Thursday, April 28, 2011

IGH Shifter

It arrived! Amazon's the best. It got here in 2 days! I've ordered so many things through the site but I still can't believe how fast things get shipped! Crazy.

I almost forgot that stuff comes in the original box - I've been so used to shopping on ebay where stuff comes in bulk packaging. Nice to see something presented like it was meant to be.

The shifter is a lot bigger than I imagined. It fits fairly nicely though. I sort of test fitted it on the trike's left handlebar and it seems like it would work. I won't know for sure just yet.

The feel and functionality of this Rapid Fire shifter is so much better than the old school Torpedo one that came with the SRAM 3x7 IGH. I hope everything goes according to plan and this thing can be installed w/in the next few weeks.


Backup equipment

With a trike using proprietary parts, I can't rely on the mechanics on the ride to have backup parts for my ride. I'm going through the list of things I need and this blog entry will be my list that I can refer to later.


TIRES:
The Schwalbe Big Apples should last awhile and for the rear, this is my ideal tire. However, I will need a backup. It needs to be the folding bead type so I can squash it into the duffel bag. Much pricier, but it's cheap insurance in case I need it. I don't want to be stuck somewhere on the 545 mile ride w/o a 20" tire. Everyone else will have 26" and 700mm ones which won't work for my trike. The Durano has a folding bead version. I had no idea relatively speaking, that the Big Apples I have on now weigh so much! 535g vs the Durano which is only 193g. That's a difference of 0.75 lbs! Doesn't sound like a lot, but the Durano weighs 36% of the weight of the Big Apples!

I haven't decided whether to use the Durano or the Big Apples for the ride, but I'll definitely need a Durano as my backup rear tire.

As for the fronts? Probably b/c of it's 305mm size, there's no folding version available. I'll try to stuff backups into my duffel. I haven't decided what tire to use yet. The choice is between the Primo Comet, Schwalbe Marathon Racers and the Schwalbe Spezials (maybe).

UPDATE: 5/3/11
I've determined the backup tires will the be Schwalbe City Jets that Mike got me (not Spezials as previously thought). I ordered two 16" (305mm) Marathon Racer tires from Calhoun Cycle and a single folding 20" (406mm) Marathon Racer from Utah Trikes.


TUBES:
I'll have emergency tube patches (which I still need to buy), but I should also have a few tubes. Perhaps two of each would suffice. 2 305mm ones for the fronts and two 406mm ones for the rears. I'll carry one of each in my pack during the actual ride. I'm using the gel kind so hopefully those will hold just fine. After all, I went through 65 miles w/o a flat! Went through tons of gravel and I think I hit some glass too.

UPDATE: 5/3/11
I ordered a couple of these from a new company I've never dealt with, called Calhouncycle. They had good deals on the Marathon Racers, so I went with them instead of Utah Trikes for the 16"ers.

CASSETTE:
I just ordered an 8-speed, so the current 7-speed will be my backup (assuming my new Stage 2 project works out).


SPOKES:
I realized that the mechanics won't have spokes small enough for my ride either, so I better pick up a few of these. They're only a dollar something apiece, so it's definitely worth getting.

UPDATE: 5/3/11
I just ordered 4 front wheel replacement spokes/nipples from Utah Trikes. Not cheap! Spokes were $2/each (normally $1). Nipples were $1/each. I'm sure they're cheaper elsewhere, but whatever. I don't have the spoke size since the hub on the front wheels are proprietary.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Building a Wheel

It's probably a good idea to start of with Sheldon's page here. Let's also give some love to a SF local bike shop that took some time to shoot this video. It's taught me that the spokes on either side of the rear drive wheel are not identical! This makes sense since the hub is not directly centered left and right of the rim. It's offset to compensate for the length of the cassette. Interesting.

FIND A RIM:
As I'm shopping for rims, I just realized that not all rims will fit the Sturmy Archer hub. The holes need to match. Looking at the spec, I found that I need 36 drillings. The Velocity Aeroheat is my first choice. Luckily it has an option for 36 drillings so it'll work.

I also found I can save maybe $30 by building the wheel myself and just paying labor for truing it rather than for the whole custom build. I'll have to buy a couple tools and make sure all my math is correct for the spoke length.

UPDATE: 5/4/11
I've decided to let my shop build the rim for me. I don't want to be experimenting for such a long trip where something could easily go wrong and I wouldn't be able to finish the ride on the trike. I canceled my order with Cambria Cycle which said it might take 2-3 weeks to ship! Looking at other sources, I found that Velocity sells them direct at a competitive price. The order came in at $75 and should be here in 5 business days which means next Friday. The hub should hopefully be here by then too and I can get this thing made! So excited.

SPOKE COMPATIBILITY:
The spokes have various gauges so that has to match too. I need 13g or 14g. I found a calculator that'll help me out tons here. Apparently the 3-cross pattern is normal. Some go for a 4-cross n hopes of better stability and strength. It's more difficult to change out though and since it's out of the norm, I'm sticking with the traditional 3-cross.

I'm trying to figure this out, but I'm having a hard time with the measurements. I'll probably need a digital caliper and the hub itself which I don't have yet b/c it's being shipped to me. I'm leaning towards having this done by a local bike shop (LBS). I'll need them to true it anyway since I don't trust myself using a wheel for such a long ride as the ALC that I put together myself for the first time. Guess this one's going to the experts.

Shoes


Nicest shoe I've seen to date. Now let's see if I can get a discount on these Louis Garneau T-Flex 300's. It'll be tough to beat the comfort of the Bontragers I have now. I'll take a quick trip to Performance Bicycle to give these a test.

Stage 2 IGH

I just bought the Sturmey Archer CS-RK3! The internal gear hub I have installed now doesn't have reliable shifting. Perhaps this is better than one that isn't as bulletproof, but I'm going to give it a shot.









The best part is that I'll have my rear brake back!!!! Hello drifting! Recall that this part is super hard to find, but I found a seller through one of the bicycle forums. $111 shipped with insurance - very reasonable. They ran out of black, so I ordered the silver one. It'll still match since my crankarms are now chrome.

The shifter I got for this is a Shimano Rapid Fire one which will ideally mount to the upper portion of my left handlebar between the mirror and the front derailleur twist shifter. It shifts with the index finger and thumbs.



The idea is for it to look seamless and work flawlessly. We'll see about that. The shifter was from Amazon and cost $12.79 shipped. I'm loving this Amazon Prime membership thing.

Since the hub takes an 8 or 9-speed cassette, I opted for whatever gave me the best range. I grabbed another Shimano Megarange 11-34T cassette. Since it has one more cog than my current 7-speed one, the transition btw gears should be more smooth. Under $20 for this one.

With an 8-speed cassette, I'll naturally need a shifter to go with it. I picked this one up for $12.74 shipped. Ebay's my friend. It'll match the Sram MRX Comp that I have on the left handlebar. $12.74 ain't bad, right?





So what else do I need?

1. Derailleur cable

2. New 20" wheel. It'll have to be put together by a local bike shop. I haven't chosen one yet, but I had a good experience at the last place I went to. I may revisit them. I don't recall the name at this moment. I just remember buying the technician and his crew a case of beer in exchange for the free services.

I called up Ian today and he quoted me $75. $15 more than their competition but i trust these guys more and plus I think I owe the guy for helping me dissect the Catrike wheel last time. I bought the Velocity Aeroheat wheel from Cabria - a $61.01 hit.

I should be set after that. Just not sure what rim and spokes to get and what color combination. I have a few things in mind, but haven't determined anything yet. I definitely would like a black rim to match the others. Not sure on the spokes. Silver to match the fronts? Black to match the look of the old mags? Red nipples? White?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wheel Weight

I was always curious about the weight of the wheels and if the difference btw the stock mags and the spokes are really that significant. Utah Trikes told me that I can't expect to lose much weight, probably 2 lbs at the most. Let's evaluate.

So how much does the mag wheel weigh by itself w/o disk brakes, tube and tire? The naked wheel weighs 2 lbs. And the spoked wheel?

1.4lbs! That's 0.6 lb's lighter. So 1.2lbs overall for both wheels. That's quite a bit but not relatively speaking compared to other ways weight can be gained or lost.

Me for instance. I heard the other day that body weight can fluctuate up to 8lbs throughout the day. I know that we can gain and lose 2lbs based just on water! Best way to shed weight? Forget the trike and turn to the engine. The engine needs to lose weight. I just weighed myself and I'm no longer 147lbs. I'm at 151lbs now. Ouch. Good overall, but not good for triking from SF to LA.


For sale

Since these don't fit my wheels, they're up for sale. As with all my sales, shipping, Paypal fees, tracking and insurance are included in the price - $55.

I bought them from someone said they'd fit on some rims that would fit on my trike but neither one fit! So it's all yours. Set of two.



Schwalbe Kevlar lined Marathon Slicks. These are brand new but they don't make them anymore. New condition meaning never been ridden - 0 miles.




Size? 35-349. 16x1.35

Shopping for tires

Tire fitment can get insane. Different companies make different sizes but call them the same. There's other conflicts make it difficult to match tires with rims. Then came the ETRTO system which is the universal sizing.

More info here:
http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

Sheldon, the god of bicycle resources states, "A general guideline is that the tire width should be between 1.45/2.0 x the inner rim width."

My inner rim width is 22mm as noted here in the photo. The second number? That's the diameter of the bead set.





Now what on Earth is a bead set diameter, BSD? Here you go!

A 16" rim can have a BSD of any of the following:

305mm
317mm
335mm
337mm
349mm

Though they're all named "16 inch" tires, they're not all compatible. Confusing eh? So what does 16" actually mean? Absolutely nothing. It's the ETRTO numbers that matter.

So what fits my new KMX spoked rim? Some smart guy named Georg (yes, there's no e) Boeger made a chart and I can basically have any tire that's 37-50mm. My current Big Apple tires are 50mm so it'll work, but it's on the wide side of the scale.

This means Kojak tires will NOT fit. Boo!

CHOICES?
It looks like someone put together a list here already, but it's old. Here's a new list I made before finding that one:
- Big Apples
- Marathon Racer HS 366
- Marathon HS 420
- Primo Comet

The new wheels are definitely more narrow. The BSD may actually be the same, but the overall depth of it is fairly significant. I don't think my 1.75-2.125" tube will work. I tried and it's too big.

UPDATE:
After searching for smaller tubes, I couldn't find any. That could only mean one thing. I was wrong! It kept at it and it works!


PRIMO COMET?
The Primo Comet is back in the picture. Although I passed on it the first time around and eventually had bought the Big Apples, I'm turning towards the Primo Comet again b/c they're thin race tires. I've had a good experience with Ebikestop when I bought a chain ring from them. At $15.95/tire, it would be worth trying.

Mike is surprising me with some discontinued Schwalbe Speziel tires. If they work right, then I won't need the Primo Comets, but it's good to know I have a back up tire choice.

UPDATE: 5/1/11
The BROL members posted some reviews of the Primo Comets and they supposedly may not be all that puncture resistant - that worries me. Although the Primo's may be good for a neighborhood ride and may be superfast for asphalt, I'm not going to use it for the ALC.

I've been thinking further about the Schwalbe Marathon Racers and I'm strongly considering using these for the front two 16" tires. The durability rating is the same as the BA's which I guess means treadwear. The Protection rating however is lower than the BA's but still high.

I just noticed that the Marathon Racers have the same specs as the oh-so-loved-by Catrike Kojaks (the ones that don't fit on my rims). Looks to be the perfect alternative.

UPDATE: 5/3/11
In addition to my research on the tires through BROL member responses and info available on the net, I wanted to call up Schwalbe themselves to see what they had to say about my choice between the Marathon Racers and Big Apples.

Schwalbe picked up my line in one ring! No call tree menu or anything. Wow, great service. The guy who picked up was a bit difficult to hear, but the main response when asking about the two tires for a touring ride, he said the BA's were never meant to be a touring tire. He didn't have any concerns about using Marathon Racers.

I wasn't quite satisfied with the answer, so I called up Schwalbe again hoping for a different rep. Ben, a different guy picked up and he was much more articulate. I asked him to compare the Marathon Racers and Big Apples. He said the Marathon Racers would have less rolling resistance and weigh less but have the same puncture resistance as the BA's. I gave him a curve ball and asked about the City Jet's that I'll soon be getting from Mike. Ben said that the Marathon Racers are an improvement over the City Jets. Lighter, stronger and better rolling resistance. Looks like I have my answer! The City Jets will be perfect for a backup tire for the trip and as a local casual rides. The City Jets from what I understand are a lot smaller so they'll fit into my duffel bag for the trip more easily.

I just set myself back $141.34 for two 305mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers, one folding bead 406mm Marathon Racer for the rear and the Catrike universal flag mount. Ouch! I'm asking about the pricing for the two 16" ones b/c $39.95's pretty pricey for such a tiny tire, especially when the 20" non-folding version is on sale for $25.

UPDATE: 5/6/11
I bought the Schwalbe Marathon Racer tire for the rear. It's the folding version.

This thing compacts pretty small! It'll definitely fit in the duffel bag for the trip, but probably not my trike bag. I'm tempted to install this but I really need the puncture resistance of the Big Apple. Swapping tires or even repairing a tube on the rear is a pain.

New F3/F8 spoked wheels arrived!

They finally came! Actually, it didn't take that long for Utah Trike to ship them. They arrived in less than a week and here they are!

They're 16"'s like the stock ones, but spoked. I haven't had a chance to weight them yet, but I suspect they're lighter. Rims are made by Jetset - yes, the Taiwanese brand.







The hub is proprietary. I tried buying them separately so I could go with my choice of lighter/stronger rim with custom colored spokes, but KMX didn't have any available to sell separately.

These are definitely stronger than the mag ones I have. 100 max PSI instead of 45 PSI. Rolling resistance should be much less.



Another great thing is that they're thin! They're narrow! Much narrower than the OEM mags. That means I can fit some skinny race tires on here!



Bad news is that the Schwalbe Kevlar lined Marathon Slicks won't fit. They're 349mm's instead of 305mm's. Time to shop for some new tires!

These things look good, but now even better after I stripped on the red reflective wheel tape. I had some left over.



UPDATE: later this evening
Huge disappointment! The craftsmanship of this hub is horrible! That's not a shadow and that's not an angle. The alignment is off - way off!


Right when I was all smiles and giggles getting ready to put this on the trike, I discovered the sleeve inside the hub doesn't align with the bearings! The axle won't fit through!!! Utah Trikes, you better fix this!

UPDATE: 4/27/11
I learned from a quick response from Matt that night (wow, amazing customer service. It was past 11pm) that the sleeve inside the hub is "floating" and can be realigned. This morning, Ashley from Utah Trikes recommended that I use a screwdriver to slide it into place. I previously tried that out of desperation and it worked! The wheels are on and things are good. The only thing I goofed up on was that I removed the old wheels w/o disengaging the brake. Now the disks are partly warped. Ugh. Maybe some brake adjustments will do the trick.

I can't wait to test ride these new wheels! The tires are pumped at 60psi (max = 70psi) instead of the 40psi (max at that time = 45psi). That'll give me a bumpy ride, but it should be supersmooth on the asphalt and rolling resistance should be lessened. I'm just wondering if it'll be enough to be noticeable. Soon to find out....

I took a spin up and down the block and could tell there was something different. It's tough to tell w/o an extensive ride. I have a long ride coming up this weekend and will have a better feel for the differences then.

Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Rocks


This is an old pic, but I thought I'd give another shot at HDRing some ancient history. No IGH, old mirrors, no front derailleur, 170mm crank arms, stock tires, and stock single chainring crankset. Looks good, but doesn't perform nearly as well as it does now.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

ALC - Day on the Ride

For $20, ALC riders get a chance to see what a "day on the ride" feels like. That means a rest stop every 12-15 miles equipped with porto-potties, snacks, bike racks, even entertainment! Lunch and dinner also included. Well worth my 20-spot.

Good thing I came early the free parking lot was full! Not sure where else to park, I drove all over looking for whatever I could find. Finally, $10 a day. Not bad in SF terms and I was in a hurry so that had to do. When I thought all was clear, I headed to Mike's Bikes, meeting place and no one was there!

How can no one be here? I looked for about 15 minutes triking up and down the street w/no luck. Finally I came across a street that was closed off and found it! Don't Yelp this place b/c the address is way off!


One neighborhood friend of the ALC even set up her own Lemonade stand w/cookies -3 different kinds to choose from! The line for the restroom here was nonexistent. Great compared to the first rest stop that had at least 45 people waiting in line! Ouch!

We didn't know our route until we reached San Rafael. The plan was to go north to Petaluma, swing back south past Novato and end up back at our starting point = 64 miles.






Looks like hills get tough even for the regular diamond frame (DF) bike riders! I met this guy along the way. Kevin runs a family owned Italian restaurant here in SF!

He wasn't the only one to walk his bike. There were a few others I witnessed in the group that I climbed the hill with. My trike's new gearing helped tons! I kept it on the lowest gear averaging me at 2.2mph - walking speed. I rode along Kevin and we chatted it up a bit which made the hill feel much shorter.

We finally made it to lunch! Turkey sandwich, chips, orange, banana, chocolate chip cookie and Powerade! I arrived as the last group.


They were starting to clean up by the time I finished eating this box lunch. Not good news. I was a bit concerned as I got on my trike and kept going. Would I make it in time?

video

Rest Stop 2! I made it! I arrived sooner than anticipated. They had plenty of snacks and even a bike mechanic station. I didn't dare take my trike there. Bike mechanics don't seem to like us bentriders. My trike was doing fine, so I hit up the restrooms, grabbed some snacks, said hello to my wife (not in that order), grabbed a refill of Powerade and was on my way!

As mentioned earlier, there's entertainment. You can't help but to smile looking at this fella all dressed up for us. He was one of the roadies. He was a great sport and struck this pose for me! He posted at the last formal rest stop and worked alongside Angela helping to pass out food and drinks.




LESSONS LEARNED:
1. The ride isn't as bad as I imagined.
2. I can catch up. I finished the ride at number 360 out of 450 riders.
3. This ride supposedly has more frequent hills than the actual scheduled ride.
4. I can last 57 miles before I get cranky.
5. I need to eat more during the ride.
6. The downhill stretches are so worth the climb up. I reached a new max speed of 41mph!

video

When we finally arrived back at the finish line, it was time for pasta! Yum! Past, Caesar salad, an apple and one thing I don't have very often - Coke! That hit the spot.

video

The day concludes with a free massage! I didn't get one b/c I was too busy eating the yummy food, but those that prefer a good-feeling kinda feeling, get a chance at the magic fingers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Return of the rear brake

The only way I can get my rear brake back w/o sacrificing my internal gear hub is to swap the IGH for a Sturmey Archer which allows both the cassette and disk brake.

Lately I've been trying to figure out a Sturmey Archer shifter could be incorporated into my current setup. Both handlebars are already occupied with twist shifters. Perhaps the left handlebar can have two shifters! The existing twist shifter can hopefully coexist with one of these.

This one would be convenient to use b/c it uses the index and thumb to engage. I'd have to drop my whole setup down along the handlebar and put this at the top.

This one looks like it can integrate seamlessly in place of my current Torpedo shifter. Of course I love the red indicator.



Now that I've committed to not buy the Catrike Speed and instead stick with my current KMX, I'm considering more extensive mods for the Tornado.

New donors!

Thank you so much to all who have donated recently! I've received a few these past couple weeks! It's getting exciting as the ride date comes closer. There's only 5 weeks left!



It's not too late for the rest of you to donate. I need a minimum of 3k just to ride. I'll be fronting any balance that remains, so please help. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5lb Lighter Steel Seat?

Yup, apparently there was a second generation KMX seat before the aluminum one for the Venom came out last month. Though it's steel, it's still 5lb's lighter than the stock steel one! Not bad considering the aluminum one is 1lb lighter than that at 6lb's ligther. The price is steeper than the Venom one though unfortunately. It's $160 instead of $150. $10 more for 1lb less weight. Not much of a deal at all, but I was told today that the new Venom seat may not fit. The more expensive one may be my only choice.

Losing 5lb's off the trike would put me at 38lb's. Not bad. At least it's under 40.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New rear tire?

I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, but I can swap the rear 20" Schwalbe Big Apple for a skinnier race tire! Since my 16" ones are pretty much limited to what I have now, it might be worth giving the rear swap a try. Not sure if it would make a difference though since the front wheels set the rolling resistance limit.

As for the fronts?

Will the Schwalbe 16" tires I got from the BROL member fit the stock KMX rims?

Stock tires = 1.90"
Big Apples = 2.00" (current)
Marathon Supreme = 1.35"

The chart is giving me bad news. The narrowest tire that's recommended for my rim is 1.75". The Marathons I have are therefore way too small.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Cassette Installation

ACCESSORY 44: Sunrise 11-34T Cassette $19.48 shipped @ Amazon.com

I may have lost count of accessories I've purchased for the trike, but I think I'm at 44. Talk about an obsession! As I returned home this evening after dinner, I wanted to continue listening to the particular radio talk show. Rather than sitting in the driver seat in the garage, I hopped out looking for something to do.

Installing the new cassette came into mind so I gave it a try. It turns out the cassette that I had though was broken or defective was actually perfectly fine! I just didn't know enough about the component to know at the time. After attempting the installation, I quickly realized the cassette was in good shape and everything was going to turn out okay.

30 minutes later it was done! I gave it a test run and ran through the gears on the trainer and everything clicked perfectly. I can't wait to take it up on the hills again and see the improvement from the previous 30T large cog to the now 34T cog.




The smallest cog is also a couple teeth smaller. I went from a 13T small high gear cog (correction, see below) to an 11T. This brings my gear inches up from 82.2 to 93.8. Top speed should increase noticeably. Low end difference should be like night and day.

Perhaps it's worth reposting the GI charts for comparison:

Before:











After:












I still can't believe I have 8.9 GI's. That's ridiculously low. I don't know anyone who would even attempt getting down to that low. This trike's gotta be the best KMX tree climber out there.

With an improvement in both low gears and high gears, what's the drawback? Smooth transition between gears. But I'm sure with 63 gears, I can manage something that will work. My concerns are more about the complete low and high end. This new setup satisfies what I'm looking for in prepping the trike for the ALC. Hope it works out.

With the poor reviews of the Sunrise cassettes that owners say often break, I may have to get backup replacement.

UPDATE: 4/18/11
I just discovered that I was not riding on a 13T cog. The cassette is actually a 12-30T - not a 13-30T. It's a custom cassette, so the size is a bit unusual. I always thought it was a 13T b/c 13-30T cassettes are fairly common. Now that the cassette's been removed, it'll be easier to confirm the tooth sizes of all the cogs. I'll do that tomorrow and update the GI charts.

KMX Tornado F63

A year in the making and the KMX Tornado F63 is finally here. After 4 seasons since last year's Aids Life Cycle event, I've been researching, educating myself, collecting components and have been in touch w/numerous BROL members and vendors to make this happen.

The once sad little neighborhood BMX 3-wheeler is now a mountain climber and takes downhills at impressive speeds (impressive for a KMX at least). While previously on the Cliff House hill, I clocked in at 30mph, I looked down at my speedometer today and it red 34mph. It sure felt like it!

The left handlebar went through a pretty big makeover since acquiring it stock. Where once stood just the brake lever is now a mirror, SRAM gear shifter, bell and Torpedo shifter for the rear internal gear hub. A bit crowded, but it works. I cut quite a bit of the handlebar grip off to get all the components to fit snugly. Thanks again Mike for recommending those mirrors!

Action Bicycle 3-ring crankset sits in the front. I'll have to find a new way to mount the light which is now pretty much useless facing down. I don't ride at night anymore, so it's not biggy.






The heart of all this came from the internal gear hub bought from a fellow Bentrideronline.com member. Same wheel size but I lose my disk brake in exchange for 3 sets of gears and a stronger spoked wheel with a higher capacity for air. Well worth it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Front derailleur cabling issue

I was initially having lots of trouble installing the front derailleur. All the youtube videos show clearly how to make adjustments, but none really go over how to install the cable properly. I finally figured it out after digging through my photo collection and paying closer attention to the pic below. It was a great resource.

At first I wasn't able to get enough tension on the cable to engage it properly with the grip shift. This is the photo of a Cobra I used for reference.







I drilled another hole from under the boom and fed the cable through and connected it to the derailleur. The ferret held the cable hose in place below the boom while only the cable itself pulled up and into the derailleur.

After posting a thread on BROL, lots of people came to the rescue with pics of their own setup. All was superhelpful.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Speed Testride

While in LA a couple days a go, what better thing to do on vacation than check out recumbent trike shops? Since we don't have them at home, it was a must. We headed over to Bent Up Cycles where Dana and his colleagues treated us like royalty. The customer service was really excellent.

After introducing myself as a KMX Tornado rider who's looking at Catrikes, they put me on the Speed and a Bionx equipped Expedition.

Wow, the quality on theses trikes are way above KMX. Sorry, KMX. I love you, but Catrike's stepping all over your stuff. I guess I should expect the difference in caliber from the prices of the two brands. $2,500 Catrike Speed vs $800 KMX Tornado. The difference in quality is obvious. Not to say KMX isn't a good brand. It's just not a Catrike. Should they be compared? The companies have different target market's but it's still worth mentioning how different they truly are.

More info tomorrow. Zzzzzzz.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Installing the Shark Fin derailleur mounting bracket

I bought the steel drill bits today and have confirmed with Matt (from Utah Trikes aka KMX) that the hardware to secure it to the boom is indeed M6 (6mm).

UPDATE: 4/16/11
I hacked it up! I took the plunge and drilled two giant holes into the stock aluminum boom to feed the bolts through! After getting over my nerves, I did it! It worked! The Shark is mounted ready for the derailleur installation. I went with what I believe was the 55mm long hex head screws. I needed something short enough so that it wouldn't poke through and look awkward.

Here it is mounted. Notice that the Shark Fin bracket had to be offset to the left of the boom. It's not completely centered. This had to be done due to the range of the derailleur I chose to use. The M6 screws used to secure the bracket just barely peep out of the hole for a flush look. I can't say the same for the other rear one. I believe I crossthreaded that so I didn't want to back it out.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another custom KMX

There've only been two that I've seen and now here's another! They call it the Triple Twenty. It's got nothing to do with the drivetrain, but rather the wheel size. 3 20 inchers rather than a single 20" in the back with 16's in the front.

Looks a bit odd with all the wheels being the same size, but it seems fairly common in the Catrike lineup.