First ride of Earth Cycles Sunset with Bacchetta handlebars (long)

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Zach Kaplan Cyc, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth Cycles Sunset since 3 July 2001. The
    last communication I ever received from the Sunset's designer Shean Bjoralt was on 9 July 2001.

    There have been a number of upgrades I've been meaning to make to the Sunset but I never got around
    to doing them because I was busy and have all sorts of other low racers, trikes, SWB's, and LWB's to
    ride so it was a relatively low priority. Maybe it was just a mental block. Anyways Tom Sherman
    posted something about his Sunset to the Earth Cycles Owners Group recently and maybe that is what
    it took to inspire me to go forth with the modifications I had been thinking of making to my Sunset.
    So on Saturday the 11th I began making the desired changes.

    I always felt the Primo Comets, although low in rolling resistance, were relatively poor choices for
    a practical road worthy low racer because they have such poor traction, especially in wet weather. I
    also had concerns about the relatively narrow 305mm Comet in the front getting caught in a crack in
    the road or a pothole causing a blowout and/or loss of control. So I removed the Comets and replaced
    them with Kenda Kwest tyres which are wider, much more durable and puncture resistant and offer
    better traction than the Comets. The Kenda Kwest was not available when I last rode my Sunset.

    Next I added some links to the front chain to allow running the return side of the front chain over
    the pulley to get it over the front wheel in all front chainring combinations. Previously I had
    shortened this front chain to increase chain tension when running the lower chain beside the front
    wheel as I was having chain drop problems with the front chain. It was previously set up so the
    front chain was only long enough to be used on the 24T inner ring and 42T middle ring but not the
    52T outer ring. I decided since the Sunset is a practical low racer I will now run it with the lower
    front chain always over the pulley to allow turning the front wheel more sharply and also so there
    will be less chain flopping around to set up oscillations which could through the chain off the
    intermediate drive cog.

    Next I removed the stock cord from the mesh seat cover and the metal clamp used to maintain cord
    tension. I replaced the cord with individual re-usable heavy duty black cable-ties. In doing so I
    reduced the weight of the bike by 39 grams and now have more precise control over the mesh tension
    in local regions of the seat rather than having to have the entire seat mesh at more or less the
    same tension. Most importantly going to cable-ties eliminated interference I was getting between the
    chain and one of the cords where it goes under the lower seat frame cross tube.

    The most radical change I made and the one the subject heading of this post was named after was
    taking off the Earth Cycles tiller stem riser and handlebars with adjustable stem and replacing them
    with the stem riser and bars of the type used on the Bacchetta Aero. I never really found the
    original praying hamster position comfortable on long rides and have never been fond of the tiller
    effect it induces. Also I find the tiller bars make it more difficult to get on and off the bike and
    to lean forward to get a better view of cross traffic at an intersection or to unweight one's back
    from the seatback for major bumps. Also Rich Pinto has said the arms out "superman" position is more
    aerodynamic. I was pleased to see going to the new stem and handlebars saved 360 grams. The
    adjustable stem that came with the Sunset was quite heavy. I used the Velcro backed neoprene sleeve
    Bacchetta uses to secure the cable housings to the stem riser tube. It looks cleaner than using the
    cable-ties the Sunset came with and also makes it much easier to pack the stem for travel or
    shipping as the cable-ties don't need to be cut.

    The Bacchetta stem and handlebars are everything I thought they would be from past experience with
    them on Bacchetta bikes and with similar bars and hand positioning on a Kingcycle, Speed Ross and
    Festina. An initial short test ride revealed better handling without the tiller effect and it was
    significantly easier to get on and off the bike. I could tell right away the much lower hand
    position with the wrists in a natural position would be more comfortable on a longer ride. I also
    think the Bacchetta bars and stem make the Sunset look much better than it did with the tiller bars.

    I had to take the CatEye Astrale cyclecomputer off to switch handlebars and it would have needed a
    wiring harness replacement anyways due to one of the cords accidentally getting cut at some point
    after the last time I rode it in 2001.

    I've gotten to like using the CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputers on my tricycles where I first started
    using them in 2001 because they are a factory option on ICE trikes. It is nice not having wires
    attached to the bike and I thought for a travel bike such as the Sunset (frame comes apart in the
    middle) a wireless computer would be particularly nice to make it quicker to pack and unpack. Also I
    don't really have a need for a cadence display on a computer anymore. After looking at cadence
    displays since 1989 I found when I started riding with wireless cyclecomputers without cadence
    displays that I still had a good idea of what my cadence was and by now I just know by feel when I
    should be pedalling faster or slower. The few times I get back on a CatEye Astrale equiped bike
    these days I note that when I switch the display into cadence mode my cadence is always about where
    I thought it was. So I guess I've graduated to not having to have the extra weight and complexity of
    a cadence sensor. I snipped the cadence sensor off the 165mm Shimano Ultegra crank, removed the old
    sensors and installed a CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputer which now has a 70cm tranmission range so it
    works fine on the Sunset handlebars (both the tiller bars and the Bacchetta bars).

    I will point out CatEye has now introduced the Cordless 3 which replaces the Cordless 2. The
    Cordless 3 is more compact and less expensive. However I haven't been able to get any yet from my
    distributors and I had the Cordless 2 in stock already. Besides my Sunset is a 2000 vintage bike
    with 2000 vintage Hayes hydraulic disc brakes of a model not made anymore complete with Hayes
    proprietery rear caliper braze-on that fell by the wayside with the advent of the International
    Standard braze-on. So in other words I'm restoring a classic, vintage bike if that could be said
    about something made in 2000 so I might as well put components on it that were in production at that
    time. Yes, I know the Bacchetta bars and stem and Kenda Kwest tyres weren't available in 2000 either
    nor was the longer transmission range version of the CatEye Cordless 2. My point is though this is a
    used bike from 2000 and an orphan at that so putting the latest cyclecomputer on it isn't as
    important as if I were specifying a new recumbent with state of the art design and equipment.

    On Sunday the 12th I mounted a brand new set of orange Ortlieb Back-Roller panniers on the Sunset
    and rode it to the 18 km round trip to the Oakland Farmer's Market to go shopping. I had ordered
    these Ortlieb panniers a while back because I thought they would look good on the orange Sunset in
    addition to an orange HP Velotechnik Street Machine GT. I normally take a trike to the market as
    there are no issues with balancing it while moving at walking speed through crowds. With the old
    tiller handlebars the Sunset was relatively difficult to control at walking speed. With the
    Bacchetta handlebars it was almost like balancing a conventional upright bike at low speed, no
    problems at all with low speed handling. Being low I could always dab the ground with a hand if
    necessary. One of the farmers noticed the orange Sunset (I generally ride yellow trikes to the
    market) and said to another farmer "he has a new one". That farmer said back to him "Oh, he has a
    whole bunch of them". I told her it actually wasn't new, it was two and a half years old and I was
    just testing out some new handlebars. Now how many low racers can you take to the farmer's market,
    ride at pedestrian speeds through a crowd while shopping and fill up the panniers with food?

    Riding to and from the market I was seeing level ground speeds I seldom see on a trike, 35-40 km/h.
    The ride was much rougher than my suspended trikes going over railroad tracks and major potholes, it
    definately gave me more of a pounding in the back. That is until I took advantage of those Bacchetta
    handlebars and did what I could never do with the tiller bars- lean forward so my back was not in
    contact with the seat back. I was very impressed with how much less vibration my back and neck
    received when leaning forward for major bumps, this opens up a new dimension of practicality on our
    rough roads for the Sunset, particularly on longer rides where rider fatigue is more of an issue.
    Leaning forward on the Sunset for bumps is really no more difficult or less natural than leaning to
    the inside of corners on a trike.

    On Wednesday 15 January on an unseasonably warm day I took my first significant ride on my
    reconfigured Sunset. I rode it 75.5 kilometres with 850 metres of climbing including doing a club
    ride with the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. I rode with them from Livermore, CA over Patterson Pass through
    an area of windmill farms and back to Livermore over Altamont Pass which is also covered with
    windmills. We stopped for lunch at a place called Mountain House which is popular with
    motorcyclists. One of the riders took photos of the ride and you can see one with me and the Sunset
    at: http://homepage.mac.com/slevensaler/PhotoAlbum6.html The fence and another bike make it hard to
    see the details of the Bacchetta handlebars. Note the BikeE mudguard on the front wheel and the
    Garrie Hill carbon fibre rear wheel cover. I was able to obtain a much higher resolution version of
    this photo which I can e-mail to anyone who wants to see more detail. The handlebars show up much
    better on the full resolution version.

    For the club ride I removed the panniers and added a rack top bag I had previously used on the
    Sunset. For added safety I strapped a Jogalite reflective yield symbol to the rack top bag. The
    Sunset performed well on this ride. I was able to keep up on the climbs with the fastest rider on
    the Wednesday rides, a guy who climbs standing up. Normally when I'm riding a trike I can't keep up
    with him on the climbs. I was also able to ride beside the tandems on level ground rather than
    having to draft them. Several times I started to get way ahead of the group which never happens when
    I'm riding a trike so I had to back off to ride with them. When applying the brakes for corners on
    the descents I was reminded of how much I really like the buzzing noise the Hayes brake makes when
    applied on a 305mm wheel that is spinning fast.

    The rear chain did fall between the two intermediate drive cogs twice on rough decents. One of the
    times I had been drafting a tandem down a hill and as it started to flatted out and our speed
    dropped to 45 km/h I started pedalling and found the pedals spun freely. I reached down and was able
    to put the chain back on the cog while moving but the next time I looked at my route sheet I got
    chain dirt on it from my glove. The other chain drop occurred at some point during the fastest
    descent of the day where I reached 70 km/h. I was also able to put that one back on while riding
    once the speed got down to about 35 km/h. When the chain falls between the cogs it doesn't drag on
    the ground or pose a hazard so this is not as dangerous as it sounds, more of an inconvenience. I
    was thinking there really should be discs to each side of the intermediate drive cogs plus one
    between the cogs.

    When I got back I looked into the rear chain tension when running on the 11T cog since that is when
    all the rear chain drops occured and had in times past as well. That is when I discovered I could
    remove 2 links from the chain to achieve higher chain tension when on the small cog. So I removed 2
    links and now the short cage Dura-Ace derailer is as tight as it can get while on the 34T cog and
    the chain has significantly more tension when on the 11T cog. Note a Dura-Ace derailer isn't rated
    for a cog larger than 27T but due to the derailer hanger geometry of the Sunset and the fact there
    is an intermediate drive so it is only taking up chain from the cogs, not the multiple front
    chainrings, it is able to handle it. I could achieve greater chain wrap and thus higher tension on
    the small cog if I went to a mountain bike long cage rear derailer but that would be an inelegant
    solution and adding anti-chain jump discs to the intermediate drive would be the correct long termm
    solution. I'll see on future high speed rough descents if shortening the chain alleviates the chain
    drop problem.

    In the evening I took the Sunset out to the monthly club meeting. Before leaving for the meeting I
    fitted the Sunset with a NiteRider 16-LED taillight running off a small lithium-on battery in the
    rack top bag and then I fitted my Light & Motion ARC HID headlight. That combination worked well
    with the taillight mounted to the seat frame and the headlight mounted to a part of a Haluzak
    headlight mount bolted to a fairing braze-on under the bottom bracket shell. This puts the headlight
    far enough forward to avoid lighting up my shoes and creating pulsating shadows. The meeting was in
    a small apartment and I was able to wheel the Sunset in and park it in the kitchen. There was barely
    enough room to do that so there wouldn't have been enough room for a trike or LWB or even a big
    wheeled SWB.

    There is a 160km extremely hilly club ride over Kings Ridge and along the Sonoma coast coming up
    this Sunday. I was originally planning on riding my Gold Rush because that has been the bike I climb
    the fastest on so I have the greatest chance of keeping up with this faster group on it. Also the
    Gold Rush is presently my most aerodynamic bike so if I get separated on climbs it gives me the
    greatest chance of rejoining them. However based on my recent Sunset experience I'm tempted to take
    it to experience some more rough, high speed descents on it. Also depending on the carpool situation
    getting to the ride the compact size of the Sunset could be an advantage.

    --------------------------------------------
    Zach Kaplan Cycles Alameda, Northern California, North America 510-522-BENT (2368)
     
    Tags:


  2. Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth Cycles Sunset since 3 July 2001. The
    last communication I ever received from the Sunset's designer Shean Bjoralt was on 9 July 2001.

    There have been a number of upgrades I've been meaning to make to the Sunset but I never got around
    to doing them because I was busy and have all sorts of other low racers, trikes, SWB's, and LWB's to
    ride so it was a relatively low priority. Maybe it was just a mental block. Anyways Tom Sherman
    posted something about his Sunset to the Earth Cycles Owners Group recently and maybe that is what
    it took to inspire me to go forth with the modifications I had been thinking of making to my Sunset.
    So on Saturday the 11th I began making the desired changes.

    I always felt the Primo Comets, although low in rolling resistance, were relatively poor choices for
    a practical road worthy low racer because they have such poor traction, especially in wet weather. I
    also had concerns about the relatively narrow 305mm Comet in the front getting caught in a crack in
    the road or a pothole causing a blowout and/or loss of control. So I removed the Comets and replaced
    them with Kenda Kwest tyres which are wider, much more durable and puncture resistant and offer
    better traction than the Comets. The Kenda Kwest was not available when I last rode my Sunset.

    Next I added some links to the front chain to allow running the return side of the front chain over
    the pulley to get it over the front wheel in all front chainring combinations. Previously I had
    shortened this front chain to increase chain tension when running the lower chain beside the front
    wheel as I was having chain drop problems with the front chain. It was previously set up so the
    front chain was only long enough to be used on the 24T inner ring and 42T middle ring but not the
    52T outer ring. I decided since the Sunset is a practical low racer I will now run it with the lower
    front chain always over the pulley to allow turning the front wheel more sharply and also so there
    will be less chain flopping around to set up oscillations which could through the chain off the
    intermediate drive cog.

    Next I removed the stock cord from the mesh seat cover and the metal clamp used to maintain cord
    tension. I replaced the cord with individual re-usable heavy duty black cable-ties. In doing so I
    reduced the weight of the bike by 39 grams and now have more precise control over the mesh tension
    in local regions of the seat rather than having to have the entire seat mesh at more or less the
    same tension. Most importantly going to cable-ties eliminated interference I was getting between the
    chain and one of the cords where it goes under the lower seat frame cross tube.

    The most radical change I made and the one the subject heading of this post was named after was
    taking off the Earth Cycles tiller stem riser and handlebars with adjustable stem and replacing them
    with the stem riser and bars of the type used on the Bacchetta Aero. I never really found the
    original praying hamster position comfortable on long rides and have never been fond of the tiller
    effect it induces. Also I find the tiller bars make it more difficult to get on and off the bike and
    to lean forward to get a better view of cross traffic at an intersection or to unweight one's back
    from the seatback for major bumps. Also Rich Pinto has said the arms out "superman" position is more
    aerodynamic. I was pleased to see going to the new stem and handlebars saved 360 grams. The
    adjustable stem that came with the Sunset was quite heavy. I used the Velcro backed neoprene sleeve
    Bacchetta uses to secure the cable housings to the stem riser tube. It looks cleaner than using the
    cable-ties the Sunset came with and also makes it much easier to pack the stem for travel or
    shipping as the cable-ties don't need to be cut.

    The Bacchetta stem and handlebars are everything I thought they would be from past experience with
    them on Bacchetta bikes and with similar bars and hand positioning on a Kingcycle, Speed Ross and
    Festina. An initial short test ride revealed better handling without the tiller effect and it was
    significantly easier to get on and off the bike. I could tell right away the much lower hand
    position with the wrists in a natural position would be more comfortable on a longer ride. I also
    think the Bacchetta bars and stem make the Sunset look much better than it did with the tiller bars.

    I had to take the CatEye Astrale cyclecomputer off to switch handlebars and it would have needed a
    wiring harness replacement anyways due to one of the cords accidentally getting cut at some point
    after the last time I rode it in 2001.

    I've gotten to like using the CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputers on my tricycles where I first started
    using them in 2001 because they are a factory option on ICE trikes. It is nice not having wires
    attached to the bike and I thought for a travel bike such as the Sunset (frame comes apart in the
    middle) a wireless computer would be particularly nice to make it quicker to pack and unpack. Also I
    don't really have a need for a cadence display on a computer anymore. After looking at cadence
    displays since 1989 I found when I started riding with wireless cyclecomputers without cadence
    displays that I still had a good idea of what my cadence was and by now I just know by feel when I
    should be pedalling faster or slower. The few times I get back on a CatEye Astrale equiped bike
    these days I note that when I switch the display into cadence mode my cadence is always about where
    I thought it was. So I guess I've graduated to not having to have the extra weight and complexity of
    a cadence sensor. I snipped the cadence sensor off the 165mm Shimano Ultegra crank, removed the old
    sensors and installed a CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputer which now has a 70cm tranmission range so it
    works fine on the Sunset handlebars (both the tiller bars and the Bacchetta bars).

    I will point out CatEye has now introduced the Cordless 3 which replaces the Cordless 2. The
    Cordless 3 is more compact and less expensive. However I haven't been able to get any yet from my
    distributors and I had the Cordless 2 in stock already. Besides my Sunset is a 2000 vintage bike
    with 2000 vintage Hayes hydraulic disc brakes of a model not made anymore complete with Hayes
    proprietery rear caliper braze-on that fell by the wayside with the advent of the International
    Standard braze-on. So in other words I'm restoring a classic, vintage bike if that could be said
    about something made in 2000 so I might as well put components on it that were in production at that
    time. Yes, I know the Bacchetta bars and stem and Kenda Kwest tyres weren't available in 2000 either
    nor was the longer transmission range version of the CatEye Cordless 2. My point is though this is a
    used bike from 2000 and an orphan at that so putting the latest cyclecomputer on it isn't as
    important as if I were specifying a new recumbent with state of the art design and equipment.

    On Sunday the 12th I mounted a brand new set of orange Ortlieb Back-Roller panniers on the Sunset
    and rode it to the 18 km round trip to the Oakland Farmer's Market to go shopping. I had ordered
    these Ortlieb panniers a while back because I thought they would look good on the orange Sunset in
    addition to an orange HP Velotechnik Street Machine GT. I normally take a trike to the market as
    there are no issues with balancing it while moving at walking speed through crowds. With the old
    tiller handlebars the Sunset was relatively difficult to control at walking speed. With the
    Bacchetta handlebars it was almost like balancing a conventional upright bike at low speed, no
    problems at all with low speed handling. Being low I could always dab the ground with a hand if
    necessary. One of the farmers noticed the orange Sunset (I generally ride yellow trikes to the
    market) and said to another farmer "he has a new one". That farmer said back to him "Oh, he has a
    whole bunch of them". I told her it actually wasn't new, it was two and a half years old and I was
    just testing out some new handlebars. Now how many low racers can you take to the farmer's market,
    ride at pedestrian speeds through a crowd while shopping and fill up the panniers with food?

    Riding to and from the market I was seeing level ground speeds I seldom see on a trike, 35-40 km/h.
    The ride was much rougher than my suspended trikes going over railroad tracks and major potholes, it
    definately gave me more of a pounding in the back. That is until I took advantage of those Bacchetta
    handlebars and did what I could never do with the tiller bars- lean forward so my back was not in
    contact with the seat back. I was very impressed with how much less vibration my back and neck
    received when leaning forward for major bumps, this opens up a new dimension of practicality on our
    rough roads for the Sunset, particularly on longer rides where rider fatigue is more of an issue.
    Leaning forward on the Sunset for bumps is really no more difficult or less natural than leaning to
    the inside of corners on a trike.

    On Wednesday 15 January on an unseasonably warm day I took my first significant ride on my
    reconfigured Sunset. I rode it 75.5 kilometres with 850 metres of climbing including doing a club
    ride with the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. I rode with them from Livermore, CA over Patterson Pass through
    an area of windmill farms and back to Livermore over Altamont Pass which is also covered with
    windmills. We stopped for lunch at a place called Mountain House which is popular with
    motorcyclists. One of the riders took photos of the ride and you can see one with me and the Sunset
    at: http://homepage.mac.com/slevensaler/PhotoAlbum6.html The fence and another bike make it hard to
    see the details of the Bacchetta handlebars. Note the BikeE mudguard on the front wheel and the
    Garrie Hill carbon fibre rear wheel cover. I was able to obtain a much higher resolution version of
    this photo which I can e-mail to anyone who wants to see more detail. The handlebars show up much
    better on the full resolution version.

    For the club ride I removed the panniers and added a rack top bag I had previously used on the
    Sunset. For added safety I strapped a Jogalite reflective yield symbol to the rack top bag. The
    Sunset performed well on this ride. I was able to keep up on the climbs with the fastest rider on
    the Wednesday rides, a guy who climbs standing up. Normally when I'm riding a trike I can't keep up
    with him on the climbs. I was also able to ride beside the tandems on level ground rather than
    having to draft them. Several times I started to get way ahead of the group which never happens when
    I'm riding a trike so I had to back off to ride with them. When applying the brakes for corners on
    the descents I was reminded of how much I really like the buzzing noise the Hayes brake makes when
    applied on a 305mm wheel that is spinning fast.

    The rear chain did fall between the two intermediate drive cogs twice on rough decents. One of the
    times I had been drafting a tandem down a hill and as it started to flatted out and our speed
    dropped to 45 km/h I started pedalling and found the pedals spun freely. I reached down and was able
    to put the chain back on the cog while moving but the next time I looked at my route sheet I got
    chain dirt on it from my glove. The other chain drop occurred at some point during the fastest
    descent of the day where I reached 70 km/h. I was also able to put that one back on while riding
    once the speed got down to about 35 km/h. When the chain falls between the cogs it doesn't drag on
    the ground or pose a hazard so this is not as dangerous as it sounds, more of an inconvenience. I
    was thinking there really should be discs to each side of the intermediate drive cogs plus one
    between the cogs.

    When I got back I looked into the rear chain tension when running on the 11T cog since that is when
    all the rear chain drops occured and had in times past as well. That is when I discovered I could
    remove 2 links from the chain to achieve higher chain tension when on the small cog. So I removed 2
    links and now the short cage Dura-Ace derailer is as tight as it can get while on the 34T cog and
    the chain has significantly more tension when on the 11T cog. Note a Dura-Ace derailer isn't rated
    for a cog larger than 27T but due to the derailer hanger geometry of the Sunset and the fact there
    is an intermediate drive so it is only taking up chain from the cogs, not the multiple front
    chainrings, it is able to handle it. I could achieve greater chain wrap and thus higher tension on
    the small cog if I went to a mountain bike long cage rear derailer but that would be an inelegant
    solution and adding anti-chain jump discs to the intermediate drive would be the correct long termm
    solution. I'll see on future high speed rough descents if shortening the chain alleviates the chain
    drop problem.

    In the evening I took the Sunset out to the monthly club meeting. Before leaving for the meeting I
    fitted the Sunset with a NiteRider 16-LED taillight running off a small lithium-on battery in the
    rack top bag and then I fitted my Light & Motion ARC HID headlight. That combination worked well
    with the taillight mounted to the seat frame and the headlight mounted to a part of a Haluzak
    headlight mount bolted to a fairing braze-on under the bottom bracket shell. This puts the headlight
    far enough forward to avoid lighting up my shoes and creating pulsating shadows. The meeting was in
    a small apartment and I was able to wheel the Sunset in and park it in the kitchen. There was barely
    enough room to do that so there wouldn't have been enough room for a trike or LWB or even a big
    wheeled SWB.

    There is a 160km extremely hilly club ride over Kings Ridge and along the Sonoma coast coming up
    this Sunday. I was originally planning on riding my Gold Rush because that has been the bike I climb
    the fastest on so I have the greatest chance of keeping up with this faster group on it. Also the
    Gold Rush is presently my most aerodynamic bike so if I get separated on climbs it gives me the
    greatest chance of rejoining them. However based on my recent Sunset experience I'm tempted to take
    it to experience some more rough, high speed descents on it. Also depending on the carpool situation
    getting to the ride the compact size of the Sunset could be an advantage.

    --------------------------------------------
    Zach Kaplan Cycles Alameda, Northern California, North America 510-522-BENT (2368)
     
  3. Thats a really interesting, well written, article, Zach.

    Sounds like you have renewed inspiration to ride with such an exciting machine and I'll be
    interested to hear how it performs on the 160KM ride.

    Lewis.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~limeylew/index.html

    ....................

    [email protected] (Zach Kaplan Cycles) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth Cycles Sunset since 3 July 2001. The
    > last communication I ever received from the Sunset's designer Shean Bjoralt was on 9 July 2001.
    >
    > There have been a number of upgrades I've been meaning to make to the Sunset but I never got
    > around to doing them because I was busy and have all sorts of other low racers, trikes, SWB's, and
    > LWB's to ride so it was a relatively low priority. Maybe it was just a mental block. Anyways Tom
    > Sherman posted something about his Sunset to the Earth Cycles Owners Group recently and maybe that
    > is what it took to inspire me to go forth with the modifications I had been thinking of making to
    > my Sunset. So on Saturday the 11th I began making the desired changes.
    >
    > I always felt the Primo Comets, although low in rolling resistance, were relatively poor choices
    > for a practical road worthy low racer because they have such poor traction, especially in wet
    > weather. I also had concerns about the relatively narrow 305mm Comet in the front getting caught
    > in a crack in the road or a pothole causing a blowout and/or loss of control. So I removed the
    > Comets and replaced them with Kenda Kwest tyres which are wider, much more durable and puncture
    > resistant and offer better traction than the Comets. The Kenda Kwest was not available when I last
    > rode my Sunset.
    >
    > Next I added some links to the front chain to allow running the return side of the front chain
    > over the pulley to get it over the front wheel in all front chainring combinations. Previously I
    > had shortened this front chain to increase chain tension when running the lower chain beside the
    > front wheel as I was having chain drop problems with the front chain. It was previously set up so
    > the front chain was only long enough to be used on the 24T inner ring and 42T middle ring but not
    > the 52T outer ring. I decided since the Sunset is a practical low racer I will now run it with the
    > lower front chain always over the pulley to allow turning the front wheel more sharply and also so
    > there will be less chain flopping around to set up oscillations which could through the chain off
    > the intermediate drive cog.
    >
    > Next I removed the stock cord from the mesh seat cover and the metal clamp used to maintain cord
    > tension. I replaced the cord with individual re-usable heavy duty black cable-ties. In doing so I
    > reduced the weight of the bike by 39 grams and now have more precise control over the mesh tension
    > in local regions of the seat rather than having to have the entire seat mesh at more or less the
    > same tension. Most importantly going to cable-ties eliminated interference I was getting between
    > the chain and one of the cords where it goes under the lower seat frame cross tube.
    >
    > The most radical change I made and the one the subject heading of this post was named after was
    > taking off the Earth Cycles tiller stem riser and handlebars with adjustable stem and replacing
    > them with the stem riser and bars of the type used on the Bacchetta Aero. I never really found the
    > original praying hamster position comfortable on long rides and have never been fond of the tiller
    > effect it induces. Also I find the tiller bars make it more difficult to get on and off the bike
    > and to lean forward to get a better view of cross traffic at an intersection or to unweight one's
    > back from the seatback for major bumps. Also Rich Pinto has said the arms out "superman" position
    > is more aerodynamic. I was pleased to see going to the new stem and handlebars saved 360 grams.
    > The adjustable stem that came with the Sunset was quite heavy. I used the Velcro backed neoprene
    > sleeve Bacchetta uses to secure the cable housings to the stem riser tube. It looks cleaner than
    > using the cable-ties the Sunset came with and also makes it much easier to pack the stem for
    > travel or shipping as the cable-ties don't need to be cut.
    >
    > The Bacchetta stem and handlebars are everything I thought they would be from past experience
    > with them on Bacchetta bikes and with similar bars and hand positioning on a Kingcycle, Speed
    > Ross and Festina. An initial short test ride revealed better handling without the tiller effect
    > and it was significantly easier to get on and off the bike. I could tell right away the much
    > lower hand position with the wrists in a natural position would be more comfortable on a longer
    > ride. I also think the Bacchetta bars and stem make the Sunset look much better than it did with
    > the tiller bars.
    >
    > I had to take the CatEye Astrale cyclecomputer off to switch handlebars and it would have needed a
    > wiring harness replacement anyways due to one of the cords accidentally getting cut at some point
    > after the last time I rode it in 2001.
    >
    > I've gotten to like using the CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputers on my tricycles where I first
    > started using them in 2001 because they are a factory option on ICE trikes. It is nice not having
    > wires attached to the bike and I thought for a travel bike such as the Sunset (frame comes apart
    > in the middle) a wireless computer would be particularly nice to make it quicker to pack and
    > unpack. Also I don't really have a need for a cadence display on a computer anymore. After looking
    > at cadence displays since 1989 I found when I started riding with wireless cyclecomputers without
    > cadence displays that I still had a good idea of what my cadence was and by now I just know by
    > feel when I should be pedalling faster or slower. The few times I get back on a CatEye Astrale
    > equiped bike these days I note that when I switch the display into cadence mode my cadence is
    > always about where I thought it was. So I guess I've graduated to not having to have the extra
    > weight and complexity of a cadence sensor. I snipped the cadence sensor off the 165mm Shimano
    > Ultegra crank, removed the old sensors and installed a CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputer which now
    > has a 70cm tranmission range so it works fine on the Sunset handlebars (both the tiller bars and
    > the Bacchetta bars).
    >
    > I will point out CatEye has now introduced the Cordless 3 which replaces the Cordless 2. The
    > Cordless 3 is more compact and less expensive. However I haven't been able to get any yet from my
    > distributors and I had the Cordless 2 in stock already. Besides my Sunset is a 2000 vintage bike
    > with 2000 vintage Hayes hydraulic disc brakes of a model not made anymore complete with Hayes
    > proprietery rear caliper braze-on that fell by the wayside with the advent of the International
    > Standard braze-on. So in other words I'm restoring a classic, vintage bike if that could be said
    > about something made in 2000 so I might as well put components on it that were in production at
    > that time. Yes, I know the Bacchetta bars and stem and Kenda Kwest tyres weren't available in 2000
    > either nor was the longer transmission range version of the CatEye Cordless 2. My point is though
    > this is a used bike from 2000 and an orphan at that so putting the latest cyclecomputer on it
    > isn't as important as if I were specifying a new recumbent with state of the art design and
    > equipment.
    >
    > On Sunday the 12th I mounted a brand new set of orange Ortlieb Back-Roller panniers on the Sunset
    > and rode it to the 18 km round trip to the Oakland Farmer's Market to go shopping. I had ordered
    > these Ortlieb panniers a while back because I thought they would look good on the orange Sunset in
    > addition to an orange HP Velotechnik Street Machine GT. I normally take a trike to the market as
    > there are no issues with balancing it while moving at walking speed through crowds. With the old
    > tiller handlebars the Sunset was relatively difficult to control at walking speed. With the
    > Bacchetta handlebars it was almost like balancing a conventional upright bike at low speed, no
    > problems at all with low speed handling. Being low I could always dab the ground with a hand if
    > necessary. One of the farmers noticed the orange Sunset (I generally ride yellow trikes to the
    > market) and said to another farmer "he has a new one". That farmer said back to him "Oh, he has a
    > whole bunch of them". I told her it actually wasn't new, it was two and a half years old and I was
    > just testing out some new handlebars. Now how many low racers can you take to the farmer's market,
    > ride at pedestrian speeds through a crowd while shopping and fill up the panniers with food?
    >
    > Riding to and from the market I was seeing level ground speeds I seldom see on a trike, 35-40
    > km/h. The ride was much rougher than my suspended trikes going over railroad tracks and major
    > potholes, it definately gave me more of a pounding in the back. That is until I took advantage of
    > those Bacchetta handlebars and did what I could never do with the tiller bars- lean forward so my
    > back was not in contact with the seat back. I was very impressed with how much less vibration my
    > back and neck received when leaning forward for major bumps, this opens up a new dimension of
    > practicality on our rough roads for the Sunset, particularly on longer rides where rider fatigue
    > is more of an issue. Leaning forward on the Sunset for bumps is really no more difficult or less
    > natural than leaning to the inside of corners on a trike.
    >
    > On Wednesday 15 January on an unseasonably warm day I took my first significant ride on my
    > reconfigured Sunset. I rode it 75.5 kilometres with 850 metres of climbing including doing a club
    > ride with the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. I rode with them from Livermore, CA over Patterson Pass
    > through an area of windmill farms and back to Livermore over Altamont Pass which is also covered
    > with windmills. We stopped for lunch at a place called Mountain House which is popular with
    > motorcyclists. One of the riders took photos of the ride and you can see one with me and the
    > Sunset at: http://homepage.mac.com/slevensaler/PhotoAlbum6.html The fence and another bike make it
    > hard to see the details of the Bacchetta handlebars. Note the BikeE mudguard on the front wheel
    > and the Garrie Hill carbon fibre rear wheel cover. I was able to obtain a much higher resolution
    > version of this photo which I can e-mail to anyone who wants to see more detail. The handlebars
    > show up much better on the full resolution version.
    >
    > For the club ride I removed the panniers and added a rack top bag I had previously used on the
    > Sunset. For added safety I strapped a Jogalite reflective yield symbol to the rack top bag. The
    > Sunset performed well on this ride. I was able to keep up on the climbs with the fastest rider on
    > the Wednesday rides, a guy who climbs standing up. Normally when I'm riding a trike I can't keep
    > up with him on the climbs. I was also able to ride beside the tandems on level ground rather than
    > having to draft them. Several times I started to get way ahead of the group which never happens
    > when I'm riding a trike so I had to back off to ride with them. When applying the brakes for
    > corners on the descents I was reminded of how much I really like the buzzing noise the Hayes brake
    > makes when applied on a 305mm wheel that is spinning fast.
    >
    >
    > The rear chain did fall between the two intermediate drive cogs twice on rough decents. One of the
    > times I had been drafting a tandem down a hill and as it started to flatted out and our speed
    > dropped to 45 km/h I started pedalling and found the pedals spun freely. I reached down and was
    > able to put the chain back on the cog while moving but the next time I looked at my route sheet I
    > got chain dirt on it from my glove. The other chain drop occurred at some point during the fastest
    > descent of the day where I reached 70 km/h. I was also able to put that one back on while riding
    > once the speed got down to about 35 km/h. When the chain falls between the cogs it doesn't drag on
    > the ground or pose a hazard so this is not as dangerous as it sounds, more of an inconvenience. I
    > was thinking there really should be discs to each side of the intermediate drive cogs plus one
    > between the cogs.
    >
    > When I got back I looked into the rear chain tension when running on the 11T cog since that is
    > when all the rear chain drops occured and had in times past as well. That is when I discovered I
    > could remove 2 links from the chain to achieve higher chain tension when on the small cog. So I
    > removed 2 links and now the short cage Dura-Ace derailer is as tight as it can get while on the
    > 34T cog and the chain has significantly more tension when on the 11T cog. Note a Dura-Ace derailer
    > isn't rated for a cog larger than 27T but due to the derailer hanger geometry of the Sunset and
    > the fact there is an intermediate drive so it is only taking up chain from the cogs, not the
    > multiple front chainrings, it is able to handle it. I could achieve greater chain wrap and thus
    > higher tension on the small cog if I went to a mountain bike long cage rear derailer but that
    > would be an inelegant solution and adding anti-chain jump discs to the intermediate drive would be
    > the correct long termm solution. I'll see on future high speed rough descents if shortening the
    > chain alleviates the chain drop problem.
    >
    > In the evening I took the Sunset out to the monthly club meeting. Before leaving for the meeting I
    > fitted the Sunset with a NiteRider 16-LED taillight running off a small lithium-on battery in the
    > rack top bag and then I fitted my Light & Motion ARC HID headlight. That combination worked well
    > with the taillight mounted to the seat frame and the headlight mounted to a part of a Haluzak
    > headlight mount bolted to a fairing braze-on under the bottom bracket shell. This puts the
    > headlight far enough forward to avoid lighting up my shoes and creating pulsating shadows. The
    > meeting was in a small apartment and I was able to wheel the Sunset in and park it in the kitchen.
    > There was barely enough room to do that so there wouldn't have been enough room for a trike or LWB
    > or even a big wheeled SWB.
    >
    > There is a 160km extremely hilly club ride over Kings Ridge and along the Sonoma coast coming up
    > this Sunday. I was originally planning on riding my Gold Rush because that has been the bike I
    > climb the fastest on so I have the greatest chance of keeping up with this faster group on it.
    > Also the Gold Rush is presently my most aerodynamic bike so if I get separated on climbs it gives
    > me the greatest chance of rejoining them. However based on my recent Sunset experience I'm tempted
    > to take it to experience some more rough, high speed descents on it. Also depending on the carpool
    > situation getting to the ride the compact size of the Sunset could be an advantage.
    >
    > --------------------------------------------
    > Zach Kaplan Cycles Alameda, Northern California, North America 510-522-BENT (2368)
     
  4. Is it difficult to see over the handlebars with the new setup? Dan Kluckhuhn

    "Zach Kaplan Cycles" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth
    Cycles.........................
     
  5. Thats a really interesting, well written, article, Zach.

    Sounds like you have renewed inspiration to ride with such an exciting machine and I'll be
    interested to hear how it performs on the 160KM ride.

    Lewis.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~limeylew/index.html

    ....................

    [email protected] (Zach Kaplan Cycles) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth Cycles Sunset since 3 July 2001. The
    > last communication I ever received from the Sunset's designer Shean Bjoralt was on 9 July 2001.
    >
    > There have been a number of upgrades I've been meaning to make to the Sunset but I never got
    > around to doing them because I was busy and have all sorts of other low racers, trikes, SWB's, and
    > LWB's to ride so it was a relatively low priority. Maybe it was just a mental block. Anyways Tom
    > Sherman posted something about his Sunset to the Earth Cycles Owners Group recently and maybe that
    > is what it took to inspire me to go forth with the modifications I had been thinking of making to
    > my Sunset. So on Saturday the 11th I began making the desired changes.
    >
    > I always felt the Primo Comets, although low in rolling resistance, were relatively poor choices
    > for a practical road worthy low racer because they have such poor traction, especially in wet
    > weather. I also had concerns about the relatively narrow 305mm Comet in the front getting caught
    > in a crack in the road or a pothole causing a blowout and/or loss of control. So I removed the
    > Comets and replaced them with Kenda Kwest tyres which are wider, much more durable and puncture
    > resistant and offer better traction than the Comets. The Kenda Kwest was not available when I last
    > rode my Sunset.
    >
    > Next I added some links to the front chain to allow running the return side of the front chain
    > over the pulley to get it over the front wheel in all front chainring combinations. Previously I
    > had shortened this front chain to increase chain tension when running the lower chain beside the
    > front wheel as I was having chain drop problems with the front chain. It was previously set up so
    > the front chain was only long enough to be used on the 24T inner ring and 42T middle ring but not
    > the 52T outer ring. I decided since the Sunset is a practical low racer I will now run it with the
    > lower front chain always over the pulley to allow turning the front wheel more sharply and also so
    > there will be less chain flopping around to set up oscillations which could through the chain off
    > the intermediate drive cog.
    >
    > Next I removed the stock cord from the mesh seat cover and the metal clamp used to maintain cord
    > tension. I replaced the cord with individual re-usable heavy duty black cable-ties. In doing so I
    > reduced the weight of the bike by 39 grams and now have more precise control over the mesh tension
    > in local regions of the seat rather than having to have the entire seat mesh at more or less the
    > same tension. Most importantly going to cable-ties eliminated interference I was getting between
    > the chain and one of the cords where it goes under the lower seat frame cross tube.
    >
    > The most radical change I made and the one the subject heading of this post was named after was
    > taking off the Earth Cycles tiller stem riser and handlebars with adjustable stem and replacing
    > them with the stem riser and bars of the type used on the Bacchetta Aero. I never really found the
    > original praying hamster position comfortable on long rides and have never been fond of the tiller
    > effect it induces. Also I find the tiller bars make it more difficult to get on and off the bike
    > and to lean forward to get a better view of cross traffic at an intersection or to unweight one's
    > back from the seatback for major bumps. Also Rich Pinto has said the arms out "superman" position
    > is more aerodynamic. I was pleased to see going to the new stem and handlebars saved 360 grams.
    > The adjustable stem that came with the Sunset was quite heavy. I used the Velcro backed neoprene
    > sleeve Bacchetta uses to secure the cable housings to the stem riser tube. It looks cleaner than
    > using the cable-ties the Sunset came with and also makes it much easier to pack the stem for
    > travel or shipping as the cable-ties don't need to be cut.
    >
    > The Bacchetta stem and handlebars are everything I thought they would be from past experience
    > with them on Bacchetta bikes and with similar bars and hand positioning on a Kingcycle, Speed
    > Ross and Festina. An initial short test ride revealed better handling without the tiller effect
    > and it was significantly easier to get on and off the bike. I could tell right away the much
    > lower hand position with the wrists in a natural position would be more comfortable on a longer
    > ride. I also think the Bacchetta bars and stem make the Sunset look much better than it did with
    > the tiller bars.
    >
    > I had to take the CatEye Astrale cyclecomputer off to switch handlebars and it would have needed a
    > wiring harness replacement anyways due to one of the cords accidentally getting cut at some point
    > after the last time I rode it in 2001.
    >
    > I've gotten to like using the CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputers on my tricycles where I first
    > started using them in 2001 because they are a factory option on ICE trikes. It is nice not having
    > wires attached to the bike and I thought for a travel bike such as the Sunset (frame comes apart
    > in the middle) a wireless computer would be particularly nice to make it quicker to pack and
    > unpack. Also I don't really have a need for a cadence display on a computer anymore. After looking
    > at cadence displays since 1989 I found when I started riding with wireless cyclecomputers without
    > cadence displays that I still had a good idea of what my cadence was and by now I just know by
    > feel when I should be pedalling faster or slower. The few times I get back on a CatEye Astrale
    > equiped bike these days I note that when I switch the display into cadence mode my cadence is
    > always about where I thought it was. So I guess I've graduated to not having to have the extra
    > weight and complexity of a cadence sensor. I snipped the cadence sensor off the 165mm Shimano
    > Ultegra crank, removed the old sensors and installed a CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputer which now
    > has a 70cm tranmission range so it works fine on the Sunset handlebars (both the tiller bars and
    > the Bacchetta bars).
    >
    > I will point out CatEye has now introduced the Cordless 3 which replaces the Cordless 2. The
    > Cordless 3 is more compact and less expensive. However I haven't been able to get any yet from my
    > distributors and I had the Cordless 2 in stock already. Besides my Sunset is a 2000 vintage bike
    > with 2000 vintage Hayes hydraulic disc brakes of a model not made anymore complete with Hayes
    > proprietery rear caliper braze-on that fell by the wayside with the advent of the International
    > Standard braze-on. So in other words I'm restoring a classic, vintage bike if that could be said
    > about something made in 2000 so I might as well put components on it that were in production at
    > that time. Yes, I know the Bacchetta bars and stem and Kenda Kwest tyres weren't available in 2000
    > either nor was the longer transmission range version of the CatEye Cordless 2. My point is though
    > this is a used bike from 2000 and an orphan at that so putting the latest cyclecomputer on it
    > isn't as important as if I were specifying a new recumbent with state of the art design and
    > equipment.
    >
    > On Sunday the 12th I mounted a brand new set of orange Ortlieb Back-Roller panniers on the Sunset
    > and rode it to the 18 km round trip to the Oakland Farmer's Market to go shopping. I had ordered
    > these Ortlieb panniers a while back because I thought they would look good on the orange Sunset in
    > addition to an orange HP Velotechnik Street Machine GT. I normally take a trike to the market as
    > there are no issues with balancing it while moving at walking speed through crowds. With the old
    > tiller handlebars the Sunset was relatively difficult to control at walking speed. With the
    > Bacchetta handlebars it was almost like balancing a conventional upright bike at low speed, no
    > problems at all with low speed handling. Being low I could always dab the ground with a hand if
    > necessary. One of the farmers noticed the orange Sunset (I generally ride yellow trikes to the
    > market) and said to another farmer "he has a new one". That farmer said back to him "Oh, he has a
    > whole bunch of them". I told her it actually wasn't new, it was two and a half years old and I was
    > just testing out some new handlebars. Now how many low racers can you take to the farmer's market,
    > ride at pedestrian speeds through a crowd while shopping and fill up the panniers with food?
    >
    > Riding to and from the market I was seeing level ground speeds I seldom see on a trike, 35-40
    > km/h. The ride was much rougher than my suspended trikes going over railroad tracks and major
    > potholes, it definately gave me more of a pounding in the back. That is until I took advantage of
    > those Bacchetta handlebars and did what I could never do with the tiller bars- lean forward so my
    > back was not in contact with the seat back. I was very impressed with how much less vibration my
    > back and neck received when leaning forward for major bumps, this opens up a new dimension of
    > practicality on our rough roads for the Sunset, particularly on longer rides where rider fatigue
    > is more of an issue. Leaning forward on the Sunset for bumps is really no more difficult or less
    > natural than leaning to the inside of corners on a trike.
    >
    > On Wednesday 15 January on an unseasonably warm day I took my first significant ride on my
    > reconfigured Sunset. I rode it 75.5 kilometres with 850 metres of climbing including doing a club
    > ride with the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. I rode with them from Livermore, CA over Patterson Pass
    > through an area of windmill farms and back to Livermore over Altamont Pass which is also covered
    > with windmills. We stopped for lunch at a place called Mountain House which is popular with
    > motorcyclists. One of the riders took photos of the ride and you can see one with me and the
    > Sunset at: http://homepage.mac.com/slevensaler/PhotoAlbum6.html The fence and another bike make it
    > hard to see the details of the Bacchetta handlebars. Note the BikeE mudguard on the front wheel
    > and the Garrie Hill carbon fibre rear wheel cover. I was able to obtain a much higher resolution
    > version of this photo which I can e-mail to anyone who wants to see more detail. The handlebars
    > show up much better on the full resolution version.
    >
    > For the club ride I removed the panniers and added a rack top bag I had previously used on the
    > Sunset. For added safety I strapped a Jogalite reflective yield symbol to the rack top bag. The
    > Sunset performed well on this ride. I was able to keep up on the climbs with the fastest rider on
    > the Wednesday rides, a guy who climbs standing up. Normally when I'm riding a trike I can't keep
    > up with him on the climbs. I was also able to ride beside the tandems on level ground rather than
    > having to draft them. Several times I started to get way ahead of the group which never happens
    > when I'm riding a trike so I had to back off to ride with them. When applying the brakes for
    > corners on the descents I was reminded of how much I really like the buzzing noise the Hayes brake
    > makes when applied on a 305mm wheel that is spinning fast.
    >
    >
    > The rear chain did fall between the two intermediate drive cogs twice on rough decents. One of the
    > times I had been drafting a tandem down a hill and as it started to flatted out and our speed
    > dropped to 45 km/h I started pedalling and found the pedals spun freely. I reached down and was
    > able to put the chain back on the cog while moving but the next time I looked at my route sheet I
    > got chain dirt on it from my glove. The other chain drop occurred at some point during the fastest
    > descent of the day where I reached 70 km/h. I was also able to put that one back on while riding
    > once the speed got down to about 35 km/h. When the chain falls between the cogs it doesn't drag on
    > the ground or pose a hazard so this is not as dangerous as it sounds, more of an inconvenience. I
    > was thinking there really should be discs to each side of the intermediate drive cogs plus one
    > between the cogs.
    >
    > When I got back I looked into the rear chain tension when running on the 11T cog since that is
    > when all the rear chain drops occured and had in times past as well. That is when I discovered I
    > could remove 2 links from the chain to achieve higher chain tension when on the small cog. So I
    > removed 2 links and now the short cage Dura-Ace derailer is as tight as it can get while on the
    > 34T cog and the chain has significantly more tension when on the 11T cog. Note a Dura-Ace derailer
    > isn't rated for a cog larger than 27T but due to the derailer hanger geometry of the Sunset and
    > the fact there is an intermediate drive so it is only taking up chain from the cogs, not the
    > multiple front chainrings, it is able to handle it. I could achieve greater chain wrap and thus
    > higher tension on the small cog if I went to a mountain bike long cage rear derailer but that
    > would be an inelegant solution and adding anti-chain jump discs to the intermediate drive would be
    > the correct long termm solution. I'll see on future high speed rough descents if shortening the
    > chain alleviates the chain drop problem.
    >
    > In the evening I took the Sunset out to the monthly club meeting. Before leaving for the meeting I
    > fitted the Sunset with a NiteRider 16-LED taillight running off a small lithium-on battery in the
    > rack top bag and then I fitted my Light & Motion ARC HID headlight. That combination worked well
    > with the taillight mounted to the seat frame and the headlight mounted to a part of a Haluzak
    > headlight mount bolted to a fairing braze-on under the bottom bracket shell. This puts the
    > headlight far enough forward to avoid lighting up my shoes and creating pulsating shadows. The
    > meeting was in a small apartment and I was able to wheel the Sunset in and park it in the kitchen.
    > There was barely enough room to do that so there wouldn't have been enough room for a trike or LWB
    > or even a big wheeled SWB.
    >
    > There is a 160km extremely hilly club ride over Kings Ridge and along the Sonoma coast coming up
    > this Sunday. I was originally planning on riding my Gold Rush because that has been the bike I
    > climb the fastest on so I have the greatest chance of keeping up with this faster group on it.
    > Also the Gold Rush is presently my most aerodynamic bike so if I get separated on climbs it gives
    > me the greatest chance of rejoining them. However based on my recent Sunset experience I'm tempted
    > to take it to experience some more rough, high speed descents on it. Also depending on the carpool
    > situation getting to the ride the compact size of the Sunset could be an advantage.
    >
    > --------------------------------------------
    > Zach Kaplan Cycles Alameda, Northern California, North America 510-522-BENT (2368)
     
  6. Is it difficult to see over the handlebars with the new setup? Dan Kluckhuhn

    "Zach Kaplan Cycles" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth
    Cycles.........................
     
  7. [email protected] (Zach Kaplan Cycles) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth Cycles Sunset since 3 July 2001. The
    > last communication I ever received from the Sunset's designer Shean Bjoralt was on 9 July 2001.
    >
    > There have been a number of upgrades I've been meaning to make to the Sunset but I never got
    > around to doing them because I was busy and have all sorts of other low racers, trikes, SWB's, and
    > LWB's to ride so it was a relatively low priority. Maybe it was just a mental block. Anyways Tom
    > Sherman posted something about his Sunset to the Earth Cycles Owners Group recently and maybe that
    > is what it took to inspire me to go forth with the modifications I had been thinking of making to
    > my Sunset. So on Saturday the 11th I began making the desired changes.
    >
    > I always felt the Primo Comets, although low in rolling resistance, were relatively poor choices
    > for a practical road worthy low racer because they have such poor traction, especially in wet
    > weather. I also had concerns about the relatively narrow 305mm Comet in the front getting caught
    > in a crack in the road or a pothole causing a blowout and/or loss of control. So I removed the
    > Comets and replaced them with Kenda Kwest tyres which are wider, much more durable and puncture
    > resistant and offer better traction than the Comets. The Kenda Kwest was not available when I last
    > rode my Sunset.
    >
    > Next I added some links to the front chain to allow running the return side of the front chain
    > over the pulley to get it over the front wheel in all front chainring combinations. Previously I
    > had shortened this front chain to increase chain tension when running the lower chain beside the
    > front wheel as I was having chain drop problems with the front chain. It was previously set up so
    > the front chain was only long enough to be used on the 24T inner ring and 42T middle ring but not
    > the 52T outer ring. I decided since the Sunset is a practical low racer I will now run it with the
    > lower front chain always over the pulley to allow turning the front wheel more sharply and also so
    > there will be less chain flopping around to set up oscillations which could through the chain off
    > the intermediate drive cog.
    >
    > Next I removed the stock cord from the mesh seat cover and the metal clamp used to maintain cord
    > tension. I replaced the cord with individual re-usable heavy duty black cable-ties. In doing so I
    > reduced the weight of the bike by 39 grams and now have more precise control over the mesh tension
    > in local regions of the seat rather than having to have the entire seat mesh at more or less the
    > same tension. Most importantly going to cable-ties eliminated interference I was getting between
    > the chain and one of the cords where it goes under the lower seat frame cross tube.
    >
    > The most radical change I made and the one the subject heading of this post was named after was
    > taking off the Earth Cycles tiller stem riser and handlebars with adjustable stem and replacing
    > them with the stem riser and bars of the type used on the Bacchetta Aero. I never really found the
    > original praying hamster position comfortable on long rides and have never been fond of the tiller
    > effect it induces. Also I find the tiller bars make it more difficult to get on and off the bike
    > and to lean forward to get a better view of cross traffic at an intersection or to unweight one's
    > back from the seatback for major bumps. Also Rich Pinto has said the arms out "superman" position
    > is more aerodynamic. I was pleased to see going to the new stem and handlebars saved 360 grams.
    > The adjustable stem that came with the Sunset was quite heavy. I used the Velcro backed neoprene
    > sleeve Bacchetta uses to secure the cable housings to the stem riser tube. It looks cleaner than
    > using the cable-ties the Sunset came with and also makes it much easier to pack the stem for
    > travel or shipping as the cable-ties don't need to be cut.
    >
    > The Bacchetta stem and handlebars are everything I thought they would be from past experience
    > with them on Bacchetta bikes and with similar bars and hand positioning on a Kingcycle, Speed
    > Ross and Festina. An initial short test ride revealed better handling without the tiller effect
    > and it was significantly easier to get on and off the bike. I could tell right away the much
    > lower hand position with the wrists in a natural position would be more comfortable on a longer
    > ride. I also think the Bacchetta bars and stem make the Sunset look much better than it did with
    > the tiller bars.
    >
    > I had to take the CatEye Astrale cyclecomputer off to switch handlebars and it would have needed a
    > wiring harness replacement anyways due to one of the cords accidentally getting cut at some point
    > after the last time I rode it in 2001.
    >
    > I've gotten to like using the CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputers on my tricycles where I first
    > started using them in 2001 because they are a factory option on ICE trikes. It is nice not having
    > wires attached to the bike and I thought for a travel bike such as the Sunset (frame comes apart
    > in the middle) a wireless computer would be particularly nice to make it quicker to pack and
    > unpack. Also I don't really have a need for a cadence display on a computer anymore. After looking
    > at cadence displays since 1989 I found when I started riding with wireless cyclecomputers without
    > cadence displays that I still had a good idea of what my cadence was and by now I just know by
    > feel when I should be pedalling faster or slower. The few times I get back on a CatEye Astrale
    > equiped bike these days I note that when I switch the display into cadence mode my cadence is
    > always about where I thought it was. So I guess I've graduated to not having to have the extra
    > weight and complexity of a cadence sensor. I snipped the cadence sensor off the 165mm Shimano
    > Ultegra crank, removed the old sensors and installed a CatEye Cordless 2 cyclecomputer which now
    > has a 70cm tranmission range so it works fine on the Sunset handlebars (both the tiller bars and
    > the Bacchetta bars).
    >
    > I will point out CatEye has now introduced the Cordless 3 which replaces the Cordless 2. The
    > Cordless 3 is more compact and less expensive. However I haven't been able to get any yet from my
    > distributors and I had the Cordless 2 in stock already. Besides my Sunset is a 2000 vintage bike
    > with 2000 vintage Hayes hydraulic disc brakes of a model not made anymore complete with Hayes
    > proprietery rear caliper braze-on that fell by the wayside with the advent of the International
    > Standard braze-on. So in other words I'm restoring a classic, vintage bike if that could be said
    > about something made in 2000 so I might as well put components on it that were in production at
    > that time. Yes, I know the Bacchetta bars and stem and Kenda Kwest tyres weren't available in 2000
    > either nor was the longer transmission range version of the CatEye Cordless 2. My point is though
    > this is a used bike from 2000 and an orphan at that so putting the latest cyclecomputer on it
    > isn't as important as if I were specifying a new recumbent with state of the art design and
    > equipment.
    >
    > On Sunday the 12th I mounted a brand new set of orange Ortlieb Back-Roller panniers on the Sunset
    > and rode it to the 18 km round trip to the Oakland Farmer's Market to go shopping. I had ordered
    > these Ortlieb panniers a while back because I thought they would look good on the orange Sunset in
    > addition to an orange HP Velotechnik Street Machine GT. I normally take a trike to the market as
    > there are no issues with balancing it while moving at walking speed through crowds. With the old
    > tiller handlebars the Sunset was relatively difficult to control at walking speed. With the
    > Bacchetta handlebars it was almost like balancing a conventional upright bike at low speed, no
    > problems at all with low speed handling. Being low I could always dab the ground with a hand if
    > necessary. One of the farmers noticed the orange Sunset (I generally ride yellow trikes to the
    > market) and said to another farmer "he has a new one". That farmer said back to him "Oh, he has a
    > whole bunch of them". I told her it actually wasn't new, it was two and a half years old and I was
    > just testing out some new handlebars. Now how many low racers can you take to the farmer's market,
    > ride at pedestrian speeds through a crowd while shopping and fill up the panniers with food?
    >
    > Riding to and from the market I was seeing level ground speeds I seldom see on a trike, 35-40
    > km/h. The ride was much rougher than my suspended trikes going over railroad tracks and major
    > potholes, it definately gave me more of a pounding in the back. That is until I took advantage of
    > those Bacchetta handlebars and did what I could never do with the tiller bars- lean forward so my
    > back was not in contact with the seat back. I was very impressed with how much less vibration my
    > back and neck received when leaning forward for major bumps, this opens up a new dimension of
    > practicality on our rough roads for the Sunset, particularly on longer rides where rider fatigue
    > is more of an issue. Leaning forward on the Sunset for bumps is really no more difficult or less
    > natural than leaning to the inside of corners on a trike.
    >
    > On Wednesday 15 January on an unseasonably warm day I took my first significant ride on my
    > reconfigured Sunset. I rode it 75.5 kilometres with 850 metres of climbing including doing a club
    > ride with the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. I rode with them from Livermore, CA over Patterson Pass
    > through an area of windmill farms and back to Livermore over Altamont Pass which is also covered
    > with windmills. We stopped for lunch at a place called Mountain House which is popular with
    > motorcyclists. One of the riders took photos of the ride and you can see one with me and the
    > Sunset at: http://homepage.mac.com/slevensaler/PhotoAlbum6.html The fence and another bike make it
    > hard to see the details of the Bacchetta handlebars. Note the BikeE mudguard on the front wheel
    > and the Garrie Hill carbon fibre rear wheel cover. I was able to obtain a much higher resolution
    > version of this photo which I can e-mail to anyone who wants to see more detail. The handlebars
    > show up much better on the full resolution version.
    >
    > For the club ride I removed the panniers and added a rack top bag I had previously used on the
    > Sunset. For added safety I strapped a Jogalite reflective yield symbol to the rack top bag. The
    > Sunset performed well on this ride. I was able to keep up on the climbs with the fastest rider on
    > the Wednesday rides, a guy who climbs standing up. Normally when I'm riding a trike I can't keep
    > up with him on the climbs. I was also able to ride beside the tandems on level ground rather than
    > having to draft them. Several times I started to get way ahead of the group which never happens
    > when I'm riding a trike so I had to back off to ride with them. When applying the brakes for
    > corners on the descents I was reminded of how much I really like the buzzing noise the Hayes brake
    > makes when applied on a 305mm wheel that is spinning fast.
    >
    >
    > The rear chain did fall between the two intermediate drive cogs twice on rough decents. One of the
    > times I had been drafting a tandem down a hill and as it started to flatted out and our speed
    > dropped to 45 km/h I started pedalling and found the pedals spun freely. I reached down and was
    > able to put the chain back on the cog while moving but the next time I looked at my route sheet I
    > got chain dirt on it from my glove. The other chain drop occurred at some point during the fastest
    > descent of the day where I reached 70 km/h. I was also able to put that one back on while riding
    > once the speed got down to about 35 km/h. When the chain falls between the cogs it doesn't drag on
    > the ground or pose a hazard so this is not as dangerous as it sounds, more of an inconvenience. I
    > was thinking there really should be discs to each side of the intermediate drive cogs plus one
    > between the cogs.
    >
    > When I got back I looked into the rear chain tension when running on the 11T cog since that is
    > when all the rear chain drops occured and had in times past as well. That is when I discovered I
    > could remove 2 links from the chain to achieve higher chain tension when on the small cog. So I
    > removed 2 links and now the short cage Dura-Ace derailer is as tight as it can get while on the
    > 34T cog and the chain has significantly more tension when on the 11T cog. Note a Dura-Ace derailer
    > isn't rated for a cog larger than 27T but due to the derailer hanger geometry of the Sunset and
    > the fact there is an intermediate drive so it is only taking up chain from the cogs, not the
    > multiple front chainrings, it is able to handle it. I could achieve greater chain wrap and thus
    > higher tension on the small cog if I went to a mountain bike long cage rear derailer but that
    > would be an inelegant solution and adding anti-chain jump discs to the intermediate drive would be
    > the correct long termm solution. I'll see on future high speed rough descents if shortening the
    > chain alleviates the chain drop problem.
    >
    > In the evening I took the Sunset out to the monthly club meeting. Before leaving for the meeting I
    > fitted the Sunset with a NiteRider 16-LED taillight running off a small lithium-on battery in the
    > rack top bag and then I fitted my Light & Motion ARC HID headlight. That combination worked well
    > with the taillight mounted to the seat frame and the headlight mounted to a part of a Haluzak
    > headlight mount bolted to a fairing braze-on under the bottom bracket shell. This puts the
    > headlight far enough forward to avoid lighting up my shoes and creating pulsating shadows. The
    > meeting was in a small apartment and I was able to wheel the Sunset in and park it in the kitchen.
    > There was barely enough room to do that so there wouldn't have been enough room for a trike or LWB
    > or even a big wheeled SWB.
    >
    > There is a 160km extremely hilly club ride over Kings Ridge and along the Sonoma coast coming up
    > this Sunday. I was originally planning on riding my Gold Rush because that has been the bike I
    > climb the fastest on so I have the greatest chance of keeping up with this faster group on it.
    > Also the Gold Rush is presently my most aerodynamic bike so if I get separated on climbs it gives
    > me the greatest chance of rejoining them. However based on my recent Sunset experience I'm tempted
    > to take it to experience some more rough, high speed descents on it. Also depending on the carpool
    > situation getting to the ride the compact size of the Sunset could be an advantage.
    >
    > --------------------------------------------
    > Zach Kaplan Cycles Alameda, Northern California, North America 510-522-BENT (2368)

    Is it feasible to retrofit a '01 RANS Rocket (1" steerer) with the Bacchetta handlebars -would you
    recommend it? If so, where could one buy the bars?
     
  8. Dan:

    The view ahead is great on the Sunset with Bacchetta bars. The seat angle, bottom bracket height in
    relation to the seat, handlebar height and hand position make it feel like riding a much lower
    version of the Bacchetta Strada. I believe the view ahead is better with the new bars than the
    original tiller bars which needed to be higher for knee clearance.

    Zach Kaplan

    "Dan Kluckhuhn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Is it difficult to see over the handlebars with the new setup? Dan Kluckhuhn
    >
    > "Zach Kaplan Cycles" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Until last Sunday (12 January 2003) I had not ridden my Earth
    > Cycles.........................
     
  9. [email protected] (Larry Bloomfield) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Is it feasible to retrofit a '01 RANS Rocket (1" steerer) with the Bacchetta handlebars -would you
    > recommend it? If so, where could one buy the bars?

    I've never tried it but just looking at the Bacchetta riser tube and handlebars and the Rocket it
    looks like it would be feasible to put the Bacchetta riser and bars on a Rocket. Both slide there
    riser tubes over 1" diameter stem tubes. Any Bacchetta dealer such as myself can get the parts from
    Bacchetta. I know I would prefer this position on a Rocket but it really comes down to personal
    preference. I've heard of people putting RANS bars on Bacchettas thoughh Bacchetta frowns upon this
    as in their opinion it makes the bike less aerodynamic and not as good handling.

    Zach Kaplan
     
  10. A&B

    A&B Guest

    Zach/Larry, I put my VRex bars on my Aero for the first few months I had it. With the FlipIt/Glide
    thing the stems are pretty similar. Although I prefer the look of the Bacchetta bar, my ,and several
    independent (Steve H on a ti Rotator pursuit), observations find that, for me anyway, the Rex bars
    are more aerodynamic, by a "tic"[1]. Although this may be due to my not being willing to fully
    extend my arms like the Bacchetta folks would have one do. Even so, when I do, my arms and hands may
    be straight and seemingly more aero but are wider than my shoulders but I find myself "hugging" the
    air, vs the Rex bars which place my hands and arms well within my torso. bill g
    [1] Hodges, S., 2002, Personal communication as he coasted away on the Rotator. Zach Kaplan
    Cycles wrote:
    >
    > [email protected] (Larry Bloomfield) wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > > Is it feasible to retrofit a '01 RANS Rocket (1" steerer) with the Bacchetta handlebars -would
    > > you recommend it? If so, where could one buy the bars?
    >
    > I've never tried it but just looking at the Bacchetta riser tube and handlebars and the Rocket it
    > looks like it would be feasible to put the Bacchetta riser and bars on a Rocket. Both slide there
    > riser tubes over 1" diameter stem tubes. Any Bacchetta dealer such as myself can get the parts
    > from Bacchetta. I know I would prefer this position on a Rocket but it really comes down to
    > personal preference. I've heard of people putting RANS bars on Bacchettas thoughh Bacchetta frowns
    > upon this as in their opinion it makes the bike less aerodynamic and not as good handling.
    >
    > Zach Kaplan
     
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