Sun Cap For the DFXL

IntercityBike has been experimenting with a sun cap for the DF meant to shield the rider from the sun – not necessarily improve the aerodynamics. Several people have prototypes and have been reporting on them on BentriderOnline. Some people are claiming that the sun cap actually improves the aerodynamics. Here’s an example.

This sounded like a good idea to me. I had thought about making a mold of my race hood for a long time. I’d like to be able to experiment with different hood configurations. With the idea of the sun cap floating around, I decided to start the mold of my factory race hood.

I won’t go into it here, but let it be known that I deserved an F- on that mold. The hood has some tricky shapes and I misjudged the parting lines for making it a 2-piece mold. It took me many hours of hard work to extract my original race hood from my mold. Clearly, I would never be able to use this mold to make a full race hood. But after looking at it a while, I realized that I could at least make a sun cap using this mold. So I made one sun cap, body worked it and painted it. From that piece I made a dedicated, 1 piece sun cap mold.

Once I was able to make the part, I had to come up with a good mounting system. I got fancy designing all kinds of aerodynamic struts. None of my ideas panned out, so I resorted to copying a mounting solution posted by RobertM on BentriderOnline. This solution consisted of 2 round pieces of aluminum tubing with 3D printed plastic attachments. I used his idea of attaching 2 bungees at the rear of the hood to hold it all in place. Here’s my first example. I’ll be testing this soon to make sure that it doesn’t fly off or rattle too much.

I was able to position the struts so that my windscreen was still usable with the sun cap.

Thanks to RobertM for posting such good descriptions and photos on BentriderOnline of his sun cap.

Another 700 Coming My Way

I logged into BROL tonight and checked the classified adds as I usually do. I was surprised to see a 2013 Catrike 700 for sale at an incredibly low price. I couldn’t pass it up. This will be my 5th Catrike 700.

It comes with an extra set of high end wheels and some other very expensive components. I’ll probably use it as a daily driver trike and save the wear and tear on my Monster. I’ll see if my wife happens to like it. If so, I’ll take back the Trice Special and make it my daily driver and give her the 700. I doubt that this will happen. I have a hunch that the 700 will be too laid back for her.

Here’s a photo of the 700 at my house after cleaning it up a bit. I also replaced the later seat cover with a first generation seat cover that I have left from one of my previous 700s. The newer seat covers are about a pound heavier and have a seam (side to side) across the middle. I find the seam to be a bit uncomfortable.

Trice Micro Gone

For once I was able to hand off a sold trike directly to the buyer without having to pack and ship it. The buyer came up to Santa Barbara from Riverside to pick up the Micro today. We set the boom length, seat angle, chain length and derailleur settings. We took a short ride to Goleta Beach then remedied a squealing brake before loading it in the truck.

Trice Micro Light For Sale

I did receive the Micro and got it going. I was pleased that I was able to adjust it for my size. It’s a fun little trike – very zippy. Since I really don’t need another trike in my collection, I was thinking that maybe my wife would want to adopt it. Unfortunately, I don’t think the hard shell seat will suit her. So… it’s for sale. It has been sold. Check it out here…

Trice Micro Light Coming

I’ve just worked out a deal to obtain a 2001 Trice Micro Light. This is a pretty rare custom built Trice. This will be the 4th custom Trice that I’ve owned (XXL, Monster, Meteor and Micro). It is the smallest Trice ever made having 349 (16″) wheels all around. It remains to be seen if I can make the proper adjustments to fit my 45″ X-Seam. This is the first generation Micro with the mitered / welded cruciform which pre-dated the curved cruciform. It so happens that it’s the exact same color as my Monster and my DFXL – RAL3020 Red. Here are a couple of photos. I’ll post more when it shows up in a few weeks.

WAW Suspension Installed

I ordered my WAW without the rear suspension option in order to save some weight. At first I didn’t really notice the lack of suspension too much. However, after switching back and forth between the DF and the WAW, I started noticing the back end hopping around on rough pavement. I played with lowering the rear tire pressure, but it was still bothering me. So, I decided to take the plunge (and the weight penalty) and ordered the rear suspension kit from Katanga. The kit included the aluminum assembly, shock, hardware, drilling template and shock pump. The chain protector was extra. (I’m not sure how effective the chain protector can be.) Altogether with shipping it cost about $800.

The installation was pretty straight forward with one exception (more on that later). The instructions were pretty good. The first step was to remove the unsuspended mounts and drive train. Next, the installation involved drilling some holes in the rear bulkhead. Katanga provided an excellent removable fiberglass template that snapped onto the bulkhead. After drilling the holes, the next step involved removing the gelcoat from the bulkhead surface, bonding and riveting the carbon fiber shock mount to the rear bulkhead. I used structural adhesive epoxy to bond the piece to the bulkhead. The provided rivets were installed with my manual pop rivet gun.

All that was left to do was to bolt on the two lower metal brackets and the pre-assembled rear suspension. At this point, I probably had about 3 hours of work in the project plus 24 hour cure time for the epoxy. This is where things got tricky. I just couldn’t get the 2 lower arms (called “swings”) to line up with the lower brackets. After scratching my head and staring at the situation, I decided to disassemble things to understand the problem. It seemed that the provided swings were slightly misaligned. In these photos, you can see that the bolt holes are not parallel – which is required for proper alignment and movement through the suspension travel arc.

I emailed Stephane at Katanga who immediately responded. He checked their inventory but none of his swings had the same problem. Somehow, two misaligned swings had made it into my kit. So he created a problem swing like mine so that he could come up with a fix to get me going again. It turned out that fixing the misalignment was pretty easy to do by clamping the swing in a vice and applying a a bit of force with a lever arm. I was hesitant to do that but this was what the factory suggested. So I went ahead with the suggested fix.

After a few iterations of bending and measuring, I was able to mount the suspension. Even though these were small bends, it made me nervous about the effect on the welds. I voiced my concern to Stephane and he immediately offered to send me replacement swings. When they arrive, I’ll swap them for my “fixed” swings.

Greenspeed GLR Sold

I recently noticed a want to buy ad for a GLR on BentriderOnline. This got me thinking about whether I really needed my GLR. It was fun putting it together and updating it, but with 2 velomobiles and a couple of other trikes available, I just wasn’t riding it. So I contacted the buyer and worked out a good deal. The GLR will soon be cruising the streets of Florida.