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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:12 am
Posts: 5
Location: Denmark, Europe
Hi all,

I have had a Hobie PA12 since 2015, and it has been used intensively. Being keen on fishing and also doing exercise, it is a perfect tool for my needs.....mostly!

In the past 2 years I have changed 6 idler cables and chain assy's, I have have seen cracks in the root of 4 crank shafts, and I have recently broken off one pedal.

Do I handle things wrong? Definitely not! I am machine engineer from education, and have 56 years of life experience with bikes, boats and cars (OK, the first 5-6 years maybe not that much). I know how to tighten a cable until it is tight enough, and the bearings are not squeezed. I do check the cable tension every time I go sailing, and I do rinse and grease the chain. The drive is rinsed with freshwater after each saltwater trip, and I regularly coat everything with Prolan (lanoline) grease.

One year ago, I changed almost all wear parts of my drive. Two new pedal cranks, two new sprockets, two drums, a new drum shaft and all the bearing pins to go with it. Almost a new drive. I was trying to eliminate worn out things could influence wear and breakdown on other parts by doing this change in one cycle.

This "new drive" has not saved me from breakdowns though. 2 chain assemblies, one idler cable and two crank shafts have been damaged. And the broken off pedal to top it all.

You all know how annoying it is to have a breakdown on a trip. I have learned from experience, that the paddle needs to be along with me. 3-4 km of paddling is pretty hard though. Especially in a PA12 loaded with equipment. It adds up on the exercise off course.

I really like the sailing experience of the Hobie Kayak, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this kayak to others, if it weren't for these breakdowns. As engineer, I cant stop playing with upgrades for the kayak, but until now, I haven't found good enough solutions for the chain drives. I have repaired one with silver soldering a cable into a grub screw, and it worked - until the chain broke.

If the reason for my misery is too hard pedaling, I might consider competing in sports again. But I stopped competing in spearfishing 21 years ago, and my lungs are definitely not up for a come back. I'm not older than Mike Tyson, but I don't think he should consider a come back either. :)

Any advices from Hobie or from fellow kayakers?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:35 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:12 am
Posts: 5
Location: Denmark, Europe
I have started to make my own DIY heavy duty solutions. Here's the idler cable in a manageable way:

The metric dimensions are:
Brass pipe 5-8mm
Grub screw 6x35mm
Dyneema rope 4mm

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I have earlier tested a simple solution with 3 kevlar strings, which lasted for quite a long time. The 4mm Dyneema rope is an obvious upgrade. It could be covered with shrink tube, but I think it will last without, because it is enough overdimensioned to handle the wear.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:12 am
Posts: 5
Location: Denmark, Europe
Crimping is absolutely not the best solution for connecting to Dyneema. This one didn't last very long either. About three hours of hard pedaling on a icy river.

Theoretically you should use a splice, but it takes a lot of space in this area. I am testing other methods. Will be back with results.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:30 am
Posts: 18
I used to have very strong legs pre-pandemic, and would damage my drive well by excess forward thrust against a high drag kayak. Eventually I realized this came from me occasionally pedaling like a beserker when slightly faster boats passed me along a canal. Even tho they should be faster, I felt some triumph by briefly catching up.

So I stopped this sprinting, and my 5 year old drive stays pretty much like new except for a bent mast. Also I resist tightening the chain too often, just like I fight my tendency to overtighten screws, etc. I think things generally like to run looser than spec, and are intended to be so during long gaps between service.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:12 am
Posts: 5
Location: Denmark, Europe
Hi Yaw_string,

I agree with you that it is pedal force driving the wires to snap. It can be momentary extreme high force, but it can also be longtime medium to high force. The braking strength of the wire is way higher than we can accomplish momentarily, but there's the fatigue strength, that you will overcome over time. If you pedal low force, that will take you almost forever, but medium to high forces will wear out the wire connection fast. I have had my idler cables for averagely 6 month, so that means that I am adding a medium to high force on them.

Nothing in the descriptions from Hobie says, that you cannot pedal with high force, and if you want some gain from exercise, you need a certain level of effect (force/time) to get it. I am an middle aged man fighting with the diseases of an average man this age. I simply need to exercise to keep alive ;-/ What is better than sailing on your favorite fishing water, while obtaining the drug that keeps you alive :-)

I would very much like to help Hobie make a heavy duty drive, or at least make one for myself. That way I am saved from a lot of killing (boring) hours in the gym.


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