archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Trike Hood

by Steve Newbauer: Ed Miller, an avid trike pilot from Tennessee has many fine YouTube videos available of his numerous trike adventures as he rides with his various friends.  He rides an ActionBent tadpole trike.  I love watching his videos and highly recommend them to you.  I personally think they are among the very best I have viewed to date.  There is lots of beautiful countryside and wildlife in most of his videos, especially deer.  His YouTube username is LogNotching.  Here is a link to all of his videos:

He also has come up with some ‘innovations’ including what he refers to as a Trike Hood.  It is all about providing shade from the sun and offering a little bit of protection from rain as well.  I say little because he would be the first to admit that it offers “little” protection.  His design is pretty ingenious in that it is simple, basic yet relatively inexpensive and effective.  And it is lightweight which is a concern to most of us.  He can readily release the front hook which holds it down horizontally over him so that it stands upright out of the way allowing him to mount and dismount normally.  He says it doesn’t effect handling or speed noticably as he has it tweaked in which he explains in one of his videos.

trike hood

trike hood released

Ed has a few videos among his 142 (and counting) YouTube postings which show and explain various aspects of the construction which should prove quite helpful for anyone considering attempting something like this.  Here are a couple of links to these videos:

Another item he has made which might be of interest to some readers is a flat platform which serves as a rack for hauling his trike behind his motor vehicle as well as a work stand to perform maintenance, cleaning, etc. and a vertical stand for storing his trike so it takes up less room.  And it is made out of plywood so it is fairly simple to make and relatively cheap in cost.  Again, he has a video showing and explaining the construction of it.

If you get a chance, perhaps on a rainy day when you can’t be out there riding (without a canopy :<), check out Ed’s videos.  I think you’ll like them.

You can contact me directly at: stevenewbauer at outlook dot com

I welcome all communication and welcome ideas, suggestions, criticisms (we’ll see:<), etc.  And please let me know how I did in my first attempt at posting here on Trike Asylum.


12 responses

  1. Dan Zimmerman

    Nice idea! I live in AZ so shade is premium, I like to buy it.

    March 22, 2013 at 6:27 am

  2. Alonzo L Savage

    I seem to have seen this somewhere before. Does it ride ok in strong side winds?
    I recall it being a bit pricey but nothing a bit of inventiveness couldn’t solve with some thin nylon tent poles, some water pipe and a piece of ripstop nylon.
    Better still with one of these got your own deckchair with sun canopy, all you need is a beach.
    Great, especially for red heads who are prone to sunstroke.

    March 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm

  3. Dan Zimmerman

    I had stroke 7 1/2 yrs ago, so no building my self, my right hand is junk, I ride Catrike 700 yrs 2008 Today I got new Catrike 700 with Schlumpf High Speed Drive, it is FAST, normal cadence, not pushing it, 23 mph I was in 4th gear !!

    March 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

  4. Dan Zimmerman

    Where do you buy it at?

    March 22, 2013 at 8:17 pm

  5. Steve Newbauer

    I think I need to clarify something here. I posted this about the trike hood just to show other trikers what this fellow triker has come up with for his own use. As far as I know he is not selling them … at least not at this time. If he wants to comment here to say anything different or provide contact information he most certainly is welcome to do so.

    March 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm

  6. Steve Newbauer

    There is a company called Veltop which makes canopies to sell. Here is a link to the Catrike owners blog and a comment made about them:
    He shares his review of it including pros & cons.
    Most certainly one can have more protection provided by more extensive coverage by a canopy, but there is a trade off when the aerodynamics is effected. Veltop canopies are made in France.
    I think there is only one dealer in the U.S. They do have one version somewhat similar to the one Ed made and it is cheaper than their other version. It is available in four different colors. It sells for about $368 vs. $498 for there other version. Remember — some riders like these & others don’t — some have regretted buying them. I am not promoting them … just reporting about them. Personally I like Ed’s and would want one like his as far as the design and practicalness. I also want one that can be removed easily and quickly should I desire to ride without it. I hope to make my own one of these days. (As soon as a get a round tuit :)

    March 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

  7. Wow, Steve! Thanks for the recognition. I thoroughly enjoy ‘tinkering’ with daTrike, but more importantly is the thrill of dressing it in 4F, frugal-form-fit-function! When I share ideas I do so by revealing about 80% of an ideas value. So what you see represents about that much of what it was worth to me as a trike rider, With that in mind, If I did another review today (and it’s due), it would advance these observations further, but still revealing a percentage of the projects potential. The progression of YouTube videos bares that out as each new one potentially reveals a advancements.

    With all that said, I have about $40-$50 invested in what you see, but the research hours are countless. The current stage features sun visors, a better quick-release hold-down clip, an event route que sheet weatherproof windowed pouch, eye-level rear-view mirrors and improved styling. The next level will address touring convenience with never before seen features. I want to market an economical top for which it takes longer to write a purchase check than for use takes to install or remove! THAT REQUIRES CRITICAL INVOLVEMENT DURING DESIGN TO ASSURE LONG TERM VALUE.

    As for production, it’s a dream of mine to produce a very low cost version, but my first and foremost objective in life is providing focused attention to my 17-year old who graduates from HS with honors this year. For right now, he’s ‘tops’! A number of folks market similar products, but only one parent is responsible for raising my child!

    FYI: Of all the tops I’ve seen, or modified to be more like mine (!), I believe mine would outperform any in wind* tests, *from any direction! It stays-put when hauled at 45-50 MPH (behind an SUV) or when riding at 30-35 MPH; above that, you try it!

    I’d enjoy hearing from you, especially regarding ‘desired features’ from a top you’d like. Email if you wish and I’ll at least review the comments. Just don’t expect to bump my son off the hill real soon! Again, thanks for your interest.

    March 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm

  8. Glen Aldridge

    There is this canopy on the market & I am sure there are other similar designs. Beats the hell out of spending $3 or 400. if it can be modified to fit a trike.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm

  9. Ed Miller

    This is the one I first purchased. The top and rods are worth the purchase, but the rear mount (for mounting on a trike) won’t work and the string tie-downs in the front are only stable to 20-25 MPH before the front of the top is forced downward thus blocking forward view.

    For those who don’t mind some tinkering, this would be a good purchase.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm

  10. Steve Newbauer

    Thanks Ed for your comment. Upon reading about this $50 item I pondered over whether it would be worthwhile to pursue. It sounds like it has possibilities. If I understand correctly this is not what you currently are using however. Do you not now use entirely your own materials you purchased and put together or is there still some of these components in what you have in use now? You had told me that you purchased the hood material on Ebay so I assume you are no longer using this material which came with this canopy. Curious Minds Want To Know! :)

    March 25, 2013 at 4:00 am

  11. Ed Miller

    NOTHING from the purchased model is currently being used. The totally new top dimensions are 2″ different in width, narrow in front, wide in back. Be advised, there are tradeoffs between a perfect rectangle and a more organic design such as I’m currently featuring: Although styling is really cool in a ‘lightbulb shape’, with parallel sides the fabric can possibly be made to slide fore & aft to provide optimum protection as needed. Sorta like going from a coupe to a sedan!

    The ‘shade’ dimensions are roughly 18″ X 40″, my design is currently 16″ front -19″ back X 40″ long. The material I used was, ‘Supplex’. It’s a lightweight Nylon and strong, but I’m not certain as to its fade characteristics. I have some black ‘overstock’ that even has a logo pattern on the underside from a well known wind-breaker brand. So far, I haven’t paid over $4/yd!

    March 25, 2013 at 5:28 am

  12. Steve Newbauer

    I just discovered this one … a tadpole trike made in China which comes with a canopy such as it is. It looks like black cloth, Yeow! That would be hot to sit under!
    The trike looks interesting and has rear suspension. I don’t know anything about the quality. The price is $1200.
    I wish I could post a picture here but no can do in comments as far as I know.

    March 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm