Are chain tubes necessary on the Rover?

Hi all. First post on this forum. Recently bought a used TT Rover SA-8. Not sure of its age (I'm thinking 1-2 yrs) but it seems to be in very good condition, showing not much sign of use. I have been perusing these and other forums and the Terratrike youtube channel to learn more, as I'm new to triking and haven't been on a bike in many years (I have balance disorder and vertigo, so a 2-wheeler is out of the question). I do not have much money to work with so needless to say, when I happened upon this used trike deal, I was very happy.

My question:
This Rover came with no chain tubes on it. Looks like the previous owner removed them or never installed them. Are the chain tubes really necessary? Some of the info online that I found suggested that they only add resistance and noise. With conflicting info out there, I'm not sure which is accurate. Would appreciate the advice of experts here.  Thanks in advance!
Terratrike Rover
St. George, UT

Comments

  • The chain tubes also keep the chain from hitting the frame and seat frame. They are used more to protect the trike over anything else, and second your pant leg from getting caught in the chain. Take a look to see how close it is near the rear wheel or the front chainring; If they are very close to those, then it could cause more rub and a louder noise than necessary. 
    Lydia R.
    Customer Service Manager
    TerraTrike - Part of the Solution
  • edited June 2017
    nssbdsz8j4w2.jpg
    I seem to have purchased a Rambler without the chain tube installed. how can I get one along with the bracket to hold it in place?
  • You can buy ones with flared tips. 44"
    Someone will chime in with the site momentarily as I do not remember.
  • Two options. Call Terratrike, see top of page's Contact button.
    Other is TerraCycle's chain tubes with the option to have the flared at https://t-cycle.com/-p-243.html

    ¬ ITL
  • edited July 2017
    Hmm... first time seeing anyone that had removed the chain tubes from their trike. Had thought about it until seeing what protection the tubes may offer.

    @Lilypad doesn't have chain tubes on his Path, only idlers. And seen that Utah Trikes used idlers on a Rover instead of chain tubes. Hmm...

    idlerkit.jpg

    ¬ ITL
  • Quieter w/o tubes?
  • edited July 2017
    Idlers hum
  • Idlers do hum a bit, but they are a lot quieter than tubes, IMO.

    I only put chain tubes back on the rear power side just recently, and have a hard time hearing the motor if it starts to lug out. (I have 2 chain lines, one from front to motor's pedal cranks, and one from motor chain ring to rear wheel) The sound is loud enough that the motor's whine (and gauging lugging effects of wrong gearing) is overpowered by the noises from the tube.

    So, since I no longer need to worry about the chain dragging where it shouldn't, the next time I take off the rear wheel, the tube comes off again.

    If I had my druthers, I wouldn't have put the chain tube on at all. But I had some clearance issues and the tube seemed to be the fastest fix. Those are now completely resolved so off it comes.
  • I've never heard any noise from the tube. I do, however, get this irritating clicking noise from the Patterson crank when I'm in the upper gear. I'm making minor adjustments every ride to see if it will go away.

    I wouldn't ride without the chain guard. Chains can be very damaging to flesh.
  • @Florida_bound
    put the patterson back on the rover. kinda hot and humid even at 6 p.m. wanted to pedal a bit faster to make some breeze and when shifting the patterson into high, it went clicky-clicky instead.

    had put a new cable on it when re-installing. cable stretch were the villain.

    dont get too extreme turning the adjuster out to tighten the cable - the plastic can crack if there is a tug on the cable housing. you may have to loosen the cable nut, hold on to the cable with pliers, [grip shift should be turned to take up cable], rotate the sector all the way up, then tighten the nut. one of those times you wish you had 3 hands. pliers and 5 mm allen wrench for tools.
  • I wouldn't ride without the chain guard. Chains can be very damaging to flesh.

    Umm, many trikes have chains without tubes and their riders don't experience issues with chains. An occasional pants leg or shoe string can get caught up in the sprocket, that can happen with a chain tube as well.

    As for the chain tube, when doing maintenance run the pedals backwards and you'll see the chain does rub. Run a small rag with a string through a link to clean the tubes out much like cleaning a shotgun.

    With the Low Rider Rack the replacement chain tube mount does change things. Next chance I get am going to move it back to where I had it originally. Been grounded with a notorious bug, that and Idaho is in a heat wave

    ¬ ITL
  • edited July 2017
    Most chains go to the back wheel, behind the rider. Our chains go up front and our exposed legs are right next to them. I will always ride with one for my own protections. You all are free to do whatever you want.

    Thanks for the tip Jamesr. I need to pay you to be my mechanic instead of an unqualified lbs.
  • edited July 2017
    Aye, chains follow the contour of the boom and components, with idlers/chain tubes to guide them, from the front sprocket to the rear gears. :)

    It's something I ran across on a browser search, and was entertaining the idea hence the topic was "Are chain tubes necessary on the Rover." Then seen photos of Utah trike's customs running without chain tubes.

    ¬ ITL
  • While riding a mountain bike, I was always getting grease on my leg or pants leg. They even abolished guards around the gear years ago. I have had no such problem on my trike.
  • I have to admit that without chain tubes I occasionally get chain lube on my right calf. Also get it if I lift it from the right side when loading/unloading from the car.
  • I have had a chain tube on my Rover since it was new, about 14,000 miles ago. Never gave me one issue. Only HPV I have owned where I didn't have to clean chain marks off my legs.
  • @Captainbob -

    impressed by the longevity of your chain tube!
    given your imposing number of miles, a few questions perhaps?

    what did you use for chain lube?
    how many miles did you average per chain?
    have you replaced rear sprocket and chainring?
    any suggestions on wear items or maintenance concerns?

    thanx!
    - james
  • JamesR wrote: »
    @Captainbob -

    impressed by the longevity of your chain tube!
    given your imposing number of miles, a few questions perhaps?

    what did you use for chain lube?
    how many miles did you average per chain?
    have you replaced rear sprocket and chainring?
    any suggestions on wear items or maintenance concerns?

    thanx!
    - james

    I have used Boeshield T9 on my chains for the last 20 years or more. I apply it about every 300 miles or so, let it dry for about 2 hours, and wipe chain with a soft cloth. I never have to clean the chain. I have original rear sprocket and chainwheel. Still on original SA 8 hub, with no issues. I keep hub in adjustment. I am on my second chain which still checks OK with a chain gauge. https://www.amazon.com/Boeshield-T-9-Waterproof-Lubrication-liquid/dp/B000GE1F9K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1501448984&sr=8-2&keywords=boeshield+t-9
  • @Captainbob

    appreciate the info, Boeshield T9 will be added to the valvecaps and other goodies i will be ordering from amazon.

    considering the miles you get from a straight chainline, am guessing the derailler types are beating their chains to an early death.
  • JamesR wrote: »
    @Captainbob

    appreciate the info, Boeshield T9 will be added to the valvecaps and other goodies i will be ordering from amazon.

    considering the miles you get from a straight chainline, am guessing the derailler types are beating their chains to an early death.

    Yes, with derailleur bikes I had, I replaced chain at around 3,000.
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