Early 2013 I bought a Quest XS. Yesterday I took it to Velomobiel.nl for some service. A rubber band that was laying around in the Quest got stuck between the chain and the chain tube. Eventually the chain was jammed totally and the chain tube got entangled between the chain idler and the body. I was very pleased with the care Allert Jacobs took. This is a list of all he did:
- Cutting loose the old chain tube and replacing it with a new one
- Straightening the flanges of the idler
- Replacing the wireless speedometer for a more reliable wired one
- Adjusting the spoke tension of both front wheels
- The rear seat support was adapted (cut and welded again) to move the seat to the front 1 cm
- The crank axle was moved to the front 1 cm
- Adjusting both the front and rear dérailleurs.
There is always the drive to make it lighter and faster. The new Strada-DF is a nice example of this work. I took it for a short tour. It is significant lighter and feels very stiff. Also, compared to the Quest, the turning diameter is smaller which facilitates turning around on a street. The body is very narrow and there are no foot holes. According to Allert the aerodynamics are better compared to the Quest.
I had to drive 140 km to Velomobiel.nl. Although I would say that I'm perfectly able to do the repairs my self I decided not to do so. I realized that I would need new parts. Also I have not got a lift table. In my second trip just after I bought the Quest I managed to tumble into a, almost empty, ditch. To get all the dirt of I did unmount the wheels and it took me quite some time. I preferred 4 hours of driving over the hours of repairs. But the service on my Quest took Allert an astonishing 4 hours and I think this is very long considering that only very minor issues where tackled. Don't get me wrong: I'm not critisising Allerts workmanship but I do think the serviceability of the Quest design may be improved.
In a car garage the 4 hours would cost something like 240 euro's. I don't think there are a lot of people that would be willing to pay so much for the minor issues that I had with the Quest. Also I think that it will be hard to find companies that would be willing to service the current Quest design.
If we want more people to be able to choose a velomobile for their daily commute the serviceability has to be improved dramatically.
Velomobiel.nl did not charge me any money for the repair: Good service!