Saturday, May 8, 2021

Two Years with ICE E-Assist

It has now been two years sense I started riding with e-assist. I picked up my ICE Sprint FS 26 E8000 from Dana at Bent Up Cycles May of 2019. Averaging 71 feet of gain per mile on local routes was a limiting factor in how far I would ride. Even though I wanted to ride longer my fucked up leg muscles, courtesy of my hip replacements in 2013, said otherwise. My riding logs made it clear I was slowing down. Then came ICE's e-assist trikes. I test rode an ICE Adventure E8000 that Dana had in his showroom and the rest is history. 

Avoiding hills is a thing of the past. I now look for hills because it is usually followed by a sweet downhill. I love a good downhill run, which is the reason I did not consider a hub motor which will act as a brake when not in use. The ICE Sprint is a solid trike and it can handle just about any speed. Even when the speedo touches on 50mph I feel the Sprint can handle more but I will need to find longer and steeper hills to get my fix. Age and a broken down body doesn't mean I have to forego a shot of adrenaline now and then. 

Now I plan my rides based on battery rangeMy Blog posts for the last two years with my ICE SPRINT 26 FS E8000 are HERE.

Pic from my Instagram Post 5/6






Monday, April 5, 2021

My E8000 Battery Range

My Shimano E8000 Battery Range Profile

















I have nearly 2 years of log keeping for each ride I've taken on my ICE Sprint FS E8000. I ride partypace*. I use assist only when gravity is against me. The battery range results are as follows:



Data:

14 Wh per mile based on 70 feet of gain per mile (local routes)


Batteries:

2 x BT-E8014 - 418Wh (2,550gm, 5.6 lbs) = 30 miles per battery

1 x BT-E8010 - 504Wh (2,600gm, 5.7 lbs) = 36 miles


Range:

2 x 418Wh batteries = 60 miles

Total 60 miles

Total Weight 11.2 lbs

 

Range:

1 x 418Wh battery = 30 miles

1 x 504Wh battery = 36 miles

Total 66 miles

Total Weight 11.3 lbs


Range:

2 x 418Wh batteries = 60 miles

1 x 504Wh battery = 36 miles

Total 96 miles

Total Weight 16.9 lbs



Data:

9 Wh per mile based on 40 feet of gain per mile (HWY 1 Central Coast)


Batteries:

2 x BT-E8014 - 418Wh (2,550gm, 5.6 lbs) = 46 miles per battery

1 x BT-E8010 - 504Wh (2,600gm, 5.7 lbs) = 56 miles


Range:

2 x 418Wh batteries = 92 miles

Total 92 miles

Total Weight 11.2 lbs

 

Range:

1 x 418Wh battery = 46 miles

1 x 504Wh battery = 56 miles

Total 102 miles

Total Weight 11.3 lbs


Range:

2 x 418Wh batteries = 92 miles

1 x 504Wh battery = 56 miles

Total 148 miles

Total Weight 16.9 lbs



________________________________________________________


Note: Battery range for the 2019 SLOBBC Lighthouse Century (50 miles for me) along HWY 1 on the Central Coast using the 418WH batteries was 60 miles per battery ( 7Wh per mile) with 40 feet of gain per mile. So I only needed one 418Wh battery. My pace was slower than normal.


*Partypace - When you are speed walking, almost to the point of running to get to a party, but still keeping your cool so you're not out of breath when you reach the party. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

12 Years of Trikes




_____________________________




My current ride ICE Sprint FS E8000 as of 2019. When we moved back to Thousand Oaks after screwing around with living on the Central Coast for three years and I was quickly reminded of all the hills to climb. For the last year I've averaged 71 feet of gain per mile. E-assist had come a long way so I bought a new ICE Sprint FS E8000 but the mesh seat is from an ICE Adventure (click here for info).
Love it!



Staying strong…kinda. I love riding bent trikes. I’ve been riding recumbent trikes since 2009. They’ve kept me moving with little pause through three back repairs, two new hips, carpel tunnel release to both wrists, heart attack 10 years ago while pushing my old bones too hard riding my Catrike 700, nerve damage to my right leg from a shitty hip replacement and now a pandemic that is screwing with all of us. I’ve lived a physical life and doing nothing is not option I can live with. So when the hills started to feel longer and steeper I added an e-assist trike from ICE trikes to my stable and I just kept on going.


The biggest problem people seem to have with a recumbent trike, is that it’s not “normal”. But normal is boring. Most people have a problem with “different”. I get it, you have to be comfortable with people staring at you when you ride a recumbent trike. People staring at you while they’re driving is actually a good thing. 

2013 to 2019 Catrike 700 with 20" front wheels.
Fun fun trike. But after about 20 to 30 miles it
 starts to feel a little too laid back. 




In time maybe more people will consider a recumbent trike. Whether a fast road trike, touring trike, off road trike or an adaptive trike, it’s all good. Plus it’s really hard to fall off a trike. Every now and then I’ll see somebody on a new standard bike and they look so uncomfortable and I can just bet that their bike will probably be on Craigslist soon and they’ll give up cycling. Doesn’t have to be.

2016 to 2018 Catrike Expedition. Sense the Sprint
wasn't working out for me at the time I went back
to a Catrike Expedition for awhile. Always a 
reliable ride. I still feel that the Expedition is one
of the best all around trikes at a reasonable
price for a solid well built trike.

 









The UCI won’t allow recumbents in UCI sanctioned races, yet world speed and distant records are on recumbents bikes and trikes (the 24 hour distance record is on a velomobile trike). Knowing what I know now, if I were young again and all my parts were still working I would still only ride a recumbent trike. I would never go 50mph down a hill on two wheels at any age. I’d probably break my face. At 67 it’s always partypace, except when coming down a steep hill. Old guys need an adrenaline fix every now and then.



2015 to 2018 ICE Sprint FS with Carbon Seat

Same ICE Sprint FS as above but with a mesh seat.
The carbon seat was a killer on my Piriformis.
But eventually I parted with this trike because of the
seat. The mesh seat felt too short for my 6'1" frame
I felt like I was constantly on the edge of the
seat and it was a uncomfortable feeling. I tried making
adjustments that helped but in the end it just didn't
work for me.


t


2014 to 2015 my "Red" Catrike 700. This was a
bit of an experiment to see if I could set up a 700
for longer rides and maybe even short tours I had
planned at the time. It didn't meet my expectations




2011 to 2012 Catrike 700 with 16" front wheels.
An old classic long ago discontinued in favor
of 20" front wheels. The lower profile of this
700 gave it a low center of gravity and was 
awesome for taking tight turns at speed. The
new 700s are good too but the old 700 beats
it on the turns.


2009 to 2014 Catrike Expedition, my first trike. A really
fun ride and a great first trike for breaking into the world 
of trikes and for touring. With proper tire selection the lack
of suspension is not missed.






Sunday, February 28, 2021

Suburbia and Parks

For a year now my rides have taken me to many local suburban parks to escape the suburban streets for a few minutes and down some trail mix. 

A second vaccine dose will be in my arm March 11th and two weeks after that I'm good to get out of here. First stop for Carrie and me the Central Coast and back riding Hwy 1. 


 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

ICE Ergo Luxe - Cover Tear


As always ICE costumer service is the best.

The ICE Adventure Ergo Luxe seat cover I use on my Sprint developed a tear at 1,400 miles. Andy at ICE offered to send me a new seat cover but I may opt out and use this situation to change over to the Sprint Ergo Luxe seat and frame instead of the Adventure frame seat I currently use on my Sprint. The frame of the Adventure seat base is a bit longer and I find it more comfortable when using the mesh. However using Adventure Ergo Lux cover now seems a little long when I'm fully reclined. 

For now I'm using the mesh cover and find it a nice change from using the cushy Ergo Luxe cover. 



Moving on, here are the details via emails with Andy at Ice.

______________________________________________________

Hey Andy,

Are others having this problem with the Ergo seat? It's starting to tear as pictured below. Any advice?

I have 1,400 miles on the seat. I weight 185 lbs (83.9kgs).
_____________________________________


Hi Mark,

 

We have not had reports of this issue, however in the picture you sent over it clearly shows the material between the pads fraying & separating. If you could please let me know your trikes frame number which is located underneath the main frame spar stamped into the frame this number begins with a Y & is followed by 5 numbers.

 

I can then arrange a replacement seat be sent out to you, could you please also supply me with you Full Address & Telephone Number.

 

Just to be certain is the seat & cover the standard size Sprint Ergo Luxe not the Shor Back version it is not clear in the picture you sent through I would hate to send you the incorrect cover. If you would not mind doing so when the replacement cover arrives with you would it be possible to send the damaged cover back to us for testing & examination. Do not worry if you are unable. It would just be nice for us to inspect the damaged cover.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

_____________________________________

Hey Andy.

Thanks for the offer but I'll use this opportunity to purchase a proper Sprint frame and Ergo cover. Let me explain.

I bought my Sprint FS E8000 in 2019 with an Adventure seat frame and mesh cover and updated it with the Ergo seat cover in 2020.  I found the Sprint seat with the mesh cover to feel a bit short in the seat. Testing an Ergo cover on the actual Sprint seat frame has changed my opinion. With the tear I might as well change over to a proper Sprint seat with the Ergo cover.

I'll be happy to send the seat cover back to you as soon as I change the seat out. Can I buy a Sprint seat frame and Ergo cover through you or should I find a local dealer?

Mark

__________________________________________


Hi Mark,

 

I think I understand your thoughts on the change of seat, if you are near to an ICE Dealer then we would suggest you purchase the required seat & cover through them. If you are not & are very far away then you would be able to purchase these items through us if you would like.

 

If you are sure you do not mind it would be great for us to be able to examine the cover.


__________________________________________


Hey Andy,
The cost of sending you the seat is prohibitive so I'm sending the enclosed pictures of the seat cover removed from the frame.

Pictures 1 and 2 are looking at the seat cover from behind. The last two pictures are from the front.

The tear (on the right side of the seat) seems to not have gotten any worse while riding with it in this condition and looks like it stopped at the blue stitching. 
 
FYI..
I weigh 185lbs (83.9kg). I use the front wheels for support when I get on and off the trike, not the seat. Sometimes I might plop my ass down a little hard to sit down. I keep the straps tight. As I mentioned before the seat has a little over 1,400 (2,253km). Due to hip replacements my dominant leg is my left leg, my right leg has had some atrophy thanks to the doctor who butchered me. Any other questions?

Hopefully this helps. 





_____________________________________________

Hi Mark, 

 

Thank you for the pictures & the information regarding your seat cover, we have not seen this kind of failure before & as such am a little unsure of what could of caused this issue. I understand your thoughts on not sending the cover back to us I greatly appreciate your time in taking the pictures & sending them over to me I will pass this email across to the design team who had/have the most experience with the seats & covers to see what they think.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy




 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Screwing Around with Tires

The Pandemic has left me with time to spend to do useless projects. With the tires I have laying around I decided to spend some that time to figure out which tire combination is the fasted. Over the course of a few rides I came up with the results. 


No science involved here, just going downhill and keeping track of the downhill speeds when weather and road conditions seemed to be about same for each ride I measured. 




The max speed was measured on a 3/4 mile downhill run with a max grade of 8% and no signals with minimal traffic on my ICE Sprint FS E8000 with 90% max pressure in tires. 


Front tires and Back Tire


Schwalbe Marathon Racer and Schwalbe Supreme

40/406 - 340g   0.75 lbs

40/406 - 340g   0.75 lbs

42/599 - 440g   0.93 lbs

Total    1,120g  2.43lbs


Speed Average: 38.6 mph

Speeds: 40.8, 38.1, 38.5, 38.5, 38.1, 39.4

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Continental Contact (E25) and Schwalbe Supreme

37/406 - 420g   0.93 lbs

37/406 - 420g   0.93 lbs

42/559 - 440g   0.97 lbs

Total     1,280g  2.83 lbs


Speed Average: 38.2 mph

Speeds: 36.5, 38.2, 39.4, 38.7, 37.8, 38.0

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Schwalbe Plus and Schwalbe Plus

35/406 - 560g   1.23 lbs

35/406 - 560g   1.23 lbs

40/599 - 870g   1.90 lbs 

Total    1,990g  4.36 lbs


Speed Average: 36.6 mph

Speeds: 37.1, 35.8, 36.8, 36.5, 37.8

___________________________________




Now it's time to figure out something else to do with my time besides riding my trike, working on my trike, making stuff, drawing, reading  and watching birds in my garden with my beautiful wife Carrie. Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to pack my trike in the car and start traveling again with Carrie, go out to dinner, visit family and friends and whatever.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Muscle Tearing Cramp

Picture from Get Body Smart
My doctor says maybe I was developing a tear prior to the cramp or maybe the Statins I had just stopped taking because of sore muscles a couple of days prior had compromised my overworked Gracilis muscle or maybe I'm just getting to old and worn out. Regardless, at the end of a ride while getting off my trike, a cramp to the  inside of my right leg tore up my Gracilis muscle. It's a long skinny muscle that attaches from the pelvis and ends just below the knee on tibia. It's part of a group of abductors muscles but also because of it's attachment point below the knee it can kick in to serve as a flexor muscle helping out the hamstring muscle. Especially when cycling. 

Because of comprised muscles in my right leg post 2013 hip replacement the Gracilis seems to be kicking in more than it should to help the hamstring when riding. I've had some minor tightening with this muscle before but nothing that caused a cramp. 

It's been a few years sense I've had a bad cramp. But nothing even close to doing the damage this one did. Understanding what makes me cramp up has taught me what to do and not to do to avoid these nasty ride spoiling monsters. Buying my ICE Sprint FS E-Assist was part of that cramp avoidance plan considering all the climbing  I do (this year so far I've averaged 71 feet of gain for every mile I ride). 

On the day I tore this skinny long muscle I climbed over 1,700 feet and rode 25 miles. No big deal. Maybe I could have slowed down more at the end of the ride before getting up off the trike. For the most part my ride was business as usual. But when my ride was over I got off of my trike and BAM. A cramp that struck be harder than any other cramp I've ever had? I just stood there looking around making sure no one saw this pathetic old fuck bent over in pain for the 10 seconds that seemed like forever...an ego moment. The only real change I had made (besides getting older) was starting to take Statins a few months ago and had stopped taking two days before because my muscles were getting sore (couple really sore) for no apparent reason. In hind sight I should have know my cholesterol was getting too low. My last blood test showed my total cholesterol at 150 while on a low dose Statin. And the 150 was before I stopped eating Pandemic comfort food like ice ream, cheese and some other garbage. 

A little Statin history here. My first go around statins in 2012 (see my 2012 post Off the Statins) ended poorly. Recently I let my doctor talk me into trying a low dose (5mg) Statin (Rosuvastatin) again, because of my age and heart attach in 2011, even though my cholesterol and cholesterol ratios are acceptable. My doctor now agrees I'm better off without statins. Whether or not statins played a role in the debilitating cramp I suffered cannot be known for sure. Regardless I'm off the statins for good and will continue with my vegetarian diet supplemented with Sushi...Sushitarian?

Three days after my cramp.
It's said that wisdom comes with age. 
I'll trade a little wisdom for a new body.
An ultrasound showed two intramuscular tears. I'm relieved it won't require any invasive repair. Just time to heal and a little physical therapy so it heals properly.

While I heal I can count down the days until I have shoulder surgery for a torn tendon. Sometimes I think it's time to slow down and stop pushing myself and settle down with a nightly pint of ice cream and just stream movies and break out my fat clothes that are stored somewhere collecting dust. But that is only a fading thought for now.

It makes me a little nervous to think about eventually get back on the road and being taken down by a stupid cramp again. But intellectually I know I can minimize the the probability of this happening again and if it does...it does. I enjoy riding too much to stop because I'm afraid of a cramp. After a few rides I know I'll get my confidence back. As I keep getting older shit is going to keep happening as it has been happening over the last decade. I've always dealt with it by getting back on my trike, my sanity machine. 

For now I'll take it easy for awhile and not ride. It's time to put the trike on the rack and do some maintenance and make some minor changes I've been wanting to do. When I do start riding again I can take advantage of the e-assist and use a little more boost to reduce the strain on my healing Gracilis muscle. Yet another cool reason to have an e-assist.