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Replacing SLE leading edge and mesh


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#1 foggydave

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:47 AM

Hi
I have been flying my SLE for 4 months and the leading edge mesh is splitting in quite a few places. Also the ends of the dacron leading edge and the dacron strengtheners on the leading edge are fraying badly. Not very impressed to say the least.

SO I wish to replace the leading edge and mesh.

Question. Has the leading edge (LE) got a 'built in' curve or drop on it ? I have layed it out on my bench and 20.5 inches from the center of the kite the LE drops down 1.5 inches to the end of the LE I am not sure if this drop is a result of flying or is built into the top of the kite.

I have laid my EXP out and it has a gentle curve from the center to the leading edge of about 2 inches. Is this also built in.
Also the distance from the center to the holes for the top cap are noy equal one is 27 inches the other is 27.25 inches which one if any is correct?

Is this splitting of the leading edge mesh and the dacron fraying a common problem on Rev kites? As I was going to buy a B series but do not want to spend 250 / $400 on something that will start to deteriorate in such a short time.

I must say I started with an EXP which as I was a novice has stood up to some harsh treatment and although the fraying dacron is a common fault I do not have problems with the LE mesh.

Dave
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#2 goestoeleven

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:18 AM

Foggy Dave -

Is the EXP new and the SLE used? I've had both problems with some of my older (used) Revs, but I haven't had the mesh problem on my new ones. The mesh is just plastic screening, and it gets brittle over time especially at the places where the sail is folded for storing the kite.

The mesh replacement is something I'm considering for a couple of my older Revs. I'm interested to hear from others about whether it should be cut with a curve or not. You can replace it without replacing the whole leading edge by simply removing the existing screening materials and sewing new material in place. Or you can just remove it . . . . I've heard it said that it's not necessary (just search for alden miller's "victoria's secret" kite) . . . but then your kite would be "different" . . . .

The dacron LE frays when the kite slides on sand (or even grass), and I had a bit of a problem with that when I was first flying (and unlearning dual line habits). On the dacron, unless it's really frayed you could just lightly singe/melt the ends with a lighter to stop the fraying instead of replacing the whole strip. It worked for me. Don't catch your sail on fire though ;) so be careful!

I don't have a Pro (yet), but I believe the leading edge on it is beefier/reinforced and therefore much less likely to fray. I think the material is doubled and hot cut on the ends, but I'm not sure as I don't own one. Beautiful construction and flying, the few times I've flown someone else's Pro (thanks Katrina and JB and Jynx and I'm sure several others). I'm sure someone here can chime in on their experience with the Pro's durability.

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#3 foggydave

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

Hi
The SLE and the EXP have been flown for about the same time. I started with Revs in Nov2011 with the EXP and in Feb 2012 I got the SLE off of Ebay nearly new and in pristine condition. The Dacron is fraying because if you cut dacron and do not seal it it will fray. The problem is the strips that hold the vertical spars are also fraying. For the price these things cost the finishing leaves a lot to be desired. The mesh in the SLE is splitting all the way along in one to two inch splits. About 8 splits at the moment (sewn up to repair) but more appear on a regular basis. By the way the splits are all horizontal.
Question. What is the purpose of the leading edge mesh is it for forward motion or reverse motion?
Thanks for the tip on the fire hazard just my luck to do something like that or melt holes in the sail.
My web site http://www.foggydave.co.uk for my humorous stories, ebay sales, and other written bric a brac to hopefully amuse and brighten an otherwise dismal day.

#4 kwmf

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:37 AM

The splits in the screen are almost 99.9% of the time caused due to the method of folding/storage and (to a lesser extent) crashes. When you roll the kite up take care not to fold the mesh, but to rather fold such the mesh is flat and then roll up from there.

Fraying happens, I guess it could be eliminated by doing sewn fold-overs, but thats going to jack up the time taken in construction and impact the price. Once again, a good care and maintenance routine helps here. I've compared a low maintenance regime to a strict one on two revs flown exclusively at the beach and the difference is significant. All my beach flown kites are washed/rinsed off at home the same day and all sand stuck behind the vertical end caps and in the leading edge are brushed off.

The likes of iQuad and numerous other teams put LOTS of airtime, travel time and setup/takedown cycles on their kites and are not suffering any issued on the leading edge or mesh. I've noted my Pro sails are not so prone to fraying as the factory ones, but if you melt the threads carefully the fraying will decrease over time.

#5 kwmf

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

http://www.revkites....ding-edge-mesh/

#6 foggydave

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:18 AM

Thanks for the link. At the moment I do roll the kite up quite tightly. It seems the way to do it is to fold the leading edge and mesh (but not crease the mesh) and then start rolling. The splits are laying horizontaly all along the mesh and not on the lines where I fold the kite in 3 (Bringing the ends in) So it is either my rolling the mesh during takedown or possibly hitting the deck doing dive/stops that don't stop.
I have had a go at sealing the frayed dacron with a fine tipped soldering iron and it works really well.

I am sure I will need to replace the mesh at some time in the near future but if I can keep the leading edge (Dacron) in place the leading edge shape and possible curve should retain its integrity. (I hope) A job for the long winter nights with my seam ripper me-thinks.




My web site http://www.foggydave.co.uk for my humorous stories, ebay sales, and other written bric a brac to hopefully amuse and brighten an otherwise dismal day.

#7 kwmf

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 02:28 PM

So it is either my rolling the mesh during takedown or possibly hitting the deck doing dive/stops that don't stop.


That would do it.

The primary contributer would be folding the mesh during roll up. As you said, make the first roll so the mesh is flat and continue from there. Rolling too tight and not keeping the mesh flat will give you the horizontal tears.

#8 hyzakite

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:24 PM

If and when I take my kites down other than the 3 bungees, 4th one doesn't mean a thing at that point, I don't put the kite back in the sleeve, but when I do put them in the sleeves I never roll my Revs, I do a lazy flip at the ends after the mesh at the leading edge so the mesh is only folded at where the rods are taken apart a few times a year. Another thing would be if mesh is getting messing up by rolling tightly or at all, seems like there would be a lot of messed up vented Revs as the mesh is the same. I have 1 Rev with the mesh messed up, It's a kite I bought used and not as described. Other than that my main Revs are vented with all that mesh across and up and down. Sounds like abuse to me.

#9 Jynx

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

The LE Dacron material is straight, as well as the screening... it's the sail that is cut on a curve... so if you replace the LE and screening don't worry about the curve as you'll be using the original sail (curve) and sewing directly onto that.

When you take the old LE off take note of how it is constructed and how the seams are rolled so you can re-construct in the same manner. Screen is 2" wide (as you will see).

I've repaired several Revs for the same reason you mention... just takes time and patience! (and a little sewing experience doesn't hurt either).

I use "Dritz Wash-Away Wonder tape" (double-faced) to hold materials in place, it doesn't goo-up the needle, and holds well until you get everything in place for sewing. And if necessary, it also allows you to carefully separate the materials (for a re-do) if you need to reposition them.

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#10 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:17 AM

I've got an older Rev1 I bought back in '97/'98 and, (knock on wood), no LE or mesh issues with it!! I've used the "fold, then roll" method for years with no problems!! Can't comment on other issues, but proper maintenance goes a long way to keeping them in top shape!!

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