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Catrike rear wheel - seeking advice

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Catrike rear wheel - seeking advice

Old 05-23-21, 04:05 AM
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maleger
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Catrike rear wheel - seeking advice

Hi, newbie here from Canada. I very recently purchased my first recumbent, a 2021 Catrike 5.5.9 from MCW, a local dealer in Montreal. As I plan to use this to travel with my wife (got a Villager for her), I will be pulling a small bike trailer on the 5.5.9. So I decided to order a rear disk brake kit from Utah Trikes. I naively assumed that the kit was complete, but I now realize that I also require a new rear wheel with a disk brake mount on the hub. Ordering from Utah is an inconvenience at this point due to the additional cost of shipping and customs, but also because I figure that a wheel is somewhat vendor-agnostic and could be found locally at a reasonable price. The saving could also allow me to go for a 29in or 700 wheel at a reasonable cost (since I already have the rear wheel extension kit with the disk brake caliper mount). I'm considering using the (non-read brake) 26in wheel that I'm removing on my wife's Villager. Perhaps I should stay with a 26in as well to make it possible to share spare parts on an eventual longer expedition (a possible retirement plan for in 2-3 years).


My problem is figuring out what wheel to buy online and minimize the risk of having to return them. So, I figure some of you experienced members of the group may have some insights and wisdom that they would be willing to share?


So far, I figured out that the rear wheels are 12 x 142 true axle and must be compatible with a SRAM 11/36 10 Speed (PG1050, 12 spline) freehub cassette on the right side and a 160mm AVID G2CS (6-bolt) disk on the left side.
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Old 05-23-21, 08:08 AM
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VegasTriker
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Tadpole trikes generally don't come with brakes on the rear wheel with the exception when used as a parking brake. I've seen the subject discussed on Bentrideronline where the reason was given - potential loss of control, If you apply a brake to the rear wheel it can cause the trike to go into an uncontrolled skid with the rear of the trike pivoting to the side. It might seem like a good idea to have brakes on all three wheels but it is not. Maybe you can get it to work but I would be very wary of adding a rear brake to my CT700, especially using it on wet pavement. I've never had a problem not keeping the trike under control even on the steepest hills I encounter.


When you opened the section on rear brakes at the UT website you should have read the disclaimer at the top of the page

Most of the trike manufacturers have something against putting a rear brake on a tadpole trike. There is something to that though since during hard braking the rider weight gets shifted to the front of the trike and it's easy to lock up the rear. Nothing beats a rear brake for scrubbing speed off down a hill though. Many trikes already have the mounts for a brisken on the rear for "parking brake" purposes.
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Old 05-23-21, 08:39 AM
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maleger
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Yes, thank you. My big concern was relating to a trailer to carry our gear for touring (wife and I). As I started to look at the installation, it's becoming to look that there is more needed than just the kit. The more I explore this, there more it's looking like a bad idea. Thanks for this additional information. I think I might just start with the larger wheel for now.
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Old 05-23-21, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Nothing beats a rear brake for scrubbing speed off down a hill though. Many trikes already have the mounts for a brisken on the rear for "parking brake" purposes.
I've used the rear brake on my ICE Sprint as a drag-brake when descending steep downgrades on twisty, rough paths. I wouldn't think you really need one but this use gave me some tangible comfort.

I wouldn't think that a trailer (even a loaded one) would require a rear brake. The fronts should give you plenty of braking and the mounted trailer should somewhat counteract a tendency for the rear to lift if you overdo a panic stop.

Good luck on your touring endeavor.
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Old 05-23-21, 01:37 PM
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Please note - the quotation above uses the words of Utah Trikes, not mine.


If you are concerned that the AVID BB7 brakes that come as standard on Catrikes is not up to snuff you might consider replacing them with hydraulic disc brakes. The other two brake sets that I have had on trikes is Shimano M525 mechanical disc brakes and Hope C2 hydraulic disc brakes. I could lift the rear wheel using the Hope brakes in an instant. The other two were not anywhere near as effective but the Hope brakes are $$$. TRP which makes a combined hydraulic/mechanical system - cable actuated but hydraulic operated brake is often mentioned for people replacing BB7. It uses your existing brake lever and cable. Like a lot of components these days TRP brakes are often out of stock at most stores listed online. Whatever you buy, make sure the spacing between the mounting posts at the disc is correct,
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Old 06-06-21, 08:42 AM
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Thanks all for the advice. I will hold back on this for now and get more riding experience this summer with and without the trailer. No rush.
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Old 06-07-21, 06:47 AM
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With a tadpole, what you really, really don't want to do is start a skid with the rear wheel. If the rear loses traction, it can pass the front end and then you've got a real problem! With two front brakes spaced 30+ inches apart, you've got some leverage to prevent that from happening. So keep the weight on the tongue of the trailer and practice using both front brakes to keep the trike going straight.
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Old 06-08-21, 06:54 PM
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The wonderful thing about trikes, in this scenario, is that most of them have smaller front wheels (20" in your case), which gives the front discs more stopping leverage over a 700C wheel or a 26" wheel, which places the limitations of braking ability almost completely in the hands of traction at that point. The second wonderful thing about trikes is that you have more applicable braking power than a normal DF or recumbent bike due to the fact that the weight of the trike including your body shifts forward upon braking, giving you the ability to really apply more force over 2 wheels to your stop without breaking traction. 2 wheel bikes suffer more from weight transfer under steep grades and emergency stops because the transfer makes the rear wheel easier to skid, which then means you have only 1 front disc doing most of your braking work with a similar amount of weight. Even DF bikes can lift the back wheel under hard braking anyway, rendering the back brake useless. I understand the desire for a third brake, 3 is usually better than 2 on paper, but in practice you will never need that rear brake, especially when factoring in the expense. The other points about uncontrollable tail spins are 10000% valid... nothing wakes you up more than the faster-than-you-can-process event of your short wheelbase trike going around on you on a wet downhill curve and you either tip over and roll or end up back-rolling into oncoming traffic with no time to gain your bearings. The danger with tadpoles is that their design allows for a much higher threshold of controllable momentum, where you have to react harder and more vividly in a shorter amount of time in an emergency stop because you will likely have more speed and physics doesn't naturally warn your body of impending loss of control like a 2 wheeler does upon banking, and shifting weight into a turn. Mastering the feel of brake pressure application on specific sides during emergency situations to keep your rear from spinning and going into the air is ultimately your best tool
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