CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Questions/Support/Help

Chain advice

(66 posts)
  • Started 5 months ago by Greenroofer
  • Latest reply from Arellcat
  • This topic is not resolved

  1. gembo
    Member

    If anyone has not watched Sheldon Brown's short film on the correct way to clean a chain I recommend it.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  2. crowriver
    Member

    "Shirley a one-eighth chain lasts for ages?"

    Indeed. Well nigh indestructible too.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  3. Greenroofer
    Member

    A 104-link half-link chain does not fit an Elephant Bike.

    Note to self: check what you need, what you're buying and what you've got before opening the packet in a way that makes it impossible and unethical to return for an exchange to a different size.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  4. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Well I thought that going from a 20 to a 22 tooth sprocket on the Elephantine bicycle would be sufficient for Edinburgh hills, but I've had enough. It's just too tiring hauling it all the way up. I've ordered a 24, which will drop the bottom gear to a shade under 34 inches.

    I looked at the notion of fitting the Sturmey X-RD8 with drum brake, but the gearing for a cargo bike becomes faintly ridiculous. A 24t sprocket would need to be driven by a 22t chainring! – but it would give an otherwise highly useful 23.6 inches at the bottom, to a higher-than-strictly-necessary 72 inches.

    The RX-RD5 is a five speed drum brake hub that, geared 42:24, would give 30 to 67 inches. That's quite handy and is more like the three speed with a bit more spread. Or go for the RXL-RD5 for the 90mm drum option (the torpedo has 90mm Sturmey drums and needs them).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    If I ever decide to re-gear my Pronto, I'll definitely look into 5-speed.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  6. Greenroofer
    Member

    So where do you get a 24 sprocket?? I thought the lowest available was a 22 (which I what I have).

    I've always thought that a three-speed splits into a hill climbing gear, a normal gear and a pedalling downhill gear. I spin out in top gear downhill at about 18-20mph.

    Most of the places I use my EB are relatively flat: the climb of Craighouse Hill each evening is punishing but thankfully short. It trundles up the Innocent Tunnel perfectly OK, and it's been up Comiston Road to Fairmilehead (with an empty trailer) once. I've never tried to take it up the Mound or Dundas Street, and I do push it up Craighouse Hill if I'm towing the trailer.

    Nevertheless, a 24-tooth sprocket is an interesting idea (I'm sure I've previously mentioned that, with its new dynamo, it weighs 27kg).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  7. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Sturmey's catalogue does list the 24t, and it looks like this:

    Sturmey Trek III: The Search for Sprockets

    I bought it from St John's Street Cycles. I was surprised that no-one else seemed to have it, not even Practical Cycles.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    "I was surprised that no-one else seemed to have it"

    I'm not. SJS always seem to have just about any hub gear related thingummyjig you could ever imagine. Presumably a mixture of pure enthusiasm and servicing the esoteric requirements of the touring cyclist fraternity.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. Greenroofer
    Member

    ooo. Tempting. I'm an SJS regular, for exactly the reasons crowriver describes. I hadn't heard of Practical Cycles until recently, but have been repeatedly and indecisively visiting their site and considering these (which I think would look nice on the back of an Elephant Bike).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. crowriver
    Member

    @Greenroofer, those are beauts. Will they fit on the rack and give enough heel clearance though? I went for something smaller (and cheaper) for my Pashley but stilll hanker after the newspaper bag style...

    Half serious aside - should we establish a Pashley Post Bike Owner's Club? We could hold rallies, parts swap meetings, and a newsletter (only joking on this last one).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. jdanielp
    Member

    which I think would look nice on the back of an Elephant Bike

    @Greenroofer do I remember you mentioning that you have one? Do you have any plans for the non-fitting half-link chain? I'd still be interested in experimenting with a half-link to tension my chain. I'm also considering trying to swap the 18 tooth sprocket with the original 20 tooth one.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. Arellcat
    Moderator

    @Greenroofer, wow, those panniers are huge! Really huge!

    Carradice made the original Royal Mail ones, but they're out of stock on the website now. They come up on eBay only very occasionally.

    Also found this on Really Useful Bikes' website:

    http://www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk/news/2016/6/12/the-elephant-bike-upgrade-tusk

    Nothing that we haven't thought of ourselves. :-)

    Posted 4 months ago #
  13. LaidBack
    Member

    24t - never knew either they existed.
    22t is norm to get lower on 8 speed hubs but now we can get 24t that's even better.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  14. Greenroofer
    Member

    I've got a dynamo on the EB now, installed by @hartscyclery. Graeme replaced the SA hub with a Nexus dynamo and a great big roller brake (which seemed to be a drop-in replacement). It's now also got a chain guard, although it's not quite as splendid as the Tusk one, and a frame lock. My bike has handlebar grips, which seemed to be missing from the Tusk bike.

    The Nexus brake is easier to pull, but a bit less progressive than the SA one. It's pretty effective though: I've had the back wheel off the ground under hard braking...

    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. crowriver
    Member

    Because my Pronto was ex-TNT Post rather than ex-Royal Mail, it came with a front dynamo, lights, and part chainguard (upper half only. Also came with different front carrier - different shape, for a bag rather than a tray/box. That's why it's orange too. I haven't even checked what the gearing is, but presume it's 22t.

    I measured the rear carrier and it's 50cm long. I've seen differing reports on the dimensions of those 80L panniers: Practical Cycles claim 48x30x28cm; however two other suppliers claim 54x61x40cm. My current panniers are 46L and measure 39x33x18, so I'm inclined to go for the larger size quoted for the 80L ones. I think the others' dimensions are incorrect, or the quoted capacity should be 130L or more, not 80L.

    Why does this matter? Well heel strike could be an issue with 54cm long panniers, otherwise you'd have to fit them "long" which would obscure the rear carrier mounted lamp. Also 61cm high! That's nearly dragging on the ground, and would obstruct an axle mounted trailer hitch: my 33cm high ones only just clear the Carry Freedom hitch as it is.

    So I'd be inclined to doubl;e check the dimensions of the panniers prior to ordering...

    Posted 4 months ago #
  16. Arellcat
    Moderator

    I think the ones Greenroofer has in mind are indeed 48x30x28cm, for 40 litres each side. De Poort calls them "XXXL" bags.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  17. crowriver
    Member

    Some nice pics here of Pashley Prontos (AKA Mailstars) being built in the factory. Scan through the photostream for more and to see Moultons, Princesses and trikes also being built.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/houndstoothroad/8671000956/in/photostream/

    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. Greenroofer
    Member

    I love that orange. However my favourite colour is imperial purple: should the time ever come where the EB needs a respray, it's going to end up purple.

    I am very tempted by the enormous newspaper bags: surely a Pronto rear rack is long enough? I hadn't considered the height of them: I too have a trailer hitch to take account of.

    Ultimately, this is the reason for repeated visits to that site: I look, ogle the panniers and then realise that I need to go and measure things before making any decisions.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. crowriver
    Member

    I reckon the ones that Practical Cycles stock should fit and give clearance for a trailer hitch. I think other suppliers are maybe quoting dimensions for a different model? I hear tell there are 90L capacity behemoths and larger...

    Again though, heel clearance is the key consideration I should think.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  20. Greenroofer
    Member

    Well I may have accidentally ordered and just taken delivery of the Newspaper pannier bags from Practical Cycles. I've put them on the EB but not actually ridden it with them on yet. I don't think heel strike is going to be a problem, as they are the same length as the horizontal section of the rear rack (48cm) and some way back from my heel.

    They are relatively crude (they were £60, after all), with a few rough edges and very simply made. They look pretty robust though.

    I would guess they are designed for a 700C wheel rather than the 26" wheel on the EB, as the bag itself reaches down to the axle and touches the trailer hitch on one side and the protective bar round the SA hub shifting chain on the other. This could be fixed with a 2" piece of wood on the rear rack to lift them up slightly. The flaps the cover the panniers are longer, and probably about six inches off the ground on each side.

    The sides of the bag nearest the wheel are plywood (which is why the pannier set weighs 3kg). The only slightly disappointing thing with them is that there's nothing to secure the bags to the rack (just some tapes at the top) so this plywood is going to bang and rattle, and the bags swing annoyingly, all the time until I can work out a way to secure it.

    The bags are utterly enormous. I mean huge. I could put both my Ortlieb City Rollers into one side. If it's fully loaded, you won't be able to pass me on the aqueduct.

    I now have the luggage to load the EB up to its maximum capacity of 20kg on front and rear. This means that the total weight of the bike + luggage - rider could be 70kg. Maybe I do need that 24 tooth sprocket after all.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. crowriver
    Member

    Aha! Yeah I was momentarily tempted to order some, but decided against (for now at least). You get to be the pannier tester! :-)

    "there's nothing to secure the bags to the rack"

    Plywood can be screwed into, bolted through, etc. so I imagine there are all kinds of DIY options possible there.

    "The flaps the cover the panniers are longer, and probably about six inches off the ground on each side."

    Whoah. Even with a 2" chunk of wood raising them up, that's close to the ground. No leaning into corners with those babies on the bike!

    I'm wondering what they're like fully loaded? Do they sag in the middle a bit? When loaded my Bisonyl ones sag lower on the outside, even when I tighten the straps up: I think it's a "feature" of Dutch/continental style double panniers.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  22. Greenroofer
    Member

    Yes - I think sagging may be a feature of these. They are big and bisonyl. There is plywood on the back of each bag and plywood on the horizontal part that sits on the rack, so any sagging will be working against that. However a sack of potatoes will probably end up bulging out the bag and it all sagging down a bit.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. Arellcat
    Moderator

    On the thread linked to up-thread, the user Windmill said they made some modifications to their panniers, adding some straps here and there, removing the plywood deck, etc.

    I'm still laughing a little at just how enormous those bags are. I've been using my 40 litre Arkel panniers recently and they look a little bit lost on the rear rack.


    Cycle recycling with a vengence

    You could easily attach bungee cord to the backs of the panniers, with a hook around the front edges and another around the back edges. Hooks attaching to the bottom of the pannier frame works fine for single panniers like my Arkels but is a faff for throwovers. My Siam Cement bags have no retention either; I just loop a bungee across the top to hold them down.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. unhurt
    Member

    What Arkels are those? I thought my Dolphin 48s were big but those look.... wider!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. Arellcat
    Moderator

    They're Arkel RT40 recumbent panniers, not sold in the UK. I bought them in late 2009 after destroying my conventional EBC panniers on my Albany-Toronto-Niagara tour. I had the EBC bags on an underseat rack and they were just a bit too tall when cornering. My Park Tool spanner was in the bottom of one, and still bears witness to its interaction with the tarmac! The Arkels are longer and wider but less tall.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  26. crowriver
    Member

    "However a sack of potatoes will probably end up bulging out the bag and it all sagging down a bit."

    If I'm getting a sack of spuds I usually put it on the front rack or drape it transverse across the top of the rear rack. A couple of strong bungees holds it in place.

    To stop the panniers sagging too much you can use some rigid sheeting to line the bottom of the bags - discarded house For Sale signs are ideal, cut to size they are light and sufficiently stiff under load.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  27. unhurt
    Member

    @Arellcat, that sounds like a good trip. Are there pictures / posts about it online anywhere?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  28. wingpig
    Member

    "...all the time until I can work out a way to secure it..."

    https://www.vaude.com/en-GB/Products/Activity/Biking/QMR-Rail-Hook-2.0
    Can sometimes be found in stock in EBC. I fitted a pair to the insides of my drape-over-the-top panniers to stop the sides flapping - they work reasonably well, but escape sometimes because the inner sides are flexible. I also added a single latching hook (https://www.evanscycles.com/altura-lower-pannier-rail-hook-00103618) to the underside of the top bit in the middle at the front to stop the whole thing sliding backwards, as my racks are sometimes tilted slightly back to keep panniers away from my heels and children's feet away from my brakes.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  29. crowriver
    Member

    @Arelicat, yeah this looks a useful mod:

    Also this:

    "Sealed the plywood backing boards with truck bed liner.
    Added straps and buckles to keep the flaps down, or folded flat when not in use."

    Posted 3 months ago #
  30. crowriver
    Member

    This is how my beastie looks. The panniers are not always as well behaved as this: despite stiffening material lining base and ends, fully loaded they can sag on the outside a bit. You can see there's probaly space on the rear rack for longer panniers like the ones Greenroofer recently acquired. I'm holding out with these for the time being though.

    Posted 3 months ago #

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