ICE Frame Failure on 2017 Tour de Wyoming
While riding the 2017 Tour de Wyoming epic cycling event, Trike Asylum reader Steven Telck, who rides a 2011 ICE Adventure recumbent trike, experienced a catastrophic frame failure far out on the open road. This post presents known facts about Steven’s experience so that other riders of similar trikes might have the knowledge about a potential future event on their own trikes.
Steven Telck rides his 2011 ICE Adventure recumbent tricycle on a previous United States tour. He is a highly experienced and capable overland triker, and has also toured on this trike in Asia.
Following this background information will be two photographs of Steven’s frame.
BASIC BACKGROUND INFORMATION: During the week of July 16-21, 2017, Steven was a participant in the multi-day Tour de Wyoming cycling event, which consisted of four mountain passes, and more than 400 Miles in six days. He was riding his 2011 ICE Adventure trike on this fully supported tour – there was no cargo on the trike in panniers. He only carried a water bladder and water supply to remain hydrated, as the cargo normally carried on a tour that is unsupported was carried by the Tour de Wyoming support organization. Cyclists essentially pedaled the distance without being encumbered by standard gear such as tent, sleeping bag, food, and clothing. Steven is six feet five inches tall, and weighs 245 pounds. He had approximately seven pounds of water on the trike with him. The weight limit for his trike is 275 pounds. Steven says the load on the trike was about 20 pounds below the maximum recommended weight limit for the vehicle. There are about 5,000 miles on this ICE Adventure recumbent trike.
Steven, a Wyoming resident, was pedaling about 25 miles per hour along an interstate portion of the tour when he began to feel what is described as a fish-tailing sensation. Fish-tailing is when the hind end of any vehicle begins to move laterally, or perpendicular to the direction of travel. He reports that initially it was a mild sensation, felt in corners, but as the day progressed, this movement became more pronounced. When Steven first felt the mild fish-tailing, he stopped and checked things that he thought might be causing the problem, but was not successful at locating the malfunction. He checked again later as the issue reached a level that could not be ignored any longer, where the trike was too unstable to ride. Upon a carefully detailed protracted inspection, he realized that where the swing arm for the rear suspension joins a curved portion of the trike’s frame a serious tearing of the metal was actively in progress. The tear had become pronounced enough that the trike was critically unstable and unsafe to ride any farther on the tour.
Not wanting to relinquish his enjoyment of the Tour de Wyoming, and having a strong desire to complete the event, Steven loaded his trike into a motorized vehicle and took it south 160 miles to Louisville, Colorado (near Denver) on a Sunday to the dealer where he originally purchased the human powered vehicle. At the dealer, owner Chip happened to have the part necessary for Steven to continue his tour, so Chip spent the next hour repairing the trike with the used part. This was now around 7:00 PM on that Sunday. Steven then drove his trike back north to his home state, and the following day, the Adventure was back out on the road of adventure. Below are two photographs that reveal the severity of this frame failure, and how it could lead to serious injury to the rider had it broken all the way, or failed at speed on a mountain pass descent.
Steven’s ICE Adventure frame suffered a catastrophic failure while riding a supported tour.
Upon his successful completion of the 400 mile Tour de Wyoming, Steven emailed the Inspired Cycle Engineering company about the details of his experience. ICE responded, saying that they were sorry to see the failure, and that they would send a replacement curved tube, hinge, and the front section of the back end, under warranty, via FedEx. ICE informed Steven he could dispose of the broken parts, as they had no need to inspect the failure in person, but that the photos of his trike would be forwarded to the engineering division of the company for analysis. The new replacement parts were received by Steven within two days after their response to him. His 2011 ICE Adventure is now fully functional once again, but he reminds other ICE owners to remain vigilant when it comes to frame inspections, saying that he will now always inspect this area.
Additional photos of other ICE trikes:
From a Trike Asylum post dated May 21, 2015, comes this photograph of an ICE frame that failed in the same spot as Steven Telck’s recent frame failure. Click HERE to read that post.
If you have a post-2010 ICE trike with this rear setup, periodic visual checks might be a means of avoiding such a catastrophic frame failure out on the road. An ounce of prevention is worth …
From a Trike Asylum post dated April 23, 2015, comes this photograph of an ICE frame that failed in another location, where the two mainframe components are attached to one another:
Above appears to be on an ICE Q trike, which predates the 2010 conversion to the new frame styling, design, and fabrication. Below is the new frame design as it first appeared in 2010:
The 2010 ICE frame welds
A comment by the company regarding its findings and solutions would be welcomed. Also, if you have information about serious frame failures on any brand or model of recumbent tadpole tricycle, please post a comment here to assist others who ride the same trike as you. Thank you.
REGULARLY INSPECT YOUR RECUMBENT VEHICLE!