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06-17-02, 12:08 PM
Dave, I'm wondering what you have done to prepare for any mechanical issues you may come across. Have you ever replaced a spoke? Trued a wheel? Or fixed a bent derailleur hanger?
I would love to do long distance touring, but I have no mechanical skills. I can hardly true my own wheels. Iím confident cleaning my bikes, and doing monthly tune ups, for anything slightly major, itís off to the LBS.
06-17-02, 05:54 PM
Well Joe, its funny you should ask because this subject is something I've been thinking about lots in the past couple of days. As a matter of fact, I just got back from the LBS a couple hours ago. I got my wheels trued for the trip and got some extra spokes. Its only the 3rd time I've had the wheels trued since I've had the bike.
I try to learn as much as I can about mechanics since it will just be me and the machine out there. I bought Zinn's Art of Mountain Bike maintenence in the fall and I am embarrassed to say I haven't looked at it much at all. But I like to ask the LBS as many questions as possible, as well as address certain issues here on BF.
As far as what I can do. I learned how to roughly true my wheels using the break pads and a keen eye. It takes some practice, but I think you can save lots of money learning how to do this, and cut your LBS truing down to just when absolutely necessary or when getting the bike fully tuned.
I learned how to replace spokes too. I've done this twice. I just learned, however, that there are different sized spokes on the tires! But the LBS told me its not a huge thing to worry about unless you are rebuilding your wheel. I guess there are 3 different sizes. Rear, Rear casette side, and front.
I haven't messed with replacing cables or tuning the deraileur yet, but I probably will learn all that soon enough.
I try to keep the bike nice and clean and lubed, but I slack sometimes. I think when I get into the touring routine, it will be easy to throw bike maintenence into the mix.
As far as what I am bringing, I go off of common sence and experience (what little I have) and the advice of others. I am bringing 6 extra spokes, 6 extra chain links, one extra break pad, tubes, patch kit, 1 extra tire for bike and 1 extra tire for BOB.
Speaking of tubes, I've learned that many cyclists like to just toss the tube after a flat. I think thats rediculous and would much rather prolong the life with use of patches.
I am also bringing grease, lube oil, a small tube of anti-seize grease for the pedals and suspicious screws.
I just went out today and got a spare deraileur cable and a casette tool off of Catfish's recommendation.
I think I will be bringing a small crescent wrench for the pedals and of course my Alien Multitool. I also have a leatherman.
I think that about covers it. I think I will take my Zinn Maintenance book for the flight to read through then send it back home when I reach AK.
I am not sure if you can be completely prepared for everything. I wish I could say I was, but who knows. I am a little nervous about how the 414 miles of gravel road to Fairbanks will wear on my bike.
06-17-02, 08:10 PM
You might want to pack another brake pad or two. If it rains the pads could get worn real quick riding thru gravel.
06-18-02, 12:47 AM
I have one extra. And I probably don't have one of something I might need. Thanks for the tip though. Man, this stuff is heavy! I can't wait till it starts supporting itself more!