How to install a Lasco Crankset (Very Long)

edited February 2014 in Rover
I was asked to do a white-paper on changing my cranks, and getting lower gearing.

I am trying to also share my thoughts about why I did what I did, and why I chose the parts I did.

I have no special knowledge or skill in trike repair. Common sense, along with basic skills in using hand tools to remove and replace stuff is what I used. Knowing to not over-tighten stuff, realizing that different parts need to be tightened to different levels, that it’s best to remember how tight a part was when you removed it, so you can try to get it as tight as it was when you put it back on.

This was done on a Rover 8-speed. While most of this will be the same on most all trikes, please be aware that different trikes may bring different issues.

As of this writing, I have 84 miles on my Rover after doing this change. I am completely happy that I made this change. For me, the shorter cranks are a good change. Realizing that I am not a Doctor at all, I highly recommend shorter cranks for anyone with knee issues.

Please realize, using the parts to effect the change that I used makes it very easy to go back to the stock gearing, or, with more parts, I could change my Rover to either a 16-speed or a 24-speed~! By saving everything I took off, and everything I didn’t use, I am able to either put the old Crankset back on, or if I like the shorter cranks but want to go back to the stock gearing, all I need to do is use the 32T from the new Crankset to replace the 22T – lots of choices, and future possible upgrades.
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Why did I change to the Lasco Crankset? First off, I had done a lot of reading about the PROs and CONs of changing the length of the cranks. The stock cranks are 170mm, and I have read of folks changing them to 165mm, 152mm, and all the way down to an extreme of 110mm.

The main PROs are: supposed to be easier on the knees, supposed to be able to ‘spin’ at a faster RPM more easily, and for fat people (like me), going to smaller cranks lowers how much your knees hit your belly.

The main CONs are: most people need to use one gear lower because of the shorter cranks (but they spin faster), you have less torque per revolution of the crank. Some people simply do not like shorter cranks.

In summery, it seems that you simply will not know if shorter cranks are for you unless you try them. It’s said that if you are 5’2” or shorter, you really need shorter cranks. And, by the way, Ashley himself (from Utah Trikes) at 6’2” uses 152mm cranks by choice and loves them. At that point I decided to take a wait and see approach and not worry bout crank length until such a time that I start having issues.

After taking my Rover on a hill near my home, I learned that while I am in poor shape, the low gear would never be low enough for me because at 50RPM I was at 4 MPH, and to be comfortable for my bad knees, I needed to be able to spin at a minimum of 60RPM, which would mean I would need to climb any hill at 5-6MPH – ain’t no bleepin way~!

So, I needed to get a lower granny gear and fast! Because the Rover uses an internal drive (called an IGH – Internally Geared Hub), the cheap way is to either make the rear sprocket bigger, or make the front sprocket smaller. I was told by both TerraTrike and Utah Trikes that neither choice was do-able. So the next cheapest thing for me to do is buy and install a ‘triple’ Crankset (3 sprockets up front), but not use two of them. (I could use all three, but that would create new costs for a derailleur post, and so on) I learned of the Lasco Crankset – it had both shorter 152mm cranks, and took 4-bolt sprockets, and had a 22T (T=teeth) – my stock front sprocket is a 32T, so this would be a big change to *all* of my gears, dropping them all about two complete gear steps. I was told that it was a good quality Crankset, and was assured on BROL that I ought to be able to do the swap myself. So I decided to do two things at the same time, get me a lower set of gears, and, try going to shorter crank arms.

I knew going into this change that I would need to shorten my chain, but the surprise was that the new shorter chain now rubbed against the tie-rod itself. Originally, it was up above the attachment point with roughly a 2” spacer. I thought about simply removing the spacer, but saw the chain could still slap it. So I thought about it for a bit, wondering if flipping it over so it was below the attachment point. It looked like it would not create a problem by doing so, so I gave it a try. It seems to work fine, it doesn’t rub anywhere – shrug – if anyone thinks this was a bad idea, please let me know?? Of course, I needed to check the toe-set, and re-adjust it.


From Utah Tike I got the following parts (multiple emails with Ashley) super fast shipping (flat rate price of $9 bucks on parts via UPS):

Product : Quantity : Price
* KMC Missing Link : 2 : 2.99 – replacement chain links to carry
* Park CT-5 Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool : 1 : 16.95 – to remove chain links
* Lasco 152mm Triple Crank Set : 1 : 75.00 – besides the shorter cranks, has a 22T chain-ring
* Park CCP-22 Crank Puller : 1 : 15.95 – to pull the cranks easily


Steps to change the cranks:

1) Remove the 32T and 44T sprockets from the new crank (Only the 22T will be used)
2) Remove the pedals from the old crank arms
3) Use the crank puller to remove the old crank arms (sprocket comes off too)
4) Put new crank arms on (sprocket goes on with arms)
5) Reinstall pedals
6) Take apart chain, and remove 3 links
7) Using a new master link, put chain together
8) Check chain tension
9) Check chain clearance
10) Done

**** See below for explanation of each step.

Please remember, I am not a trike mechanic~! This is simply what *I* did to my trike. It seems to work completely fine, and I think I performed the steps well. In hindsight, I am glad I did it myself as it, along with other changes I have made, makes the Rover more special to me~! If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, most LBSs should be willing to do it for you, using the Crankset you bought for a nominal fee.

This change will *not* void your TerraTrike warranty! I asked :)
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Steps in detail:

1) Remove the 32T and 44T sprockets from the new crank (Only the 22T will be used)

Simple to do, a flat-blade screwdriver to remove some screws. You *could* leave them on, but to my eyes, it looks dumb if you aren’t going to be using them. Remember! SAVE ALL PARTS~! If you haven’t done so yet, it is a great idea to store all trike and bike related parts in one place, you never, never know when a extra part may come in handy. I save every nut, bolt, screw, etc…

2) Remove the pedals from the old crank arms

First! While most think of their pedals as two of the same – each pedal is different! It is *critically* important that the left pedal stay on the left side, and the right pedal stay on the right side! The left pedal has reverse threads – this means the old saying “Righty tighty, lefty loosey” is wrong! It is the other way around for the left pedal. This is the one step that is easy to goof on, and goofing here will create damage that you can not fix yourself very easily.

Different pedals use different tools to remove. Common is a ½” open-end wrench. Some folks use a “pedal wrench’, but so far, I have never needed one. Some pedals use a “hex-wrench” from the inside of the crank-arm. Depending on age, pedals can be kinda hard to remove. I have on occasion, needed to use a short length of pipe to use as a *cheater-bar*.

Remember, you can use “You Tube” or “Google” to get more info on most of these steps if you wish!

3) Use the crank puller to remove the old crank arms (sprocket comes off too)

On the Rover, you must remove a screw from the crank arm (hex-wrench), then you must use the crank-puller the actually get the arm to come off. Looking at the crank-puller you’ll see that you can screw it into the crank where the screw (bolt – whatever) came out. Screw the crank-puller in as tight as possible (otherwise you risk stripping threads during the next step), then turn the handle on the crank-puller until the crank-arm is pulled off. Then do it again on the other crank-arm. When done, stare at the BB (Bottom Bracket) in amazement like I did :)

4) Put new crank arms on (sprocket goes on with arms)

Now carefully put the new crank-arms on. Be sure to tighten the screw/bolt has tight as you can – I’ve been told that crank-arms need to be tightened very tight. (Be sure to loop the chain in place as you put the crank-arms on)

5) Reinstall pedals

Remember that the left pedal must go on the left side only! And remember that the left pedal is reverse-threaded.

6) Take apart chain, and remove 3 links

Hopefully you have bought the items listed above, if so, instructions on how to take apart your chain and how to use a chain-breaker are in the packaging of each item. No special tricks here, just take your time. I removed 3 links, you may wish to remove more?

7) Using a new master link, put chain together

No tricks here, just follow the instructions on the package. Personally, I found it hard to take a master link apart, or to put one together, but also my hands don’t work so well anymore. Park has a tool for this. Called “MLP-1 Master Link Pliers”. Cost is bout $13 bucks on Amazon – in my eyes well worth it.

8) Check chain tension

Since I have only done this on my Rover, I have no clue if 3 is correct on your trike or not. Start with three, then check chain tension – if you can’t get the chain tight, remove another link and check again.

9) Check chain clearance

In my case, when I changed to a smaller front sprocket (chain-ring), the chain ended up rubbing the tie-rod. So, as I stated above, I had to take the tie-rod off, and flip it under the mount – seems to work fine. And no one has told me I shouldn’t have done it.

I suppose you could use a chain-tube instead? (Later versions of the Rover come with a bottom chain-tube, mine did not).
--

At this point, if your chain tension is good, and the chain is not rubbing on anything, you are done~! Take your trike for a ride, and see how it feels~! You are done.

Remember, there are many photos on my PhotoBucket page that show what a lot of this looks like.
http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C%20Trike%20Album/
There are some 75 photos in my ‘trike mods’ section.


In closing, I’d like any and all feedback. I hope this white paper is a help.
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Peter_C
TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
(copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
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Comments

  • Here are a few photos - please check out my PhotoBucket page for more.

    Trike-Mods2011-02-25001.jpg

    Trike-Mods2011-02-25030.jpg

    Trike-Mods2011-02-25032.jpg

    Trike-Mods2011-02-25033.jpg
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Hehe - all that, and not *one* reply...
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Peter_C wrote:
    Hehe - all that, and not *one* reply...

    That's because we're in awe. If I want to do this, I'm pretty sure it will require still yet another trip to Utah Trikes!
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • But, that's my point~! It is not hard at all!!

    I was going to have my LBS do it for me, but Ashley convinced me to do it myself - the benefit, besides feeling good about doing it, since I didn't have to pay for labor, that savings more than paid for both the chain-breaker, and the crank-puller, now I have two new tools at no extra cost to me.

    I can change plugs, or oil, but that's bout it on cars... would not call myself any kind of wrench - so if I can do it, really most anyone can.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Peter_C wrote:
    But, that's my point~! It is not hard at all!!

    I was going to have my LBS do it for me, but Ashley convinced me to do it myself - the benefit, besides feeling good about doing it, since I didn't have to pay for labor, that savings more than paid for both the chain-breaker, and the crank-puller, now I have two new tools at no extra cost to me.

    I can change plugs, or oil, but that's bout it on cars... would not call myself any kind of wrench - so if I can do it, really most anyone can.
    Well, I take my car to the local shop for those things, and I plan on taking the trike back to the LBS for adjustments. Granted, traveling from Barstow to Escondido is not exactly local, but they're next door to the district union office that services my local union so they're "local" in a sense. :lol: Since I get to go down there periodically for training, I get to drool at the LBS on breaks.

    Plus I'm planning on going down for an overnite when I pick up the trike, so we can test run it and fine tune any final adjustments. If I'm lucky, the trike will be ready around the end of the month because there's a class that I've been whining to take. (So I could get paid to go down and pick up my trike) If the trike's not ready but I still take the class, then I'll just drive Hoppy nuts by popping over on all my breaks chanting "Is it there yet? Is it there yet?" :roll:
    Alex in Barstow, California
    Route 66 ... the Mother Road
    Rover NuVinci "Winky"
    Rover by TerraTrike ... customized by T.Ryx
  • To save yourself much aggravation when reinstalling pedals into crank and crank arm to BB, use some grease on the threads. You will find that removing either the pedal or crank, if necessary, could be a real problem if you neglected to grease the threads when reinstalling either one.

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-hel ... indle-type
  • I'm with Alex.

    I don't do oil, I don't do plugs, I don't do anything other than fill the tank (owwwww!!!!) and wash it. Because I'm religious about oil changes, they check my tire pressure for me (newish tires) so I don't even have to deal with that. Except during summer, but that's another discussion.

    I will save for and pay for someone to change my crank arms, swap out hubs, or whatever. It stresses me that I have to learn how to change a tire ***just in case*** and even I understand that it's something that's necessary. (Note to self - ride only where there are nice young men you can easily mom-guilt into changing a tire for you ;) ).

    So Peter, your "easy" is my "I'd rather not" :D
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • Captainbob wrote:
    To save yourself much aggravation when reinstalling pedals into crank and crank arm to BB, use some grease on the threads. You will find that removing either the pedal or crank, if necessary, could be a real problem if you neglected to grease the threads when reinstalling either one.

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-hel ... indle-type

    I used Liquid Wrench white lithium grease to install my cleats. Hope it works for the pedals!
    I Have My Rambler, SUNNIE!
    My Noob Blog - frontfendersngum.com

    IGP1323-Th.jpg
  • Captainbob wrote:
    To save yourself much aggravation when reinstalling pedals into crank and crank arm to BB, use some grease on the threads. You will find that removing either the pedal or crank, if necessary, could be a real problem if you neglected to grease the threads when reinstalling either one.

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-hel ... indle-type

    I prefer anti-seize myself - but either will work :)
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Vegasrenie wrote:
    It stresses me that I have to learn how to change a tire ***just in case*** and even I understand that it's something that's necessary. (Note to self - ride only where there are nice young men you can easily mom-guilt into changing a tire for you ;) ).

    Hey, that's why part of my upgrade includes Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I'd love to do the Big Apples, but we have THORNS here in Barstow. They do a good job imbedding themselves in the soles of my flip flops and Birkenstocks, they would kill a regular tire or even a not-so-regluar tire FLAT. (pun intended)

    Marathon Plus will stop a tack, so I'm hoping they will work on the organic version. I will learn how to change a tire, especially on the rear wheel, but no, would not be happy about that. I >do< have a biking enthusiast co-worker who is getting all "trike-envy" over my purchase, so I could probably touch him up for help with the lure of letting him ride it around the block .... oh yeah, not above shameless promotion to keep from changing a tire all by myself ... :lol:
    Alex in Barstow, California
    Route 66 ... the Mother Road
    Rover NuVinci "Winky"
    Rover by TerraTrike ... customized by T.Ryx
  • Thanks Peter

    I got my Spike last month and it is going well for its price. However the single 44T front crank is hard going uphill. You have given me some confidence on changing to a Lasco 152 mm crank. I need to order one from Melbourne at A$49.00!
  • Don't forget to get a 'crank-puller~!

    Also, depending on what chain-ring you decide to go with, you may need to remove some links from your chain - I did on my Rover.

    The great thing about the Lasco set is the fact that you can remove whichever chainrings you do not want to use, and/or buy different ones to install as the chainrings are bolted on rather than welded or riveted on. I went from the stock 32T and now use the 22T chainring. Am thinking of getting a 20T chainring to go as low as I can.

    Trike-Mods2011-02-25001.jpg
    Look closely and you can see the new crank-puller, chain-breaker, and other stuff.
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Hi peter,

    What would I need if I wanted to add the derailer. Can you add sprokets to the factory crank?

    I purchased a bike tool kit to work on my Hybrid so I have the tools but would need to know what parts.

    I think you mentioned a post

    Regards,
    Michael
  • The factory crank has a non-removable sprocket, so the first change would have to be a new crankset. Many crankset choices are available, just make sure the sprockets are removable.

    To add a front DER, you need to first buy a DER post, from UTT (Utah trikes), cost is either $75.00 or $99.99 for the post. Then a front DER, cables, shifter - but, because you now have a longer chain, you need a way to keep it under tension. So then you *must* add the cost of a rear DER, a rear DER mount, and, possibly, an IDLER as well~!

    Total cost for all these parts (not including crankset) is about $300 bucks~! So, it is a very large step~! This is why most folks do *not* go this route, or at least all the way, as buying a Rover from UTT from the git-go with a conventional DER system is *cheaper* than adding all these parts to a Rover with an IGH.

    Changing the crankset and choosing a front chain-ring that puts the gear range into your comfort zone, in my mind, makes sense, but I just am not sure personally if going all the way through all these changes is a good thing to do.

    For me, the Rover is about the only trike of interest to me, so whatever changes I make, makes good sense in my eyes, but to others, many think it is better to invest in a different trike than make all these changes to a Rover.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Changing the front chain-ring is a great idea for those (for whatever reason) do not have the strength or desire/need to pedal at 25mph or so. Remember, the front chain-ring can be changed pretty much however many times as you like.

    I changed mine a second time to a 20T, and right now it's perfect for me. As I get stronger, I may well change it back to the 22T, or perhaps even larger. It depends upon two factors; how fast you want your top pedal speed, and, how low do you need/want your lowest gear to be.

    Do not forget the UTT (TT's custom shop) will sell a brand new 3X8 (24 speed) DER system Rover for less than making all these changes to your IGH - but, you then lose the benefits of having the IGH - mainly, shifting while stopped.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Thanks for the information.

    I was just looking for some more downhill speed while keeping the hill climbing gear. I think I will just just use the down hills to take a break. :)

    Maybe down the road I can steal the parts off my S-Hybrid and make a trailer out of the rest of it. lol

    Peter_C wrote:
    The factory crank has a non-removable sprocket, so the first change would have to be a new crankset. Many crankset choices are available, just make sure the sprockets are removable.

    To add a front DER, you need to first buy a DER post, from UTT (Utah trikes), cost is either $75.00 or $99.99 for the post. Then a front DER, cables, shifter - but, because you now have a longer chain, you need a way to keep it under tension. So then you *must* add the cost of a rear DER, a rear DER mount, and, possibly, an IDLER as well~!

    Total cost for all these parts (not including crankset) is about $300 bucks~! So, it is a very large step~! This is why most folks do *not* go this route, or at least all the way, as buying a Rover from UTT from the git-go with a conventional DER system is *cheaper* than adding all these parts to a Rover with an IGH.

    Changing the crankset and choosing a front chain-ring that puts the gear range into your comfort zone, in my mind, makes sense, but I just am not sure personally if going all the way through all these changes is a good thing to do.

    For me, the Rover is about the only trike of interest to me, so whatever changes I make, makes good sense in my eyes, but to others, many think it is better to invest in a different trike than make all these changes to a Rover.
  • I'm a bit heavy myself at 280. My right knee gives me problems sometimes as well as sciatic nerve. My main issue is San Diego is really hilly, and there is a steep hill going up to my place, that's why I bought the 8 speed instead of the 3 speed.

    I have worked on my car, so i'm comfortable doing this kind of thing if I have the right tools. I am not sure about the shorter crank, because you can't use your weight to pedal, so it seems like I need as much crank as I can get so I can use my back, and I don't like pedaling alot.

    Thanks for the info, it might come in handy. Shoot me a note next time you come to Escondido.
  • A crank-puller, a chain-breaker, and if you want the easy way, chain-pliers too. Those are the *special* tools that are needed, bout $28 bucks from Amazon.

    Just make sure whatever crankset you buy is both 'square-taper', and, the chain-rings *are* removable, rather than riveted on.

    My traveling days are pretty much over, but, if I ever make it back west again - I'll be sure to bug you~!
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • I'm doing this job on my Rover SA 8 right now. I ordered the crank set from Utah and a Crank Puller from Amazon as recommended and I'm looking at the chain breaker on Amazon.

    You say to put on NEW master chain link?

    Do I need to order this too?

    or did you just mean repositioned, the existing one?

    Thanks, great advice and instructions.

    While it's perfectly fine to re-use the 'master link' (quick link, and other names), you still should always have at least one or two new spares just in case. Also, depending on your setup, and what exactly you are doing, you may need to shorten the chain, or if going bigger at all, lengthen the chain.

    The makers all say these are one-use only items, and should be replaced anytime they are taken off. That said, personally and most everyone I know re-use them all the time. But, losing a part, bending a part, etc is why you do need spares with you... good luck :)
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • I find the Park Tools website an invaluable resource when doing bike maintenance or upgrades. On their repair website there is a bike, you just click on the part of the bike you are working on and up pops the help. They cover everything from simple maintenance to replacing bottom brackets and headsets.

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
    John Werner
    Rover Tandem
  • Lots of time and miles since I started this thread.

    I love my N360.  And bout a year ago I bit the bullet and bought a "Mountain Drive" from UTT (best pricing by a long shot at the time).

    The Rover is now being ridden by my lovely wife, who is a bit short at 4ft 11.5 inches tall.  She really needs the short cranks due to her short legs.  So the Lasco cranks are back in use again (I love saving ALL parts).  She too loves the N360 IGH.

    The Gen One Rover is still in great shape and currently has a set of 'Big Apple Plus' tires (20X2.15) all around, in hindsight the BB7 brake upgrade was well worth it, and while fugly, I was able to mod the TT fender set to work with the wide tires.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
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