New Balance Wheel + Setup Change

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Left Balance Wheel Mount
The Left Balance Wheel Mount.
The Right Balance Wheel Mount; Removing the Chain Guard Reduced the Extreme Right Lean!

A week ago seven spokes on the right balance wheel broke, and a spoke went through the rim puncturing the tube. I’ve been battling an extreme right lean since I started riding Electra May Day with the balance wheels installed. When I originally put the mounts on the frame stays, I left the primary chain guard on; two of the U Bolts attach the right mount to the chain stay and because it is the drive side, the chain guard adds an extra 5mm of thickness. In combination with the warp on the metal, it creates an extreme right lean without an easy way to get out of it. By easy, I’m referring to my own experience of 50 years riding (~30 inactive). On an uneven road, I could lean (shift my weight) to counter the uneven road leveling the bike. With this extreme right lean, mild handlebar presses or weight shifts were unresponsive. I could press the handlebar with enough force to bench press 200 pounds and pull out. However, with cars passing at 50 MPH+/-, it is a safety concern (too much force would bounce me into traffic coming from behind).

While I searched for a replacement wheel, I removed the mounts and chain guard. The right mount still looked like it is extreme bent, and the left looks like it is bent inward. The company, CyclingDeal_USA, sent me a replacement wheel. With the left balance wheel in the second position and right in first, the bends are not noticeable while riding, and gentle presses on the handlebars and/or weight shifts straighten the bike on two wheels. It is a break through, after 1,627 kilometers with an unresponsive bike (on level straights, the bike would naturally self balance on two wheels, but on uneven road the extreme right lean would prevail so riding posture was awkward). Now the game has changed.

I used training wheels when I was 3, but don’t remember the details (just getting them off). Ironically, I’m living about a mile from my old neighborhood where I learned to ride and started school. We then moved to Palm Desert and I never thought I’d be back in my early childhood neighborhood, but here I am. And refreshing with training wheels. Brain injury is hard on my balance, and the Huntington Beach suburbs are more intense than the Palm Springs area. The training wheels let me practice on the main streets, but with the responsive results just achieved, I’m rolling slower and requiring more space right now. Therefore, I’ll practice in the residential area until I begin rolling smoother in less space (such as the space of bike lanes on highways).