BIG BEN PLUS TIRES FROM ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE

Are you tired of reading my ramblings? Would you enjoy some fresh material written by someone else other than me? Awhile back I “asked for help”. I wanted to see if anyone would be interested in being a contributing editor. I got absolutely no response. Then later I asked again and one person stepped forward.

Please meet and welcome Joe Antonio.

Joe is happily married to Liz and has nothing but praise for her.

 OO LA LA!

DON’T LOOK!

[I concur. STEVE]

… I love this picture! …

Not only is Joe a fellow tadpole trike rider but so is his whole family. Here they are mounted on their Catrikes. Joe is on a Dumont. Liz is is on a Villager and their 8 year old daughter, Scarlett is on a Pocket.

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DISCLAIMER: The views, beliefs, position and opinions expressed by other authors on this website are those of that author and do not necessarily reflect my own personal views, beliefs, position or opinions. 

Steve Newbauer

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Now onto Joe’s contributing article on Big Ben Plus tires …

“To read way too much information about a tire written by an half crazed insomniac keep reading. 

This ramble includes some information about fitment issues that I experienced installing the tires on my older Catrike Dumont. There’s also a bit about folks who report some compatibility on Catrike’s 3×20” models. It’s important to note that the issues I share here are my own experience on my own trike. Many, if not most people including my new boss, Steve Newbauer, report easy installation and a good fit. 

These are my impressions and experience buying, installing and riding the Schwalbe Big Ben Plus performance tire. If you want exact specs and a source to purchase the tires click on the link to Bike24.com. I hope that much of what I have learned and shared is helpful to those considering buying a set. I’ll extend a sincere thank you to Steve for recommending the tire, Bike24 in Germany and most importantly, picking up my review.  

Billled as “the Big Apple’s robust brother”, Schwalbe promises a lot from this tire and in my opinion they have delivered in a big way. [I concur. STEVE] There’s no denying that Big Ben Plus is composed of Schwalbe family DNA. It shares some of the best materials, tech and engineering from the Schwalbe line up. The team at Schwalbe have done a great job of borrowing the very best characteristics and strengths from several tires in the line-up and rolling them all into one great high performance tire.

A common reason so many trikers seek this tire out is its relationship with the ever popular and sometimes maligned, Big Apple and Big Apple Plus. It promises a smooth suspension like ride like little brother but in a more “robust” casing. In my experience thus far I am happy to report that Big Ben Plus rides every bit as nice as the Big Apple Plus. It smooths out things like bridge planks, crusher fine path and dirt roads quite nicely. Mounting a set is not going to give you travel like the latest suspension trikes but it does a wonderful job smoothing out the road. It seems quite capable on varied surfaces. It even provides a bit of protection from those dreaded shots to the kidneys one might really feel without their high volume and forgiving nature. [I concur. STEVE]

So what’s the difference between this big tire and the Big Apple and Big Apple Plus? Big Ben Plus is a real purpose built e-bike tire. Schwalbe’s promise of a more robust tire is evident pretty quickly, especially if you take them out for a ride in town. I enjoyed the fact that they handle sharp imperfections like the edge of a curb, heaving concrete or storm drains so well. I think they are much and less likely to pinch a tube compared to both Big Apple offerings. 

Big Ben Plus also borrows several strengths from the tire so often recommended and positively reviewed the Marathon Plus. It’s shared “Plus” moniker reveals the same high mileage but easy rolling rubber formulation  I would not expect 30,000 miles of service like a Marathon Plus but it should provide good service over many miles if you take care of them.  The Big Ben Plus promises excellent puncture protection complements of a 3 mm Race Guard protective belt and a layer of Snake Skin on the sidewalls. Big Ben Plus is rated 6 out of 7 for puncture resistance, just one point shy of the bullet proof Marathon Plus, two points greater than standard Big Apples and on par with the Big Apple Plus.

Lastly and most important to me and my good experience, is that the tire is branded with the European ECE-rating, (ECE 75 for Ben and ECE-25 for Marathons and Big Apple offerings). It’s an excellent purpose E-bike tire thru and thru. This tire speed rated for speeds up to 50 KPH!  Big brother likes to go fast. It’s stronger casing and reinforced sidewalls ensure that Big Ben handles and holds the road much better than the Big Apple and the Apple Plus. I dare say they handled even better than the smaller sizes of the Marathon Plus. For a balloon tire the Big Ben Plus is an animal at speed. Schwalbe groups this tire with their performance rating and claims that it is excellent for intensive use.  [I concur. STEVE]

So is the Big Ben Plus the very best all-around tire you can buy for your trike? I’d have to say no. In my opinion that distinction still belongs to the Marathon Plus in a 1.75 width. [I concur. STEVE] Most recreational riders will enjoy excellent all around performance and great service from the Marathon Plus for years if you take care of them. Big Ben’s suspension like ride is really nice but for most riders its an awful lot of tire to push around. If you are strictly human powered and not concerned about its e-bike strengths, it’s likely to be more tire than you need.”

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THANK YOU JOE FOR A WELL WRITTEN ARTICLE. I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE FROM YOU. STEVE

DEAR READERS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT AND ENCOURAGE JOE AS HE COMES ABOARD AS A CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR.

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WINTER BLAHS ALREADY and IT ISN’T EVEN AUTUMN YET

How is it possible that I can already be experiencing winter blahs when Autumn is not even here yet? Well, at least according to the calendar it isn’t here yet. I tell ya …. the temperature has already fallen off. Oh, it will warm back up some as summer has its last hooray, but the overnight lows are already announcing change of seasons are upon us. I was out riding yesterday wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I did put a sweatshirt on and was thankful for that along with the brown cotton gloves in had in the pockets. I assumed as the day went on I would be removing all of it, but the temperature never climbed much so I wore it the entire time I was out. I laid in bed last night covered with only a sheet and was cold all night long. Tonite will be different as I already put a comforter on the bed. I will be warm tonite and hopefully will get better sleep.

Oh, I am looking forward to Autumn and all the beauty of the foliage. I can’t say I am looking forward to the leaves falling onto the trails, especially if the city fails to remove them like they often times do. I used to remove them myself, but I stopped doing it.

I had a friend who also use to remove leaves off of the trail. I liked my leaf removal rig a lot better than his. Mine was made like a plow which off loaded the leaves to the outside  as I went along but his didn’t and they kept  piling up making it harder and harder to pull. Also it would just dump a whole bunch of leaves on the trail that then had to be removed by hand. Here is a video of him with his rig …

HERE is a previous posting about our rigs. All I have to show mine is still pictures … no video. Watching it in action it is easy to see how much better it worked than the one my friend designed and made. Yes, a powerful leaf blower would be great to have and use but I can’t afford nor justify spending my own money on one.

And when winter finally does come and we get snow I may not be able to ride to the trails even if the snow has been removed. And there is a good chance the snow won’t be removed from the trails as the city doesn’t do a very good job of any kind of trail maintenance. It makes no sense to me to build trails if you are not going to maintain them.

One thing I have not touched on is dealing with cold weather. As for me as I have got older I don’t care to deal with colder weather. When I was younger I would venture out in temperatures in the teens but not anymore. Now I usually won’t venture out if it isn’t at least in the mid 30s. Bundling up is not something I enjoy having to do.

It is really bad when snow falls on top of leaves. I am hopeful that doesn’t happen this year. It greatly adds to the winter blahs. I know I need to fight the winter blahs remembering “this too shall pass” and I have survived many winters thus far and I assume I will survive this one. I just want to …

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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.

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IMPORTANT ADD-ONS FOR ANY TRIKE

Once again I find myself in agreement with my fellow triker, David, of David Riders a Trike fame. He covers various items he highly recommends to add on to a trike. Although he likes SPD shoes and pedals and recommends them I don’t personally care for them. He did not cover alternative methods of foot retention but he does mention that there are other means.

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COME RIDE THE FORT WAYNE TRAILS … KIDNEY BELTS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

I have been riding the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Trails for quite a few years now and have racked up over 120,000 miles on them. During that time I have experienced poor trail maintenance and it keeps getting worse. The problem as I see it is that there is no designated maintenance dept. The city of Fort Wayne assigns sections of the trails to the various city departments … Street Dept., Parks Dept., Right of Way Dept. and Allen County Road Dept. They all have their own responsibilities to tend to so the trails are down the list in priority. The city used to hire two men who worked only on trail maintenance and it made a huge difference. But that ended years ago and nothing has been done since to replace them. Most recently we lost our trail maintenance manager who did a lot of trail maintenance all by herself. She was awesome. She quit to take a job in another city up on Michigan. She is really missed. The guy they hired to replace her is next to worthless in comparison. Trying to get the city to do something about this falls on deaf ears. I pretty much believe in … “if you are not going to maintain the trails, don’t build them”. I think it is shameful.

All I have talked about so far is trail maintenance but what I really want to address is trail conditions … the condition of the surface of the trails. I mentioned wearing a kidney belt. I was joking but  it might not be a bad idea. One could lose tooth fillings riding on our trails. They definitely are rough. Even the newest pavement, Becketts Run Trail, is rough. I tried to film a ride on it holding the camera in my hand. I got tossed around so much the video didn’t turn out very good.

I don’t have any suspension on my trike but I do have balloon tires on all 3 wheels and it definitely helps. I don’t have a kidney belt but if the trails get in any worse shape I may have to consider getting one. And I thought they were only for Harley riders. COME RIDE THE FORT WAYNE TRAILS … if you dare.

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CAN’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE WEATHER … WOULDN’T DO ANYGOOD IF YOU DID

Seventy Five degrees, blue skies, gentle breeze … great cycling weather … and it is mid August which is usually the hottest time of the summer. I am taking advantage of it each day that I can. Tomorrow (as I write this) rain is forecasted as well as the following day. Oh well, I can’t complain … it wouldn’t do any good if I did.

I met up with a fellow tadpole trike rider today. He is from out of town but said that he comes to Fort Wayne a couple of times a week during decent weather to ride the trails.The first words out of his mouth when I pulled up alongside of him were about the great cycling weather we are having. He rides a Catrike Expedition. I rode a few miles with him and his friend who was riding an e-bike.

Yes, rain is in the immediate forecast for a couple of days but then it is more of the same for most of next week. I can handle that. I check the weather forecast in a few other locations daily. Most of the locations are in the Southern U.S. I don’t like dealing with winter up here in Indiana but I sure don’t like dealing with summer down in the south. I lived in the NE Atlanta suburbs for ten years. They don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing. And Florida, is just plain miserable almost year around. The only good thing I can think of to say is they have nice pavement … not potholes and nasty bumps like we have here in Indiana. Those potholes and bumps have cost me a few thousand dollars in trike repairs and wheel replacements. The one thing I did like about Georgia weather besides a much shorter and milder winter is the long Spring and Autumn seasons. But Summer was always brutal.

It is time to go out for another ride taking advantage of this great weather. Adios! I expect to be back.

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ARE RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRIKES FOR YOU?

am only going to say that the only regret I have is that I didn’t know about recumbent tadpole trikes as a kid growing up as I sure would have been riding them all my life.

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WITH SPEED THERE IS A CHOICE

It is summertime and the heat is on. I  remember well from my motorcycle days riding when it was quite hot outside. When it gets to a certain temperature it makes no difference how fast one rides … IT’S HOT! It is no different when riding a bicycle or a trike in my case. Even with an electric motor by which I am able to gain considerably more speed than I can via my own human power it is just plain hot. What I have noticed is this — I have a choice of riding in an oven at slow speeds or a blast furnace at higher speeds. That’s the way it was on a motorcycle too … oven or blast furnace … the only choices. Either way … either one … IT’S HOT! I do ride with a canopy in hot weather which certainly does help. And when I ride with a canopy I ride without my visor hat as I am cooler without it and don’t need it when I am seated under my canopy. But I guess I would rather feel the heat on me at 20 plus mph than at 2 or 3 mph. We have all heard it said that we lose up to 80 % of our body heat thru our heads. Science has proven that this is not true … not even anywhere close. Cooling off one’s head, however, is effective in relief from being hot. I need to incorporate some means of cooling off such as a wet towel over my head. Maybe I need to install a mister overhead or out in front of me. There is nothing I can do about hot weather so I will just have to deal with it. I am thankful for those things I have already mentioned … my canopy and e-motor do help a lot. I will manage to …

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KEEPING COOL

In case you haven’t noticed it a whole lot of the nation (U.S.) is hot and humid lately. Are you still out there riding in it? If so, what are you doing to help fight the heat? Do you purposely ride in shady areas?

Do you have your own source of shade … a canopy?

Do you wear wicking clothing?

Do you use a cooling headband or neckwear?

BTW, some of it is capable of having ice cubes inserted in them or has built in liquid which can be frozen in a freezer prior to use.

How about a hand held mister fan?

Do you ride anyplace that has a mister installed for trail users?

Do you keep hydrated while out riding?

(I hope you don’t get this desperate.)

Maybe you know a fireman who can help you out …

Hey, speaking of misters … maybe you have a trail which goes thru a park where they use a misting system to water the vegetation …

Several years ago in Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana they had misters in use like this except there were a lot of them and just riding along the trail thru the park was quite refreshing. I wrote an article on misters several years ago. We have one on one trail installed next to a restroom. I have never seen anybody use it. I have just to try it out.

Of course, you can always just pour water on top of your head and cool off. I have done that many times. It is very effective.

Anyway, if you are riding out there in heat and humidity keep cool, man (or woman or boy or girl). We all want to …

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LOOSEN UP THERE!

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author’s opinion.

would rather imagine that we have all heard the saying “in a perfect world” which is usually followed by a statement that a certain thing would exist or not exist. Well, that can be applied to our tadpole trikes. I will preface this by stating that not all trikes are created equal. Some are better designed, engineered and better built approaching perfection. I have long known about and practiced riding my trike using only a somewhat loose grip on the handlebars. In a perfect world … if the trike was properly engineered and made this approach works fine. I came across an article written about this subject. In short using a light touch or grip on the handlebars is desirable, recommended and works best. It just doesn’t take much “input” from the trike pilot to effectively steer a trike that is well designed and in proper mechanical condition. So don’t ride all tightened up … relax … loosen up. If you have never done so give it a try. Just don’t overdo it and loose control.  And don’t get so loosened up that you fall asleep.

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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.

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GOING FEET FIRST

 

One thing is for sure … sooner or later we will all go feet first as we all have an appointment with death. However while alive we have the choice before us to go feet first … riding a recumbent, that is. Many have already discovered the joyful pleasure and great benefits of doing so.

Yep, it is appointed upon man once to die followed by God’s judgement of us. There is no escape from it … no way to avoid it … no choice. But we do have a choice to ride a recumbent and by doing so experience so very many great benefits. They are far more comfortable than a conventional bicycle. They are safer, more fun and still offer great exercise which may even postpone your appointment with death. BTW, there is one way to avoid leaving this world feet first. That way is referred to as the “rapture” where those who belong to God  will be taken up off of this earth to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. That is going up “head first” avoiding death here on earth and going feet first. Meanwhile, my plan is to continue going feet first on my tadpole trike. If you have already tried it you know what I mean. If you haven’t tried it I invite you to do so. I don’t think you will regret it.

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BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE GETTING GOING

The weather sure makes a difference in how motivated I am to get myself out riding. I guess it has to be this global warming thing. Yep, it is so warm that most days this Spring have been and continue to be below normal. I went out yesterday and nearly froze out there. I need to dress for winter weather not spring weather. I am waiting for it to warm up before leaving each day but there is a problem. It is failing to warm up. Even the warmest part of the day is several degrees below what is normal for this time of year. And to make matters worse we have had some “teaser days” with the high temperatures in the 70 and even 80s, but the very next day it is back to much cooler weather.

This obviously is meant to be funny but it is not far from the truth. Of course, it is based on computer life. I used to see a lot of this back when I used Microcrap … I mean Microsoft Windows. Years ago I switched to Linux Mint and all the headaches that come with Windows are gone. With Windows there was something gone wrong to deal with almost constantly.

Some of you live in places where you can identify with what I am saying. Well, April is almost over with. We will see what May brings in the weather dept. Right now I need to go bundle up as if it were still winter if I am going to go riding today. 65 degrees is the normal high for this time of year. We are having weather 15 to 20 degrees below that. And we have been having quite a bit of wind as well so the “feels like” temperatures have been like winter days. It gets a guy down and is hard to deal with. There are times when I wish I could kick myself in the butt. Instead I sit down in the recliner chair and soon may be dreaming about nicer weather. If I were a rich man I may be living down in Florida but then the daily high temperatures are already hotter than I care for. I bet they don’t have any freeze warnings overnight like we do.

There are places around where the weather is pleasant but they lack trails to ride on.. I am not afraid to ride on roads with cars and trucks but I definitely prefer paved trails. Smooth winding paved shady trails and 70- 75 degree weather … AH, perfect in my book.

                                                  Toledo, Ohio bike trail

Recently I was at my LBS (local bike shop) and talked with the service manager. He told me business has been very slow due to the lousy Spring weather we have been having. Normally they are quite busy at this time of year as people are getting their bikes ready to ride. I know I seldom see any other cyclists out on the trails when the weather is not so nice.

It will be interesting to see if we just sort of skip Spring and mover right into Summer. I certainly hope not but it has happened before. Nap time for me and then I will be bundling up to go out for a ride.

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PEDAL CONFIGURATION & FOOT PLACEMENT

Well known triker, Matt Galat, talks about his experience with pedals and foot position including dealing with foot pain and a few other problems.

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RAIN SNOW WIND & OCASSIONALLY A NICE DAY

It is that time of year. The weather is all over the place. One day can be in the high 60s and the next day only in the high 30s. Lots of rain but also snow coming down. And the wind … even on those high 60s days it is often quite windy. It makes for interesting trike riding. And definitely it is like playing Russian Roulette with our health as it is all too easy to get a cold and/or cough if we venture out for a ride. But I don’t let that stop me. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead! Well, maybe half speed. We dare not ignore the wind chill factor. And there is yet another factor … a wife who forbids me to go out riding out of concern for my health. It is interesting that it is ok for me to go out riding on a winter day with temperatures in the 30s but come Springtime with fluctuating temperatures … nope … no can do. Sometimes I truly envy bachelors. Tomorrow is another day … just like I have been talking about … with below normal temperatures and definitely a bit windy. But hey, I am planning on going riding and do my best to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

Yep, I am trying my best to  …

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SPD CLEATS IN ARCH OF SHOE

Cleat position is something more and more riders are becoming aware of. It is believed by many that having the cleats positioned in the arch of the shoe is better than the ball of the shoe. It is said to help eliminate “hot spots” in the foot as well as other foot pain issues. Nearly all SPD shoes and sandals are manufactured with the cleats position further forward in the ball of the foot. I have read that there were a couple of shoe manufacturers that tried offering them in the arch area but they discontinued doing so because there was not enough interest in this reflected in their sales. So it comes down to DIY (do it yourself) or dealing with a fellow tadpole trike rider who offers this service to others. He has helped many recumbent trikers resolve their foot problems. Here is his contact information:

William (Bill) Barrere:
Email: wbarrere@gmail.com
Tel: 786-307-5986
He has a Facebook group page entitled RECUMBENT ONE.

There are various articles and resources for this subject:

https://www.instructables.com/Midfoot-Bicycle-Cleat-Position/

https://fatguyintraining.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/mid-sole-cleat-position/

There are many more but nearly everything I see has to do with regular bicycling and not recumbents even though my search was for recumbents.

Here is a link to the search results:

 https://tinyurl.com/2p87a54c

I have written articles about this before:

TIRED HURTING FEET

SPD SHOE CLEAT POSITION

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ONLY 103 DAYS UNTIL SPRING ARRIVES

Winter is not even officially here yet and already I am looking at how many days off Spring is. As of today, Dec. 6th, Spring is 103 days off. I am anxiously awaiting. I think I can safely say that the only two  things I like about winter is cold water out of the faucet and the grass stops growing so I don’t have to mow it. There is absolutely nothing else good I can say about it. Wait … there is one more thing … it kills off pesky insects.

I try to keep riding thruout the winter but I certainly don’t like it as far as dealing with wither weather. And the older I get the less I like it. Back when I was in my early 60s I could dress in shorts and a short sleeve shirt when it was in the 40s and it felt good. By the time I was in my late 60s the shorts were still ok but not the short sleeve shirt. Now that I am in my mid 70s there is no way I could dress like that and be comfortable. As I age things are changing and the changes are not welcome changes.

I used to hate dealing with hot summertime temperatures. At 80 degrees I was already miserable and anything above 80 was miserable for me. But now in my mid 70s I can handle the 80s okay. I am still miserable in the 90s however.

Anyway, I am ready for Spring weather … just 103 days away. 103 days … that is a very long time. One day at a time … that is the secret to getting thru it. Oh Lord help me … one day at a time. One hundred three days. I can do it! Meanwhile I am going to do my best to …

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TECHJAYSE MEN’S CYCLING GLOVES REVIEW

Fellow trike rider, David shares his opinion of these cycling gloves which the manufacturer claims are good for temperatures between 32 and 50 degrees F.

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CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS

Some riders use chemical hand warmers during cold weather riding. I am among them. I have tried all sorts of gloves, mittens and combinations of various ones trying to find something that works for me. It always comes down to my thumbs for me. I struggle the most trying to keep my thumbs warm. I wish I could tell you that the chemical hand warmers do a superb job for me but it just isn’t so. They do help though.

I have a pair of gloves with mitten flip covers which are made by HotHands. They are fairly warm gloves/mittens as they are a soft warm material with Thinsalate in them. They are designed to hold a chemical hand warmer over the backside of the fingers. This is about worthless for me. I need the chemical hand warmers on the inside of my fingers to keep my fingers warm. Even then it has minimal effect. This picture below shows a special area on the front side of the flip over mitten cover but there is no such thing on mine. That is where I am talking about having a pocket to hold a chemical packet. Hmmm, I wonder if they added one after I bought mne. I emailed the manufacturer about this and heard back from them. They haven’t changed their product. Why this picture shows this square area on the front side I don’t know. It does not exist in reality.

I have tried placing the packets elsewhere inside of the mittens but it doesn’t work very well. I have even lost one while riding along as they tend to try to fall out. A pocket is needed to place them in so they are held in place.

I find the best thing for me is to wear just a pair of Hotfingers mittens and use 4 packets of chemical hand warmers inside of them … two in each mitten … one down inside for my fingers and one inside the thumbs of the mittens. These mittens are not all that warm in and of themselves but they do a pretty good job of keeping the wind from passing thru them which helps immensely. The thumbs are large enough to place a chemical packet down inside and still get my thumbs in. I can just sort of hold the chemical hand warmer packet with my fingers and my thumbs are snug against the chemical handwarmer packet inside the thumb of the mitten.

Here are my 4 used packets I am experimenting with to see if I can get a 3rd day of use out of them

One thing I have observed and learned about these chemical hand warmers is that they don’t work without exposure to air (oxygen). It takes oxygen to get them started and if you remove the oxygen while they are creating heat they will stop the chemical process and no longer produce heat. Then if you reintroduce them to oxygen they will start back up again. Since they are suppose to last for about 10 hours I can place them inside an airtight container such as a plastic bag to deny them oxygen and then get a second day’s use out of them by reintroducing them to air again. That is nice as it saves money. They do get expensive if you use them daily. Today I used them for a second time and upon arriving back home I placed them back into a plastic bag to see if I can get a third day out of them. That would be nice but I am not going to hold my breath as they say. There is rain in the forecast tomorrow so I probably won’t be able to ride anyway. However, I can take the packets out of the plastic bag and see if they take off again producing heat. I will let you know.

Well, I am letting you know … Yes, all 4 packets have started producing heat and so it appears as though they would work for a 3rd day. The manufacturer wants customers to believe and accept that they are only good for one day. They don’t want people to know that they can be reused like this. Of course, they make more money that way.  I can’t test them today though as it is too warm outside to use them. Tomorrow will be much cooler. I will see if they fire back up for a 4th day.

Hey, they are warmed back up on the 4th day and ready to go. The question is … how long will they last? Will I make it thru my entire ride today? Stay tuned.

Still there? I am back from my ride and I got a third day of riding in using the same chemical hand warmer packets. That is good to know. I have been doing two days but I never tried for three before.

Update: I discovered today that this reuse of the chemical packets does not always work. Sometimes they don’t start back up. Sometimes they are slow to start back up. And sometimes even if they do start back up they don’t last very long.

BTW, the best price I have found for chemical hand warmers is at Walmart unless one comes across a special deal like a surplus store or some other place. I just looked and Harbor Freight Tools looks to have the best price at this time.

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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.