Thursday, March 11, 2010

Turtle gets her seat back

Some time ago you may remember the first photo which shows how the sear frame had cracked. Terratrike stepped up and sent me a replacement seat frame at no cost to me. However knowing I was heavy they wanted to send me a Chrome-moly seat instead of an aluminum one which is what came on the Tour. I did not even know they made a Chrome-moly frame. The seat frames look identical and expect for the weight one would think that they would be hard to tell apart. There are three major differences. One the weight, the aluminum frame weights 2 pounds the Chrome-moly weights 4.5 pounds both weights are without the mesh seat. This difference I understand. The second and third I do not understand. The Chrome-moly seat is just not as comfortable as the aluminum - I can not explain why it is just the way they feel. The third has to do with trike fit. With the aluminum frame I have it on the second front bolt hole and I can recline the seat enough(more would be better) to sit comfortably and have proper leg extension to the pedals. With the Chrome-moly frame I had to put the seat in the front bolt hole and just barely had enough leg extension also this meant that I could not recline the seat enough to be comfortable. I have looked very carefully at the two frames and even through they look the same they are not. Even through I was glad to get the replacement frame it just was not as good a ride as the aluminum frame so what to do. Well Terratrike sell the aluminum seat frame for about $285.00 seems like a lot but most likely is a fair price for a custom made(none production line) item. But even through I thought it would be just like my original seat frame there was on way to know for sure. So I set out to see if I could get the original frame repaired. It took me a while to find someone who did aluminum welding and was willing to do small one off jobs.
Toxic Customs. I found a little version of Orange County Chopper without all the Drama. Toxic Customs is a small custom motor cycle shop. I wondered how they would treat me and if they would take me serious. I look like I could be a biker but really do not ride motor bikes. They were great. I showed them what I had and what I needed and told them I wanted to add two little triangles of aluminum at a 90 degree angle to the seat tube. I am sorry the second photo is not real sharp but I believe you can see the repair and the triangle brace he welded in. I would like to recommend this modification to Terratrike since I have heard of several other seat frame failures like mine. Cost $70.00 and he had it done including paint(which I did not expect) in less than 24 hours. I good bit better than $285.00 and maybe even better. I have not ridden it yet but I have sat on it and it felt good. If the weather cooperates I will ride tonight.
I took this accessory T-Bar thing that came with the trikes tour kit and mounted it to the t-bar of the faring to allow for additional mount points for the GPS and Cycling computer. This will put them at a much easier viewing point. I will keep the mount points on the bar ends on the handle bars for when I am not using the fairing. I also added the mounts for my LED front light to the underside of the T section of the T-Bar for the fairing so I could attach the lights there hanging down. It looks like they will clear my leg and I can reach them easily to turn them on and off so if the light inside the fairing does not brother me I think this will work. I will keep the one on the bar-end for use when the fairing is not on the trike.

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