Author Topic: Advice please  (Read 1979 times)

Advice please
« on: June 17, 2018, 06:16:27 pm »
A couple of weeks on from buying the ICE Sprint and it’s been full of surprises. I’ve enjoyed the fantastic response from most other road users and very much appreciated the freedom from the discomfort I suffered every ride on the DF bikes.

I’m only up to a max of 40 moderately hill miles in a day at the moment and I’m finding that very tough indeed on quads and knees especially. My questions come from the issues I’ve faced so far, so advice from experienced trikers would once again be appreciated:

1. Lack of traction on damp tarmac - I’m using Big Apples front and rear and on an early ride the rear drive wheel was slipping on a 1 in 12 gradient on damp tarmac. On that basis it would struggle loads on steeper hills in the rain. Is this a common issue with Big Apples, with trikes generally or have I just got the tyres pumped up way too much at 60psi (max on the tyre sidewall is 75psi).

2. Crank length: given my short legs I normally rode my DF bikes with 165mm cranks. ICE only supply trikes with 170mm cranks. Is this contributing to my knee strain? Should I switch to 165mm cranks or is this a red herring on recumbent trikes?

3. Thursday’s ride was very windy and a load of small stuff falling from trees went down the leg of my shorts (no big branches thank God!!!). Presumably when it rains it also trickles down your legs and you end up sitting in a puddle. Other than sucking it up or putting a huge rain canopy on the trike, are there any other (lightweight) workable options?

Cheers.


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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Advice please
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 06:40:37 pm »
1. Lack of traction on damp tarmac - I’m using Big Apples front and rear and on an early ride the rear drive wheel was slipping on a 1 in 12 gradient on damp tarmac. On that basis it would struggle loads on steeper hills in the rain. Is this a common issue with Big Apples, with trikes generally or have I just got the tyres pumped up way too much at 60psi (max on the tyre sidewall is 75psi).

Occupational hazard with most recumbents, though tadpole trikes suffer more than the bikes because they make lower speeds and higher torque possible.

Weight on the rear rack helps, so it's less of a problem with a touring load than you might expect.

Experimenting with tyre pressures and compounds will probably help.  I recall being impressed by cycleman OTP riding up some damp brickwork (something that's defeated barakta on Marathon Plus on may occasions) on one of the tunnel rides, as he'd fitted a proper grippy mountain bike tyre to his rear wheel for the occasion.  A more even pedalling technique may also help - consider what you'd do on a mountain bike under similar circumstances.


Quote
2. Crank length: given my short legs I normally rode my DF bikes with 165mm cranks. ICE only supply trikes with 170mm cranks. Is this contributing to my knee strain? Should I switch to 165mm cranks or is this a red herring on recumbent trikes?

They used to do a 152.5mm crank option (primarily for smaller riders), but that's *very* short.

Many recumbentists like to spin low gears, and shorter cranks can help with that.  FWIW I have 155mm on my 'bents, 160mm on my road-going uprights and 165 on my MTB.  I find 170mm to be 'too long' on any cycle.  Your legs may vary, but if you generally prefer 165mm, then the longer cranks probably don't help


Achey quads is normal if you haven't ridden recumbents before.  It'll probably settle down as you get more miles in.

Knees can be all sorts of things, as with upright bikes.  Obvious things to watch out for are pushing too hard in too high a gear - now you have a seat to push against your force on the pedal isn't limited by bodyweight+arm strength, so it's easy to put lots of strain on your knees (and drivetrain).  Play with boom extension, as you would with seatpost extension.  Note that your position in the seat after half an hour of riding is likely to be different to that when you first sit on the trike, and that some recumbent riders find they 'ankle' more when lying down on the job.


Quote
3. Thursday’s ride was very windy and a load of small stuff falling from trees went down the leg of my shorts (no big branches thank God!!!). Presumably when it rains it also trickles down your legs and you end up sitting in a puddle. Other than sucking it up or putting a huge rain canopy on the trike, are there any other (lightweight) workable options?

If it's a hardshell seat, drilling a strategic hole will help the puddle drain away.  Mesh doesn't have that problem.  You will get a wet crotch if it's properly raining, but you'll get a wet everything else, too.  Rainlegs can be helpful when it's really chucking it down.

There's a strong argument for not wearing open-legged shorts on recumbents:  Today it's rain and bits of twig.  Tomorrow, bees.

To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Advice please
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 06:45:34 pm »
1) can't comment from a trike perspective, but this is also an issue on the cruzbike, general approach is to gear down when coming to a halt to allow less pressure on the pedals at restart. I use conti gp4seasons

2) its not crank length specifically as you can adjust boom length as well. The issue is generally one of gearing, of which crank length is a part. My advice, use the gears, spin, get a cadence sensor and try and keep above 90 rpm. I can bully my way up short hills overhgeared at 80, but too much of that and my knees definitely dont thank me. My M5 has shortened cranks at 155mm, mike burrows may still be in the business of doing so, but I'm quite surprised ICE don't do so. My old B2 had short cranks.

3) can't stop stuff trickling down your legs, drill holes in the seatpan at the lowest point
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Advice please
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 09:31:44 pm »
I'm very surprised how well the Swalbe Marathon Racer handle gravel. Haven't really tested them in the rain, though. I am looking into getting some cycle cross tyres for rough roads surfaces here and a spot of bridleway I would like to explore.

Yep bees, so best riding shorts are probably 3/4, though these sneaky things will still find a way in.

Haven't been out in RAIN, but I'm prepared to become wet, so will carry dry stuff. Which will help with the grip, as Kim said.

Re: Advice please
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 09:50:51 pm »
I find little problem climbing with a touring load in damp/wet conditions but unloaded grip can be problem on steep Hill's .I am using 152 crank's on my trice and the ez3 trike has 170 crank's . the ez3 is a bit under geared on the flat and could do with a slightly lower climbing gear but because the seating position is more upright the 170 crank's are bearable. The 150s on the trice are easier to spin and encourage me to change down early which is kinder to my knee's.. My advice is to spin as much as posable and avoid pushing to hard .  :)
the slower you go the more you see

LMT

Re: Advice please
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 11:22:20 pm »
1. Change down through the gears, lower gear means a lower torque which is less chance of wheel slip.

2. Regarding your knees, what pedals are you using? Anything with free float is the best on a recumbent ime. So if you are on a budget some basic Time ATAC pedals. If more performance is needed than Speedplay. Your legs aching is just a different muscle set being used and 165mm cranks should be fine.

3. Drill a hole in the seat? Or once it has stopped raining tip the bike? I never had this issue when I had my Catrike but then again that was a mesh seat.

Re: Advice please
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 07:04:23 am »
Thanks all, much appreciated. I’ve been doing some research based on the feedback and am planning some changes as follows:

1. crankset: I also spoke to Neil at ICE and he’s suggested using AbsoluteBlack ovoid chainrings on shorter 155 cranks with a narrower Q factor to relieve some pressure and reduce rear wheel torque peaks. The issue now is finding quality short cranks with the right Q factor and BCD to take these chainrings. Neil suggested Thorn (I used to use TA Carmina and similar). The cranks need to work with a single chainring and with a Rohloff rear, so again any personal experience of good solutions for this combo would be welcome before I splash more cash.

2. Tyres: I’ll leave the Big Apples on for the time being, until I see how the crankset changes work. However, when I do change I  am minded currently to put Trykers on the front and either Marathons or Marathon Mondial folders on the rear. Marathon Allmotions seem to perform best of all in a rolling resistance test of touring tyres (https://www.cyclingabout.com/touring-tyres-rolling-resistance-testing/), but I’m confused by references to these being ‘tubeless ready’. My wheels are definitely standard jobbies, so unclear what the ramifications are.

3. As for the rain, sorry I should have said but I have a mesh seat with lots of foam underneath which I assumed would become a lovely wet sponge in the rain....I’ve not ridden in rain so far as we’ve been blessed with glorious sunshine ever since the trike arrived! I will seek out some anti-bee legwear as you suggest for sure! That sounds like the voice of bitter experience to me !

Thanks again for the advice. Any pointers on Rohloff compatible 155-160 cranks that would suit a single AbsoluteBlack chainring would be appreciated too.  Will ask the LBS that I bought the trike from and they may be able to offer advice.


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Re: Advice please
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 08:02:49 am »
Perhaps not directly related but I've put a front triple on an Ice with a Rohloff to get a greater range. I contacted Rohloff and they said it's fine unless it goes below their specified ratio. As usual their advice tends to be conservative and indeed they've revised the lowest ratio downwards over the years.

Re: Advice please
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 08:55:23 am »
That’s a thought, my current lowest ratio is just under 16” which is lower than I’ve ever had before, but I’ve not attempted and serious hills yet, so no real feel for whether it’s low enough, especially at the end of a long day. 14th gear is only about 80” as a result, which for a tourist like me is probably enough. What range do others ride? I’d heard of a Schlumpf drive as another possible alternative for the front, any of those knocking around the forumistas?



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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Advice please
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 12:58:18 pm »
A 'tubeless ready' tyre simply means one that's designed to work properly in a tubeless configuration, so air definitely won't seep out through the tyre material, it won't absorb the sealant snot stuff, and it might be a slightly tighter fit on the rim than usual.  There's no reason you can't use them on normal rims with inner tubes.  Indeed, I'm doing so on two of my bikes.

I've not had many drenchings on the ICE mesh seat, but I don't think that foam actually holds water to the point where you feel like you're sitting in a puddle.  When riding, by the time it's soaked the rest of you is going to be, unless you misjudge a ford instead of being rained on.  What it does do is take a while to dry out afterwards (certainly compared to my preferred Ventisit-on-hardshell-seat, which doesn't hold much water and can be un-velcroed and whirled in the air to accelerate the drying process), so the first sit on a trike that's been rained on overnight is likely to be damp.

Top tip: An 80 litre rucksack cover makes an ideal rain cover for recumbent seats left exposed to the elements.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Advice please
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 03:29:14 pm »
I'd take the dampness as an opportunity to delay the overheated, sweaty back.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Advice please
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2018, 06:42:56 pm »
There's a strong argument for not wearing open-legged shorts on recumbents:  Today it's rain and bits of twig.  Tomorrow, bees.

You may also startle your female colleagues[1] ...  Do not ask me how I know this!

[1] Or male, as the case may be ...

Re: Advice please
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2018, 03:22:27 am »
With a lower first gear then you climb slower so the back wheel slips less.
I like Big Apple's because the rubber thicker on them so I have more life out of them before getting down to the carcass.
I get roughly double the wear from them versus other tyres I've tried.

On a trike you'll have a bigger speed range than on a bike, so a double or triple up front helps even with a Rohloff.
I'd aim for the first gear very close to the lowest recommended size then extend the range back upwards with more chainrings.
With a Rohloff then 2 gears is a x1.3 difference between chainrings and 3 is a x1.46 difference.
I find it easier with my Rohloff if I try and match the chainrings to these gaps.
For example a 38/56 front double will give you exactly 3 more gears, a 30/40/52 triple matches up with 4 more and a 26/38/50 triple will give you 5.
A 26/38/56 will give you 6 but you need to mod (extend) the front derailleur cage for it to work .....  :facepalm:
If you have a 20" wheel with a 16t sprocket then a 38/56 double will work, 12.4"-96" and with a 26" wheel then the 30/40/52 triple also works.
You can always fine tune your gears by changing the back sprocket.
I run a 38/55 double simply by the fact that the chain with a 56t big ring catches on my chain guard when I shift chainrings.
A Schlumpf HSD matches up well with a Rohloff because it gives you an extra 7 gears.
But the extra drag in the overdrive mode means it's only really useful for going downhill fast.
I hit the overdrive mode on mine at 20 mph .....  ;D

How short do you want your shorts.
For very short tight shorts then look at swim wear .....  :P
You can always wear longer compression type shorts under them.
Plus they dry fast.

Re: Advice please
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 08:52:29 am »
MTB baggies can come with velcro tabs to cinch them in at the leg. I think Altura or endura do something like that. I've got a pair, they're out of tough fabric too. Definitely won't get anything up the leg with the velcro pulled tight. Just don't make it too tight when setting off or once you've got going and your quads get more blood in the muscles you'll pop the velcro.

Long trousers aren't a guarantee against bees. I know someone who had an inquisitive bumblebee fly up one trouser leg of someone I know, across and down the other leg. I believed him because he has not got the sort of humour to make it up.

Re: Advice please
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 06:26:40 am »
With a lower first gear then you climb slower so the back wheel slips less.
I like Big Apple's because the rubber thicker on them so I have more life out of them before getting down to the carcass.
I get roughly double the wear from them versus other tyres I've tried.

On a trike you'll have a bigger speed range than on a bike, so a double or triple up front helps even with a Rohloff.
I'd aim for the first gear very close to the lowest recommended size then extend the range back upwards with more chainrings.
With a Rohloff then 2 gears is a x1.3 difference between chainrings and 3 is a x1.46 difference.


I find it easier with my Rohloff if I try and match the chainrings to these gaps.
For example a 38/56 front double will give you exactly 3 more gears, a 30/40/52 triple matches up with 4 more and a 26/38/50 triple will give you 5.
A 26/38/56 will give you 6 but you need to mod (extend) the front derailleur cage for it to work .....  :facepalm:
If you have a 20" wheel with a 16t sprocket then a 38/56 double will work, 12.4"-96" and with a 26" wheel then the 30/40/52 triple also works.
You can always fine tune your gears by changing the back sprocket.
I run a 38/55 double simply by the fact that the chain with a 56t big ring catches on my chain guard when I shift chainrings.
A Schlumpf HSD matches up well with a Rohloff because it gives you an extra 7 gears.
But the extra drag in the overdrive mode means it's only really useful for going downhill fast.
I hit the overdrive mode on mine at 20 mph .....  ;D

How short do you want your shorts.
For very short tight shorts then look at swim wear .....  :P
You can always wear longer compression type shorts under them.
Plus they dry fast.


Beware that some Schlumpf systems (HSD) can exceed the torque recommendations and invalidate the Rohloff guarantee

Re: Advice please
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2018, 06:29:02 am »
1. Buy a Kettwiesel and have problems with front traction instead?
2. I wear 3/4 length trousers with a draw string that solves n=many of the se probems
3. A fairing can help with wet weather, and with the shorts. Instead of a bee in your nether regions, there is a the unique sound of them bouncing off the fairing

Re: Advice please
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2018, 08:43:35 am »
Beware that some Schlumpf systems (HSD) can exceed the torque recommendations and invalidate the Rohloff guarantee
Only the Schlumpf MD can exceed the torque limit because it a step down system which give you more low gears. To stay within the limit you need to run sprocket x 1.9 x 2.5 = minimum chainring which gives you something like a 62:13 chainring:sprocket combo.

Both the SD and the HSD are step up systems which give you more high gears. So as long as you initial chainring:sprocket ratio is better than 1.9:1 then your fine as the bigger virtual chainring gives you less torque at the hub.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Advice please
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2018, 11:26:57 pm »
I've ridden through a swarm of bees on a DF, gapless clothing is no defence   :hand:
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Advice please
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2018, 09:18:48 am »
I've been left with one of those hindu marks on the forehead after a bumblebee strike at speed on a df. It hurts! It was a kind of slow motion impact too as I saw it coming a little ahead but it just seemed to be targeting me. I couldn't duck it.

They're laser guided you know. If you're targeted you'll get hit!

redshift

  • High Priestess of wires
    • redshift home
Re: Advice please
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2018, 10:40:11 am »
I've been left with one of those hindu marks on the forehead after a bumblebee strike at speed on a df. It hurts! It was a kind of slow motion impact too as I saw it coming a little ahead but it just seemed to be targeting me. I couldn't duck it.

They're laser guided you know. If you're targeted you'll get hit!

Must be the very origin of the word beeline...  ;D
L
:)
Windcheetah No. 176
The all-round entertainer gets quite arsey,
They won't translate his lame shit into Farsi
Somehow to let it go would be more classy…

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Advice please
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2018, 11:27:10 am »
There's a surprising amount of mv2 in a bumble bee...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Advice please
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2018, 11:43:10 am »
Try multiplying that by a swarm with a cyclist at 20+mph

There was the impact, followed by the stinging by those clinging onto my jersey, shorts, leg hair and socks, then finally the swerving across the road with an oncoming white van as I frantically brushed them off.

Another reason for leg shaving
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Advice please
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2018, 12:21:19 pm »
I had my bee swarm incident as a toddler, and have absolutely no wish to repeat it.   :hand:
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Advice please
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2018, 02:47:43 pm »
For me it was the ladybird swarm in the 70s as a young child. They bite when I swarms.

Phil W

Re: Advice please
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2018, 10:47:03 pm »
For me it was the ladybird swarm in the 70s as a young child. They bite when I swarms.

It was 1976. At my birthday party we had a lady bird collecting competition. They were everywhere.