cost. I have seen it happen in many people’s lives. God is real and everything I am talking about is real. It is truly a joy to give God His tithe. In doing so I also enjoy His many blessings in my life each and every day. May He be praised and may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, I have written about this subject of chain wear before …  I even used the same title … https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/chain-wear-replacement.

I have also written several other articles concerning chain … https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/?s=chain

You might find it interesting to take a look at the many artists’ creations made out of bicycle chain … https://tinyurl.com/y6zlva4a

 

INNER TUBE INFORMATION

 

Like bicycle tires the inner tubes that go inside of them can be confusing. There are lots of different sizes and other things which vary in the offerings. It is imperative that we buy the right size and type. Probably the two biggest factors are valve type … Schrader or Presta … and the size … both in width and diameter. Rubber stretches but we need to be careful we don’t try using an inner tube which is too small and stretches too much. And as to diameter we need to be careful there as not all inner tubes are the same diameter. By that I mean it may say 20 inch on the box but upon trying to install it we find that it is way too big of diameter to fit. There are 406 and 451 diameters. Most of our trikes use 406. I have found that not all those who work in a bike shop know this and they might sell you a 451 inner tube. The picture below shows a 451 inner tube in a 406 tire. As you can see there is way too much inner tube to fit.

Here are some web pages to help  inform us and straighten out any confusion:

https://www.evanscycles.com/buying-guides/inner-tubes

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/tubes/finder

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buyers-guides/bike-inner-tubes/

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/inner-tubes.html

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

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!

EL CHEAPO BRAKE PADS

 

Several months ago I bought some really cheap (low cost) brake pads off of Ebay. When I say low cost I am talking $3 for one set. Compare that with $21 for the Avid brand. Avid BB-7 is the brake pad involved. I installed a pair of these low cost brake pads and am happy to report that they have been performing great. It is time to replace them now which I will probably do today. I sure can’t complain about them. They have done every bit as well as the Avid brand … maybe even better. I just checked and I have almost 7000 miles on my trike since I installed these low cost brake pads. I don’t have records of the mileage I have got out of name brand Avid BB-7 brake pads so I really can’t compare. I am just going by the time factor the best I recollect it. I don’t think the name brand pads lasted any longer time-wise.  Certainly having great working reliable brakes is quite important. Based on my experience with these brake pads I would highly recommend them to everybody. There is a problem however. They now cost about $10 a pair.  I am glad I bought several pair when I did. Ah ha! That seller may not offer that price anymore but I just found another one which is lower yet … $9 for 4 pair … that is $2.25 apiece. And the shipping is free. Of course, I don’t know anything about them so I can’t recommend them. There maybe others offered thru Ebay but I stopped looking. I don’t know about you but I like saving money and finding great deals. Hey, be safe out there so you can …

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!

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT REUSE THE PINS IN BICYCLE CHAIN LINKS

For many years I reused the pins I have pushed out of the side plate of chains but I don’t do it anymore. I have had a few chain failures as a result which resulted in my having to do some repair/maintenance alongside of the trail. This video explains why pins should not be reused along with other topics.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

RECUMBENT TRIKES – THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE

Recumbent Trikes – The Essential Guide (2019 Edition)

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

INNER TUBES … is there a difference?

Now I ask ya … are all inner tubes created equal? Is it worth it to purchase a certain brand at a higher cost? Here is what I think I know and understand about the matter. In a word … YES! … there is a difference. My answer is based on my personal experience and what I have read about it. I used to use common lower cost inner tubes and I had a lot of flats, many of which were “internal” flats … not caused by a puncture from the outside.

When I first bought my Catrike Trail it came with Presta valves. I had never heard of them prior to that. I quickly learned to hate them so I took action and drilled my rims out larger  to accept Schrader valves. Quite some time passed before I discovered that Schwalbe inner tubes with Schrader valves have a threaded metal valve stem like the Presta valve has. The threaded metal valve stem was the only thing I did like about the Presta valve. I like the idea of having a threaded metal valve stem which with the use of the nut won’t push down into the rim when the inner tube has no or little air in it. So I started buying Schwalbe inner tubes which were considerably more expensive than the inner tubes I had been using.

Some more time passed before I discovered that Specialized also offers the threaded metal Schrader valve stem inner tubes. And although they are more costly than the inner tubes I originally used they are a little bit cheaper than Schwalbe brand. And I can buy them at my local bike shop where they offer “buy three and get the fourth free”. So I have been using these Specialized brand inner tubes for several years now.

Now to get to what I have read about inner tubes. Only a few brands claim that they are made with equal thickness thruout. And yes, they are the more expensive brands such as Schwalbe and Specialized. You might ask “does that matter”? Yes, it does because an inner tube that has thin/thinner areas means that those thin/thinner areas are weaker than the areas which are thick/thicker. A weak/weaker area in an inner tube is more likely to fail in that area.

To be totally fair I have to say that the biggest factor in reducing the number and frequency of flat tires for me was when I started using Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. That in and of itself totally eliminated externally caused flats for me. As far as I am concerned the Marathon Plus is the best tire money can buy. It not only offers great flat protection but the mileage wear out of them is incredible. I have consistently got 12,000 to 15,000 miles out of each of these tires. Previously other tires I used yielded 2,000 to 5,000 miles before I had to replace them. And I buy them for half of what they retail for making them a real bargain. HERE is my source in the U.K. where I buy them.

Lastly I want to touch on internal flats. A few things come to mind here. Before I started using Marathon Plus tires I had started using Mr. Tuffy tire liners in an effort to reduce flats. They did help accomplish this but in the process something else happened. My internal flats increased. Upon dealing with this I observed that the area of the inner tubes which were failing was right where the Mr. Tuffy liner overlapped itself. I read about the use of talcum or baby powder to help eliminate internal flats so I started using it. It helped immensely although I still occasionally got internal flats and still many were caused by the Mr. Tuffy tire liners. When I started using the Marathon Plus tires I continued using the Mr. Tuffy tire liners. That was a mistake which I eventually figured out. I didn’t have any external flats but I had an occasional internal flat. Coming to the realization that I didn’t need the Mr. Tuffy tire lines with the Marathon Plus tires I removed them and just kept on with the baby powder. From then on I extremely rarely ever had an internal flat. I am  sold on Marathon Plus tires and baby powder. BTW, when I apply baby powder I use it very liberally coating the inside of the tire as well as the outside of the inner tube. I rub in in to all surfaces using my hands.

Have you ever noticed when removing an inner tube from a tire that it is stuck to the inside of the tire almost like it is glued to it? That is what happens or at least can happen when there is no lubrication such as I speak of further below. Also have you ever noticed an imprint on an inner tube from something inside of the tire? That is another example of lack of lubrication. Neither of these can happen when baby powder is used. Below is a picture of the imprint of Mr. Tuffy tire liner on the inner tube. It shows the overlap of the tire liner.

You might be wondering what the baby powder does. Well, it more less acts as a lubricant to keep the inner tube from sticking to the tire and to help keep rubbing from occurring. With the lateral forces taking place in cornering the tires move about side to side on the rims and this tends to create rubbing (abrasion) between the tire and the inner tube. And this causes internal flats. So helping to eliminate this abrasive action helps reduce internal flats. One note on the use of baby powder … be sure everything is bone dry as moisture will cause the baby powder to clump together and that causes abrasion and internal flats. I learned this from experience.

And I am fully convinced that the reason on rare occasion I have an internal flat is simply because inner tubes fail. It is that simple. I have done all I know to do to eliminate this and it rarely happens anymore … but … it does still happen. (Fortunately it has been a very long time since the last time it happened.) I have talked to bike mechanics about this … all of this … and they are in full agreement with me. They don’t and won’t recommend the use of tire liners.

Another safeguard one can employ is to use heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes in place of the standard inner tube. Of course, in order to do this there has to be sufficient room inside of the tire. They work best in a balloon type tire such as Schwalbe’s Big Apple or Big Ben as they offer lots of room inside. That thick wall makes for a lot stronger/tougher inner tube which can’t fail very easily from internally.

As far as I know the threaded metal valve stem is not available with the heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes.

Like ol’ Forest Gump … that’s all I’ve got to say about that. I don’t know about you but I much prefer to simply …

ENJOY THE RIDE

and

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

rather than being stuck alongside of the trail or road working on a flat tire problem.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

WHICH TYPE OF BRAKE PAD SHOULD WE USE?

Brake pads on disc brakes wear out. Hey, they are suppose to. So what do you do when it comes time to change them? It can be a bit confusing. Organic (resin/semi metallic) and sintered (metal/metallic) are the choices. But which one should we choose? It is further complicated by the backing plate … steel, aluminum … even copper. Here is help …

So to summarize what was said in these videos … organic is okay for dry conditions. They are quieter but they also wear out quicker. Sintered if one is riding in wet conditions. They are noisier but they wear longer.

Having good working brakes is most important if we want to safely …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

DO YOU LUBE YOUR TIRES & TUBES?

Yes, you read right. I asked “do you lube your tires & tubes?” Now I am not talking about using oil or grease. I am talking about using talcum powder (corn starch) … ie … baby powder. I don’t know about you but I hate getting flat tires. I would much rather be riding my trike than working on it. I used to get a lot of flats. I remedied that by using Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. However, that only eliminated those flats which were externally caused. I still occasionally got internally caused flats.

I don’t remember how I learned of using corn starch baby powder inside my tires and on my inner tubes but I tell ya it works … at least for me. I can’t remember the last time I had an internal flat. Well, actually I can as it was fairly recently. I learned a valuable lesson which I will write about in the next paragraph.

One thing I learned … make sure there is no moisture around inside of the tire or on the inner tube as that will cause the powder to clump together and become an abrasive which will cause an internal flat.

Yep, I always liberally apply  it inside of my tires and use my fingers to spread it all over coating all of the inside. I do the same with the inner tube. It can be a bit messy but it is well worth it.

What does the baby powder do you ask? That is a fair enough question. Have you ever taken an inner tube out of a tire and had it stick to the tire requiring extra pull to get it loose? Have you seen the imprint on an inner tube from being pressed against something inside of the tire? On a trike turning a corner involves placing lateral (sideways) force on the wheels since the trike does not lean like a bicycle does. Those lateral forces work the tire on the rim … like taking your hand and pulling and pushing the tire from side to side on the rim. With that tire movement the inner tube inside is also effected. There is friction taking place and in time it can cause a hole to form in the inner tube. The baby powder helps to eliminate all of these things I have mentioned. The rubber surfaces are lubricated by the powder.

Like I said, it works for me and I highly recommend it. It will help you …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HOW TO TRUE A BICYCLE DISC BRAKE ROTOR

We all know  that SHIT HAPPENS. That includes disc brake rotors getting bent. If they are not bent too much they can usually be straightened and continue to be used. To do so requires the right tools and the knowledge of how to go about straightening them. Here is a tool you will need. It sells for about $18. Park Tools makes some good bicycle tools. This is a Rotor Truing Fork – DT-2C. There are a few other companies that sell their version of this tool. I personally  like Park Tool’s and recommend it.

Here is another well made tool … Foundation Brake Rotor Truing Fork Tool

Park Tools not only make good tools, but they make good instructional videos. Here is their video on how to true a bicycle disc brake rotor.

Here is another video showing a different tool being used.

And here is yet another video …

If you choose to accept this assignment I assure you that it is not mission impossible. Just be careful and follow the instructions. You can do it! And then you can …

  KEEP ON TRIKIN’ & ENJOY THE RIDE

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD (sometimes it’s chrome)

Recently I bought a new rear rim to replace the broken one resulting from pot holes which could not be avoided. My original rims on my Catrike are black so naturally I would prefer to stay with black. However, when I got my new hub motor it came already laced up in a complete wheel even with tire and inner tube. It was an aluminum color rim so already it did not match the black Catrike rims on the front. And then when trying to find a rim to replace the broken one it was discovered that rims which met all the criteria were not all that easy to find. The bike shop ordered a black rim in, but upon attempting to lace it up there was a problem with the heavy duty spokes not being the correct length to reach properly. Actually I am glad it worked out the way it did as I didn’t like the new rim they ordered as it just seemed way too light of duty. They already had a much heavier duty rim in stock which they showed me before ordering the black rim. They had made me a good price on it, but it was shiny chrome and that just didn’t appeal to me since I figured that it would really stand out. As it turned out I decided to go with it and just deal with having a bright shiny rim. I am pleased to say that sometimes things work out better than one expects. The chrome isn’t bothering me and I have a very strong BMX rim which should hold up much better than the rim that came on this hub motor wheel. It may not be gold, but it still glitters out if bright sunlight. And the truth is riding on our local trails which run alongside of rivers which flood over frequently my wheels and the entire trike is usually covered with mud which greatly dulls any glittering.

My rear wheel is already considerably messed up from mud as you can see in the picture. I had forewarned a couple of friends that they might need to wear sunglasses when around me, but it is not looking like that will be necessary now. I am so glad to have a new rim regardless of the color as now I can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

This is a reposting of an article I wrote and posted several years ago …

Now I ask ya … Do you hear what I hear?

Sounds like a loaded question to me! And no, I am not talking about the popular Christmas song. As I ride along I hear all sorts of things. Some things are good … such as birds singing. Some things are not so good … such as mosquitoes buzzing (when I stop or slow down too much). Some things are pleasant while other things are rather unpleasant. Some things are welcome while other things are unwelcome. I mean things like … snap, crackle and pop usually are in the latter category as well as click, click, click … tick, tick … and squeal, squeal. Noises being emitted from our trikes can be and should be a concern. Right now I have a noise coming from my trike which is annoying and embarrassing. I have had a difficult time finding the cause. I was thinking it was coming from the rear cassette, but now have ruled that out. My cassette (rear sprockets) wobbles a little bit as after over 20,000 miles I have something worn inside the hub allowing this. As I pedal I hear this noise on every power stroke of the crank revolving as I push on the pedals. Just today I decided to look into the idler pulley as being suspect. I thought of it before, but more less ruled it out. A friend had another idler pulley among his “collection of parts” so I got it from him and installed it in place of my idler. That was it. Now it is as quiet as a proverbial church mouse. And yes, I am doing something about the wobble of the cassette. I have a new rear wheel ordered and am waiting on its arrival. I am not writing this to tell you about my personal problems, but rather I am using this to illustrate that we need to be listening for the various sounds out there as we pedal our way along. And we need to learn what sounds are normal and ok so that when we do hear something that isn’t we can alert to it. I suppose one could employ something like this little device to drown out such sounds, but I would not advise it.

Yes, some sounds are good sounds while others are not. Some need our attention. If ignored long enough we may find ourselves walking instead of pedaling along. There is nothing wrong with walking, but when we have our trikes along it presents a problem. And we all should do our best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

THE HIGH COST OF IGNORING NEEDED MAINTENANCE

knew better and I should not have ignored the very clear signs of an impending problem. But I did and now I am dealing with the result … expensive repairs and downtime. Usually both could have been avoided if I would have only taken action sooner. As it turned out this time only the downtime could have been avoided as I have to buy two new front wheels to make the repair. No matter how hard I try I can’t ride my trike on only two wheels. I need all three. However one is out of commission due to frozen and disintegrated bearings and aluminum hub which is chewed up considerably. I did start the ball rolling on getting the needed parts on order, but I didn’t do so soon enough. I kept riding daily as I always do racking up the miles usually riding 50 plus miles each day. Meanwhile my wheel bearings were being destroyed and in only about three days from my visit to the Catrike dealer to order the parts what remained of the failing parts could not hold on. Now I am stuck here at home and hating it. I have thought about getting my wife’s recumbent bike out to ride it, but I really don’t want to. My trike has approximately 60,000 miles on it. These are the original bearings so I guess it did pretty good lasting this long.

So if you hear a strange sound or sense something going on don’t ignore it. You could possibly save yourself a lot of grief and expense by acting quickly. Use your head and don’t be dumb like me. (As I said … I knew better.) It will help you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!