On the way into work Wednesday morning, I pulled up to cross State Street, just a block from my office in Young Graduate House, a high rise dorm that’s been converted to office space, and as I pushed off I felt the seat back on V-Rex sag and something poked me in the side. Uh, oh. On brief inspection, I could see the seat was moving free of the cross member that mounts it to the sprint braces. WIthout that support, the seat (and therefore the bike) was out of action. Thankfully our van was empty and my wife graciously came by at lunch and helped me take the V-Rex back home. Today, I got down to figuring out what happened and fixing it.
The Rans seat was one of the first really popular recumbent seats, appearing not only on Rans products, like my V-Rex, but also on other companies bikes as well. It is a large foam covered triangular base, with a cross braced, mesh fabric covered frame for a back. It attaches to the bike at the seat bottom and to sprint braces which usually go back to the rear triangle. The attachment points are marked by arrows in the picture on the right.
The upper mount point is part of a cross brace between the two vertical tubes that make up the seat back. The pop rivets that hold that in place had failed and cross piece had come free.
After drilling out the failed pop rivets, and banging out the slight bend that one of the sides of the cross piece has acquired thanks to that last push off, I was able to pop rivet the piece back where it belonged. Then I put the seat back on the V-Rex and adjusted the tilt and distance from the pedals to fit myself.
I like the sliding seat back arrangement on the V-Rex better than a sliding pedal tube for several reasons. First, it’s simple to adjust. On the V-Rex the slide is help in place by a quick release skewer. Second, there’s no chain adjustment that needs to be performed whenever the seat is moved.
I’m looking forward to being back on the V-Rex come Monday’s ride to work.