Assembling the KayakPro Speedstroke Gym

I got the Speedstroke on Tuesday and I started to assemble it. I didn’t finish it on Tuesday, and because I had to spend Wednesday night in Ithaca, I had to wait to tonight to finish.

I started assembling it with the guide that came in the box with it.

First impressions: The erg goes together really easily. It’s very well designed for easy assembly. The quality of construction was absolutely amazing. Everything is built to extremely tight tolerances and it all just fits together without having to bend anything apart or crimp it back together. Ikea could learn a lot about precision from these guys. So could the manufacturers of all my kayaks. I love the fact that almost all the screws and bolts are already screwed and bolted into where they are going to go – no more hunting around in various bags and trying to match up part numbers, just unbolt it, bring over the part that’s going to be bolted to it, and bolt it together again.

That was great until I got to the bit where you start threading the ropes and bungies, at which point the manual *sucks*. Fortunately Kayakpro had sent me a link to a different assembly manual, and this one went into way more detail regarding the ropes. With nice clear close-ups of the individual pulleys everything was just as clear and easy as the original assembly. Within a few minutes I had everything assembled and ready to paddle. And another link they gave me described setting up the built in computer and how to calibrate it.

I got on and paddled for about 150 to 200 metres, which was where I felt the barest twinge of pain so I stopped.

There was only one small niggle. I could not for the life of me found any description of how to set up the strap that controls the foot brace position. Fortunately I’ve paddled a few of this model of erg so I could figure it out pretty well. Oh, and one other thing – they tell you not to extend the paddle any wider than the “maximum” width, but they don’t clarify whether that means with the paint marks showing or not showing.