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Re: First experience with TerraCycle Big Dummy idler

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  • Rich W
    The always ready to go criteria does not work with ANY complex mechanical item, including cars. They all require maintenance and have items that will wear out
    Message 1 of 24 , Mar 7 7:16 PM
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      The always ready to go criteria does not work with ANY complex mechanical item, including cars. They all require maintenance and have items that will wear out and will continue to do so as long as made up of multiple mechanical parts.

      From a theoretical standpoint a single speed steel frame bike using good quality track hubs, heavy duty aluminum rims, large gauge stainless spokes, a high end headset and freewheel and 1/8" drivetrain and chain should be ultra reliable if properly built. It will last even better if you can get a full chaincase for it. This is basically the standard configuration of European utility bikes for the last 100+ years and many of those seem to go practically forever with minimal TLC.

      Adding derailleurs or an IGH will almost certainly decrease reliability, at least slightly, while increasing versatility. Your call regarding the best compromize for you.

      As a retired Reliability Engineer for Xerox I can guarantee that the general rule of thumb for ultimate reliability is KISS. Every added component has it's own failure rate which adds to the total overall risk of failure of the complete assembly.

      Rich Wood


      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > On 2011-03-07, at 6:45 PM, TeamJT wrote:
      > > Does the idler pulley make extra noise due to the bend in the chain line? The pvc mount is clever. I may have to borrow that idea at some point.
      >
      > Not really; I've got very little bend on the load pulley, and the other one, is urethane.
      >
      > > I'm not as concerned about my pants as I am about getting more life out of my chain. VikB suggested fenders with mud flaps as part of the solution, and I thought that maybe a chainguard would further protect the chain from front tire splash.
      >
      > I want a bike that is just ready to go, always, no matter what. It should replace a car. So, I don't want greasy legs. I have fenders front and rear, and a front mud flap, and the chaincase provides some shielding (used to provide more, I had a thin piece of plastic on the backside), and there's still grit everywhere. I am not sure whether it comes form that long low chain run, or if there's a fair amount of sand kicking around inside the rear wheel fender area.
      >
      > David
      >
    • David Backeberg
      ... Love the handlebar tape and the zipties to reduce rub on the tubes. Ideas I d never thought of.
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 8 6:32 AM
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        On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
        > Pictures:
        >
        > http://gallery.me.com/dr2chase#100293

        Love the handlebar tape and the zipties to reduce rub on the tubes.
        Ideas I'd never thought of.
      • David Chase
        Update, with more riding in. 1) I simplified the spoke assembly, keeping only the upper spoke, and bending it so that it would not rub the edge of the pulley
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 8 7:08 PM
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          Update, with more riding in.

          1) I simplified the spoke assembly, keeping only the upper spoke, and bending it so that it would not rub the edge of the pulley (it did that sometimes, made noise).

          2) My shoe sometimes caught the lower spoke.

          3) Not too much rubbing, though long term, I think I will want to cut away a little more of the chainguard, and somehow attach something that is slightly bowed (I imagine, aluminum flashing, perhaps attacked with pop rivets or small nuts and screws) to protect my pants and also give chain clearance.

          4) Not much noise from the pulley, certainly not compared to the (snow) tires and the stretched chain in tension on the rear cog and front chainring. That's getting a little disturbing, to the point that I went and found the new chain that I intend to install "real soon now".

          5) NO CHAIN SKIP AT ALL. This had been a problem, sometimes, intermittently, with the old chain especially, when I stomped hard on the pedals.

          David
        • Cara Lin Bridgman
          I ve got fenders (Planet Bike, I think; via Xtracycle several years ago) with mud flaps with additional mud flaps cut from 2L soda bottles and I still get
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 10 5:49 AM
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            I've got fenders (Planet Bike, I think; via Xtracycle several years ago)
            with mud flaps with additional mud flaps cut from 2L soda bottles and I
            still get spray up as high as my knees.

            I only do 'road' biking, but the road is sometimes dubious. The road is
            always some sort of paved, but it always has construction, and always
            has all sorts of grit. When I bike home, I have to wash the grit from
            my face and from my nostrils. I always wear a bandanna so I don't have
            to wash the grit from my hair. And, I always have to wear glasses or
            sunglasses--just to keep the grit out of my eyes. One source of the
            grit are dust storms from China's deserts.

            So, conditions here in Taichung, Taiwan, are just bad for chains (not to
            mention we're a coastal city with salt air). I've always admired the
            photos of bikes with beautifully shiny chains and wondered--how do they
            use these bikes AND keep the chains and gears shiny like that?

            I guess you could say I replace my chain whenever it starts breaking.
            Reading all these emails inspires me to clean it more and to replace it
            more.

            I'd appreciate some way to do a chain guard, so David Chase's photos are
            inspirational. Maybe I'll try cutting up a few more soda bottles...

            CL

            TeamJT wrote:
            > VikB suggested fenders with mud flaps as part of the
            > solution, and I thought that maybe a chainguard would further protect
            > the chain from front tire splash.
          • David Chase
            I got that chain guard from Velo-Orange, and it was not cheap. I use the rule that when I spend money on my car, I get to spend money on my bike. Keeps the
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 10 6:12 AM
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              I got that chain guard from Velo-Orange, and it was not cheap. I use the rule that when I spend money on my car, I get to spend money on my bike. Keeps the car running, and the bike nice.

              I rather wish the idler wasn't necessary, but to clear the kickback, it is, and the kickback is a rather large win, too. Makes life a little better with a really worn chain, too.

              One possibility, I suppose, is to run the drive train straight, and position the return chain directly underneath. This would cut back a little on the chances for guard rub and greasy pants, but it would then be somewhat more likely that I would lose the chain from the front ring (this has happened). OR, buy a second idler mount, and run them one above the other. ($pend, $pend, $pend).

              On 2011-03-10, at 8:49 AM, Cara Lin Bridgman wrote:
              >
              > I'd appreciate some way to do a chain guard, so David Chase's photos are
              > inspirational. Maybe I'll try cutting up a few more soda bottles...
              >
              > CL
            • Andrew Kreps
              ... I m pretty sure they never ride in rain. I have to lube up my chain about every other day this time of the year, and you can forget about cleaning. It s a
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 10 11:49 AM
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                On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 5:49 AM, Cara Lin Bridgman <shokulan@...> wrote:
                I've always admired the
                photos of bikes with beautifully shiny chains and wondered--how do they
                use these bikes AND keep the chains and gears shiny like that?


                I'm pretty sure they never ride in rain.  I have to lube up my chain about every other day this time of the year, and you can forget about cleaning.  It's a lost cause.  :)   
              • David Dannenberg
                I use Planet Bike fenders--29ers, not ones for 26 wheels--per Vik s or Pheadrus s recommendation. They have a mud flap and I have them mounted close to my
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 11 6:02 AM
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                  I use Planet Bike fenders--29ers, not ones for 26" wheels--per Vik's or Pheadrus's recommendation. They have a mud flap and I have them mounted close to my 2.5" Hookworms. I ride in mud, silt, rain, dust, even light snow and salt and I remain almost dry completely spray-free. Something isn't right if you have fenders and experience wearing so much road during your ride.

                  David

                  When I bike home, I have to wash the grit from 
                  my face and from my nostrils. I always wear a bandanna so I don't have 
                  to wash the grit from my hair.
                • Cara Lin Bridgman
                  I ve got the Planet Bike fenders (or whatever it was Xtracycle was selling about 5 years ago)--but for 26 wheels, so I added the soda bottle mud flap. Maybe
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 11 6:22 PM
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                    I've got the Planet Bike fenders (or whatever it was Xtracycle was
                    selling about 5 years ago)--but for 26" wheels, so I added the soda
                    bottle mud flap. Maybe something softer and more flappy will do better,
                    maybe something cut from a car inner tube...

                    What's not right is Taichung air quality! A lot of that grit is wind
                    blown. Taichung is Taiwan's Windy City. A lot of that grit is kicked
                    up by passing cars, trucks, and motorbikes. Taichung is in a fairly
                    constant state of construction and renovation. Most of Taichung's
                    energy comes from coal burning and garbage burning plants. Taichung
                    also gets grit from dust storms beginning in China's deserts.

                    It's mainly the grit from the knees down that gets kicked up by my own
                    bike's front wheel. The rest of the grit is just just out there. I get
                    the same grit in the same places when riding my husband's 150 cc Yamaha
                    motorbike.

                    CL
                    who wears her rain gear tight around her face because passing cars can
                    kick up ear-cleaning tsunamis.

                    David Dannenberg wrote:
                    > I use Planet Bike fenders--29ers, not ones for 26" wheels--per Vik's or
                    > Pheadrus's recommendation. They have a mud flap and I have them mounted
                    > close to my 2.5" Hookworms. I ride in mud, silt, rain, dust, even light
                    > snow and salt and I remain almost dry completely spray-free. Something
                    > isn't right if you have fenders and experience wearing so much road
                    > during your ride.
                    >
                    >> When I bike home, I have to wash the grit from
                    >> my face and from my nostrils. I always wear a bandanna so I don't have
                    >> to wash the grit from my hair.
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