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 Post subject: Excuses
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:21 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:21 pm
Posts: 335
Apalach wrote:
What part broke and what is about to break? You do have a paddle dontcha? I'll loan you a Mirage Drive if that is all it is. No excuses now...:!: :D
It isn't an excuse - it is an executive decision. The sprocket split in two at the mast insertion point. I've got three cables on my old drive that are questionable and the idler cable on the new drive looks ready to pop. Even if I swap out all the cables, I still have to worry about the sprockets falling apart when using the Turbo flippers. If I get a crack in the hull near the pedal unit, I'm sunk. Worry, worry, worry. :shock:

It is time for me to take a hiatus from the Outback because I'm not going to sink any more money into it right now. It just cost me over a hundred bucks to replace two pedals on a relatively new drive unit. These are cheap plastic pedals with no bearings. For a hundred bucks I can almost buy a pair of SPD titanium clipless pedals that have sealed bearings.

Clipless would be a nice option but Hobie chose to downgrade their pedal system instead of upgrading it - now we can't even change out the pedals. The old drive units had steel flipper masts connecting to steel sprockets. Hobie chose to downgrade some of the components to plastic which are now failing when using the Turbos. The older units were much easier to pedal then the newer units (using the same flipper). Maybe one day there will be some higher end component options.

I'd rather sell my Outback and get a new Outback. Trouble is, I tried a new Outback and hull mound in front of the seat gets in the way of my leg motion. My hamstrings pound the hull because my long legs need a long stroke, so for me, even the hull design has gone from good to worse.

When is Hobie going to put bulkheads in their kayaks? We all know how quick kayaks sink without bulkheads. When is Hobie going to strengthen the design of the mirage drive? Many factors will determine when I take kayaking with the Outback serious again.

Only two trips this year and I've already had two breakdowns - my spirit has been broken. Hobie can probably breathe a sigh of relief because there won't be many messages from me for a while after this.

I appreciate the offer Apalach. It is quite apparent to me that there is no way for me to use the Outback as a means of aerobic conditioning - it won't hold up to weekend trips much less 5 times a week use. I'm going back to running for aerobics and paddle kayaks for the upper body. :(

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:33 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Dang Rny,
That is really disturbing (and depressing) news! A number of folks, in addition to myself, have been commenting about the problems with the newer "plasticized" Mirage Drive sprockets. Personally, I have not had the sprocket problem because I am still using my 2004 drive with the SS Cotter pin mast attachment setup. But I had forgotten about the "downgraded" pedal situation in that bikers/users can no longer change out/upgrade the pedals as needed. I mean, if an inexpensive bicycle permits pedal upgrades, then why not the Hobie Mirage Drive? Makes no sense to me.

I had also commented previously (both publicly and privately to Matt Miller) about my problems with the earlier 2004 Mirage Drive pin adjustment assembly in which the adjustment pins, springs, and the handles came apart on me while a mile out at sea in the open Atlantic off Port Everglades during GAFFE I. ... rage+drive

Although this now seems to have been fixed by the company, I certainly can sympathize with your position. It is really frustrating for me to see an excellent company (such as Hobie) make changes in their premier kayak product, the Mirage Drive, that seem to make the product less functional and more prone to a variety of design and structural problems that are left to be discovered by the users. Although I don’t have a set, and have no plans to get one, the Turbo fins are a great idea—IF, and only IF—the rest of the boat is capable of handling the additional stresses engendered by these more powerful fins. And this includes hull cracks and leaks around the Mirage Drive well. Just my $.02 worth again.

Sorry we won’t be able to get together on 28 Jan for the Great Wakulla River Race, but the best of luck to you with your running and road racing activities, and maybe even some additional kayaking activities one of these days.


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