ADEM Recumbent Headrest

ADEM HeadrestWell, I finally broke down and bought a commercial headrest for my Bacchetta Giro 20.  After some research I selected a ADEM model designed specifically for the Bacchetta recurved seat.  There didn’t seem to be many selections out there, and this brand seemed to get a lot of positive write-ups.

The headrest arrived very quickly and was packed sufficiently to prevent any damage.  I also ordered the bracket for my rear light.

 

ADEM HeadrestThere were three parts in the box: headrest, instructions, and 4 tie wraps.  The light bracket came attached to the headrest.  The first thing that I noticed was the fact that the headrest was a black anodize finish (it look much nicer).  The website indicates it is available only in bare aluminum finish.  This was, as Martha Stewart always says, ‘a good thing.’

 

HeadrestThe mounting instructions were pretty straight forward.  It took me about 30 minutes to read the directions and attach the bracket.  The plastic tab on the bracket which disengages the velcro on the headrest bar was a tad difficult to open up so the bar could be removed.  Finally, I held the bracket with one hand, opened up the tab with my second hand, and hooked the top of the headrest on counter top and pull up to remove the headrest bar.  The I followed the directions to attach the bracket with the Two tie wraps at the top, two mid-way down the seat, and viola; the bracket was installed.

Yes, I know.  It is a bit disgusting, the part about me reading and following the directions.  Especially with me being a man and all.  Oh, well.

I was a little leary about pulling the tie wraps up tight enough to prevent the headrest from moving around as I have broken the locking tabs on tie wraps in the past.  Well, not this time; I snugged them up and clipped them off.

When I went to attach my tail light to the mounting bracket’s supplied bolt/nut I discovered they were standard instead of metric.  Everything else seems to be metric so I decided to swap bolts/nuts to metric to standardize on the tools.

HeadrestI ended up using a 4mm x 21mm long button head bold and locking nut; in stainless steel.  The bolt is slightly longer than the one supplied as I wanted to ensure the nut was fully engaged.  I ended up drilling the mounting bracket hole out slightly so the new bolt would easily slip through it.

The headrest was easily adjusted up/down by lifting the plastic bracket tab to disengage the velcro.  Particularly since the bracket was firmly attached to the bicycle seat.  I did have to bend the top of the bar up slightly to get a good angle against the back of my head.

I have ridden my bicycle on the trainer about 5 hours since attaching the headrest  and find it very substantial and comfortable.  I can’t wait for better weather so I can test it out while riding around.

Bottom Line: Well worth the money.  My home made headrest worked very well, but it was not as substantial and required bending in several directions to adjust it.  I am not sure it could have been perfected for the same amount of money.

Note added 9/15/2013: I just completed a 9 week cross country bicycle ride using this headrest. I worked great, is still in good condition, and made life on the bike very comfortable.

Rims & Tires

I ran across an article written by a fellow that has done substantial long distance self contained biking on a Giro 20.

In the first part of the article he talks about changing the rims out to Velocity AeroHeat 36 spoke ones on both the front and back.  The 26″ Velocity rim weighs 15.6 ounces.  When I did bicycle camping some years ago my upright touring bicycle had 36 spoke rims (27″) on the back to better distribute my weight and the weight of the rear panniers.

The Giro 20 comes stock with 32 spoke DA16 Alex Rims on the front (20″) and back (26″).  The 26″ rim weighs 16.9 ounces.   The tires are Kenda Kwest: 20″ 1.5″ front and 26″ x 1.5″ rear.  Due to a cut tire I now have a Schwalbe Marathon 20″ x 1.5″ on the front.

The fellow in the article weighs about 25 pounds less than I do.  He carrys about 10-15 pounds more ‘gear’ than I will based on his pannier weight assessment.  All in all, we will probably be a wash.

Thomas HallTom Hall, my riding buddy, had rear rim and spoke problems on his RANS long wheel base recumbent with 26″ 32 spoke rims on his 2,000 trip.  Granted, he carried all of his gear in rear panniers rather than distributed between mid-ship and rear panniers.  But he weighs about 40 pounds less than I do.

Sooo, should I consider putting 36 spoke rims on the bike?  My gut feel say I should consider it.  Another unplanned expense, however, if there is less chance for rim/spoke problems then it would be worth it.

There is a discussion on Bent Rider Online regarding different wheel and tire combinations.  Nobody mentions using the 36 spoke AlexRims in this discussion.  There is some general discussion about them on another site.  In general, people seem to consider them to be a lower end product with both good and bad results.

 

 

Bacchetta Fenders

Fenders – love them or hate them.  That seems to be the two opinions on fenders.  Considering that I will be riding with a lot gear on the bike and most likely encounter wet roads I decided to install a set of fenders now, to see how they held up.

I decided to go with the fenders offered by Bacchetta.  There are a number of fender designs and types out there.  Lacking better information at the time I decided to go with what they recommended.

First thing I discovered: There are no instructions, which leaves a few things to the imagination.  Second thing, at least in my case, I ended up having to buy some additional stainless screws for ~$5.00.

Front Fender: I compressed the rubber splash guard with my fingers and slid the fender unit in place from the front of the bike.  Then I bolted the front bracket in place but not too tight.  After putting the fender support bars in place I realized that screwing the left side bar in place from the outside would not work because of interference with a welded on bracket (disc brake mounting?).  Anyway, I ended up taking the front tire off and mounting the support bars from the inside.  I then tightened up all of the bolts/nuts and installed the rubber protectors on the end of the support bars.

Front Fender

Front Fender Mount

Rear Fenders: I compressed the rubber splash guard and rotated the fender up from the bottom and bolted the front bracket it place.  Then another problem.  The best location to mount the support bars was being used by the rear rack.  Sooooo, off to the hardware store to buy longer stainless steel bolts (no rusting) so I could attach the support bars on the inside.

Fender Mounting

 

Fender Mounts

Added Note: I have only ridden about 50 miles with these fenders but they appear substantial and do not have any rattles or tire rubs.  Also, I haven’t used them in wet weather yet so no opinion as to how effective they are.  Time will tell.