Twenty Thousand Miles

Sometime this spring I’ll pass the 20,000 mile mark on my 2008 Trice Q recumbent trike (now the HDQ).  Chump change for some, but to me a lot of miles.  Between daily, four-season commuting; weekend sport rides and overnight tours; occasional week-long commercial tours; and one epic 5 1/2 month, 4,500 mile tandem ride across the U.S.; this trike has seen a lot of action.   I thought it would be interesting to document how the trike has held up through all of this.

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Trike Build Phase I: Ultegra Di2

At long last, I’m riding a complete installation that meets at least a portion of my original goals.  It’s been a rocky journey but now I can tick off “fast, precise, and reliable shifting that is impervious to freezing” and “high quality, ergonomic shifter” from my list.  Here are the gory details of the recent build that got me here.  Once I’ve had time for evaluation and to refill my coffers, I’ll embark on Phase II—Dynamo Lighting and Hydraulic Brakes and Phase III—Schlumpf.  Stay tuned. Continue reading

Plan B

Contrary to my previous post, I am actually relieved to be dumping the Alfine.  Who knows if I’ll ever wind up selling the thing—there seems to be a glut of under-priced (gray market?) hubs out there–  but at least I now have a high confidence path forward.  Here is that path, with very few question marks remaining.

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Door #2

True to its word, Shimano resolved the issues with my Alfine-11 hub in 3-5 days.  Yesterday I received an entirely different hub by return mail.  I suppose it’s possible that this is a refurbished hub but by all outward appearances it’s brand new.  By most any measure, Shimano’s response was beyond reproach.  So why am I not smiling?

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The Trouble with Alfine

My precious Alfine hub will soon be at peace with its maker, but I’ve still got some healing to do.  My experience with Alfine has been a roller coaster ride that has left me wary of internally geared hubs.  Not to mention anxious, moody, and prone to sudden outbursts of sobbing.  Combined with my DualDrive and Sturmey-Archer experience I guess  you could say that I’m thrice bitten… fourfold shy?  I’ve lost count.  What follows is my therapy.

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