Earth Cycles Sunset for sale



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Zach Kaplan Cyc

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I am selling my highly upgraded Earth Cycles Sunset low racer. This is a very rare bike, one of 18
made. It is the ideal low racer for a shorter rider due to its use of a 305mm front wheel. It will
take riders with x-seams from 35" to 49". The frame telescopes in the middle so the wheelbase
changes with rider height to insure consistent weight distribution. The boom also telescopes. Due to
the take apart frame and small wheels (305mm front, 406mm rear) this also makes an excellent travel
bike. The seat height is 12" and the bottom bracket height is 18.5". The seat height is low enough
to stop by putting a hand on the ground while keeping the feet clipped in for a quick get away when
the light turns green. The seat angle range is more upright than most low racers. The seat back
angle is adjustable from 30 to 38 degrees from horizontal.

The Sunset is also very practical unlike most low racers. It comes with a custom tubular stainless
steel and CrMo rear rack with a 60 pound carrying capacity and an integral flag mount. The higher
and more upright (for a low racer) seat makes it easier to ride in traffic as the rider's head is
above window base level on most cars. Unlike many low racers that need many lanes to make a U-turn,
the Sunset has a dual mode chain routing system that allows it to make very tight turns with no
crank or chain interference. When riding away from the city the lower chain can be removed from the
idler near the head tube and it will run along side the front wheel for more efficiency and less
noise. When the chain is in the down mode it doesn't slap the fork because the fork is a monoblade
with an aerofoil shaped tube supporting the hub from the left side only.

The double cog step-up intermediate drive makes the 406mm rear wheel act like a full sized rear
wheel for gearing purposes, thus conventional sized chainrings can be used and a wide gear range is
readily obtainable without resorting to heavier and less efficient internal gearing systems. The
steel cogs of the intermediate drive also do away with the plastic pulley most low racers have on
the top chain. This reduces noise and eliminates pulley wear with probably very similar efficiency
to a pulley. I've heard some people say it is slightly more efficient than a pulley, others say
slightly less efficient.

While not as aerodynamic as most other low racer due to the more upright seat and seat higher in
relation to the bottom bracket, the Sunset is still quite fast, faster on level ground than most of
the higher bikes, especially on windy days as the wind speed is less closer to the ground. It seems
to climb very well. The base weight is 27 lbs. though the one I'm selling weighs more due to the
disc brakes, wider rear tyres and mudguards. The very stiff frame and small wheels make it very
responsive feeling in stop and go traffic or sprinting situations. The small wheels and stiff rear
triangle also make for a relatively rough ride compared to the low racers that have full size rear
wheels with the rear axle much farther behind the seat. This is why I installed wider tyres. The
ride quality on rough roads now feels about average for a SWB recumbent.

This Sunset has the following upgrades from stock configuration:

Hayes hydraulic disc brakes rather than rim brakes. On the Sunset disc brakes have the following
advantages over the stock rim brakes: can run a wider front tyre (up to a 54-305 Schwalbe City Jet
vs. a 40-305 Kenda Kwest); no small diameter rim overheating issues on long, twisty descents; no rim
wear from braking; no brake delay in the wet; better modulation; braking not affected by dented or
out of true rims; and more ultimate stopping power. There are also braze-ons for a rear linear-pull
rim brake for those who want to save a bit of weight.

Bacchetta narrow handlebars and short stem of the type used on the Bacchetta Aero in place of the
tiller stem and straight bars. I found the Bacchetta handlebar and stem arrangement to be a big
improvement over the tiller setup in terms of ease of getting on and off the bike, low speed
handling and the ability to lean forward for a better view when crossing intersections or to
unweight one's back for going over bumps or to pull on the handlebars when going up steep hills.
Some people including myself also find the arms straight out "superman" position much more
comfortable than the "praying hamster" position of the tiller bars and I've seen claims that the
"superman" position is more aerodynamic. Converting to the Bacchetta bars and stem also saved 350
grams, mostly due to loosing the very heavy adjustable angle stem that came with the tiller bars.

Custom carbon fibre rear wheel discs made by Garrie Hill. These improve the aerodynamics and make a
nice rumbling noise at speed which causes many cyclists I pass to yell "car back" as I approach.
They also look neat with their clear carbon fibre finish and they don't add much weight. They are
easily removable as the two halves bolt together.

Custom rear wheel with silver Velocity Aeroheat AT 32-hole rim and silver DT-Hugi 240 rear hub. The
Velocity Aeroheat AT rim is stronger, lighter and higher quality than the stock Sun CR-18 rear rim
Earth Cycles used and the DT-Hugi 240 rear hub is considerably lighter than the Phil Wood hub that
normally came on rear disc brake equiped Sunsets.

Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailer in place of the stock 105 derailer to save weight and have a higher
quality, nicer looking derailer. Dark grey Avid Rollamajig added for smoother shifting with long
cable housing run.

Shimano Ultegra bottom bracket in place of stock 105 bottom bracket to save a small amount of weight
and have a slightly higher quality bottom bracket.

Shimano Ultegra Triple crankset in place of 105 crankset for higher finish quality, higher quality
chainrings (longer lasting according to Shimano) and self-extracting chainring bolts. The Ultegra
crankset is 165mm length as I prefer shorter arms for smoother spinning, less strain on the knees,
less frontal area, less weight, lower peak knee height for improved forward vision and more heel to
front tyre clearance when making tight turns.

Stock Shimano 30T inner chainring replaced with a Vuelta 24T chainring with Third Eye Chain Watcher
to prevent chain drop on fast downshifts from the 42T middle ring. The cassette is also an upgrade
for wider range gearing, a Shimano Deore XT 11-34. This gives a good gear range for a hilly area of
16.76" to 112.27" with the current rear tyre which has an outside diameter of 19". The gearing could
easily be raised by replacing the 16T output cog on the mid-drive with a 15T, 14T or 13T cog.

SRAM Rocket Halfpipe shifters with front indexing in place of SRAM Attack shifters without front
indexing. The Rocket shifters are higher end and I find the longer rotating grips of the Halfpipe
version more ergonomic. I also find th front indexing simplifies front shifting, just shift it to
the indexed middle position and the chain shifts onto the middle ring, no need to trim the shifter
after making the shift so it works more like an indexed rear shifter.

Kenda Kwest 40mm tyres in place of the stock Primo Comet tyres. The Kenda Kwests are heavier and
have higher rolling resistance but are significantly more durable and puncture resistant, have much
better traction in the wet and their greater width makes them better suited to rough roads.

BikeE front mudguard and modified Greenspeed rear mudguard with reflective tape.

Stock seat cord replaced with heavy duty black reusable cable-ties saving 39 grams and making it
easier to adjust the mesh tension in different zones of the seat. The original cord is included.

Adjustable frame alignment device for lining the two halves of the frame up when adjusting the
wheelbase is included (was $75 option).

Frame is bright orange for visibility.

CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputer.

Condition is excellent, never crashed. I am meticulous about keeping my equipment scratch free and
running well.

Price $3000 plus shipping. Photos available.

--------------------------------------------
Zach Kaplan Cycles Alameda, Northern California, North America 510-522-BENT (2368) zakaplan_at_
earthlink_dot_net
 
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Tom Sherman

Guest
Zach fails to mention that the Sunset is the most fun to ride bicycle ever designed. ;)

Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Red Earth Cycles Sunset No. 3 :)
 
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