Monday, July 30, 2018

Mega Trike Mods -- Give Me Dirt

The main hardware finally arrived for the mega trike makeover extravaganza.  I've had the frame extensions for a while, but the new wheels, cassettes (11/36) only arrived recently.  Also, I've been dealing with some issues regarding tubes on my Expedition.  It turns out I've been running too-low pressure, and the tire/tubes have been slipping, pinching the valve stem.  I couldn't let out pressure, even after removing the valve!  Slime and severe pinch kept the air in the tube.  Eventually I wiggled it out and replaced it.  I'll have to watch the pressure in the future, and I'll probably be going with schreader tubes with steel threaded stems, which are superior on several levels.

The damage:

But these were the main event--New "Cliffhanger" 36 spoke wheels from Velocity care of Dana at Bent Up Cycles.

Patchy approves!

Here is my rear wheel with a fat 2.7" wide Kenda ready to go.

Next, it was off to disassemble and remake the Expedition and Road.  I spent a few hours on each trike to make the transition--removing parts, adding parts, measuring and fitting new chains, etc.  I find great enjoyment and satisfaction in such work, especially when the results are so dramatic.  The conversion was pretty straight forward.  Because the new tire was so PHAT, I had to bump out the idler under the seat so that the chain would not rub on the knobs when in lowest gear.  This necessitated a new, longer bolt and a little stack of washers.  It now clears nicely and shifts like a dream.

Fine machining for a tight fit--go Utah Trikes!

New beastie installed: 

New, longer bolt:

Washer stack to realign chain run.  With so much chain, it's pretty easy to move and not affect shifting in any way:

The original rack fits, too, although we may get new, beefier models for the actual tour.  Our current racks are aluminum, and cro-moly might be recommended for the remote, tough riding we'll be facing.  New racks will run about $140 each, however.  Ugh.

The Road got the same treatment, although with narrower tire.  I think we can go 2.1" or 2.3".  The tire installed was on my Expedition and measures 1.95".  One wrinkle in the Road conversion was the different frame design.  To accept the larger wheel and avoid the chain rubbing on the stay, a floating idler had to be installed.  This was a total "plug-and-play" kit that you can purchase from Utah Trikes at the time you get the frame extension.  Remember, this is ONLY needed if you are converting a Catrike Road.  The Expedition works without it.  What a slick kit!

Here are the rigs--phat and ready to ride:

Current conditions are not great where we live--really hot, like 100 deg. F. every day--and very smoky from fires, well, everywhere--so I haven't taken the Expedition out for much but up and down the street to check shifting.  I'll have to do an uber-dawn patrol to test drive the new configuration, but bumping through some potholes gave me great anticipation for the future.  Jodi is quite happy with her conversion, too.  One step closer to the Great Divide.

Oh, and the maps came, too!  It turns out Adventure Cycling has mapped the Divide starting in Jasper, Alberta, the starting point for our own, mostly paved Rockies tour in 2012.  I don't think we'll ride this, but I am leaning towards starting in Banff.  Canada is just so bitchin', albeit expensive.

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