Rotovelo – Terra Cycle inside!

Cet article est également disponible en français.

Carrying on the adventure and the fine tuning of the most efficient veicule in the world: a velomobile. You may want to read my first posts about the Rotovelo prior to the below.

Idler in place (3)

Idler in place

During the setup of the Rotovelo,  I managed to get the chain too short…I also pointed out some aspects I wanted to possibly improve or change, not because they do not work but like any rider as such on this small planet, I have my preferences…

I am coming from the running and triathlon realm. Two disciplines where brands are very important. You discuss at almost any training session at the swimming pool or the race track of a product or another. I remember being a fan of two in particular: Saucony at the race track and Tyr at the swimming pool. Even no longer running I bought a pair of my favorite running brand during my last holiday in California. About two third of the price applied in Europe by the way.

Back to recumbent world and velomobile now. A brand that I almost immediately spotted in the recumbent realm was Terra-Cycle. I liked the details and the care taken to make their products. Despite the fact that some Terra-Cycle idlers was already on the Catrike Speed, I wanted to get rid of most of this noisy chain tubes. I needed the return idler and order a new kit to achieve this and only have a small part of about 30 centimetres of chain tube remaining on the trike now, making the transmission less noisy and creating a more pleasant ride. When ordering your idler kit from Europe you are redirected to Icletta, official importer of Terra-Cycle for Europe.

Fitting the new idler on the Rotovelo:

When setting up the Rotovelo I made the chain too short. Icletta sells chains to per meter, very convenient and easy. I replaced the chain with a Sram PC 951 along with its rapid chain connector. Thinking about Icletta make me think of Terra-Cycle idlers. I tried to adapt the old one of the Catrike on the Rotovelo but the diameter was too big (70mm). The Rotovelo original idler is 60mm, the Catrike 70mm and the fact that the idler structure of the Rotovelo is welded to the chassis means no flexibility (see gallery for further details). I ordered another idler kit of 65mm, and set it up with no problem. I am so far happy with this setup, I did not remove any chain tube on the Rotovelo. The chain tubes are everywhere below the body and protect the chain from projection of water. As usual look at the attached gallery for more information. Thanks for reading!

This procedure is only a proposition and followed at ones own risk and responsibility. It has not the approval from Trisled. I remain open to any comment or suggestion seeking advice and improvement. It has not been tested over long rides and I may update accordingly at a later stage according to my experience.


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  1. Rotovelo – Terra Cycle inside*! | Frederic's Blog

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