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Old Jun 11 2014, 05:20 PM   #2288
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Zelandeth's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

Quiet few days over the weekend have allowed me to drag the first of the C5s back into the land of the living. In reality hasn't really been that hard a slog really...Basically has consisted of the following.

-> New chain fitted - for the sake of less than 15 I didn't deem it worth trying to de-rust the original. Though I did have to salvage the special half link out of it - once I realised it was there after chasing my tail regarding chain tension issues for several hours!

-> All wheel bearings dismantled, cleaned, re-greased and adjusted.

-> New inner tubes fitted in all three tyres. The tyres themselves are quite badly perished (they are 30 years old!) and will probably be changed at some point in the near future, they're still serviceable just now though.

-> New battery fitted - no surprises that the original was as dead as a doornail, though it will be kept as a placeholder for shows as it's covered in the original Sinclair branding.

-> Relay in the motor controller replaced as it had turned into a block of rust. 3 odd off Amazon...

-> Burnt out motor commutator diode in the controller replaced (this is usually due to someone having pushed it backwards too quickly which pushes too much current through it - is a bit of a design flaw to be honest)

-> Dismantled the motor gearbox, checked for wear, cleaned out and re-packed with fresh lithium grease.

-> Adjusted the brakes and changed the front brake shoes.

-> Went out for a test run!

It still looks like a sack of spanners given that it looks to have gone through atmospheric re-entry, but seems to work nicely. The other one in the garage actually has the better body, so I may well swap that over at some point.

Official top speed is 15mph max on the level under motor power, though it feels like quite a bit more. Downhill the aerodynamics, the fact that there's a fair bit of weight to it and low rolling resistance tyres mean that it will pick up an alarming speed very rapidly.

Methinks a disc brake retrofit on the front may be in order as the factory stoppers aren't really up to slowing down 60 odd kilos of C5 doing 30mph+ downhill particularly quickly! We'll find out how quickly it actually does go tomorrow as I installed a speedometer today.

Handling and stability wise I have to admit to being extremely surprised. We already have a recumbent trike in the family (quite a decent one as I recall when we were looking for it), and while it doesn't exactly fall over if you look at it wrong, it never *feels* all that stable, and certainly protests if you try to make it change direction in a hurry. C5 on the other hand feels utterly and completely planted and you can really throw it around without it feeling as though it's in the slightest bit unsettled, grip is the limiting factor more than balance, even when turning sharp right (the battery is on the left hand side, so that's the way it should be the most tippy).

I really need to do something about the cosmetics, but not sure when that will happen as long as this weather holds out as I'm having far too much fun riding the thing to start pulling it apart to make it look pretty!

Do kind of wish I had a head cam of some sort so I could capture a video giving some sort of idea of the experience of riding a C5, it is frankly hilarious.

Anyhow...have a few photos from the maiden voyage a couple of days ago. These were taken in Campbell Park - which despite the appearances is essentially IN the city centre of Milton Keynes.

The hill in the background there was one which highlighted to me the fact that the brakes could do with some help!

Having views like that while still living in a city is one of the reasons I like Milton Keynes!
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