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  1. #1
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    A new bent and a couple of questions

    As I mentioned in another thread, I just got another recumbent (bringing the total to 3; but, they are all in different places). I have a few questions.

    First, I purchased it from a taobao vender. The frame says Allegro. I have never heard of this brand. Does anyone have any idea what it is a copy of and who makes it?
    Optimized-IMG_0187.jpg

    Second, the chain line is bothersome, where the chain crosses, just aft of the chain-rings the chain presses pretty hard against the chain going the opposite direction. The chain is in a tube at that point; but, I cannot fee that having the side of the chain constantly rubbing will cause inefficiencies and reliability troubles. It is so extreme that I avoid using the large ring entirely.

    I looked at the pictures on the website and it appears I have it assembled correctly (there were no instructions). I don’t see any other way to run the chain. Any thoughts?

    I took it out on a ride yesterday for about 60Km. I never was able to get the rear brake to quiet down and the chain will not shift into the smallest cog, I think the cable housing is too long. Other than that it seemed to ride ok. I had to stop and tighten some stuff a few times; but that is expected with a new bike. My biggest complaint, at this point, is the chainline.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. – Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I don't recognize the name, but it looks like a knock-off of a TW-Bents or similar cheap Chinese 'bent. The chain lines on them aren't always well-thought-out. What I'd do is drop the return chain. That'll have the effect of reducing your ability to turn sharply, but it will prevent problems from the crossed chains.

    Dropping the chain is pretty simple. First, attach a ~4" long bit of chain tube to the power idler. On that bike, you *may* want to rig a bracket to drop the chain tube a bit so it's close to being in-line with the derailleur-to-chainring path. (It doesn't have to be exact, but the less deflection you have the more efficient it will be.) Next, zip-tie another short piece of chain tube to the fork, so that it'll slide up and down the fork. Now run the return side of the chain through both tubes instead of using any idlers. The chain will rub the wheel and turning sharply will be a problem; but your gears will all be usable and it should run more quietly.

    My Baron uses a crossed chain. The return idlers are tucked in enough that between the tuck and the chain tube, the chains don't normally touch. The power idler is set in-line with the middle of the cassette.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    You could be missing a spacer on the idlers closest to the crank, or maybe you could add one to fix the rubbing.

  4. #4
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    You didn't post a pic of the right side showing the drive line, so we have to guess. One thing, the return chain usually runs inside of the drive chain.

    Dropping the chain may make a big improvement if you don't mind the chain rubbing during slow seed tight turns.

    As for the bike, I concur that it is a TW or Performer model. If so, it can be a fine machine with some tweaking here and there. Bike has a lot f potential.
    Dennis T

  5. #5
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    It looks very similar to a Performer Agenda, but I think it's a clone. The Agenda has gussets around the headtube which I don't see on the Taobao bike. Also, the droupouts and steering arrangement are different, and a few other minor things.

    1.jpg

  6. #6
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    I found Allegro on Facebook, they're the manufacturer. The bike is definitely a clone.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?..._fb_noscript=1


    TW-Bents recently went under. I wonder if they've been resurrected under new mainland management...
    Last edited by Recumbomatic; 07-05-13 at 01:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I think the official story was that the owner of TW-Bents had to get out of the business due to poor health, but had found a buyer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
    I found Allegro on Facebook, they're the manufacturer. The bike is definitely a clone.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?..._fb_noscript=1
    One-sided fork makes dropping the chain easier. Don't have to put a tube on the fork because 1) you can't, and 2) chain can't saw the non-existent fork leg.

  9. #9
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    The problem with one-sided forks is that they have to be done well or the steering could be wonky. Some early Actionbent models with mono-forks supposedly had steering problems, and I'm not sure if I trust Allegro enuff to want this feature.


    Look at the rear dropout on the OP's enlarged Allegro picture. Then look at this picture from a TW-Bents Attack model.
    Last edited by Recumbomatic; 07-06-13 at 09:53 PM.

  10. #10
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    Getting a bit off topic, but these are apparently Asian-made recumbents that I have never seen before.

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-whe...848177812.html
    http://zzmerck.en.alibaba.com/produc...ml?isGallery=Y

  11. #11
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    You mentioned my pictures; there are some vendor pictures to be found here.

    Well, I took it for an extended ride. I went about 95 miles on day one and 45 miles on day two and stayed the night in a hotel. It rained a good portion of the ride and, instead of making mud, the rain adhered a fine sand to everything.

    I will try to avoid commenting on the use of a recumbent in China and try to focus on the bike performance. I was easily able to keep the speeds between 13 and 16mph. That was with the rack heavily loaded down for touring with a lot is stuff I didn’t need on this trip (and quite a bit of food and water).

    The bike is pretty unstable feeling at low speeds and the handlebar had a lot of wobble at low speeds (keep in mind, the luggage was only on the rear rack). Above 10mph it started to steady out and felt fine up to the low 20’s, which was as fast as I took it.

    The shifting seemed fine; I adjusted the cable adjusted on the rear derailleur once. As mentioned, I didn’t use the big ring much other than in descents. I still need to take a couple of links off the chain; it just comes with three IG-51 chains. Putting them together and adjusting them is the buyer’s problem.

    I do have a gripe, the front idler bit me several times; remember, I have three recumbents, and this is not just a case of being new to recumbernts. By “bit” I mean that right leg coming into contact with the idler and being pulled in along with the chain. I have a pretty good bruise to show for it. I finally dealt with it by sitting further to the right than I normally would; I think that may have been part of the problem with the stability issues.

    The handlebar adjustment screw needs some form of a tensioner on it. This is the screw that adjusts how far the handlebar leans back. It kept walking in. The result was that the bar would not stay in a comfortable position. Yes, I could adjust it back with my fingertips; but, the fact that I could adjust it with my fingertips was the problem.

    As far as the brakes, nightmarish! The sensation of “No brakes!” was not at all uncommon. I Flintstoned it to a stop several times. It is odd, both this bike and my Bacchetta Giro 26 ATT have Avid brakes. The difference seems to be that the Bacchetta has Avid 7, while the Allegro has Avid 5. I suspect that one of the biggest problems is that the preload adjustment on the back of the Avid 5 is so hard to adjust. I have found some instructions for adjusting the BB5 brake and am going to give that a try this evening.

    I took the wheel off at the hotel and managed to get enough force to adjust the brake. However, as I look at it now, the rear preload has, again, backed all the way in. It should come as no surprise that I returned with that brake not working at all (fortunately, it was the rear brake that completely failed). I don’t want to damn the bike for a third party part. However, they need to use a different brake (or include instructions for properly adjusting the brake. . . for that matter, some instructions in the box would be a real improvement, it comes with none), they need to figure out a way to tension the handle bar adjustment (I can think of several), and it would be nice if they can do something about the chain-bite; otherwise just plan on sitting a bit to the right.

    It is not a bad bike; but, I could be better.


    Here is a page with some information about the ride.
    Last edited by Robert C; 07-07-13 at 03:31 AM.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. – Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  12. #12
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    As many of you know from my previous postings. I recently purchased an Allegro recumbent here in China. I have already written about my impressions and riding. I have well over a thousand Km on it now and it is still satisfactory. Is it the best recumbent I have ever ridden? No. Does it seem to be a good value, considering all? Yes.

    This is not about the bent directly. It is about the manufacturer. Be aware, this in not any form of spam, I have no interest in this manufacturer other than that I have purchased on of his bikes. That being said, I can probably get you more, business related, details if asked (I mention this because the information I eventually got was not easily obtained).

    I was in Shanghai earlier this week and I had a morning free; so, I took a cab to see where it is “made.” It was a rather long trip to a distant suburb of Shanghai. I also phoned in advance to insure that someone would be there (be aware Liang Sheng 梁胜, the owner, does not speak English). While it turned out that they were not, they arrived shortly after I did.


    The shop, the suspension bent in the back is an older model


    He showed me some of his new ideas and we discussed the Allegro recumbent. In the discussion I directly asked him about a comment made on a forum upon seeing one of my pictures. I asked him if it was based on the Taiwanese Performer product. He said it is not and stated that he uses a larger tubing diameter than Performer. He stated that his design is based in some of the European models instead.

    The frames are not made in his shop; in fact, none of the parts are. He develops and submits a design to contract manufacturers and then performs assembly in his shop.


    Frame tubes

    He went on to show me a new chain-line that he is starting to work with that goes away from using any chain tube. As you can see, he does this by adding a new idler. It is clear that this is part of a longer term plan because the mount point for the idler is in the existing models. In fact, he offered to update my bent if I bring it by his shop (not an unrealistic idea, I live 198Km from his shop).



    The new chainline; also, you can clearly see that these guys ride their bents

    I also commented on the seat being one of the heaviest parts on the bent. He showed me a new Carbon Fiber seat that is almost ready for production. Unfortunately the sub-manufacturer got some dimensions wrong so the CF seat is not ready; but it is coming. I was also shown a new “cool” seat pad for summer riding. It looks a lot better than the camping mat foam that the current seat pad is made from and will certainly be cooler.


    The new CF seat, I didn't get a picture of the new seat pad

    I was also shown a new bike that is almost ready. As you can see, it is a bit more of a low racer, having a smaller wheel on the rear as well as the front. This new model further reduces weight by using a CF front fork.



    The new model

    [img][/img]
    CF fork for the new model

    In all, it was a good visit. It really is a small shop operation; but everyone was nice and I am definitely glad I went.



    Me and my Allegro on a 110km ride last week, the usual, recumbent, pain free riding; but, the heat was brutal
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. – Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

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