Most likely you're visiting to check out Finer Recliner CURVE neck rests, side mount handlebar bag kits, embroidery, tail lights and other recumbent accessories.

I make neck rests mainly but not exclusively for recumbent trikes. Each is 2" thick memory foam fill on a gently curved PVC base. The covers are breathable and water-resistant. Embroidery options are nearly limitless and allow you to truly personalize this part of your trike.

If you're interested in more information about Finer Recliner accessories, pictures, prices and how to order, you can reach me at stevesussman@earthlink.net.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Its been over a month overflowing with surprises, excitement and sadness since I posted to this blog.  For Capricorns like me who generally imagine the worst there's been plenty of news to feed on - multi-disasters in Japan, the floods in the US, the confusing Spring uprisings in the Middle East, the fighting in the Ivory Coast and in Libya, the noxiousness of US politics, some pain in my own family...it just goes on. 

Gratefully, the change of seasons has arrived on this lovely northwest island...at night our pond is a croaking frenzy of a million frogs desperate to find a date...it's like matchfrog.com; daffodils and cherry blossoms in bloom, trees leafing out, the grass lush and getting to shin-high...and best of all, it's still light at 8:30 pm.  I love this time of year...alive with re-birth, hope and new possibilities.  Last Saturday felt like mid-July...warm, sunny, deep blue sky without a cloud in sight.  So we gathered up Travis, hooked his trailer to Msafiri and rode off to wander.  This was his first trike time out this year and he was off like a sled dog, in a shot quickly pulling me, the trike and his trailer up to 20 mph.  He ran happily up and down hills only getting into the trailer when I insisted because I thought his heart would burst.  We meandered for a couple of hours, stopping to lie in the grass and play ball with Travis...and take pictures of Penni.  It was an absolutely perfect afternoon.

The Finer Recliner has had its own special moments in the past couple of months.  We've had more orders than ever before.  And while that's great news it's also stretching this micro-niche industrial complex to the limit.  John is welding "L" and "T" tubes in every spare moment; there's been a burst of requests for embroidery so Cara's very busy; and Zubin is sewing covers when most other folks are sleeping. 

The first two Trident neck rest kits shipped.  Both are embroidered and look great.  Plus I had my first kit orders for a Hase delta and a TerraTrike Rover.  The TerraTrike needs a special adapter bracket to mount the kit's mtb stem.  TT seats' horizontal brace tubes are a pair of side-by side-tubes each 7/8" OD located ed pretty far down from the top of the seat.  Jim and I took an afternoon to drive to Mike's Bikes in Sequim so we could try out the prototype bracket.  It fit fine although re-designing the shape somewhat will move the mounting tube up higher, making the kit a lot simpler to mount.  I'm fabricating the new bracket from aluminum and will send it and a CURVE kit to a Rover owner for testing.  I'm hoping he'll be delighted.   

And now there may be a totally new FR product.  I've been really impressed by the ICE side mount bar for handlebar bags.  I think it's a terrific idea.  Having a handlebar bag right at your arm seems like the perfect place to store things within easy reach, without having to get off the trike.  And it's also a great way to get rid of all those little ditty bags.  
The challenge of applying this concept to Catrikes is the lack of horizontal seat brace tubes.  At first I thought about a bar mount clamp on the main tube, but that involved (duh) fabricating a large clamp, and also meant the tube on which the bag would mount would be unsupported and fairly long.  

Having so many mtb stems sitting around for the neck rest kits probably helped, because pretty soon it dawned on me that my Expedition's chainstays were 31.8 mm, a perfect match for a mountain bike stem.  And so my design for a handlebar bag side mount was hatched.  It's a 130 mm stem with a 6 degree rise, an aluminum "L" tube and a shim.  What's especially nice about it is that unlike bars clamped to a horizontal seat tube, this set-up is remarkably adjustable.  The handlebar bag can be adjusted up and down, and can also moved closer to and further away from the seat.  The Avenir bag was a great bargain on Amazon, has an enclosed map case and pockets inside, and mesh pockets on both ends...perfect for stashing my velcro brake strap.  I'm riding with it now, and so far I love it.

Here's something else that's been in the Finer Recliner workshop for a while...a dog walker.  What inspired this?  Well... 
-  I've been holding Travis on a leash when I ride and he runs, and I'm kinda done steering and braking with one hand...it's not especially safe; 
-  I bought a WalkyDog, but there's no great place to mount it, particularly because the seat stays on the space frame tail in towards the rear dropout.  Mounting the WalkyDog there points it down towards the ground; 
-  I'm consumed with thinking of mtb stems as a universal building block for just about everything.
- ...and I'm feeling really good about the strength of the Catrike chainstays. 

So here's my latest piece of stem-inspired craziness.  The 130mm stem lets the vertical tube clear the seat stays.  I'm adding a piece of bungie to the end of the rope to let him move further away from the trike, and also to take up the shock of his lunge when we get started.  This is ready for road testing, and I'll keep you posted.  My guess is that it'll work just fine. 

Finally, with May just a few days away, the 2011 TOT gathering in Kellogg, Idaho is less than 2 months from now.  Trying to reign in the garment craziness of last year's event, this time we're just doing caps and patches.  Andie Styner (my sister, www.roobiblue.com) re-did last year's logo to add a velo and to change the color to honor Gregg McLean.  This logo on black ball caps is going to look great.  

Anyone wanting a cap or patch just go to the thread on BROL(http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/showthread.php?t=70860) and post your order.  I'll be delivering everything at TOT unless you won't be able to make it.  In that case I'll be glad to mail your order to you.  And I still have a couple of TOT2010 caps and patches in case you missed your chance last year.

By the way, someone asked about the difference between the mens' and womens' TOT caps.  It's pretty subtle.  See for yourself.

And so to wrap this up it seems like rolling with the Earth's natural forces and the universe's unending fickleness would be enough of a challenge for most people.  But nope, we still have to endure the horde of humans behaving like they have no resources beyond their amygdalas.  And then there's American politics with the current clown king, the exemplar of narcissism, Donald Trump.  How encouraging to have the bar set so low...just about anybody could be President.  But then he's not special, just following in the footsteps of other infamous underachievers.