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new Trike owner - have a few questions

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new Trike owner - have a few questions

Old 10-14-12, 09:14 AM
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Zaphod Beeblebrox 
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new Trike owner - have a few questions

I was finally able to find a tadpole trike at a price I could afford, its a TerraTrike Path w/ a Sturmey Archer 8 speed IGH. This is my first recumbent, I ride standard two-wheelers aside from this and its also the only bike I own made in this century. The Disc Brakes are a new thing for me.

At this point I've had it out for several 30-ish mile cruises up and down the northern Vermont hills. Its performed well so far, but there's room for improvement. I'm getting a lot more grit and stuff kicking up into my face so I'm thinking fenders would be a good idea. I've looked at some of the WindWrap fairings and they look super cool. Also the pool-lounger seat lacks any kind of side support...are there ways to modify that, like with fitting foam and add support or are there other seats available I could install?

I'm also curious if there's advantages to the higher up models that TerraTrike sells over my little Path and if its mostly just differences in Components or if there's real serious advantages to larger diameter wheels or if there's different steering racks or whatever is used in the steering system...That's a new thing for me too.
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Old 10-14-12, 06:19 PM
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Congratulations on you find. Im sure you will enjoy it. I have a little more than 1000 miles on a Cruiser I bought a year ago. I dont have fenders, but I really dont notice much grit or dirt being thrown up. Mainly to keep the chain and me clean, I only ride on hard surface bike paths. Fenders might help.
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Old 10-15-12, 05:53 AM
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There are a plethora of issues in trike designs. First, being low lets you corner harder without flipping. Likewise, leaning your body helps. Side supports on the seat would interfere with leaning your body. Small wheels seem to be slower by most counts; but the larger ones can't handle the side-loading as well. And up front, small wheels will let you turn more sharply before they impinge on the cockpit and give you rubber-burn on your thighs. I think in the trike world, the ideal would be for a large drive wheel, smaller front wheels, and a low seat. Within those parameters, a wider track would be more stable, but slower. So choose your priorities!

According to their website, the Path uses the same frame as the Cruiser and Tour; so you should be able to upgrade the transmission. With only 3 speeds, you're limited as to the terrain you can tackle. If you're getting dirt in your face, consider fenders or changing tires (if you've got tread that is picking up dirt, anyway.) Although fairings look cool, they're a bit pricey and they create a vacuum behind them which may exacerbate your dirt-in-the-face problem. And they really don't do much for you unless you're going over about 16 mph.
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Old 10-15-12, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for the replies. There's no such thing as a bike path up here and an all-paved journey is never a given...roads just kind of go from paved to dirt and back again... so I suppose fenders are in order.

Its an 8 speed Internal Gear hub right now, but I can see how switching to a derailleur setup would help keep momentum as you have to pause your pedaling to downshift with a Sturmey IGH.

Hopefully can get a ride in today before some weather comes through.
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Old 10-15-12, 09:56 PM
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Fenders help quite a bit, but I still get ice or snow thrown up from beneath them when winter hits.

One thing to consider before getting a traditional shifting derailleur is what kind of clearance are you going to have if you are running with a 20" wheel? I have less than an inch clearance between the derailleur and the ground in certain critical gears and that is a draw back when it comes to certain riding surfaces. I need my gears adjusted 2 or 3 times a year because it gets dragged through rocks when I ride over a freshly grated dirt road. Same with sand. I've replaced the derailleur twice because during the spring thaw, deep bike tire ruts freeze hard and aren't wide enough to accomodate both tire and delicate working parts. I lose several weeks of riding time during that annoying season between winter and spring.
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Old 10-16-12, 07:12 AM
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On the issue of RD to ground clearance, I upgraded my Cruiser to a 26" rear wheel for that very thing. It also gets the chain a little further up out of the dirt and grit also.

For the techies, I found the following results withe the 26" rear wheel. The seat is one inch higher, and the BB and crank is 1 inch lower. Both of which I like. Also I think it rides a little better and also handles a little better too.
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Old 10-18-12, 12:13 PM
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You may wish to consider bar end friction shifters - any shifters where you have to rotate the barrel of the shifter may unintentionally produce undesired steering inputs as the shifter is used.
"Silver shifters" or front Shimano barends (which are also friction) are great and are linear with the main line of the trike, so when you shift you aren't affecting the steering...They are also flexible to perfectly microadjust each shift for minimal noise.
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Old 10-24-12, 10:04 AM
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Thanks guys. I'm definitely a more techie kinda guy. I do my own wrenching and want to learn about the unfamiliar stuff on these 'bents.

Do any of you guys ever adjust the steering rack? I was reading about Adjustment and Ackerman Compensation not too long ago and wondering if it applies to me.

Thanks for the insight on the RD clearance. That's not something I had considered but I can see how it would pose a problem for the kind of roads I encounter.
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