Upgrade or gulp buy new?

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Skids
Posts: 8
Joined: 13 Apr 2019, 7:48pm

Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Skids »

Hi,

I have a rigid ICE QNT from 2005 fitted with wide tyres which I have just started riding after a long period of ignoring it. I am really enjoying the riding and am thinking of upgrading to a trike with suspension. I have reduced my options to either a new trike or upgrades to my QNT and would value comments on my choices. I have confirmed with ICE that upgrade kits to both front and rear suspension are available and I have also been looking at the HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS26 Enduro which are available for delivery in four or five weeks.

At the moment I am riding on my local roads which are in an appalling condition with deep potholes and many patches which are always rough. Riding over these patches transmits a lot of vibration which if possible I would like to reduce.

My own views are that I am leaning towards just fitting rear suspension to my existing QNT: reading this and other forums suggests that ICE front suspension may reduce bump steer it does little to reduce road buzz. I'm guessing that the suspension on the Scorpion may be better as it is a lot more complicated but have no evidence of this.

I am less convinced by HP's zero squat rear suspension; I use to own a Street Machine and it was possible to reach behind the seat and grab the spring and feel it compressing a little on each pedal stroke. Also, while I have read that coil springs are better than elastomers I have been very impressed how well my Brompton with its elastomer block copes with rough surfaces.

So I am interested in how well owners of suspension trikes think they perform.

Best wishes
Simon
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[XAP]Bob
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by [XAP]Bob »

Where are you based?

Rear bounce does help, but you’re right that it’s not a cure for all ills.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Psamathe
Posts: 13566
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Psamathe »

When I was looking earlier this year it came down to between ICE Sprint X Tour or HP Scorpion. For me, one of the negatives against HP was their UK "dealer network" (not very extensive) and that you have to order through a dealer. Also (but double check) I was told (not from HP) that to maintain the warranty you need to have the service record stamped proving each service (but can any LBS do that or must it be an official dealer?). Also, as I learnt more and narrowed down my choice I decided I didn't really want front suspension but did want a 26" rear wheel and folding (no such option from HP - unless their range has changed).

I was also told by one person who test rode an HP Scorpion that their thighs bumped the cross bar - so you may want to test ride one (that person went for an ICE which didn't have the same issue).

Ian
UpWrong
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Joined: 31 May 2009, 12:16pm
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by UpWrong »

The obvious thing to do is to get a suspended rear for you QNT. QNT's are quite desirable because of their narrow track so worth keeping if in good condition. The ICE rear suspension system for 20" wheels is efficient because the chainline can be set to run through the pivot point, unlike on HP Velotechnic machines. It is also lightweight. Assuming you have reasonably wide rims on the front wheels (X101s) then run 50mm Big Apples, or even better if you can afford them 49x406 Maxxis folding DTH tyres.
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Tigerbiten
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Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Tigerbiten »

A cheaper option may be .....
Buy a second hand ICE trike with full suspension.
Swop the suspension parts to your QNT.
Sell the now surplus non-suspension trike for a slight loss.

Luck .......... :D
hercule
Posts: 1077
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by hercule »

I upgraded my (rear suspension) QNT with the front suspension maybe 10 years ago. YMMV but I thought it was well worth the money as I switched from Big Apples (comfortable but a bit roly-poly on corners) to narrower high pressure tyres and reduced my rolling resistance with no loss of comfort. I have a background in riding Moultons and all round suspension just made sense.

Get the rear suspension unit at the very least... Dtek may have one of the original ones knocking around, or you can try ICE as they sometimes sell off random bits and pieces. A great thing about ICE trikes is all their parts are backwards compatible, you don’t see that with some of the other manufacturers.
Skids
Posts: 8
Joined: 13 Apr 2019, 7:48pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Skids »

Hi All,

Thanks for your replies and advice. Answering one question I'm based in North Lincolnshire. Based on your comments and others on forums I think I will be sticking with ICE partly because its what I know and also because they have always bent over backwards to be helpful. Also as has been mentioned the QNT is quite compact and I don't have a reason to go wider or longer.

I've spoken to Kevin at Dtek and he was concerned about buying new parts to fit to an old trike - old broom syndrome : two new heads and three new handles. However, my example is in good condition and as I intend keeping it I'm not so worried about spending some money on it. After all if my hobby was flying it is easy to drop 2.5k on a mandatory engine service.

Kevin went on to suggest trying a cushion just after he suggested sitting on a partially inflated 26 inch inner tube wrapped into a bow! (discuss?)

# Ian - great points about the lack of a Hp dealer network in the UK and Brexit with its import duties are another negative. I think the recent trikes do fold but I have read elsewhere of leg trike cross beam / suspension interference.

# UpWong - I'm heading that way....

#Tigerbitten - great idea and I did bid on a full suspension Adventure yesterday but I guess that are few and far between.

# hercule - do you find that the suspension reduces the vibration that occurs at high speed and at times blurs my vision : 45mph + going down a hill into Gweek, could have been faster but I could not read the speedo.

best wishes

Simon
climo
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Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by climo »

I've had 3 scorpions and 1 ICE sprint. No doubt in my mind that HPV are better designed and built but ICE are lighter and possibly faster. ICE are simpler and therefore easier to work on. If you're buying new I think HPV are better value. I think the wait time for a new ICE is now at least 16 weeks, HPV is a bit less. I'm told Catrike is a year.
HPV dealer network is now down to 1 in Glasgow. Bikefix in London have now ceased selling new bikes / trikes. Since brexit HPV no longer sell parts direct. There's a very good business opportunity to start an HPV dealership in the south.
ICE customer service is VERY good. In the UK ICE is the way to go but in europe it's definitely HPV.

I've not ridden a full sus ICE but my Scorpion fs just floats along though I find it's a bit wallowy in the corners, they do do a stiffer set of elastomers. Older ICE (I think mine was 2012-14) has a ridiculously large turning circle though I'm told this has improved.
Skids
Posts: 8
Joined: 13 Apr 2019, 7:48pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Skids »

Hi Climo,

Thanks for your input its good to hear from a HPV owner. In an ideal world I would base my decision on test rides. I'm curious why you have had three HPVs were they different models? As I wrote above I rather like the look of the Enduro but five thousand is a lot to spend on an unseen machine. I wonder what sort of surfaces do you ride on? My local roads are more like cart tracks which is why I am looking at suspension. My QNT has a very large turning circle because the wheels can not turn much but I do like the narrow track.

Lastly does anyone know why a HPV should be slower than an ICE?

best wishes

Simon
hercule
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Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by hercule »

In terms of speed... yes it does help with the vibration. I do suffer from pretty bad “recumbutt” but an upholstery foam cushion helped enormously. More laid back (like on my VTX) it’s not an issue.

I endlessly worried about turning circles before getting my first recumbent trike. In practice, though, I’ve never had any issues.
Skids
Posts: 8
Joined: 13 Apr 2019, 7:48pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Skids »

Thankfully I have never suffered from "recumbutt" just numb toes after twenty miles or so. I also have no concerns over turning circles as its never been an issue with the Q NT : if space is tight I just execute a three point turn pulling on the front wheels to reverse.
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Tilley
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Location: Nailsea

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by Tilley »

I purchased a used ICE TNT 20" with rear suspension and was really pleased with the rear suspension. I was surprised how much the front end suffered from uneven road surfaces and after reading Bush triker I took the plunge and upgraded to full suspension. Initially I as reluctant to undertake the upgrade myself. But when I couldn't find a local dealer who would quote for the works I took on the challenge. I was a competent bicycle mechanic and once I had successfully installed the new suspension it revealed to me that there really was no mystique to the trike just some additional mechanics. The front suspension will not remove the shocking jolt from an unseen pothole, but it does remove the chatter from poor and uneven road surfaces.
hercule
Posts: 1077
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Upgrade or gulp buy new?

Post by hercule »

I’m just in the boundary of soft and medium front elastomers. I went for the soft ones. Nice floaty ride and works well with high pressures in the tyres. My VTX has no suspension at all and is surprisingly not far off the QNT in comfort on half decent roads (you do sit a fair bit further back from the front wheels) but on forest tracks the QNT is far ahead.
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