One problem with this gear, also because the large difference in size between the granny and middle gear (38T), is that the chain will fall off the granny gear when I'm shifting down to it. To stop this problem I bought a (34.9mm) N-Gear Jump Stop Chain Guide. Because of the pulley near the bottom bracket for the front derailleur, I couldn't get it quite as far down as I would have wanted, but it does seem to have stopped the problem.
Chain-stop from the front.
Chain stop from the side
When I originally put the triple crank on the bike, I found that the chain actually fell off the crankset less frequently than with the original double. With the small granny gear, the problem was worse than with the original double.
In the same vein as the last post, I moved the seat on my Sofrider as far forward as possible as well as lowered the angle of the seat. Lowering the angle means I've reduced my cross section to the wind. Moving the seat forwards means that hopefully my center of mass is now closer to the front wheel to help with wheel slippage when climbing.
You'd think that when somebody is writing about this in a blog called The Recumbent Quant, there would be a quantitative measurement about how much forward the seat has moved, or by how much the angle has changed. Well, don't worry. I'm disappointed in myself too for not having these things. My guess is that the seat angle changed from 50 degrees to about 45 degrees. Part of me would like to be able to lower the seat even more, but given that I use it to pull a trail-a-bike, I think this is about as low as it can go.
New seat position. It few centimeters further forward and probably about 5 degrees more horizontal.
I've been riding this way for about a week. I guess the biggest surprise is that there really isn't much of a difference while riding. The handlebars are further away and feel a bit less "cramped" (although it was never really a problem before) and the viewing angle to my bike computer is a bit worse. And I had to extend the boom so the bottom bracket/crankset moved a bit more forward. So I can tell that the seat is in a different position, but the bike basically feels the same when I'm riding it.
Another possible difference is that by tilting the seat back, I'm able to ride further without "recumbutt" (which is having your butt fall asleep (this is much better than having your "what-what" fall asleep).. This is a problem that I used to have on longer rides. I haven't had any symptoms yet, but I've only ridden for just over 16 miles since I made the change. I'll probably eventually add padding to the seat bottom as well.
I do feel as if I am cruising at a little faster on flat terrain and on my maiden voyage, I hit 39 mph on a course that I've ridden on before without realizing I got anywhere near that fast. And the next day was my fastest every time commuting to work. All of that being said, I'm not really yet convinced how much of a difference it has made (although it's pretty clear that it hasn't gotten any worse). Time will tell.