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Thread: Setting Toe-in / Toe-out on a Shadow handcycle??

  1. #1

    Setting Toe-in / Toe-out on a Shadow handcycle??

    Is the toe-in/out adjustable on the Shadow? maybe I am missing something because I measured the threaded inserts for wheel spacing and couldn't determine any variance. The spindle bore appears to be parallel with the threaded O.D.
    There is no indication of a datum/reference point.
    To adjust the toe the spindle bore should have an angle variance of a few minutes?
    Toe-out appears to be about 1cm. Sometimes it is a bugger doing these measurements on your todd - from a chair doesn't make it easier.
    Any help out there??

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Not sure what a "todd" is.
    Toe in/out is usually measured in degrees (or MM) perpendicular to frame center line.
    "Minutes" are used in navigation. I have forgotten how many feet are in 1 minute but 1 min in or out is an >EXTREMELY< large grossly visible amount.
    1 CM or 10 MM on one wheel is also excessive in my opinion. X 2 wheels = 20 MM toe out = a lot.
    I'm not an expert on these chairs but I can measure.

  3. #3
    Hi Gearhead.
    on your todd
    On your own.

    To be clear, m reference to 'minutes of a degree' was the spindle bore relative to the receiver O.D.

    Minutes and seconds of degrees are incremental measurements that are not specific to navigation.
    Its all about scale, right?

    In reference to this Shadow that I have been told does not have a method/function to adjust Toe.

    If I was looking for a toe figure of 5mm over a wheel diameter of, lets say 70cm, then the spindle bore angle relative to the O.D would need to be less than 1 degree to achieve a + - range from 0 to 5mm of Toe.
    Its' late here and it is quicker to find a calculator.
    The answer is 0.41 degrees or 0 degrees 24' 36"
    Last edited by slow_runner; 06-28-2019 at 09:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    If the axle setup is like most wheel chairs, the threaded inserts that the pip-pins ("axles" but not in my vocabulary!) are inserted, are at some angle to the axle tube that connects them, and the left and right threaded receivers fixed so that they both have the same angularity to the axle tube.
    This angularity is the camber of the wheels, often 2*negative which means the top of the wheel is inward relative to the bottom.

    Usually toe is adjusted by rotating the axle tube slightly, and the desired toe is -0-, meaning the wheels are pointing straight ahead and parallel.
    And, it sucks to try to measure it from a wheelchair! It's hard enough for the able. You need to measure the distance at the same height of both wheels fore and aft.
    If you can put the thing up on a table, it becomes much easier, but remember that all wheels need to be on the same plane, otherwise the toe will not be the same as in use.
    Having a second set of hands is helpful for the measuring, one person per side.

    Question: "If I was looking for a toe figure of 5mm over a wheel diameter of, lets say 70cm,"

    Is that what you want the toe-in to be or is that what your measurement is?
    Not to further stir the pot, but what I wrote above doesn't account for any runout or bends in the wheel. If you spin the tires and there is any
    significant runout, you can counter it by marking the tires/wheel rims where you take a rear measurement and then roll the thing forward until the marks are at the same height and taking the front measurement.
    And, to stir the pot even further, I wonder if zero toe is 100% correct if you have negative camber!
    My experience with low power race cars suggests that you may actually want some toe-out (frts farther apart) to achieve minimum tire-scrub/rolling resistance! (based on coast down testing with 8" wide treads and -3.75* camber)

    And, I get what you mean about ' and "! Many European manufacturers call for specs like -47' camber! I prefer decimal degrees!

    Last edited by pfcs49; 06-28-2019 at 12:42 PM.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  5. #5
    Top End used to make a gauge that slide in and out to get the distance between the wheels. First I'd take a measurement by sliding the gauge between of the rear of the wheel and tightening down the slide then measure the front. Would make the changes on both until they matched up front and rear. I'd make the changes with the camber bar loosened just enough to twist it. once done, I'd tighten up the camber bar and recheck the measurement.

    To do manually adjust for a 24 inch wheel. Measure up 12 inches on both wheels front and back and mark the spots. Then measure between the wheels front and back at those spots. Check the differences and make the adjustment until both are the same. Tilite has mitered flat areas on the sides of their axle inserts. If you chair has those, find a flat spot of ground and use a square to see that the flat area lines up with no space showing between the edge of the square and edge of mitered flat area on the axle insert. Simple as that. I wouldn't put the brakes on doing this because it may make the wheels splay out abit because of the tension of the brake against the tire.

    Degree of camber has no bearing with the measuring as long as the front and rear are the same, toe-in/out is correct.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    "Top End used to make a gauge that slide in and out to get the distance between the wheels."

    I've clipped two framing squares together to do this. If your goal is -0- toe, using these short ones that are 8" high works, but if you want a different value you'll need to factor in the height difference.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  7. #7
    The ingenuity of so many on this forum is incredible. There ya a go, a ready made alignment gauge using two squares.

  8. #8
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    I enjoy reading these post even though many times it just reveals how much I do not know... lol

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    .......Having a second set of hands is helpful for the measuring, one person per side.
    Question: "If I was looking for a toe figure of 5mm over a wheel diameter of, lets say 70cm,"
    Is that what you want the toe-in to be or is that what your measurement is?
    And, to stir the pot even further, I wonder if zero toe is 100% correct if you have negative camber!
    And, I get what you mean about ' and "! Many European manufacturers call for specs like -47' camber! I prefer decimal degrees!
    5mm Toe was just a nominated number. When I first measured at the rim using a tape and guestimate system I had 1cm positive Toe. Not too ideal.
    With so much camber I think that neutral Toe or very minimal positive would be optimum. My thinking is that the wheels are rear mount and there is begger all tyre footprint on the pavement so less directional forces. just an instinctive feeling and maybe off beam??

    The wheels are even spoked so I selected 2 of the outer opposing set and to identify them as pairs, I tagged them with a small piece of masking tape each.
    Rolled the trike forward until I matched each wheel forward spoke at near centre (32cm height). My good neighbour sat on it to give some ballast and I laid the tape measure between the front spokes abutting the rim then read off at the inner side of the tape (clear??).
    Then did the same at the rear. 1mm negative differential.
    Rolled the chair forward and reset the spoke position. 3mm positive differential.
    I am happy with that although I will bugger about with this method a bit more.
    I have a couple of string line levels and am thinking that if I lay one on the selected spoke and roll till it reads level, I will have an ideal constant reference at true centre, every time.
    I am going to try that idea tomorrow and I will post some pics if I remember.
    The rims are running very true. There is some run out but naff all to be concerned with given this is a chair and not a track racing machine.
    Thanks for all the suggestions; I think we all are learning something. I am.

    I wonder why Quickie did not make those threaded inserts with a degree difference in the axial plane? Maybe they judged their jigging and manufacturing tolerances to be near enough on?
    From the results from my old early example it would appear to be the case.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    I encourage you to do some coasting tests with different toe settings, first -0-, then a little toe out, and see if it rolls farther one way or the other.
    And, if it has less resistance/rolls farther with toe out, then experiment to find the optimum setting.
    You'll need to find a gentle slope that flattens out so the speed and length of the runs is manageable. Do several runs with each change to confirm your measurements.

    Now that you've optimized the alignment, let's work on aerodynamics (for this we'll need a much bigger hill)
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

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