FIVE THINGS FOR NATIONAL BIKE MONTH

May is almost over but fellow triker David Goldman managed to get this video out while it is still May. (I almost typed April.) As usual he has a good message to us.

As much as I want to be out there riding I can’t. I am stuck here at home waiting on a technician from Frontier FIOS to show up to fix our internet service which has been going out frequently for a couple of weeks or more now. They said it was my router going bad so they sent me a new router which arrived yesterday. I hooked it up and it doesn’t work at all. I went back to my old router and it is working perfectly. And here I sit unable to go riding. We are having 4 days of rain with very few breaks in the rain where I could go riding. Boo Hoo! I really want to …

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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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Revolution eQuad RS – Pedal-Electric Hybrid Recumbent Quad

There is just no end to the products the craftsmen at Utah Trikes produce. They have been making quads for several years now. Their Catrike quad is very popular.  Of course, evolution is involved. For instance they went from using a hub motor on the rear axle to a Bafang crank drive motor behind the seat. I would prefer the hub motor as I am not a fan of crank drive. As I understand the hub drive is still available but only in a solid steel axle with no differential. That would wear out rear tires quicker.

For those wanting to know what my objection is to crank drive e-motors it is simple enough. Cycle drive trains were not designed to handle the extra power a motor puts on them. Of course, the same thing could be said about a wheel but I think a wheel can better handle a motor than a drive train (chain and sprockets) can. Crank drives are known to destroy drive trains and replacing various sprockets, idlers, and chain is expensive.

Understand that Utah Trikes manufactures this quad from the ground up. They are not taking a pre-manufactured tadpole trike and converting it into a quad like they have on some of their other offerings. Starting price is $6599 plus $599 shipping. It is what I call a rich man’s toy. That is more money than I paid for one of my toys  in years past … a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi. 555 horsepower according to the dynamometer of ground shaking window rattling brute power.

Check out their webpage on this toy.

Their statement:

“The UTCustom Revolution eQuad is the culmination of nearly 15 years of building custom quads. The Revolution eQuad has been designed to get you where you want to go on road or off.”

Mind you I have not as much as seen one of these much less sat on one. Never the less for what it is worth the handlebars look so high to me that I would think they would be uncomfortable. That is probably because I am a short person. For a taller person that may not be true at all.

There is a choice of two different seats.  One has it own seat frame which slides back and forth. It sits up right. It is shown in the picture above. The other is a fully adjustable recumbent seat with mesh material pictured below as well as most of the other pictures.

Quads are definitely more stable than trikes but as can be seen in the video below this rider is able to lift a rear wheel off of the pavement. So if one worked at it hard enough a quad could be tipped over.

I have to admit there are times I would like to have such a toy. My trike is just not practical to take off road riding. I have discovered  a few off road dirt trails just off of a paved trail I ride nearly everyday (the paved trail, that is). I have been riding on them a little bit but I would ride on them a lot more if I had a quad like this.

Let’s go off roading …

Looks like fun indeed. But at my age (mid 70s) most of my off road fun is behind me. It is probably just as well. I would probably find myself wrapped around a tree or worse. They say with age comes wisdom. I know better but dealing with temptation is hard. Here is a picture of me just a few days ago …

A trike does fine on this trail as long as it is not muddy or uneven ground. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have ridden on it 3 or 4 more times since the first time I tried it. These dirt trails were bullt for motorized 4 wheel ATVs by a guy who lives nearby and a couple of his friends who ride with him. I have only checked out a couple of them thus far. I would love to ride on all of them but I am concerned about my trike not being up to it. I would most likely get stuck as well as tip over. I am sure over time curiosity will get the best of me. Hopefully I will be able to …

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FRIKAR E-BIKE VELOCAR TRIKE

From the Norwegian makers of Podride their newest offering is this e-motor version. The problem is like their Podride the  Frikar is still  not available. It is only in prototype and not in production. They are taking pre-orders however. They show a production startup of Spring 2022. and actual availability in 2023.

Personally I would prefer Podride’s quad version as it would be more stable.

One thing for sure, whether 3 wheels or 4 wheels the rider is protected from the weather. Of cours,e being closed up inside of a velocar is quite uncomfortable in hot weather. It does say that the canopy is removable. In hot weather I would prefer not to be inside of any body unless it has air conditioning. Hey, they may offer it at some point in the future.

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HOW TO OPERATE A CRANK DRIVE E-MOTOR

It is no secret … a crank drive motor is hard on drive trains. And if the rider does not know how to properly use that extra power being applied to the pedals the drive train can be destroyed quickly. Here is a video sharing advice on how to operate a crank drive e-motor.

Anyone using a crank drive e-motor would be wise to heed this advice. I was aware of what is shared here and followed this advice. My drive train was still quickly destroyed. Personally I don’t and I can’t recommend crank drive e-motors. After replacing badly worn parts of my drive train I went back to using my rear hub drive and much prefer it. My local LBS sells and services e-bikes including installing Bafang units on trikes. They say the same thing … a very simple truth … crank drive systems are hard on drive trains and they don’t recommend them.

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INSTALLING A REAR HUB MOTOR KIT

My eZee rear hub motor came from Grin Technologies and I installed it myself. Here is a video showing the installation process on a bicycle. It is similar on a trike.

I did not need the torsion bar as the eZee hub motor does not have anywhere near enough power to need it.  I had to spread my rear dropouts further apart to fit the unit in. The wheel my eZee motor was laced into did not hold up. I had to replace it . I bought a much stronger BMX rim and had it laced up by a professional wheel builder at my LBS. It has held up fine. After my experience with BionX and Golden Motors I have been well pleased with the eZee hub motor.  And then when I tried the Tongsheng crank drive motor which greatly disappointed me the eZee was a joy to go back to. The only disappointing thing about the eZee is I don’t have pedal assist … only a hand throttle. Oh I bought pedal assist when I first got the eZee hub motor kit. I paid a lot of extra money for it and still had to pay more for a different crankset as my Catrike crankset would not work with the torque sensor. Then I paid more to have my LBS install the torque sensor for me (with my assistance) only to discover that the torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies sent me a different one but it required an even different crankset which we could not find available so I never got the torque sensor installed. It was just a lot of wasted money and effort. So during the 4 years I have had the eZee hub motor I have only had a hand throttle. Now I have gotten good at using it … so much so that I can pretty well duplicate what pedal assist feels like. One thing about it just buying the hand throttle would have saved me several hundred dollars which I ended up wasting. My advice to anyone wanting pedal assist is to by a unit with it built in. The eZee motor does not have it built in and the separate torque sensor which goes into the crankset bottom bracket is not at all practical. If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought it.

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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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WILLOUGHBY, NEXT STOP WILLOUGHBY

I am sure many of us will remember the episode of Twilight Zone entitleld “A Stop at Willoughby” from 1960. It was about an overstressed executive named Gart Williams who seeks escape from his troubles by napping on the commuter train he takes to go home and awakening, in dreams, on a very different train; an elegant, wood paneled car of a steam train peacefully rolling into the idyllic little town of Willoughby. What does this have to do with tadpole trikes you ask? Absolutely nothing! And then again … well, just maybe we too could enter the Twilight Zone while riding our trikes in so much comfort.

 

I mean if we are not careful it could happen. We could be riding along so relaxed  that we  border on falling asleep and entering our own dream world. The only problem is we are not running on rails so likely we would soon end up in big trouble as we leave the roadway or trail we are riding on. And then sudden reality takes over awakening us from La-La land. Obviously we best not ever let than happen. We need to stay awake and alert and do our snoozing when in the living room recliner and not our mobile recliner known as our recumbent tadpole trikes. They are comfortable enough we could get confused as to which one we are sitting in. I joke all the time about riding my trike saying that the hardest part of riding it is trying to stay awake. Yes, I joke about it, but isn’t far from the truth. I have come very close to falling asleep while pedaling along. If no harm would come of it I would be very tempted to allow it to happen, but I know better than that. It only happens on screen in movies and tv shows. In real life where the rubber meets the road our bodies all too often do too. If you want to stop at Willoughby do it the safe way …HERE  . While riding your trike do all you can to stay awake and keep safe. Don’t let the comfort you experience lull you to sleep or you may be entering the Twilight Zone.

I doubt very much if the end result would be the discovery of  Willoughby. It is most likely non-existent. You are more likely to end up like the man in this televison show. His stepping off of the train into Willoughby did not result in what he was dreaming. Not at all. Besides we all want to …

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P.S. — if you really want to experience Willoughby it starts by accepting the free gift linked to above. Death awaits each and everyone of us. It is what happens following death that matters. Gart Williams longed for Willoughby but had a hard rude awakening when he exited the train to go there. It is the same for anyone who does not have their ticket to exit this train we are all on called life on earth. A rude awakening awaits those who don’t have the ticket the Conductor offers freely.

Watch the video of …

SUNSEEKER ELECTRIC T3 CX TRIKE REVIEW

Sunseeker has been around for a number of years. Formerly known as Sun Bicycles several years ago they changed the name to Sunseeker for their recumbent line. They are considered startup quality and their lowest cost model is made of mild carbon steel. They also offer Chrome Moly steel and aluminum. Of course, the price goes up with these more expensive metals. Electric Bike Technologies offers Sunseeker’s chrome moly trike with their electric motor package installed on it for $3412. Sunseeker lists this trike (without electric motor) for $2300. Here is a video about this e-trike  …

more videos from Electric Bike Technologies

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5 THINGS ABOUT RECUMBENT TRIKE RIDERS

Fellow triker, David Goldman, shares with us “Five Things About Recumbent Trike Riders” in his video . I added the word Recumbent to his title as we are talking about recumbent and not about a traditional trike. Anyway, here is his video …

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RECUMBENT RIDE THRU SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK -TUSCON, AR.

Take a ride along with Sylvia and friends. The trails look so smooth and being in southern Arizona I would guess that they stay that way. A freshly paved trail up here in northern Indiana doesn’t last long before it is no longer smooth. Anyway, this sure looks inviting. There is only one problem as I see it … the comfortable weather for riding is short lived as soon it will be miserbly hot and last most of the year. Oh well, I don’t ever expect to be able to go there anyway. I will just have to enjoy it thru these videos.

Thanks Sylvia for posting this video sharing your adventure with us. I know I enjoyed it.

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STEAM POWERED TADPOLE TRIKE

This would indeed be a unique sight to be seen riding along on. I rather doubt if it would be allowed on most trails however. I have not yet heard or read anything about the fuel economy … how far one can go on a full tank of water. I would guess that it varies according to how hard and fast you run the steam engine. And since it does not go all that fast to begin with my gurss would be that one would most likely be running it pretty near full throttle most of the time. From what I have seen watching several different videos on dare not go very fast with one of these steam powered machines as they would self destruct shaking themselves to pieces.

If you want one you can’t just put your order in. These are all home custom built machines.. After all, it is not like there is a huge market for steam powered anything nowadays.

 

Even in the Navy steam has come and gone. I worked with and on it all the time in my younger days as I was a certified unlimited high pressure plate and pipe weldor (all positions with space restrictions). Steam can be very dangerous. It is invisible so one needs to be extremely careful around it. You can hear it but you can’t see it. It can quite literally cut your fingers off if you run them over a high pressure steam leak. You might be asking … if steam is invisible what is I see we call steam. Actually it is “spent steam” … steam that is cooling down and becomes water droplets. The Navy had both 600 psi and 1200 psi steam systems. The ships I served on were all 600 psi systems.  I can’t make out what the gauge is showing on this trike but it is a very low pressure steam system. (I think the gauge shows 75 psi.) The builder of this trike said that it only takes 20 seconds to get steam up to get underway. A Navy destroyer would require about 2 hours to get “steam up” if starting from cold boilers.  I am sure most all of us have seen movies, especially western movies, where they show steam locomotives which burned wood and/or coal to heat the water to make steam. There is no wood needed on this rig. The boiler has a spark plug to ignite liquid fuel to heat the water. I have a hard time understanding British people when they speak. I wish they would use English. (That is a joke, son.) Anyway, if this man said what the fuel is I missed it. I really do have a hard time understanding most British people. They sure know how to slaughter their language so that most of the rest of the world can’t understand them.

There is another video below which explains how a steam engine works. There is nothing practical about this setup. Its top speed isn’t impressive. It is just something unique. And wearing the clothes and looking like this man does adds greatly to it all. I have to admit … I would love to see this man and this trike out cruising around.  If I had one I would be out there … at least on some occasions. I already have the horn and a spark plug laying around not being used. Hey, it is a start.

Hey, speaking of wood fired steam engines … This Brazilian man has experimented with several different designs. He has several different videos. I chose this one below to show here.

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MY CAMERA MOUNT

Every once in awhile someone asks about how to mount their camera. Here is what I did. The standard tripod for cameras is a 1/4-20 thread which screws into the camera. To mount my camera I used the tripod mount threaded hole in the bottom of the camera. I simply took an extra headlight mounting clamp and placed a 1/4-20 bolt thru it. It was easy to do and works great. Here are a couple of pictures of it.

The 1/4-20 bolt has its head ground down so that it doesn’t protrude down too far and interfere with the clamp as it is placed on the tubing it mounts to.

With this clamp mount I can mount most any camera. Aiming it straight forward it does catch my right foot as I pedal … something I don’t personally like to see in videos.

Below  is a video I filmed with this camera mounted as shown. I apologize for the in and out of focus going on. The camera has a feature which won’t stay turned off which automatically focuses on the face or whatever it perceives as its focal point. I turned it off before I started but it turned itself back on. I hate this camera. It is a Sony. I have a Samsung camera which I like much better but the screen display quit working on it.

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LOW COST E-MOTOR OPTIONS

Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report brings us another video offering information and help for those who would like to add e-assist to their trike.  Here is the video description … If you want to add an electric motor to your existing trike David Hall offers some compelling and inexpensive solutions. David is the founder of Eco Cycles in Nashville and shows us how you can install their motors, batteries and displays on any trike.

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TRAIL CROSSINGS-DON’T BECOME A VICTIM

Whether you ride on trails or roads or both there is danger out there. This picture above is of one of our local trails crossing a rural road. As you can see there is a painted crosswalk as well as flashing yellow lights on the road to let motorists know if any trail users are present. The law in Indiana requires motorists to stop and yield the right away to anyone who is IN the crosswalk. If the person crossing the road has not yet entered the crosswalk motorists are not required to stop. Unfortunately all to many motorists don’t seem to know and understand the law. I have to admit that I was mistaken myself. It was my belief that motorist are required to yield to anyone who is AT a crosswalk so that they could get across the road using the crosswalk. Personally I think that is the way the law ought to be. Mind you, I don’t know what the law is about this in other States or countries.. The picture above is of the same trail crossing. Just a few months ago a female trail user was killed while crossing the road in this crosswalk. She had the right of way since she was IN the crosswalk. However, that is not the full story. Here is what happened and I have witnessed it many times myself as I sat there on my trike at crosswalks.

A motorist is driving along and they see someone there at the crosswalk waiting to cross. The motorist wants to be kind and nice so they stop to allow the trail user to cross the road. It is a nice gesture, but it can be quite dangerous. The problem is they may be stopped but that doesn’t mean other traffic will also stop. Many times I have seen motor vehicles go around them and drive on down the road. Also traffic coming from the opposite direction may not stop. If the trail user happens to be crossing the road they may very well be hit. That is what happened to the women who was killed a few months ago. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/carroll-rd-closed-at-pufferbelly-trail-as-police-investigate/ I still see it all the time. Some well meaning motorist will stop to let me cross the road. I just wave them on and wait until it is safe to cross.I may have to wait awhile before it is safe to cross but at least I am not going to become another victim.  I have seen many motorists drive around past them shouting obscenities and flipping them the bird while honking their horns. They obviously have an attitude problem. And, of course, there are always many motorists guilty of inattention … texting or whatever. It is just not worth the risk folks. It would be nice if all trails crossed under or over roads instead of “at grade level” but that is too costly.

Here is the same trail with a crossunder under Dupont Rd. being constructed. And here it is completed. It is great to simply ride under the busy road and not be concerned about one’s safety.

This is the next road south of where the female trail user was killed. https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20180701/trail-crossing-right-of-way-goes-to-drivers Yep, motorists have the right of way. Trail users must wait until it is safe to cross.               BE SAFE OUT THERE!   

so you can …

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ONLY A RIDE AWAY FROM FEELING BETTER

Now I ask ya … what, if anything, is keeping you from getting up out of your comfortable perch and going out for a ride on your trike? Maybe you don’t struggle with this but many do. I am among them. I love riding my trike and I always enjoy it when I do. I do struggle with motivation however. I find myself procrastinating … putting it off. I have to force myself to get going. Once I am underway it is a different story. I am glad to be out there riding. I can’t explain it and I certainly don’t like it but I lack motivation to get started.

Fellow triker, David Goldman, tells it like it is … making the effort to get out for a ride makes a difference. Once again, I fully agree with him. Hang in there David! And may we all … ENJOY THE RIDE!

 

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INDEPTH TOUR OF TERRA CYCLE

Matt Galat brings us this tour thru the Terra Cycle manufacturing facility. They make some great products such as mounts, holders, brackets, braces, etc. for our trikes.

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CATRIKE FACTORY TOUR 2019

This video is from 2019 when the Eola model debuted. Sadly it has come and gone but the video is still interesting to watch. A thank you goes out to Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report.

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PERFORMER-MOTINOVA ASSEMBLY GUIDE (FRONT CRANK DRIVE SYSTEM)

Performer trikes is offering a 250 watt crank drive e-motor for their trikes. It comes from Performer mounted on the end of its own boom so the original boom is replaced. simplifying the installation.  It is a nice looking unit … similar to what Catrike offers.  I personally would not want to be limited to only 250 watts. Here is a video illustrating how to install the conversion kit.

The cost of the conversion kit is $1750. https://www.performercycles.com/front-drive-system-ebike/

 Performer also offers rear hub motor conversion kits for $1400.. They are ACER brand and are 350 watt.

Both front and rear kits include a 36 volt 14aH battery and battery mount.

Performer E-Trike Models

Performer on Facebook

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