archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Triker Jen completes challenging trike tour!

This just in from Jen Fleming, the Aussie wild gal who set out on an overland trike journey not long ago. She and Tony have completed the enlightening and challenging trek, and sent me an email link for any Trike Asylum readers who would like to experience their adventure from the comfort of a computer. Visit Jen’s TA page HERE. Email from Jen:

Hi Steve, 
Just thought I’d let you know we completed our journey through I land Queensland. Our two stage journey. We enjoyed it, though found it challenging. But everything in life is a challenge. Link is if anyone wants to read it and look at the photos. Having a rest and nesting for awhile. Then we will see where the next road takes us. New Zealand’s looking pretty good ! 



5 responses

  1. armadillozack

    Here is how much I know about trike parts… Can anyone tell me what kind of front wheel hubs are on their trikes.. I am thinking they have something to do with brakes but I will just keep my big mouth shut this time and let someone else give an answer to this…!

    October 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

  2. Alonzo Savage

    Those brakes look suspiciously like Sturmey Archer drum brakes as fitted to many ICE trikes. From personal experience I can tell you that they are very efficient and long lasting.

    October 1, 2017 at 12:11 pm

  3. armadillozack

    Thank you so much I had a suspicion that was what I was looking at… Thanks Again…!

    October 1, 2017 at 5:13 pm

  4. Yes, those are Sturmey-Archer drum brakes. The reason they aren’t more popular among bikes is the fact that they are heavier than discs and rim brakes. But as soon as you add a third wheel or a heavier frame (such as in a tandem), the weight handicap becomes a non-issue.

    I prefer them over discs for various reasons:

    1) Both the brake shoes and the rubbing surface are internally sealed, so dust and mud can’t get inside and clog the brakes. Also, rain can’t get inside and reduce brake performance.

    2) The entire wheel can be attached / detached via a single bolt in the hub, something that’s very convenient for a trike whose front wheels are supported only from one side.

    3) The only adjustment drum brakes need is to tighten the brake cable as the brake shoe wears down. That is easily done by turning a thumb screw, just like we do on any brake lever or rear derailleur. Disc brakes, on the oher hand, need frequent adjustment, especially after removing the wheels during transport. And their shoes wear faster than any other brake type.

    4) Hydraulic disc brakes have excellent modulation and power, but are very difficult to repair on the road, and the hydraulic lines can be easily damaged during transport (especially on folding trikes). Drum brakes are as powerful and sensitive as discs, but their all-mechanical innards and cables have proven to be much more reliable and easier to service for decades.

    5) Discs have to be perfectly flat to work well. A minuscule bend can get them singing that annoying “ssst-ssst-ssst-ssst” that can only be cured by a very careful mechanic.

    6) Most people -and trike builders- don’t seem to know that Sturmey-Acher also offers drum brakes with an integrated dynohub! They are available for 6-volt systems in both 2.4W or 3W. You can see the entire line here:

    That’s why I believe drum brakes are excellent for long-distance trikers. What do you think?

    October 2, 2017 at 10:42 am

  5. armadillozack

    I am very interested and thinking about adding them to my Catrike Big Bent Quad Custom From Utah Trikes… I am thinking they have to be a lot better than the disc brakes I have now… Thank you all so much for your help…!
    Armadillo Zack

    October 2, 2017 at 7:20 pm