The new idler works great. But after about a week of quiet riding, I started hearing an occasional squeak. Nothing major, just a little squawk now and then while I was pedaling. Then it came louder and more often. I thought that maybe my headlight had become loose again and was scraping the velomobile shell. No, that wasn’t it – nice and solid. The horn? No, nothing loose at all.
The next day, at the end of a long ride, the noise became distressingly loud. It was the sound of metal scraping on metal and I thought the whole drivetrain was about to go out through the rear wheel well. I flipped the velomobile over and checked. Everything looked solid and functioned properly. I pedaled carefully home.
Once there, I pulled the shop light into the cockpit determined to find the culprit or die trying – well, at least until dinner time. I don’t intend to die of starvation. Anyway, this is what I found…
Yeah, it’s an idler sprocket – I know that now. But it’s the little metal band next to it, attached to the idler shaft that I’m talking about. It holds on to the chain tube going toward the chainrings in the front. That little piece of metal was rubbing against the idler sprocket and creating all of that horrendous noise echoing through the velomobile!
I tried to move it sideways but the spring steel did what it does best and sprung back.
The solution – I cut the Zip Tie holding it to the shaft and gave the metal loop a clockwise twist before attaching it again…
Now everything is neatly tucked to the right, away from the idler. Such a small thing but something for me to remember the next time I have to take this apart.
Not having such a great memory, I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find it – next time I Google search about idler problems.