Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Tires, Speed and Roads

Keeping a log for the last 6 years has given me good feedback as to how my tire selection is working for me. Especially in 2016 riding along the Central Coast has given me information that makes it easy to compare rides. No traffic signals to factor in and consistent weather. 

I like my rides to be as fast , light and as comfortable as possible on my old bones. Some roads are to rough for skinny tires and beg me to use a little larger and lower pressure tire. The following is a quick look at how different tires are working for me.

Option 1, When roads are generally in good condition.
Rear tire - Schwalbe One 28/622,  95psi
Front tires- Schwalbe One 23/406, 95psi

Option 2. When roads are good to fair.
Rear Tire - Schwalbe Kojak 35/622, 65psi
Front tires - Schwalbe One 23/406, 95psi

Option 3, When roads are rough, like riding chip seal for extended periods.
Rear Tire - Schwalbe Kojak 35/622, 65psi
Front Tires - Schwalbe Kojak 35/406, 65psi


I'm going to keep this simple.

First let me say that changing rear tires is easy, I have two complete wheelsets. The front tires take a little more time as I have to actually make a tire change on the rim.

My maximum speed so far this year is 46mph. To my surprise all three tire options give me maximum speeds that are so close I can't say any one option is faster then the other when going down a hill.

My average speed is the number that changes with tire selection. Option 3 is about 7% slower then Option 1. With Option 2 my average speed is slightly slower then Option 1. It's almost to the point where sometimes it seems like there is no difference in average speed between Option 1 and Option 2. There may be other factors playing into this but I'm going to leave well enough alone and not over think it.

In the end I usually ride with Option 2. I get a little softer ride and minimal speed loss.

Rear tire - Schwalbe One 28/622,  95psi
Front tires- Schwalbe One 23/406, 95psi

Option 3
Rear Tire - Schwalbe Kojak 35/622, 65psi
Front Tires - Schwalbe Kojaks 35/406, 65psi

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Zefal Mirror

I wasn't sure if this little Zefal mirror would provide good visibility. On the road it has proven to be my favorite mirror. It has just enough curve in the mirror to give me clear coverage of the traffic lanes. The larger round mirrors I've used before provide equal or less coverage of the actual traffic lane and more coverage of the sky and the shoulder pavement directly behind my trike. I want to see cars not the sky behind me.

After a few miles I got use to judging distances in this little curved mirror. It looks good and it doesn't stick out like a wart on your nose.

Not a great picture but you can get an idea of the coverage. 
The mirror is not blurred as seen in the picture.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

No More Ice Sprint X26 FS

After less then 20 miles of test riding, the Sprint is going back to Bent Up Cycles. It's hard having to let go of a beautiful trike that rides so sweet. For me it's about the seat. It's not working for me with my titanium hips. All the details regarding the seat and my lousy hip are here on my November 7th post.

Friday, November 11, 2016

It's All In The Seat

I took the 700 on ride down the coast today to make sure it was the hard shell seat on my new ICE that was a pain in my hip and not something more ominous. Good news, bad news. Good news, my hip is no worse or better then it was before. The mesh seat on my 700 is oh so comfortable. I've never really appreciated the comfort of my 700. The bad news, the cool carbon fiber seat on my new ICE Sprint 26 FS has to go. I tried to customize the seat with the diamond pads that come with the seat but they didn't solve the problem. After about 5 miles the muscles in my right hip protest.

Now I'll have to check out the ICE mesh seat. I wasn't comfortable with it when I initially tested it some time ago. If that still holds true then I'll have to consider selling my brand new ICE.  I'm also thinking that the 25 degree seat angle of the 700 takes some of the pressure off my hip muscles. The max seat angle on the ICE Sprint 26 is 37 degrees.

Here's a couple pics of my ride today on the 700

Looking out over Morro Bay.

Morro Bay and Morro Rock

Monday, November 7, 2016

ICE Carbon Seat Hard on the Hip

So far the rides on my new ICE Sprint 26 FS have been short. The carbon fiber seat is hard on my right titanium hip. After about 5 miles my right hip starts to succumb to the hard shell seat. It seems like the hardness of the seat and the upswing at the bottom edge of the seat piriformus muscle. My left titanium hip is fine but the right side has been compromised by calcification of the tissue (Heterotopic Ossification) around the hip joint. On the positive side it only bothers me when I'm pedaling. Oh well.

The mesh seat on my Catrike 700 is very comfortable and causes me no grief. So my next step is to take a closer at the ICE mesh seat. Although when I took my first (very short) test ride on a ICE mesh seat awhile back I felt like I was going to slip off the seat. I'll check out the ICE mesh seat again before making any hard decisions. 

Dang, the comfort of the Catrike seat has spoiled me. I hope I can find that same comfort with an ICE mesh seat. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Chimps Better Suited For Bikes - CycleFit

From todays Adventure Cycling November 2nd Bike Bits

"COULD THE RECUMBANTISTS HAVE BEEN RIGHT THIS WHOLE TIME? Turns out chimps are better suited to riding diamond-frame bikes than we are."

Bike Bits directs the reader to this article in CycleFit 

Humans Didn't Evolve to Ride Bikes

It's well worth the read. Although traditional cyclists may take offense. It's good see a well respected organization like Adventure Cyclist make note of this article in CycleFit.

From CycleFit

Monday, October 31, 2016

New ICE Sprint 26 FS Pictures

ICE's new gunmetal grey color and redesigned logo is a work of art. ICE has really stepped up their came. I took a bunch of pictures while she is still clean and free of my add ons, like mirrors, lights, bottle cages under the seat and a FastBack SeatBack bag behind the carbon fiber seat. Although I already did add a carbon fiber bottle cage on the boom. 

I'll have more to say after I take a few rides. My goal is to have the fasted suspended trike possible. 

The two bars coming off the handlebars are the mirror mounts.

Shimano 6800 Ultegra pedals on a FSA triple 52/26 carbon fiber crank. I like the Shimano pedals because they can be adjusted to have minimal play to no play with cleat selection. The release tension can also be easily adjusted on the pedal. 

Rear suspension elastomers. Cool new colors. No more bright yellow and other neon colors to take away from the look of this beautiful trike. 

Front suspension.

Rock solid but very light rack for those times when I want to carry a little bit more. Attaches easily to the frame with only two bolts.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Headed Home with ICE

Carrie and I took a three and a half hour drive today to Bent Up Cycles to pick up my new ICE 26 Sprint. It's folded up and easily loaded into Carrie's C-Max. So nice to have a folder. It'll be so easy to take on trips. More picks and comments to follow.

Ready for another three and a half hour drive to get home. Looking forward to unloading my new ride.
Almost home, passing Pismo Beach.

Monday, October 3, 2016

ICE Sprint X 26 FS Ordered

A new trike to keep my 700 company.
I finally popped on ordering a ICE Sprint X 26 Full Suspension.
For me to be able to explore all the roads along the Central Coast I need
a full suspension option. There are some roads where the 700 is simply
not meant to go. More on why I opted for the ICE Sprint X 26 later.

Kinda like this one but in the new dull gray color. Also skinnier tires planned.


Non-Series CF Triple Crankset 170mm

SRAM SL-500 Aero 10 speed Rear/Friction Front Shifter Set
Set up Catrike style, not ICE style

HP Velotechnik Foam Grips

ICE Rear Rack - Rear Susp 20/26" (not to be installed)

Dimension 26t x 74mm Inner Chainring Black

ICE Mirror Mount
Custom to fit mirror below brake levers

Schwalbe SV6 Tube, 28/40-406

Schwalbe SV11A Tube, 18/25-559/571

Schwalbe Durano Tires, 28-559 and 28-406 Black, Folding

Sprint X 26FS Frameset
Includes front and rear wheels, front suspension, medium CF seat, 
chain tube kit and chain, front Tektro mirrored brakes, 
red and green rear elastomers, hard elastomers on front

Shimano Ultegra Front Derailleur, FD-6703-G, 31.8/28.6mm

Spare ICE Elastomer
Additional elastomers - One soft for rear, two medium for front

SRAM XG-1080 11-36 10 speed Cassette

ICE Neckrest for Hardshell Seat

SRAM X0 Type 2.1 Long Cage Rear Derailleur Black/Red 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Devin's "Batmobile" in Adventure Cyclist Magazine

Back in August I wrote about the loss of Devin Skelton.  Devin's legacy lives on on page 8 of the Oct/Nov 2016 issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine. In the below picture he's the one next to the Velomobile that he has fondly dubbed the "Batmobile". Although new to the world of Velomobiles he logged over 7,000 miles in one year. Shortly after that on August 14th 2016 Devin passed away while pedaling around Cape Cod.

Devin always stopped to talk to folks about his Velomobile and his recent decision to "go car free". It wouldn't be unusual to see kids taking a test ride in his Velo.

The only thing missing from the Adventure Cyclist article is his name. So I'll write Adventure Cycling and I hope they'll include his name in the Letters from the Readers section in the next issue.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

ICE at Bent Up Cycles

Email from Bent Up Cycles

ICE will be here on Sept 17.

The owners of ICE (Inspired Cycle Engineering) are visiting from Cornwall. We will be hosting a meet-and-greet this Saturday morning, September 17, at 10am. The crew will be delighted to answer any questions you may have, talk to you about their amazing trikes and show you some of their offerings. This is a rare opportunity to get an inside look at ICE. Come on over and hang out!
When I received the above email I decided to head down to North Hollywood to check out the ICE Suspended Sprint and ICE VTX. I need something that will handle the rougher and faster roads of the Central Coast. I'm not so concerned about the rough ride as I am with the steering taking on a life of it's own when riding at speed on rougher roads. I'm looking at indirect steering and suspension as a way of maintaining a better since of steering control. With the feedback of other trikers and now after meeting and talking to Neal with ICE trikes I'm closer to making a decision about a new trike.
All things considered I still want the speed of a fast trike so the jury is still out on suspension vs no suspension. As for the ICE VTX he chromoly front end of the VTX is considered to me more complaint then an all aluminum frame.  And with a seat that forms to the body it makes sense that the VTX should be more comfortable then my 700. But more important is having total confidence in my steering when bombing down a hill approaching 50mph. Indirect steering seems to be the way to go. 
For now I'm seriously considering a VTX. The VTX seems to be the right trike to handle the road conditions I'm dealing with now with no compromise in speed. But the Sprint would also handle the road conditions and soften the ride a bit. It would be interesting to try and set it up with as little loss in speed as possible. Plus it folds and it would leave the option open to tour a little bit around the Central Coast.

VTX or Sprint? Oh well, I got to think this one out for a while.

Feels good!

Bent Up Cycles showroom 

Fellow bent rider Roger checks out the VTX

Neal (on the right) with ICE trikes discusses the VTX with Roger

Carrie checking out the fat.

Leaving Bent Up Cycles with much to think about.