Week #37 2018 – Gear problems

The picture is of (right to left) Ken, Diane, Sue and myself before the start of the Tweed Ride last Sunday.  Now, on to this week.

Ride of the Week – to Carrick

Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 09.10.23

Tuesday dawned dry although there was a naughty little wind blowing.  It was actually quite a light breeze in Longford but the sort of wind that makes itself known once you arrive at the open paddocks “up the hill” a bit.

I decided to try a 50k ride on the Anura.  The boom had been extended another ½ inch and I had adjusted the derailleur so the cog totally matched up with the top gear cog on the freewheel.  I had also added a little extra chain to work with the extension of the boom as the chain looked a bit tight.  There is a diagram of how the derailleur should be positioned when in top gear but my version just doesn’t seem to want to sit the same way.

The ride started slowly, cruising through Longford to the roundabout at the junction with Illawarra Road.  The middle gears were playing up a little still but with light pedal loads nothing to worry about.  Accelerating along Illawarra Road I got an inkling that things weren’t quite right.  Turning left onto Bishopsbourne Road we began the long incline that leads up to the junction with Wilmore’s Lane.  The wind was still light(ish) but certainly coming head on.  Not knowing how I would go on this longer distance, I backed off the gears and spun gently up the hill taking the time to look around, watch the birds, worry about the grey sky and wave to all passing traffic.  I had noticed Colin doing this and I decided to follow suit – hopefully bonding slightly with local drivers in the hope they may look out for us at later meetings on the road.  The lowness of the trike is still a little daunting.

Wilmore’s Lane to Bishopsbourne passed with increasing wind coming in, mainly from the side.    Yellow wattle flower is now everywhere and brightens up the day and there are heaps of lambs bouncing about in the fields.  I turned right at the church as does Bishopsbourne Road and started the leg to Carrick.  The wind was getting “in your face” now and the middle gears were really playing up.  OK moving from small to larger gear but giving trouble moving to lower gears.  I found I had to go down two and back one to get the chain to settle.  There are a few hills on the way to Carrick but mountain drive and suitable gear had us spinning away to the top.  About 5 ks out from Carrick the knees started to tell me they needed a rest so I spun the pedals in lower gears to keep the pressure off.  I think the boom maybe now too far out!

Gorse BB Road Small

Great news – the gorse spider mite has been at work on the road to Carrick

I had brought along a lunch packed by Sue and ate it parked at the amenities block and picnic area in Carrick.  Once upon a time there would have been a number of motorhomes parked here for an overnight stay or two.  These days this is banned by the Council cited regulations about competition so there was no-one here.  Luckily I managed to get out of the wind which seemed to have both strengthened and cooled down.

I returned the way I had come.  Ideally I would have used Oaks Road and added approx 5k to the run but I wanted to look after the knees so chose to use the shorter route.  The wind was now mostly behind me and I continued to pedal gently making sure my legs, knees etc were pushing in a straight line (not moving out to the sides) and the knees were OK.  The riding position on recumbents is a tricky thing to get right and I will watch some more YouTube for information.  I might need to work some more with cleat position to sort it out.

BB clouds small

Back at Bishopsbourne the skies looked even darker but there was no sign of rain coming from them.  Yet.  The wind picked up some more but now it was generally behind me and assisting.  I turned right along Wilmore’s Lane and shot down the four hills of the Lane –  Rumble, Roar, Rack and Rip.  The bad corrugations at the foot of Rack were hit at 40+kph but I trialled using feet and back to lift body from the seat – and it worked!  No more hard bumps going up the spine.  Turn left to Longford, a spin through suburban streets and back home – 52k completed and no sore knees on arrival at home.

Tweed Ride last Sunday (a bit more)

Tweed Ride 2

Gathering at the start – I am at the back in the middle.  The numbers were down on last year probably due to the morning rain.

Tweed Ride Video.   Unfortunately we did not ride fast and so the camera, on the Brompton handlebars, swung around quite a bit.  Apologies for the “wobbly” pictures but watch those penny farthings manage.

Gear Problem

After the ride to Carrick I had a long hard look at the drive train on Anura.  I found that the teeth on cogs 4-6 were out of alignment leaning slightly towards the smaller cogs.  This means that the derailleur, set up to work with the outer cogs, is not in line with the middle ones – so the chain doesn’t sit right.  Also, cog 4 has a missing tooth and the derailleur hanger has a large chunk eaten out of it.  It looks like there must have been some major trauma in the past and I have been addressing the wrong problems trying to get the gears to change nicely.  It wasn’t the old chain, length of boom, tension of chain but damaged cogs causing difficulties.  I have never had a bike with damaged rear gears before.


So it needs a new freewheel.  These are old technology and it is not possible to fit a more modern cassette gear cluster onto this trike.  The rear end had to be redesigned to allow this.  I found a suitable freewheel for sale on Ebay and emailed Greenspeed to find out the thread size/type needed to make sure it would fit.  Within half an hour (great Company) I had a reply which included the offer of the only freewheel they have left which they found attached to a piece of equipment never used.  I await arrival of the freewheel (knowing it will fit) plus the “C” spanners needed to remove the diff / freewheel unit.  Then “ALL” I have to do is remove the freewheel and install the new.  That will be a tale for next week as freewheels bind themselves ever tighter as you pedal and removing the old one will be interesting to say the least.  If I can’t shift it Greenspeed have offered to do it for me but I would have to post the unit to Melbourne for that to happen.  Looks like one way or another Anura will have new gears.

Total for weeks :   105 k            Total for year :  3,439 k     

Vivente :   0 k                     Brompton :    23 k                  Anura : 82 k

Author: antc1946

Born in 1946 I learnt to cycle about 10 years later. On a bike with rods connecting brake levers to the brakes - anyone remember those? I emigrated to Australia (from the UK) in 1974 and moved to Tasmania in 1984. Bicycles were in my life for most of that time although sometimes they were replaced by motorised two wheels for a bit more excitement. On reaching 70 I decided to stick to pedal power but in 2019 an electric recumbent made an appearance. it's now 2023 and I have 3 bikes. 2 e-recumbents and the Brompton.

3 thoughts on “Week #37 2018 – Gear problems”

  1. Reading your blog from start,great writing.Found my name in print and of course the picture of the box.Glad I got in first!
    My old bike is going to somewhere you have visited. my grandson lives only 400metres from the start of the Wonthaggi Killunda rail trail ,I walk the dog on it when visiting .When I was a kid we went to Wonthaggi by train on the way to our weekender at Inverloch , a further 14ks on.
    I will be riding the Anura there.


    1. Thanks Brian. The Victorian Rail Trails are a great asset to the State. Here we argue about saving the rail as we might be able to use it later. Mountain bike tracks are springing up everywhere though but they are not suitable for an Anura or a Magnum! Look forward to seeing you in action.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: