For years, we have traveled with different mounts: 100% muscular tandem, motorized tandem, Hase tandem, Hase trike.
In May 2020, Bruno celebrates his 60th birthday… In the middle of Covid and confinement, it’s hard to find a gift! My choice (France) fell on “bike” magazines including the magazine “200” where I discover a report on the Sun Trip … This is the beginning of a great adventure!
A solar bike to travel “differently”, yes, but which model? Then follows the viewing of many films including those of the Sun Trip. Two events for 2020 attract my attention on the Sun Trip website: a Tour de France in July and Corsica in late September/early October.
A few phone calls later, including several to Béatrice Cazanave, we contacted Guillaume Devot of Déclic Eco to build and solarize our trikes. Indeed, we are novices in solar matters and we do not plan to do it ourselves.
The trike is a natural choice for us:
• individual freedom,• a more comfortable lying position for long journeys,
• great autonomy.
In June 2020 we finalize the order. In July, with our non-solar motorized tandem, we go to meet the suntripeurs in Chapieux, between Bourg-St-Marice and the Roseland dam. When we see them riding for a few moments at our side to encourage us in the climb of the pass, it reinforces our choice of solar!
From October 2020 to today (Jan. 2023), we have covered 15,000 km since our first lap at the Corsica Sun Trip.
In the end, we opted for two Azub Tricon 26 trikes.
RH212 direct drive motor (Nine Continent), BaseRunner controller and Cycle-Analyst V3 solar version (Grin Technologies)
2 batteries 48V – 11.6 Ah for a total capacity of 1114 Wh
Solar equipment or solar trailer
Solar panels on the roof: 3 panels of 130Wp or 390 Wp on each trike / square panel 6×6 = 36 Maxeon SunPower
cells Bosch aluminum profile structure – assembly by Déclic Eco
In May 2021, we leave Annecy for a France tour and see more and we connect several Sun Trips including the Prologue Europe, the Breizh, Pyrenees on the Spanish side and this thanks to Béatrice and her GPX tracks and the recognition of Corsica-Sardinia.
8500 km later and 5 1/2 months later, October and its procession of cold, rainy and low sunshine day urge us to take the way back. June-July 2022, we participate in the Sun Trip Alpes.
15,000 kms traveled in all weather conditions and some technical incidents allow us to make the following observation:
Personalization of our trikes
- Change of seat for greater comfort,
- Installation of crutches (cross-country ski poles) for tilting the trike when stationary,
- Improved visibility and safety on the road: lights and horns.
Weak point: solution provided
Between Lyon and Brussels, following the “stroller” of a motorist, my trike is projected on a manhole. The axis of the engine wheel breaks and I remain immobilized at the side of the road. The mutual aid of the Suntripeurs allows me to be towed and to join the stage. We learn that several trikes had already been victims of this breakage. After identifying the origin of the flaw, Déclic Eco remedies this weakness by adding an arm torque.
- Semi-lying position = less muscle fatigue,
- Lower centre of gravity,
- Better balance than with a 2 wheels: no need to put your foot on the ground when stationary,
- Rest in the descents,
- At slow speed, easier to balance since 3 wheels.
- Add a 2nd motor: a Bafang pedal motor, for mountain courses (France),
- Optimize the weight of the vehicle (reduction),
- To be able to orient the solar structure while rolling,
- Improve aerodynamics.
Conclusion by France
In the preparation of a trip whatever the destination, the choice of the mode of locomotion is an adventure. The important thing is to dare to live your dreams. Bruno and I are complementary: to him the technique, the orientation, the preparation of the bikes, to me the stewardship, the administrative part, the photos and reports. Together we manage the choice of material equipment, clothing, and ultimately the weight – enemy or friend well known to all travelers.
A life of solar nomad for energy autonomy!