Before and After

Before

Mark Stonich showed Dave Siskind's old yellow Tour Easy clone (built in the now-legendary brazing class in 1987) with a number of major modifications recently completed by Mark and Dave.

The bottom bracket is now higher and closer to the back of the head tube, and there is now one straight bottom tube from the head tube back to the pseudo bottom bracket. The rear triangle tubes plug into holes in slightly larger square tubes. A very simple and effective way to build that area of a bike.

It has a Rans seat to replace the old plywood and foam job with a mesh back. Thanks to the higher BB, it is leaned back more than the original layout would allow. The old seat mounts fortunately worked fine with just a few modifications to the Rans seat base.

After
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The front wheel of an LWB recumbent rarely needs all of the spokes allowed by readily available rims (eg. 32 or 36 hole) so you want to use some kind of skip pattern to save unnecessary weight. Until Dave built this front wheel in '87, we all skipped every other spoke hole, and ended up with half the spokes coming out of the rim at an angle. Dave skipped pairs of holes, leaving an unsupported span of rim, but ensuring that the spokes met the rim correctly. Mark was skeptical, so he built otherwise identical wheels both ways. After breaking a few spokes he realized Dave was on to something good.

The old steel stem and ape hanger bars were replaced with a "Rans like" alloy stem that Mark created and a set of , for lower weight and better steering ergonomics. Trail was reduced from 1.70" to 0.65" to eliminate wheel flop.

Rear brakes are now cantilever type, but the vintage centerpull on the front was retained. With the new BB location, the cranks now overlap the front brake on sharp turns so a narrow brake is needed to avoid interferance.

The weight is down to about 31 pounds now, and Dave really likes the reduced weight, improved comfort and handling. Maybe he won't be the odd man on our rides this year. The "before" version wasn't a very good bike, so he usually rode one of his extremely high mileage wedgies. (Dave is currently retracing Route 66 on his Claude Butler, which will have well over 100,000 miles when they reach Chicago. M.S.)

The back wheel is now a 26", giving a slightly lower seat height and fender clearance. Tire is a 42mm Panaracer Pasela, which is very supple and light for its size and rolls very nicely with just 50-60 psi.


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