Thursday, June 5, 2014

Some Catrike Expedition Tweaks

In addition to some earlier modifications I made on my Expedition (Expedition Upgrades) I recently lightened up the Beast, installed a new Tubus Logo Evo rear rack and tweaked the front derailleur mast. I also run 1.35 inch Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on all three wheels (front 35-406 and rear 35-559). They make a noticeable difference in the handling and speed compared with the old 1.75 inch Marathon Plus tires I had on before. These are nice tires and I'm not sacrificing puncture protection for better performance.

I eliminated the trunk bag and now I put my daily ride stuff in the side bags with plenty of room to spare. I usually ride with the Ortlieb panniers so I can stop and pick up some groceries or whatever while on my leisurely rides with the Expedition. I also eliminated the boom bag. It was just a place to put junk I didn't need on a day ride.

Rear view of the Tubus Logo Evo (link to Bike Bag Shop) rack. The side rails of the rack lean inward at the top bringing the load (in my case groceries) closer the center line of the trike for better stability. With my old rack the panniers would lean out at the top when loaded. The panniers are mounted low on a secondary bar. The lower mounting position allows for the load to be carried lower and more stable. The top platform of the Evo is narrow and doesn't work well with most trunk bags. Most trunk bags may wobble a bit. I solved that problem by simply realizing I don't need a trunk bag. Now's there room to lash down another bag or two like an Ortlieb Rack Pack (link to Bike Bag Shop) on top of the rack. The Evo is rated to carry 88 pounds (40kg).
The Tubus installation is easy. The attachment bars can be ordered in different sizes. The clamps on the seat bar are from the Hostel Shoppe.

Not only have I reduced the weight of the Beast I think it looks better.

My view from the picnic table at the park. On the post is a barn owl nesting box.

I also tweaked the derailleur mast to better accommodate the MTB crank I use on the Beast. I had to grind off the cable stop to allow the derailleur to slide down the mast to line up better with the smaller size of the MTB chain rings. I added a "clamp on" cable stop lower down on the mast. The "clamp on" cable stop needed a little machining to get it to line up better with the derailleur. It's not perfect but it works well, for now.
I use a MTB crank to get lower gears for climbing without using a mechanical drive such as a Schlumph Mountain Drive. 


BTW - This is how to fully load a Tubus Logo Evo rack. Just throw stuff on it.


  1. Nice work Mark. I always enjoy seeing and reading about how riders customize and tweak their rigs to suit the purpose at hand.

    Also thanks for recently linking to the Trike Asylum blog. I love the philosophy and writing style on that blog.

    A few weeks ago I visited the Peddler's Trike shop here in Ohio for the first time. Spent a couple hours testing out several trikes on the shop's indoor test track. The owner was super nice and took time to give us a complete walkthrough of his entire inventory. Peddler's is about an hour drive away but I'm feeling pretty lucky to have great dealer so close by. Now I really want a three-wheeler and it'll be there I go to spend my money.

    I always had my heart set on a Catrike but now I'm not so sure. After seeing a bunch of Ice trikes I'm very impressed with that brand. If I had the 4K to spend today I would probably go with Ice Sprint X with the 26" wheel on back. If not that one the Catrike Road would be my next choice.

    Nice to see you're healing up and spending time back on your bikes. Take Care!

    1. Thanks for the comments. I agree that ICE has awesome lineup of trikes.