Monday, March 28, 2011

Clipless peddles

I've always had toe clips on bicycles. I never fancied myself the Lance Armstrong, Walter Mitty type. Plus seeing riders fall over after long days and once even seeing a rider fall in to police officer after stopping to ask a question, I've never felt the need for a clipless setup.
That has changed. On a some bumpy high speed hills my feet have slipped nearly off the peddle. Being new to this I've just trusted the LBS and installed a pair of SunLite single side clipless SPD peddles.
Clipless peddles on TS2

I opted for single side since I still plan to use regular shoes for short rides.

2nd Gen Trail vs TS2:
The 2nd Gen Trail is supposed to come with clipless peddles while I had to spend about $40 for this upgrade on the TS2. I'll have to wait and see the quality of the 2-Trail peddles.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sunny but cold(to me at least:)

I got in a short ride today. The sun is out, sky is blue, little wind and it is about 42F(5.5C) or just call it a pretty nice day. I'm finding that I'm able to tolerate cooler, Ok I won't call it cold, weather on the trike.I'm guessing the recumbent position brings my minimum tolerable temperature down about 10F from riding a bicycle.
Today I hit one of the local signature hills on Harry Truman Parkway and hit 25mph with a the full coast down the hill. Very stable with no dramatics. This is only 2mph slower than my highest speed on my hybrid tucked in on the same hill. I'd say aerodynamics are playing a part and that has me already thinking I'm going to have to build an aerodynamic fairing for this baby once I've got my garage to work in.
The hill climb was great, simply gear down and grind, no worries about too slow. I feel that on a bicycle more energy is expended in balancing than is appreciated this hill felt so much easier, I'd love to see some research to back this up. The TS2 has a 17 inch-gear while the hybrid only had  21inch-gear for low so that certainly plays a part, but I don't think that's the whole answer.

Anarchist Thought
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The USA Bill of Rights 4th Amendment

Possible long term issue with TS2

After going over the trike one more time I did find this possible issue. The front derailleur cable comes out of it's stop/holder at an steep angle in all three chainring positions. It appears to be rubbing on the brazed-on holder. The holder will wear and the cable will eventually break. The question is how long will it take? I have noticed that I use the front derailleur more often on the trike since it's right in my line of sight and very easy to switch chainrings and make quiet.
Front derailleur cable holder, Trident Stowaway 2
I could use the dremel tool and open up the holder slot, but the cable will still be rubbing on the cable housing. At this point Ill keep an eye on it, it I see a broken cable strand it's time to modify the holder arrangement.
Hoping to get a longer ride in today if the weather warms up a little:)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Intial Impressions of the Trident Stowaway 2

Tires pumped up, front tire toe in set and off I was. Wow, this is so different than riding a bike, the best comparison is motorcycle vs sports car. Which I know isn't a good comparison if you don't ride a Motorcycle or drive a sports car, what can I say, you should:)

Ready to add my stuff
I attached my three water bottles, two to the seat back and one on the frame under the seat. Attached the tire pump, collocated with the frame water bottle.  Installing the trusty Cateye Mity 8 bike computer took the most time. The TS2 (Trident Stowaway 2) has a nice accessory mount on the left kingpin but the computer wheel speed sensor tab is on the right kingpin and the bike computer wire is not long enough to cross from right to left. Thought about moving accessory mount to the right but I want it left side for the mirror(which comes with the trike but is back ordered) and the headlight. So I found that the sensor mounted nicely on the brake caliper and that results in no twisting of the wire.  Trident does sell a right side sensor mount for about $32 w/S&H.  There is no place nice to mount the handle bar bag. My under seat tool kit mounts under the rear rack over the fender. And finally my trunk bag on the rear rack!
Sensor tab on right kingpin assembly
Cateye, Headlight and sensor on right kingpin
Mount location for bottle and tire pump

Seat back location for water bottle but not tire pump.
It was only about a 5 mile ride and I really can't comment on comfort until I have about a 30 mile run. Our roads are not smooth and with 100psi tires I can feel every bump and in the recumbent position I don't have my legs for shock absorption.  But it wasn't bad. It's not jarring. I found myself playing around on sidewalks and ducking under low hanging tree limbs cutting through to paths. This trike just encourages play. I'm loving it and can't wait to get some real miles on it. Not this weekend though with snow forecast.


My wife and I have decided to switch from our hybrid bicycles and get tadpole style trikes. We need to travel about 1 hour out to Mt Airy Bike. Mt Airy has the biggest selection of recumbent bikes and trikes of any dealer I've seen. Most have one or two trikes, if I had to guess Mt Airy has better than 20 trikes and they will let you test ride any. They have a very nice multiple mile test loop with hill climbs and high speed descents.
We test rode models made by Catrike,  Greenspeed,  ICE,  TeraTrike, and Trident and in the end we decided to buy a Catrike Trail for her and a Trident Stowaway 2 for me.
We chose the Trail based on seat height and the for lack of a better term "sit down distance", that is how far the front of the seat is to where the feet are on the ground prior to sitting. The Trail with direct steering is much easier to sit into than the Trident with tie rods in front of the front cross beams.
I chose the Trident due to the combined quality of components, folding ability and mainly the way it fits me.
I've had my Trident for a few days and Donna's will be arrive in about two weeks. Unfortunately Catrike are changing production to the 2nd gen Trail right now so we have to wait.
I decided to write this blog since on a member said his local bike shop had called the Trident Stowaway 2 "a piece of crap". I'm planning some long distance rides like RAGBRAI and TransAM so I thought it would be interesting to see how this Trident alleged POC holds up.
Now it's probably not fair to compare it to a trike that costs 42% more, but since that's the two trikes in our family that's what I'm going to do. I hope this helps some others in their trike buying adventures.