Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category
Take a look at this day time safety light system for bicyclist, it makes sense. Steady bright yellow lights on the side of your bike that can be seen during the day. Actually the lights are yellow when seen from behind and white from the front.
This is the system required by law in most states for motorcycles and it really works. Motorcycles with running lights are much more visible. Check it out for yourself as you drive around. You will still see some crazy Harley riders without lights. Compare their visibility with motorcycles with day lights. It works well enough that the system is on most new cars. Steady yellow lights are more effective than blinking lights that seem to confuse motorist. Placing the lights on the side of the bicycle helps drivers obey the new three foot minimum passing distance law in New Hampshire and a lot of other states.
Here’s a video that shows what they look like on a bicycle, Pedal to Power.
So far the implementation looks fairly crude and as far as I can tell they aren’t available, yet. However, there is a lot of talk about the on the Ryan Users Group website. The developer, Carl Schoolman, has a posting on Consider Biking, that says send him a note if you want to try them (use the link attached to his name to reach him). He also has a website (still under development) at LivingDayLites.
Crank clearance with pedal Extenders
Follow on to Knee Savers First Impressions
I have been riding a few months now with Knee Savers and Shorter Cranks and have to say that the results have so far been all positive.
The Knee Savers/Pedal Extenders keep my feet from rubbing the crank arms and give me more ways to position my feet while riding. They also allow a lot more toe out which I seem to need for my right foot.
This is a follow on from Short Cranks First Impressions.
Short cranks so far have turned out better than I expected. I wasn’t sure that there would be a noticeable effect. But I was wrong.
I expected the improved spin but also expected to lose some climbing Torque. My climbing torque seems to have improved and my spin is definitely better. I seem to be spinning faster and climbing hills easier with more kick as I get towards the top.
The big surprise is that the shorter cranks seem to have improved the load balance on my legs. I have had three surgeries on my left knee and my right leg is much stronger than the left. The combination of shorter cranks and spinning faster seems to work my left leg more. Yes, my left leg is showing the signs of working harder, more muscle soreness and an occasional cramp. But I think that is a good thing and may explain why I am climbing better.
Special thanks to:
5349 Elliot Ave S
Minneapolis MN 55417-1741
Mark helped me pick out the right cranks for me. He was very patient and helpful whenever I had a question plus he did some nice work on the cranks.
So far my feeling is that I should have gotten Short Cranks earlier and that short cranks are one of the best improvements you can make on a LWB recumbent.
BicyleR Evolution – The Shopper
There are times when you need to tote more than you can comfortably carry on your bicycle, even a long wheel base recumbent designed for self contained touring. That is when you need a trailer.
I used a trailer for all of my European Tours and for Newfoundland and Labrador. I didn’t use one for any of my trips in the South, the West or Quebec because I have trimmed down the size and weight of what I carry when Touring. However, I will be using my trailer again for grocery runs now that the weather is better.
Let’s discuss when to use a trailer and what types of trailers work best for touring:
With gas prices up and a new grocery store only about three miles away, I’ve decided that using my bike for grocery shopping be a good idea. I’ll get the exercise, save on gas, and do some hauling with a load.
Today I installed my new cranks and idlers. Everything went very easy except I forgot how to open the SRAM Power Link Gold 9-speed Connector I use on my chains.
I had forgotten that the link needs to be both compressed and squeezed at the same time to open.
These Power Links are great to have on your chains. No more chain tool and spare pins, no more taking the chain apart several times to get it to move freely. These links if clean and you remember to squeeze in both directions at the same time just come apart with no hassle.
I initially worried that Power Links would weaken the chain but after about 30k miles using them I haven’t noticed any downside.
For about $4 each they are a great buy. Better still buy your new chains with them already installed.
5/12/09 Update: I can’t recommend this idler kit for the Slipstream. I have done a bit of riding with them now and have to say I am not impressed. The concept is good but the reality is increased noise and an idler that doesn’t seem to follow the chain line very well. This is an expensive upgrade without significant benefits.
TerraCycle offers a Longbikes Slipstream Idler Kit that looks very nicely made. It replaces the rubber idlers seen on most recumbents with coged idlers that have high quality bearings. TerraCycle claims that the better idlers provide improved efficiency and quieter operation. This improvement is not inexpensive, $154 for the kit.
I agree with TerraCycle’s explanation of why good quality idlers are important but I am not sure how noticeable the improvement will be for most riders. I have ordered a Kit and will document my experience.
The kit is not easy to find at the TerraCycle web site, the link above will save you time finding it.
(more description of the kit and TerraCycle’s explanation of why high quality idlers are important follow)
I have my new shorter cranks but so far haven’t been able to get the Shimano HollowTech II cranks that I am replacing off. Every time I start this job I find that I am missing another tool. Here’s a nice set of instructions with a tool list so you won’t have the same problem.
Just be sure you have all of the tools they list as required before you start.
I have removed mine and it was as simple as the video shows once I had the tool to remove the caps. This is a beautifully designed set of cranks that is extremely easy to work on. I just wish they came in shorter lengths for recumbent riders.
Thanks to the folks at enduro fork seals .com for a very nice set of instructions.