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Building the AB Tadpole (Pics)

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Building the AB Tadpole (Pics)

Old 10-24-05, 09:36 PM
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So after a two week wait they (2) arrived via UPS this morning at 8:30am.


This is how they're able to fit the trikes into these relatively small boxes.


Talk about making it easy for you to put it together..... The "hard stuff's" already done for you (if you find that sort of thing hard)


These are the small parts you have to mount yourself..


These handy little 'guys' are going straight inot my tool kit.


OK, it wasn't all good news, there was one problem I have to take care of. This is the back of the seat, the carbon fiber part, and *that* is a bash where some part of the frame came into contact with the seat during shipping.


The only other "issue" I had with the trike was with the tie-rod ends. 'Most' tie-rod ends are designed with left-hand threads on one side and right-hand threads on the other. This is so you adjust the toe-in by loosening the locknuts and twisting the rod (like a turnbuckle). The ends both being right-hand threaded wasn't a HUGE deal, but it did kind of make things a *little* harder than they needed to be.

Anyway, here's the finished product in the Apple Green color.. I just have to trim the cables and adjust the derailers a little more.



I might replace the chain with something better, too. I'm used to motorcycle chains, so maybe all bicycle chains look like this, but I thought it looked a little flimsy and frail.
(bushingless, I think).

Last edited by Stupid; 10-25-05 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 10-24-05, 09:46 PM
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BTW... Here's what the "Burnt Orange" looks like.. It's really Orange and Yellow, but it's not too bad.



Last edited by Stupid; 10-25-05 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 10-24-05, 10:42 PM
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Wow !!!
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Old 10-25-05, 05:48 AM
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That seat looks like it's fiberglass, not carbon. You can tell by sitting in it. Carbon is as stiff as granite, while fiberglass gives a little bit. Fiberglass also weighs about twice as much, although that'd be hard to tell unless you had one of each! From the pics, it looks like you would have a straighter chainline if you routed the return side under the cross member. Overall, it looks pretty nice! Of course, we'll need some ride reports.
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Old 10-25-05, 05:49 AM
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Cool colours. Shame about the busted seat, though. Are you going to try to get a replacement for it? It looks like the damage is *mostly* aesthetic, a few layers of industrial-strength epoxy might be enough to fix it.

I'm looking forward to hearing how they ride.
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Old 10-25-05, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
That seat looks like it's fiberglass, not carbon.
it looks like you would have a straighter chainline if you routed the return side under the cross member.
You might be right about the fiberglass, I'm not too familiar with CF.. It is surprisingly light, though. As for the chain.. If I ran the return side under the axle it would come in contact with the tie-rod and rub any time you steered the trike. It would also not only put the bottom of the chain awfully darn close to the ground, but it would require the chain to exit the rear guid tube at a very steep angle. I going to have to trim and adjust those black chain guide tubes a little bit more.

It's a work in progress.


Jeff.. Yes, I'm going to send the broken seat back to Randy at Actionbent and get a replacement. It's only a minor setback.
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Old 10-25-05, 10:37 AM
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Well, I hope you get the replacement seat soon. Did you already email him about it?
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Old 10-25-05, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
it looks like you would have a straighter chainline if you routed the return side under the cross member.
Well you got me thinking about the chainline, afterall, so I decided to experiment with the second trike by routing the return side under the axle and see what happens.

I'll let you know how it goes.




Last edited by Stupid; 10-25-05 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 10-25-05, 02:39 PM
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It looks like the tie-rod is connected on the top of the steerer. could you move it to the underside, so that the chain tube can pass over top of the chain tube?

The other thing you could do is, simply not use a chain tube for the bottom half of the chain.
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Old 10-25-05, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jeff-o
It looks like the tie-rod is connected on the top of the steerer. could you move it to the underside, so that the chain tube can pass over top of the chain tube?

The other thing you could do is, simply not use a chain tube for the bottom half of the chain.
Without a better pic, my guess is that no matter what he changes, using no chain tube would have the chain dragging over either the tie rod, or under the bottom of the front frame piece.
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Old 10-25-05, 03:19 PM
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I'm pretty sure that without the chain tube things would be a lot worse. I'm heading out right now to see if I can find a higher quality chain to replace what I hope is simply a crappily designed unit. They can't all be this bad, can they?

For what it's worth, the chain that comes on the trike is called a Z9000KMC

-T
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Old 10-25-05, 03:37 PM
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Get two 9 speed SRAM chains and put them together.
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Old 10-25-05, 03:42 PM
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Nah, I still don't think he's doing it right. Look at the pictures on the AB Tadpole review on www.bentrideronline.com it looks like both tubes are on top of the cross-tube.

Yes! You can clearly see here, on ActionBent's own website, that both chain tubes are on top of the cross-tube.
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Old 10-25-05, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jeff-o
Nah, I still don't think he's doing it right. it looks like both tubes are on top of the cross-tube..
Thanks, Jeff.. I'm fully aware of the fact that they're SUPPOSED to both be on top of the frame, I'm just trying something different to see if I can free up some of the drag on the chain. The over-under system seems to be working quite well on the orange trike.

I would also like to say that the chain is in fact not a "flimsy piece of crap" as I stated earlier, it's actually a perfectly normal bicycle chain... I know, I just got back from my LBS where I had it looked at by the staff. That said, I *will* say this. The chain tool is major pile of crap, and that statement I will not take back later.

Since a picture's worth a thousand words, take a look at these.

The new ($15.00) tool I just bought today.
See how the tool tightly supports the link?


The tool that came with the trike.
If you look closely you'll see that the jaws of the tool are too wide and push the links apart.
It's also just an all-around looser fit.

Last edited by Stupid; 10-26-05 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 10-25-05, 07:49 PM
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The chain tool on the bottom is simple, cheap, but reliable. They're probably sold under many names, but I think mine was a "Cyclo" or something like that. I've had the same one in my toolbox for over ten years and taken apart many a chain with it. The one on top looks nice, though.

Good luck with that chain routing. I agree; it doesn't look very good on either side of the cross beam. The designer put the cross beam and the chain in the same space. Maybe there's a way you can rig a pulley? I know, you shouldn't have to engineer a commercial offering to make it work right.
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Old 10-26-05, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
The chain tool on the bottom is simple, cheap, but reliable.

The designer put the cross beam and the chain in the same space. Maybe there's a way you can rig a pulley?.
Relaible?? Not really. I've used chain tools before, and this one's really poorly designed. The jaws are angled such that as the link seats in the tool, they actually pull the link apart and make it damn hard to line up the pin through the hole of the link. It's also very loose and the chain tends to bend in the dirrection the screw puts on it... This only makes aligning the pin that much harder. With the new tool the chain went together no problem, like it's supposed to.

As for where the chain runs... It seems to work quite well with one side over and one side under the axle. I may switch the other trike to this system, too.

Now if I can just track down my derailer woes.
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Old 10-26-05, 12:01 PM
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Derailleur woes? As in, adjusting the derailleur?
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Old 10-26-05, 02:36 PM
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If I may make a suggestion, for other than breaking down a chain that chain tool or any chain tool for that matter is a pain in the A##. Go to your LBS and purchase a Sram Power link, they also make one for shimano and Wippermann. It makes adjustments sooo simple.
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Old 10-26-05, 03:45 PM
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These people make semi-decent bike tools.

http://www.parktool.com/

They also have a site that gives directions on how to adjust components.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64
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Old 10-26-05, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jeff-o
Derailleur woes? As in, adjusting the derailleur?
OK, once again I have lived up to my screen name . It's not a derailer issue, but a chain length issue. I know the chain on the orange trike is too short, and that the chain on the green trike looks too long, but I tried removing a few links from the green one and it didn't seem to help much... That or helped too much, I can't remember now.

Anyway, here's what it's doing...

Large rear, large front sprocket.


Small rear, small front sprocket.


The orange one.
Large rear, small front sprocket.


Large rear and anything larger than the smallest front sprocket.


It would be great if I could just remove some of the links from the green one and put them on the orange trike, but I doubt I'll get that lucky. As mentioned earlier I did try removing about 10 links from the green one before, but it seemed to only make things worse.

-T

Last edited by Stupid; 10-26-05 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 10-26-05, 06:48 PM
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You're right, it does look like you have too much chain on the green one, and not enough on the orange one. Adjusting the chain can be fiddly, only one or two links will make a difference. And yeah, just take some links from the green bike and put them on the orange one. You have a nice fancy chain breaker, you can do it!


BTW, it's a good thing you got two different colours, it would be a pain to say, "Black trike 1, black trike 2."
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Old 10-27-05, 09:47 AM
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You really think one or two links is going to be enough?

I guess we'll find out.
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Old 10-27-05, 10:33 AM
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Take one of the trikes to a shop and have them show you how to get the right chain length. When you go in, tell them you want to pay to have the chain done right, but ask if you can be instructed in how to do it, in case something happens on a trip. Tell them other riders might use your trike.

According to the Park Tool repair help site, the top pic of the orange trike is how the derailleur cage should be on the large chainring and large sprocket, for both bikes. There must be a bend in the chain as it goes around the pulleys in the cage. Try reading this site.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=26

Remember, one "link" of chain actually spans three rivets. It's what many people think is two links. It should be one inch long. You shouldn't take out half a link.
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Old 10-27-05, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Stupid
You really think one or two links is going to be enough?

I guess we'll find out.
In your case, maybe four or five. But what I meant was, two links can mean the difference between a properly sized chain and an improper one.
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Old 10-27-05, 11:22 AM
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I agree with Jeff-O. The pic of the orange one shows the chain is already too tight on the middle/big combination. Actually, the small chainring/big cassette gear looks about what you want when you're in the big/big combination; namely the derailleur still has a little bit of movement left to accomodate shifting back to a smaller cog. So you may need to add as many as 6 links (12 teeth) to the existing chain. One link being an inner plate and an outer plate. If that means you can't take up enough chain slack when you're in your small/small combination, then that's the breaks - it's better to have a gear or two that don't work well rather than have a gear or two that will ruin your frame and/or derailleur if you accidently use them.
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