This is a picture of the bike as it arrived. It is sitting one our trike rolling work stands. If you are interested in this stand they are available at Terra Cycle. These work stands are indispensable for anyone working on recumbents.
The overall condition of this bike is exceptional. Everything is in top shape and the bike is well built. The only thing that stands out is the rear derailleur. The rear wheel is 20" and that can cause a problem with the the derailleur cage being too close to the ground. We have seen it before and we have seen problems with this set up.
This is what the bike looks like off the show room floor. In my opinion, a recumbent bike like this gives good value for what you pay. It is a beautiful bike that is very well made. Other than the rear derailleur cage sitting too low to the ground this bike shows no faults from top to bottom.
As this bike has a 32 rear cassette, a mid cage derailleur would provide sufficient chain wrap for this bike. This is a common problem on all bikes with a 20" wheel. In truth, it is not really a problem, just be careful when riding.
When you convert any bike to electric you have to be able to render a bike to the point you can see everything. It is not possible to certify a bike as safe unless you have access to every single bolt and attachment point. In addition, it is important that any bike being converted to electric be as clean as the day it rolled off the factory floor. Why? For a number of reasons, but the most important one is that it simply is not possible to inspect a bike that is covered in dust, dirt, mud, or any other contaminate. Also, that is the way we do things around here and since I own the company we will continue that tradition. A finished project should be finished in every aspect and that includes aesthetics.
Beautiful bike. Note on dirty bikes. Bikes should be dirty because it is not possible to ride a bike without attracting dirt, mud, dust, and other contaminates. A dirty bike indicates to us an experienced rider. When we see bikes that look like they have never been ridden in the last 5 years we know we need to look close for tire decay, old grease that has grown sticky, bearings that need lubricant, and of course the spider hiding in the frame.
This is very important! When a bike is disassembled it is a categorical imperative that you check every bolt for the correct torque and look for any cracking. This is especially true with a recumbent bike as some of these bolts are difficult to access without removing the seat apparatus. It is not that difficult, does not take much time, and in doing so we might prevent future failure of a bike component.
On the tandem bike this is similar to the headtube and stem you would find on an upright bike. Be sure and check the headtube bolt, stem bolts and faceplate bolts.
Whenever you work on another persons bike never make light of the responsibility you have to insure the bike is safe to ride. It does not matter if you are an aircraft mechanic or a bike mechanic, the responsibility is the same.
Whenever you see scraping on the bottom of a derailleur cage you always look for further damage. Any bike with a 20 inch wheel and a long cage derailleur is susceptible to damage as the bottom of the derailleur is less than one inch from the ground. Why is a long cage derailleur used in the first place? It is all about chain wrap. On bikes, the larger the rear cassette the longer the derailleur cage must be to accommodate enough chain to "wrap" around the largest cog without coming into contact with the top of the derailleur. This works well for any bike that has a 24 inch wheel and up but it places the cage to close to the ground when used on a 20 inch wheel.
The lower pulley wheel is seriously dragging and the reason it is dragging is because the derailleur cage has been bent. If this is not rectified, eventually the roller wheel will crack and then freeze up. When that occurs, and the rider will be left stranded as few of us carry spare derailleur rollers with us on a ride nor the tools to replace.
Fortunately, I was able to restore the cage to allow for the free spinning of the roller.
This is what a roller, or a "jockey wheel" looks like once removed from the derailleur. They are very simple, easy to replace (if you are careful) and inexpensive. These small wheels can last for years but they do wear out eventually. In time, the teeth can be worn down or small cracks appear. If the derailleur is one of good quality we replace the pulley wheels. If the derailleur is an entry level component we then replace the entire derailleur. These little wheels are a magnet for hair and thread and we often find them with hair and thread wrapped around between the roller and the derailleur cage. Sounds odd, but we see it all the time.
If we see any marks on a derailleur we check to see if the derailleur hanger has been bent. A derailleur hanger is the part that interfaces between the bike frame and the derailleur. It is called a sacrificial part and is made of soft material. Its purpose is to bend or break in the event the derailleur hits the ground. Without this sacrificial part, the frame of the bike would be damaged.
To check to see if the hanger is bent we use a special tool that allows us to measure four points of a wheel (top, bottom, left and right) to make sure the hanger is perfectly aligned.
As suspected, the hanger is significantly bent. The hanger did what it was supposed to do in order to protect the frame of the bike. Any bike with a bent derailleur hanger will never shift correctly. It is not difficult to straighten the hanger if you have the proper tool. Replacing a hanger can be difficult if you have a bike that is no longer in production. Fortunately, this hanger was able to be restored to its proper position.
I was surprised how far this hanger was bent. I also noticed the hanger was loose so I retightened. The fact that it was loose was probably a related to whatever bent the hanger.
Ready to install. There are three things to always remember to grease prior to installation; pedals, cassette lock cap, and derailleur. The reason for this is that these are parts that will have to be removed in the future. If the previous mechanic failed to grease the threads then these parts can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Always think of the next mechanic down the line.
Never underestimate the level of difficulty of removing a bottom bracket. There are many problem spots. For example; frozen pedals, frozen crank arm bolts, and frozen bottom bracket. Any one of these can occur on a bike and sometimes they all will occur at the same time. We have a tool and method for overcoming all of these obstacles. Above is a picture of how we safely remove bottom brackets. We use the standard bottom bracket socket, then we lock the socket tight against bottom bracket threads by putting a bolt through the socket and into the spindle. We then use a long handled box end wrench and apply pressure until it breaks free.
Perfect. This is a very clean bottom bracket shell.The bottom bracket of a recumbent sits high and therefore is not subject to water and road grime that you find in a standard bike bottom bracket. .
When we install a motor on a bike we have a single goal and that is to insure the motor will never move. We have developed several methods of installing the Bafang mid drive motor and some work better on certain types of bikes than others. One method is we look for natural anchor points that will facilitate the anchoring of the motor. In this case there were two 5mm inserts on the forward light post that were in perfect position to use a motor brace.
Sounds easy, to attach the display but there is much more to it than that. First, you take all of your adapters and accessory mount posts, then you sit on the bike as if you were going for a ride, then you configure everything in a manner that will not come into contact with the riders legs or any moving part of the bike. It is a real Rubic Cube endeavor!
This part is made by Terra Cycles and it is used to attach a downtube battery on a recumbent. It is brilliantly made and as far as I know there is no other company that makes this part. The clamp comes in many different sizes and the mounting plate has a variety of adjustment points making it a truly universal product.
Finished. This is a beautiful bike and a pleasure to ride. The Bafang is a perfect fit for recumbents as the long chain eliminates any issue with alignment. Recumbent bikes have been available since 1847 and is unfortunate more people are not exposed to the benefits of this style of bike. They are graceful, very comfortable, and the safest (by far) of any upright bike.