archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

ICE seat bracket modified

The bracket that attaches ICE seats to the frame has multiple slots so that the seat can be adjusted to rider preference regarding angle of recline. This is as it should be, so that ICE trikes can fit a wide array of rider sizes and preferences. On my former ICE Qnt, once I set the seat to my liking, which was at full recline, I simply removed the other slots, thereby shortening the bracket considerably. Since I was the only rider of the trike, I did not have a need to readjust the seat angle.

On the new ICE Full Fat, the bracket is also multi-adjustable. On this trike however, the long bracket presented an issue for me because I have a rear pannier rack, and with the rack on the trike, the seat bracket came mighty close to it. Now, this would be no big deal if a rider was not going to be removing the seat, but when I removed the seat to fold the trike for car transport last October, it became clear that a lot of wiggling and adjusting of things was necessary to get the bracket off where it connects to the frame mount (hard to explain, but obvious when one attempts to do it).

The pressure clamps that hold the bracket to the ICE seat are somewhat of a challenge to access due to the close proximity of the seat mesh, the frame mount, and the rear pannier rack, and getting tools in there to loosen and adjust the two pressure clamps is kind of a pain, takes some time, and would just be easier if the bracket wasn’t so darn long. With the bracket full length, it cannot simply be raised up to free it from the frame mount because the pannier rack stops its upward movement, and the same issue is in reverse when I went to put the seat back on the trike (ya’ have to do this to appreciate what I’m saying here).

So, as I did several years ago on my ICE Q, I just did on my ICE Full Fat: I shortened the bracket, getting rid of the useless extra adjustment slots, and now it easily can be lifted off the frame mount, and then easily reinstalled later. The pressure clamps are still a pain in the neck to get adjusted and tightened, but at least the bracket itself no longer is trapped in place by the pannier rack. Here are some photos to try and make sense of what I’m going on about in this extended monologue:

ICE Full Fat Seat Rack Clearance

Notice that the bracket cannot simply be raised without striking the rear pannier rack, so the seat must be manipulated around to get the bracket off the frame mount.

Full Fat seat bracket

By shortening the bracket, which eliminates the useless adjustment slots, this issue can be solved. Do not do this if you are not sure if you want the seat to forever remain in the most reclined position. There is no adjustment possibility once the surgery is complete.

Full Fat Seat Bracket cut

Here is the bracket after it has been shortened, leaving only one seat recline option.

Full Fat Seat Bracket 01

Now, there is plenty of clearance between the seat bracket and the pannier rack, which makes it significantly easier to remove and reinstall the seat when necessary for folding the trike for transport in a small automobile. Notice the tight tolerances also around the adjustment nuts and bolts for the pressure clamps that hold the bracket in place on the seat tubing – not much room to get tools in there to adjust the clamps – no big deal if you don’t fold the trike very often. The pressure clamps are semi-soft plastic, which could develop stress tears over time if they were frequently loosened and tightened on a trike that was folded on a regular basis for auto transport.

Full Fat Seat Bracket 02

At least it’s easier now than it was. This is a good solution for me since I leave my trike fully reclined at all times. Actually, this trike can recline significantly more if a rear pannier rack is not installed or used, making it even more comfortable (the greater the recline, the less issue of potential “recumbent butt” after hours in the seat). I had the seat reclined by several more degrees at first, but then realized that once I tried to install the pannier rack, the seat would actually hit the fender and rack assembly (my custom-made fender is part of the rear rack conglomerate), so I had to move it back up to where it is now. As is, the recline is more than many riders would choose. I just like it that way! Notice also that I have a green/red elastomer combination, much stiffer than that red/yellow that comes stock on ICE trikes – I needed this because when I have the trike loaded with adventure gear for outback multi-day treks, the stock elastomers were too soft, and sagged due to the weight of water, tools, and camping gear attached to the seat assembly.


2 responses

  1. Gary Jackson

    Ironic, I just finished making longer brackets for my folding Performer trike. Arthritis.

    June 1, 2016 at 6:38 am

  2. Alonzo Savage

    I’ve cut the bracket on my ICE ‘T’ in the way you suggest and it is great. I have also swapped those silly plastic clips for s/s jubilee clips with the adjusting bolts facing up for easy access.

    June 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm