Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I know you

After 2200+ miles on the trike, I'm starting to get to know the trike very well. When initially installing the elliptical chain ring a few weeks back, I wasn't confident that the benefits I was experiencing were due solely to the chain ring itself.

Things have changed since.

I contribute to the experience on the trike to making me much more certain of the benefits of each upgraded component.

While on vacation and recovering from personal matters, I was away from the trike for almost two weeks. When I finally got back on, everything felt a lot more smooth and the performance was impressive.

The smoothness of the drive train was more likely than not due to having cleaned the chain and lubed it before my break. The gears changed much more smoothly during the shifts. This might not seem like a big deal, but the effects were definitely noticeable. Though still quite loud, the noise was reduced.

I credit the efficiency of the pedaling stroke to the elliptical chain ring. I can really feel the resistance beginning in the power stroke of the pedal when the crank arms are straight up and down (90 degrees to the angle of the force). The pull stroke is so quick that I'm finding myself spinning out down the hills a lot more easily than before.

The tires definitely contributed to my ability to climb hills much more easily. Again, that big hill that I took usually brings me down to gear 2 at the highest. I was halfway up on gear 3 w/o any more momentum going up than usual. In fact, I was slowed down by pedestrian traffic. There was less mashing resistance. As long as I maintained a particular cadence, the stroke was fairly easy relative to the angle of the hill. This experience no doubt was assisted by the efficiency of the elliptical chain ring too.

Although I could isolate the benefits of each component while riding, each definitely work as a team to assist in the overall efficiency of the trike. The tires just brought it all together. Prior to swapping out the front tires with the new Schwalbe BA's, an improved drive train and pedal stroke efficiency was hindered by the poor rolling resistance of the front tires. No matter how much everything improved, the front tires limited the performance potential. Once swapped out, the tires pulled everything together and the experience on the trike is that much better.

No regrets. I'm glad I purchased each component and tried them independently over time. I can really appreciate the benefits of each and experience how it all comes together. I can't wait for my next ride.


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