Friday, October 11, 2013

DIY BionX install, part 1


After asking around to bike shops and being turned down, we are going to install our BionX ourselves. Bike shops will install the BionX if you buy from them, but since we bought the BionX last winter, mistakingly thinking that was a good idea, we are out of luck with that.

With some round and round with frame builders, we ended up with Ed Litton in Richmond for adding the rivnuts so our BionX battery has a place to hang out. Last Thursday, McKay took a cargo Zipvan with the bike in it up to Richmond and we now have rivnuts!!

Next up? Installing the wheel.

First issue: we did not have a freewheel remover. But in that little venture of removing our wheel, we gave our derailleur a bit of a tune up. No more poor gear switching!

One of McKay's coworkers is really into biking and he brought a free wheel remover to work for us. McKay and he took the bike apart during the lunch the other day to discover that we need a freewheel. These days, most bikes have cassettes, especially bike with lots of gears. Free wheels are more common in smaller gears. According to the Madsen website, the Madsen has 8 speeds, however, by some strange surprise, ours has 9 sprockets! So not only do we need a freewheel for lots of gears... we need one for the extremely rare 9-speed set up. That or we remove a gear and get a new derailleur and do only 8 gears.

So that's where we're at: looking for a good 9-speed free wheel. We called REI and they couldn't help us, so I think we'll just order one online. We also need to buy extension cords for the BionX so the cords can span the long length of our bike. But at least we have an idea of what to do next. To the Internet!

Oh, last week, our bike met a friend. It's a folding Xtracycle with a Hooptie for 3 kids! I'd love to upgrade to an Xtracycle when the baby is bigger. The folding one fits in the BART elevators! Ooooh...

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