Sept 11

Sept 11, 2004

TCR1 passes watts test with FLYING colors!

Man - this thing is fast! I put the SRM power meter on the trike this morning and headed out to my highway 22 test track. It was a great opportunity to test the handling of the trike as well as it's efficiency. After I got back home and downloaded the watts data, I was very surprised at what I found - this first test showed that the TCR1 trike is faster than the M5 and almost as fast as my time trial bike! I'm skeptical though, as theoretically, adding a third wheel adds 1/3 more rolling resistance, plus extra aero drag due to both rear wheels fully exposed to the air flow.

It was a windy day, and perhaps the wind was increasing as my tests proceeded. I'll have to do another test when the winds are low just to confirm this data - at first glance it just seems to good to be true. Following is a data table showing all the watts tests I have done on various bikes to date. The TCR1 lean steer is at the bottom:

Vehicle Photo (click for large) 150 Watts 200 Watts 220 Watts 250 Watts
ave speed kph ave speed kph ave speed kph ave speed kph
Home built
31.6 kph 35.6 kph
M5 lowracer 31.3 kph 36.4 kph
Elite Tri Bike 28.9 kph 32.9 kph 35.2 kph
Elite Tri Bike
rear disc wheel
front aero rim
aero helmet, aero water container
33.9 kph 37.7 kph 40 kph 41.1 kph
Lean steer trike prototype 27.3 kph
TCR1 Lean steer trike 33.5 kph 37.2 kph

Ride Report:

OK - this was the first chance I had to give the TCR1 a good hard ride and I learned a lot! Here are my observations:

1. There isn't a big enough high gear. On my return leg at 200 watts with the wind blowing at my back, I was in my top gear and peddling at about 87 rpm and 46 kph and couldn't maintain 200 watts. I'll need to add a larger front chain ring and I'll have to modify the chain stay on the drive side to allow room for the chain ring.

2. I need to stiffen the pivot. When I was peddling at a cadence of higher than 80 and moving faster than 35 kph, it took some slight body movements to counter the peddle wobble - not a huge deal, but something I wouldn't want to be doing all day long. I reached down and tightened the steering cable turn buckles and the wobble went away - VERY stiff and solid feeling. I cranked out 300 watts and 80 rpm for a while and there was no wobble at all and it wasn't difficult to steer. Having the steering cables too tight is not a good solution because over time the steel cable will wear a groove in the sheave. I need to look at some other way of adding friction to the steering pivot - perhaps a break pad rubbing against the steering tube as it pokes out the back of the big pivot tube.

3. Training! Ouch! I'm sore.... My body position is exactly the same as my road bike which I can fully accustomed to, but for some reason, I feel very sore is new places while riding the TCR1. I think everything changes when you change where the force of gravity pulls from. I would be concerned that if I am activating new muscles in my legs, that I am not leveraging off of all my years of training on my road bike. That was one of the reasons I took measures to exactly copy my body position. Jason (my coach) - if you are reading this, perhaps you have some comments????

I'm going to start finishing these daily reports with a running to do list so things don't get forgotten.


1. Buy and install right brake
2. Invent new cable tensioner to allow more steering bar turn radius
3. Add front derailleur
4. Order 20mm axle bolts for the rear wheels (I'm using 1/2 inch now which isn't right)
5. Design and machine 2 seat mounts out of aluminum to replace current steel ones.
6. Order a new front wheel! (Helen is kind of upset that I am user her Zipp race wheel!)
7. Start work on the first fairing
8. Invent steering stiffener
9. Add larger chain ring and modify stay stays
10. Make clamp-on out riggers and try to flip it

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