Recumbent - Some Assist Please
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12-21-09, 09:36 PM
I've got the Catrike Trail that I'd like to tour a little bit with. I've been thinking of using a trailer to carry camping gear and such. I've just installed a Sram Dualdrive thats working flawlessly. However, I'm still finding some hills tough to climb, I was hoping the DD would alleviate some of the trouble I was having. While the DD is helping, I'm thinking I'm going to need additional help. So finally here's the situation, how about a driven trailer, be it gas or electric. The other day I spoke to a fellow who built a motorized trailer with a single wheel (like the BOB) and a small gas engine. Great torque, he had it hooked up to his MTB. I've looked into electric motors and batteries, too expensive, gas motors are small and light and with the proper exhaust pipe are virtually silent. And I'm not sure if a single or double wheel would be best for a trike. Any ideas or advice greatly appreciated......Rob
12-23-09, 07:58 PM
My free advice, worth perhaps the price, is to spend a few thousand miles improving the original engine. It is relatively quiet, uses readily available fuel, and often becomes even lighter as it becomes more powerful.
Look at some of the assist traileer Lightfoot Cycles makes. I have a engine assist LWB Ranger. I love it.
12-24-09, 12:27 PM
I don't have any advice for supplemental power, but ... wow! A 12-inch gear isn't low enough???
edit: I just did some recalculations. Catrike lists the gear range for a Trail as 18-90 gear inches. IIRC, the DD has gear ratios of 1:0.73, 1:1, and 1:1.37 (just like its predecessor the 3x7 hub.) That means low gear would be 18 x 0.73, or 13.1 inches. Plus or minus a bit depending on which tire you're running.
To get an 18" low gear, the Trail would use something like a 30T ring in front and a 32T cog in back. Before adding power, which might tangle you up with local definitions of mopeds and/or motorcycles, if you really need a lower gear, then you could consider putting a mountain bike crank set on the trike. That would give you something like a 22/34/44 in front, for a 13.4" gear even without using the DD's low range. Including the low range, you'd have a 9.8: low gear, which is almost too low for me to imagine. With the high range, you'd still have a 106-inch high gear for downhills.
Changing cranksets would likely mean replacing your front derailleur with a MTB-specific one.
I'm no expert, but if you are getting a 12" low with the SRAM DD, I don't think pulling a BOB or any trailer with power is going to make any significant difference. A Catrike with panniers can carry a lot of gear, and while I ride one (Road) and occasionally pull a BOB, I can get by with the stock gearing. (I'm certainly not in a hurry climbing!) You might explore some options by switching chain rings on your Trail. Our Rans Screamer came with 54/44/30 rings (I guess it's flat in Kansas and there's always a tailwind!) and an 11-30 cassette. Couldn't climb worth a darn, so we swapped out the rings for 48/36/24 and upped the cassette to an 11-34. No problem. It wasn't an expensive change and we can pull the BOB with the tandem and fully loaded panniers. Turning corners is a bit tricky! Mike
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