Steve's ICE Q - NT page

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Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE, tel. +44 (0)1326 378848) are a small company based in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. They make the highly acclaimed Trice range of recumbent tricycles. I owned one of the first ICE-Q NT models from October 2004 until April 2006. The pictures and text below describe that trike. Please note that if you are contemplating buying one, there have been numerous changes to the spec, and model name changes, since then. 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 models have standard rear suspension (a useful improvement on rough roads), 27-speed gearing and different rack and front boom designs. Other options such as 26" rear wheel are also now possible. Unfortunately the price has crept up, a 2009 std spec ICE QNT costs nearly £500 more than the same bike 3 years ago. Check ICE's website for details.

At DTek (friendly dealer in Cambridgeshire, tel 01353 648177), the ICE-Q NT (with bubble-wrap on cruciform) parked next to a standard-width Q. Note different tyres and chainset. In the background are an Optima Rider, Peer Gynt and one wheel of a PDQ3.
Above you can see how the ICE-Q NT fits in a large car.
Here's no. 4124 assembled and ready to go. Recumbents are safe on open roads. Drivers do tend to notice unusual sights, you have powerful brakes and have good forward visibility, if you do crash you don't have far to fall and your feet hit first not your head - but there are a few things to watch out for:

Pedals with some sort of binding system (SPD, toe clips & straps, Look, Speedplay etc.) are essential for safety - otherwise you might drop a leg off the pedals onto the road and get it pulled-back beneath a moving trike.. ouch! Note that the bottom bracket isn't too high - good for hill climbing BUT if you have large feet it IS possible for your heel to strike the ground going over bumps. I have UK size 10 feet (EU 45) and am OK, but another size or two up and it might be more of a problem. Other safety tips are to avoid wearing trailing neck-wear (strangulation risk if something wraps around the back wheel), keep your fingers out of the front spokes, and probably use a safety flag. One comes as standard with the Q-NT. Rear mudguards (fenders) are essential in wet conditions. Note that in heavy rain, your crotch area acts as a sponge - dress appropriately or buy a front fairing..

I preferred riding with the seat adjusted to maximum recline. If you don't have rear suspension it's worth running the back tyre at no more than 70psi if you ride on rough surfaces otherwise vibration from the back wheel is felt in your neck.

I tried various combinations of lights on the QNT, including the excellent B&M S6 dynamo system and B&M's dynamo-driven LED front and rear lamps. A helmet- mounted lamp is useful in the dark to warn oncoming drivers that you're there when riding on undulating roads.

Finally - watch out if there are horses on the routes where you ride.... recumbents spook the living daylights out of horses. Slow down, talk so that the horse recognises you as human, and be prepared to dismount if the horse starts getting jittery, especially if the rider is young or inexperienced.

Scroll down the rest of the page for more pictures...

From rear quarter, showing headrest & 1.5" rear tyre.
Side view with bottle cage fitted and added reflectors on mudguards. I used the trike with and without the headrest. At full seat recline it helped, but at other angles I didn't really need it.
Front view after adding two Welsh dragon decals, a Cateye EL500 1 watt LED light, and a Minoura 'spacebar' on RH grip to carry GPS, extra light etc. Handlebars are adjustable for width and rake.
Our cat having a sniff around the Q-NT - helps show how LOW these things are.. Drum brakes are effective stoppers and are especially good in wet conditions - the pads should last for thousands of miles too.
Optional ICE computer mount attaches to water bottle cage bosses. Note T45 sticker on main tube, flawless tube joins, and chain tubes to keep you and the chain clean. If you want to fit a GPS or extra light you can attach a Minoura space bar or similar adaptor onto a handlebar.

The following pics are low-resolution, if you click on them you'll see hi-res 800 pixel-wide versions From right, photos show: Tea stop at the 200m contour above Tonna; Rider's-eye view of road on hill climb from Llantwit; View at top of hill towards snowline; Front view of QNT; Rider's-eye view Gower road; QNT at rest near Briton Ferry bridge; Rear-quarter view QNT.

Page created by Steve, email HERE, last update September 2008.

Click here for my introduction to recumbents page, or here for pics of my previous machines.

Please note that I sold the trike to a new owner in April 06 as I wanted to replace my old hard-tail mountain bike with a Kona full suspension beastie. I really enjoyed enjoying this trike, and might get another soon - with the following upgrades: rear suspension - essential for neck comfort when running high pressure tyres; hard-shell seat option - for greater rigidity and power transfer when climbing hills.

See my initial MTB page if you want to know about my mountain bike interest.