Triker William (HPV Scorpion)

the tale of

FUNDERBIRD ONE

by William Cortvriendt

(Read about the Funderbird One TransAmerica trek HERE.)

Author William Cortvriendt

Being born in Holland always means that you’re born to be a biker. The country is completely flat, very densely populated and as a result no one can drive their car anymore when everybody would desire to do so. The country thus has a dense and beautiful system of biking paths. In some parts there is even heating under the asphalt to ensure that possible snow and ice do not interfere with the number one physical activity of the country: biking!

William Cortvriendt 01An example is shown of a (two way) biking path in Holland. Never a car in sight!

Being raised on a Dutch farm, I probably biked before I even could walk. I had to ride some 9 miles in the morning to attend school and the same distance again in the afternoon going back home. It was not until after I started to give anatomy lessons in medical school to junior students that I could afford to buy a racing bike that really got me started. Not that I was gifted with a special talent to ever win a racing contest, but I just loved the sensation of biking fast. It was also around that time that I heard for the first time of an initiative named the bikecentennial where bikers biked all the way from the US West coast to the East coast and I immediately knew that I was going to do such a trip. At least, some day…..

At that time around 1980, I didn’t realize yet what my medical profession had waiting for me in terms of working hours like crazy 24 hour shifts. Who would trust their lives with a pilot who has been flying an airplane for 24 hours in a row? Yet people put their lives in the hands of doctors all the time operating on them while the exhausted surgeon is hardly able to count to ten anymore…….

So there were loads of excuses telling that having no time was delaying my coast to coast biking trip. That is until recently. Now that I am (semi) retired, I have both the money and time. The next issue was thus how to do this. On my own, loaded with luggage? In an organized group, where everything is arranged including the transfer of my luggage? Or perhaps together with my wife while she drives the car and transports the luggage? And what route to take? The classical route from Oregon to Virginia or the so called Northern tier instead, or perhaps the Southern tier?

Also the question popped up what bike to take. I had tried various times to extend my daily mileage but while doing so I had also experienced several issues of discomfort. First there was saddle pain that eventually always creeps up. As a result I experimented with many different types of saddles and eventually came to the conclusion that indeed the often praised Brooks B17 leather saddle is the most comfortable one. But there were other discomforts that I couldn’t get rid of which were a creeping pain between my shoulders and pain at the base of my hands that I knew was the same as what people experience when they suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. It was eventually the Trike Asylum website that got me started to think out of the box and made me think trike instead of bike. Would it be possible that on a trike there would be no more saddle pain, no more shoulder and neck discomfort and certainly no more nerve irritations in my hands?

So early last year I started to do my research on the web and selected three trikes that I wanted to test ride from what appeared to be reputable manufacturers, namely the HPV Scorpion fs26, the Ice Sprint and the Catrike Expedition. I came up with several test criteria of which the most important ones were comfort (of course!), steering and handling, speed, weight and the general quality of construction. I had the chance to ride all three of them on separate occasions for more than an hour each. With all of them I was overwhelmed by the enormous fun that these trikes provided and the seemingly higher speed than on a bike (which I know now is mostly a subjective sensation).

The winner of the three was quite clear and the choice fell on the HPV Scorpion fs 26. It was notably more comfortable than the other two trikes resulting from a very well designed rear and front suspension system. In addition the razor sharp steering and handling of the Scorpion were superior to the other two bikes. Further the typical German quality of build was outstanding including the well designed folding system which enabled me to put the trike in the trunk of my car. However, there were also two downsides to the Scorpion.

The first one was the price tag that was significantly higher than for the other two trikes. The other downside was the weight of the trike. Clearly the sophisticated steering and suspension came with the disadvantage of a few extra pounds. And since I currently live a significant part of the year in the South of Spain, which is extremely mountainous, the weight of any bike or trike is an issue. Where the French and especially the Swiss make it an art to design a road to the top of a mountain with a relatively constant inclination of 7-8%, the Spanish often take a more direct approach straight up the mountain, often with inclinations up to 20%!

So I needed to do some homework and came up with some improvements. First I upgraded the Scorpion with Shimano XT (22-32-44 crank, 11-34 cassette), which saved a little more than a pound of weight compared to the standard version. In addition I upgraded the standard rear suspension with the DT Swiss M 212 air suspension and also upgraded with the lighter SPD A600 pedals that together shaved another pound of the standard weight. Then I ignored Steve’s advice to choose the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and instead mounted the foldable Schwalbe Marathon Racer which saved another two pounds of weight. (But Steve, I will eventually take your advice; for the coast to coast trip I will mount the Marathon Plus). Anyway, these upgrades and changes shaved all together about 4 pounds of the standard weight of the Scorpion. I can’t compare whether it really makes a difference in performance, but it made me feel good: I had chosen the most comfortable bike that handles like you’re driving a Porsche without ending up with a heavy trike.

William Cortvriendt 02HP Velotechnik advertises for the Scorpion fs 26 with the slogan “Nur Fliegen ist schöner” which means that only flying is nicer. I have flown a glider and they are too modest at HP Velotechnik. Triking is simply the best! (Notice the small bag that I attached to the back of the headrest for carrying a plastic coat that I need while crossing high and often cold and windy mountain passes).

I also realized that going for this uncompromised combination of low weight and high performance, I aggravated the other down side of the Sorpion fs 26 which is the price. The total price tag of the trike with Shimano XT, upgraded pedals and the Swiss suspension came to more than $ 6.000! But now one year later I have no regrets and I am enjoying every penny of its price. I even went on to change some of my accessories to make the load even lighter such as a new lightweight helmet (Limar) and very light (and as experience now shows very comfortable) Shimano SPD MT-23 shoes, one mirror instead of two and lighter (mini) tools. I thus saved another 1.5 pounds through lighter accessories.

William Cortvriendt 03The Garmin 800 attached to the foot of what originally was the right mirror. I screwed a small PVC tube perpendicular to the foot so I could attach the Garmin.

The information that I picked up from the web and also from my trike dealer told me that the first month or so my muscles would have to adjust to the different position and I would thus be going less fast. However despite (or perhaps as a result of) my medical profession, I could not really understand this story about the muscles from a pure biomechanical point. But I did indeed experience that at first I went slower on my trike than I did on my bike. Out of curiosity about what was causing this I put both my bike and trike on my Tacx home trainer. I can connect this trainer to my computer and among others register simultaneously my output in Watts as well as my heart rate. I noted something very interesting.

Normally when I train on a rainy day with my bike attached to my Tacx home trainer, I feel comfortable like I could bike all day long with an output of around 150 Watts (I know, I am never going to win the Tour de France) and with a heart rate of about 125 beats per minute. I noticed that for the same subjective feeling of effort, my output on the tricycle was “only” about 130 Watts, thus considerably lower! At the same time I noticed that my heart rate also was considerably lower, namely only about 110 beats per minute.

It immediately became clear to me what was going on there. The trike was so much more comfortable than a bike that I was unconsciously trying less hard. The reason that one initially goes slower on a trike as compared to a bike is thus not a result of adaptation of the muscles, but instead your own psychology: a sort of “lazy factor”! You feel so incredibly comfortable on a trike that unconsciously your output is lower. I have repeated that same test later again and it shows now that there are no differences anymore. I have gradually adapted my output in Watts (and thus also heart rate) to the new comfort level and they are now (on a rainy day) also on the trike 150 Watts and about 125 beats per minute. Does anyone have similar experiences or want to comment in any way?

William Cortvriendt 04From a T shaped PVC tube I made a connection on the left mirror for attaching my smart phone.

William Cortvriendt 05The Scorpion comes with only one predrilled attachment as shown on the picture for the left bottle cage. Usually I hate to put accessories with clamps on a frame, but I have to say that the Topeak Cage Mount functions very well. I have now a standard second bottle cage on the derailleur post and if needed, I can attach two more cages on the frame of my seat. I use 750 ml Camelbak Big Chill bottles. These bottles do have insulation and keep the water sufficiently cool. In the heat of the Spanish summer I fill up my bottles with ice, which provides ice cold water for many hours.

Now about one year later and some 2,000 miles farther down the road I have turned into a fully convinced triker. In just a few words, I love the combination of absolute comfort, the sensation of higher speed and the relative horizontal position, which makes it so much easier to enjoy the surrounding nature than on a bike. I also notice that the objective speed of my trike on a horizontal road is quite similar to that of my previous bike but climbing is quite a bit slower. Of course there is the weight of the trike versus the bike (an increase of about 15 pounds).

But in addition, while biking uphill, one has the advantage to be able to use other parts of the body as well (such as adding force to your legs by pulling at your handlebar with your hands). Also one can use gravity to their advantage by standing up on the pedals which is not possible on a trike. But the trike compensates for that because going downhill is faster, especially when it is a curvy road. And above all, going downhill on a trike is not just fun, it is exhilarating!

William Cortvriendt 06Anticipating a curve on the trike during a rapid descend from a mountain. I am told by people that while triking I always have a smile on my face…….

In the beginning I was quite worried about my safety from cars on the trike. I ride my tricycle mostly in Spain which does not have the luxurious biking paths like Holland and where driving discipline is not nearly as developed as in the United States. I always carefully plan my routes for triking in order to avoid the car traffic as much as possible. Fortunately, with the tricycle everything seems to be much safer than on a bike. First of all I installed a rear LED light, the Niterider Solas, which I would recommend everybody to do. I am now easily visible from hundreds of yards especially with the light in the flashing mode, even with the sun shining straight on it.

William Cortvriendt 07The flashing Niterider Solas LED light makes you so much more visible!

Apart from the visibility, my trike is surely one of the very few that exist in Spain and car drivers act like they have never seen such a thing. Their most probable thought is that I am handicapped and as a result they drive slowly, carefully and with a wide arch around me often opening the window and shouting “Bravo”, “Vamos”, “Chulo” (cool) or something similar. On occasion passengers in the cars even take out their smart phones to film me. “Yes, I am from Mars and I’m loving it!”

William Cortvriendt 08The cockpit view of my Trike. While triking I could even trade stocks on Wall Street with my smart phone, if I would desire to do so….

I conclusion, of all the bikes I owned in my life, buying the Sorpion fs 26 certainly has been the most exciting and unconventional purchase. I actually enjoy riding the trike so much over a bike that I have not touched any of my bikes (racing or mountain) for months, and I even gave my trike a name: Funderbird One. Just in case there might be a second one sometime in the future.

And my planned trip from coast to coast? It is in preparation and yes there is always something in the way. At this moment there is a luxury problem which is my recently written a book “Living a Century or More” about what has been scientifically proven to be healthy or instead unhealthy and how one can realistically live to be a 100 while remaining healthy. In the mean time the book has received a lot of positive attention and as a result publishers in various countries have been approaching me for translations in other languages. In addition various health care and consumers organizations have invited me for presentations. But no excuses! Summer 2015 is the time for my coast to coast trip with my wife who will accompany me with an RV so that there is no need to load my trike with luggage.

The route will probably be from San Francisco to Washington DC. However, after I noticed on this site Steve’s beautiful pictures of Oregon, I might reschedule and start form Florence instead. In case anyone has suggestions for any specific part of the route, please do not hesitate to contact me at:

williamcor@telefonica.net

And by the way, for my coast to coast trip I need to ship my Scorpion fs 26. Despite that it is foldable, transatlantic transportation seems to be a nightmare with all the current restrictions enforced by the airlines for luggage. Does anyone have an innovative solution?

William Cortvriendt bookClick the image to read more about William’s new book!

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DO TRIKERS LIVE BETTER AND LONGER?
By William Cortvriendt

I assume that we all trike because we like it. But I am sure that many of us also think that exercising in one form or another keeps us fit, prevents us from becoming fat or will contribute to our life expectancy. But what are the real facts and is it really true or are we just pursuing a sweet dream?

William Cortvriendt lady cakeProbably all doctors will tell you that exercise is healthy, but the facts are that very few physicians know the facts either. My own frustration as a physician is that we are trained to act like plumbers, who only start acting when there is a leak to repair. Our health care system has been designed as a “sick care” system, to care for the sick and let the (still) healthy ones figure it out for themselves. From every dollar that Americans (or Europeans for that matter) earn, 18 cents goes to sick care and less than 0.4 cents to the prevention of diseases. A heart surgeon doing bypasses is financially well off and enjoys a high social status. Yet another doctor who advises on the right lifestyle that will prevent heart disease to occur in the first place will soon find out that insurance companies offer no declaration possibilities to doctors for “advice”.

But let’s get back to our own world. Does all our triking contribute positively to our health and life expectancy or not?

William Cortvriendt yellow trikeThere is a booming transportation trend in Holland where muscle and battery power are combined into innovative bikes and trikes

The next so called MRI pictures show two cross sections from the thighs of two different men who are both in their early seventies but with similar body weights. The pictures to the left and right are in the same scale. The picture on the left is from a person living a sedentary life with little or no physical activity where the picture on the right is from a very active person who swims, runs and bikes. On the outside both thighs would look the same but beneath the skin everything is different:

William Cortvirendt muscle cross sectionOn the left most of the thigh consist of fat tissue with only small amounts of muscle and in the centre a tiny and thin bone. Compare that to the other thigh where there is hardly any fatty tissue but abundant muscle with a large and thick bone. It is not difficult to imagine that after a light fall the sedentary man probably will end up in hospital with a broken femur while the active person instead probably only would be bruised and will continue with life as usual.

But how much do you need to exercise in order to profit from it? Of course the more we exercise, the better our muscles and bones will become, but research has shown that the largest increases in bone mass already occurs when we change from being sedentary to being modestly physically active. And the benefits do not stop with just healthier muscles and bones. There appears to be a long list of proven benefits by exercise such as reduction of blood pressure, reduction of risks for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, reduction of arthritis, less depression, less anxiety, better quality of sleep and reduction of our risks for diabetes type 2 and also for cancer.

William Cortvriendt trike on rollersTriking on a rainy day. Probably also healthy, but not exactly the real thing…..

Let’s look into just two of these proven benefits a bit more in detail. In 1992 a study was published that had been organized with more than 21.000 healthy physicians themselves as participants. They were followed up for 5 years and it was recorded during the entire duration of the study how much exercise they did and how many of them developed diabetes type 2. It appeared that the more the physicians exercised, the less the risk was for diabetes. Those who did not exercise at all had nearly a two times higher change to develop diabetes compared to those who exercised at least on five occasions per week. Another study showed that being physically active is nearly twice as effective for the prevention of diabetes as the widely prescribed drug called metformin and that those who already have diabetes and exercise reduce their chances for premature death by more than 50%.

Also striking are the benefits of exercise for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Whatever your weight might be (or perhaps better your body mass index, that also takes your height into consideration) you will profit hugely from exercise. As the graph shows, whatever your weight is, exercise will decrease the risk for deadly heart attacks significantly no matter how skinny or how obese you are.

William Cortvriendt activity chart

But the differences become even more striking when both body mass index and exercise are taken into consideration. Those who combine a normal bodyweight with at least 3.5 hours of exercise per week have a five times smaller chance to die from a heart attack than those who are obese and do not exercise.

The two guys in the next picture are going in opposite directions, in all possible aspects…… Indeed, their chances to die from a fatal heart attack differ by a whopping factor of five. Guess who’s going where?

William Cortvriendt rider profilesThere are no doubts. There is now an abundance of scientific evidence published in the best medical journals that being physically active makes you live better, makes you physically and mentally healthier and makes you live longer.

But whatever your activity may be, doing it for just a few months or so won’t help you much. The activity needs to be maintained and preferably for the rest of your life, so make sure to choose an activity that you really like. Triking is such an activity that I cannot imagine that one could not like.

I am convinced: trikers live better, are healthier and will live longer!

For those trikers who are interested in knowing more about how lifestyle can improve your health and longevity based on published evidence can read my book Living a Century or More, email me for personal questions (william@factualhealth.com) or comment through this website.

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A day in the life of a triker

by William Cortvriendt

As I have written before on this site, I am originally from Holland where the absence of mountains and hills and the abundant availability of dedicated biking paths make biking and triking easy and relatively safe. However I love climbing mountains with my trike and prefer warm and sunny weather over the rainy Dutch climate. While the sunny and dry Spanish climate may be widely known, not many people realize that Spain is actually the second most mountainous country in Europe, after Switzerland. Therefore I love to trike in Spain!

Spain has a rich cultural inheritance, not only from the time when the Spanish conquistadores conquered the Americas, but even long before that. The Moors from Africa occupied large parts of Spain since the beginning of the 8th century, until they were finally driven out of Andalucía in the South of Spain as late as the end of the 15th century. The traces from that time are still abundantly present in the form of beautiful architecture such as the mosques and palaces in Cordoba and Seville, the Alhambra in Granada and many details that are still visible in villages all over Andalucía.

Alhambra. Vista general desde el Albaicín.The Alhambra in Granada. Notice the snow covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the backdrop. In the wintertime one can on the very same day enjoy skiing and the sunny Mediterranean beaches that are separated by a distance of only 100 miles.

After bringing back large quantities of robbed gold and silver from the Americas, the Spanish got lazy and tried to impose their strict interpretation of the Roman Catholic religion upon England and The Netherlands and eventually lost the subsequent wars that left Spain nearly bankrupt. In addition Spain gradually lost out to Northern Europe where the French enlightenment and the English industrial revolution rapidly increased the productivity and wealth of nations. In addition Spain was ravaged by a devastating civil war (1937-1939) and was kept away from the post World War II economic miracle as a result of the Franco dictatorship that only ended as late as 1975.

This situation changed very rapidly over the last 40 years after Spain became a modern democracy, became a member of the European Union and in many ways caught up rapidly with the modern Western world. For example Spain had the second fastest penetration of cell phones in the world (of course behind Finland, the home country of Nokia), the new highway infrastructure is probably the best in the world and arguably even better than the famous German autobahn. In addition the high speed railway system makes the US railways look like something from the history books and anyone who recently has been in the Madrid or Barcelona airports has observed what US airports may look like 20 years from now. Checks are no longer in the mail in Spain, instead instant payments are never farther away that a touch on the display of one’s cell phone. However, the rapid growth of the Spanish economy also resulted in an abundant growth in credit and bank loans and as a result the country has been hit very hard by the 2008/2009 banking and credit crisis. Fortunately the country is gradually showing signs of recovery especially fueled by a strong growth in tourism from Northern Europe.

My triking trips in Spain always start by developing and evaluating my routes on www.ridewithgps.com. The reason is that many secondary roads in Spain have inclinations that may exceed 15%. Unlike mountainous roads in France and Switzerland that are designed not to exceed 8-10%, the older and smaller Spanish roads often go straight up a mountain no matter how steep it is. I love climbing (and descending!) mountains, but there are limitations…..

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 10An example of a steep Spanish road.

William Cortvriendt Trike Story 11 William Cortvriendt Trike Story 12Planning my trip on www.ridewithgps.com not only shows me the distance, but also the elevation profile including the percentage of inclination at every point.

Some of the trips are just too distant from my home for a day trip or are difficult to reach by trike. This is one of the reasons that I have chosen the Scorpion fs 28 since folding and unfolding takes less than 30 seconds, where after the trike fits easily inside the trunk of my car. The various pictures give an impression of a typical day trip, this time in the vicinity of an Andalusian village named Grazalema, not far from the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 09Starting on the Mediterranean coast

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 08View of Grazalema

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 07Every Andalusian village has a town square, as far as I am concerned specifically designed for trikers to enjoy tapas and a cold drink

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 06Cruising one of the many narrow streets of Grazalema, that were never designed in anticipation of something like a car. Notice how wearing the color yellow increases visibility and thus safety!)

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 05Yes, Andalucia is mountainous . . .

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 04Precious water in Andalucia is preserved by the construction of many dams. The resulting lakes add to the beauty of the landscape

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 03How can you not smile while triking under the sun in such beautiful natural surroundings?

William Cortvriendt Triker Story 02Home again. Heaven does not need to wait, it is already here . . .

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NOTE from Trike Hobo: Okay, I don’t like hemming my way in on another triker’s page, but I just wanted to say that William caught my attention with his recently published book. I personally know of no other trike pilot who approaches my passionate level of study, or implementation of, meaningful life extension strategies when it comes to maximum functional longevity (MFL). This book looks like it will be an incredible read for me (yeah, this stuff is like gold in my head). Looks like I’ve found a kindred spirit who is truly ready for the long haul, another guy like myself who most assuredly does not buy into what I call the Age Crutch mentality. I’ll report back to interested trikers once I read this. See ya’ …

william cortvriendt bookYours truly, with the good Doctor’s new book, is eager to read every last word.

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REVIEW OF LIVING A CENTURY OR MORE

by steve greene, publisher of Trike Asylum

As perhaps most of you realize by now, I am what the majority of folks would consider an extreme health nut, that peculiar type of person who seems to place personal fitness, health, and longevity at the uppermost tier of existence. Rarely have I ever met another human being who views my philosophical passion for overall well being as rational for ordinary life amongst our cultural ways. Indeed, I am a deviant soul who hears the music of a vastly different drummer – deviant in that my penchant for pursuing maximum functional longevity is clearly not normal when measured against the American Way, in a country where excesses are the expected goal, pharmaceutical companies are the treasured providers of easy health maintenance, and physical neglect is masked as an age related phenomenon.

I may be viewed as a longevity warrior perhaps, one who respects life to such a degree that my path is largely determined by that which actually extends functional life, rather than by those things coveted by the masses that shorten and destroy the very power of life that grants us our short adventures on Earth. I attempt always to be one who heals life, not one who wounds it. In pursuit of maximum functional longevity, which is living long in a fully functional manner, rather than spending the final 15 years of my life in unpleasant decline and assisted living facilities, I have read many books and assessed many studies during my adult life that suggest strategies intended to keep my direction true. From books that detail the nuts and bolts of the human body and what keeps it working flawlessly, to books that review commonalities among centenarians, I soak up knowledge to remain vital and strong.

Currently in my sixty-fourth year of sentient beingness on this planet, I recently completed reading yet another book worthy of anyone’s time if passing the 100 year mark is honestly something that is not seen as a ludicrous pipe dream. I am what most would call an “old” man, but I pedal a tricycle, a vehicle that replaced petroleum powered automobiles for me in 2008. Quite a following of adult tricycle riders has grown up around my writings during the past several years, and astonishingly, out of these ranks came a Dutch fellow, from the realm of windmills, now residing in Spain, who seemed to share my passion for maximum functional longevity. I know many trike riders around the world, but this particular man, a one William Cortvriendt, happens to have recently written and published an exceptionally relevant manuscript geared to help the reader sail past the century sign with smiles on the face, and a ‘full speed ahead’ attitude. This book has an attitude – an attitude worth assuming yourself!

In America, and other first-world countries, this attitude is sorely lacking, as evidenced daily all around us in the form of obese, sickly, and unhappy people, some of whom are still, unbelievably, addicted to inhaling deadly chemicals voluntarily. There is no time to worry about living long and finishing strong in an accepted and expected work ethic that is spiraling upwards out of control, one that speedily moves most of us mindlessly to our graves. Be number one. Earn the most money. Have the most toys. Take better care of your car than your body. Accept the common delusion that age brings us down at 78 years regardless of what we do, so why even bother? Yes, this is America, land of the short-timers.

William Cortvriendt, a medical doctor with extensive experience in medical based research, has been a medical director of two pharmaceutical companies, a vice president of a medical device company, and a medical consultant for a prestigious firm serving governments. From this abundant background comes his new book, LIVING A CENTURY OR MORE. It is a scientifically fact-based journey for those who value the vital life power within them, and wish to maximize its functionality and duration. If you have not yet delved into the world of maximum functional longevity, this book will be a suitable launching pad for you to understand what to do and what to avoid if you wish to keep your body healthy and fit. And if you are already a seasoned longevity warrior, as I am, this book is yet another weapon in your arsenal to keep the rampant gremlins of death away from your doorstep.

Doctor Cortvriendt’s meticulously crafted book looks specifically at the findings of legitimate science to discover the realities and mythologies of living a long and vibrant life. Is everything we hear in the lay person’s media accurate? If not, where does accuracy lie? This book separates fact from fiction in a manner that will put you firmly on top of the latest longevity research, citing studies as current as 2013. Within these pages you’ll find your ticket to the fast track of real answers, bypassing all the hype and promises shared by those who are ignorant of studies following hundreds of thousands of people for decades, where fact-based results draw your map along life’s overland highway.

With his experience in the medical profession, Doctor Cortvriendt intellectually assesses the accepted science, and carefully leads you through the maze of confusion that is strewn across the realm of financially vested companies and media outlets more interested in creating the night’s dramatic headline than whether the facts are solid. Money, unfortunately, drives the world, and with this opportunity to acquire knowledge and wisdom from an accomplished academic who is also passionate about health, your path can avoid those wishing to persuade you for their own corporate interests.

This book costs money of course, and one might simply dismiss it as one man’s attempt to up his own financial income, but as one who is also an author, I can attest that writing books is a labor of love and passion, for rarely does an author realize notable wealth through the endeavor. Further, as a student of maximum functional longevity for most of my adult life, I am adept at spotting a book that offers little in the way of results. This book is well worth the modest investment, whether as a paperback or electronic book, and will serve you very well if the knowledge is taken seriously. It has found a prominent place in my personal library, and will not be left to the dustbin of mediocrity.

Doctor Cortvriendt provides you the secrets of a long and healthy life, and happily, these gems are well within the reach of nearly every reader. Genes play a part in our lifespans, but even negative genetic markers can be significantly diminished and overcome. It is not hopeless if we have a known family history of some type of disease or disorder. Does his advice require a commitment on your part? Sure, as does anything worthy of respect in life, for there is no free lunch. Lifestyle changes are going to be in order, but if you are one of those with eyes finally opening for whatever reason, this book will help to open them fully. In the twenty-nine chapters, William assesses the evidence, and then, based on what he reveals, provides advice on how might be best to proceed. This is your century map – follow it!

LEARN MORE DETAILS HERE.

 William Cortvriendt bookThe book that will make a difference!

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40 Responses to Triker William (HPV Scorpion)

  1. daytriker says:

    Hello William & congratulations on your new Scorpion. Had you considered any of the Dutch Trikes like Challenge, Sinner or FFD Trikes from Bram Smitt? With such a HPV following in The Netherlands such trikes are a work of art in their own right & a rarity for us in North America. On your trip be sure to visit Portland, Oregon one of the best cycling cities in The U.S. & part of your route Eastward from Florence.

  2. intrepidjane says:

    What a fabulous name for a trike :)

  3. William says:

    Thanks. Guess what name my next trike will have……

  4. William says:

    In Holland recumbent bikes or trikes (both referred to a “ligfietsen”) are relatively common and there are also various (local but nevertheless reputable) brands available as you mentioned. However I had to make a selection to test and did so on basis of tests and other information available on the web (including this great site). So far I am very pleased with my choice.
    I am a frequent USA visitor, I have studied in the Minneapolis and DC and my wife is from Little Rock AR. I have visited nearly all states in the US except for the very NW (indeed Oregon and Washington state) and the very NE states. You could say I saved the best for last……..

  5. Trike Hobo says:

    Okay William, since you are saving the best for last, take a holiday this summer to attend the 2014 Recumbent Retreat at Fort Stevens State Park, which is located as far north and west as one can travel in Oregon, on the Columbia River, where it enters the Pacific Ocean. Here is the link so you can begin your trip planning phase immediately – all the TA readers will love to visit with you. Give it some thought, but don’t wait too long because the retreat fills up quickly from what I hear.
    http://recumbentretreat.org/

  6. daytriker says:

    2nd. That! Best Name I have heard!

  7. William says:

    Tempting! However I will be in Holland around that time. Reason being: my parents are having their 70th wedding anniversary. Both in their mid nineties, taking walks every day, living in their own detached home and maintaining it themselves including their own large garden. One hell of an example. As is true for us all: use it or loose it, so keep triking!

  8. intrepidjane says:

    I assume there is plenty of room for the Tracy Island metaphor to be worked :P

  9. Trike Hobo says:

    Awesome folks! You’ll have at least two more decades to enjoy their company.

  10. Cal Hainzinger says:

    William, Congratulations on your HPV Scorpion FS26. I researched all winter various trikes. I live in Chicago, Illinois. I couldn’t test ride until late March and chose the ICE Sprint FS, Catrike Road, ICE Adventure, and HPV Scorpion FS26. I came to the same conclusion as you. The Scorpion blew away the competition so mine is coming in another week. I’ve only spent about 3 1/2 hours on trikes so far and hope to ride it for many years to come. I’m retiring next month.

    Cal

  11. russo says:

    HR vs Power
    I ride an ICE trike and have found that for a given power output (watts) that my heart rate is lower riding the trike than it is riding an upright bike. I think it has something to do with the heart having better filling when you are lying down and therefore a larger stroke volume for each beat, hence a lower heart rate for the same output. I did a little check with a power meter riding a recumbent two wheeled bike, Tour Easy, (not as reclined as the trike) and found about 10 bpm lower on the recumbent at 150 watts. I don’t have access to a power meter that fits the 20″ wheel on my trike but I’m thinking that in the lower position on the trike my heart rate would be even lower. It’s a little difficult holding a steady power out put riding on the road but maybe you could do this test on your indoor trainer where you don’t have all the elements to deal with, and get a more accurate reading. I would be interested in your findings.

  12. William says:

    Tell us about your trike experiences some time! Staying physically (and mentally) active are two of the most important prerequisites for a long and healthy life after retirement.Triking can be done until a very high age without increased chances for hip fractures from falling like biking. I wish you loads of fun with your FS 26! (BTW, has the snow finally melted?)

  13. William says:

    That is a very interesting observation! I have done many measurements on my home trainer where I recorded both the output in Watts as well as hear rate, but I have actually never specifically looked whether my heart rate depended on how vertical my position was. Your remark could open a whole discussion. Indeed your heart would fill better/easier in a horizontal position since the blood from your feet and legs does not have to overcome gravity by means of the combination of our skeletal muscles that have to pump the blood upwards in our veins in combination with a slight negative pressure in the right atrium of the heart. So theoretically I would confirm that pedaling in a more horizontal position would have a hemodynamic (difficult word for the fluid dynamics of our blood) advantage and would thus save energy.
    It is difficult to test however since one would need various test persons who are all equally used to biking in a vertical position as well as in a recumbent position.

  14. Cal Hainzinger says:

    My “roll model” is an 83 year old retired history teacher who went from running 6K every morning before work to biking 35 miles a day in retirement on a 1974 Schwinn (no speed) Breeze. He’s sharp as a tack, reads a new book about every three days, and remains physically fit. You’d think he was much younger. He shuns the TV except for two programs, opting for the engagement of the road, which is great advice. That’s why I just moved from cable TV to antenna TV (just for the news and two shows).

    Anyway, I’m patterning some of my habits after him, but with a trike! So, God willing, I’ll be down the road with fellow trikers at mid-century. Awesome thought, but I have to do my due diligence and be smart about everything–the exercises when off the trike, nutrition, sleep, and controlling sun exposure as best I can. No wonder I’m intrigued by your book.

  15. westonfront says:

    William – I would like to provide some evidence to support the claim that different muscle groups ARE used when riding recumbent, something you suggest is not the case. I cycle to / from work each day and enjoy a longer ride around once a week. 18 months ago I changed from a std upright tourer to a Scorpion 20fs (I agree wholeheartedly with your choice for touring if you want three wheels and not two). I found it harder to attain the same speed initially, but over the first 2-3 months found I could go faster with the same effort. This could be physiological as you suggest, but I have firm evidence in the change in the shape of my legs. Since my doctorate is chemical is not medical you will have to cope with my laymans terminology – the muscles inside my upper thigh have reduced in bulk considerably, but those on the front and back of my upper leg have increased in bulk and definition. This strongly suggest to me that I am using different muscles.

    Sadly whilst a trike is amazing fun and extremely comfortable, I still find the lower mechanical efficiency is not offset by reduced aerodynamic over a whole day if you have a significant number of ascents to do in a day. Roughly speaking, on the same route I have found

    Upright tourer (32 mm tyres) – ave. speed 13 mph
    Scorpion (Tryker tyres 38 mm) – ave speed 11 mph
    Metabike – two wheel recumbent (32 mm 700C tyres) – ave speed 15 mph

    So for my tours this year, I’ll be on the Metabike. [For my commute to / from work I will still use the trike though] This takes me to one of your other questions : How can you transport a trike on a plane? I went for a Metabike to resolve this issue as it can be packed into a std bike bag for transport. This year my/our tours will be UK based, but I am hoping my wife and I will tour the fjords of Norway in 2015 and will need to fly to the start.

    Happy triking

    Will

  16. William says:

    Thanks Will for your interesting observations. Your bio mechanical use/efficiency and performance of your various groups of muscles while biking or triking depends on the various angles of the various joints. In this case especially the hip and knee joint. These effective angles will depend on how upright you are sitting on your bike and/or how horizontal your seat is on your trike and the height of the bracket versus the seat of your trike. In my personal case I found the angles of my joints while I am biking quite close to my triking position. Could it be that in your case there is a difference between the two?

    I agree that a trike is overall slower than a bike in case there are ascents (and descents). Over a total ride your speed on the ascents will be the most important factor determining your average speed. Going uphill with 5 MPH and downhill with 35 MPH dos not mean your average speed is (35+5)/2 = 20 MPH, but much lower since the duration of going uphill is much longer! In my experience on a horizontal road the speed of the FS 26 is similar to an MTB with the same type of tires but my race bike is faster if I put my hands down in the handlebars in an optimal aero position. The FS 26 wins easily from all bikes while going downhill.

    Transporting a bike on a plane is not always easy. For a trike it is yet unresolved unless you want to pay crazy fees for transport as aircargo.

  17. russo says:

    I can attest from personal experience that riding a recumbent uses a different muscle group. I was in good bicycle shape having ridden my upright across the country but the first time I rode my new trike after just 20 miles when I stopped to take a rest I could hardly stand up. There was extreme fatigue in the inner side of my thighs. I think it was most likely the Sartorius muscle. I think it could have to do with holding the knees in the midline position so they don’t fall outward. This small amount of force over a long time certainly can cause muscle fatigue. This is something that you don’t have to do on an upright bike. Riding the recumbent just a few times strengthened the muscle and I don’t notice it anymore.

  18. William says:

    Hi Carl,
    With our body as well as with our brain the old English saying “use it or lose it” was scientifically way ahead of its time but nevertheless spot on. Just a quick example. France is the country where people retire earlier than anywhere else (often already at age 50) and also with higher incidences for dementia compared to other countries. They discovered that early retirement is highly related to becoming demented with an additional risk of more than 3% for every year one retires earlier.
    Other research found that staying mentally active can prevent dementia in 3 out of every 4 cases! (see also chapter 13 of “Living a Century or More”).
    Keep thinking and keep triking! (and please do me a favor and write a review of my book on Amazon).
    Thanks, William

  19. William says:

    The Sartorius muscle crosses diagonally from the inside of your knee to the hip on the front side of your upper leg. The ones that run on the inside of the leg/thigh are the Gracilis muscle & Semitendinous muscle directly situated under the skin and fat layer and deeper the Great Adductor muscle. I am pretty sure that the fatigue was coming from those muscles. However that’s just anatomical detail.
    It is very likely that different persons will have different experiences while triking for the first time (or change from a race bike to an MTB or vice versa). When your position changes from one bike/trike to another you run the chance discovering muscles that you weren’t using before. I was in my story just referring to my own experience where my particular bio mechanical position between bike and trike could not give an explanation for the lower output in Watts that I measured, until I found out that I was actually(subconsciously) trying less hard, most likely because the trike felt so much more comfortable than a bike. I never did experience a fatigue on the inside of my thighs like you did.

  20. jon daniel says:

    hi william congratulations on exercising on a trike fullstop. great attitude . not only will you live longer but your quality of life is improved too. nothing better than being fit having a waist size the same as when you were sixteen. love reading ride reports. they are so inspiring. we all understand the true beauty of “being free on three.” thank goodness for steve a remarkable person and a triking magnet.

    i use a powertap meter on my diamond frame audax bike and my trikes. i have found that power is generally down on the trike. typically around 25 watts or so. and my heart rate overall is generally lower.i put this down to the pedal position. and yes i tend to be more relaxed on the trike. if i maintain my usual outputs from the road bike around 230 watts at 140 bpm i subjectively feel that it is harder on the trikes….. but am able to maintain the workrate for the same time frame. giant defy slo 6.9 kg catrike 700 14 kg greenspeed gto 17 kg plus. the heavier the bike/ trike the slower i ride up hill and accelerate. i go faster down hill thanks to the weight but am slightly slower on the flats even with the slight aero advantage of the 700.

    my upper body contributes nothing on the trikes compared to the DF. thus my legs do all the work on the trike and it feels subjectively and is harder on my legs. most of my climbing is seated on the DF only rising out of the saddle over 7% grades occasionally as i spin uphills.yet i feel my heart does not have to work so hard as i am laying down on the job with the trikes. :)

    i like most people who use a power meter find the metric extremely useful for accurately guaging effort over distance. knowledge is power ha ha. subjective feeling can be surprisingly inaccurate and heart rate can be false too. eg dehydration etc etc. but a power meter gives you the number no matter what the conditions speed etc. so i know that if i want to cover 1200klm in 85 hours elapsed time i need to sit on 160-180 watts average wherever to have my body complete the challenge.

    when i feel sprightly at the start of a long distance event i can typically look down and see 280watts as i follow the other over eager riders on the front. oops time to reign it in. other times i can look down and see 140 watts as i have drifted off into my world at hour 17….oops time to step it up a bit. thankyou power meter. on my garmin i have showing just heart rate and power. speed and distance and time are referenced only occasionally.

    in this way i protect my body from over exertion and dehydration. i also remain on time/plan with protection from under exertion too.

    all this is completely understandable and going slower on a trike is a good thing as you get to enjoy the massive massive advantages of triking for longer. i mean who cares right. when you are on a trike you are on a good thing.

    in the end all triking should be about is having fun fun fun fullstop fun fun fun.

    last year i rode 18000 klm. looking at the same this year. but most of it on a trike. yippeeeee.

  21. zed says:

    Hi William,
    could you please post the color of your nice scorpion (is it the fs 26 standard grey – RAL7021?).
    Hartelijk dank!

  22. william cortvriendt says:

    Hi Zed,
    Sorry for not replying earlier but I was on a boat crossing the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of weeks without access to the internet. The standard colors of The Scorpion fs 26 are either the combination of the dark grey (I assume it is RAL 7021) with white or instead totally dark grey. My bike is completely (standard) dark grey which I personally think looks very pretty.
    Take care, William

  23. Cal Hainzinger says:

    Hi William,
    I’ve been riding 1300 miles since May 1st when I first received my HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS 26. I went on some rides with some killer hills. That is, I was straining my knees to get up the hills, which when I was younger I would not worry about. Since I’m older now, I’m trying not to damage any connective tissue. I have the standard Shimano 30/42/52 chain rings. Have you modified these on your Scorpion so that you can go up hills or mountains? I’m trying to figure out a way to have lower gears than available on the standard setup so I have no worries. I don’t mind going 2 miles per hour, if needed, just so I don’t have to strain. I’m in this for the long run, I hope. If you have modified your Scorpion chain rings, can you or anyone else give me specific details on how it was done?

    Thank you so much. I love my Scorpion. It’s comfortable, reliable, sturdy, and well-built. It’s slower than my road bike, of course, so I try to cut out as many extra weight as possible.

  24. william cortvriendt says:

    Hi Cal,

    Indeed, we should always be careful not to overload our knees while riding trikes in order to prevent irritation and later possible injuries to occur. However,it seems that you do not have sufficiently low gears available. I personally use a 3×9 Shimano XT set with 44-32-22 in front combined with an 11-34 cassette. This combination will provide the Scorpion fs 26 with a very wide range of gears for every circumstance and inclination.
    Further the weight of a trike or bike is important, especially for climbing mountains and for acceleration. The weight of the frame of the Scorpion fs 26 is basically a given (apart from the possibility of saving about 200 grams with a carbon front boom at an expensive price ticket of more than $1 per gram). I have tried to choose all other parts on the basis of their low weight such as the Shimano XT drive train with the lightest pedals (Shimano PD-A600), a light chain (KMC X9SL), a light rear suspension (DT Swiss XM 180) light rear hub (XT), rims and also fairly light tires (foldable Schwalbe Marathon Racer). In addition I removed the third Avid BB7 disc brake/handle and replaced the front brake handles with ProMax brake handles from Hostel Shoppe that offer a clever way to lock the front brakes. This last change alone saved me already 500 grams of weight. The weight of rims and tires count approximately double in terms of their (negative) influence on acceleration. I will explain that point in a future story on TA.

    Kind regards, William

  25. Cal Hainzinger says:

    Thank you, William. I didn’t even consider going lower than a 22 chain ring. I will study this more. Thanks for all the specifics about shaving excess weight.

    Happy trails to you.

    Cal Hainzinger
    HP Scorpion FS 26

  26. Cavi says:

    Hello there!M. I’m encouraged by your story. I purchased an HP Velo fs20 about 4 months ago. I was going crazy great for about a month and then numb feet began to slow me down. Eventually, this lead to knees hurting on and off the trike. I’m looking for any suggestions as I LOVE my trike and due to a neck injury, it’s all I have physically.
    Any help on numb feet?
    Position of peddling, boom length?
    “Knee savers”??
    Any help, tips, your experience,… Would be most appreciated.
    Thank you, cavi

  27. Alonzo L Savage (Trike rebel) says:

    Hello William, I like your plan of letting your wife drive your accommodation, what a great idea.
    I’ve recently reduced my camping kit weight by buying a one person tent, a 70mm thick lightweight sleeping mat and a 4 season down filled sleeping bag. Let’s face it you need a four season bag here in England, even in summer. But now the weather has finally turned autumnal with temperatures down to 2 degrees overnight so I’m reluctant to try my new kit out. Maybe I need to look closely at my car to see if it can convert to a bedroom for two.
    I very much enjoyed reading you story of life on a trike. Yellow is great for visibility but how about adding a flag?
    P.S. I’ve just ordered your book so if I do venture out with my camping gear before spring I’ll have something to read in my tent as the night gets dark.

  28. Trike Hobo says:

    Howdy Cavi,

    This is steve, not William, but I have some suggestions to your questions about numb feet and painful knees. I have had a lot of past experience with numb feet (hot spots, or, more technically Nerve Compression Syndrome). Having written extenisvely on these topics on this website and in my books, I’ll simply refer you to those places for your answers until William comes on board and answers your questions directly.

    Read this page on Trike Asylum to begin:
    https://trikeasylum.wordpress.com/trike-touring/long-haul-happy-feet/

    It took me five years to truly understand all the dynamics involved in keeping my feet feeling well, and although I have not experienced any knee issuses, certain things learned about the feet will assist with the knees, such as not mashing hard on the pedals, and keeping your rolling weight as light as possible. Numb feet are not a necessary evil with trikers – yes, it takes time to figure out how to alleviate the issues, but it is totally possible, and that link will tell you how. Shoes and technique are the keys.

    Regarding the knees, one great idea is to pull back on the returning leg after each forward power stroke, which has the effect of reducing the stress placed on the knee that is pushing the other pedal. Push/Pull simultaneously to keep the knees happier. Also, make sure you are geared low enough for hills, and that you use your lowest gears for climbing inclines, as this removes pressure from the knees. Attempting to get up hills in higher gears may be doable, but it will do-in your knees eventually! Push/Pull on the hills especially.

    Boom length is definitely another factor. To determine the proper boom length, sit on the trike with your riding shoes on. Extend one leg forward to a fully locked position. The heel of that shoe should just touch the pedal. If it does, the boom is a proper length. If the pedal is too close, and it requires you to bend the leg to touch the heel of the shoe to the pedal, then lengthen the boom. If the pedal is too far away from your shoe’s heel, then shorten the boom accordingly. A boom that is too short will put more stress on knees than one adjusted properly.

    You may find more useful tips under the Trike Touring main menu item of this website. You’ll get it all solved with persistence. Don’t give up!

    steve

  29. william cortvriendt says:

    Hi Alonzo,

    I hope you will enjoy the book!
    As far as visibility goes, this is key for every triker. I do not carry a flag but have two flashing LED lights in the back ( NiteRider Solas) that do a great job. In addition I have changed my clothing to yellow and have ordered a Lezyne megadrive of 1400 Lumens to put in the front. Funny enough most helmets are shades of grey which do not contribute to visibility at all. I recently ordered a new helmet that was only available in grey or black, so I will spray paint it into yellow.

    Kind regards, William

  30. william cortvriendt says:

    Hi Cavi,

    Before I purchased my trike I read Steve’s book “the Overland Triker”, and in this book Steve hits the nail on the head again and again concerning the most diverse triking issues imaginable including several medical issues. All of these from practical experience. Also on knee and foot issues Steve gives invaluable and medically correct advice.

    A little medical background on the two problems that you experience concerning your knees and feet:
    Everyone above age 40 suffers from wear and tear of the cartilage in our joints, medically referred to as arthritis which regretfully eventually often turns into experiencing stiff and painful joints. This situation can be aggravated by certain stress on the joints, although exercise in general has shown to decrease arthritis and pain. In your case the knee pain is probably triggered by two factors which are an overly enthusiastic start of triking and a general mistake that is made on trikes which is pedaling into a too high gear. I would restart triking with a gradual increase in distance and in a (much) lower gear. In case it is needed, change your chain rings and/or cassette.
    In addition I would advice to do stretches before and after triking of your calve muscles, hamstrings and quadriceps muscles that will improve a smooth function of your knee. In addition some people (including me) benefit from taking omega-3 (fish oil) supplements in combination with glucosamine. Last but not least, the progress of arthritis can be accelerated by eating too much rapidly digestible carbohydrates, including sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup. It has also been shown that reversing a diet that is rich in processed foods into a more natural diet containing whole foods such as fresh fruits & vegetables, fish, nuts and a limited amount of whole grains can reverse existing arthritis and its possible symptoms.
    Numb feet, which are sometimes also referred to as hot feet, are the result of a compression of nerves in the sole of the forefoot. For some or another reason this phenomenon seems to be more prominent in trikers than in bikers which perhaps is the result of the relative higher position of the feet in trikers which could compromise the blood flow to the feet. The possible solutions lie in shoes that are wider and certainly not tight in the front, a shoe with a stiff sole (preferable carbon) that distributes the forces over a larger area, triking with a lower gear and as Steve correctly advices not just pushing on the (SPD) pedal but also pulling. In addition you can find on the web many inlays that protect parts of the forefoot against pressure. I do not have experience or data whether these really work.

    Success!
    William

  31. zed says:

    Hi William,

    did you know the actual total weight of your Scorpion FS 26 with the low weight parts?

    I’m still undecided if i should buy a serially light unsuspended Ice VTX or the “heavy” suspended FS26…

    Thanks Zed

  32. william cortvriendt says:

    Hi Zed,
    The question concerning the choice between the ICE VTX and the HPV Scorpion FS 26 really only can be answered once you have defined what your intentions are. Both trikes are top of the line machines from the most reputable manufacturers using top mechanical parts from third parties like Shimano and SRAM. However they are quite different concerning their characteristics. Without any doubt the VTX is the faster trike as a result of its lower weight (14 kg vs 18 kg), its better aerodynamics (lower angle of the seat), less friction of the drive train (virtually no tube around the chain) and the lower rolling resistance as a result of the standard lighter and smaller tires (usually Schwalbe Durano versus Schwalbe Marathon Racer).
    However, the FS 26 is also a very fast trike, is foldable and arguably the most comfortable trike available today. In addition the steering and handling of the FS 26 are special in a way that I only have previously experienced while driving a BMW. It goes through corners like a razor and while going downhill at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour, I can even take both my hands off the trike and it will stay perfectly stable and on course. Perhaps these special steering and handle characteristics result from the independent suspension on all three wheels that keeps them in contact with the road in virtually all circumstances.
    In conclusion, in case you are looking to go as fast as possible on relatively short rides preferably on smooth asphalt, I would go for the VTX. In case your desire is to take your trike for longer rides (say more than 30-40 miles) and especially if parts of the road are not going to be perfect, I would advise you to choose the FS 26 instead.
    I have brought the weight of my FS 26 down to about 17 kg (excluding accessories like LED light, Garmin GPS, water bottles etc) by upgrading to Shimano XT parts and lighter pedals (SPD A600), rims and tires (foldable Schwalbe Kojak). It is possible to shave off more weight, however then it gets expensive: count on at least of 1 USD per additional gram!
    Kind regards, William

  33. Zed says:

    Hi William,

    thanks for your quick response and accurate symmary of the main characteristics of these fine trikes. In the end it’s a decision between “faster” (VTX) or “comfortable” (FS26)…

    My main task/intention using a trike would be to travel everyday to work (18 miles one way mainly on flat, smooth biking path asphalt). For me it’s a hard decision between sanity (FS26) and gut feeling (VTX)…

    Best Regards
    Zed

  34. william cortvriendt says:

    I can imagine your struggle between ratio (probably the comfort of the FS 26) and temptation (the looks of the VTX). Personally I find the VTX is the sexiest looking trike around and visually very hard to resist (but I did, since my FS 26 is in principle meant for a coast to coast ride in the USA). Clearly the cost for both the VTX and the FS 26 are significant and in case of doubt I would try to arrange a test ride with both of them, each for at least 20 miles.
    There are items that you can change on either trike such as making the FS 26 faster by mounting Schwalbe Durano’s 1.1 inch and making the VTX more comfortable by mounting Schwalbe Marathon’s 1.5 inch. However their born identities will always differentiate their riding characteristics.
    Let us know about your decision!
    William

  35. Trike Hobo says:

    Other than the Carbontrikes Race and Catrike 700, the ICE VTX stands in a class far removed from nearly every other trike available. The question rapidly evaporates once a trike pilot actually slides into the cockpit of a VTX and puts it through its paces as designed by its engineers. As with former offerings from ICE, back during its initial surge into legend, the VTX was created with one goal in mind, and it reaches that objective in a most mind boggling way. The VTX is a no-compromise high-performance speed machine, designed to provide its pilot the most adrenaline-pumping ride imaginable. Simple – precise – to the point! If you want to be the fastest pilot in the neighborhood, the VTX is your answer, or one of the other two trikes mentioned at the onset of this comment. These are radical goal-specific machines, and should only be acquired by those seeking what the engineers designed. The VTX makes no compromises, so unless you are prepared to accept a no-compromise speed machine, this would not be the best choice. The key to which trike to purchase rests on this premise.

  36. zed says:

    Thanks for your replies,

    perhaps there is another option coming soon:
    ICE Sprint 26″ RS / FS
    http://client.mail-away.co.uk/t/ViewEmail/r/3523822A43D1D0F92540EF23F30FEDED/3791B624F5756E70F990754F028F0E8F

  37. william cortvriendt says:

    This ICE sprint 26 RS/FS will most likely provide a very similar riding experience as the Scorpion FS 26 and given its full suspension probably a similar weight of 17 – 18 kg as well. Time will tell how it compares to the Scorpion. As Steve made clear, the ICE VTX is very different concerning its focus on speed/acceleration and thus not necessarily on comfort.

    I have seen that HP Velotechnik has entered two different markets with the Scorpion which are by making an off the road version and what they refer themselves to as an SUV trike by putting the seat on the FS 26 higher. Both are interesting versions but not my cup of tea. Personally I would not mind in case HP Velotechnik would make a race version of the Scorpion for example by using a much lighter carbon frame. The excellent handling characteristics of the Scorpion FS 26 allow for virtually any speed and are just crying out for a very light (but I hope still fully suspended) version. I want one!

    William

  38. Sandy Cooper says:

    I would like to direct this question to Dr William Cortvriendt. (and knowledgeable others)
    I am approaching my 84th birthday.
    I enjoyed reading your report.
    You reported that you installed the DT Swiss 212 rear shock. HP as an option previously sold the DT Swiss 180 rear shock. The DT Swiss 180 is no longer manufactured.

    I am having difficulty finding any information on the DT Swiss 212 shocks and how well they work in the HP Scorpion FS26.
    I presently own a Scorpion FS 20 with Rholoff and a DT Swiss 180 shock. The ride is plush.
    The Rholoff is magnificent.
    I am about to take delivery of a 2015 Scorpion FS 26 with the 500 watt Swiss Pedelec.

    What is your overall experience with the DT Swiss 212?
    Is there any loss of travel using the DT Swiss 212? What size did you order?
    Does it provide a plush ride?

    Other fellow HP Trike owners are welcome to join this conversation.

    I would like to suggest that HP Velotechnik owners have a blog to inform and educate others.
    I think that other HP trike owners are a valuable source of information.

    I was hoping that HP Velotechnik would create a mid drive electric rather than a rear hub drive.

    This would permit retaining the Rholoff gear in the rear hub. It would also permit the electric assist to take advantage of the Rholoff gearing.
    A mid drive electric assist using the Rholoff gear would be the ultimate electric assist trike.
    So far HP has refused to build one. ( I have asked)
    At my age the electric assist assures that I am reasonably assured of returning home.

    Best regards,
    Sandy Cooper
    4sandycooper@gmail.com

  39. william cortvriendt says:

    Hi Sandy,
    It is great to hear that you are triking at age 83 and are planning to keep doing so in the foreseeable future. I know Steve is planning to do so at least until age 100 and I would like to follow him in that objective.
    As far as the rear suspension of my HPV Scorpion fs 26, it is the DT Swiss 180 XM and I assume this is the same type as you have on your fs 20. Also I would describe the ride as plush.
    I noticed on the HPV website that their rear suspension upgrade indeed is no longer the DT Swiss 180 but a Rockshock instead. I have no experience with that type of rear suspension but I would assume that HPV selected a suspension with rather similar characteristics. Never change a winning team!

    Report us later on the fs 26 pedelec. I bet the ride will be spectacular!

    Kind regards, William

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