MetaBike; back on the road

After a few hours of fettling, I’ve managed to restore the MetaBike to a (hopefully) roadworthy state following its spelunking adventure. This was possible thanks to the generous loan of a spare seat from Laid Back Bikes – if you’re going to play around with things that have weird parts and a slow supply chain, it pays to buy local!

As a side note, a good portion of that fettling time was spent looking for a dropped 3mm hex key. Who thought matte black was a sensible colour for such a tool?

Anyway, up went the bike on the stand.

MetaBike on repair stand

The Park Tools PCS-10 repair stand has a wide enough jaw to get oversized recumbent tubing in – the best balance point on the MetaBike is just behind the steerer.

Repair stand jaws

The old seat came off, and I got a clear look at the damage from the pothole

MetaBike seat damage

I’m glad that I was only going 13kph on impact; much faster and I’m not sure the seat would’ve held together. On an upright I’d have almost certainly been over the handlebars, so if you’re looking for an excuse to join the reclined side of cycling, savings on dental work is something to add to the list.

I had a good look at the frame mounting bracket for the seat, as there have been a couple of reports of more recent MetaBike frames having weld issuesat that point. Happily all looked OK (once I’d scraped away the muck).

MetaBike seat mounting plate

I’ve always ridden without a headrest, partly because the official MetaBike option is such an enormous lump of metal. However, I wanted a suitable high-up mounting point for a rear light, and a headrest really is the best bet for that. So, on to the new seat went an Ice trikes Air Pro Seat headrest, together with the light mount that bulks out a section of tube to seat-post diameter.

(I’m intrigued why Ice appear to be using Golum to demonstrate appropriate headrest positioning.)

Various headrest positions

I was able to re-use one hole that had already been drilling into the seat, but had to make two more. Drilling expensive carbon-fibre things isn’t my idea of a relaxing time, but it was straightforward using a strip of electrical tape and a wood drill bit (the spike and tape stops the bit wandering over the carbon weave).

Carbon-fibre seat, before drilling

With the new holes drilled, it was on to the bike with the seat. Again, not wanting to overly perforate the seat I decided to reuse the existing holes, even though these were in a slightly different position. This meant adjusting the angle of the seat supporting struts, and that meant a lot of faffing around with the rear pannier rack (which uses the strut in place of the seat stay on an upright), and that meant trying to persuade some bolts to loosen that hadn’t moved in almost four years (and three seasons of winter gritting).

Got there in the end.

Whilst I was back there I swapped out the nearly-broken-in-two rear mudguard, and replaced it with a spare front guard I had lying around. It’ll keep me dry, but I’ll have to install something with more coverage before I do any riding in a group.

Back end of the MetaBike

All that remained was to screw on the headrest, mount the Blaze Burner rear light (about which, more next week), and stick the ventisit seat pad down on its velcro pads.

Oh, and manually loosen what felt like every link in the chain to break a thin layer of rust. Should have rinsed that down before leaving the bike to sit for four weeks!

Back on the road…

MetaBike, out and about




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Hi Rob.
The carbon seat which you now have used to be mine! It was a bit too small for me. I’m glad it could be of use!
Best wishes

Much of the time I spend working on bikes involves getting down on my knees and searching for small metal bits that managed to escape, or wondering where on earth the spanner I was holding only a minute ago went to…

Too right. I’m this close >..< to taking down the shelving on the side of the garage, because I seem to have an inability to ever remember where I put down the tool I was holding.

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