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Bike Riding And Repair


The front derailleur (Shimano RSX FD A410) on my recumbent is shot. It just wont shift to the big ring. I think the cage is bent. The RSX group was the lowest in of the Shimano road groups, so I am guessing the quality of the part was not as high as some of the better groups. So it might have just worn out. I searched ebay looking for another derailer that had a 1 1/8 inch clamp, was designed for a triple chain ring, and would work with a 7 speed chain.
I found a Shimano Deore DX M650. It is actually a mountain bike derailluer. I thought I would give it a shot, so I ordered it.
I came in the mail Monday. I installed it monday night. The Deore DX derailluer easily shifts the chain on to the big ring. I like how it swings the cage up and out, instead of down and out.
The one problem is the cable pull is different. I need to twist the grip shift much hard to shift. I am concerned it will damage the shifter. So I may look for another RSX FD A410, or possibly a RSX FD A417.

The front deraileur on my Lightning Stealth recumbent seems to be messed up. It wont shift to the biggest ring. It will try, but it just wont go out far enough. And it seems to be going out as far as it can. The limiting screw is all the way out. I don’t think it was damaged in a crash, but I think it is worn out. The cage seems like it has been bent at least slightly. The back/bottom of the cage gets really close to the teeth of the big ring, while the front/top part is still a ways away.

I have played with the derailuer position, but it hasn’t improved it.

If I pull the cable as much as possible, it trys to shift onto the big ring. Then if I physically push the cage just a little further (to it’s max) I can get it to shift. It seems like the cable just doesn’t have any more leverage to pull it out.

I looked up the Shimano RSX, and in 1997 it was the lowest group of the road groups.

One thing I need to check is whether the cranks are pressed on enough. I think the previous owner said something about having the bearings replaced. If the chainring side crank isn’t pressed on enough, the big ring would be farther out, and the derailuer would need to push the chain out farther…

I found an eBay auction for a Shimano Deore DX M650 Front Derailleur. (I did a buy it now) I think this might work. If it doesn’t, I can always remount the RSX.

I took my new (used) recumbent bike out for a ride yesterday after I got home from work. I have ridden bikes for many year, but I have never ridden a recumbent before. I was a little unsure of how get started without falling over and damaging myself or the bike. I found instructions for a different brand of recumbent, but figured the instructions would be about the same. It suggested shifting into a moderate gear. So I shifted in the middle ring on the front, and the middle cog on the back. It also suggest starting with the crank on the stronger leg side pointed at 12 o’clock position. A friend of mine wanted me to video my first riding attempt. I think she wanted to see me fall on my butt. I was determined not to fall. I set up the camera on a tripod. I got the bike ready, on a slight downhill section of road figuring that would give me a slight edge in staying upright. I started the camera, and sat on the bike. I got my right foot on the pedal, and gave a strong push to get me going. I brought my left fot up on the the left pedal, and started pedaling. The bike was wobbly at first. The steering very wierd compared to what I am used to on an upright bike. I nearly swerved into the grass a couple times. I passed a cyclist coming the other way, and shouted “Not bad for my first time on a recumbent!” I did a u-turn that took the whole road and more. I found myself on the grass. I did manage to turn around without falling. I road back to the start, and stopped the camera.
Here is video of my first recumbent ride.

I went to pick up the Lightning Stealth recumbent bike that I bought on eBay yesterday for $280. I told the guy I would be there about 8am, and since it was about a 45 minute drive, I had to get up pretty early for a Sunday morning.
I was hoping that the bike would fit in my Honda Civic. When I saw the bike, it looked like it probably would fit. The seller helped me remove the seat. We also removed the pedals from the cranks. The handlebars also came off (it looks like newer models have a hinged steering column). I had the back seat in my car folded down. Fortunatly, the bike slid right in.
When I got home, I started to put the bike together. The previous owner had installed a fender over the rear tire. The fender actually came from a different bike. He also installed a small aluminum rack. I removed this as well. I reattached the seat. There was a wired bike computer mount on the handlebars running down to the front fork (no bike computer). I removed the mounting. Maybe I will install a wireless unit.
I am still not sure about the details of the bike. Like what year the bike was made. It has a 7 speed freewheel/cassette on the back. I found details for a 2000 Lightning Stealth, and it had 8 speed rear cogs. So I am guessing mine might be a 1999 model? I am not sure when they started making the Stealth bike. They still make it, but under the name Lightning Phantom.
I was hoping to take it out for a ride today, but with an aikido class, and a karate class, and really rotten weather, it didn’t happen.
Lightning Stealth Recumbent Bike

I have been watching an eBay auction for a Lightning Stealth recumbent bike. I bid on it at the last second and won the auction for $280!!! The reason I got a such a great deal was the title of the auction was simply “recombent bike”. Yes, he mispelled recumbent. He also mispelled it in the description too. I haven’t been shopping for a recumbent, but it was too good to pass up. I will play with it, and if I don’t like it, I can probably resell it for two to three times what I paid for it.
I have never ridden a recumbent, so I am not sure whether I will like it or not. I know that recumbent owners seem to be the crazy uncles of the cycling community. Hey, maybe I would fit in. But I do like my Trek 1000, as it’s more like a race bike.
The description of the bike was vague. I do not know what year the bike is, or what components it has. I guess I will find out tomorrow when I pick it up.

Lighting Stealth

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