Drum Brake Renovation

The drum brakes on the Blue ICE started acting up after a mere 8.650km of heavy use.

Braking performance was still good, but the left brake was starting to get stuck. That’s normally a sure sign that the brake pads are at the end of their life. If this happens, you can extend their service life by putting some shims under the little hardened steel ‘shoes’ that sit between the brake pads and the brake lever shaft (see image 2).

Since both of my prefered ‘drum brake vendors’ where closed for Summer holidays, I’ve cannibalized the new brake plates from the Black ICE (at this rate, the Black ICE is probably back on the road in Summer 2047 *sigh*).

Yesterday, I took a closer look at the old brakes. Since I’ve already put 0.5mm shims into the ‘brake shoes’ some 2,500km ago, I didn’t have high hopes, though.
As it turned out, the brake pad diameter was still quite similar to new (88.5mm) and they only needed a thorough cleaning and lubrication.

This is when you run into some trouble with the Sturmey Archer drum brakes. They (understandably) choose easy production and assembly over maintainance when they used these Starlock lock rings on the axles. They are virtually impossible to remove undamaged and the big one for the 11mm diameter bolt are pretty hard to come by.

Comparison between customised bolt with Seeger clip ring (left) vs original Starlock ring.

I had some Seeger clip rings and a couple of 0.1mm shim rings at hand. The only thing missing was a notch for the clip ring in one of the bolts. A metal saw fixed the missing notches. I’ve used a couple of 12mm washers as guide to saw the notch around the bolt. The shim rings allowed to adjust the axial play of the brake pads on the bolt.

I’ve put the brakes back into the trike and did an extended test ride. All good and the brakes feel like new again.

Update August 27, 2017:
The renovated brakes don’t play ball. They do brake, but the hand force necessary to make them behave is quite high after about 100km. While its normal that they need a new braking-in period to settle, the dust that’s wearing-off the brake pads shouldn’t stick to them. I cleaned the brake pads with brake cleaner, maybe that’s the problem (that didn’t work too well before, but I forgot).
Today I’ve used acetone for cleaning. Lets hope that’s working better…

Update September 2, 2017
Cleaning the brake pads with acetone did the trick.
Note to self: Never use brake cleaner again!

Now, I’m thinking about water-cooled drum brakes. Stay tuned… 😉

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Blue ICE got a Nose

Since this summer is fairly wet, I’ve mounted the KingCycle nose fairing to the Blue ICE.

The nose fairing looks quite nice with the white Ortlieb X-Press panniers.

The mirrors mounted to the fairing offer a perfect rear view.

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EM3EV Battery Factory Tour

I always like to recommend EM3EV, since Paul has a very good reputation at Endless-Sphere and is known for his great customer service.

Check-out this video about how EM3EV designs and produces their batteries. The next time I need new batteries for my trikes, I have to order from Paul. That is a completely different level of battery design and build quality, compared to my current batteries.

(the camera man/moderator guy is pretty annoying, though)

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Arcus Velomobile on Tour

Arto Joutsimäki and two friends started their German tour with a Arcus velomobile and two trikes yesterday. They are retracing the bicycle tour Finnish photographer I. K. Inha did in 1886.

I went to Ratzeburg to accompany them on their first ride day of the tour from Lübeck to Arlenburg. Fortunately, they where not particularly hard to find.

A HPV Scorpion FS 20, Azub Tricon and Arcus velomobile waiting patiently in front of the Turkish Restaurant in Ratzeburg, who graciously led us charge our batteries.

The Arcus velomobile

The Arcus velomobile is actually a velomobile shell for a full suspended ICE Sprint trike, designed by Arto Joutsimäki. If you want to fit a different trike model to the Arcus, you should contact Arto which other trikes models will fit as well.

Arto and his Arcus

The three Finnish musketeers, eeh…, recumbent riders. Freshly strengthened by pizza.

After showing-off my outstanding navigational skills (I led them astray on the way out of Ratzeburg), Arto chose to rely on his smart phone to find the right way (good choice!).

Next stop was in Mölln, where Arto had to change a front tyre with a badly worn sidewall.

In Güster we had a small break to eat some cake.

The next stop was at the Gasthaus Lanzer See for dinner (and a little recharge), but they are closed on Mondays. Fortunately for the guys, there was a live plug.

Jörn came with his DF velomobile to pilot us to Arlenburg. They met in Finnland in 2014 on the Great Baltic Sea Ride.

I’ve really enjoyed the ride with these guy’s! I hope they have a great time and don’t encounter too much rain in the next two weeks.

My round trip from Hamburg to Ratzeburg, further to Arlenburg and back home was 162km with a 25.7km/h average. Overall cunsumption was 1,777Wh or 10.9Wh/km.

Check out Arto’s Day 3 tour report in his Arcus Velomobile German Tour travel blog and the track on RideWithGPS: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/15601030

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ICE Sprint DIY Battery Bracket

Sometimes comes the question, where and how to mount the battery to a trike.

The best place I found, is mounting the battery directly to the seat tubes, hanging low under the seat for enhanced cornering stability. The worst place for a heavy battery is on the rear rack, followed by mounting the battery on the front boom.

This is my DIY battery bracket. The right hand side bracket in this case, shown from both sides. Two half coupler mounted to a 100mm wide, 3mm thick aluminium plate.

And here the battery bracket mounted to the trike seat. If you use two of them, they leave enough space the mount the motor controller between them.

My batteries are inside waterproof Ortlieb outer pockets size L.

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Fahrradsternfahrt 2017 in Hamburg

Today was the 22. annual Fahrradsternfahrt in Hamburg. About 30,000 cyclists rode from all directions into the city, took a small detour across the Köhlbrand Bridge and a stretch of Autobahn on the way back across the Elbbrücken to Rathausmarkt for the closing ralley.

A wide range of cycles of any flavor attended.

Cyclists waiting for the police to close the Köhlbrand bridge for the traditional crossing.

A young HPV Scorpion rider with his parents. No scruffy beard, no aero belly, no sandals, not even uncool spectacles! He probably single-handedly cut the average age of us trike riders in half. That ain’t right! I issued a formal complaint to his parents in the name of all recumbent riders.

Waiting in the shadow of a railway bridge for the police to close a stretch of the Autobahn.
AFAIK that is one of only two Catrike Speed in the Hamburg area (this one is owned by my local Baumarkt manager).

At the closing rally at the Rathausmarkt, some of us recumbent riders gathered with the velomobiles in front of the Bucerius Kunst Forum to spread the word of recumbent bliss.

Olaf came with his wife on mountain bikes. Since he did a ride earlier today with his ICE Sprint X and accumulated 800 meters of climbing (in Hamburg!) he was excused.

The range of velomobiles was a good mix with three Quest, a Milan SL, a DF xl, a Velayo and a Go-One Ks. None of the usual Mango’s or Alleweder attended unfortunately.

Michael from R3 rode his battle hardened Quest down from Eckernförde, Benno came from Bremen in his Milan SL and Jörn came with his DF from Winsen.

Afterwards we finished the day with a cool beer at the Großneumarkt…

…where the velomobiles attracted further attention.

I had a great time! All together it was a 72km ride with a 15.7km/h average.
Next time I’ll use some sun blocker, though (outch!).

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Custom ICE Race Trike on Ebay

This gallery contains 5 photos.

In case you didn’t know, ICE Trikes has a little Ebay ‘outlet store’. Currently ICE Trikes is offering the personal, one-of-a-kind, custom designed race trike from Ben Dickinson (former World Trike champion), one of ICE Trikes designers. It got a … Continue reading

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If you had a look at the web links on the right side, you might found the link to John Hawks blog. I’m following his blog for a couple of years now and greatly enjoyed his online course ‘Human Evolution – Past and Future’ on Coursera in 2014.

Human evolution is a fascinating topic and he is a great lecturer. Anyway, here is his presentation about Neandertals, that’ll give you an overview about what we know of them.

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Nasty’s new 700c rear wheel

Today, I’ve looked for a 700c tyre to get the new rear wheel rolling. The easiest would be a Kojak in 700c size, to match the 26″ Kojak’s at the front, but I had something wide and quick with at least some thread in mind. The first bike shop only offered Marathon Plus and skinny Schwalbe Lugano in 700c, but the second shop had a much wider choice and offered a Conti Cyclocross Speed in 42-622 for a mere €13.

I wasn’t sure if such a wide 700c tyre in the Sprint rear frame would allow a rear fender (you really want a rear fender in a trike to save yourself from crud in your hair), hence I went for a cheap tyre for the first try-out, but it fits rather perfectly.

The seat is set a bit higher and the rear frame inserted all the way into the front frame. The wheel base decreased by 4-5cm and, since I got slightly more weight on the rear wheel, the rear doesn’t like to slip-out slightly when going hard around corners anymore.
That small change in handling was already noticable with the bald 26″ Kojak yesterday and more apparent on my first ride with the finly treaded Conti, today.

More importantly, ‘Nasty’ looks way more balanced with the combination of 26″ at the front and 700c at the rear, than with 3×26″ wheels. 🙂

The new rear wheel. A matt black H Plus Son SL42 rim with the 42-622 Cyclocross Speed.
Rats! Cut the chain too short, I’m afraid, since the bottom bracket boom may need to come out a further 1/2cm.

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Nasty got new wheels

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Yeah, I know… I had every intention to ride with the 20″ front wheels for a while, but it was raining on the weekend. I got bored and instead of watching TV, went on a little wheel building spree. Five … Continue reading

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