SUNSEEKER FAT TAD CXS 2023 Options and Upgrades- A Utah Trikes Favorite!
Davy Jensen - Published on 02/12/2024
Welcome back to another Utah Trikes article! Today we're gonna be taking an updated look at the Fat Tad CXS. We know how much you guys love those fat wheels. A lot of you are really into off-roading. So let's get right into it.
Manufactured by Sun, this Trike is the perfect Intro to Fat Tire Trikes, Boasting great build quality for a low price. Equipped with 20x4 inch wheels it gives you a decent seat elevation, and with it coming stock with full suspension it makes this awesome trike perfect for medium terrain offroad trails.
Sun has been making trikes for a very long time. In 1971 Sun started making bicycles, and later around 2007 got into the recumbent industry, and now we have popular tadpole style trikes like the Eco Tad, the EZ Tad. Today our focus is on the big tire variant the Fat Tad CXS.
As of January 2023 the base price of the CXS is $2499.99 for current pricing visit our website at Utahtrikes.com, the Fat Tad CXS is the most affordable full suspension fat tire trike on the market.
Now it's a little bit smaller than some of its competitors.
If you look at the Fat Tad Crawler,Azub Fatty 26,Ice Full Fat, or Fat Cat V3 like we show here, those are gonna be a bit beefier than the CXS. They have 26 inch wheels, and The Fat Tad CXS has the smaller 20 by 4 inch fat wheels making it a little bit closer to the ground. But if you really need that 26 inch wheel height difference the UTcustom Fat Tad Crawler RS which is just a 26 inch fat wheel trike built on the CXS frame then that will probably be the trike for you.
But, you still get 10 and a half inches of ground clearance which is great for those of you who are riding on trails.
This is a full suspension trike, it has a DNM coil over shock in the rear as well as front suspension designed by Sun.
For those of you who are moving from bicycles to recumbents, The horizontal handlebars are gonna feel a little bit more natural as opposed to the vertical handlebars that come on a lot of models like Catrike or ICE.
When you're looking at stock configuration on the CXS, you're gonna get 24-speed gearing. There's an 8-speed cassette in the back as well as a triple crank set up front
The CXS features Sun's mesh seat, with a little foam insert for some added comfort, it's really breathable, you can stay on it all day.
As far as adjustability is concerned, the seat has three points on the frame that you can move it to as well as the angle of the seat can be adjusted to 25 degrees at maximum upright and 40 degrees maximum reclined.
The handlebars are easily adjusted by loosening the two bolts on the headset spindle clamp. Once you've loosened the clamp the handle bars can be moved forward or backward to your preference. There's also limited adjustment up and down by changing the spacer position on the spindle.
The boom is adjustable as well. The x-seam range on the CXS is 37 to 50 ˝ inches. Which corresponds roughly to a rider height of 5’6 at its lowest and 6’9 at its highest As with most things if you're at the limit on either side of the range there are other ways we can likely get you into a CXS.
The drivetrain is fairly efficient with an over-under idler as well as chain tubes which is typical for most recumbents.
If you're trying to get into a fat trike that has full suspension, Sun has created a really affordable option with the Fat Tad CXS.
Since the CXS has come out it's been one of our most popular trikes. It's easy to see why, it looks cool, it's fun to ride, and it's priced right.
How does the CXS Ride compare to other offroad full suspension trikes we offer?
The CXS rides a little rougher mainly due to its much more simplistic front suspension design. But comparing it to a trike like the HP Scorpion Enduro or Azub TiFly X Which cost 3 to 5x as much is not really a fair comparison.
Over all the CXS rides like a champ and it offers more than enough capability to handle regular dirt trails comfortably. If you’re dealing with really rough terrain you may want to consider a higher end trike. But For every day riding on the roads, paved trails, gravel we think you'll find the CXS to be more than adequate.
And if you're looking for some upgrades to your ride, With the lower price of this trike, that leaves you with some cash to do some upgrades. Luckily for you the CXS has a lot of customization options that we can add. Let's go in depth on some things you can do to upgrade your trike.
We also have the UTCustom super headrest and on the CXS we actually have to go a little bit taller than the normal super headrest so it's got a four inch bend right here instead of the two inch bend.
Some people like to add a bottle cage on the back of the seat for easy trike hydration. You can also add a water bottle cage on each handle bar for a total of 4 hydration points, great for the thirsty trike rider.
If you like the look of the CXS and are looking for a full suspension trike, but aren't really an off-road rider. We would recommend switching to street tires as they will last longer on the asphalt, and help you go faster.
Now that's a few of our most common upgrades for this trike. Now let's get into the more performance oriented upgrades.
First off the bat, we're going to talk about an upgrade that isn't totally necessary, but we have found that the stock headsets aren’t the greatest.
Here's a comparison between the stock Sun headset and our Revolution headset which we recommend you upgrade to. The Revolution headset uses sealed cartridge bearings where the stock Sun headset uses an unsealed cartridge bearing. You're gonna have to pack grease in there frequently to keep it operating properly where with the sealed cartridge bearing you just pop it in and you don't need to replace the grease. We do however recommend you put a thin layer of grease just as a little bit of extra water resistance, but it's not totally necessary.
Then the next upgrade, which is really important if you are going with the mid-drive motor, is upgrading the idler. This is the stock idler here. It's all plastic and has a metal bushing. With it being made out of plastic, all that torque going through your chain it's gonna rip this up and likely lead to failure. We recommend going with this. This is a metal cage idler with a sealed cartridge bearing inside. It spins a lot better. It's gonna hold up a lot better if you have a mid-drive motor installed.
Now these upgrades are not totally necessary, but they will help the longevity of your trike. The idlers will hold up better, the steering is going to feel better and parts will last longer.
Next, we're going to talk about some accessories. The nice thing about the CXS is you have two accessory mounts on the back of your seat and then you also have mounts on the bars up front. So it could be used for a frame pump, bottle cages, or whatever else you desire.
If you're going to be putting on a headlight, I recommend going with the Minoura swing grip accessory mount that will clamp onto your derailleur post and have a flat part that comes up here that you can mount your light on.
I also recommend upgrading the pedals because when you're out riding off-road, if your foot slips off and gets sucked under the trike you're not going to have a good time. So it's recommended you have either clipless pedals or at least a strap just to help keep your foot on the pedal.
And now we'll move back to the rear of the trike. We can use our UT Custom extension plates and put on a 26 inch rear wheel and, unlike the V3, these dropouts are wide enough that you can still stick with the standard cassette gearing.
Speaking of gearing we can do, on the front, these have 170mm crank arms. If you want shorter crank arms, we can go with a different crankset and bring you down to about 152mm on that. We also have the Schlumpf high speed and mountain drive as well as the Pinion drive, which comes in a variety of speeds. Now we'll move over to the rear.
Stock setup is going to be an 8-speed with the SRAM X4 derailleur. Pair that with the triple upfront, you've got 24 speeds in total. Because this is one of the most affordable off-road trikes, that gives you a little bit of spending room to upgrade some gearing. Because of the 190mm wider dropout width the only internally geared hub option is the Rohloff hub.
Which is one of our favorite gearing options on any trike. want to electrify the trike, I already showed you the Bafang mid drive, which eliminates the crankset, but if you want to stick with the stock 24 speed gearing a factory hub motor is available from the factory under the eFat Tad The mid drive is gonna have more torque, be able to climb hills a little easier, it's more aimed for pedal assist.
The mid drive does have pedal assist, but it's going to be a lot more torque-y. Another thing to consider about the mid drive, since it's mounted on the front. Power gets transferred through the chain and then through whatever gearing you have. so you can utilize your gearing as a transmission to also increase the hill climbing capability. Where, with the hub motor, it's direct drive from the rear wheel, You wont get any transmission just the power from the motor.
Now let's talk about some suspension upgrades. It comes stock with the DNM coil over shock, but we do also offer the RockShox Monarch air shock as a suspension upgrade for the rear. For the front We don't have a suspension upgrade at the moment, but maybe in the future we will. However in the front, we do have an upgrade to improve the steering with our UTCustom ackerman arms. These arms change the mounting location of the tie rod on the spindle to above the suspension, giving a much more consistent steering feel and reducing uneven tire wear while turning when the suspension is under load. If your interested in learning more about that see our other video which goes over this specific upgrade.
Now the seat on here is Sun's mesh seat with the foam bottom. It's in three positions. You can move it down here on the frame to slide it forward or backwards and then the back rest is adjustable up and down to change the seat angle.
We can put our UT Custom aluminum seat frame on here with our UT Custom seat mesh as well if you prefer our seat over the stock seat. If you’re a taller rider our UTCustom seat is a bit higher on the top and will give you more shoulder and upper back support. So that may be the more comfortable option for you.
So the stock handlebars are a one-piece horizontal bar which you can adjust by loosening these bolts here and you can spin it forward or pull it back for comfort. We can also go with vertical bars.
The CXS comes stock with these Promax mechanical disc brakes. They do the job, but if you want a better brake, we can upgrade those. The BB5 calipers or the BB7s are the most popular options for great brake performance.
If you don't really want the knobby tires, we've got slick tires for you as well. For better road performance.
If you want a rear brake, you will need to upgrade to the 26 inch rear wheel because there are no mounting holes for a rear caliper on the stock rear fork. With our extension plates, you can add the option to mount a rear caliper, however it might look funky with the extra long rear fork with just the 20-inch wheel. So you might as well go for the 26 at that point.
The CXS only comes in one factory color being the classic bright red, but if you're still looking for a more custom build after all of those options you can have your CXS custom painted with any one of our 40+ UTcustom colors!
Now, those are just some accessories upgrades, and things that we recommend to make the trike work better for you. I hope you guys enjoyed this article. Be sure to comment , maybe share it with your friends.And for those of you with a CXS of your own, comment down below what you love about it.