19 January 2014

A tube is not a chain and other stories

#319 / #113

I owe you a post (rides #s 318 and 112) so I'll just say we rode from Sunrise to Watt and back on Wednesday.

Today (Sunday, and a beautiful sunny day it was) we planned to go from Sunrise to I-80 and back - 30 miles. Red Leader had that awful creaking noise return, so I started randomly trying to diagnose it while rolling merrily along. I'd drift up beside him when traffic on the American River Trail allowed, and bellow a suggestion. He'd try it and then we'd repeat.

I had noticed that the creak was louder when his left leg was at full extension, and also that his torso bobs around quite a bit when turning the cranks. So I asked him push harder with his right and that evened the creak out in regards to left/right.

Then I asked him to coast and shift his weight around like he was pedaling and ta-da! Creaking.

We stopped at William Pond and he started checking his trike from back to front and decided that the rear wheel's quick release could be tighter. So he tightened it a little bit. He sat in the trike and bobbed around and it did not creak as much.

Ok, that's good.

Somewhere between Wm Pond and Watt, Red Leader pulled over announcing that his chain had disappeared. WTF!?

Turned out that the upper front chain tube had come unmoored and crept up the chain and tried to insert itself through the front derailler. That kind of worked, but the tube is not a chain so did not travel along the cogs well, instead diving off to the left and trying to wrap the tube and chain around the left crank.

I need to add zipties to my pile-o-stuff (there used to be zip ties in there, honest!) Red Leader figured out what was going on, got the chain tube to go back through the webbing/zip tie tether without taking anything apart, and reinforced the end of his battered chain tube with some Gorilla tape. Which I did have in the pile-o-stuff.

We went on to Watt and decided to turn around since all the diagnosis and repair had eaten up some of our bike time.

I'll be getting some new tubes on both trikes, as I've been putting off that job for my trike and I had no idea Red Leader's tubes were so chewed up and split.

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