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T O P I C    R E V I E W
alevand Posted - 08/28/2017 : 18:25:11
I am going to meet Jerry on the Natchez Trace in October. I don't have the details, not sure if I am riding from home, 1000 miles to Natchez or driving there and just ridding the trace for a few days. That's the plan anyway. I don't think the 26x26 bike would be ready so it would be the carp. I have two routes to Natchez, the flat route an the scenic route with lots of hills.

Tony Levand
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
warren Posted - 11/19/2017 : 19:13:42
Yep, you need to add side plates to the drive idler, or just use a fenner pulley.
alevand Posted - 11/19/2017 : 18:07:52
Hi Warren, Yes, I bought some Tekro mini v-brakes and cool stop eagle claw pads, yet to arrive. I changed the derailleur to one identical but with a slightly shorter cage, now my heel hits it. I also changed out the 32-13 to a 28-11 cassette. The chain jumps off the drive idler. FWD took a pound of chain and half pound of idlers off the bike.

Tony Levand
warren Posted - 11/19/2017 : 10:31:10
Looks good Tony! The next trick is getting the brakes in there somewhere!
alevand Posted - 11/18/2017 : 14:24:48
Looks like they all have about 180 degrees chain wrap. Looks like I can have the return idler a few inches in front of the drive,\.

Rode down the block and back in the cold, rainy windy night. Torque steer is not noticeable, I can still ride no hands and pedal. i was concerned that my foot would hit the derailleur, it doesn't. I like how the Performer idler pivots and may do simular.

Tony Levand
alevand Posted - 11/17/2017 : 17:24:32
I made the FWD fork, I need to cut more another 1/2 inch of threads. The fork steel is THICK, I beveled the ends for welding. I have about 2 inches trail. I don't think I can use amid drive, because I'll need two chain tensioners, one for the triple in front. The wheel has 1/2 nipple turn of dish offset.

I cut another 1/2 inch of threads. The fork metal is thicker, so my stem doesn't fit. I stopped there.

I am not sure what to do for the gearing. If I use a mid-drive, then I would either need to use two chain tensioners or move the triple to the mid-drive. 4 chain rings on the mid-drive may interfere with pedaling. If I use just an idler, then I need a 68 tooth chain ring, and use a 28 to 11 cassette, and redo the front derailleur, the tube is not long enough, and the boom extension is aluminum. Of course this set up would have the highest efficiency. I have 32 to 12 now and 52,42 and 30 front. Id need something like 68 to 52 to 40. Derailleur would need to take up 45 teeth. Would I want to throw out 5 to 10% effort to chain losses? I don't think I want to make a cross over drive.

My question is: Is a mid drive less efficient than an idler?

... Well that fork went to the parts bin and I bent up the old carp fork, the one I had narrowed. I tested that I could still ride no hands, in this crappy snow/rain weather.

Now to mount the derailleur on the fork. I really don't want to take the rear drive apart, it works. Im going to look a photos on the web.
Tony Levand
warren Posted - 11/17/2017 : 15:01:31
The thread cutter is cool!
alevand Posted - 11/17/2017 : 12:07:23
Yesterday I adjusted the Carp fork for the narrow 451 front wheel. I originally made the wheel for a VPS LWB bike. I want to use a 20x 1 3/8 tire, but I think it will be too big, as the tire is almost touching the crank arm and is near the frame with a 1 1/8 tire. I unassembled the other 451 narrow wheel, a 700C rear wheel and ordered 212 mm spokes to make a 451 36 spoke drive wheel. The fork steel is soft, annealed from the fire.

Tioga makes 1.6 and 1.85 wide 120 TPI,120 psi tires for 451 rims.

Today I built a 406x 1.5 32 spoke drive wheel.

This is the nick the grinder took out of the side wall. I cut a piece of side wall from an old tire and glued it in for now. I bought the tire in March and its already dry cracking - Vee Rubber 120 TPI Baldy.

Next I need to build the FWD fork.

I received the new air pad, Klymit Inertia Wave. It weights 10 oz, but came without the inflation bulb, when that arrives I can try it out. Its suppose to be good for hammocks too. To me it looks a little thin, so I may go with a Static V Recon pad, which is an inch thicker, 2.5 vs 1.5 inch an only 3 oz heavier. https://www.klymit.com/sleeping-pads.html
... I got the bulb and it leaks, pad is too thin for side sleeping, returning to Klymit for refund.

I tried out the dome tent in the rain after I patched the holes in the floor, melted from the fire, but is seems the waterproofing is not as good as it was,it wasn't beading water. So I am trying the tent I made for the Minnesota trip, made out of a $3 Menards 8x10 brown tarp. I have some 1/8 fiberglass rods, 2 5 feet long that make perfect half circle supports inside. I need to put a door and a foot window flap in. I support the front by tying it to the seat frame at the top and something else at the foot.

The rods will keep the tarp from sagging in:

Id like tor try for an overnighter during the Thanksgiving break.

Tony Levand
alevand Posted - 11/16/2017 : 07:40:23
I got the 6002 bearings and made one drive idler. I was going to reverse the fork, I may still do so, but as I was grinding off the generator mount, the grinder slipped and gashed the side wall. The inner tube started bubbling out. So much for my 120 TPI BMX tire. I'll put a boot in it for the time being. I'm having a mental heath day today from work, so I'll work on reversing the fork, this will put the brakes away from my knees. After that I need to build a 20 inch drive wheel. I have two narrowed front 451 wheels, I will use the rim off one and a hub odd an existing 700 c wheel. The lacing is cross 2, but on a wide flanged hub, Hopefully they are long enough for the drive hub. Cross 2 should be OK for driving with rim brakes and 36 spokes.

... I needed about a 1/4 inch more threads. I was able to cut 1/2 inch of threads in the steer tube by slotting an old race with the hand grinder and cutoff blade and using a large adjustable wrench.

... the spokes turn out too short, I'll have to order some for cross 3. The 406 x 1.5 BMX front wheel was cross 4, and the narrowed 451 wheel and 1 1/8 tire look rather spinally compared to it.

Sun M3II rim, 20 x 1 1/8 (451) Deore FH-M570 hub, 36 spokes, cross 3.


...210 and 212 mm I'll order 212 mm. Not sure If I'll dish it.

... ordered the spokes, should be here on the 21st.

I should get a new tire, 20 X 1 3/8 too.

Tony Levand
Jerry Posted - 11/14/2017 : 18:55:49
Tony, the only definite plan right now is to get home and unload the truck and trailer, then rest a day or two. I am planning on going over to my mom's in about a week for a week. I might go ride the Natchez one day.
alevand Posted - 11/12/2017 : 12:06:12
I made a rear rack for panniers and a better rear fender. I was going to go for a ride, but now its raining. I could find my rain gear somewhere... but the wax on the chain will wash off, well its better to test that now anyway..

Well, Jerry, don't make any definite plans, because you know... what always happens.

This is the climate outlook for December Its not worth a hoot, cause last year it showed the same, until the Polar Vortex hit.

Tony Levand
Jerry Posted - 11/12/2017 : 10:28:09
Get it done Tony, and maybe, just maybe, I can get over to the Natchez and meet up with you. I still have a lot on my plate the next month or so, but if nothing else I would drive over and ride a day with you. Need to go see my mother anyway.
alevand Posted - 11/10/2017 : 22:09:25
I moved the back seat support up 1 1/2 inches, now there is plenty of chain clearance.Tomorrow I am going to reroute the chain, I'll move the bottom drive idler forward from beneath the seat and try to route the return underneath. Maybe Natchez by the end of December?

... Idler tube rigged up to weld.

It turned out about 2mm to high. I may still need that rear idler for seat mesh clearance when on the large cassettes.

I ordered 10 more 6002 shielded bearings for the new idlers. I'll have some in stock for the Phoenix 559xII build plus spares.

Tony Levand
alevand Posted - 11/09/2017 : 05:58:52
I want to solve the drive train issues before putting a fairing on. I'll run the return under the drive chain, it will take one more idler. It needs something to keep the chain from rubbing on the seat frame, so maybe another drive idler in back, or bent the tube out of the way. This is the longest chain Ive had on any bike.

These little nuisances become problems on a long ride, like your knee touching the idler, eventually it becomes a sore.

Tony Levand
warren Posted - 11/08/2017 : 21:02:30
Ya, drivetrain is a little noisy but it looks good and looks like it handles great. Building a fairing for it?
alevand Posted - 11/06/2017 : 12:21:13

I reprinted a return idler sprocket in nylon, it turned out good, it weighs nothing, 8 grams, 17 teeth. It uses an in-line skate bearing.

... I took the chain off and put it in solvent, then I washed in detergent, dried it off and heated it. Got the wood stove going and put the chain and wax in an ammo box. Got the wax boiling, added some boric acid. It seemed to dissolve. After a while in boiling wax, I took the chain out an hung it to cool off. It seems stiff, almost like a rusty chain. It should brake in 50 miles or so, but now it has a lot of friction. Hopefully it will solve the black hands and leg.

Tony Levand
alevand Posted - 11/05/2017 : 07:02:51
The worn out Panaracer Pasala TG 700x32c with wheel covers is much faster on pavement than the Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.5, and the hybrid tire 700x38c. Not as good on gravel. Did some work on the drive, now smoother, not a noisy and is staying on the idler cogs, needs some keepers. Still getting black leg. It rained and drizzled all day yesterday, I might get out for a ride today. I want to change the seat mesh, too soft, getting back aches, comfy though, like a suspension. I put an old tail box from 2005 on for looks yesterday. Tent seems OK ,a few small holes on the bottom. I found out yesterday that my 20x1.5 front tire is 120 TPI. I wouldn't recommend it, I got in tMarch and it already has cracks in it. Its only rated for 70 psi, dosen't seat well in the bead. - Vee Rubber Baldy.

I had rider from Szechuan China stay over night Friday, it was cold and raining. Nice guy, riding to California from New York.

Tony Levand
alevand Posted - 11/04/2017 : 08:02:26
559X2...Only one small problem, crank and chain ring overlap....

I have one of three options:

1) I could move the wheel back 3 inches

2) I could move the wheel back 1 inch and use 1 inch shorter (130mm) cranks.

3) I could move the wheel forward 2 inches, and use a slider crank, like pedal blocks.

It almost looks like a Varna.

Tony Levand
alevand Posted - 11/03/2017 : 17:13:56
How is it not compressed by the chain tension, its in line with the pivot on the curved fork? It may not work so well with a wide range cassette on the hub. I have a 12 to 32, if the pivot is in the middle, that would be (12-32)/2*.5/pi/2 = +/- .8 inches. Low gears it would bob up, high gears bob down, but less than a straight suspension fork by a factor of .6. It would need a drive side idler to work or the cassette on the mid drive.

.. Maybe if the pivot was at the top of the fork, by the mid-drive, yes that just might work.

... The drive idler moves up and down on the arm, but does not turn with steering, the idler should be lower than shown, so the chain is perpendicular to the suspension motion. Remote steering would decouple the handle bars. The VPS links react the drag moment about the steering head. The bearing would be spherical, or axial with a flex plate. The suspension components, spring and pivot, could be integrated into a fiberglass composite flex beam.

Tony Levand
warren Posted - 11/03/2017 : 12:40:43
Maybe you can fabricate a FWD fork like this?

It would give some suspension and not be compressed by pedal strokes.
alevand Posted - 11/03/2017 : 06:44:39
John is as tall as Warren. Im afraid that I just wont have enough steering for touring with the 559 FWD. I could have the handlebars unsprung, and or use a hybrid suspension neck.

Yes, Warren the unsprung subframe seems the simplest solution, but would be a weight penalty on a framed bike, having two booms. The unsprung boom could be shortened if the fork and headset were reversed with remote steering, but the suspension vector is not vertical. Virtual pivot steering doesn't work well with reversed angles, it puts the links in compression, an unstable configuration. The fork ball joints would have to be close together as possible. The links would need the suspension spring built in somehow, maybe telescoping, as long as the move together. I think the bike would do nose dive with front braking.

Originally posted by Speedbiker

Johnsfwdbent isn't faired, has 700cs, and a 56 isn't big enough!

... Probably be better with a standard headset and a flex fork that flexes like a cantilever leaf spring.

Tony Levand
Speedbiker Posted - 11/02/2017 : 22:46:02
Johnsfwdbent isn't faired, has 700cs, and a 56 isn't big enough!
warren Posted - 11/02/2017 : 21:51:14
I thought about this a lot back in '02.


I finally ended up suspending the whole front subframe, which is fine in a 'liner with a perimeter frame, but tough for a non-faired bike.
alevand Posted - 11/02/2017 : 18:41:19
The mid drive has to move up and down and not steer, the handle bars had have to steer and not go up and down, not simple. I have a 37 mm, 72 TPI front tire at 70 psi max. Marathons are not known for their suppleness. I think I'll go with a RWD and a front suspension, rather than FWD and no suspension, and I'll be happier on the first bumpy chip seal road. Unless some one posts a way to do it. Im looking at this BMX tire: Maxxas DHT. 20x 1.5, 120 tpi, 110 psi, soft compound.


Tony Levand
Jerry Posted - 11/01/2017 : 19:03:38
Tony I put 40 mm Schwalbe Marathons on the front of the corovelo. When I run under 70 psi, it feels like I have suspension. You can run them all the way down to 50 psi.
alevand Posted - 11/01/2017 : 07:24:21
I never liked mid-drives, because of the loss of efficiency, but I am warming up to the idea. Probably not worse than 4 idlers and a long chain. I could weld two sprockets to one tube with two bearings. I could use 2 cassettes spacers to set them apart. A 32 and a 24 tooth would due. I need to check knee clearance.

... Id have to build a new fork for FWD, id be really nice to have a suspension.

.... Humm, the mid drive would have to be attached to the unsprung fork. That would cause some torque steer. Its not so simple.
Tony Levand

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