Utah Trikes has produced lots of great videos. Here is one about a trike build for a customer. They are adding e-motor assist to it. I found it interesting although I sure can’t agree with their calling this trike FIRE RED. It looks ORANGE to me.

I have a 1000 watt e-motor which runs 30 mph on a fully charged battery. I am no longer using it as  the gear\clutch assembly inside needs to be replaced. My current 2000 watt  motor is only good for about 24 mph with a fully charged battery but I am only running it on 48 volts instead of 72 which is what it is rated at. It is suppose to be capable of about 44 mph on 72 volts. Anyway, it drops off to about 20 mph top speed as the battery charge drops off considerably. Definitely it is the most powerful e-motor I have had so far. I am so thankful for e-motor assist as I truly need it as I am aging. It enables me to …



You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the three membership vetting questions.


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.


FREE GIFT awaits you!

A Review of an Azub Touring Setup

From the “land down under” (Australia) comes this video I share here. This triker,  Darren Broadhurst, is among the few who is on an ongoing trike journey around the world. He rides an Azub Ti-Fly 20 inch  … which is a fully suspended model.

His video channel description … “After retiring from a full military career I’ve been cycling and travelling around the world for the past 4 years. These are the videos along the way.”

Other videos available from this fellow triker.

His website … every which way but lost.


FREE GIFT awaits you!


I can sum this up in just a few words … “wow, what an improvement!” When I bought my Catrike Trail in 2009 I ordered the full fender set which the dealer installed “half ass”.  The fenders were the Planet Bike plastic which would break out small chuncks where the mounting braces attached.  In 2013 when Catrike replaced my frame under warranty I had to settle for the new frame as they stopped making the Trail with the “space frame” (which I loved and much prefer). Over the years I have done various upgrades with better quality components. This past summer I ordered new front fenders and fender mounts. I had seen the new aluminum alloy fenders on new Catrikes the dealers had in stock so I knew they were an improvement over the old plastic fenders like I had. Upon getting them and installing them I was quite impressed and a “happy camper”. These babies not only look a lot nicer, but they are so much stronger. Just the fender mount itself is such a great improvement. No more braces are needed on the front fenders. Now a flat tire can be fixed without having to remove the front wheels. And the fenders are rock steady … no more flopping around.

Later during this past Fall I ordered the rear fender to replace my Planet Bike plastic fender. The rear fender still uses braces, but at least the fender is mounted solid. The Planet Bike rear fender moved all over the place all too easily. Thank you Catrike. You listened to customer complaints and suggestions and fixed the problem. I have to give credit to ICE and HP … they did it right to start with. The new fenders from Catrike are worth the money in my opinion. With my new fender set I am able to even moreso …


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 …



Got a KMX tadpole trike and want front suspension? Well, here is good news. It is available and simply bolts on. The suspension will fit any recent KMX adult trikes. That’s good news, but there is bad news too as it is very expensive … over $1000. Be aware that it also adds quite a bit of extra width to the trike.

Travel : 52mm (2.05in)
Bike total width will increase by 146mm (5.75in)
Material: Alu 6061-T6 Black Anodized
Weight: 1.25 kg each.
Air shock used : http://www.kindshock.com.cn/en/produc…
No modification required on your KMX. Just remove the brakes & wheels, bolt the new suspension, reinstall the brakes and wheels.

Can be purchased from:
Endless-sphere.com [Items for Sale – New]

Note: This custom item will only fit on a KMX Trike but it is not a genuine KMX product.


FREE GIFT awaits you!




It took several years, but I have finally succumbed to the concept of my using electric motor pedal assist. It is a matter of aging I think and finding it a bit more challenging climbing hills. I can still climb them, but oh so slow and if I am riding with others I just watch them ride on away from me as I can’t begin to keep up. So I bit the bullet and got myself some help. Now I can shoot up those hills and don’t have any problem keeping up with my friends should I choose to ride with them.

HERE is a webpage about Bionx products. And HERE is another one.

The electronics are quite sophisticated and pretty well thought out. The reviews of Bionx are extremely favorable. Pretty much everybody say they have the best system going. The company is out of Canada.

They have 3 different size batteries. They are all 48 volts, but their power in amperage varies providing a choice of 50 miles, 65 miles or 80 miles between charges. At least that is their claim. In reality the distance is far less like maybe half. The battery pictured below which fits under their rack is the middle one. The largest battery mounts down low behind the seat alongside of the frame.

Although with this battery mounted up under their rack means the weight is carried up high effecting the trike’s center of gravity and handling it also means that the battery is positioned so that it doesn’t get nearly as messed up from water, mud and other crud being splashed up on it like would happen if it were mounted down lower alongside the frame. Also having it higher makes it much easier to get at to charge it or remove it.

Their controller (shown above) has been upgraded as have their display console.

This display unit (shown below) has replaced the larger combination display controller they had previously.

This next video features an older version of the console and controller which has been replaced with the ones shown above. I offer it here as it still is helpful in understanding some factors of the Bionx system.

The new electronics also offers a  Bluetooth connection to their free smartphone app which among other things is a tracking and reporting info of the route,  ride and even pulse of the rider. The Bluetooth module sells for $175.

They offer 250, 350 and 500 watt hub motors. I understand that Bionx limits the top speed of 20 mph for all units shipped to the United States to comply with the law.

If your trike has a 20 inch rear wheel you are limited to the 350 watt hub motor as the 500 watt is too large in diameter to be laced into a 20 inch rim. If you have a larger diameter rear wheel such as a 26 inch or 700 the larger 500 watt hub motor is available for them although the larger motor may not be needed. The bike shop dealer told me that unless one lives someplace with a lot of steep hills to climb the 350 is more than enough power to use on a trike.

Having a FAT trike with electric motor pedal assist sounds like a very helpful addition for off road riding. It might require someone skilled at wheel lacing to come up with a wheel laced to a hub motor.

It is my understanding that the batteries can be charged approximately 1000 times. Replacement batteries cost between $900 and $1000 so they ain’t cheap.

The bike shop I am involved with is a Bionx dealer. He told me about the high tech system Bionx has in place making trouble shooting and repair easy for the dealers. They simply plug the unit into a computer with Bionx software installed on it and it connects with Bionx while running diagnostics on the system. The dealer gives permission for Bionx to remotely do various things while connected to your unit over the internet and they can remedy most problems or at least know what is wrong so it can be remedied. With this system the dealers don’t have to learn and know a lot about the Bionx system yet they can take care of the customer.

Here is the Bionx installation video. It shows the older system however.

In closing I want to mention that there are more powerful hub motors made and available which can propel a trike much faster (not legally mind you) and even at 70 years old there is still a part of me that is attracted to riding along at 45 plus mph on my trike, but I am wise enough to know that when you play with fire you are likely to get burnt. I would probably wrap myself around some tree or telephone pole. Nope, I best stick with the 20 mph option. That is plenty fast enough.

With the use of electric motor pedal assist it can help us to …


FREE GIFT awaits you!

Update (5/3/17) – I now have the Bionx hub motor system installed on my trike and I am loving it. I haven’t been able to ride it much as it has been raining for 3 days straight. I took some pictures of my trike with this unit installed. I remounted the controller from where the bike shop had located it. I like it much better now as I can see it much better and get at it much handier. I probably should paint the blue piece of steel tubing I used to place on my mirror where I mounted the controller. I need to paint it black so it is not so conspicuous. 🙂 Anyway, riding with this motor assist is amazing. For the same effort I used to exert to ride 5-7 mph I can now ride about 14-16 mph. And for the same effort it took to ride 10-12 mph I can now ride 19 mph. The battery has a built in LED taillight which is extremely bright. Above the taillight is a large red reflector. As I said, I haven’t been able to ride it much yet, but hopefully I soon will be. And it surely looks like I will most definitely …


FREE GIFT awaits you!


All those round things with teeth around the outside are commonly known as “sprockets”. (Yes, I know for those who insist on being technical … they are cassettes/cogs on the back and chainrings on the front.) These sprockets are several different diameters and this is for a reason. All those different diameters provide a different gear ratio when the chain goes from one to the other. When the chain is on the smallest sprocket in the front and the largest sprocket on the back it is the lowest gear ratio. And when the chain is on the largest sprocket in the front and the smallest sprocket in the back it is the highest gear ratio. Knowing these gear ratios, lowest to highest, helps us to determine the performance capability as well as the hill climbing ability and effort needed. As to the fastest speed we can ride we can only pedal so fast. Once we reach the maximum rpm we are capable of pedaling we reach the maximum speed we can go. The only way we can go any faster is to have a higher gear ratio. And even then we reach the point of “practicalness” as sooner or later we find too much resistance in our pedaling.

There are other contributing and limiting factors involved in determining the gear ratios such as wheel size and tire choices, but I am not addressing any of that here.

HERE is a well written article on the subject of understanding gear ratios.

large sprocket on tadpole trike

As you can see in the picture above an oversize sprocket has been installed on this tadpole trike. It looks mighty impressive, but the truth is probably not many of us could pedal it to its potential top speed as we just don’t have what it takes. Most of our trikes come equipped from the manufacturer with a 52 tooth sprocket as the largest. The picture above is real, but the one below is fake … a little photo editing fun I had sometime back.

130 tooth chainring on Catrike 700

Mind you there are bikes and trikes with oversize sprockets which have been ridden to accomplish setting new land speed records for human powered vehicles. Usually they have some sort of streamlined bodies on them so they can cut thru the air and not deal with the resistance you and I do with our plain ol’ trikes. Here is a picture of one such vehicle which broke the world record. I haven’t kept up with who currently holds the distinction so this may not be the current record holder.

world record holder

It takes more than gearing to accomplish such a feat. One must be a very top athlete to reach these speeds with just human power. But you can bet there is not 52 tooth sprocket installed here.

Some of us need help with gear ratios as what we currently have isn’t “getting it”. It can get a bit on the expensive side when one starts changing all the sprockets to accomplish such a change in gear ratios. Obviously the best time to do it is when the original sprockets are wore out and in need of changing. And we can only accomplish that by …


FREE GIFT awaits you!


Utah Trikes Catrike Extension Kit 2

Utah Trikes has announced that they are now offering a rear wheel extension kit for all Catrike models.

Utah Trikes Catrike Extension Kit 3

Here is what they say:

“All of our SolidWorks training has paid off and we have created a very nice extension kit that will allow you to put a 26 inch or 700c wheel on your 20-inch Cat. Catrike owners have been asking for these from us for a couple of years and we have finally finished the prototypes. The results are fantastic.

So, what am I talking about? Well, let’s suppose that you bought a Catrike Road a few years ago and then the Expedition came out. Well, you really like the Expedition with its longer wheelbase and larger rear tire, but you have a lot invested in your trike. Up until now your only choice has been to sell the road (or give it to your significant other) and then buy an Expedition for yourself. While there is nothing wrong with that (after all, we are more than happy to sell you an Expedition) it may not be in your budget.

Our kit includes the machined extensions and bolts. We are working out the exact parts for each kit, as some will require additional chain routing modifications. Our extension kit is setup with the OEM mounting for a Rohloff hub and we’ll have many other wheel choices.

Our Catrike Wheel Extension Page shows our last prototype. We are going into production within the next two weeks. The final version will appear a little different in that it has disc brake dropouts and is black anodized with lazer engraving. We are trying to estimate how many to make on our initial run, so please let me know if you are interested. We should have pricing for the different kits up by next week.
In recent Journal correspondence with Catrike, Paulo Camasmie, commenting on third party modifications, said, “We always see, with good eyes, add ons and accessories that are made by third parties and we encourage that. People like options and we think it is cool that people and suppliers will spend time developing add-ons for our products. That shows the thorough passion behind our products.”

Utah Trikes Catrike Extension Kit 5

I could not agree more. Everything I have seen Utah Trikes offer from their own resources is always excellent quality. They have offered an extension kit for Catrike models for some time, but when Catrike changed the frame in 2013 the extension they were making and selling would not work on the new frame. So until now owners of the newer frame did not have this option.

Utah Trikes Catrike Extension Kit 4

Here are links to the two different products.

pre-2013 models    post-2013 models


FREE GIFT awaits you!


Take a peek at Matt’s new trike and trailer as he explains it all in detail. It is one fancy rig.

Matt Galat's new trike & trailer

Here is Matt’s video description:

I am about to take off for the JaYoe World Tour 2.0… and my new trike and trailer setup has been upgraded and is ready to go. Let me give you a little tour of my new rig.
– My new trike is the same as the first one, a HP Velotechnik Scorpion 20fs, but this time I had it painted “JaYoe” yellow.
– The front chain ring this time has been upgraded to a Schlumpf Speed Drive, instead of a bulky derailer.
– Terra Cycle in Oregon (http://www.t-cycle.com/) have hooked me up with some amazing new brackets and accessories to mount my phone, camera, and Garmin 1000 Edge cycle computer.
– My seat cover was custom sewn by a company owned by a new friend in Pakistan. His company is called Paktrike, and the seat cover he made for me is awesome! (https://www.facebook.com/Paktrike)
– Terra Cycle also hooked me up with a bracket that allows me to put 2 side bags on either side of my seat, this is going to be incredibly useful on the road!
– The side bags are from a company called Arkel (www.arkel-od.com/), and not only are fantastic quality and are large enough to suit my needs, but they are waterproof too. My rear panniers are the same.
– My new Trailer is awesome. Produced by a company called AIDOO in Germany (http://www.aidoo-tec.com/), it has been designed and built according to all my needs on the road! The ideal trailer for a trip around the world!!
– On top of that, I have upgraded and included more lights on the trailer, adding visibility, powered by a SON hub dynamo and a USB Converter E-WERK by Busch & Müller (http://www.nabendynamo.de) http://www.bumm.de/produkte/e-werk/e-werk.html

An Amazing Kit! So let me give you a little tour!

All the points in this video are mapped out on the JaYoe Map page, so if you are interested to go exploring yourself… you will know where to go. Check out the map page at: http://jayoe.com/map/#

The JaYoe Travelogues follow Matt as he rides his trike from China to USA. Thru 100 countries he ventures, seeing, doing and meeting along the way.

If you are interested in following my journey around the world, visit my the following links…

WEBSITE: http://www.jayoe.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JaYoeLife/
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/theJaYoeNation/


Matt is all healed up, newly equipped and ready to go … once more embarking on his epic trike journey. I am sure we all wish him well and safety. And I know I am sure looking forward to seeing more of his excellent videos of his journey. Yep, he is about to redefine that saying …


Update: Matt used this trailer for awhile and then decided to downsize all that he carries along with him. In doing so he was able to eliminate the need of the trailer so he stopped using it.

A FREE GIFT awaits you!


Tadpole trikes are ever increasing in popularity as the word gets out about them being so comfortable to ride as well as fun to ride. And safe to ride must be tossed in there as well. They are not inexpensive to purchase however. Many people choose to go the route of buying a used one as they are a less expensive route to go and most of the trikes are in very good condition. I started riding a tadpole trike back in November of 2007. At that time I rarely saw any used tadpole trikes for sale. As the popularity has grown now I see quite a few available. There are several different resources available to check for used trikes. Some owners who are selling their trikes are only wanting a buyer who will come to them to make the purchase while other owners are willing to ship the trike.

A word of caution here for the seller — make sure you have the money in hand and it is good money before allowing the trike to leave your presence. By “good money” I am talking about the fact that even a cashier’s or certified check can’t be trusted these days as they are often counterfeited and used to swindle unsuspecting sellers out of their item(s). The seller assumes that since they were paid with a cashier’s or certified check it is safe and they are guaranteed their money so the allow the item(s) they are selling to be taken away or shipped out only to find out days later that the check they were given is no good. This happens a lot on dealings on Craigslist. It is best to play it safe and wait however long it takes to find out if the check was good or not. Craigslist offers some saftey tips on their website. And there are other similar resources offering advice. HERE is one of them.

I have a page created on this blog for USED TRIKES 4 SALE which lists several resources. I am not going to repeat them here. With the help of the internet many people are listing their trikes online so it is an excellent place to look. Of course, the internet is vast so there are numerous resources online. Some are better than others. Some trikes are priced quite low while others are priced rather high. Some times buyers have got great deals making most of us quite jealous. 🙂

We all have our own financial limitations and capabilities so not everybody can afford the higher quality trikes. We just have to do the best we can.  I will say this … buy the best trike you can afford. Buying certain lower cost trikes isn’t usually a very good idea. Most people who buy “entry level” trikes soon regret it and are not satisfied with what they bought. Even if the trike itself satisfies them as far as its quality the most common disappointment is lack of sufficient gearing. If you buy a trike and then start trying to change it upgrading such things as the gearing it gets expensive in a hurry and the bargain is no longer such an attractive deal. You can invest a lot of additional money into such a trike and in the end you still have an entry level trike which lacks the quality of some of the others they could have been bought initially … and probably for less than the money to do the upgrade.

There is an old adage … “BUYER BEWARE“.  Most people selling their trikes are no doubt pretty honest. However, there are no doubt some who are trying to sell one and not disclosing something significant … like perhaps a damaged frame such as a hairline crack (in or near a weld usually) or a misaligned (bent) frame due to some sort of accident which occurred in the past. It is important that the wheels are in good condition as they are expensive to replace. The same is true of most of the components such as shifters, derailleurs, brakes and the like.

Some sellers are offering trikes with some to many accessories included. Keep in mind that if you have to add these on to the trike you buy you are talking quite a bit of additional money. So if you are fortunate to find a trike that comes with such accessories at a decent price you are ahead of the game.

As with most things common sense and wisdom go hand in hand. You can find a tadpole trike out there. They are available. I wish you well and many fun safe miles on whatever you end up with.


FREE GIFT awaits you!


We are living in the Last Days prophesied in God’s Word (the Bible) and one of the prophecies tells us of the great increase in knowledge. History proves this out. We are seeing such amazing technology and it just keeps increasing at an incredible rate unlike anytime in previous history. Here are some videos showing some high tech inventions designed for the cycling world.

ADD-E  startup website and an ADD-E article and another ADD-E article

I really like the concept of this next one as it would sure simplify removal and reinstallation of the rear wheel … the HUB DOCK:

48V 750W 8fun Bafang Mid Drive Motor Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Bafang electric motor installed on ICE trike

Are you mechanically inclined? If so, here is a DIY (do it yourself) project to motorize your tadpole trike. If you have money to burn you could hire a bicycle shop/independent mechanic to install this for you. This is a 750 watt brushless electric motor. That is the maximum size allowed by law for bicycles in the United States. Like so many electric motors designed for bicycles it doesn’t come with a battery so the battery must be purchased separately. Batteries are not cheap. One can expect to shell out about $1500 total for this kit with a battery. This is both a pedal assist and motor only rig so it pretty much fits the bill. Probably the one main “con” is the fact that it doesn’t sense shifting gears meaning that it will maintain power resulting in mashing gears. That is not a good thing. Of course, one can get around this by simply  turning the power way down/off while shifting.

Bafang electric motor kit

Bafang electric motor kit 2

Bafang electric motor kit 3

In this next video a KMX trike is shown. I want to include the video description here as it contains some information about this rig. Note the top speed claimed in this vs. the speed obtained on a bicycle equipped with this which was shown in an earlier video. Notice I said “obtained” as there was no mention of top speed. If I remember correctly the fastest I saw on the display was 22 mph.

“48V 750W BBS02 MAX Speed 32 MPH. 1. LCD Panel with FULL features: Speed, distance, 9 levels PAS, FULLY programmable without any patch cables, All done on screen. Motor with built Controller. Full set of new Bottom bracket mounting parts for bikes with 68mm BB Plus Chain ring (will work with 73 mm BB with longer hardware and spacers). Full instructions for installation and LCD set up and programming instruction book. Full set of quick release Wire harness with E-brake levers, throttle, PAS wires, etc. 6. Awesome acceleration, Hill climbing, Top speed of approx. 32 MPH. In the USA is classified as a fully legal 750 Watt Nominal motor by regulations. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico shipping fee is $100.00.”

Bafang electric motor inside

Here is a video showing and explaining how to install this on a DF bicycle. It would be quite similar installing it on a tadpole trike.

Bafang electric motor 8fun bbs02- display panel

Click HERE for YouTube video search results of the electric motor kit.

Bafang electric motor installed on KMX trike 2


Electric Bike Review

Amazon sells the kit with a battery for less than $1200 including shipping.

Ebay sells the kits. They also offer one that comes with a battery. I just discovered something while looking at these on Ebay. You have to be careful as there is tricky selling going on. I saw one of these shown as only costing $70. I thought “WOW!” … and wondered how that could possibly be. Then I scrolled down further and discovered that the seller is charging $410 shipping … bringing the total up to what most of the others are selling for.

Alibaba also sells the kits and is probably the lowest priced. They also sell other wattage models. And they too sell the kit with a battery.

From Alibaba website:


1) Has small current, high efficiency and long riding distance;

2) Light, energy-saving and protective for the battery;

3) Free of maintenance and has a long service life;

4) Produces small noise and is of soft start-up;

5) Has great output power, quick starting and powerful climbing capacity;

6) Gears are made of high strength and abrasion resistant high temperature nylon

7) Reasonably structured and durable in use.

For the 48v 750w motor, we recommend:

48v11.6ah (samsungcell 18650 2900mah,13s4p) dolphin battery

Bafang electric motor installed on KMX trike

Notice that on the KMX trike the motor is up on top of the boom and behind the crankset while on the ICE trike shown further above the motor is out in front of the crankset and boom. With this unit the front derailleur is not used. The front derailleur mounting tube on the ICE prevents the motor from being placed like it is on the KMX.  One could remove the tubing and position the motor on top of the boom, but if you ever wanted to go back to using a front derailleur a new boom would be required.


As the saying goes … “What will they think of next?”  … E-Pedals!

Britt Pedals E-Drive

Britt Pedals are an invention of a British man named Stephen Britt. Although not a very powerful motor nor a very long lasting battery power these are a quick and rather inexpensive means of motorizing a bicycle or in our case a tricycle. Costing about $300 it is just a matter of removing the existing pedals and installing these in their place. I don’t know much about them and apparently not much is being said as to just how they work. An engineer I am not, but it would seem to me that this is not a very efficient way to go about motorizing a bike. For sure it is truly pedal assist. There is no denying that.

They are not yet in production and available to purchase. They have come a ways though from their beginning as you can see in this picture of what they looked like in their early development.

Fast Forward electric pedal

Here is a video of Stephen Britt talking about his invention. As you can see the name was orginally Fast Forward.

Here is the company statement about the product:

“These replace your standard pedals and provide you with assistance to get you up hills, or carry heavy loads. Each pedal incorporates a motor, gearbox, Li-po batteries and a control board. As you pedal the sensors detect your effort and provide assistance. To pedal without assistance, simply flip the pedals over. They unclip and slot into a charger for charging, much like with a power tool. When fully developed they will provide a range of 10 miles and peak power of 200W. They will retail for around £200 (approximately $300).”

And there have been several articles written about these. The following are just a few of them:


Obviously they offer no protection for the concern of leg suck so using these on a tadpole trike could be risky. And I don’t see any simple solution to this concern.

Britt Pedal installed on crankarm

With only a ten mile range it is good that the pedals can be flipped over so that the battery power can be saved for when you really need it. 200 Watts is considered to be an entry level motor (not very powerful) so I would not expect them to climb much of a hill. I could be wrong and hope that I am. Maybe these would surprise me. I have no experience with electric motors on bikes. I am only going by what I have read. But hey, if these do make it into production and they offer enough assistance they might very well be just the ticket for some to …




Some say that when it comes to internal hubs this one is the best. One reviewer described it as “gears without headaches”. At the $320 to $400 range it is reasonable. You can certainly pay a lot more for an internal hub. It is available in 32 or 36 hole (spokes) and silver or black. It can be shifted effortlessly while sitting still or under load. I believe this unit weighs 5.4 pounds. For comparison a typical front and rear derailleur system weighs approximately 3 pounds.

NuVinci 360 internal hub 2

Wikipedia says “The NuVinci CVT further offers the ability to accept multiple inputs while varying speed and ratio, managing torque and providing single or multiple power outlets. By supporting a torque-demand rather than a speed-demand control solution, the NuVinci CVT solves the low-speed acceleration problem inherent in some torque-demand vehicles.”

* CVP (Continuously Variable Planetary) drivetrain technology with an infinite number of ratios
* Simple twist controller enables easy, continuous ratio adjustments while pedaling
* No missed gears, hesitation or noise
* Includes CruiseController shifter
* 6-Bolt disc ready
* 1.8:1 Minimum Sprocket Ratio (e.g. 20/36)
* Cog not included, uses 17-22t HG-style 9-spline cogs, 3/32″ only
* Hub’s shift drive fits behind dropout for clean installation
* Shifter’s cable has quick clip on and off system to allow for simple flat repair
* 360% Ratio Range (0.5 Underdrive to 1.8 Overdrive)
* Approved for use with 250w motors with a minimum 2.1:1 sprocket ratio (e.g. 22/42)

How it works:

nuvinci n360 cvt hub diagram

An animation of how the NuVinci® continously variable planetary (CVP) works including an explanation of the role of traction fluid in the transfer of power:

This has a full overdrive setting:

Quick Release Axle Hardware is available to replace standard axle nuts:


Here are some articles on the NuVinci N360 Internal Hub:



Personally I like the idea of having an internal hub. I doubt very much if I will ever have one at this stage of my life. Being able to shift while sitting still or when you find you didn’t downshift when you should have is a real plus with these hubs. They could easily help us to …





Efneo Gearbox 3

The Efneo Gearbox is a 3-speed planetary gearbox to take the place of the front derailleur. The Efneo Gearbox, like almost all other planetary gearboxes available on the market, has one specific feature: you can upshift with full load (e.g. you can push the pedals with all your strength and change the gear to the higher one). When you want to downshift, you need to stop pushing for a fraction of a second to let the gear change. It’s very easy to get accustomed to it and after a while you will do it without thinking about it.

Here is some information about it:

+Chain line remains straight on front end
+Immediate gear change and easier than a front derailleur
+It can be shifted sitting still
+Easier chain management
+Reduced Maintenance … No need for tiresome, tricky adjustments
+Since there is only one sprocket the chain length on this gearbox is constant
+The overall gear ratio is 179 percent … equivalent to a front crankset equipped with 28t/40t/50t rings.

The *eventual cost is said to be “above $300”. They are not currently in production and sales. They were just involved in a kickstarter campaign in which they exceeded their goal by 145 %. They are hoping to be delivering the product in August 2015. Right now I think this gearbox can be ordered for the cost of $240. Eventually the price will increase. Shipment is FREE for: United States, Canada, European Union, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

Efneo Gearbox $240

HERE is an article about this product. And HERE is another article. And HERE is a 3rd article.

The first gear is running 1:1, the second a 30% increase, and the third increases the gearing an additional 25%.  Unfortunately the gear ratios offered aren’t as good on the top end as most trikes with a 3 chainring derailleur setup so top speed obtainable would be lesser. This is the equivalent of 50 tooth while most trikes have a 52 tooth large chainring. I like the idea of it having 3 “gears” in it versus the 2 “gears” found in the Patterson and Schlumpf units. I think this is a nice looking unit. It is available in 170 and 175 mm crank arms. I would want 165 mm maximum length if I were in the market for one of these. The Efneo Gearbox will have its own paddle shifter that controls the gearbox with a single shift cable. The chainring is made from a very high quality Chromoly Steel 32HRC. Efneo offers a chainring for 1/8 and 3/32 inch chains. This gearbox is not recommended for heavy duty use. In the next video installation of this gearbox is covered.


am continually impressed with Utah Trikes as far as their offerings. Their trike modifications are first class workmanship. And now this …

UT Catrike seat extenders comparison

At this point in my life I have no need or desire to sit more upright on my trike than I do now. If anything, I would much prefer to be able to adjust the seat back down to a more inclined angle. That being said, I know there are people who want or even need to sit more upright. Well, with this $59 option you can … at least if you have a Catrike with an adjustable seat back. These extenders should work on any and all of the Catrike models that have adjustable seat backs. That includes the Villager, Trail and Trail Folder, Road and the new 559. You can order these from Utah Trikes website.

UT Catrike seat extenders seat folded forward

Another feature of these is that you can readily release them and fold the seat down to allow for easier stowage, etc.

UT Catrike seat extenders sideview

original bracket most upright  UT Catrike seat extenders most upright position

Quite a difference, huh?

bracket comparison

With companies like Utah Trikes around the future of tadpole trikes looks quite promising. I am looking forward to whatever they come up with next. Meanwhile I am just going to try to …


How ’bout you?


Schlumpf HSD

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it” so they say. In this case I am talking about having the money to afford some nice features on a tadpole trike. The Schlumpf HSD (high speed drive) is one such feature. In a word … NICE! They aren’t cheap monetarily speaking, but they sure are NICE! The cost is about $800. They come with a 5 year warranty. Here is a video about them …

Schlumpf is a company out of Switzerland that specializes in internal hubs. Their internal hubs are all located in the front however, and not in the back as is the traditional internal hub location. The beauty of this HSD is that it eliminates the standard front derailleur and improves the chainline besides just giving you higher gearing. Another big advantage is that you can shift at anytime, whether you are stopped or coasting, so you’ll never get stuck in too high of a gear. The low gear is the equivalent of a 27 tooth sprocket and the high gear is the equivalent of a 67.5 tooth sprocket. The standard large chain ring found on tadpole trikes is 52 tooth and the largest available chain ring is 56 teeth. So you can see the huge difference … 52 to 67.5.

A standard 9-speed cassette found on many trikes (11-32) in combination with the HSD provides a gear inch range of 17 to 123, compared to the stock gearing of 18 to 96. Most newer trikes are 10 speed and have a 34-tooth low sprocket. This equates to low-speed gearing of 16. With this kind of gear range a rider should be able to climb almost any hill, as well as be able to pedal at well over 30 mph. Now that is quite a range. I told you it was NICE! Install a 14 speed internal hub in the rear wheel and you can do some serious riding with the gear ratios available without having to deal with a derailleur system and all the inherent problems that come with them. That would really be NICE!

It takes special tools, knowledge and ability to install this unit so it is not something most of us could do ourselves. Even if we were “qualified” the special tools needed are extremely expensive so it would be quite impractical unless you would be installing these for a living. 🙂  Here is a video about installing the Schlumpf HSD …

Note: Utah Trikes states that they install the drive free if you buy it from them.

Here is a picture of the chamfering tool in use on a bicycle …

schlumpf chamfer

And here is what the finished chamfer looks like …

chamfer completed

As you can see once chamfered there is not much hope to ever going back to a standard crankset. A new boom would be needed to do so.

Here is a video of an ICE tadpole trike with what I would consider the ideal setup I have previously eluded to … internal hubs front and rear which are neat, clean, and nearly maintenance free …

Yeppur! The Schlumpf HSD is really NICE! Now if I could just get someone to buy me one. They are really nice, ya know! So if you’ve got it … you can flaunt it! One last thing … they are really NICE!

HERE is Utah Trike’s article on this product.


As far as I am concerned the very best bicycle tire money can buy is the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I have been using them now for several years and since I switched to them I have never had a flat tire caused from anything external. I have had one inner tube failure caused by the a Mr. Tuffy tire liner which I have since removed as they are not needed and do cause flats internally such as I experienced. Before I use to deal with a lot of flats. I joke about these tires being nearly bullet proof and I think they come close. They are indeed quite amazing!


schwalbe marathon plus 20x1-75 406 cutaway

I personally ride a Catrike Trail recumbent tadpole trike. Here is a picture of me on it.

new trike 1st pics 004

It is a blast to ride and extremely comfortable. Many compare riding a tadpole trike to driving a go cart or sports car as they handle so well. I have ridden this trike over 33,000 miles. Before I bought this trike I made one similar to it although it was made out of mild steel. My Catrike is made out of aluminum.

Over the years I have tried various other Schwalbe tires on my trikes. All of the various types of Schwalbe tires are quite good … among the very best made in the world, but the Marathon Plus out does them all … very flat resistant and long wear. I highly recommend these tires. I run the 20 X 1.75 406 size. They also come in 20 X 1.35 406 as well as larger diameter sizes for those who have a larger size rear wheel. By far the best price I have found is ordering them online from a company in the UK …   Merlin Cycles   They offer excellent service and free shipping if ordering a minimum of $75. With three or 4 tires that is easy enough to meet the requirement. I used to buy them from a company in Germany …  bike-discount.de   They are the second cheapest prices I have found. They also offer excellent service. I think a maximum of 4 tires can be ordered at one time for the flat rate shipping charge they have. Even with the shipping charge they have always been much cheaper than prices I have found elsewhere with the exception of Merlin Cycles. With this German source the best price per tire is had by ordering 4 at a time. I have found that the price per tire varies from time to time so sometimes I pay more or less than other times. Early on I paid $37 something apiece. Recently I paid $29.45 apiece. Again, the cost thru Merlin Cycles has been better.

Here is a video by Steve Green, Trike Hobo as he talks about the Marathon Plus tire …

I will readily admit that these tires are probably the most difficult tires to mount that I have ever encountered. However, there is a way which once known and followed make it much simpler. Once you learn how to do this it is fairly easy. Here is a video showing how to do it:



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