Friday, March 25, 2011

To buy a Catrike Speed or not to Buy a Catrike Speed

That is the question. I had considered the Expedition for some time, but the wider dimension and overall length is turning me off and keeping me with the Speed. If I were to get the Catrike Speed, what mods would I make to it? Let's see what I'd be starting with first.

Though the specs show 19-95 GI, I calculated it myself and found a discrepancy. The chart shows 17-87 GI's.

I'd like to see what I would do with it if I actually got one. I'd swap out the crankset for something that would give me better hill climbing ability. This means using the same crank as the one I ordered for the KMX. The next thing I'd do is swap the 9-speed 11-32T cassette for an 11-34T one. The chart looks like this:

Both the high end and low end drop fairly significantly. Both numbers are worse than my soon-to-be KMX setup. Looks good and weighs less, but the performance just wouldn't be there.

Here it is with a Sturmey Archer IGH:

9-94 GI's. Much better! Cost? Sturmey Archer IGH ($109) + wheel ($65) + labor ($65) + spokes and other ($35) = $274 roughly. If I spend the extra on a Lasco crankset with a larger 44T chain ring, I can up the high end to 98GI's - not worth the extra $60. That would put upgrades totaling over $300 - not good.

UPDATE: 8/29/11
Apparently someone has tried to swap the stock cassette on the Speed with a 11-34T and the 34T cog is too big! It makes it so that the chain rubs up against the frame. Not a good thing! Looks like Paulo, the inventor of the Catrike brand had already figured that out and topped it out at 32T in its stock configuration.

This looks like another reason why the KMX Tornado F72 is the winner when it comes to hill/mountain climbing. To by a Catrike Speed or Not to Buy a Catrike Speed. That is the question. And this looks like another reason NOT to buy one. Hmmm, still so tempting.


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