The T-Cycle Sport Power Idler is the second best power idler on the market (second only to the Elite Power Idler). With aerospace grade ballistic nylon side plates, tough metal core, durable aluminum cog and top of the line ABEC-7 steel bearings, this rugged, workhorse idler will give you years of trouble-free improved drivetrain performance. It's solid, it's quiet, and, quite frankly, it's beautiful. For miles and miles, the Sport Power Idler will prove itself a reliable, quality addition to your recumbent.
1. What's so great about this idler?
Sport Power Side idlers have a solid metal core sheathed in a fiberglass reinforced nylon shell. Your chain is carried on a specially shaped cog made of 7075 aluminum for efficiency and long life. An aluminum bearing carrier pressed inside the cog carries a pair of high quality bearings. It's a tough, bombproof idler great for almost every power side idler application. And the price is very good.
2. How big is the idler?
We make 2 sizes of Sport Series idlers: 14T and 15T. The 14T idler has an outside diameter of 2.56 inches, or 65mm. With 8mm bearings, this idler is a drop in replacement for the common Dutch 65mm idlers found on many bikes and velomobiles. The 15T idler has an outside diameter of 2.75 inches, or 70mm. With 8 or 10mm bearings, it is a drop in replacement for many power side idlers on a wide range of bikes and trikes. Both the 14T and 15T versions are the same thickness, 0.62 inches or 15.5mm.
3. I see it has bolts. Can I take it apart?
Yes, but we do not recommend taking them apart. If they have many thousands of miles on them and you have reason to believe the bearings are finally worn out, please contact us. Since the bearings are pressed into the core, you will need a bearing press if you ever need to remove them. With any kind of reasonable care, the bearings should last tens of thousands of miles, though, and it would be rare to replace them. With a press, even a simple one, it's easy to do.
4. If I ever wear out the cog, can I replace that?
Yes, we can replace the cog assembly if that's ever necessary. We haven't had to do that yet, but with many thousands of idlers out there, we're sure it will happen some day.
5. What about efficiency and noise?
We make exclusively toothed idlers for power side applications because they are both quieter and more efficient that way. There are a host of technical reasons for this, but the biggest and most basic one is that chains are designed to be carried by the bushings. It is a nice, big flat area designed for forces to be applied to it. Chains are not meant to be carried on the edges of their sideplates. It just doesn't work as well. Since the core of the idler is all metal, from the chain bushings through to the bearings, there is no sponginess to soak up power. The chain sideplates aren't used to transmit power down into the idler, so there is no rubbing contact like there is on plain bedded idlers. Noise is a complicated issue, but we expect you'll find these idlers are as quiet or quieter than other idlers. The cog is specially shaped to smoothly and repeatably mesh with the chain, and unless the chain is being pulled sideways quite a bit, there will be very little rubbing. We always recommend allowing your power side idler to float side to side with the chain as it shifts. Another common source of noise in drivetrains is insufficient contact on the idler. If there is not enough deflection of the chain at the idler, the chain and the idler don't have a chance to mesh properly. This is true for all types of idlers. You'd think that a chain only lightly touching an idler would be quieter, but because of the complex geometries involved, there is a minimum amount of bend or wrap required to get maximum silence. The amount varies with the diameter of the idler, the larger the idler, the smaller the angle required.
6. What bearings can you get with these idlers?
We make these idlers with 8mm, 10mm, and 3/8" bearings. We can make them with 5/8" bearings also, but that is for a special version for some Rans bikes.
- Available with 8mm, 10mm, 3/8 inch, and 5/8 inch ID bearings. The most common bearing size on recumbents is 8mm. Some older bikes and trikes were made with 10mm idler shafts, and only a few bikes were ever made with 3/8" bearings. Some Rans bikes use 5/8 inch bearings, but we recommend you order the complete idler kits for those bikes in order to get everything you need. Chances are you need 8mm bearings.
- If the outside diameter of the idler is not restricted, we recommend using the slightly larger 15T version.
- There is a break-in period while the cog and the chain get to know each other. After that, you can expect your idler to last many thousands of miles before needing service.
- We also make matching compatible Return and Over/Under idlers in the 15T size.
- Weight: 76.5g (2.69oz)
- The sideplates are made of fiberglass reinforced Nylon 6/6. This is a very tough formulation impact and abrasion wise, and is also very good at handling the solvents found in many chain lubes.
- We use all stainless fasteners because we know you don't want things rusting. We use Nylock nuts rather than simply running screws into the plastic because we want your idler to last a long time, and the Nylock nuts are very good at staying put and not loosening.
- The cog is made from 7075 aluminum for durability. 7075 is harder than common aluminums and holds up longer in tough and abrasive conditions.
- Bearing Care: The bearings are shielded, not sealed. Shielded bearings have less rolling resistance because the seal, while super close, doesn't actually rub. True sealed bearings are rare, when people talk about "sealed bearings", they usually actually mean shielded. These are top quality shielded bearings and will last a long time. What kills bearings is solvent, dirt, and water intrusion. As long as you don't spray things on the bearing faces, you will be OK. Regular amounts of dust and dirt getting on the outsides of the bearings won't be a problem, as it's hard for it to get past the shields (the shields really do come *very* close to the bearings). When you clean them, what you want to do is gently wipe dirt off and away from bearings, rather than rub aggressively and push the dirt past the shields. There is no need to lube the bearings, the special grease that's in them is what they need.
- No maintenance should be required other than occasional cleaning with a paper towel or soft cloth. We recommend keeping solvents and soap and water away from the bearings, they don't need aggressive cleaning and solvents and soaps tend to go after the grease. It's water resistant, but solvents and soaps are harder to deal with.
- You will probably never need to disassemble your idler. Should you ever need to, a 4mm Allen wrench is all you will need.
- We recommend setting up your idler so it can float side to side with the chain as you shift. If your existing idler mount doesn't allow for this, we offer a variety of upgrade parts to make this possible.
- The 14T size is a drop in replacement for many 65mm or so idlers. The 15T size is a direct replacement for many idlers on lots of different bikes and trikes. 8mm is the most common bearing size. These idlers can be ordered with 10mm or 3/8 inch bearings also.