New stuff for the MetaBike

It’s been rather a long time since my recumbent saw any shiny things. In fact, the only thing I’ve added since buying it in July 2013 is a pannier rack…

I’ve put somewhere around 14,000km on it since then (plus the road salt of two Scottish winters), so some of the drivetrain is feeling a little worn. I’m also now using the upright bike for my new (much shorter) commute, so I can turn the MetaBike into what I’d always planning it to be—a lightweight mile-muncher.

Here’s the bike at the moment:

Side view of the MetaBike
I might have a better camera now, but I’m still just as bad at taking photos…

And here’s the plan.

Off with the rack!

This is mainly vanity, but the rear rack is going. I’ll replace the Carradice racktop bag with a Radical Design seatbag (I was very happy with the one I borrowed from Laid Back Bikes for London-Edinburgh-London 2013).

I was riding a Metabike in a custom configuration, with hydraulic disc brakes, carbon fibre fork and seat and a very wide range SRAM double gearing setup. Click on the picture for more info.
The MetaBike just before LEL2013, showing off the fetching seatbag. I’ll be going for one in red, but otherwise identical.

I’ll also need to reposition the rear dynamo light now it no longer has a rack to hang off. That will be moving to the top of the seat, possibly on some little struts to ensure it stays visible above the seat bag.

My rear Magicshine foglight will stay where it is (just to the top left of the cassette in the first photo), but I’ll add a fibreflare rear light to the left-hand seat strut for some additional battery-powered backup. I’m also going to reposition the mount for the Virb camera from the front of the boom to the right hand seat strut. This should hopefully give a more interesting viewpoint (as well as a more stable picture).

On with the grip shifts!

Grip shifting works really well with recumbents, and I’ve never felt the SRAM X0 trigger shifters I’ve got on at the moment have lived up to their reputation. Happily, SRAM have released a new line of mountain bike gear – GX – which includes a (relatively) cheap pair of 2×11-compatible grip shifts. Magic.

SRAM GX grip shifts

On with the massive rear cassette!

The GX range also includes this stonkingly wide-ranging cassette, which I have availed myself of…

SRAM GX rear cassette

That’s a 10 tooth top end and a massive 42 teeth at the bottom. Sure, it’s got gaps between those low ratios that you could lose a badger in, but I’m hoping that bailout gear will be worth it after a long day in the seat.

With mild irritation I note SRAM are using a new cassette driver to mount this cassette on; SRAM XD. Happily, Hope sell that as an upgrade kit for my existing rear hub (Pro 2 Evo), so here’s one of them:

Hope XD driver

On with the new rear derailleur!

11-speed means a new rear derailleur, and the wide cassette means the GX derailleur needs to take up a whole heap of extra chain slack. That’s presumably why this thing has such enormous jockey wheels.

SRAM GX rear derailleur
OK, so the size doesn’t come across very well in this photo. Trust me; they’re big.

This also has the SRAM clutch that slightly reduces chain slap, which is a handy thing on a recumbent with a long return run between the rear derailleur and the under-seat idler.

Talking of chain

Some half-price Shinamo 105 11-speed chain. I’ve previously used SRAM’s nickel-plated stuff which is remarkably resistant to corrosion, so we’ll see how this stacks up in comparison.

Shimano 105 chain
The pain of the recumbenteer; chain is bought in multiples of three…

What about the front end?

My current SRAM Apex double crankset and derailleur is still going strong, so I’ll keep that as it is.

And put it all together…?

That’ll have to wait until after the weekend!

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