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.

2 comments:

  1. Ah, back to the Expo. Same as it ever was, eh? My Expedition has been a faithful ride for years now, so no complaint other than the old mesh permanently shifted to one side, which is annoying. I ride with extra padding, so it doesn't matter. Did you ever ride/consider the Scorpion? I always loved HPVelo stuff. It was probably a mistake to sell my Street Machine. I did have to add thick foam to the shell seat, but once I did, it was the most comfortable seat I've used. I found the original foam to be a joke.

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    1. Yup, going back to where it all began. As for your twisted mesh seat, some of Catrikes earlier seats would twist . Catrike changed their design and gave me new seats. https://bentupcyclingjournal.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-catrike-seats.html

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