Friday, January 6, 2012

Catrike headset bearing swap PART 2

Today was the day of the Catrike bearing swap which means I replaced the plastic top bearing in both headsets with a Cane Creek cartridge bearing and compression ring.

I like it when the hidden parts are so colorful ! The green bearings are mountain bike spares that I added to the picture just to show how Cane Creek seems to love fun colors.

This is all I needed for the swap. One 5mm wrench, two 38mm compression rings, and two 38mm bearings.

This swap took about five minutes.....The handling difference isn't huge but it's noticeable. The steering is smooother now and i like it!

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I suspect 2012 is going to get it's rear end whipped by this beast.


                                              Looks good on a cloudy day

This has been a nice and mild year. Snow and really cold weather have stayed away but I'm sure they'll show up soon. We've had plenty of rain and cloudy, misty days and while I like the rain and drizzle (for some reason)  I don't just go out and play in it because I respect it's power to get me sick when it really tries. But when ya' really need to get out in that weather, it's usually fun. The hiss of the tires on a wet road while the fog does it's thing on the hills is kind of soothing. Something about taking on this kind of day makes me feel like a cyclist.....A lifetime, transportation and sport cyclist.....In blue jeans.

Catrike headset bearing swap...

Catrikes are built with two headsets to allow a strong and smooth pivot point for the front wheel assemblies and  this just seems like such a high quality and good looking setup.The headsets are readily available from most any bike shop and they'll almost never wear out when they're properly assembled and maintained.

Both of our Villagers use Cane Creek ZS22 headsets with one oddball piece. Catrike swaps out the top bearing for a plastic bearing which is probably some sort of nylon or delrin. They supposedly do the plastic bearing thing to slow down the steering to make the trike more stable.

It takes a lil' more guesswork to properly tighten a headset with plastic bearings compared to a normal set of caged or cartridge bearings like I've done thousands of times, soooooooooo, in comes some Cane Creek cartridge bearings and  I'm sure they must be more durable than a slick piece of plastic. It's nice that we can easily get these tiny parts with a few clicks of a mouse and minimal searching by going to . The conversion takes a pair of 38mm bearings and two 38mm compression rings. I haven't done the switch over yet but there will surely be joy in the land once I get around to it.

Once the switch is completed, we'll have a spare set of stock Catrike top bearings for Jetaime's trike so she should be set for years. There's no real notable reason for me to want to switch from the plastic top bearing to cartridge top bearings other than simply wanting to do it. I've not heard of any issues with the plastic bearing but I'm just a guy who likes what I like and the cartridge bearing is my preference. We'll see how handling and durability might be affected since we can observe these sibling trikes as the mileage accumulates.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks to veterans past and present....

The freedom to do all the small things like posting on this blog is due to our brave soldiers. We all still have a voice because of you heroes.......Thanks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

New wheels..

I love my Catrike and I love Mavic rims sooooooooooo, now they're together. I've been using Mavics for a lotto' years and they're on all my bikes. It's easy to find a nice Mavic rim in 26" and 700c sizes but not so much in the 20" size. Luckily, there is one on the front of my Tour Easy and I just bought a stockpile of them so the XY's are flowing like water around here.

I measured the ERD of the stock Catrike rims and the Mavic XY rims to see if they could be swapped out without buying new spokes.....As luck would have it, they match up very well.

The XY rim and the stock rim. The XY rim is twice the width of the stock rims and this spreads the tire out better and makes for an improved ride. Made in France with supa' high quality.....Oui. 

This is an easy way to do a straight rim swap. Bread ties keep the spokes in place. Another way is to tape the rims together and move the spokes over as you take them out of the old rim. 

Here's what the bread ties do. I use beeswax on the spoke threads when lacing them back up. 

Mmmmmmm, harmony.

Catrike family

I enjoyed building and test riding my wife's Catrike Villager so much that I started looking for one of my own. We bought her trike as leftover stock from a bike shop in Wisconsin. That shop had two of the old style Villagers but I just didn't like dealing with them. Luckily I keep an eye on E-Bay and found another "new old stock" Villager for $500.00 less than we paid for Jetaime's Catrike so I ordered it.

As strange as it may be, my Villager also came from Wisconsin.....That means that I couldn't find any of these anywhere else but I know there were three of them sitting in bike shops way up there in the dairy state so I did my best imitation of a socialist and redistributed some of that Catrike wealth to this time zone. Actually, capitalism redistributed the Catrikes because I paid for them with my hard earned money.

Jetaime and I went on a Catrike ride around town and it was a blast! There was a short steep hill that was so easy to climb simply because we could go as slow as we wanted. We experienced this because at the base of this hill is a cross street and the traffic separated us as I started up the hill so I simply slowed to a standstill to wait for her and it was very cool.

Catrikes, herbs, and marigolds

Sugino cranks, MKS pedals, Kleen Kanteen, and Suntour Barcons. 

Close view of the Suntour shifters.....They are completely serviceable and I have a box o' parts.