Saturday, January 16, 2021

New Acquisition

Riding the Withlachoochee Trail in Florida you see a lot of recumbents. Most are trikes but there are many Easy Racers. I believe it was Gardner Martin who propelled recumbent bikes and the Gold Rush Replica/ Tour Easy was the gold standard. The closet I got was my Rans Stratus, similar in many ways but not an Easy Racer. 22 years and more than 13 bents I found myself a Tour Easy at a great price.

The bike came with an Easy Reacher Rack, Carbon front fender, rear fender, rear rack and Easy Racers brand specific bags.

I have not ridden a long wheelbase bike in over a decade but my Stratus was one of my favorites. The Tour Easy handles much better but it is different and I'm still trying to dial it in. The muscles used for a Recumbent bike, trike or diamond frame are a bit different. My legs let me know today after a 20 mile maiden voyage. 

This is kind of a project bike which is a blast to work on.

Will see how things pan out.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 STATS

5,720 total miles

231 days of pedaling

11 mph average speed

All in all a good year of pedaling. I did miss a couple of months due to travelling and minor health issue.

Living in Florida does have its perks. Covid did shut down the trail near me for a period and forced me to go back on the local roads. Not a good thing here in Florida. I still try to take my bike for local shopping and my new Arkel Lites panniers are perfect.

Breakdown of mileage on bikes as follows:

Motobecane road  3230

Greenspeed trike  1680

Xootr Swift folder 810

Who would of thought my new Motobecane road bike would be my favorite ride. Its so smooth and comfortable. It makes me feel like a kid again. I've been an avid recumbent enthusiast for more than 2 decades and never thought I would return to conventional bikes. I do still enjoy my trike and the Greenspeed GT20 is my favorite of all the 7 trikes I have owned. The Xootr Swift is an amazing folder that rides like a big boy bike and will be the only bike I take when traveling. 

I no longer ride 40-60 miles, I prefer 25 miles. I have been riding as an adult for more than 35 years and contribute my longevity to keeping it fun.

Cycling continues to be a joy for me and suspect 2021 will be the same.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Cushy Seat and Fenders

Added more cush for the tush and awesome Planet Bike Silver Fenders.
It's really stylin now!!!

Monday, April 13, 2020

New Ride Steel Is Real

For the past 2 months my ride of choice has been my Xootr Swift folder. I don't know why but it has given me more smiles per miles than my GS trike. The only issue is the rough ride caused by small wheels and aluminum frame. So I went on the hunt for a steel frame bike. Not being a road warrior I opted for a hybrid, rigid mountain bike type ride. I wanted something that reminded me of my 80's Mongoose rigid mountain bike. I came across the Jamis Sequel which seemed perfect. 1x10 drivetrain with chromoly steel frame.  My only disappointment was disk brakes which I find more hassle than they're worth.  In addition it was not a readily available bike to test ride.With the price at $1K plus and the extras I would add made me take a second look. I found my Motobecane Cafe 11 on Bikesdirect. It has a 1x11 Sram drivetrain, road brakes and my must Chromoly Frame. Tires are 700x32 with option to go as high as 40mm. The price $650 or $700 for Chrome. I opted for the chrome.
The bike is listed as a fitness bike which I've come to learn is a more aggressive flat bar road bike.
It's now 10 days that I have the bike and it is now tweaked to perfection. I added a longer and more vertical stem, a 2 inch riser handlebar, and comfort grips. This gives me a more upright seating position which works best for me. In addition I added MKS pedals, Arkel Tailrider and Arkel Lites Panniers.
What I can tell you is the Chromoly frame with 700x32 tires and Weinmann rims makes for a smooth "Magic Carpet Ride". The 1x11 drivetrain is simple and quiet and offers plenty of gearing. I'm also enjoying the Tektro R559 road brakes.

I'm so delighted with my new ride my trike is on hold till further notice.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

2019 Mileage

Turned out to be a good year with 4630 miles. I pedaled 185 days with an average ride of 25 miles. My favorite ride is my Greenspeed GT20 and pepper in a few miles on my Xootr Swift. We are now permanent residents of Central Florida and only 15 miles from the great Withlacoochee Trail which has become my go to ride. It's pretty rural here and I am able to pedal to our local Walmart for errands. I am very happy no more snow or cold weather for me.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Greenspeed GT20

As it turned out I just couldn't get comfortable on the Catrike Pocket. After 100 miles I finally decided it had to go. Fortunately, Trailside bike has a 30 day return policy and they refunded my full purchase price for bike and accessories. Although I said I was not going to buy another trike I couldn't help but scour the classifieds. To my surprise there was a Greenspeed GT20 advertised just an hour away. It was listed as almost new with just 39 miles at a very reasonable price. The seller was into speed and had a Catrike 700 and bought this trike as an extra knock-a-round. He realized it was not for him and put it up for sale. I had considered buying this trike 2 years ago just before we hit the road. It was reasonably priced, had drum brakes and had a compact fold. I was concerned about the ride as it was not suspended and had a stiff aluminum frame. My test ride was impressive and I loved the handling but again the ride seemed a bit harsh and I thought it was more money than it was worth. I also didn't want to get cheap in my retirement and my real heart throb was for an ICE Sprint. After the test ride I decided to pass on the trike. Fast foward and I am now the proud owner of a beautiful Greenspeed GT20.
It took a few days to get the trike tweaked right for me. It's always a challenge getting the seat and boom just right. In addition there was way to much cable housing that needed to be trimmed and the gears needed major adjustments. There are a few design floors one of which is the chain rubs against to bottom seat mount. I put a piece of rubber there which worked to quiet the noise. Another problem is the chain hits the rear fender when in high gear but in flat Florida I will not be using that gear. In fact I have had no need to get out of the big chainring which is 56t. I have put over 125 miles so far this week and I can honestly say this trike is a keeper. The most important thing for me is the body geometry. The trike has a very low bottom bracket to seat ratio which gives me an open relaxed feel and suits my comfort zone perfectly. The seat contours well for my body and so far I have not felt the need for any tush cush as I've had on all my other trikes. The trike has a very small turning circle and handles like a dream. Drum brakes are my favorite as they stop well, require no maintenance and last forever. I definitely prefer indirect steering. The trike came with a few extras like mirror and headrest and I had a rear rack I was able to easily add. Another big plus is the trike folds small for transport.
Although I was concerned about the harsh ride it seems my days of road riding are over. Most of my riding is on beautiful well maintained paved bike paths in Florida. I am able to safely ride to local shops but it is not more than 8 miles round trip and the roads are well maintained.
I am very happy with my new ride and suspect it will be a keeper along with my Xootr Swift.

Rolls like the wind
Tight turning radius
No pedal steer
No tail wagging
No brake steer
Tracks straight, minimal effect on crowned roadway
Super comfy seat
Does have some passive suspension
Drum brakes, no maintenance
Compact fold

Chain rubs against metal seat mount (now fixed)
Chain hits fender in high gear
Way too much cable housing and poor routing of cables
Some drivetrain noise (being hard of hearing helps)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Catrike Pocket

After being trikeless for over 2 years I finally purchased a new Catrike Pocket. My original plan was to get another ICE that folds, but spending near $5k and the bike spending most of its time outside unprotected, I opted for something less expensive. We are Wintering in Central Florida near The Withlacoochee Trail and there is a great recumbent bike shop called Trailside Bikes. I test road a few trikes including Greenspeed and Trident but it was the Catrike Pocket that intrigued me. First off the price was only $1950 with Winter promotion. The trike is well named as it has a small footprint and is one of the lightest trikes made. It easily fit in the back of my CR V which was a major criteria as we travel full-time. It is a low slung trike which concerned me. I opted to add a Ventist seat pad for both added comfort and raised me up just a bit. I added Arkel bags specific for Catrike and a rack I had laying around. The promo color Aqua Blue is beautiful.
I've put just 100 miles on so far and the jury is out on weather I like it. I am not a fan of direct steering but it was something I can overlook based on the price and portability. My main issue is the seating position. I'm not sure I can get used to it. The Ventist pad helps but not enough. If I cannot acclimate myself it will go up for sale. Needless to say my wife is not happy with the monetary loss I will take. If I do sell I don't think I will buy another trike. I have been very happy with my folding Xootr Swift which now has over 10,200 miles in just 2.5 years. It is actually one of my favorite all-time rides and you can't beat it's portability. I do hope I can get used to the Pocket. It is well made with very nice components and accessories at a very respectable price.