26 January 2010

Powercranks

The Powercranks are here and on the bike!  Initial impressions ... will be added in comments.  David L.


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What say you Mr. Litt?

3 comments:

David L. said...

... I just dropped my bike of at Positivo on Saturday to get the cranks installed (and needed to order chainrings and a double front derailleur, so it was not a one-day event). So I am still in the stage of just anticipating a lot of pain. ...

Best, David

David L. said...

Okay, now I'm starting to lose patience. I ordered the Powercranks in early December, they got to RGT on Dec 22, and made it to me just after I got back to Japan on January 4.

First, the left hand crankarm had a square taper connection, and right hand was octalink (what I had ordered). Careless packing at the source in the U.S.A. I shipped the left arm back to RGT and they replaced the connection -- a week of delay.

Then when I handed them off to Nagai-san, he asked if I wanted regular (53-39) or compact (50-34) chainrings, since the spider appeared designed to fit either (as confirmed by the user/ installation manual). I said that I could live with either ... but asked for compact, thinking I might appreciate easier gearing as I learn these. Mistake.

Nagai-san ordered compact Shimano 105 chainrings, taking his time.

Surprise -- the compact chainrings do not work right -- the chain rubs against the spider. He apparently has had several discussions with RGT about getting them to work ... but no avail. Lots of trouble for him.

Yesterday he told me about this, and I told him I could drop off an old Ultegra 6500 crank with some worn standard 53/39 chainrings so he could use those and finish the job and I could use the cranks this weekend. I made it just before closing Thursday. He was not too happy about using very worn, old parts, but so be it.

... but he called today and said that when he checked with RGT they had already ordered a replacement spider that is specific to compact chainrings ... so he wants to wait and use that part with the new 105 compact chainrings that I've alread bought. So another week delay.

Hope it is worth it ...

David L. said...

Okay, I vented a bit with my Friday evening update on the installation problems with the Paincranks.

On Saturday morning, I decided I did not want to wait. I realized that I also had some "almost new" FSA 53/39 rings that I could swap out from the crank on my son's bike (replacing that crank arm and spider with a compatible FSA compact Octalink crank I have had sitting around since the left crank arm had "de-laminated several years back).

It was liberating to find my Park Octalink/ISIS BB crank removal tool still useable (hidden in the back of my tool cabinet), remove the FSA crank from my son's bike, replace it with the FSA compact right hand side, clean the "almost new" chainrings, and drop them off at Positivo. Nagai-san put them on the spider and made the required adjustments and I had the bike back Saturday evening. At last. I started to think ... if only I had a better workstand and a little more time... I should do more of my own repairs, as I used to do before moving to Tokyo ... and will again someday no doubt.

If you have ever done "one leg drills" on a road bike, the Paincranks are like doing an endless one leg drill, with each leg. I like doing one leg drills -- 25 or 30 rotations with the left, then with the right, then repeat 3-4 times, on the last leg of a return trip. But this is harder. No rest, just continuing 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 rotations and on and on.

I rode the "cranks" for about 5 minutes on the trainer Saturday night, in 60-90 second spurts, until I could not pull my right leg over the top any more. I got off, rested, then tried again 5 minutes more. I tried to sit up straight (take my hands of the bars) and immediately ground to a halt.

I tried again today after my morning ride, and did a tiny bit better -- managed to shift from a hands on the bars position to upright and back without stopping, and made several 90 second plus drills. But still only 6-7 minutes total riding time. I'll try a little more every day.

If I can keep this up, I will discover many new muscles that I never new existed. Thank you, Paincranks.