GT “Glide Technology” Hot Rod Kit Review
Courtesy of Shogunofthecity
As soon as I heard the news that the GT parts for Hobies latest and greatest in drive technology had hit the market, I grabbed my phone and called Hobies customer service to get the details directly from the source. After playing 20 questions with the very knowledgable and helpful representative, I was more than confident about the new technology and requested the part numbers so I could contact my dealer. Basically what the new system is composed of is an ingenious design. The Mirage Drive is made up of 5 moving parts: Two Hubs that attach to the two pedals that you operate. Two Sprockets that take the power from the hubs and transfer that to the fins. And an Idler Pulley that ties it all together. Now as we all know the Mirage Drive has got to be the single greatest invention of the 21st century, lol, well at least to an angler like me. Let me tell you my thoughts on how something Great can become Amazing! To understand the improvements one must first know the original. The original drive is made up of cast plastic that pivots on a stainless steel shaft much like a solid bushing: hard plastic sliding on stainless steel. This is an effective but crude design to achieve movement, as there will always be friction, and being that plastic is much softer than stainless steel, one part will always suffer from the friction caused, and over time the tolerances will grow, and drive efficiency will be lost. What the new GT “Glide Technology” parts include are new Roller Bearings made up of the same plastic material as the components themselves. Using similar densities of moving components is a key to the longevity of wear and tear of any system. The use of Full Length Rods that are the entire thickness of the component, appears to eliminate any chance of play to ever develop whatsoever in the future. So the new system is now composed of: A stainless steel shaft, with greased rolling rod bearings to roll around the shaft, creating frictionless system. And let me tell you, when I first completed the installation, my only comparison would have to be that it was as smooth as Hot Butter! I will admit it was such a difference that before I ever put it in the water I had a thought that it could be to smooth, lol, as peddling it in the air felt kind of out if control. But once I hit the water, boy oh boy…. This thing is an absolute dream come true. A night and day improvement. So I really wanted to give it a real good run through and test before I wrote up this review for my CCKF crew. I have already been on several trips and logged over 50 miles with the new drive, and I am proud to say that it is even smoother now than when I first installed it. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the product, and I highly recommend it to all my CCKF friends. Several times since the install I have had boaters holler at me that I am in a No-Wake zone as I am jamming by them. I have over heard boaters talking amongst themselves like “Hey check out that guy on a kayak way out here!” as I was totally slaying stripers with a modified bounce ball rig in 180fow. I have never been one to complain about putting my head down for an hour at a time to cover miles on the water, but I honestly never imagined it could get this much better! I hope this sheds some light to fellow Hobie owners about upgrade options, and that some first hand feedback may be helpful to those who are on the fence.
These are the part numbers for those that are interested, as you may have to inform your preferred dealer that they are even available.
81175001 – Drum – GT with Bearings (2) @ $39.99
81127001 – Sprocket – GT with Bearings (2) @ $21.99
81123001 – Idler Plley – GT with Bearings (1) @ $6.99
The installation process was very straight forward. Simply remove the rod bearings from the new components. Lightly cover with a Marine grease and re install into the housings. Then simply replace the old components with the new. I will be happy to answer any questions about installation should they come up; Please feel free to ask!
These are the new Rod Bearings of the New “Glide Technology” Components:
The freshly installed components:
The Completed System:
Courtesy of Shogunofthecity
Thanks for the very informative and detailed post of this upgrade. I’m currently doing the same thing but I notice that the drums do not have threads cut for the pedal shaft bolts. Did you tap these or did you just turn the bolts into the plastic allowing them to cut their own threads?
Just turn them into the plastic with steady preasure and the threads will cut in perfectly. Let me know if anything else comes up, and please let us all know how you like the upgrade!
Where did you purchase these parts from? I have an outback and would love even more power too.
Check locally at Morro Bay Landing they can order all the parts for you.
S let me get this straight. The roller bearings are plastic? And the shaft they roll on is stainless steel? Or is this system all high impact plastic? My concern was when I had heard of the system, was that if the bearings were stainless steel they would corrode in the salt water. As we all know Stainless Steel is effected by salt water. And your effort or pressure you use to pedal the yak is much less. Do you think half or quarter less effort used to pedal the yak. I get the acid build up burn in my legs, and I usually power through the burn. It would be nice not to have to do that.
The website of a large Hobie retailer states that the GT drums will not fit the V1 and V2 drives, but a customer responded on the same site that they do indeed fit which coincides with the information in your post. Why the confusion?
Chas, This install was on a V2 drive so I can say for sure that they do fit perfectly.