Thursday, June 2, 2011

Replacement Idler

The only real function of an idler is to change the angle of the chain while it connects between the front chain ring and rear cassette. The seat is right smack in the middle, so the chain needs to somehow route it's way underneath. That's where the idler comes in. I read somewhere that idlers need to be replaced every so often. This is a wear item and when no longer usable, these things can make a lot of noise and cause lots of trouble with the drivetrain. Rather than waiting until that time comes, I opted to replace it before the ALC ride as a preventive measure.

I can't believe these things cost $20/each! There are two power idlers and one return idler for at total of 3. So that's $60 total for plastic circles with ball bearings. These are the new ones on the floor of my garage prior to installation.

I suppose I should be happy compared to how I'd feel about maintenance components for cars. At least the trike doesn't have a $100 O2 sensor to replace.

My alternative to these stock replacement idlers was a Terracycle version. That set would have been over $150. Utah Trikes states these are performance parts but from what my buddy tells me who bought these, there's no difference. It's definitely quieter, but there's no noticeable performance gain. Totally not worth it. I'm glad I got the cheaper OEM ones so I could use my $90 difference elsewhere.


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