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Foot and leg safety on a recumbent trike

July 10, 2024 — BarryK

Continuing the custom trike project, here is the previous post:

Back in May 2023 I posted about the dreaded "leg suck":

A diagram, from here:

img1 you can imagine, nasty!

In my earlier blog post, proposed using mountain bike shoes, that have clips underneath. It is possible to walk with these, going click-click on a surface. However, I want to wear ordinary shoes, so ended up buying the Rolls Royce of foot support, the Terra Trike "Heel support pedals with straps":

US$145. But I bought them from Trisled in Australia; AU$180 plus AU$64.81 freight plus AU$22.26 GST. Total AU$244.81. That's a lot of money, the freight charge seems excessive. Anyway, wanted them. Here they are mounted on the trike:


Adjusting the boom to suit my leg length, they just clear the front suspension -- but only just.

Note, these safety pedals are very heavy, as they have counter-weight underneath so as to keep the platform upright. Haven't weighed them.

This leads to another safety issue; the length of the crank arms. By "safety" I mean to avoid knee pain. Centre-to-centre they are 170mm, which looks like pretty much the standard for e-bikes. The problem is, I am having knee problems, on and off, and really do want to minimise the amount of bending. Paul explains that 152mm crank arms are better for a recumbent trike:

I have read about this many times, riders of recumbent trikes reporting a shorter crank is easier on the knees. So, have ordered 152mm crank-pair from Aliexpress.

In case you are wondering what that horizontal bar is for at the front of the trike; two purposes. One purpose is to mount headlights and turning indicators. Second purpose is it  is planned to have two poles going up to support an overhead solar panel.

That latter purpose means that I need to get the boom length sorted out exactly beforehand. So need that shorter crank-pair to fine-tune the boom length.   

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