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TerraCycle Idlers and Your Trike's Chainline
Ashley Guy - 11/11/2007
By Ashley Guy of UtahTrikes.com
The TerraCycle Solution
TerraCycle manufactures performance upgrades for recumbent bikes and trikes, and their specialty is idlers. They work with many makes of cycles and their idlers are even OEM on some models. Since no two vehicles are the same they have created kits for the most popular cycles. While all the kits vary depending on the specific model, they all share TerraCycleís idlers. TerraCycle builds these idlers in Oregon and they come with a five-year warranty.
The Stock TerraTrike Chain Management
The chain management system on most of the Wizheelz TerraTrikes routes the chain along the bottom of the frame in a side-by-side manner. This chain route has the main advantage of keeping the chain away from the rider. The disadvantages of this routing solution are:
Hard Idler Pulleys Ė There are four idler pulleys in total that the chain must pass through. Because these pulleys are hard, the chain must bounce over the pulleyís inner bed. As the chain bounces over the pulley it will slowly cut into the Delrin material. Friction increases for the life of the idler as the surface of the pulley gets gouged. This is especially noticeable on the front power side idler where the chainís angle is most severe. The main advantage of the stock WizWheelz idler is that it is very inexpensive.
No Float Ė The stock idlers run side by side and are bolted solid to the frame. The power side of the chain is ran along the inside while the return side runs along the outside idler pulleys. This means that the chain must bend sideways to accommodate different gear choices. As the chain is bent sideways through the idler it rubs on the side of the idler resulting in chain drag.
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