Trike tour?

Cam3J

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Never bike toured, but I've traveled by nearly every other method. Right now I'm in Phoenix saving $60/day working for a staffing agency. Collecting dollars and looking to build a tour trike and take off sometime during the 1st week of March. Right now I got a whole laundry list of shit and gear to buy for the trip. Plan is to just cruise around the U.S. for the hot season's; gettin around, but nowhere too fast. Slow riding, sight seeing, and taking time to smell all the roses. When I look into bike touring, it's always some sweet two wheeled ride packed down like a mule. I never come across a trike packed down, but I imagine it would be a lot easier for long distances and hauling all the shit I want to keep myself comfy and entertained. Wondering if there's a reason I never see tour trikes? Is there something impracticable about them that I'm missing?
 
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I ride a lot of bikes. And have owned a lot of bikes. Never came across a trike that more than 3 gears or so. So would make hill trekking a challenge. I could be wrong though. And you could always add custom gears I'm sure with a little knowledge and youtube research. Goodluck though per usual if you pass through Cincinnati let me know!
 
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Jackthereaper

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If you are super handy or can weld i can see it working. Or possibly using a trike with electric assist for the hills but like dude above said, all the trikes ive seen are single speed or 3 gears max. Trikes can pull trailers too which is a huge plus imo. You can bring a keg of beer if you like
 
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Cam3J

Cam3J

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I'm not against walking it up hills if I got to and I'm in no rush. I've looked into a trailer too. Found a guy out here custom building them with a small ball hitch. I'm glad you mentioned that keg of beer. One of those small heneiken ones would be perfect for when I know I got a 2-3 day ride through back country. Ill be riding out through the desert on that shit for sure haha
 
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ibuzzard

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I'm not against walking it up hills if I got to and I'm in no rush. I've looked into a trailer too. Found a guy out here custom building them with a small ball hitch. I'm glad you mentioned that keg of beer. One of those small heneiken ones would be perfect for when I know I got a 2-3 day ride through back country. Ill be riding out through the desert on that shit for sure haha
There’s a really cool guy ,whose journey from Michigan to Florida by bicycle/trailer I have been following via Youtube posts. He has had to suspend it for now due to his elderly father being hospitalized, leaving his rig in Chatanooga Tn. at his friends house. He will continue soon, when he is able. He has been supporting himself by getting gigs doing balloon animals at various places along the way, stealth camping, with an occasional motel room, and showering at truck stops. His name is Douglass Conlin on YouTube , check him out. He is having a leisurely journey, and I have really enjoyed following him. Good luck.
 
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Cam3J

Cam3J

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I'll check that out for sure. Sounds like exactly what I got in mind
 

ibuzzard

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The above mentioned, Douglas Conlin’s regular job? He drives a Pedal Pub, in Ann Arbor Michigan. Nice work if you can get it!
 

Zbart1108

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As mentioned before it will be hard to push up hill...I pushed up many many hills with a single speed Raleigh XXIX and a BOB Trailer. I too thought about doing my next trip on a trike...however it will have to be modified. I ran into a bike shop in Willits California and the guy was selling trikes with electric front hubs and were amazing. My plan was to have a trike-trailer setup with the electric hub, trailer modified to be a pop up camp setup and solar...I have left out much detail but that's the gist of it.
 
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Cam3J

Cam3J

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My plans to just fuck off in the hot months. Don't really care if I gotta walk up a few hills. Whatever. I'll be in the South mostly, so I feel like I'm more worried about mosquitos and rain more than I'm worried about hills. I'm really just planning on dicking off for the summer because real jobs are lame and I'm not even trying to entertain that lame shit this summer
 

george990

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That's the coolest thing I've heard anyone say all week!

DO IT!!!

And keep us posted. Take lots of pictures!
 

george990

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I met a homeless guy a couple ears ago that had an electric trike. He said it was awesome because he worked at the grociery store at night stocking shelves and he could charge it while he was at work. For a while, I was camped right next to him, and he also had a generator at camp. Anyways, he never had to go very far, so it was a cheap reliable transportation around town and back to camp. It had 3 batteries behind the seat and the front wheel was electric...

He never had to go more than 10 or 15 miles a day, so it worked great for him... I think if you were touring long distance, you'd run out of power quite often. So I dont think it would be an ideal vehicle for long distance travel. It was big, heavy, and you probably wouldnt want to pedal it very far. Sometimes towns can be extremely far apart, and it would be hell trying to pedal a big heavy trike any kind of a distance...

Although, Ive never riden a trike, so I really cant say... Try it, and let us know how it turns out.
 

Jackthereaper

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If you get a setup that allows regenerative braking you can recharge on the go. Also if you look around outside in major cities there are plllleeeenty of batteries to be had, all owned by corporations.
 

Vance Lee

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The above mentioned, Douglas Conlin’s regular job? He drives a Pedal Pub, in Ann Arbor Michigan. Nice work if you can get it!
DOug is a friend of mine. We are going to meet up when he hits Florida, going to show him around some. I bike tour and live off my rig. My hustle is the guitar and country singing. Nice to meet you.
 
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Zbart1108

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I think if you were touring long distance, you'd run out of power quite often. So I dont think it would be an ideal vehicle for long distance travel. It was big, heavy, and you probably wouldnt want to pedal it very far. Sometimes towns can be extremely far apart, and it would be hell trying to pedal a big heavy trike any kind of a distance...

Although, Ive never riden a trike, so I really cant say... Try it, and let us know how it turns out.
This is why I was going to use solar to help with power consumption, I've seen it on a couple setups out touring and on blogs.
 

george990

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Okay... Well in that case, Id be really selective on what panel to buy...

I'd probably buy a 100W panel. And just hook it stright to the batterie on days I want it to charge... I wouldnt bother with a charge controller, one extra thing you dont need..

A charge controller disconnects the panel when the batterie is full, so the batterie doesnt boil...

Which means, without it, you'd want to disconnect the panel from the batterie if you park it in the sun for a week or longer and dont use it. But I think you'll find that you'll use the power up much faster than your panel can produce.

Thats probably bad advice for someone who's not familiar with solar already... Charge controllers are small and light weight. Ya just put it on there and play it safe... I personally wouldnt tho. Id just put a simple 12v switch. Switch it on, your charging. Switch it off, now your not charging... That way if your using the trike everyday, just leave it on all the time. If your gonna leave it parked for 3 weeks, or 6 months, turn it off so batteries dont sit there and boil.

The switch would be cheaper and lighter than the charge controller. You'd save weight, and money.

Solar was like 4-6 dollars a watt when they first came out... Now you can find them brand new on craigslist for less than a dollar a watt.

Id get on craigslist and buy a nice large 100 panel. Use some square tubing to make a shade roof over the seat, or make it into a lid for the basket.

The bottom line is, a small panel isnt going to do anything for you...

I had the 45 watt solar kit from harbor freight a few years ago... And it was enough to keep my phone charged, and charge my 18V Ryobi drill batteries one at a time.... And thats about all the power it produced. You couldnt run a skill saw. You couldnt run a vaccum cleaner. You couldnt even run a normal television and dvd player, unless it was one of those small, laptop sized, 12v dvd players. Like the kind you would put in your car for the kids to watch while you drive somewhere. And that was in Arizona by the way on a sunny day with clear blue skies.

I think 100 watt panel is really the MINIMUM to be any kind of help. 100 watt panel is usually like 4 feet by 2 feet roughly. Its big and bulky, but anything less wouldnt do you much good.
 

Jackthereaper

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If you run a sizeAble trailer you can run 350w and enough battery to make it worth it.

40” x 78” trailer is big but do-able for a trike perhaps. 41lbs for panel plus prob 2-4 kwh in batteries which will weigh another 20-50 lbs plus trailer weight makes 100 lbs which isnt too ridiculous especially if it holds enough juice to run the trike up hills and charges while you ride on the flatter spots.
 

george990

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Spring time is right around the corner! Have you set your sights on a trike yet?

Nows the time to be prepping.

What part of the country are you in btw?

I might do some bike touring this summer myself... But im in the south west. Arizona actually
 

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