Nobo Komagata: Human-Powered Vehicles (Bike Mods/Trike)


Child Bike Trailer (2009-2013)

Simply attaching Chariot Cougar 1. After my child outgrew the trailer, I used it as a cargo trailer.

Handlebar Attachment for Completely Upright Riding Position: "Mountain Goat" (2013-2014)

I never liked the normal riding position on my mountain bike (a free second-hand bike; so I can't really complain). In addition, I once broke my hip falling off the bike (declining sense of balance?). These problems can be solved with a recumbent adult trike. However, good ones are very expensive. So, I was pursuing cheaper alternatives. This first step addressed the first problem, i.e., the riding position. Rather than replacing the handlebar, I did the following (click images to enlarge):

All the materials are available at Home Depot (mostly in the electrical supply area, for about $10 total). The handlebar shape can easily be customized as shown above. There are some drawbacks. First, I need to use the original handlebar to brake. But for over 99% of my riding time, I don't need to brake. Second, this position is not efficient in terms of aerodynamics. But even the normal bicycle riding position is not very aerodynamic any way (the recumbent position seems better). When I need to go against strong wind, I can always use the original handlebar. Third, the attachment is not very sturdy and may eventually rust. But with this completely upright position, the attachment does not need to bear the rider's weight; and thus, it seems sufficient. In addition, it is experimental and can always be replaced/improved.

Note that the other attachment near the "horns" is an umbrealla holder called "Sasube'e," purchased in Japan (being used since 2009).

Trike: Sun EZ-TriClassic SX "Volt Azul 2" (2014-)

I was secretly thinking about the possibility of creating a side car attaching my bike and child trailer (shown above). Then, I had a chance to try a used recumbent trike (Sun EZ-TriClassic SX) in our neighborhood. I almost bought it, but I didn't mainly because the person who was selling the trike (for another person) was not really pleasant. Soon after that, I realized that there is a pretty cool bike/trike shop not too far from where I live. I test drove the same trike and another one, a low-end TerraTrike, both at around $1,000. Although these are still expensive compared to most bikes, these appear to be more affordable than the fancier ones I was looking at (about $3,000). So, I decided to buy one. I chose Sun because I liked its sitting position and also the possibility of attaching various things on the handlebar and between the rear wheels. As shown in one of the above photos, the trike is now equipped with a Dual-Parabolic Anti-Precipitation System (DP-APS), aka two umbrellas. So far, I am enjoying the ride. (9/23/14)


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Last modified: September 21, 2016