eBent Recumbent Cycling

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Archive for the ‘Cranks and BBs’ Category

Follow on – Knee Savers/Pedal Extenders

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Crank clearance with pedal extenders

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.

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Written by Roland

June 20, 2008 at 7:26 am

Follow up – Short Cranks

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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:

Mark Stonich
Bikesmith Design
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.

Written by Roland

June 19, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Cranks and BBs

TerraCycle’s Longbikes Slipstream Idler Kit

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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)

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Written by Roland

March 31, 2008 at 7:19 am

How to remove Shimano HollowTech II Cranks

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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. 

Written by Roland

March 25, 2008 at 12:06 am

Posted in Cranks and BBs

How to Replace Crank Arms

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If you are replacing your crank arms with shorter cranks this video shows you how. Don’t forget you will need a crank puller, the standard tool is a Park Crank Puller.

You can also find this great video at  How to Replace Crank Arms at BikeTutor.com.   

If you also have to replace the bottom bracket, here’s a great video on how to do that, How to Replace a Cartridge Bottom Bracket at BikeTutor.com.   

Written by Roland

March 8, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Cranks and BBs

How to Replace a Cartridge Bottom Bracket

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I have been investigating steps needed to install my short cranks when they arrive. Here’s how the UN54 68/115 (or 118) BB for the Slipstream will install.

Make sure you have  the special  tool needed to install the BB before you start.  I use a Park BBT-2 Bottom Bracket Tool for Splined Bottom Brackets.

Good video How to Replace a Cartridge Bottom Bracket at BikeTutor.com.    

Written by Roland

March 7, 2008 at 9:44 am

Posted in Cranks and BBs

Short Cranks with Q-Rings

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Bikesmith Design & Fabrication - Short cranks with Q-Rings

macpublish suggested in yesterday’s comments that I consider Q-Rings if I am changing cranks. I rode Shimano Bio Pace in days of old so really haven’t paid much attention to Q-Rings, the stories sound the same to me.

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Written by Roland

March 6, 2008 at 11:53 am

Posted in Cranks and BBs