May 9th, 2011

The bike is back in one piece. The recent modifications are not hugely obvious but constitute a fair amount of change.

  • Transmission: the addition of the second idler has made the chain much more manageable (i.e. it doesn’t fall off now). Shifting is not exactly crisp but it gets there. The rear derailleur needs realignment which will help it run quieter.
  • Cabling: the zap straps are gone. Housing runs are routed through guides and stops and all straight runs are exposed cable. Hooking up that front derailleur was interesting, requiring a recycled noodle and link arm to make the 90° bend. The brakes have lost that spongy feel and it all looks a lot neater.
  • Cranks: it’s hard to tell the cranks are shorter, though the effect may be more evident next time I head for that hill. I use clipless pedals on my regular bike but have been holding off fitting some on the recumbent. I’m riding fairly confidently now…might be time to try them.

There’s room for improvement. The seat doesn’t quite match the angle of the seatpost and flexes slightly under load. Firmer attachment would make the seat conform, but the current 4 woodscrews would strip out. I think I’ll just bolt it down. The suspension unit is barely adequate and jerks rather than smoothing out the ride. I’ll service and adjust it, and maybe keep my eye open for a better quality replacement.

More test riding to do, but construction is basically finished. Soon I’ll have to strip it all down, break out the wire brush and prepare for painting.

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