Artifice Equipment Update 091204

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Photos by MJ Klein

Today, Hui-chen and I went back to the TW-Bents warehouse facility to meet with Walter, the trike designer.  I wanted to get a new chainring and have him check out the trike.

Walter also showed me some new products under development, and although I wasn’t permitted to take photographs of them, he said I could tell you about them.  I’ll get to that at the end of our story for today.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Right away, the assembler began taking the crank apart to get the chainrings off.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

I wanted to go with a smaller inner chainring to help with hill climbing.  Recently, I rode up some hills that were quite steep and I wished I had a lower gear.  The Artifice is built for speed mostly and the chainrings are 52, 42 and 32 tooth.  I wanted a 26 tooth inner chainring.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

This shot shows the relative size difference with the smaller (black) chainring.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

While the assembler was working on the chainring changeout, I took a look around and noticed all these new trike frames waiting to be built!

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

There was also a mountain of shipping cartons that contained bare frames from the paint shop.  They are really going to town on new trikes!

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

After the new chainring was installed, Walter (Left) and the assembler checked out my drive train and found that there was a problem with the shifting.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

After a short time, they put my Artifice up on the assembly stand and went to work on it.  These guys are perfectionists and the setup wasn’t quite right.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

While they were working on it, I took this photograph, showing the new, smaller inner chainring.  If you look between the inner and middle chainrings (where the chain is in this photo) you can see grease marks where the chain used to ride on the larger inner chainring.  Now you can see how much smaller (and subsequently lower) this gear is.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Something wasn’t quite right.  The drivetrain wasn’t shifting properly despite adjustments to the dérailleur.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Out comes the shifting cable.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Replacing the cable didn’t help.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Next, the dérailleur was changed out.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

However, that didn’t solve the problem.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

Walter discovered that there was too much play in the thumb shifters, so they changed out the shifter.  After that, the system shifted perfectly.

Artifice Equipment Update 091204

After spending a considerable amount of time on my trike, getting it just right, they adjusted all the tywraps holding the cables to the frame, to make sure nothing was binding.

When they were all finished with my Artifice and it was running perfectly, Walter refused to let me pay for the work!  Now that’s what I call Customer Service after the fact!

Walter took me into the prototype model area and showed me a beautiful aluminum framed 2-wheeled tandem recumbent!  It looks fantastic!  They are working on this model for the 2010 Taipei Cycle Show.  I also saw a new folding 2-wheel recumbent with a long wheelbase.  TW-Bents is constantly working on new models and Walter has some great designs that he is putting out.  I’m looking forward to seeing them at the show next year!

Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to leave a comment and to recommend this article to others.

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12 comments

  1. Pingback: MJ Klein
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    1. hi Todd. the 26 tooth chainring seems to work well. today i climbed some inclines and although my speed wasn’t significantly impacted (still slow but steady) the effort was a lot less due to the mechanical advantage. so we’ll see when i come to some serious hills! thanks.

  3. MJ, your legs will be flying, high cadence must make the legs a little tired. That is the one thing with the recumbent, not being able to get out of the saddle and push a bigger gear up hills.

    That guy is a champ, no charge! Customer service like that, I thought it was dead.

    Happy cycling MJ.
    .-= Brunty´s last blog ..Thai School Sport Day, Isaan Thailand. =-.

    1. Brunty, yes the cadence will be higher, but i’d much rather spin than mash!

      yes, i thought that kind of Customer Service was dead too. but TW-Bents is a great outfit!

      thanks Brunty.

  4. What is the brand and model of the mirrors on the Artifice? I have not had any success finding these on web sites.
    Thanks
    Mel in Texas

    1. hi Mel. that’s an excellent question. i have no idea, honestly. there isn’t a single mark on them, anywhere. not even a “made in” mark. my guess is that they are a home-grown Taiwan brand. did you try Actionbent to see if they carried them? they have stock on most of the accessories. if you did, then i suggest you contact Kevin at recumbent@recumbent.com.tw and ask him about them. please let us know how you make out. thanks.

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