manufactures photo of Flux V220

Flux V220 log

Summary

This page details how I came to buy my Flux V220 CLWB and what modifications etc. I have made to it (jump to most recent entry).

Or << Back to Flux V220 introduction page.


April 2001 - SPEZI test ride

One of the bikes that I had tried at the SPEZI 2000 was the Flux V220 This is a CLWB city/touring recumbent with a fairly high seat (68cm (27in)), above seat steering and dual 406 (20in) wheels. What I really liked about this bike was the easy handling (by which I probably mean that it handled more like a diamond frame bike!!). I much preferred it to both its' sister bike the Flux V200 (16inch front wheel) and the Bike E (company now defunct). But at the time I was looking at Lowracers !!

By the time I went to SPEZI 2001 I was getting dissatisfied with using my Pashley/Moulton APB for commuting/trailer hauling (I was very happy with the bike but the problem is the non-recumbent rider position!!). So I tried the V220 again and still liked it. When I got back from the SPEZI I started thinking about and researching the Flux V220 and similar bikes.

12th July 2001: buying one

Having decided that I would like a V220, I found out that one of the local bike shops (Luftpumpe) stocked the Flux V220 and had one available for a test ride. So I had another go on it, still liked it and bought that one for a small discount ("shop soiled" but it looked OK to me) (list price 2800DM, shop price 2589DM, I paid 2429DM). So I rode it away the next day :-) (see price conversions below)

July/August 2001: Fine Tuning

my Flux V220 with Weber coupling fitted This process usually takes me months !!

August 2001: Child-seat Fitting

my Flux V220 with childseat fitted

August 2001: Lower Gears

The supplied gears were a Sachs 3x7 hub with a 12 to 28 block and a 48 tooth chainring giving gears from 24 to 103 inches. This is too high my round town / trailer pulling with 2 children (this trailer combination gives an extra 43kg (100lbs) of dead weight with all the aerodynamics of a parachute !!).

I never used the top set of 7 gears, even without the trailer. And even on the short ride to the kindergarten I was down to the lowest gear (especially as the ride is so short I have not had time to warm up).

So I went into my junk box and came out with an old Stronglight 99 triple with 28/38/48 rings. My gear chart showed that with the 38 ring I would drop the whole range by one hub gear (so now top hub gear range would be the same as on the middle hub gear range with the original 48 tooth.)

So now I have a Sachs 3x7 hub with a 12 to 28 block and a 38 tooth chainring giving gears from 19 to 82 inches. This works very well for me: the 19 inch is about as small as I can ride and still keep upright, and I still rarely use the 82 inch gear. For normal daily use I do not need the lower set of gears.

A (pleasant) side effect of using using the old Stronglight chainset is that the Q-factor (the distance between the pedals) is reduced from 159 to 134 mm. This definitely felt more comfortable.

November 2001: Stem adjustment

(First to explain the stem fitted to the Flux: a long, straight tube clamps into the steerer tube just above the headset. This tube has height adjustment, but not angle adjustment. Into the top of that goes a standard, adjustable-angle stem that then clamps the handlebars.)

I had been playing around with the adjustable stem provided with the bike and with the handlebar angle; trying to get the perfect position !! I achieved the handlebar angle that I liked quite quickly, but the stem position was more of a problem. I had decided that I wanted the handlebars in a position so that in sharp, slow, corners I could still hold on to both ends of the handlebars properly. The stem adjusts up to maybe 70 or 80 degrees (close to vertical), but that was not quite enough for me. I tried reversing the stem, but that brought the bars too close: I wanted the bars in that 'dead' vertical spot :-(

Out of interest I measured the outside diameter of the steerer tube and it is exactly right for fitting an "ahead" type stem. So out went the 500g adjustable stem, and in came the Roox "0" stem (220g but not cheap!) This stem places the handlebars directly above the steerer tube (i.e. 0mm of reach) and gave exactly the position I wanted !!

(The stem can be seen on the photo below (of me and Fiona) as the silver block connecting the black stem with the black handlebars.)


SPEZI 2002

Flux V220 at Spezi 2005 I noticed at least 3 changes made to the V220 since mine was built (see photo opposite: taken myself at SPEZI 2005):

Long weekend away June 2002

Simon on V220 with 3 year old Fiona in childseat On a long weekend away to a farm in the Odenwald we took all the bikes with us on the car.

Also done during the First year

July 2002: how it's going 1 year later

In short: excellent. Since I bought the Flux I have only used a upright about twice: both times just a short cycle to a local pub. The 2000 miles (3200km) logged on the V220 have been great; mostly around town and including lots of trailer towing. And it is very relaxing.

Winter 2002/3: New tyres

The original rear tyre had worn through so I replaced both with the very nice Continental Top Touring 2000 tyres. These take a higher pressure then the original tyres and provide a slightly harder ride but this is OK for me (and bearing in mind the rear suspension). I find the comfort still fine for cycling, even down rough tracks through the local woods.

Problems:

Spring 2003: New tyres !!

I got tired of the (perceived) harder ride of the Conti TT (Top Touring) 2000. So I replaced them with some nice fat ???(check make) and put the bottle dynamo back on again. Although these tyres are the same nominal diameter as the original tyres (42mm) they look huge. But they are comfortable !!

July 2003: Replace seat base

The seat cushion cover (actually bonded to the foam itself) had started to develop cracks on the side a few months ago but it never became a functional problem as the cushion itself is closed-cell foam. But I finally decided it looked a bit tat so I bought a new one from Pedalkraft Spezialraeder. It is a slightly different shape, but still very comfy !!

Sept 2013: Fit SA X-RF8 hub gear

(The bike is still seeing some use, mostly for local rides at an easy pace with my wife. We prefer the car-free routes as much as possible which round here often means forest tracks. These are difficult with a trike as they are usually firm where the forester's vehicles travel: effectively for bikes a single track in each direction. Also the higher seat of the Flux is more sociable than a trike !!)

The original gears were pretty worn out and a pain to change (often 2-up then 1-down !) and although it may have been possible to clean/renovate them I fancied hub gears ! They would give an easier change, and more reliability, and the slight extra inefficiency would not be noticeable for this usage. Modern hubs allow a wider range of closer gears, and to get the closest (without the price tag of a Rohloff) I chose the Sturmey Archer X-RF8 14% steps except the first and last which are 30% and ordered a wheel buit by SJSC. The hub is a bit narrow, but the axle was long enough when I padded with a nut on each side. I kept the rear derailleur to use as a chain tensioner (essential with rear suspension). Fitting went without a hitch, and the gears work great. Some grinding, esp. in 4th, but they do not have many miles in yet, so it may smoothen out ?

Late 2013 or early 2014: Refit original, red, stem

On other machines I had been experimenting with a longer seat-to-pedal position (also longer than the usually recommended heal-on-the-pedal-leg-nearly-straight) and had good results (esp. for my knees !). Moving the Flux seat back to match this meant that the bars were too far forward on the Roox 0 stem, so I refitted the original Flux stem, but reversed and max. forward. This gave a good hand position but I am still not used to the change in handling (not many miles done yet !)

201x: fit hub dynamo and LED front light

And still in occasional use !

To Do


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