Sept 15

Sept 15, 2004

Awesome day!!! Finally I got out for a good, thorough ride on the TCR1 today - 3 hours and 75 km. It felt great and I'm very happy to find that my legs, knees and butt are starting to become accustomed to the new position. Surprisingly, it's the muscles that need to adjust, not my efficiency. According to the SRM power meter, I was putting out similar power levels per heart rate as with my road bike - slightly better due to the recumbent position (it's slightly more efficient due to the way gravity and the heart work together). The important thing is the efficiency I've built over the years of Ironman training are still with me on the trike - it's just that I need to get the muscles retrained for this different position.

My Ironman training buddy Greg enjoying a ride on the rocket!

I was also able to add two more watts tests and to confirm some speed numbers. It was a very rare, calm day today, so I have more faith in these watts numbers than the first test. Here is the watts chart with the new, more accurate numbers:

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 30.12 kph 34.86 kph

As you can see, the wind from my previous test did effect the results - these values are much more realistic I think and are still very good and higher than I thought they would be. The TCR1 lean trike is faster than my triathlon bike (without disc wheel) and slightly slower than the home built lowracer or the M5 lowracer which makes sense. To confirm this, Greg and I did some coast down tests today with his Cervelo triathlon bike and the TCR1. As the watts test results suggest, the TCR1 is faster than the Cervelo (more aerodynamically efficient) in upright position (riding the Cervelo up on the bars like a road bike). The Cervelo is a bit faster than the TCR1 if Greg rode in Aero position (his aero bars are very low and his back is almost parallel with the ground). This is very encouraging news, as it is commonly known that trikes are much slower than a good racing road bike or two wheeled recumbent and this is certainly NOT the case with the TCR1.

Drink break on hwy 22 - check out how low his aero bars are!

The best news for today for sure was that I put in 3 hours on the lean steer and loved it!

Here is the ride report:

My cadence was a lot higher today than on previous rides - probably due to becoming more comfortable with the new position and the trikes general handing. I got up to a high speed of 53 kph going down Springbank hill and the bike felt solid. I was using the steering brake and also used the disc brake - next time, I'll just let her fly - should reach 60 or 70. I found that climbing back up the steep hill required the small chain ring and easiest gear, but my watts output going up the hill of 200 or so, heart rate and speed matched what I usually do on my road bike. Most of the time was spent in the large chain ring though alternating between the 3 hardest gears. With a fairing I will definitely need a larger chain ring. For easy efforts around 120 watts and speeds of 25 kph or so I found that I could easily peddle without holding onto the steering bar - including turns. I just folded my arms over my chest and let the front drive wheel wobble slightly with each leg turn over. When going at speeds higher than 30 kph or power outputs higher than 150, it was better to hold onto the steering bar for stability. For moderate efforts of 200 watts and speeds higher than 33 kph, the steering brake was used - this completely eliminates all wobble and makes for a very efficient transfer of power to the drive wheel. When climbing, I always locked out the steering with the steering brake. Adjusting direction while using the brake is easy and completely intuitive. I just ease up slightly on the brake lever and either lean a bit to re-direct, or pull one side of the steering bar. I found that my neck was getting a bit tired near the end of the ride - I could use a head rest. My chain derailled once when I was in the small chain ring and hardest gear. I was able to reach forward without stopping and use my hand to direct it back onto the chain ring. My heels still occasionally clips the chain stay, so I need to do something about that. I don't like where my handle bars are now - I need to move them back a bit to where my arms naturally fall. The new position of the steering brake is the perfect place.

Greg chillaxin on the trike.

New videos:

TRC1 test ride Mpeg video

TRC1 test ride QuickTime video


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 ( LATER.
6. Design and machine 2 steering tensionsers out of alum to replace LATER
7. Order a new front wheel! (Helen is kind of upset that I am user her Zipp race wheel!)
8. Start work on the first fairing
9. Invent steering stiffener
10. Add larger chain ring and modify chain stays
11. Make clamp-on out riggers and try to flip it
12. Fabricate new steering bar (aluminum or composite?) or rework existing
13. Lathe an aluminum collar for .5" hub axles.
14. Design and build a trainer to fit mag trainer.
15. Replace steel cables with Kevlar
16. Crotch guard / fender

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