archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Custom Full Fat Fender & Rack

A while back, Steve emailed me a few photos of some custom work on his ICE Full Fat, which he refers to humorously as Bigfoot. The 2015 ICE rear rack for the trike does not come with a top piece, so he was facing the idea that he would have to take his next trike trip without his trusty Arkel TailRider top trunk, an 11 liter wonderbag that has become a permanent fixture on his overland journeys. As we have come to learn, if Steve needs something on his trike, and it isn’t included from the factory, he simply designs the piece he needs, and then commences to fabricate it, or in this case, have it fabricated at his local welder. The welder spent about 3 hours in construction, at $80 per hour.

From what Steve told me, the concern with mounting a top trunk on a rack for this new Full Fat is the potential for placing a heavy load up higher, and possible lateral stability issues when cornering. Actually, this new trike hobo invention is more than a top rack solution – integral in Steve’s design is a five inch wide fender to keep trail debris from accumulating on the back of his head while in the boonies – that Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 26×4.80 tire can toss some serious crud. He said that an added benefit of this design is the stabilization of the two pannier arms of the stock ICE rack, as nothing connects them across the top otherwise. Interestingly, this design also incorporates yet a third feature, and that is the traditional trike hobo pull handle at the rear!

Steve has asked that when I post this information, I let the fine folks at ICE know that he promises to keep the cargo in the TailRider very lightweight – nothing heavy up there, and nothing strapped on top with bungee cords. And he promised to ride slowly.

In the two photos that follow, the top image shows the newly fabricated top rack and fender as it was being painted, and the second image shows the finished product installed on the stock ICE Full Fat pannier rack. Steve said the stock ICE rack has several mounting holes already in place (probably for the company’s planned rear fender), and that this custom creation bolts perfectly to those pre-existing holes.

Custom Full Fat Fender & Rack 1

getting painted a flat black to match the stock ICE pannier rack

Custom Full Fat Fender & Rack 2

on Bigfoot, mounted to the ICE rack below – plenty of room for swing arm movement

In the following four photographs, you’ll see how his Arkel TailRider trunk mounts on top, and the Arkel RT-60 panniers mount on the sides. There is plenty of ground clearance.

Custom Full Fat Fender 4 Custom Full Fat Fender 6 Custom Full Fat Fender 5 Custom Full Fat Fender 3

Steve has been out in the field for some time now, attempting to tweak his backcountry exploration vehicle for a lifetime of adventure. Having helped him with posts on his 2009 expedition, he asked if I might post here on Trike Asylum for a while, and that is why you may have noticed my Desert Dune name appearing on posts since September fifth. I don’t own a trike, but love exploring backcountry like he does, so I am happy to fill in whenever he is out on assignment! – Desert Dune (Adam Lee)


4 responses

  1. I am sure I am going to have to do the same, although I have a welder in my shop as well as a pipe bender, and other tools needed to crate my own racks…! But not everyone has the welders and the know how to build racks for their choice of fat wheeled vehicle.. So what then..? Do they go to the welders and have one made as well, and for $80.00 an hour to boot…? Some where, some how, the manufactures are going to have to hear the voices of the riders of these fat wheeled vehicles and come up with a solution to this dilemma, unless some enterprising person, or persons start manufacturing either a universal rack that will fit all bike and trike fat wheeled vehicles, or the Manufacturers get over it and start making fat wheel rack systems to add to their inventory of options…! I believe that the fat wheeled riders will be around for a very long time, and is not just a passing fad as I have read one manufacturer spokes person saying during a interview.. But until that time either the rider will be riding with a ton of dirt and what ever else on their backs and heads, or they come up with the 80 bucks plus for their welders time and efforts in building them a custom rack for their ride…

    September 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

  2. Desert Dune

    Hello Zack, Steve wrote that he spent a bunch of time drawing up a schematic illustration for this top fender/rack/pull handle design, with detailed measurements on a 3/4 top side view. He is pretty talented when it comes to this stuff, however if someone is not design oriented, then they might have to rely on the welder to figure it out. He heard that ICE is coming out with a rear fender this month sometime, but it may not have a pull handle and trunk mount area. From reading Steve’s past trike journals, this pull handle idea is important for a trike rider in certain situations, especially if off the pavement in a tight area.

    September 18, 2015 at 3:27 pm

  3. Great looking piece of gear, but I am wondering why the fender is so far away from the tire. Is it for mud buildup or even just a perspective on the photos?

    September 18, 2015 at 5:24 pm

  4. Desert Dune

    It’s my understanding TrikeSan that the Full Fat tricycle has up to four inches of rear travel for the rear tire, because it is a suspended trike. So, the distance is probably to take that movement into account. I could be off with the amount of travel distance, but at the very least, the wheel and tire move up and down while the trike is being ridden, so clearance needs to be more than on a trike that doesn’t have suspension. Now, if the fender were attached to the swing arm, it could be closer because it would move with the tire, but since it’s part of his pannier rack, it needs to be higher.

    September 19, 2015 at 8:32 am