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-   -   Failures of the Rans V-Rex (http://www.bikeforums.net/recumbent/557637-failures-rans-v-rex.html)

totoroben 07-01-09 03:14 PM

Failures of the Rans V-Rex
 
I have a 2006 year Rans V-Rex. It was right before the cheaper LE came out. I have been riding it for two years now and have come across the following structural failures. Below is a pic of the bike.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/bikefull.jpg

#1 The seat
The first few months of riding my V-Rex I noticed that holes were being worn into the seat mesh. I found the solution was to double up the seat mesh to make it stronger. Below is a pic of the seat with holes in it.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...oben/chair.jpg


#2 The seat stays
There are two metal tubes supporting the seat held in by allen bolts. The right side broke. I believe this could be dangerous and the design encourages breakage due to the cylander terminating about 1.5cm before the screw. Bad idea. I hacked off the end and redrilled a new hole, no further problems. Below is the side that I modified. I am referring to the black tube.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...Seatstay-1.jpg

#3 Chain idler
There is a cheap plastic piece which keeps the chain from coming off the idler wheel. It broke off so I modified it with a ballpoint pen and bolt.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...chainidler.jpg

#4 The seat clamp
The seat clamp slides a lot and is tightened by two screws. Unfortunately, these two pathetic little screws screw in to plastic so when they strip out the clamp is useless. I believed they changed the design of this clamp so I will call and ask for a replacement.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1.../Clampopen.jpg

JanMM 07-01-09 07:31 PM

Did you try what RANS suggests for the RadLoc seat clamp? Piece of innertube around the plastic piece on the bottom. They also sell a little retention device that mounts on the rail just behind the clamp.

The plastic retainer for the idler can be replaced by any number of pieces, such as a pen tube, or odd bits from the hardware store. RANS sells replacements.

Was something rubbing against the back of the seat mesh? Or, on the front?

Does your rack work for you at that angle?

They have since changed the design of the sprint braces. (I have an '08)

BlazingPedals 07-01-09 08:24 PM

I have a '97 V-Rex. It doesn't get a lot of miles put on it anymore, but it probably has on the order of 18,000 total miles. Yours looks like it's seen some hard service, so that may be at least a small part of the issues you're having. Parts wear out and break with use, and the harder you use them the faster it'll happen. Mine:

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...cs/V-Rex24.jpg

Regarding your complaints, I can make a few comments.
1. Seat mesh - I too had issues with the mesh wearing. I went through two seat meshes, the second one, shown in the pic below, literally pulled apart from the tension I used. An additional complication for me was that I have an old tall-back seat and they no longer sell the mesh for it, deeming the current seat size 'close enough.' My solution was to have my sister make one out of Pet-Pruf screening material, using an old one for the pattern. The stuff is so tough, I think it will finally die when the expanding sun engulfs the earth.
2. I have the older bare aluminum sprint braces, so I can't comment on your problems there. Mine are not as stiff as I'd like, but they've been trouble-free.
3. The "cheap plastic piece" is just a nylon machine bolt. Replace it with a steel one! BTW, my bike still has the factory-original one. I covered it with 2 layers of electrical shrink-wrap tubing.
4. I have the old square-bracket seat mount, which was noted for slipping. A little sandpaper fixed it. Simple solutions are best, IMHO. If I had the Rad-Lok, I'd be using the inner tube solution. Can you just tap the stripped holes to take bigger screws?

aikigreg 07-01-09 09:59 PM

Talk to RANS. They're often more helpful than just going it alone and messing stuff up. BTW, My v-rex is more than 12 years old, and has never needing anything changed outside of tires, cables, cogsets, and seat mesh. Still on original bomb-proof never needed truing rims.

totoroben 07-02-09 12:34 PM

everyone thank you for your suggestions. I may try the inner tube, but I will still need to drill and tap for new screws.

Dchiefransom 07-02-09 04:48 PM

The seat stays were a problem, and Rans has changed that. I have that type on my 2007 Stratus LE.
I broke off the plastic piece above the idleers when my chain dropped off my big cog and ripped the wheel out of the drops. I replaced it using stainless steel screws and nuts with plastic ice machine tubing covering the screw. Your solution with a pen body sounds good.
Don't know about your seat mesh, but I don't keep anything in my pockets if I can avoid it, so it doesn't concentrate pressure at one point.

gcottay 07-02-09 04:53 PM

With millions of bikes dying in garages some of them bents, it's always fun to see one well used.

Floyd 07-02-09 06:17 PM

I have a Stratus and my seat stay also broke the other day...my advantage is that I live only an hour away from Hays so will be going up their next week to see what they will do for me.

Bobsk8 07-02-09 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals (Post 9204735)
I have a '97 V-Rex. It doesn't get a lot of miles put on it anymore, but it probably has on the order of 18,000 total miles. Yours looks like it's seen some hard service, so that may be at least a small part of the issues you're having. Parts wear out and break with use, and the harder you use them the faster it'll happen. Mine:

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...cs/V-Rex24.jpg

Regarding your complaints, I can make a few comments.
1. Seat mesh - I too had issues with the mesh wearing. I went through two seat meshes, the second one, shown in the pic below, literally pulled apart from the tension I used. An additional complication for me was that I have an old tall-back seat and they no longer sell the mesh for it, deeming the current seat size 'close enough.' My solution was to have my sister make one out of Pet-Pruf screening material, using an old one for the pattern. The stuff is so tough, I think it will finally die when the expanding sun engulfs the earth.

I realize that Rans can't support old products forever, but it's a shame that they can't get someone to make up some seat meshes for the different size legacy seats. I have a 1998 Tailwind, and the only seat mesh I was able to get is about 3-4 inches higher than the frame, and is designed for the 2000- model seatback. It works OK, but I would have rather had one that was a proper fit.

Bobsk8 07-08-09 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobsk8 (Post 9210931)
I realize that Rans can't support old products forever, but it's a shame that they can't get someone to make up some seat meshes for the different size legacy seats. I have a 1998 Tailwind, and the only seat mesh I was able to get is about 3-4 inches higher than the frame, and is designed for the 2000- model seatback. It works OK, but I would have rather had one that was a proper fit.

I just got off the phone with Rans on another issue, and while I was talking to their tech support person, I asked about the availability for the seatmesh for my Tailwind, which is the shorter seat than the presently available one. He told me that if and when I decide to replace it, I can measure it , and send him the measurements and he will let me know how much a replacement mesh. Rans customer service is first class in my opinion. :thumb:

totoroben 07-08-09 01:12 PM

I just got a new seat clamp in. It is the newer V-Clamp model. I opted not to use the Radlock because it slips and breaks. The V-Clamp took 30min to install. Thank you Rans for selling me some plastic for $55. I do not feel obligated to defend Rans, Radlock was a mistake and doesn't work. I really have no idea where Rans gets their pricing from. Anyways here are some pics.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/100_0644.jpg
New seat clamp. It is simpler but I am going to hold my verdict as to if it actually works
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/100_0645.jpg
my old Radlock.

totoroben 08-18-09 10:09 PM

The FINAL STRAW
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/100_0797.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/100_0796.jpg
Well my bicycle frame finally gave in tonight 8-18-09 23:30. The frame cracked. I know RANS isnt going to do anything for me, so I might as well just leave these here.

pathdoc 08-19-09 07:12 AM

I can't help but think that bike has seen its share of abuse. Hope you find a replacement.

totoroben 08-19-09 08:16 AM

Never really abused this bicycle. It is for fair weather because of the components and because of the stability. In the snow and rain I ride my DF bicycle. I just commute to work on this thing, which is just plain roads.

evblazer 08-19-09 08:35 AM

Since it was on 06 was their a previous owner? Looking at your pics it does look a little worse for wear but that could just be the pictures or those acorn nuts on the idler standing out in the last pic The side pic makes it look like there was rust on the interior of the frame? or is that just clay or something. Just curiousity I guess I've had bikes and their parts snap on me before and so far never had a problem with warrantee but always tried to figure out how it broke to prevent it next time.

Did you notice it riding funny and stop to look or did it just dump you to the curb?

On the rans web site it states
"Increased warranty: All parts excluding the frame (which is lifetime) are now covered for 12 months. This is retro active to bikes purchased within the last 12 months"

Not to sure how to legaleze read this but it might be that the frame was always lifetime, or is now lifetime.. It may be worth checking. http://www.ransbikes.com/Warranty.htm

VegasTriker 08-19-09 10:28 AM

Most bent manufacturers stipulate that a lifetime warranty only applies to the original owner. With all of the things that went wrong with this bike in such a short period of time, I would suspect it was either abused or perhaps in an accident before you bought it. Unfortunately Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware) often applies. I've personally bought several used recumbents and never gotten stuck but I once worked in a bike shop and know what to look out for.

BlazingPedals 08-19-09 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by totoroben (Post 9203000)

You claim no abuse, but it's certainly received some hard use. There are more scuffs, scrapes, and nicks in that section of frame than on all of my bikes combined. Still...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/100_0796.jpg[/QUOTE]

The frame should have a lifetime warranty, unless you've done something to invalidate it. Definitely send the pics to RANS and try to get a warranty replacement. (Hopefully you're the first owner.) This isn't a slam-dunk, because a fellow club member had a Strat frame tube collapse in a gravelly turn, and RANS claimed it must have been caused by an accident. He had a local frame-builder fix it, but understandably isn't too happy with RANS.

aikigreg 08-19-09 06:03 PM

yup - that bike has obviously been wrecked numerous times.

brad3104 08-19-09 06:18 PM

Obviously this bike has been abused like crazy. Just look at all the rust and stuff all over it. This isnt something that is going to happen from normal riding and care, a few minor drops, or even a minor accident or 2. This bike looks like it was taken to a bmx park weekly lol. I really dont like how lots of bikes are just 1 giant piece of welded metal. It just seems like it will snap the frame because the bike is literally 1 piece. I really like my Vision R50 and how there are several pieces to the frame. Just seems so sturdy. Not to mention the suspension helps. I also hate how alot of bent have little tiny seat support bars that look like they are about 1 inch all the way around. How is this going to support someone back and body weight....

BlazingPedals 08-19-09 06:45 PM

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1.../Clampopen.jpg

I'm probably not the only one to wonder, what's that wire go to? Did this bike have a power assist installed? :innocent:

gcottay 08-19-09 09:21 PM

While no bike is defect free, the V-Rex has proven a solid and reliable performer. The problems encountered by the OP are not at all representative of V-Rex or Rans.

totoroben 08-19-09 09:31 PM

I am the original owner of this bicycle and never have abused it or taken it offroad. Blazingpedals: The wires are for LED strips on the frame. As far as the scuffs go, they are from the seat sliding and some adhesive leftover from another set of light strips I removed previously. Thank you for all your replies everyone! I may look into Rans replacing the frame.

totoroben 08-19-09 09:36 PM

I misread the warranty. I should be able to get a replacement by that reasoning. I will let you all know what happens!

Jay D 08-20-09 01:15 AM

I'm not too familiar with RANS bikes, but is that frame your correct size? From looking at the very first picture you posted, it almost looks like with a quick start you could potentially flip backwards on it.

JanMM 08-20-09 05:16 PM

Looks as if the seat is pretty close to the extreme 'tall' position on the rail but it may be that the weird tilt of the rack makes the bike look funnier than it really is.


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