archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Triker James (Actionbent & Sun)

From Hawaii comes this letter and photos from James Alaggio:

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Aloha Steve,

I’m an avid triker since 2008 having traveled many tens of thousands of miles over the years on my Actionbent T-1A and most recently a Sun Ez-3 SX. I’ve been riding & training for big rides which I plan to do in the future to include a coast-to-coast US ride and many others around the world when I make the time.

James Alaggio ActionbentJames on his first trike, an Actionbent T-1A

I have recently achieved my dream job here in Hawaii and now have saved up for my dream trike! I’ve been pondering the Catrike 700 or Expedition for many years. After reading your articles about your new 700 I think I might be seeing the world from a 25 degree seat-angle perspective! I’ll test ride the two before I make my decision next month. (Click HERE to see the new Catrike 700 James now has!)

My primary concern is neck comfort for the long rides with the 700 seat. Lifting your head for the bumps makes sense but I am more concerned about longevity on 5-10 hour rides in the cockpit position since the 25 degree recline requires the neckrest to do a very good job. What do you think of the stock Catrike neckrest? I’m seriously considering the “Super Headrest” from Utah Trikes (HERE).

I don’t know if you have tried power meters yet but I found that my power output and efficiency on rides over two hours was substantially increased when I used a power meter. I had a PowerTap Pro installed in the 700c rear hub on my Actionbent T-1A. I would say training with the PowerMeter increased my efficiency as much as clipping into the pedals! If I get a Catrike 700 I’ll most likely get another PowerTap wheel, or at the very least a Stages Cycling crank power meter.

DCIM100GOPROJames on his Sun Ez-3 SX, with Go_Pro cam mounted on pole

One more question, why did you decide on the 35mm width on the rear tire? I’m guessing to smooth out your ride? Any reason why you went with a 35mm width instead of 28 or 32? Do you think you lose much efficiency with the larger tire? I’ll most likely slightly increase the tire size as well but since it rains often here in windward Hawaii I’ll need to put on a fender to fit the rear wheel. I’m looking forward to seeing you fit a fender and rack on your 700!

Thank you so much for your time and for posting wonderful information over the years! I started following your blog around 2009(?) and I even bought your Overland book! You’re the man, Steve! Glad that we share such a wonderful passion.

James Alaggio
Kaneohe, Hawaii

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I have attached a picture of me doing a grocery run here on Oahu recently – a 25 mile round trip since I live in the rainforest mountains. I’ve done the trip 40 times now; 1,000 miles of trike pedaling for groceries! I should make a shirt that says “Will pedal for food!”

DCIM100GOPRO James Alaggio 04 James Alaggio 05

p.s. I’ve attached pictures of my first two trikes.