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Winter Indoor Trike Riding Setup, by Bruce Bunch

For a lot of us, the riding season is quickly closing. Last spring I noticed how painful it was to get back on my trikes after a pretty lazy winter. Not this year!

Actually, I’ve had the set of blocks in the overall view for a couple of years, but we used them for Cindy’s trike last year. So, this time I am building another set so we can both keep our trikes set up for riding all year. I decided to take pics of the parts to make these, just in case anybody wanted to copy them. For both front wheel blocks I used a 4′ length of 2″X4″, a 4′ long piece of 3/4″ ply ripped 6″ wide, a 6″X30″ piece of 1/4″ ply and some scrap carpet. Some carpenter’s glue and 30 1-1/2″ drywall screws hold it all together very well. I also used a 13″X33″ long piece of 3/4″ ply for the roller “pad”, with more scrap carpet under it to protect our bare wood floors and to lessen the sound transfer. These front wheel blocks also give the trike lots of “anti-rocking” stability while pedaling.

Start with the “A” blocks. These are very simple 6″ long pieces of 2″X4″. You will need two for each riser, so that means four, total. After cutting them 6″ long, cut a 45 angle on one end, leaving a blunt corner as can be seen in the pic of the top (third pic).

Next, you have to measure just how high your rollers will lift your rear tire off the ground (first pic). This determines how wide you will rip the “B” block. Mine ended up being the 2-1/2″ width marked on the block in the second pic. Just rip a piece of 2″X4″ to the dimension of the height above the floor of your tire. Simple! Now, the length of this small piece of ripped 2″X4″ will be determined by what size wheels you run on your trike. Mine were sized to work with my 16″ Marathon Pluses and ended up needing to be cut 7-3/4″ long, as you can see in pic number two. 20″ wheels will need it to be cut longer. Make this block just long enough to put most of the tire’s weight on the 45 angles of the “A” blocks. This will make everything more stable when riding. You will need two of these “B” blocks to make two front wheel risers.

 

The two side “plates” are made from 3/4 ply. They could be made from 1/2″ ply just as well! Just use what ever you have laying around. I ripped mine to 6″ wide and this works quite well for getting enough depth for the wheel to be held solidly. This will work well with any other size wheel, too. The base is also made from this 6″ wide material. The length of these side plates and base will e determined by how long your “B” block ends up. The sides and base need to be the same length as the “B” block plus the width of the two “A” blocks. (I forget just now how wide a 2″X4″ is!) My side plates and base ended up being 14-5/8″ long, as shown in the fourth pic.

Now comes the hard part. If you are running less than about a 1-3/8″ wide tire, the 2″X4″ “A” and “B” blocks alone will give you enough interior width. But, if your tires are 1-1/2″ wide or wider, you will need to make up a 1/4″ thick ply spacer to give you more clearance. Cindy’s trike runs 1-1/2″ wide Racers and her’s will not fit if they are inflated more than 40psi!!! Of course, my Stelvios fit loosely! These new blocks I am making are for her trike, so I am showing the spacers I made to make her’s wider. Just look at your tires when they are fully inflated and see if a 2″X4″ is wide enough to give sufficient clearance. If not, then you will need to make up a spacer to fit your tire. You can see my spacer, with it’s tell-tale saw kerf marks, in the fifth pic.

Once you’ve made up your “A” and “B” blocks, side plates and base, and spacer (if needed), then just glue and screw it all together, then add the carpet to the bottom of the base and go pedal! Paint them if you must, but that will delay your riding!

Even with these very stable blocks I find it helps to lock the locking brake levers, if you have them! If all of your floors are carpeted, no carpet is needed under these front wheel risers or the roller pad.

The recommended rollers are SportCrafter rollers, and at least one extra fan should be added for increased resistance.


History of Bicycle Technology at Ignite Boise

Ignite Boise is a fun event where people give talks about subjects that interest them.  The format is that each speaker gets 20 slides, and they rotate at a steady pace each 15 seconds.  That is challenging, because you sometimes need to talk for more than 15 seconds on a slide, and for some you are done in 5 seconds.  Its a bit nerve wracking, as the Egyptian theater is packed with maybe 1000 people.  Here is my talk at the first Ignite Boise, the subject: bicycle technology: