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Old 10-05-09, 01:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Salt Lake City - Turn North at Moab, Go Back 50 Years
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The Bionx Tourer - In Town, Out of Town

First Adventure Out of Town

My current Bionx configuration - a Bionx PL350 mounted on a Montague Paratrooper bicycle - was purchased as something that I could easily take along when traveling, and this was my first opportunity outside of Utah to test the combination.

Since other obligations took me to northern Nebraska, I put the bicycle - folded - into the back of the car and set aside a morning to ride part of the Cowboy Trail: a rail trail project with one end anchored at Norfolk.

The Cowboy Trail is one of the most ambitious projects rail trail projects in the nation: 321 miles of prepared trail extending through most of what are called the "Sandhills". This is a very lightly populated area (more cows than people) and it will be interesting to see if the state of Nebraska itself will have to step up to provide basic amenities - campgrounds, watering stations, etc. - through this area.

My ride covered only a very small part of this route: 30 miles beginning at Norfolk ... 15 miles out, 15 miles back.

Bionx Vs The Wind

Wind conditions on the day of the ride - and, indeed, the whole week I was there - were what I would consider to be extreme. Wind out of the west-by-northwest (the same direction as the trail) at around 20MPH, with gusts up to 50. Even the locals, who are used to situation, admitted that it was "kind of a windy day".

Once again, I found that having the Bionx unit made a real difference in my riding. Without electric assist, I would have been looking for a Starbucks where I could spend the morning, and probably not even thinking of spending several hours fighting against my old invisible enemy.

As it was, the Bionx rendered invaluable assistance - and still had plenty of juice left, even though the assist level was at "3" for most of the trip.

Since I had the charger with me, the unit was ready to go again the day after the ride - and I used it, later, in some urban situations.

Back In Town

So the Bionx unit "delivered the goods" out of town. But now, back at home, it has started to misbehave again. Making a sound that duplicates, almost precisely, the sound of running water. It's a metal on metal sound: coincident with the Bionx wheel turning ... but not with the pedals turning. So my first conclusion is that there is some sort of problem with the axle.

The Cowboy Trail is paved with crushed limestone, so some grit might have gotten into a bearing somewhere.

It's my understanding that the Bionx motor is sealed, so there should be no problem there.

However, if anyone has any thoughts about what this weird noise might be I would appreciate any thoughts on it.

Thanks for your attention.
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