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