I just reached the 20.000km mark with my trike the other day.

The Sprint changed quite a bit since I got it.

What started as a full suspended ICE Sprint soon changed to a rigid 26″ rear frame when I broke the suspended 20″ rear frame (twice). This might be a good time to mention ICE Trikes great customer service. Where else does the company boss answers your email and asks about how exactly you broke ‘his’ trike to find out if they have to redesign the rear frame? Turns out I overstressed the frame at one particular corner in front of my home, but none the less ICE Trikes changed the rear frame at no charge (Thanks Neil!).

Sprint 20 inch hardtail
Sprint FS with rigid 26″ rear frame and 3×20″ wheels. Awesome fast cornering but the small unsuspended rear wheel was a real bitch on rough roads or cobblestone.

Sprint FS with 24″ rear wheel. I still think the 24″ rear wheel was the best compromise in gear range, corner handling and wheel rigidity. While a bit less comfortable than a wide 26″ wheel the Bafang BPM at 60V/35A in 24″ rim is an awesome sprinter from the red lights and proved to be quite the mountain goat in Bavaria.

ICE Sprint FS 26
Sprint FS with regular 26″ wheel. The most comfortable unsuspended rear wheel setup with a very nimble steering.

The current setup of my Sprint with 24″ front wheels and 26″ rear. I really like the new setup with the big front wheels but might miss the front mud guards, though.

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24″ front wheels for my Sprint

New 90mm Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs arrived yesterday so I could finally build a set of 24″ front wheels and really like the new look of my Sprint.


Today I rode only about 30km but the difference in handling between the stock 20″ and the new 24″ front wheels is like night and day. The Sprint is definitely less nimble at cornering and it requires a bit more force to steer.
On the other hand it goes straight as an arrow and handles less than perfect roads with aplomb. The slightly higher bottom bracket feels a bit better as well.


At the end of the week the new brakes and tyres will be worn in and I can say more about the different corner handling.

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Safety goggles for triking

Since I wear spectacles with rather abysmal aerodynamic properties (my eyes will start to tear above 20km/h) and already had to see an ophthalmologist twice to remove some debris out of my eyes, I was looking for some goggles for triking.

When presented with Uvex Ultrasonic 9302 safety goggles at work I stopped searching. They are ventilated and anti-fog coated on the inside (works very well indeed!), scratch resistant, light, very comfortable to wear and don’t look too dorky. They are relatively cheap as well.

Uvex Ultravision 9302.245

Oncoming trucks with their shock wave of debris don’t bother me any more. It was way more comfortable to ride fast under -10°C this winter as well. Now, after about 7 month of daily use the lens got some scratches and I have to find a dealer to get a new one. I’d like to get a tinted lens for summer as well.

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Velomobile shell for trikes

(You can tell it is cold and raining here. I’m into shells and fairings again…) :D

There are two velomobile shells available to convert ICE Sprint RS trikes to full-blown velomobiles: The Borealis from Velomobiles.ca and the Challenger from Ocean Cycles in the UK. Both fit for the suspended 20″ rear wheel version of the ICE Sprint.

The Borealis V3:
Borealis v3

The Ocean Cycles Challenger:

For other tadpole trikes there is the rather butt ugly Blue Sky Design shell kit and potentially the better looking Aero Bullet kit (if they decide to start production).

Blue Sky Design kit:
Blue Sky Design

Silver Bullet kit:
Silver Bullet kit

These kits might be interesting for you guy’s (and gal’s) left of the pond but here in Europe it’s probably cheaper to get a used velomobile right away and be done with it.

Fabric fairings
The very promising Azub Dyve fabric fairing unfortunately is a no-show so far. The one page ‘website’ from the German designer didn’t changed in the last 14 month and Azub never answered my inquiry by email.
Dryve open cockpit

The Hase Klimax fabric fairing looks like a pretty good solution for weather protection if you ride a delta trike. Light, foldable, easy to install but at around €900 not exactly cheap.

Unfortunately nothing remotely similar to the Klimax is available for tadpole trikes. As a trike commuter a light and foldable fabric fairing would be perfect. I’m pretty ok down to -5°C if it’s dry weather but rain at temperatures up to 10°C is a bitch and I really don’t like rain trowsers that much. I think it was Neil from ICE Trikes who wrote to me that they had a good look at the Klimax fairing, but designing a fabric fairing for their trikes would make no economic sense for them.

Looks like I have to go DIY from here. We’ll see… :(

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White ICE Trike

ICE Trikes created a real beast of a trike (they did a Monster once), the White ICE Cycle.
The White ICE Cycle 3
The White ICE Cycle Images: ICE Trikes

Based on the ICE Sprint frame they custom designed a big wheeled trike for Maria Leigerstam’s attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole cycling.

Riding some 650km (400 miles) in 10 days through unforgiving Antarctica is a truly amazing challenge and Maria made it. Ahead of schedule and her competitors, setting two world records in the progress. You can read all of it in her blog.

I really look forward to see the ITV documentary of her race…

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Utah Trikes Annihilator Series

Utah Trikes introduced a great series of big wheeled custom trikes by adding 24″ front wheels, a fat 26″ or even 29″ rear wheel among a host of other upgrades to the Catrike Expedition, Villager and Road models. Check out their recent custom trike builds!

Brian from BROL got an Annihilator X90 and posted a full review of his awesome looking trike. He started an already lengthy Annihilator X90 thread at the BROL forum as well.

Image: Brian Ball

Annihilator X90
Catrike Expedition with 24″ front wheels and 29″ rear wheel, 90 gears.
Details, specifications and price of the Annihilator X90 here.

Image: Utah Trikes

Annihilator R81 (Catrike Road)
Catrike Road with 24″ front wheels and suspended 26″ rear wheel, 81 gears.
Details, specifications and price of the Annihilator R81 here.

Image: Utah Trikes

Annihilator V81 (Catrike Villager)
Catrike Villager with 24″ front wheels and 26″ rear wheel, 81 gears and higher seat.
Details, specifications and price of the Annihilator V81 here.

Image: Utah Trikes

I think I’ll start to lace-up some 24″ front wheels for my Sprint soon. Since I’ve snatched up some wide 24″ rims already I’ll just have to get a pair of Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs and a handful of spokes…

Update April 14. 2014
Got some 90mm Sturmey Archer XL-SD drum brake hub shells with 32 spoke holes (!) to fit my 507x25mm downhill rims two days ago and ride an ‘Annihilator Sprint’ already. ;)


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P&K Lie truing stand

I was just googling for truing stands and found this very well made truing stand sculpture.
The P&K Lie truing stand looks like a tool every bike mechanic worth its salt could drool over. It’s not only good-looking but because of the unique custom-made dual dial indicators with non-linear readout should be also a real joy to use.

Starting at €1520 from P&K Lie in Germany or $1850 from Wheel Fanatic in the US unfortunately not something you buy on a whim for the occasional wheel maintenance, though.

There is an in-depth description of the P&K Lie truing stand in the Wheel Fanatyc blog post: A perfect truing stand

Image: P&K Lie

Wheel Fanatyk Tensiometer
With the Wheel Fanatyk Tensiometer these guys produce an updated version of the well reguarded but long discontinued Jobst Brandt/FSA spoke tension gauge!
At $295 not exactly a cheapy as well.

Wheel Fanatyc tensiometer
Image: Wheel Fanatyk

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