Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 on the Central Coast

January

First Ride of the New Year

2017 was a good year for riding. Busy with work on the new house I only managed 39 rides during 2016.  I looked forward to 2017 as the year to reboot by riding and get some quality miles in. 



February

Central Coast Sunshine

A few days of sunshine during February. But February was a rainy month.





March

Kojak and Chip Seal

It seemed like most of 2017 was spent trying to figure out how to best prepare for the varied road conditions along the Central Coast.





April

Down to One Car

My old Ford Escape was sitting collecting dust and the battery kept dying from non-use. So I sold it and we became a one car household. First I made sure our Ford C-max would hold the 700 inside. It did. 





May

Thule Roof Rack, Seasucker and Trike


Now with only one small car I needed a backup plan for carrying the trike on top of the car when there's no room inside.





June

W R Hearst State Beach


Getting familiar with the Central Coast and getting to know my favorite spots to take a break.






July


I'm getting use to not having the use of part of my right calf muscle.





August


The ICE Sprint 26fs I purchased late in 2016 spent some time at Bent Up Cycles after I returned it. The carbon seat heard my hips. In August I decided to pick it up and give it another try with a new mesh seat instead of the carbon fiber seat.





September

I'm Keeping Both Trikes


 In September I decided to keep both my 700 and the ICE Sprint. I really wanted the Sprint to work for me but I was still spending more time riding my 700.





October

October On the Central Coast


My 700 is still getting more ride time then the Sprint.




November


I turned my focus back to the Sprint. I played around with the mesh seat until it was comfortable. At least comfortable enough.




December


Who am I fooling? I can't make the ICE Sprint work for me. I gave it a good try. I traded it in for a Catrike Expedition!! I know the Expedition well. It was my first trike. I still feel it's the best and most versatile rike around. It's on order and will be here in January. With the right tires and it's more upright seat position it will be my go to trike for longer rides and rides on rough roads.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

ICE Sprint FS 26 - Final Comments

I traded in my ICE Sprint 26FS for a Catrike Expedition. As I wait to pick up the new Expedition here are some closing thoughts on my experience with the Sprint.



What I like about the ICE Sprint FS 26

Quality engineering - The Sprint is a beautiful machine and beautifully engineered.

Hydraulic brake function - The brakes have good stopping power and have a very positive feel.

Rack - The custom integrated rack is solid and easy to take on and off. Only two attachment points.

Elastomer suspension - The elastomer suspension is a light weight alternative to the heavier suspension found on many other trikes.

Looks awesome - The design, color and graphics are second to none.

Customer service - Very helpful and fast response time.


What I don't like Or more accurately, what wasn't working for me but may be a non-issue for another rider.

Seat - See my earlier posts here. Although I eventually managed to make the seat work for me I always had the sensation that I was sitting on the edge of the seat.

Cornering - The front suspension does not incorporate a torsion bar to compensate for the pressure on the outboard wheel when making a tight turn. The trike tends to lean away from a turn so take it easy on fast turns and all will be well.

Hydraulic brake maintenance - Because of the suspension system the brakes have to mirror each other. Currently the only option for  the suspended Sprint is hydraulic brakes. If you loose hydraulic fluid while on the road you're out of luck. I would not recommend hydraulic brakes for touring. Maintaining hydraulic brakes is more involved then mechanical brakes and requires a little extra skill and specialized tools.

Lack of bottle holders - The mesh seat, unlike the hard seat, has no place to install extra water bottle holders. All you get is the boom mount for water bottles. You can use a Terra Cycle dual water holder adapter on the boom but then the trike doesn't fold well.

Indirect steering - There is nothing wrong with indirect steering. Many riders love it. I personally prefer direct steering. I discussed the matter here on an earlier post.

Headrest - Here I feel it helps to compare the ICE and Catrike headrests. While many riders love the ICE head rest and hate the Catrike head rest I'm the opposite. I don't like the ICE headrest. It has only two possible adjustments. Up and down and it can swivel at the base where attached to the seat frame. The Catrike headrest has the same adjustments but in addition the headrest pad itself can swivel to allow for a perfect contact point between head and headrest pad. On another point, I like a firm headrest.  I use a headrest about 50% of the time while I'm riding. The headrest is adjusted to be within about 1/2" of the back of my head when I'm not using it. When I put my head back I don't want to sink into a cushy headrest that puts my head at an awkward angle. The ICE headrest lacks a firm backing on the pad and my head sinks uncomfortably into the rest. The Catrike headrest has a firm backing and a just the right amount of cushion for my needs. If it just had a little more width and dished in the middle it would be perfect. I've spent a lot of time talking about headrests. Regardless of your headrest preferences a good headrest is important for a good ride.


Other comments

- The folding option was not important for me. I have a Ford C-max and my Catrike 700 easily fits into the car when I take the rear wheel off. The Sprint takes up less room inside the car but requires a bit of effort to fold and unfold.

- The carbon seat I originally had on the trike looked cool but it's a hard seat and negated some of the benefits of riding a suspended trike. In addition my titanium hips rebelled when using the carbon seat. That post here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

HWY 1 is NOT Flat

Nothing better then a easy ride along the Central Coast. Beautiful ride yes, but not as easy as some are expecting. Many first time visitors who come to the Central Coast to take a casual ride along the coast line are generally not prepared for the rollers and occasional long climb. A 1,309 foot overall gain awaits them on the 33 mile one way ride from Morro Bay to the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Nothing to brag about but for those not prepared for climbing it can put a damper on their ride. Add another 1,253 feet of gain if you want to return to Morro Bay. 

If you keep going North from the Piedras Blancas lighthouse you soon enter the Monterey District of the Los Padres National Forrest and eventually into Big Sur. That's where the real climbing begins. If you keep going North ** another 57 miles to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park you can expect another 5.537 feet of gain.

** Hwy 1 is closed South of Gorda about 19 miles North of the Lighthouse and is expected to open late summer of 2018. In May of 2017 five million cubic yards of hillside went sliding down into the ocean at Mud Creek.







Wednesday, December 20, 2017

64 and Still Going Strong

I turned 64 at 3:20 am this morning. So I decided it was about time to update my About Me page. Here it is.
I live and play along the Central Coast of California with my wife, my best buddy for life. I'm a proud father of 5 kids and grandfather to 9 little ones. Born in 1953 (you do the math) I created my blog in July of 2009 to share thoughts and information about recumbent cycling as others have shared with me. Also I take a occasional detour into family, hiking and useless musings.

For most of my life I hiked into the hills to think more clearly. Whether hiking locally or somewhere more distant, by myself or with my kids, I always imagined that I’d be hiking until my time here on Earth expired. My time here on Earth is far from over. There is a lot that I still want to do and see, but I'm wearing out. I've lived a very physical life and now it's caught up with me. The medical profession has put my shoulder back together, twice removed torn cartilage from my knee, put the scalpel to my feet to put them back in good working order, repaired my lower and middle back, provided me with new hips which left me the loss of part of my calf muscle because of nerve damage from the hip replacement. It also left me with heterotopic ossification in my right hip and constant general  soreness of the pirifomis muscles. All topped off with a heart attack on Christmas day of 2011.

In December of 2017 I turned 64 and even though my party parts may be wearing down I'm still going strong. After my heart attack in 2011 I weened myself off meat and turned to a vegetarian diet while at the same time taking whatever drugs the doctors told me to take. My one mouth disastrous affair with statins for cholesterol after my 2011 heart attack convinced me that pharmaceuticals are to be looked at with caution. I was soon off all drugs related to my heart attack. I control my colestoral and maintain a healthy heart and body through a common sense diet.

I'm 6'1" and weight 190 lbs. I ride my trike 10 to 12 times a month. I exercise at least every 5 days using some weights and old fashion calisthenics. And I stretch everyday. I take turmeric to keep the blood flowing and general heart health, vitamin D3 for heart health (old skin doesn't produce vitamin D like young skin) and Ibuprofen as needed. I also let big pharma make a little money off  of me. I take an inhaler for mild asthma (growing up in a house full of cigarette and cigar smoke didn't help) and about every 3 months my doctor gives me a prescription for 20 low dose hydrocodone tabs for the days when I do too much heavy lifting or just do something stupid. 

In early May of 2009 Dana at Bent Up Cycles showed me what recumbent tadpole trikes are all about. Their knowledge of recumbent trikes put me at ease that I could transition from hiking to recumbent cycling. My first ride was a Catrike Expedition. It was soon followed by a Catrike 700 which was later upgraded to the new version of the Catrike 700 with 20' front wheels. 

I can still take short hikes but my trikes keep me alive both physically and mentally. 

Enough about me go RIDE!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Parting Shot - ICE Sprint 26fs

It looks like I'm a die hard Catrike fan and I finally decided to trade in my ICE Sprint 26fs for a Catrike Expedition. I gave the Sprint a fair try but in the end I decided the Catrike Expedition is the right trike for me. The Sprint is now available at Bent Up Cycles in North Hollywood, CA. I'll post some final comments on the ICE Sprint 26fs in another post. For now here's all my posts about the Sprint from the last 14 months.

Soon the Catrike Expedition will join my Catrike 700. Roads and routes will determine which trike I ride on any given day.

The Sprint is loaded on the top of the car with the seat removed and ready for a four hour drive to Bent Up Cycles. There was no room inside the car for a folded Sprint. The car was loaded with other non-trike stuff inside.

Side Note 
A close up of the Seasucker suction cup I use to securely hold the back wheel.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Climbing HWY 46

When climbing HWY 46 I travel light with my Catrike 700. With a 19 inch low gear and a light trike climbing is relaxed , slow and steady. My motivation to climb is the anticipation of turning around for a fast punker up downhill run. It's not necessary to always shoot for the top, there's plenty of good downhill riding. Except for two very short rough patches the road is in excellent condition with gentle turns that make braking unnecessary. But I keep hands close to the brake levers as speeds edge up over 50 mph. 

I've even cheated before and let Carrie drive me to the top. I unload the trike about 100 yards from the top so I can warm up my legs on a short climb and then let go and have fun. I may be turning 64 in a few days but I still like the rush of going fast while laid back just a few inches off the ground.
Profile of HWY 46 starting at HWY 1 and going to the top.

Taking a break.
Almost at the top. (Picture form 12/24/16)
 View from up high. Morro Rock in background. (Picture form12/24/16)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Thoughts On Seat Angle, Suspension and Tires

Picture from a few years ago on HWY 1
My motivation for adding a suspended ICE Sprint FS to accompany my Catrike 700 in my garage was the many miles of chip seal I have to ride when venturing North of Cambria on HWY 1. Which is usually once a week. I've now  had plenty of time to experiment with tire selection and pressure, suspension vs non-suspension and seat angle. I've come to the conclusion that seat angle plays the biggest role in determining the level of comfort when riding the many miles of chip sealed roads. For me a seat angle of 37 degrees to 40 degrees is the most comfortable position on these roads and still allows for good power transfer to the pedals. 

I've been trying to negotiate a compromise between comfort and speed. So I went with the minimalist suspension of the ICE Sprint with 28mm Durano tires. But I found that my Catrike 700 with 35mm Kojaks do nearly as good a job as the elastomer suspension system of the Sprint in isolating the constant vibration of the chip seal.

The Sprint elastomer suspension works nicely on the occasional rut, road seam and the minor road imperfections.  And it's probably great for trail riding. But it's the chip seal I'm trying to tame without sacrificing too much speed.

With my titanium hips I may be a slow dog on hills but when the road levels out I like to feel the speed. Especially down hills. And on those days when I choose to cruise the coast loaded with creature comforts I don't want to push extra weight that's not benefiting me in any meaningful way.

I'm tending to think that the whole suspension craze is overrated. There is a definite need for a suspended ride but you have to remember it comes at the cost of a heavier and mushier trike  that requires more calories to per mile.

Now that I've figured out that seat angle makes the biggest difference on rough roads, it's time to re-examine the non-suspended option that I was considering earlier, the Catrike Expedition with it's 37 degree seat angle. I feel it's the best and most versatile trike on the market. Also it won't empty your bank account.

My old Catrike Expedition from back in the day when I use to pull ma doggie
and load up with every possible creature comfort. Of course that was pre-hip replacement
days. Now I prefer to ride a little lighter. 


Monday, November 27, 2017

Direct vs Indirect Steering

Everyone has an opinion and I'm no exception. And here's my opinion on direct steering versus indirect steering.

My take on this subject is influenced by many years of riding Catrikes with direct steering and more recently riding my ICE SprintX FS with indirect steering. With direct steering the handlebars are connected to the headset of each wheel. Steering is a simple right or left movement.  With indirect steering the handlebars are connected to a pivot point at the center of the trike. From there it connects to the wheel via some sort of linkage. Steering is accomplished my pushing and pulling the handlebars.

Direct steering

Indirect steering

Direct steering

Pros
- Good road feel. Especially welcomed at higher speeds.
- Simplicity of design makes maintenance easier. Especially when adjusting toe in.

Cons
- Wheel vibration on rough roads is more pronounced. It's important on rough roads to avoid a "death grip". Relaxed hands and arms is important, especially on rough roads.



Indirect steering

Pros
- Wheel vibration telegraphed through the handlebars is less pronounced. The steering linkage absorbs some of the rough road conditions. Combined with front suspension the rough roads are easily tamed.
- Smooth and easy to turn.

Cons
- Disconnect from feeling the road. I find the lack of road feel to be a bit disconcerting at speeds over 30mph. The steering can feel a little squirrelly at higher speeds. The Sprint has an adjustable steering damper that helps the steering from feeling too loose. I feel I need more time on the fast roads before I get truly accustomed to indirect steering at higher speeds.
- More complex design requiring more skill to maintain. Toe in adjustment is more complicated.
- For weight weenies the extra steering linkage components means a little extra weight.


All things being equal I personally prefer direct steering.  I feel more connected with the road and I prefer the simplicity of design of the direct steering. Whether you go with direct or indirect steering it all comes down to the overall quality of the trike and deciding which features are important to you when choosing a trike.







Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ortlieb Bottle (Speaker) Holder

As far as water bottle holders go Ortlieb's add on water bottle holder for Ortlieb panniers seemed a little funky at first. But it works well for bottles and more importantly for my JBL Charge speaker.

The Ortleib water holder mounted on my Ortlieb front rider pannier. 
I like using the small panniers when I ride my ICE Sprint so I can carry more stuff on longer rides.

My JBL Charge in the water bottle holder. 
The water bottle holder consists of three straps that have to be connected at the back of the holder. The JBL Charge usually fits in most frame mounted water bottle holders but it's a little too big for the Ortleib holder. The center strap of the Ortlieb holder is a little tighter then the top and bottom straps. I leave one side of the center strap unconnected to accommodate the speaker. Even without the center strapped connected the speaker remains firmly in place. 

Closeup of the Ortlieb water bottle holder. The center strap on the opposite is left unconnected to allow for the JBL Charge to slip in. When the center strap is connected on both sides it creates a pressure ring that keeps a water bottle from bouncing out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

So Much More to See

Cars, SUVs and buses are passing me by at 55mph and usually more as I ride HWY 1 along the Central Coast. They're headed to their pre-planned tourist destination. Occasionally they'll stop at a point of interest that yells out to them, like the Hearst Zebras that sometimes graze close to HWY 1. As they're whizzing along, the world beyond their steel beast is a blur. "So much to see and so little time to see it" is the mantra of the typical visitor trying to take it all in.  While I'm riding along on my trike it's not uncommon to see visitors park at a turnout, pop out of their car, take a picture and move on to the next picture opportunity. 

Cyclists see the world in slow motion, seeing the details around them. Recumbent cyclists especially have a unique vantage point in the world of cycling. Riding laid back allows a recumbent cyclist to take it all in. And then there's the recumbent trike for those who are in no hurry and want to see it all without the bother of balance or maintaining a minimum speed. And imperfections in the road that may be a hazard for the two wheeled cyclist is just a nuisance for the adventurous triker.

So much more to see on a trike.


This little gem of a cove is only visible to the observant cyclist. It's packed with Elephant Seals this time of year. Cars go speeding by on their way to the official Elephant Seal viewing area another 1/3 of a mile up the coast. There you'll find plenty of other car centric visitors walking the fenced boardwalk that keeps the Elephant Seals safe from the antics of human visitors.

A blubbery mass of Elephant Seals.

Friday, November 3, 2017

ICE Sprint Mesh Seat - All is Good

My brain kicked in and I figured out what I needed to do to make the Sprint mesh seat comfortable for me. It's all about adjusting the right seat straps.

On my Catrike 700 seat I keep all the seat straps as tight as possible and I'm comfortable. So I used the same strategy with my new ICE Sprint. I started off riding on the Sprint mesh seat with all the straps pulled tight. I felt like I was at the edge of the seat and my hip muscles would sometimes get uncomfortable (all the details here). So I played around with adjusting the straps under the bottom of the seat. Adjusting only the bottom of the seat made sense to me at the time. The seat still didn't feel right.

I started to give up. I even tried selling the Sprint. I had a buyer who was new to trikes but he backed out at the last minute. I took it as a sign from the triking Gods that I needed to give it another try. And then in a moment of clarity my 63 year old brain (almost 64) started to work and the answer came to me. I went down to the garage, took the seat off the Sprint and started making the necessary new adjustments.

Sure enough after adjusting the seat and throwing it back on the Sprint I rode off in comfort. Now comfortable I've been taking longer rides on the Sprint without any issues.

Why I didn't try this earlier I don't have a good excuse. I tighten all the straps to their max but loosened the bottom three straps behind the seat back (not the seat bottom). The third strap from the bottom is now a little bit loose. The second from the bottom is a little looser and the last the strap at the bottom of the seat back is the loosest of the three. The strap adjustment changed the ergonomics of the mesh seat just enough to resolve my issues with the seat. It allows my rear end to settle deeper into the seat. The adjustment also provides better lumber support. All is now good down south.







Monday, October 30, 2017

Event Rides and Salad

As a vegetarian since 2011, primarily for personal health reasons, I've learned that a vegetarian menu can be just as hearty and varied as a meal that includes meat.  Look no further then Indian food for great vegetarian meals. A vegetarian menu in the United States is considered to be a salad, veggie burger and now oversized mushrooms. 

And then there is the cycling event rides where the end of the ride meal for us non-meat eaters is usually a lettuce salad with a beard roll, usually stale. A sizable portion of the event fee is allocated to the food. Food that doesn't satisfy us vegetarians.  No wonder I avoid signing up for event rides. When I'm done riding I want a real meal so in the past I've brought my own food to an event ride.

Restaurants and events haven't figured how to prepare good non-meat meals. Sometimes it's hard for them to figure out how to put together a decent meal of any kind.

I know event rides have other draws besides food. Charity support and socializing to name a couple. BUT no matter what your food preferences happen be, good food at the end of a ride is right at the top of the list of reasons to do an event ride.

Final musing. Why is it that at a BBQ serving a veggie burger option, they always run out of veggie burgers when there were more then enough veggie patties to feed the herbivores? 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Lighthouse Ride

I joined in with the Lighthouse Century riders just long enough to have my picture taken by the event photographer before I rode off on my own. 


The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is waaaay off in the distance. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October On the Central Coast

Escape from reality, riding the Central Coast. 
The 35mm Kojaks are becoming my favorite tire for the varied conditions along Hwy 1.

Looking out to Morro Bay and Morro Rock

Lunch break at Cayucos 
The rock in the middle is my usual place to dine. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

ICE Sprint Mesh Seat Not Comfortable for Me

Update 11/3/17 New post regarding ICE Mesh Seat - All is Good here.

________________________

I like the ICE Sprint 26fs and it's suspension system. But I can't get totally comfortable with the seat.
After putting a lot of thought and time into figuring out which trike would fit my needs on California's Central Coast (700 v Sprint26fs v Expedition), the seat on the trike I thought would work best the ICE Sprint 26fs is turning out to be my nemesis. After a bad experience with the carbon fiber seat I was convincing myself that the Sprint mesh seat was comfortable for me.

My hip replacements left me with temperamental pirifomis muscles.  They tend to get sore easily and I need a seat that doesn't put pressure on that muscle group. My Catrike 700 and my old Catrike Expedition are very comfortable seats. The mesh seat on the Sprint has it's good days and it's bad days. The design of the Sprint seat puts pressure right where I don't want it. I feel a slight discomfort but a slight discomfort adds up after a couple hours of riding. I so much wanted the Sprint to work for me I overlooked the occasional uncomfortable rides. Those noticeably uncomfortable rides were when I road a little harder. I never had that issue on my 700 or my old Expedition.

I'll probably have to sell the Sprint and maybe I'll add the unsuspended Catrike Expedition to my stable for those days when I feel like a relaxed cruise around the Central Coast. I can use larger volume tires on an Expedition as a compromise to a suspended trike. Going back to having an Expedition keeping my 700 company in the garage is not at all a bad option.

Before making a final decision I contacted ICE to inquire about using the ICE Adventure mesh seat with it's longer seat base. Maybe that might work. Maybe?

On 9/26/17 ICE responded and said they could fit the ICE Adventure seat with it's longer seat base on the Sprint but the end of the seat might hit the back of my thighs when pedaling. I don't feel it would be a problem but I don't want to put anymore money into the Sprint to find out. 



ICE Sprint 26fs mesh seat
The base of the ICE Sprint mesh seat is short and the curve at the end puts pressure where I don't want it. Contrary to the feeling of sitting at the edge of the seat the design of the seat seems to lock your butt into the seat but my poor old sensitive pirifomis. 
Catrike 700 mesh seat
The seat is longer with no curve at the end.




Sunday, September 24, 2017

Is It Me or the Sprint

I left the Sprint in the garage and took the 700 out for a ride today. It seems that the Sprint mesh seat may not be working for me after all. I had to make sure it was the seat of the Sprint and not something else that was causing low level discomfort from my titanium hips. More specifically the muscles of the hip.

So the 700 went for a ride today. Good news, I was 100% comfortable, no hip muscle pain. Bad news, the Sprint seats are not comfortable for me. I wonder if the ICE Adventure seat with it's longer seat base might work. I'll have to find out. 

Lunch with the 700

Monday, September 18, 2017

I'm Keeping Both Trikes

I've come to my senses and I'm keeping both trikes. I thought that once I made my mind up on keeping the ICE Sprint 26fs to handle the rough roads on California's Central Coast I would let my Catrike 700 go. NO, can't do it. There are a few roads where I can still take out the 700 for a quick ride. Roads that are well maintained. 

It'll be short rides on smooth roads with good downhills. I won't need the extra weight that I used on longer rides. I can have some fun dedicating the 700 to one purpose, speed. No more cruising on the 700. I'll leave the cruising to the Sprint 26fs.

I striped the 700 down to it's bare minimum ride ready weight of 32.8 lbs (4.8 kg) as seen in the picture below. Any other weight I add to the under seat storage will be optional personal stuff and tools. 

The ICE Sprint 26fs will be my main ride on the Central Coast and I'll take out the 700 for a quick downhill spin when a adrenaline rush is called for.





Saturday, September 16, 2017

Why ICE Instead of Catrike



__________
As of December 2017 after having spent more time on ICE Sprint 26 full suspension trike I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a fast suspended performance trike. I now feel that Catrike's lineup is adequate to address the needs of just about every rider. Even though my opinion has changed I left the below post on my blog.
______________

I feel Catrike makes some the best trikes on the market. You get a quality trike without having to dig too deep into your piggy bank.

BUT there's a gap in their product line that doesn't allow for riders like me. When I heard that Catrike would soon have a fully suspended model I imagined a sub 40 lb (18 kg) trike with the attributes of the Catrike Expedition. What came out instead was a hefty 43 lb (19.5 kg) trike with a cushy seat and an adjustable seat angle of only 42 to 49 degrees. A great trike for some riders but not for me.

Catrike doesn't have a suspended performance trike. Catrike has the unsuspended 700 and Expedition at the top of there performance lineup. Then their model selection jumps right to the cushy and heavy Dumont. 

A fully suspended ICE Sprint 26fs weights in at 36.9 lbs (16.7kg) with a mesh seat. The seat angle can be adjusted to as low as 37 degrees. Lower if you opt for the carbon seat. The ICE Sprint 26fs is still a performance trike with the added benefit of a minimalist full suspension system that provides enough comfort with minimal sacrifice in performance and speed. The ICE Sprint 26fs fills in the gap between ICE's high performance VTX and the Adventure model.

Catrike works hard at trying to address the needs of it's diverse customer base. I hope Catrike will follow ICE's lead and develop a sub 40 lb (18kg) suspended performance trike with a more aggressive seat angle than the Dumont. Also no over padded seat.




Catrike 700
Catrike's top of the line performance trike with a seat angle of 25 degrees. Unsuspended and fast.



Catrike Expedition
An unsuspended hybrid with a higher seat angle of 37 degrees. It can be configured for speed, or loaded up with creature comforts for cruising or touring. The Expedition was my first trike and I had a lot of fun putting miles on it. Many of those miles was with my dog in tow.

Catrike ???
A sub 40 lb Full Suspension trike with a 37 degree seat angle that can be configured for light and fast rides or configured for touring with a dedicated rack system that is hung on the suspended main frame. Folding or non-folding either option works for me. 
Another idea, re-design the Expedition with a minimalist suspension and I'd be on board to be the first in line to try it out.
Someday, maybe?

Catrike Dumont
Catrike's entry in the fully suspended folding trike market.  A comfortable 43 lb trike with a high seat angle range of 44 to 51 degrees. Weight and seat angle alone keep the Dumont out of the performance trike category. At the present it's lacking a integrated rear rack system that would allow it to be considered a touring trike. The only options I see for a rear rack are from the secondary market with the rack being attached to the rear dropouts and chain stays. The rack and whatever is on the rack will be unsuspended.


How I make the decision to choose a ICE Sprint 26fs

Friday, September 15, 2017

700 v Sprint26fs v Expedition, Part 4 Conclusion

Go to Part 1, September 9th
Go to Part 2, September 12th
Go to Part 3, September 13th

I'm keeping the ICE Sprint 26fs. It's a great machine and beautifully engineered right down to the small details. Yes it's pricey but I feel it's worth the expense.

What impresses me most about the Sprint 26fs is the simplicity and effectiveness of the suspension. I feel no pogo effect when pedaling. The elastomers smooth the road out just enough to allow for a comfortable ride without putting to big of a dent in my average speed. Usually the only time I'm aware that I'm on a suspended trike is when I ride over a rut or some other road imperfection and I brace for a jolt and all I get is a thud. 

On a personal level what really strikes me is how much less tired I am after a long ride. Managing the chip seal and rough roads on the Central Coast was wearing me down more then I realized. 

I'm not sure how much I'll be using the rear rack and panniers. As I mentioned earlier the Sprint doesn't have much storage when not using the rack. I'll be exploring some behind the seat storage options. 

The ICE mesh seat seems okay on my titanium hips. But the Catrike Expedition and 700 seats are still my favorite and most comfortable seats. Getting totally comfortable with the ICE mesh seat may take a little more time.