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Loose mesh on a p38

Recently acquired a 04 P-38 and the mesh is so loose the tire has worn a hole in it. I'm going to attempt a patch on the mesh and was curious what the best method is for tightening the mesh. Is there a secret to the two cords or should I just remove them and go to heavy duty tie wraps?

It probably will not make you feel any better, but what happened to you has also happened to many other Lightning riders.

If you have Boy Scout knot-tying talents, the parachute cord can be made to work well.

If you are not so good with knots, get some ten or eleven inch long black zip ties, rated to 75 pounds or so. Loop the zip ties twice through the grommets before tying them off. Do not tighten them down completely, just get them somewhat tight. Now go for a good long ride, and be sure to press into the seat firmly. When you get home, finish tightening the zip ties, and use a nail clipper to cut off the surplus length. Push the zip tie stubs behind and under the seat so you do not abrade yourself on them accidentally.

I bought a big bag of the zip ties at Home Depot. Like Gorilla tape and hose clamps, they come in handy for many purposes.

Lightning has a new style seat mesh that is easier to get nice and tight than the older one.

Also: every once in awhile, carefully eyeball the frame around the junction of the head tube and the down and top tubes. Also inspect the area where the seat attaches to the frame. The bikes made before 1996 are not as robustly constructed as the later ones. Look for hairline cracks. If you find any, you will need to send the frame back to Lightning for repair. Your frame is probably fine, but some of the bikes with extremely big miles used by heavy riders can crack from metal fatigue.

Good luck with your new-to-you ride.

Safe riding,
Joel

Patch project didnt work, got the mesh good and tight but the integrity of the mesh was to far gone to patch. Will be calling to order a new one soon, just curious if anyone has transitioned to the new round seat on the P38 and how the mesh is designed, is it like the phantom or the P38? I have a phantom and really like the mesh design on it. Should I choose to migrate to the round seat any idea what the old seat frame is worth?

No cracks in the frame, thanks for the advice Joel.

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