We have replaced a lot of Windcheetah idlers over the years, and have developed this kit with super adaptability to work with almost all known models. The chainline is much improved, and no more plastic blocks! The power and return chains are carried on smooth rolling idlers all the way.
In the front, side by side Power and Return idlers guide the chains under the front crossarm. The mounting bolt is sized to allow the idlers to float, and a special clamp on chainkeeper makes installation and adjustment a snap. In most instances, the front idlers attach to the original idler mount location on the cruciform casting. Some very early trikes with small idlers don't have the room on the casting, and a Clamp On idler mount is used instead.
In the back, a special clamp on idler mount with a sliding adjustment block is used to precisely locate the single Over/Under idler to dial in your chainline. The power side of the chain goes under the idler on a machined cog, and the return side goes over the idler on it's own urethane bed. The idler floats as you shift, and another clamp on chainkeeper (a double sided top and bottom one) makes sure the chain stays where it needs to stay whatever the road conditions. The result is a clean, smooth running chainline that will make your Windcheetah purr along happily for miles and miles.
1. Will it fit my Windcheetah?
We can pretty confidently say that right out of the box, yes, it will. We have developed this kit over many years and though there are variations big and small out there, this kit can deal with them all. The one caveat is some early trikes with small idlers don't have the room on the casting for today's larger idlers. In that case, you will need an additional clamp on mount for the front, but the idlers and the rest of the kit (bolt, spacers, chainkeeper) are the same. If you have any questions about whether your trike will need the clamp on mount up front, email us and we will work you through figuring it out.
2. Does it replace the chain blocks on the return side?
Yes. No more chain blocks. Clever as they are, an idler is way smoother and quieter.
3. I've never heard of "clamp on chainkeepers." What are they?
Clamp on chainkeepers are a new kind of chainkeeper that we developed to make it easy to allow idler float. As you shift, the chain moves in and out relative to the frame. It's best to not bend the chain sideways, so allowing the idlers to "float" side to side with shifts keeps the chain as straight as possible. A regular chainkeeper has a hole through it and you need to compress it somehow to keep it in place. The usual somehow is to squeeze the idler and the chainkeeper with the idler mounting bolt, but this locks the idler in one place no matter what gear you're in. A clamp on chainkeeper clamps onto the head of the idler bolt, so the idler is free to move back and forth on the smooth part of the bolt. Voila! Idler float, very simply done.
Clamp on chainkeepers have another nice feature, too- since they clamp on, you can put them on at the last. Big deal, you say, but there's this- it means you can simply thread the idler bolt in , THEN lay in the chains. Much easier. And, since it clamps on at the last, it's super easy to unclamp it and slide it off for maintenance. Once you use one, you'll never want to go back to a regular keeper again.
- Kit consists of a front idler kit with
- Power Idler (chain carried on machined metal cog, 7075 aluminum on the Sport version, and 6Al/4V Titanium on the Elite version)
- Return Idler (chain carried on smooth urethane bed)
- Stainless 8mm idler bolt
- 3 spacers
- Clamp on Chainkeeper
- and a rear idler kit with
- Over/Under Idler (combo idler with the power side chain carried on machined metal cog and return side on urethane bed)
- Stainless 8mm idler bolt
- 2 Spacers
- Special height adjustable clamp on idler mount. Clamps to main tube and lets you position idler up and down do precisely dial in the chainline
- Over/Under clamp on chainkeeper with arms for top and bottom chains
- Idlers are 15T (2.75in OD, or 70mm) with 8mm ID bearings. Machined metal cogs, on the power side, 7075 aluminum on the Sport version, and 6Al/4V Titanium on the Elite version. Super durable urethane chainbeds on the return idlers. Sport idlers have all metal cores with top quality steel bearings and glass reinforced nylon sideplates. Elite idlers have all metal cores with hybrid ceramic bearings and CNC machined aluminum frames. Sideplates on the power side are machined aluminum and sideplates on the return side are glass reinforced nylon. Clamp on chainkeepers CNC machined from aluminum and black anodized. Chainkeeper arms are molybdenum disulfide impregnated nylon (slippery and very tough). All fasteners are stainless steel. The clamp on idler mount is our 2 inch adjustable mount.
- The usual recommended chainpath in the rear is to have the power side chain go down under the bottom of the rear idler, then under the seat mount, and under the front idler. The return chain goes under it's front idler, up over the seat mount, and over the top of the rear idler. This gives the best paths for both the power and return sides. It is possible on some models to do other things in the rear if desired, but this path works really well.
- In the front, installation involves removing the original hardware and installing the new idlers in it's place. You will need to break the chain to get it out of the plastic blocks.
- In the rear, remove any existing hardware and clamp the new kit onto the main tube. Temporarily remove the clamp on chainkeeper, and lay the chains into the idler. Adjust the idler position to dial in the chainline, then put the chainkeeper back on.
- Fits all known Windcheetah models. Some early models with really small idlers will need an additional clamp on 2 inch idler mount in front.
OK so far
Easily fitted, also fitted a new chain at the same time. Seems to be OK so far, perhaps a little quieter than the originals and does have more sideways movement to aid the chain line. Rather costly.
Windcheetah Idler Pully Upgrade
Fantastic! The Windcheetah, created by Mike Burrows was the first modern recumbent production trike and has long enjoyed iconic status. I've owned three of these fabulous machines and have always been impressed by their simplicity and light weight. The only disappointing aspect are the original-design idler pulleys. In this regard, the pulley kit offered by TerraCycle is a major improvement. I have installed TerraCycle idlers on both of my Windcheetahs. They do a great job of controlling the long chain while reducing drag. A great improvement over the original pulleys. Now, these iconic machines are truly perfect! Thank you TerraCycle!
Easy to install
It arrived fast! Maybe being about 45 miles from Portland had something to do with that. In a fit of financial irresponsibility, I ordered the "Elite" version. Do I really need Ti gears and ceramic bearings on idler wheels? Probably not. Of course, I could not resist tinkering around with it. I tried ditching the tube clamp and mounting both sets to the original mounts. That worked, but was noisy. Next, I actually followed the directions. (Do NOT tell my wife.) Now the Windcheetah is noticeably quieter. No longer does it sound as if there is a swarm of bees stalking me.
Better than stock
The TCycle idler is a substantial improvement on the stock WindCheetah idler. Well done
Almost Whisper Quiet
The original idler set-up that came with the bike was really smooth even though AVD (Windcheetah) did use plastic blocks for the chain guides. I have used Terracycles idlers on all of my bikes and trikes and I knew that if T-cycle had a kit that it would be a grea improvement. I was wrong, It was unbelieveable. It runs almost whisper quiet and smoother than I can dream of. It did take a few tries for finding the right set-up but it is because of the trikes being built to size of the rider the rear idler needs an adjustable clamp and 5 different mounting holes so the chain can flow over and under the seat mounts perfectly. The elite system is pricey but well worth it.