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A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Archive for the ‘Longbikes Slipstream’ Category

Longbikes Customer Service … Outstanding!!!

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Wow … I am impressed. I called last night because I need new idler mounting hardware after stripping off the TerraCycle Idlers. Greg Peek answered the phone and was so helpful … it was amazing. He is putting together a package of parts and shipping to me. This is outstanding support.

Most bike manufacturers are just interested in building and selling new bikes but Greg is addicted to excellence. He really takes the time to support existing customers. Kudos Greg!!!

Written by Roland

August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am

Front End Wobble Fixed

with one comment

Loose Bolt

Loose Bolt

My first guess was wrong, the front end wobble was not caused by the headset. It was the result of a loose connection in the steering linkage not the headset. Tightening the steering bar mounting bolt made the wobble go away.

The steering bar still moves freely but the bar doesn’t move up and down anymore. Nice simple fix and something to put on my list of thing to keep an eye on.

I know, I have said check every fastener every month and that covers this problem. It is just I need to look at this one a little differently than I have in the past. This bolt felt tight because the nut has a nylon insert. I need to check for steering bar movement not a loose nut.

Written by Roland

April 25, 2009 at 9:49 am

Tip: In for a Fall with your Slipstream?

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Yesterday, I fell for the first time in quite a while. Just a twisted knee and a bruised shoulder but major embarrassment. As I was riding across a bridge, suddenly I was on the ground and a little dazed. The diamond frame rider behind me asked if I was OK and then added “Nice ride”.

What had happened was that the bolt that connects the steering bar to the steering lever on the front wheel had fallen out. When that happens the front wheel turns sideways and you are very quickly on the ground.

I have taken this bolt out several time to transport my Slipstream.  I have always used anti-seize on the bolts and I suspect this bolt just loosened up or that I hadn’t tightened it well last time.

Take away from the fall:

1. Yes, you really should check all bolts each year at least, monthly would be even better.

2. A little purple Locktite makes a lot of sense on this bolt.

Written by Roland

April 12, 2008 at 7:56 am

Slipstream Kick Stand Fix Installed

with 2 comments

Continued from Fixing the SlipStream Kick Stand and SlipStream Kick Stand Fix.

I have installed and ridden with the Slipstream Kick Stand Fix and have to say I love it. The kick stand is now firmly in place even when the bike is loaded.

Kudos to Greg Peek.

Written by Roland

April 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Slipstream Idler kit – Part 2

with 5 comments

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.

This is a continuation of an earlier posting,  TerraCycle’s Long bikes Slipstream Idler Kit.

So what is in TerraCycle’s  Longbikes Slipstream Idler Kit? The answer is simple, 2 idlers, some hardware, and installation instructions.

Here is the return idler with mounting hardware.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Roland

April 5, 2008 at 6:59 pm

TerraCycle’s Longbikes Slipstream Idler Kit

with 6 comments

id_longbikes.gif

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Roland

March 31, 2008 at 7:19 am

Slipstream Kick Stand Update

with 15 comments

Slipstream Kick Stand

The Longbikes Slipstream is a solid touring machine. My one disappointment has been the kick stand.

When I first got the bike I loved the Kick Stand, the two footed kick stand is like having a built in work stand. The bike sits securely on the stand.

Once I started loaded touring, my opinion quickly changed. To put the bike on the stand you have to lift the rear and flip the stand down. No problem normally but when the bike is loaded for self contained touring this gets to be heavy but manageable. However, after a day or so of touring the stand loosened and would not stay in place, often coming over and rubbing the wheel.

I tried to fix it on the road by adding a rubber gasket hoping that the gasket would keep the lower part of the stand from rotating. This seemed to work but after another day the bottom part of the stand started moving around again.

So far I haven’t come up with a fix. I have asked the folks at Longbikes about this several times but have never gotten a response. It has been two years now so I have contacted them again today to see if they have made any progress on this problem.

If anyone know of a fix please share it with me and other Slipstream riders here.

Written by Roland

May 29, 2007 at 7:37 am

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