Old 04-03-06, 12:55 PM
Recumbent Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 2,991

Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX

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OK, I'll bite:

1. The idler. The top chain (the part of the chain closest to the seat) goes through one of the tubes, then goes UNDER the idler. The smallish bracket goes over the bottom half of the idler, and prevents the chain from coming loose. The bottom chain also goes through its own tube, but does not touch the idler.

2. The pin is supposed to be pushed out. This is so that you can insert the other end of the chain, and push the pin back in. You do this using the chain tool. It's the silver doohickey with a screw running through the middle. Here is how you attach the chain:

a) You must first figure out how much chain you need. Adjust the boom to your leg length, and tighten it down. Shift both the front and rear derailleurs into the largest gears.

b) Run the chain around the gears. For the ideal chain length (ie. you are able to use all the gears), the rear derailleur must be pulled forward so that it makes about a 40 degree angle with the ground. If the two ends of the chain overlap when the derailleur is pulled forward, then you will need to remove some links from the chain. If the two ends don't meet, then you will need to add a few links to the chain. If they meet up exactly (which is unlikely) then all you have to do is join the ends.

c) Measure with a ruler, the excess or missing length of chain. Then release the rear derailleur, and shift into the smallest gears (this makes the work easier). If you have excess chain, you will use the chain tool to push a pin out, to break off a few links. Using the measurement from before, go to the point where you'll need to separate the chain. Align the screw in the chain tool with the pin on the chain, and slowly turn the screw so the pin is pushed out. Take your time, and make sure they stay perfectly aligned. Don't push the pin all the way out though, just push enough out that the chain will separate.

d) If you need to add some links, you'll have to locate some more. Maybe your bike shipped with extra, maybe it didn't. If not, you'll have to go to a bike shop and ask for a chunk of chain that matches what you've got. They probably won't laugh at you for needing a bit more chain, but they might charge you fo it. While you're there, you might even want to have them do the work for you.

e) To join the ends of chain together, you will use the same chain tool, to push the pin back in. Join the two ends together in the chain tool, so the screw is alighned with the pin. Slowly turn the screw so the pin is pushed through the two ends of the chain, joining them together. Push the pin far enough that it is even on both sides of the chain. Also, be careful when you do this step! If the two halves of the chain are not parallel, you could risk destroying the link.

(if you have any more questions regarding the use of the chain tool, ask them here or feel free to email me)

3. The skewers. Don't add more grease, they don't need it! The wheels turn on their own bearings, the skewers are just there to hold the wheels in the fork.

4. Presta vs. Schraeder. Advantages? Nothing major, really. All you need to know is, that presta valves are more fragile than schraeder, so be careful when you inflate them. Use a pump with a flexible hose. Be sure to screw down the top of the valve before putting the plastic cap back on. There is an adapter available that screws onto the presta valve, that lets you use schraeder-only inflation systems (like the air hose at a gas station) to inflate your tire. You can get it at any bike shop.

Any other questions? Feel free to ask...

- Jeff
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