Friday, September 11, 2015

Terratrike Idler Ripped Off and Inexpensive Solution

Terratrike Idler Ripped Off and Inexpensive Solution
by Joe McCabe Sept 2015

Picked up a used '08 Terratrike Tour in 2011 and put a few thousand miles on it.  Have been pleased with it as an addition to my road bike and hybrid bike for trails. Recently I was trying to power up over a curb and tore off the boom idler. Don't know if it was torn off due to bottoming out on the curb, or because I put so much tension on the chain that the idler was torqued off. Either way, it was sitting on the ground before the curb (See Photo:1). Moral of that part of the story is don't try to use a recumbent trike like a BMX bike, Doh!
Photo 1: Torn Off Idler on Floor Below Boom

I thought my jury-rigged solution might help someone who might find themselves in the same situation. Eventually I will need to try and re-weld the lugs back onto the boom. But for now, this PVC and hose clamp solution seems to be working. Below (Photo:2) is shown an image of the solution. I used a 1-1/4" with 1/2" tee PVC fitting, cut it in half and screwed an additional 1/2" threaded fitting into the tee for density. Cut the tee in half and placed it onto the boom in the exact location where the idler was ripped. The 1-1/4" diameter PVC seems a bit small for the boom, but it stretches out when the hose-clamps tighten down. This is important because that unit needs to be snug, tight, or the chain under tension will rip it off, twist it, and make this worthless. I used a wrench to tighten the stainless steel hose clamps down as much as possible without stripping. Drilled a hole in the 1/2" PVC fitting coming off the tee and the original bolt for the idler was inserted. I used one less red lug in the final assemble than the original on the recumbent so that the self-locking nut would have some threads to bite (PVC>Red Lug>Spacer>Sprocket Idler>Spacer>Return Idler>Self-Locking Nut).

Photo 2: Terratrike Idler with PVC and Hose-clamp Retrofit

Here is another blog on how to make and install a low cost fairing for the Terratrike. And here is a blog entry on the electrification of the recumbent. Hope these help someone. Feel free to comment.

Update photo, PVC didn't last long. Now there is a motorcycle exhaust clamp that is working.

Photo 3: Motorcycle Exhaust Clamp holding idler.

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