The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Catrike, Greenspeed, HP Velotechnik, ICE and TerraTrike riders

How many other recumbent trike riders are planning to ride RAGBRAI this summer? I rode it in 2015, my first year. Looking forward to the ride in 2017, looks to be a great route. Looking forward to seeing other trikers on the road in July…

67 Replies

Bruce Woodrow, March 10, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Greenspeed GTO Recumbent Trike (tadpole). Purchased used last summer (2016) and I am enjoying cycling again.

I just turned 65 and will be riding in my first RAGRAI this year. I am a Canadian from the Toronto area (Durham Region, Newcastle).

I have cousins in Amana, Iowa who have ridden almost every year since beginning. I’ll be joining their team, Sprint Selzer Bicycle Club. Looking forward to meeting my new team as well as the Trike community at RAGBRAI.

For visibility, my Trike may be low but my two flags are high, and I have flashing LEDs front (white) and back (red).

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John Fontaine, March 11, 2017 at 4:36 am

Picking up my new candy purple Catrike 700 today! Let’s get the meet up planned!

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Ken, March 11, 2017 at 9:54 am

Hi John,

You asked what gearing?

If it has stock gearing, the chain rings are 52-39-30. And the cassette is 11-36. That is not low enough gearing for anyone unless there are no hills and you are very strong.

I’m 74 and reasonably fit. I changed the granny chain ring from 30 to 24. And I added a 42 to the cassette (replacing one of the middle cogs.

That gets the gear inches down to an acceptable range. You will be able to climb walls and you lose none of the high end.

The last thing you need with your knees is to mash those pedals

That may yield a little chain slop so I added a chain guard inside of the granny to prevent the chain from falling off on the inside.

One more thing. The chain guard on the outside of the large chain ring is spaced just wide enough to allow the 10 speed chain to fall between the chain guard and the chain ring. This always seems to happen when you get to the top of a hill and you shift into high gear to catch those pesky DF’s that passed you in the upgrade.

Very annoying and a little hard to get the chain out of there. So I changed the spacers to the same as the ones that came with the little chain guard. I think from 15mm to 12mm (could be a little off here). You also have to change out the nuts and bolts to compensate for the shorter spacers

Sounds like a lot and the bike shop may say you should not need these mods, just properly adjust the derailleur. But I think it is worth the effort and expense. My shifting is now flawless, no worries about the chain falling off either end.

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Andy, April 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I have been riding an average of 30 miles a day to train for RAGBRAI (https://ridewithgps.com/users/461223) Going to work up to at least 60 a day for a few days in a row just before heading to Iowa.

It would be great if we could organize a meet on one of the days, at a pass-thru town and get some pictures of a bunch of Trikers… There will be more of us out there then most of us realize.

Looking forward to seeing you Trikers during RAGBRAI 2017!!!

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Jason Stoller, April 12, 2017 at 5:46 pm

If you are changing your chain rings up front on your trike, a good combination is 24/38/48. You can go as low as 22 up front but it is harder to find. Manufacturers suggest 10 tooth jumps between chain rings but you can go as high as 14 teeth in most cases.

Hope this helps you.

Jason

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Paul Matzen, April 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Several people have mentioned setting up a meeting spot to have a “trike meet” but haven’t seen anything about when or where so thought I would start something to see if there is enough interest. In regards to the day, it seems like Wednesday might be a good day. The first day everyone will probably be getting used to riding, the second day is the optional century loop and those of us that may try it may not want to have to be waiting in a town for too long. For those of us that do make the century loop, the third day (Tuesday) may be a day of recovery so might not be a good day either. The meeting town on Wednesday is Rockwell. It has been a long time since I’ve been on RAGBRAI (when they didn’t have meeting towns) so I’m not sure if that is the best place to try to meet or not. Main street is off of the highway about a quarter mile so that might be a good place to try. The post office is on main street – might be a place to try. The bigger question is what time? Rockwell is about 25 miles down the road from the overnight town (Clear Lake) so maybe about three hours after starting (there are two small towns to pass through before Rockwell). I’m not sure what the average starting time would be – guessing about 7:00 so maybe plan to meet at 10:00? Open to any suggestions as to better day/location/time – just wanted to get the discussion started!

Keep on trikin!!

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Tom Young, April 28, 2017 at 10:49 pm

Connecticut Yankee pedaller and Bike World will have 20 inch tubes and tires, and 26 inch tubes also.

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John L, April 30, 2017 at 6:58 am

Paul,
thanks for setting it up! I’ll be there! Wednesday, 10 am, Rockwell post office.

This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  John L.

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John L, April 30, 2017 at 7:01 am

Ken, thanks for the advice. I will change things out. I need more gears for the “hills” here in Louisiana so I KNOW I’ll need more in Iowa and other states where I bike.

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Andy, April 30, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Paul,

I like your suggestion!

Wednesday, Rockwell, 10:00!

We can decide on the specific meet location, I would love to see lots of trikes together, get some great pictures…

Got my wristband number so I’m all set for RAGBRAI 2017!

Andy

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Andy, April 30, 2017 at 9:28 pm

When I bought my Catrike I was excited about having 30 gears, 3 chain rings and 10 speed cassette. It took me awhile to understand how best to manage shifting effectively and efficiently. I created this spreadsheet to better understand Shifting Analysis

Basically, I stay away from big/big or small/small combinations, trying to target 80 rpm average. Having the Garmin with cadence sensor is very helpful…

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Richard Arnopolin, April 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Went to the Arlington Heights (IL) bike swap yesterday. A Cat Trike was being offered. It had a wider cockpit then I’ve tested before. (I didn’t catch the model.) It also included a battery assist setup. All for $1,000. SWEET! I was tempted but my wife was with me and I already store two trikes, one uss recumbent and a sport wedgie in my 4-1/2 room condo.

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Bruce Woodrow, June 4, 2017 at 4:50 pm

TRIKE MEET-UP

I will try and make it to Post Office in Rockwell on the Wednesday at 10am (unless there is an alternate location agreed).

This is my first RAGBRAI and, with hills I generally average about 8 mph or so. I don’t mind aiming for a 6am start on Wednesday so I can make it to Rockwell in good time. Still mastering my 72 gears but looking forward to RAGBRAI.

This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  Bruce Woodrow. Reason: added title

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Linda Wiard-Bauer, June 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm

This is my first RAGBRAI, and I am planning on riding my husband’s OLD and heavy delta recumbent trike (Comfort Cycle 2000). I am slow (that sounds about right, Bruce Woodrow), and overweight (the weight does make hills harder, Richard Arnopolin). And I have just switched from a regular bike to the recumbent trike, so I have a lot of training to do. I hope to make it to the Meet-Up in Rockwell!

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Richard Arnopolin, July 17, 2017 at 8:25 am

Is 10 am in Rockwell the final decision for our three wheeled meeting?

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