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Thread: Evaluating Used Top End Excelerator XLT Pro

  1. #1

    Evaluating Used Top End Excelerator XLT Pro

    I am looking at a used Top End Excelerator XLT Pro to see if it will work for me and have a couple of issues to work out before I can buy it. One, my knees keep locking which is a little uncomfortable and makes it hard to turn, is there something I can do to modify my positioning so that doesn't happen? Two, the drive train is pretty difficult to use, I think the shifters are out of adjustment and the chain seems pretty loose and has a tendency to drop a lot. The chain also rubs the brakes, is this a problem with the adjustment of the bike or is this a common issue with the XLT? I can't freewheel the cranks without the chain dropping off either. One problem could be that the owner juryrigged a plastic guide to try to keep the chain off the brake and it doesn't freely float with the chain as it changes gear, instead it is velcroed to the frame and so forces the chain out of line and contributes to it falling off the gears. Are these common problems or is it just that the setup is weird and can be fixed?
    "The prospects for a cure today are better than they were yesterday."

  2. #2
    I've owned at least 6 XLT Pro's in the early days. They were the fastest bike in racing. Nothing like todays speedsters but they can still be very fast and a great bike to start out with since you're buying used; which is the way to go. If you like the exercize you can eventually find a bike than may be more suitable. I'm old now and ride an extremmly fun Freedom Ryder FRH-1. Easy to transfer and no turning hastles with the legs.

    The knees should have a slight bend to them when sitting. Your elbows should be a little bent in the forward (9 O'clock)positiion. Is there a wheel guard that protects your legs from scrapping on the wheel when turning. That is one of the innovations of the newer bikes is the turning is much better. Normal turns shouldn't be too bad for that. Normally if we want to turn around we do a combination of forward then backing up and turning more. There are a lot of tricks to turning that we can get into later if you want.

    I take it the bike has 27 speeds. It sounds like it may need some tweaking on the shifters. But mostley, it sound like you are doing what we call cross chaining.

    C/C is riding in say the smallest chainring, where the cranks are, and in the smallest cog on the front wheel. If you notice, the chain will be scewed to the right and since there is so much chain due to being in both smallest size gears the slack will rub on the brake. There used to be a small long piece of tubing that the chain went thru and was attached to the brake cable with velcro. You might be able to get a picture of it on their website to see what I mean. C/C also happens when you ride in the largest chainring and largest cog.

    A good rule of thumb is. When riding in the lowest c/r don't go lower than the 4th cog on the front wheel, change to the middle ring and move the front cog up. Middle chainring, a person can get away with the whole range though I reccomend that after getting down to the 5th cog to move to the largest chainring. When in the largest chaninring don't go higher than the third cog then change down to middle chainring and downshift to a smaller cog. I'm sure that sounds confusing but in essence it sounds like you are riding in the lowest chainring and shifting too low thus you get chain drag on the brake.

    If you can send some photos preferrably with you in it, I'm sure we can help dial you in better.

    One with arms out forward on the cranks and one at three o'clock. I may have some Pro parts around here. The chain protector is really easy to make and fairly cheap going thru Bike-On. That may be the guide you are referring too. It should be velcroed around the brake cable or brake to help keep it in place.

    Good luck, There's nothing like getting out on a cycle on the road and out of your chair. I don't know what oyu are paying for the bike but there are a lot of used ones out there esp. with the new models coming out, a lot of used ones for sale.

    Knowing your level of injury would help also.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 03-15-2011 at 02:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the considered reply! Posting photos is a great idea, then you can see exactly what I am talking about with the chain. I understand what you mean by cross chaining, I used to race bicycles before my injury and it is an issue for those bikes too. Part of the problem I have is that the shifters are a model that I haven't used before so I need to get used to them and they are also in kind of a strange position. You'll see when I get the photos, it will take me a few days because I am busy right now with basketball practice and that is eating up my free time.
    "The prospects for a cure today are better than they were yesterday."

  4. #4
    Probably STI Shifters. They are okay, but once out of whack they are a problem. there's several things you can do. Get them re-adjusted, put on a manual shifter for the Chainrings or put some twist shifters off the seat rails. Adjusting to where you can hit the lever is crucial also. Looking forward to the photos.

    Since you've raced before and are obviously sports minded, and the bike is extremelly cheap, it might not meet your needs. If you are a lower level injury the Freedom Ryder leansteer and the Top End G or previous Golds are much more efficient and more adjustable. If a higher break, the Freedom Ryder FRH-1 and Top End Force, old model Golds are fantastic. I see there is a F/R Classic leansteer on Ebay for 800.00. Leansteers and pivot type bikes are completley different from each other.

    Again the Pro is a good bike, don't get me wrong, but is old school, again nothing wrong with that, but it should be inexpensive. One of the drawbacks with the Pros was exactually what you are experiencing, leg hitting on a turn. I did love my Pro bikes but like the newer models even more.

    Since you're in Denver, Steve Ackerman or the adaptive abilities group there have plenty of bikes to try. Doesn't the National team train out of the Colorado Springs Olympic training facility?

    As you know, if the bike isn't right, you won't ride it.and can also cause damage to the shoulders.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 03-17-2011 at 11:43 PM.

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