Sunday, July 7, 2019

More Rides, More Miles, More Fun...E-8000

I've had plenty of time to settle in with my ICE Sprint FS Steps E8000. My main concern, thinking I would always be tempted to overuse the assist, has waned. I like the feeling of using my own muscle power to ride but I don't like hills for reasons talked about in my last post, Climbing With the E8000. And the west coast has more than enough hills to climb. Also worried that my ego would take a hit. I waited a good year before popping on the E-Assist. Ego is intact and better then ever as the assist has become a game changer for me. More rides, more miles, more fun.


Here is how I've settled in with the E8000 and hopefully it might be of some value in helping others who are on the fence about making a decision to go with an assist.  

Let me start out my mentioning that the Shimano Steps E8000 has three pedal assist modes. 
1. ECO - 70% support 
2. TRAIL - 150% support
3. BOOST - 230% support

I keep the assist OFF on descents and OFF or on ECO riding the flats and slight ascents. I find that ECO compensates for the weight of the trike and it feels more like I'm pedaling my Catrike 700. That leaves TRAIL and BOOST. The TRAIL mode serves most of my climbing needs but I switch over to BOOST as the grade steepens. So far this year my local rides have averaged 71 feet of gain for every
one mile. The BOOST takes me up the hills so comfortably I've been able to extend my rides.  I reach the batteries limit before I reach my physical limits. I feel like I can just keep going all day but I'll need to carry another battery in my pannier for that to happen. 

E8014 Battery
Right now with the E8014 - 418Wh battery I get a range of about 40 miles where I ride. Climbing sucks up a lot of power. I'll be purchasing an extra battery, the E8010 - 504Wh. But it's not available until September so I'll have to be happy staying under 40 miles per ride or load the trike into my car and find less hilly areas to ride. When I have two batteries on board I hope to squeeze out 100 hilly miles. Carrying the weight (2.6kg - 5.7lbs) of a second battery is not a problem. I have little help. (BTW... the E8014 battery is only a couple of ounces (.05kg) lighter.)





There's more, using the BOOST to get through dicey road conditions such as construction zones and busy intersections is awesome.

And yes...I get plenty of exercise. I'm riding more often and more miles without climbing anxiety. The only thing I'm not doing is getting my heart rate up to where the exercise gurus say it should be.   Even without an assist I climb so slow that my heart rate never did reach the "optimal range". But  I must be doing something right. After my last stress test a couple of months ago I had to work pretty damn hard to get my heart rate to where the doctor wanted it for testing. More on that in my next post.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Climbing with the E8000

So far this year my average gain per mile is 72 feet. I can't avoid climbing unless I load up my trike into my car and head out of town to take a ride somewhere that does't involve so much climbing. A local 20 mile ride means about a 1,400 foot gain and so on. As I've mentioned before, piriformis syndrome and a partially atrophied calf muscle (both post hip replacements) makes climbing a bit of a challenge.

Enter Shimano's Steps E8000 and climbing is made so much easier. By using the Trail mode and Boost mode on the climbs and the Eco mode or no assist on the flats and descents I can manage a range of 35 to 40 miles. Not an exceptional range with the 418Wh battery but climbing does drain the battery which is why I'm thinking of getting a 504Wh battery and bringing the smaller 418Wh battery as a backup on longer rides. I also carry the charger with me for peace of mind. Weight is not a problem with the assist but when the battery has no power left the trike can be a real bear to grind up hills. On longer rides I can ride to areas that tend to flatten out a bit and with two batteries on board I feel I can accomplish a range of 100 miles. I look forward to giving it a try someday.

I bought the ICE Sprint FS E8000 specifically for climbing. Being able to call upon the E8000 to get me over the hills takes away any climbing anxiety that in the past would have played a major roll in determining which routes or detours I would ride. Many are the hills I would not go down knowing I would have to climb them later. Not anymore.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Updates on Earlier ICE Sprint Comments

Below are my comments from December 24th 2017 when I owned a ICE Sprint FS for a brief period. Now that I have a new ICE Sprint FS E8000 I've updated those comments to reflect some changes that were made to address some issues. Those changes are in pink.

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. The new E8000 has disc brakes and they still have good stopping power.

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. I ordered the new ICE with an ICE Adventure seat which has a longer seat base. Problem of sitting on the edge solved.

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.  I now have mirrored Callisto disk brakes (the FS doesn't allow for anything but mirrored brakes). Unfortunilty I don't know much about these brakes and there is very little information available. I can't even find where to get new brake pads.  So maintenance may still be an issue but for a different reason.  I'll have more to say about these brakes as I do more research.

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. I now have Terra Cycles dual bottle mount. The trike doesn't fold up totally flat with the mount but it's close. 

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. I still feel the some but it's not deal killer. 

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. ICE now makes a wider headrest but it still feels the same. Because the Sprint is more upright then my Catrike 700 I rarely feel the need to use a head rest so not a big deal. It didn't stop me from getting the E8000


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 folding option is now more of an advantage for me especially now that I have a Ford Escape. The folded trike fits in easily.

- 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

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Trike Stand by TRIKE TIGHT

With the extra weight of the E Assist on my new ICE Sprint FS E8000 I decided to replace my old Park Tool bike work stand with a dedicated trike stand. The old Park Tool stand worked well enough for my lighter trikes but it was always a little awkward to use. I wanted something solid that would hold up to regular use. I looked at DIY options but decided that a custom trike stand by TRIKE TIGHT was worth the investment. And yes... it is.

The TRIKE TIGHT stand is an aluminum stand that was easy to assemble.  The stand is light but solid. It also folds up by lifting a single pin. Unlike most of the plans for DIY stands the TRIKE TIGHT has large heavy duty locking wheels that allow me to easily roll the stand around. Not only do all three wheels lock but the swivel locks as well so the stand stays exactly where I want it to stay. And finally, I can move the trike around to work on it without having to move or get up from my stool.


The TRIKE TIGHT stand is a stiff well made stand made with heavy gauge aluminum tubing that should last longer then me. And it has a cool logo.








Saturday, May 25, 2019

ICE Sprint FS E8000 First Impression

Riding the ICE Sprint FS E8000 is a game changer for me. 
Farther, faster and higher.

For the last few years I've set self imposed limits so I wouldn't pay the price of an aggravated piriformis as well as shin cramping due to a partially atrophied calf muscle. I limited myself to 30 miles or 1,000 whichever came first. Anything beyond that and I would risk feeling sore and old. 

With my new ICE Sprint FS E8000 I haven't found my limits. As long as the battery has power I feel as if I can keep on going. I'm about ready to buy a second battery to take on longer rides. Plus I now carry my charger with me. I don't want limits.

I'll have more to say as I continue to explore my limits. For now Larry Varney's review in BentRider pretty much sums up the ICE Sprint FS E8000 with one comment I'd like to add. I ride in an area where avoiding hills is not an option. On a climb where I would be grinding out 3-4mph on my Catrike 700 I can now do an easy 10mph in Boost mode on the ICE Sprint E8000 while barely breaking a sweat. Even at 12mph it's easier than 3mph on my 700. On climbs is where the E8000 truly proves itself. On Saturdays I may take a detour or two to check out a garage sale even if I have to climb.

Love this trike and I don't use the word love often for material stuff. It's serious fun.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Picking Up My New ICE Sprint E8000

 Dana, owner of Bent Up Cycles, building up my new ICE Sprint E8000.






Dana and Marilyn
I met Marilyn at Bent Up Cycles while Dana was building up my new ICE Sprint E8000. Marilyn is a long time costumer of Bent Up Cycles with a impressive cycling history. She is currently upgrading her HP Scorpion to a Shimano Steps  

Final adjustment

Friday, May 10, 2019

Piriformis Syndrome...Confirmed

WARNING ... Boring medical stuff about Piriformis Syndrome post hip replacements.

I always suspected I had Piriformis Syndrome but held off confirming it until I was on Medicare. I'm now on Medicare and I'm no longer paying $900 a month (was more before ACA) for shitty health insurance with a $7,000 deductible that forced me to think twice about seeing doctors. 

Thanks to Lyndon Johnson and democratic socialism I now have real medical coverage. So it's now time to take care of a few medical issues. First my aching butt. I always suspected I had Piriformis Syndrome after my 2013 hip replacements. Sure enough a ultrasound confirmed that my Sciatic nerve runs through my piriformis. A condition that only a small percentage of humans have. What makes it worse is that my piriformis is constantly inflamed since having my hips replaced. There is also a  layer of scar tissue on the piriformis from the hip replacements. Maybe that's causing the inflamation? The relief from chronic pain after an injection of cortisone in my piriformis further confirmed piriformis syndrome and not something spine related. Five days of no Ibuprofen and then slowly back to by aching butt when standing or walking for any length of time. Next stop physical therapy. PT helped in the past and I feel it will be even more productive now that I have a specific condition to zero in on.

Next up...carpal tunnel syndrome followed by nerve tests to figure out why my right interior gastrocnemius atrophied after my right side hip replacement.

A final word of caution. If your thinking of having a hip replacement I suggest staying away from Dr Andrew Yun in Santa Monica California.

WebMD - Piriformis Syndro   https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/piriformis-syndrome-causes-symptoms-treatments#1

Spine Health - Video   https://www.spine-health.com/video/piriformis-syndrome-video




Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sorry Catrike..it's ICE Time

My thread on BentRider posted 4/17/19. Go to BentRider for comments.

Sorry Catrike..it’s ICE Time

Catrike is missing the boat. The market for electric assist is growing and Catrike tells me they have no plans to enter the electric assist market at this time. The only option is an after market add on to a Catrike. The E-assist add ons don’t thrill me. In addition an after market add on will void the Catrike warranty.

Over the last ten years I’ve purchased seven Catrikes but my loyalty will now be divided between Catrike and ICE. I ordered an ICE Sprint FS E8000. It’ll replace my Catrike Expedition while I keep my Catrike 700 for shorter fast rides.

After driving over to Bent Up Cycles and taking a spin on an ICE Adventure equipped with Shimano’s Steps E8000 I was hooked. With no second thought I had Dana order me the Sprint FS with the E8000.

Over the years Catrike has had a tendency to follow market trends for awhile before making a commitment to produce what customers want. Their late entry into the suspension market stands as an example of this “wait and see” philosophy. It also seems to me that with their recent introduction of the Catrike Eola that Catrike is focusing more on affordability and leaving the high end and E-assist market to manufacturers like ICE.


ICE trikes are definitely more expensive but they are beautiful machines. I didn’t want to “wait” for Catrike to determine the viability of the E-assist market so I will soon take possession of an ICE Sprint FS E8000.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Why ICE Sprint FS E8000

I've forgotten what's it's like to get out of bed in the morning without pain. Of course some mornings are better then others. It all depends on how much I pushed myself the day before. My chronically sore hip muscles (from the screwed up hip replacements in 2013) protest in the morning and more recently my wrists, from carpal tunnel (soon to be dealt with), are joining in the protest. A few cups of tea while waiting for the Ibuprofen to soften the aches and pains and I'm soon ready to start the day.

Recently our move to a new home took away the time and desire to ride until just a few weeks ago. Now that we're settled in I'm back to riding again. But during the last few months of packing, moving, unpacking and fixing up the new house my body was screaming at me to take it easy. Even with my beautiful wife telling me to not do so much it's in my nature to be physical. I just like to get things done. Indeed the last few months were rough on my old body and mind. But I've been through much worse so I knew this would be a temporary mind game.

Soon after getting the new house set up I finally took my first ride in four months on my Catrike 700. A short, very short 8 miles and 515 feet of gain later I was back home feeling soooo old. It hit me that even when I was at my best (which I will be soon again) over the last few years 30 miles or 1,000 feet of gain, whichever came first, was pretty much the limit of my comfort level when riding. In that moment I accepted that I do have limits. How can I extend those limits? Easy...let common sense prevail where ego once ruled. Not every ride has to be 100% under my own power. Let the MAMILs struggling along on poorly geared upright carbon bikes serve there ego. My ego will be just fine without having to push myself to hard. I want to keep enjoying life and to so I'm calling on Zeus to give me a little assist to go farther and higher.

In about five weeks I'll have my new ICE Sprint FS E8000 to take me on those elusive longer rides. No more wasting my hips going up hills. And longer rides. With the help of Shimano's E8000 pedal assist I can go beyond my limits. And when my ego needs servicing I'll take a short fast spin on my 700.




Friday, April 5, 2019

ICE Sprint FS E8000 Ordered

I took a test ride on an ICE equipped with Shimano's E8000 pedal assist. It was so much fun I ordered an ICE Sprint E8000 form Dana at Bent Up Cycles right there on the spot. 


I want to go farther and I'm bored with taking forever on long ascents. I climb slow to save my hip muscles from with arguing me.

Since Catrike says they have no plans in the works for an e-trike of any kind I decided to fork out the extra dollars for an ICE with the E8000. A quality pedal assist backed up by two reliable companies, ICE and Shimano, fits my needs perfectly.

Why pedal assist? I still like pedaling and I didn't  want any kind of assist with a throttle. Also I didn't want a trike that has the motor built into the rear hub like the Copenhagen wheel that would create drag when free pedaling or coasting.

On a personal level my rides generally are limited to 30 miles or 1,000 feet of gain whichever comes first. Issues with botched hip replacements back in 2013 has forced me to impose limits on myself to avoid paying for it with discomfort or pain later in the day or the next day. Also a partially atrophied right calf muscle (nerve damage from the anterior hip replacement method) causes some cramping in my shin muscle after a long ride. Manageable but annoying.

So...a pedal assist makes a lot since for longer rides and steeper rides. Along with the assist I ordered electronic shifting which is integrated into the E8000 control panel.

I'll keep my Catrike 700 for shorter fast rides and eventually sell my Catrike Expedition.

Now I just have to wait. Ugh

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Another Day Another Ride

Another day another ride. Again with the Santa Monica Mountains as my backdrop.

I opted for my Catrike Expedition today. After missing so much riding over the last 4 months I needed the tame low gears and more upright comfort of the Expedition. It'll take a few rides before what's left of my old legs to be back in shape to start taking faster rides on the 700.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Back Riding Along the Santa Monica Mountains

I'm so out of shape from not riding during the move back to Thousand Oaks, CA. Experienced some mild cramping in my left hamstring. I haven't had that happen in years, but I also haven't laid off of riding for so long. I'll be staying put in Thousand Oaks for a long time so I can focus on riding and whip my old legs back into shape. Even with a little cramping it's soooo nice to have the wind in my face again.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Finally...Moving

Moving just in time to be ready for Spring riding. 


Next post will get back to triking. FINALLY

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Moving Soon but Not Soon Enough

Moving in early March. Then I can start riding again. Can't wait but I have to. Until then I'll keep spinning to try and maintain my 65 year old legs. Ugh!

I'm getting squeezed by boxes of stuff

Spinning in the garage since November 

Just enough room to do my workouts.