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.

_MS20703

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.

_MS20699

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.

Posted in Cycling, Recumbent Trike, Technical Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Cycling, Recumbent Trike | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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:
ChallengerOpenCanopyFront

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.
klimax2k

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… :(

Posted in Cycling, Recumbent Trike, Velomobile | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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…

Posted in Cycling, Recumbent Trike, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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. ;)

Annihilator-Sprint

Posted in Cycling, Recumbent Trike | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

PK-2
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

Posted in Cycling, Technical Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charging Station

Yesterday I happily stumbled across the free charging station of SenerTec in Lauenburg right at the point where my battery’s hit half empty and I had to decide what to do next.
Go back home the same way or continue my tour across the elb river for a more scenic ride and pedal the last 10 or 20km like the days before. Opting for the recharge I went for the more scenic 50km ride without caring too much about my battery and still had 40% charge left when arriving home.


Image: SenerTec

I think it is a great service to offer free-of-charge charging stations for electric vehicles.
Ok, I admit with an ebike you don’t really need a charged battery to come home and don’t suffer range anxiety to the extend drivers of electric cars or electric motorcycles might experience. Nonetheless recharging my battery ‘on the road’ was quite helpful.

Websites to find charging stations in Germany and Europe:
LEMnet
Drehstromnetz
e-tankstellen-finder
PlugFinder

Posted in ebike, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment