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Rotator no more.....?

Old 07-30-09, 09:42 AM
  #1  
Glasspacker
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Rotator no more.....?

I noticed a Rotator Pursuit on Ebay, at a low price so far. I was wondering about parts, etc, since the seller thought it was a 96-97 vintage. I checked the Rotator website and noticed that his page on "dealers" was not available. I sent off an email and Steve Delaire (owner, I think) responded that he's no longer taking orders. I'm not a handy person....think I will pass. I do have a bent dealer near me, but I don't like complications- - - he's not, or should I say "was" not a Rotator dealer.
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Old 07-30-09, 02:32 PM
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Steve has found employment that seems to have put his recumbent business on hold at least for a while. He also had some medical problems earlier this year.

Your best bet for a Rotator Pursuit may turn out to be a RANS X-Stream.
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Old 07-30-09, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Your best bet for a Rotator Pursuit may turn out to be a RANS X-Stream.
Unless the 'stream is pointed at reasonably flat and traffic free tarmac, I would disagree. With a half-a-yard of tiller, pronounced fork flop and well over 3/4 of its laden weight sitting on the rear axle, it wouldn't even make the Top Ten.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:48 PM
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Today I printed off photos from the ebay ad and took them to my lbs (95% df, 5% bent - sun dealer). The mechanic there said that Trek tried the mid-drive system and then gave up on it due to problems. He said he would probably steer clear of it, especially with the sachs components which are no longer made. I said the Rotator Pursuit is known for being a well-engineered product; I would just need them to be able to work on it. He said they'd do it, no problem there, but once a sachs component goes bad, you start looking at replacing the whole drivetrain which involves a lot of parts on this model. I'm sure some well-seasoned bent folks would have some ideas, but I will pass on it. This mechanic then steered me towards a Sun Tomahawk. Surprise. No thanks.
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Old 08-02-09, 02:27 AM
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The only thing "Unique" about the rotator pursuit is the frame, seat and steering bar. The drive
train is completely standard and easily upgraded or repaired. The seat material can wear out
but could likely be replaced with a little searching and fabrication. The BB, cranks, headset and
wheels are standard items. The middrive cassette can be assembled out of standard cassettes
that come apart completely, Nashbar has several varieties of these for $5-20 that can serve as
donor cassettes for the mid drive. The one potential weak spot is the mid drive axle, if it breaks
you may have to rummage for one, but it is basically a 10mm solid axle, BMX variant. Mine has
been highly reliable over the past 19K miles. Tandem length cables are readily available. Since the rear has 7-8 or 9 speeds and the front has 6 speeds you
do need to use two Right hand twist grips with the left sided twist grip controlling the mid drive derailler. It is 'upside down' on the bar but works fine that way.
My R hand twist gave up at 13kmi but the left sided shifter is still working fine
at 19kmi. Nashbar was selling twist shifters a year or so back as singletons and
in sets for $15-30 so I stocked up.

Last edited by sch; 08-02-09 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 08-02-09, 06:57 AM
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Thanks sch for the info. Reason I was looking at them is because I like the position of the BB. Not too high for me to get numb feet, which I am prone to, but not too low either.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
Unless the 'stream is pointed at reasonably flat and traffic free tarmac, I would disagree. With a half-a-yard of tiller, pronounced fork flop and well over 3/4 of its laden weight sitting on the rear axle, it wouldn't even make the Top Ten.
It's always fun how different riders respond to the same bike. Though I favor SWB bents, the x-stream seems to me quite well behaved for a LWB and with a 41 inch x-seam, had a balanced feel to it.
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Old 08-02-09, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
It's always fun how different riders respond to the same bike. Though I favor SWB bents, the x-stream seems to me quite well behaved for a LWB and with a 41 inch x-seam, had a balanced feel to it.
Just like the bastardized, short lived Formula 26 (which embraces much the same steering geometry as the 'stream). Touted as a speed machine, it too possessed the low speed genes of a Kenworth, and commuting customers quickly realized that the bike was ill-suited for anything less than Battle Mountain. Suffice it to say, You just don't stack 80% of the laden weight over the rear axle, bolt-on 16" of tiller feeding over 3" dynamic trail, and expect the nimble and predictable commuting speed handling of a Stratus LE or Tour Easy. Sorry, it just doesn't happen.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
Just like the bastardized. . . . Sorry, it just doesn't happen.
Guessing or test riding?
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Old 08-02-09, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Steve has found employment that seems to have put his recumbent business on hold at least for a while. He also had some medical problems earlier this year.
.
Steve had a bout with appendicitis and has found a job in the wind power business. In his own words:
http://www.recumbents.com/forums/top...?TOPIC_ID=2283
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Old 08-03-09, 03:50 PM
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...in the meantime, I've noticed one on craigslist in OK City. $600 and it's a 2001 with Shimano components. That sort of puts a lid on how high one would go for the ebay listing- - now at $405.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:07 PM
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I noticed Steve D's personal bike is up for sale for $900 (and it has the fairing!)-

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1

His doesn't have the mid-drive. Hmmm......I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.

I bought the Ok city one on craigslist for $600, thanks to Sch's reassurance on parts Plus, the Rotator website is pretty handy as it ID's each part on the bike. Mine has Velocity Razor wheels. I wonder if that was standard for 2001, or if it was a later change.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Guessing or test riding?
He put more unkindly than I'd have done. Pursuits are not known for their low-speed handling. So, in that respect I suspect he was making an educated guess; but one I'd make too. You'd definitely want to test ride one before buying, because you might think it looked good on paper then HATED it in real life. Or, maybe having that much tiller wouldn't bother you in the least.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Glasspacker View Post
I noticed Steve D's personal bike is up for sale for $900 (and it has the fairing!)-

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1

His doesn't have the mid-drive. Hmmm......I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.
I don't know much about the Rotator bikes (other than that they're supposed to be fast & comfortable) but I believe the mid-drive systems were used on the dual 20" bikes. The one for sale there without mid-drive has a 26" or 700cc rear wheel, so a more standard shifting setup gives enough gear range.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:19 AM
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Ahh...duh. I didn't even notice the larger rear wheel.

BP, thanks for the advice, but I already took the plunge (but won't be deliv until mid-oct). I've had a Stratus, V2, and Volae Century in the past. I know this will be different. I look forward to the challenge.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Glasspacker View Post
Today I printed off photos from the ebay ad and took them to my lbs (95% df, 5% bent - sun dealer). The mechanic there said that Trek tried the mid-drive system and then gave up on it due to problems.
The Trek did have a mid-drive, and it did have problems. Initially. But all of those problems were solved at a relatively early date. Trek might still be making a version of the R200 today if the original proponent within the company hadn't kicked the bucket and the rest of the upright-centric management immediately dropped it in spite of its respectable sales figures.
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Old 07-27-19, 03:44 PM
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How did you like the rotator? Do you still have it?

Do you still have the rotator?

Originally Posted by Glasspacker View Post
Ahh...duh. I didn't even notice the larger rear wheel.

BP, thanks for the advice, but I already took the plunge (but won't be deliv until mid-oct). I've had a Stratus, V2, and Volae Century in the past. I know this will be different. I look forward to the challenge.
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Old 07-27-19, 06:50 PM
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I realize this is your first post at Bikeforums so you may not have noticed that this thread is over a decade old. It is highly unlikely the owner would still have it after all this time since it was for sale in 2009. After you get enough posts you can try using the private message function and contact owners. The link to the picture sends you to Angletech Cyclery. They no longer list Rotator among the brands they have available used.

SteveD is listed among the current members but has not logged in for over 2 years. You can still PM him by going to the list, find his name, and click on PM. He's on page 928 of the members under the letter "S".

There is a very old review of the bike on Bentrideronline. http://www.bentrideronline.com/?p=2565
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Old 08-03-19, 01:49 PM
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Just a followup on my 2001 Ti Pursuit... Still ridden on regular basis, now up to ~32,500 miles. The original mid-drive axle was undersized at

0.38" for the 10mm bearings on the mid-drive so this allowed the mid-drive cassette to cock at a several degree angle which meant that

any really high torque ran the risk of derailling the mid drive drive chain. Solved the problem by making my own 4140 true 10mm diameter

axle (first used carbon steel drill rod, it broke at 800 miles, so switched to 4140). That axle is now above 25,000 miles. A few yrs ago I put

a chain keeper inside the mid-drive to minimize the rare derailling that began to occur then. This has solved the residual problem, possibly due

to wear on the mid-drive axle at its present mileage. This only happened on my 14% grade driveway.


Converted from 12-27 9spd cassette to 11-28 10spd cassette and mounted a Di2 RD on the rear cassette. Made a huge difference in shifting. Bike is ridden

1-2x/week for 40-55 miles each time and is fine for flattish club rides. The brass seat grommets wore out (corrosion) after ~15 yrs but it was

easy to drill them out and replace with stainless grommets. The 4mm bungee cord on the 'butt' part of the seat needs replacing every

2 yrs or so. Seat itself will need replacing in a yr or three, but I have a spare, purchased not long before Steve Delaire shut down the

operation. Making a new one does not look particularly hard, if necessary, but a 20 yr life span is not bad. Original Stronglite headset

replaced with another about 3 yrs ago.
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Old 08-14-19, 08:13 AM
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Hello sch -

I also have a ti pursuit that I am very fond of. Like you, my mid-drive axle snapped in two pieces some years back. Since I ride in a pretty flat area, I removed the mid-drive entirely and replaced it with a RANS chain idler. This meant giving up all those fine-grained gear choices and the extremes for climbing and descending hills. Not an optimal solution.

Is there any chance that I could bamboozle you into making a 4140 mid-drive axle for my Rotator? I would be happy to pay you for your time and trouble. Sometimes I miss all those extra gears.

(By the way, ROTATOR spelled backwards is ROTATOR.)

Safe riding,
Joel Dickman

These three prevent most accidents: seeing, being seen, & (usually) common sense.

Last edited by Joel Dickman; 08-16-19 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 08-16-19, 09:46 PM
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Joel Dickman, contact me at sch1943atgmail This is a project I was planning to do ~sometime~
now I have a reason to start.


Followup: made two mid-drive axles and sent them to Joel for nominal cost. I can make more easily enough if any one needs one.

Last edited by sch; 09-20-19 at 11:54 AM.
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