Touring - Assembly of Bike with BT Couplers
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What's the best way to assemble a bike equipped with S&S Machine Bicycle Torque couplers. Do I put the wheels on first? Do I lay the two parts of the frame horizontally on the floor? Should I try to do it with the frame vertical? What are people's experiences?
12-11-04, 09:18 PM
The S&S couplers are a god send if you want to travel with bike. Let alone if you want to travel with a tandem. I've built up a few singles and tandems (DF and Bent) as well as single and tandem trikes for customers with couplers. And my latest bike is equipped with two couplers, that allows the bike to be packed in a standard bike box if needed. The new bike is a Longbikes, Gulfstream recumbent tandem and has a 106" wheelbase. It is longer then some small cars.
I assemble the frame sections first, the couplers are part of the frame and should one be damaged thats the end of your ride. I always apply a little grease to the threads when assembling the couplers and use the coupling wrench only to tighten the couplers. Using any other tool will mark up the coupler. Had a customer use a pipe wrench and did ugly things to his bike. Make sure the couplers are tight, check them every few days when riding a coupled bike. Ridding with a loose coupler will destroy it.
On my bike I assemble the frame, and install the front wheel. The bike has a two legged kick stand, I flip it down and use it to hold up the bike while I finish assembling it. It also helps when adjusting cables as I can spin the pedals to check gear and brake adjustment.
After the frame is assembled you can assemble the bike just like any other. Make sure your cable quick disconnects are tight and connected to the right cable. I.E. Brake to brake and shifter to shifter.
When packing a coupled bike protect the couplers by wrapping them with bubble wrap or foam (try not to pop the bubbles until after you get back home :) ) It will protect the couplers as well as the paint. Make sure you take the coupler wrench along with you, don't leave it at home.
12-11-04, 09:29 PM
S&S couplers are fantastic.
Bentbaggerlen's got it down just right.
A special grease is sometimes used on the couplers. Have not heard of any of those separating; however a system-check on a regular basis is always a good idea.
I was thinking about having a frame fitted with these, but reading your post it sounds as if they are fragile and prone to come loose. Are they?
Thanks for the replies, but my question is still the same. I already have a single road bike with couplers and I've been riding it and it's awesome! My question is once I get to my destination I take out the two frame pieces and the wheels and lay everything out on the floor. Now, what's the easiest way to connect the two frame pieces. Do I put the wheels on the the front and rear frame parts and then connect the couplers with the frame vertical? Do I leave the wheels off and put the two frame pieces together on the floor with the bike horizontal?
OKNUPS: These things are awesome! The only way to travel if you want to take your bike with you. The couplers are solid and DO NOT come loose unless you want them to. They do not creak, make your frame wobbly, or interfere with normal riding. They work as advertised. There are stainless steel (they come in Ti for Ti frames) and are welded to the down and top tubes of your bike. They fit perfectly together with tight tolerances, so if they do get severely damaged your bike won't fit together and you'd have to get them replaced. Taken care of they'll last a lifetime. Check out www.sandsmachine.com
12-14-04, 02:26 AM
I have S & S couplings. They are not fragile. I have come down mountain passes at 45 mph, gone over cattle grates in Texas and regularly ride "chip-n-seal" roads. I put the frame together first and then connect the cables. It is easier to connect brake cables when the brakes on not on the wheel and they can close. Next is the wheels, then the handlebar and seat. I take mine all the way apart and pack the handlebars in my regular suitcase, because I don't like trying to get everything in the hard case. I add some cycling clothes to the case to get the weight to 49 pounds. Remember to take CO2 cartridges out of your bike bag, they can not go on flights and will be confiscated. I have used my case on 4 separate trips and the case has been opened each time and thoroughly searched and slammed shut. Airport personnel will not handle your case with loving care.
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