Monday, September 30, 2013

It's ALIVE!!!

No, rest easy folks, I am NOT reanimating dead rats...they smell bad!  But this clip was the first thing that ran through my mind last night as we finally got the last puzzle problem #sns8*%$^@K#  issue solved on the tandem!

Yes, the build saga of our bike is drawing to a close.  Never before have either of us seen so many things go wrong with a simple (so we thought) bike build.  Yesterday it was the rear derailleur.  Brand new SRAM X9.  Would not, could not shift to the smallest cog without falling off to the inside against the spokes when going the other way.  That's officially a bad thing, folks.  DH beat his head (almost literally against the wall) trying to sort it out.  I called bike shops in search of an unobtainium bike tool.  Finally called the Mothership (the original Richardson Bike Mart).  One of their lead wrenches said he'd look at it for us.  We drove down....we were expecting to find the frame was bent, (bad) or the hanger crossthreaded (catastrophic).

Dreadlock Mike came out (yes that is his nickname), took one look at me holding the recumbent tandem and uttered a heart-breaking phrase, " You didn't tell me it was a recumbent tandem."  To which I replied, "You didn't ask."  Which at least elicited a smile from him.

About an hour later, Mike came back out to ask if we wanted to see what the problem was, since it wasn't the frame or the hanger. Whew!  It was a design issue with the SRAM part.  We watched Mike tear everything apart, and tried a couple solutions to no avail.  We were discouraged enough to consider scrapping the entire expensive new drivetrain, and  converting over to Shimano (yet more $$).  And then the idea we had all kicked around in other forms (a spacer) finally clicked for Mike.  He put two 1mm washers into play, one on the face of the cassette to space the back end out 1mm, and one on the derailleur bolt to space the derailleur away form the frame 1mm.  Suddenly everything lined up like it is supposed to.  Gears shifted.  Properly.  The Heavenly Choir began to sing!
It was ALIVE!

DH got the first ride on it last night, solo, just to start getting his seat position and bar position correct.  I stood around taking pics and video, grinning at last!  My seat position will be sorted out tonight, and we will at last get to take it out on it's maiden voyage.

Do me a favor though folks, pray that our maiden voyage doesn't end up like Titanic!


  1. It's Fantastic!!! Congratulations.
    Your first "voyage' is BOUND to be a success.

    I am excited for you.

  2. I ran across your blog by sheer luck one day and saw a pic of your dog. I also have Ridgeback. So I added your blog to revisit simply cause if you own a Ridgeback you must have a good sense of humor.

    But this beast you have built is simply wonderful. I hope it the rides are as fun as this looks.

  3. How frikkin COOL!! So, where are the shields and oars?

  4. Congratulations on the new Seavo. Hope you are able to enjoy Octaginta here in a couple of weeks and get to really break it in. Recumbent tandems rock!!!

  5. Oh there will be no Titanic I am pretty sure you both no what you are doing. It is nice to see a pic of you and hubby. Awesome bike. Rats nothing to say they freak me out:)
    Mom moved Sept 1. B

  6. I knew you could get it finished -- and really nice to see a photo of you and your co-pilot (or is that pilot?) :)

  7. WOW! My hat is off to you...building a tandem bike. Very well done and it looks quite pretty too.


I blog for myself, my family and friends, and of course the Hounds! I love to read your comments, and I always read them all.

But if you are here just to shill your own product, or are a spammer, don't waste your time or mine.