archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

ICE Full Fat: a great trike in search of a great tire!

ICE Full Fat no tires 1

When viewing the ICE Full Fat trike without tires, it becomes quite evident that without rubber on the wheels, the trike no longer serves any functional purpose. I have ridden this backcountry vehicle enough to say that I am extremely impressed with its superior ability to roam off the pavement where standard recumbent tricycles simply can never venture. This ICE trike, and other fatrikes like it, allow heretofore unheard of adventures on three wheels. Yet, when we view this incredible trike without tires, we realize that it can go nowhere – it just sits in one place, looking like some antique invention. The utter importance of tires cannot be overstated!

So, here we have the Inspired Cycle Engineering company manufacturing a trike that has few limits to travel, yet it depends entirely upon another company producing a tire that allows the trike to live up to its full potential. Essentially, ICE is at the mercy of tire manufacturers, for without them, they have no useful product. What I find quite disturbing is that due to the inferior quality of the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tire, the trike comes up looking inept, which, of course, it is not. Quite the opposite – this trike is awesome! The huge downside is that until a tire manufacturer makes a tire that does not consistently and quickly go flat from tiny thorns in the bushes, the ICE trike can only be ridden on dirt roads, snow, or sandy terrain (in addition to pavement, of course).

The ICE Full Fat is held back ONLY because it depends on the tires to be useful for adventures into the wilds. ICE is so very close to the perfect adventure machine. Unfortunately, until ICE makes its own tire at the same quality level as its trike, or until ICE partners with a tire company to make a tire worthy of the Full Fat, this compromise state will remain in existence, leaving riders having to frequently and regularly repair or replace tubes. If we use the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim as a measuring assessment, tubes will need replacing with each flat incident, because the tires are so thin that multiple thorns penetrate the inner tube, creating a situation where patching many tiny holes is not a viable option. This gets expensive over time.

NOTE TO ICE: Please, allow your trike to be ALL it can be! Do whatever you can to assure serious backcountry riders adventures that are not brought to a sudden halt because of little thorns on the ground. Partner with VEE Tire Company, or another manufacturer, to make the ultimate backcountry tire, which, until you created the Full Fat, was never needed before. Now it IS needed desperately! The new tire could be called the Full Fat, in honor of your Full Fat trike. You make an unbelievably capable vehicle – please give your customers the option to have an equally capable tire. As you can see in the photo, your trike is useless for backcountry adventures without functional and dependable tires – make this happen so that your loyal customers can confidently ride your trike without limits. Thank you very much!

ICE Full Fat no tires 3


6 responses

  1. Bob Devlin

    I kind of like the looks of those rims without tires. Why not skip tires altogether and just drill some screws through the rims from the inside and presto, you have traction! You have a suspension system so shouldn’t be a problem on dirt. And you are saving all that extra weight. Probably not so good on pavement, though.

    November 28, 2015 at 9:44 am

  2. George McCloskey

    Did you ever consider using “Slime” inside the tube? I ran over a cactus with a zero turn mower and the front tires survived but the rear tires deflated slowly. I added “Slime” to both rear tires, inflated them…. and it was fixed. There were a lot of cactus spine holes and the “Slime” sealed them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. George (the Catrike 700 Guy)

    Prevent and repair flat tires with slime tube sealant
    Instantly seals puncture up to 1/8 inch (3mm) using FibroSeal technology
    Non-toxic and water soluble
    Carries the slime satisfaction guarantee

    November 28, 2015 at 2:39 pm

  3. George McCloskey

    This is the Amazon link that I meant to post…

    November 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm

  4. Marcel

    Hi Steve,

    Here a review of different Slime products. Watch Stan’s amazing video! Only for tubeless though.

    Stan’s video;

    Here Schwalbe Doc Blue. I t says it is produced also by Stan’s NoTubes! This is for tubes also. Works quite long. Best results for about 3 months I heard from an expert travel bikeshop in The Netherlands.

    Personally I wouldn’t trie Slime in a Tubeless system. It can get a bit messy on the rims I think, although they use a protective liner to prevent this from happening.

    From what I read Joe’s Super Sealent or Doc Blue is best for small leaks.

    Sidenote; I use on my Greenspeed GT3 on the back a Schwalbe Marathon Plus and on front the Schwalbe Marathons. I know the Marathon Plus has a better puncture resistence, but (aside it is heavier + stiffer + more expensive) the rubber wears out much quicker than the Marathons. Normally on a tour I wait for a leak and then I put Doc Blue in it. I have no experience with Joe’s Super Sealent.

    Good luck.

    November 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

  5. I want to thank everyone thus far for presenting solutions to this tire quality issue I have recently experienced after leaving the Marathon Plus tires behind. I have been spending considerable online time educating myself about the various options, all of which are necessary due to lightweight tires not preventing simple thorns from penetrating the tire carcass. Well, such is the current state of bicycle tires, and there is little I can do to change this dynamic, so into the world of secondary countermeasures I go!

    After removing the affected Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tires, the Mr. Tuffy tire liners, and the Schwalbe fat bike inner tubes, I checked for breaches. They were not hard to locate! Turning the Jumbo Jims inside out, and gently running my hand around the tire interiors, my fingers came upon numerous small thorns penetrating the tire carcasses. Using this same finger finding technique (gently, to avoid pain), I discovered numerous breaches of the Mr. Tuffy tire liners, where small thorns had become embedded in the liners, and were sticking out into where the inner tube used to be. And, of course, there were many nearly-invisible holes in the tubes from where all these thorns had penetrated. The tire carcasses did not keep out small thorns. The Mr. Tuffy liners did not keep out small thorns (or grind them into dust as they advertise), and, as expected, the then vulnerable inner tubes were opened up all around with holes.

    Most of the thorns were very small. There were some larger thorns that were obvious visually, which also did damage, but the majority of them were just tiny little things, looking like small specks of dirt on the inside of the tire carcass and the inside of the tire liner surface. After riding a couple of miles through virgin desert landscape, the tires, liners, and tubes, were full of these things. Gads!

    I discovered that one company, called Tannus, actually makes a solid tire in two different comfort levels – amazing – never a flat again no matter what. But at this time, I see no fat tire option being offered. Check out this link and watch the videos to learn if this solution might be right for you:

    Stan’s company makes a conversion kit, which allows converting standard tube setups to tubeless, which seems like an outstanding option. With this solution, which uses their conversion kit, Stan’s Sealant is used, and from every video endorsement I’ve watched, flats are very unlikely to ever occur. The prevailing opinion seems to be that Stan’s is a better choice than Slime, and in one test, Slime failed to stop a leak in a toothpick-sized hole, but Stan’s immediately sealed the same hole after changing the sealants in the tire.

    So my helpful cycling friends, I am still in the process of educating myself on all this, and once I settle on the way forward, I’ll let ya’ all know! See ya’ …


    November 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

  6. I don’t remember if I had mention, that I have been using Surly Tires, and Rims to you, or not, Steve, but I have been having pretty good success with them, even with all the tourist broken beer bottles, in which they leave behind…! I have had a few close calls, in which I spotted the glass, prior, to me running it over, by taking evasive maneuvers, and going around the bulk of them in which would more than probably, have severed the tire in half, if I had run over the larger shards… But yet I still have run over much of the glass, and sooner or later I will not see the larger broken bottom of the bottles… But I have Surly, to thank for the times, I have run over the other portions of glass, in which I believe, that any other tire, would have been toast, if I had crossed over such a large area of glass.. I have the Surly Lou 26 X 4.8 tires on Surly rims front and back, oh, and I have had not the time, to add any protection to the tires, as was the case with your tires, such as the armor, and Slime, or Doc Blue… I think I will be adding them in the very near future though, I don’t want to take any chances…! But as I was saying about the Surly tire, I believe that they are the best bet, even though they are costly…! You should consider them, as I may have cut corners, on other things, such as inexpensive headlights, tail lights, and horn, I added the best tires, that I have heard first hand from riders, who depend on them, when riding on many different type courses… I have yet to regret the cost of them…! Hope you find this useful, or I hope you will find something, in which your happy with…!

    November 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm