Poll

How handy are you?

You may select up to 10 options.

Author Topic: Fix it

sam

Fix it
« on: May 19, 2012 »
This post is about repairing or modifying a bicycle. For other, darker uses, see "Is it fixed?" (disambiguation)

©?

Poll choices not necessarily in order of difficulty.

I have some odd gaps – I've never taped bars or tightened a spoke! – but I'm now competent enough to have become a rare visitor to the surgery. It probably helps that my bikes are simplespeeds.

sam

The tool for the job
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015 »
It's relaxing working on bikes, if you have the right tools. If you don't, it can quickly become the opposite of relaxing. On the other hand, there's something satisfying about trying to solve a problem...

Another day, another noise. Was it the seatpost shim? (No.) How to remove it to find out? The shim was bedded in, resisting every attempt coax it out with pliers, screwdrivers, and other questionable extraction tools. Nor did the seatpost clamp want to be used as a wrench. Then it struck me: my printer's gauge.



I used to be a typesetter, before desktop publishing came along and gave everybody the serif and sans-serif keys to the kingdom. This ruler was my going away present to myself. No mere memento, it has often come in handy, usually to guide an X-Acto knife for little projects.

I slid it down through the groove in the shim, gave it a twist, then pulled up. It was the perfect size – both edges of the ruler head rested on the bottom of the shim.



If that hadn't worked, I suppose a hanger could've been sacrificed for the cause, or the pin spanner which became part of my patent pending device might've done the trick, but I like that my old printer's friend now has an honorary place in my cycling toolbox.

sam

and then it just clicked
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015 »




Fortunately bicycle repair is on my bucket list.

sam

Archimedes strikes again
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018 »
Problem
Apparently afraid that pedal may one day wish to part company with crank, I give it so much English a regular pedal wrench won’t Brexit it off.

1st attempt, if you don’t count removing crank+pedal and beseeching a mechanic at a bike shop to remove it for me, to be told he’d probably scratch up the crank and it would have been better not to take it off the bike and bring that instead, which wasn’t convenient:

I fashioned a Frankensteinian tool consisting of a normal human sized pedal wrench, a cut down spare part from a metal shelving unit hammered in shape to grip it, a length of wood, and lots of duct tape.




You get the idea.


Close up showing fine detail. For avoidance of doubt, it wasn't supposed to bend like that.

Solution
Bit the bullet and ordered Park Professional Pedal Wrench, shown here to scale:


sam

Turn it up
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019 »
The newest tool in my toolbox is also the oldest, in a way:



For over a decade now I’ve been trying to keep this Litespeed quiet:



No matter what I do, eventually it starts creaking again.

I give up.

on edit: or not

sam

Fix it
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019 »
The impossible has happened. ↑ is currently being examined by a mechanic, apparently happy in his work, who has made it his mission to find the source.


Good thing I had this fainting couch installed at NACF.

He's had it for over a week now, fitting it in whenever possible. I'm just leaving him to it, fingers crossed.

UPDATE: He kept it for a month+. Couldn’t figure it out. Didn’t charge me(!), while at the same time crossing stuff off the list. After bringing it home I then had the idea of swapping out the chainring, which seemed an unlikely culprit, but presto! Quiet. Until next time.

UPDATE: This saga is now spread across multiple threads and forums. As of late January '22 the bike is free of unauthorised noises.

Little victories
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2022 »
Give me a sticky enough lever, in this case with the help of loctite, and I shall remove the rounded chainring bolt.



Others must have arrived at this solution long before it occurred to me, but if so, I have yet to see it in the literature.* Beats drilling ~ especially if you're no good at drilling ~ that's for sure.


* on edit: Meaning in all my searches. Until now. Even so I had to specifically search for it. It tends to be all drilling or jamming things in.

PS. I'm afraid to watch that video.

The tell-tale heart
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2022 »
Chains 'stretch', or wear out. (So do hearts.) "Chain's a bit slack" went the common admonition on forums I used to frequent. Being the owner of a perfect gear'd Litespeed,


True Love

the state of the heart of my bike



is something that needs particular attention.

Having solved one tormenting issue, another threatened to rear its head: the curse of being too tight.



As well as causing premature wear on components, it's just plain noisy, as cogs aren't perfectly round and so the teeth on one side bite in, particularly when it's under strain. This must have come up before in the 14 or so years I've run this singlespeed, but I never paid much attention because mea culpa I'm almost always listening to music,


and anyway, would have figured they stretch in time.

It might not have been a bad idea to educate myself on this subject before now. Bikeforums, what say ye?

Quote
Quote
Quote
The chain should be just right Goldilocks.

The chain should be as loose as it can be without falling off.

THIS IS TRUTH.

I wish people would reverse their thinking on this. Chains should be loose, not tight. You'll probably be able to see sag in the chain all the way around with the cranks. That's great, as long as you can't derail your chain (careful with your fingers.)

I'm going to go ahead and accept twelsch42's truth unless a better one comes along. This does, however, present me with a problem. How to never run a chain which isn't too tight on a bike with only one setting, as it were?

Unless that half-link I have on order does the trick (I have a vague memory of trying that before), it looks like I'll need to wear in chains destined for the Litespeed on one of my bikes with horizontal dropouts, which means installing larger chainring and cog on the donor bike as the chain has to be long enough for a transplant. Either that or see if anyone sells them pre-stretched. Now there's an untapped market...

Update: Of course, the half-link made it too long. Two bikes are now on stretching duty, but I should probably give Sheldon Brown's axle filing trick a go.

Next on the agenda
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2022 »

At the risk of tempting fate.

That old time religion
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2022 »
Actually something did need doing, I've been procrastinating. Also I needed to order a file.

If the congregation will turn back to the Old Testament Book of Sheldon, the chapter called Derailerless Bicycle Drivetrains, the verses about Kludges:

Quote
It is also possible to grind or file a flat on each end of the axle to allow a bit more adjustment.

Fortunately I had an old wheel to practice on, as it's not easy getting both sides flat at exactly the same spot. In fact I didn't quite manage it either time. Even so, it worked! To my surprise. Doesn't take much to make a big difference.

Unfortunately no pics, so technically none of this happened.