The other week, a trike-riding customer asked me to keep a look out for something that would let her ride her trike without getting grease on her leg or pant leg.
Her objective, as she described it, sounded extraordinarily familiar. "I just want to be able to put on my work clothes and ride to work, without getting grease all over my legs." In fact, almost every customer asks the same thing. Diamond frame (or upright, "head-first") commuters have the Dutch- or Danish-style fully enclosing chain covers as an option. What do we have?
Recumbent riders have chain tubes. Essentially, these are low-friction plastic pipes that cover part of the chain. If positioned near the cranks, not only do they keep grease off one's pantleg, but they also help keep that long chain clean. However, while third party chain tubes are available, few recumbents are designed to readily accept them. I have had customers for whom the aftermarket solutions did not work as well as hoped.
Who else but HP Velotechnik would make a chain tube system that works perfectly? Since HPVelos are optimized for commuting and touring, it's natural that they would make an excellent chain tube mounting system. In fact, their frames include special braze-ons to enable secure mounting of the chain tubes, which are attached via metal springs on the tubes. The chain tubes themselves are made of special high-quality, low-friction material. That the tubes are integral to the bike's design helps explain why the system works so well.
The chain tubes mount securely and are designed for the natural chain line. The top and bottom tubes terminate close to the chain ring in a way that neither interferes with gear changing nor allows your pant leg to get dirty. Honestly, it's amazing.
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2009 Robert Matson