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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

So much for great planning.  I'd thought it would be a good idea to bring some CURVE and side mount kits with me to Florida...it is, after all, a Catrike rally and perhaps I might actually sell something.  So I made up more than a dozen extra CURVEs and a bunch of "T", "L" and side mount arms, and had John weld them up before he left for Mexico.  Well for some reason I can't understand there have been a flurry of orders lately, so I have next-to-nothing left.  So much for planning.

Msafiri is about ready to sit on the ground again.  I just need to hook up the click box and install the DualDrive cable.  I probably won't get to ride it before I leave but it's sure nice to have one more project done.  I wonder how it will be with two great but very different trikes...which one will get most of the riding?  Since I took Sam's advice and installed the side mount kit the other way I took some more pictures to prove the handlebar bag ends up in about the same spot, but now it uses less tubing and doesn't interfere with the Catrike Arkel bags.

Here are some of the latest embroidered covers I just shipped.  The stallion looks electric.  I'm hoping there will be three or four more from Zubin in today's mail so I can pretty much clean up all orders before I leave on Tuesday night.


On a totally different subject, I think it was 1985 or 86 that I did my first long distance bike tour.  It was the year of the World's Fair in Vancouver.  I was living in Minneapolis, building my first Tour Easy clone in a one-room apartment and my personal life was kinda in the toilet.  So I decided I'd finish the bike and then ride it to Vancouver.  I figured that having all that time to just pedal and watch the scenery I'd ride my way through my mid-life crisis and discover the true purpose of my life.  While it was a spectacular trip and amazing experience I didn't really discover the meaning of anything...I mostly enjoyed the ride, although there were days riding across North Dakota into headwinds, rain and locusts that if someone had stopped, offered me $50 for the bike and my gear and a ride to the nearest town I'd have seriously considered the offer.  And I watched my knees go up and down.

The point of all this is that there were times before I left that I had serious second thoughts about heading west by myself on such a big adventure.  But what ended up getting me through my fears of leaving was something I never anticipated.  I kept telling my clients and friends that I was going to be gone all summer on this bike trip.  And as the departure date got closer and my brain was working overtime coming up with reasons NOT to go, all the folks I'd told began asking excitedly when I was leaving...turns out many of them were taking the trip vicariously through me.  Well, so many of them kept asking eagerly that in the end I HAD to go...not just for me, but for them.

I think I'm coming up on another one of these times.  I'm a lot older now and don't really know how many, if any, trips like that I have in my wreck of a body.  So while it's still in the daydreaming stage I've been thinking of riding one of the trikes home from TOT in Idaho the end of June.  I haven't thought about a route nor am I really much beyond the "hmmmmmm..." stage.  But like I discovered before, the more I start talking about it the more likely I am to do something.  So now, assuming anyone's reading this, I've told you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just a quick post to let everyone know Finer Recliner will be closed from February 28 - March 9.  I'm heading for the Catrike Rally in Florida to meet friends in person I've only known on line, delivery Larry's CURVE kit, pick up the GLO and do some riding.  I have a bunch of embroidered covers that just arrived from Zubin so it's my intention to get all the kits assembled and shipped before I leave.  If you send me an email that goes unanswered during that week and a half I'll get back to you as soon as I return.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A perfect coincidence and the brilliance of my customers.  A few weeks ago someone wrote and asked me if the side mount kit would work with the Catrike Arkel bags also installed.  Because of the way the “L” tube extended up behind the seat the answer sadly was no.  

But a few days after the inquiry I got some pictures from Sam Wuhl in Uruguay.  He had ordered a neck rest and side mount kit, and I noticed he’d mounted the kit in a way I thought was entirely upside down.  I asked him about it and he said I ought to try it because doing it that way meant the Arkel bags and the kit could both be mounted together.  

So last night I tried it, and not only does it seem to work, it appears to work great and actually uses less "L" tube.  Who’d have guessed?  Thanks, Sam!

 I finally figured out where to mount the DualDrive trigger shifter.  I'd thought I could mount it on the handlebar or even hide it somewhere under the seat which would have been easy if it was a twist shifter.  In the end I mounted it where it should have gone in the first place.  I mounted it on the outside of the bar end to keep the cable loop more out of the way.  Now all I need to do is install the shifter rod, the click box and connect the shifter cable and it's ready to test the new low wall-climbing gears!

By the way, the Ortlieb panniers just arrived...minutes ago.  They’re beautiful – now if they only fit.  I won't know about the GLO until I get it back here on March 9, but I can try them on Travis now I suppose.  How come he's not looking happy?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A quick post from the school of, "Nothing's easy."  

My old Cannondale panniers have pretty much given up the ghost after 35 years.  They've finally transitioned from water-resistant to water-attractant.   I love the design of the Ortlieb recumbent panniers - waterproof, big enough without being RV-sized, designed to tuck in behind the seat, solid mounting system, too expensive, but otherwise they look like great touring panniers.  So I shopped around until I found a great deal and bought a pair for the yet-to-arrive GLO.  In fact the deal was so good I posted it on BROL...which stirred up a buzz of comments about what racks and what trikes the bags would and wouldn't fit.  Seems like the days of my old Cannondale's ultra-simple and primitive mounting system fitting every rack ever conceived are long gone.  Now, with the list of manufactured racks running into the dozens and the list of recumbent frame designs being at least that long, what fits what is no longer an easy question.  So by the time the posters on my "Great Deal!" thread concluded that they just didn't know if the Ortliebs would fit the GLO, or an ICE, or a Catrike for that matter I'd already ordered the bags.  So I'm awaiting their arrival and still won't know whether they fit until I get the GLO home from Florida.  But I still think they're beautiful...and perhaps if all else fails they'll fit on Travis.

Here's the other 'ooops.'  Take a look at the latest embroidered covers I shipped this week.  I think they look great so I wanted to post them all in spite of one having been Photoshopped.  

For sure accidents happen, but the embroiderer saw it, Deana saw it before she mailed the material, Zubin saw it when she was sewing the cover and I saw it when I installed the cover on the neck rest and shipped it.  But I didn't see the mistake until I uploaded the photograph of the cover I'd taken before I wrapped the order and shipped it.

When I wrote to the customer to apologize and to tell him there was a typo in the mail on its way to him, his comment was, "go to bed~  no sweat. ;-)  I am a high school administrator, THIS is not a problem."  Clearly everything's relative.  But the moment I saw that picture my first thought was, "Rats!" 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Look what's coming to the island...a Greenspeed GLO!  It's a product of the Greenspeed Custom Shop made about 5 years ago  for Larry Varney of Bentrideronline.

I love the Catrike Expedition but have always wanted a touring trike that could be disassembled pretty quickly into a small-enough bundle to be easily taken on a plane, train or intercity bus.  Greenspeed and touring are synonymous...their touring and expedition trikes are legendary.

The GLO is a touring hybrid - 16" wheels for superlow wall-climbing gears, a DualDrive hub, hydraulic brakes, quick disconnect cables, an S&S connector that quickly takes the frame apart into two pieces and a 10 degree more seat recline than the GTO.  I'm hoping to pick it up from Larry at the Catrike Rally in March.  It seems a bit weird that because it doesn't fold, taking Msafiri (the Expedition) to Florida for the Catrike Rally is practical nightmare and I'll be riding the GLO.  Oh well.  So now it looks like my list of reasons for not taking off on another cycle-touring adventure is one hellofalot shorter.

Totally unrelated, here's a photograph Dave sent of the new CURVE kit mounted on his TerraTrike Tour.  Because I didn't have a TerraTrike in my shop, his masterful up-close photography has been incredibly helpful as I've re-designed the bracket to maximize rear wheel clearance.  Now I just need to get him to back up a bit so we can see how the whole trike looks with the CURVE kit!

And finally, someone recently asked which trike manufacturers we made CURVEs and CURVE kits to fit.  So I figured I'd just attach our product descriptions, price list and how to order information here.  Just click on the pictures and the information will get larger. 

For more information you can always find me at www.stevesussman@earthlink.net.  Don't be scared off by the spam protector...I root around in the 'suspect mail' pile at least once a day and will fish you out...promise.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Some nice news...and finally a chance to move on to other things.  I posted this on BROL the other day:  

"Finally...thanks to the seemingly endless patience of the friendly testers from the BROL community and a couple of re-designs, the CURVE kits for TerraTrikes are now available.

The same gently curved 3"x6" neck rest with a 2" thick and cushy memory foam fill, "T" tower, 75mm mtb stem and end caps, plus an adapter bracket designed just for TerraTrikes. 

The cover is breathable and water-resistant, and secured with a poly cord and slider.

As always, embroidery is available to personalize your trike...and you're limited mostly by your imagination.

The complete kit is $110 plus a small ship charge.  The cost of embroidery depends upon your selection, and you get to see the art before we do the embroidery."
I honestly don't know that I'll sell many of the TerraTrike kits but getting the adapter bracket made was becoming an obsession.  So I'm glad it's finished and I can move on to other projects like hardshell mounts, new sidemount stuff and the top secret project X.

Letting people know about the kit was also a perfect opportunity to gather up just some of the recent embroidery we've done.
Larry Varney's cover is being embroidered as we speak.  With luck he'll have it in time for the upcoming Catrike Rally the beginning of March.

Its been sunny and in the high 50's for the past 4 days.  Now it's raining again but I just noticed that the daffodils are beginning to appear.  Oh boy...Spring's coming!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The new TerraTrike CURVE kit adapter mount brackets look great.  The tube is thicker wall, the fit is tighter and the weld is much longer.  Today I mailed out the new brackets to all the wonderful testers who received the TerraTrike kits with the older mounts.  And the new kits are now available for sale...finally.

The other day I was asked whether the CURVE neck rest with brackets that fit the stock Catrike mounts can also fit the kit mount...the "L" tube and mtb stem.  In the past I've said no, that even though the CURVE neck rests were the same the mounts were different and not interchangeable.  Well that's not entirely true.  Here's a picture I received from a customer who no longer wanted to use the stock mounts and wanted to fit his CURVE to the kit.  It's ingenious really, and quite simple.  The horizontal arm of the "L" tower is 1" OD, just like the seat brace tube on the Catrike.  He mounted the two stock black clamps on the "L" tube and then mounted the CURVE to the stock brackets.  Adjusting the neck rest face up and down by rotating the clamps means the tube can be used to stop the neck rest from rotating downward.  And I think by moving the clamps closer to the neck rest brackets you can eliminate the spacers as well.  Good idea.  So in case you were wondering, turns out the answer is yes the stock brackets can be retro-mounted to fit the kit tower.  Not an intentional design...but it works.

TOT's coming.  I know it's only February 2, but if the next 4 months go as quickly as the last 4, it'll just be a flash before we're loading up the trikes and heading for Kellogg.  I hired a well-known industrial designer in Germany (right...my son Noah) to  create some new art designs for the TOT souvenirs.  I saw on his blog that he'd hired a junior designer to bring a fresh and youthful perspective.  Here's what Noah posted on Maya's blog.  I'm excited to see their work!

Grandpa Dirt asked Papa to design some graphics for his bicycle friends...Papa asked Maya for some help sketching out a few rough comps...
payment naturally delivered on completion:  "Chocolate!"

I was asked to see a CURVE on an ICE trike recently.  Here's a picture someone sent me a while ago of their beautiful blue ICE.