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16 June 2016 - 6:14pm

ICE Adventure trike models more affordable with 24-speed drivetrain


ICE has tackled the high cost of entry into the recumbent trike market by putting together a solid entry-level components package for a sub-$3,000 price on the ICE Adventure trike model. The new gruppo uses solid 8-speed chain and cassette system, which combine with a triple front crankset for a total of 24-speeds and Schwalbe Citizen tires to achieve the price savings.

Schwalbe Citizen tires are a small step down from the standard Tryker tires, but are still a high-quality tire with Kevlar reinforcement and 50 threads per inch (TPI or EPI) carcass construction.

The biggest savings comes from using 8-speed chain, cassette, and shifters in this 24-speed drivetrain. 8-speed systems fit on the same cassette body and often have the same gear range as comparable 9-speed or 10-speed systems. 8-speed systems simply have larger jumps between gears. For top-level cyclists, this means it is harder to achieve optimal cadence, but for ordinary recreational cyclists, the difference will not be easily noticeable.

An advantage of the 8-speed drivetrain is that 8-speed chain is less expensive and more robust than 9 or 10-speed chain, and all of the consumable drivetrain parts such as chain, cassette, and chainrings will be less expensive to replace when they wear out.

People getting ICE trikes with the 24-speed gruppo get the same frame, seat, hubs, and all other fundamental parts as used on the more expensive ICE recumbent trikes.

ICE has also made some "standard" parts optional to allow purchase of ICE trikes for lower cost without all of the "bells and whistles".

This strategy of offering a lower-cost alternative with a less expensive component set is no stranger to the recumbent trike industry. HP Velotechnik has capitalized on this same strategy in the specifications for its "made-for-the-USA" Gekko and Gekko FX-26 recumbent trike lineup.

Meanwhile, Catrike sticks with its strategy of offering a very high level of components and appealing to buyers looking for the highest level of components at the highest value. Greenspeed tends to use a similar strategy by specifying Dura-ace or Ultegra bar-end shifters as the best value, though Catrike's standard 10-speed SRAM drivetrain and gearing/shifting systems outpace the somewhat dated 9-speed Dura-Ace barend shifter systems for precision and durability.

ICE and Azub bridge the strategies by offering a wide variety of drivetrains and models in a mix-and-match smorgasbord of build options that gives buyers an essentially "custom" build at a "standard" build price.


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