General Cycling Discussion - Tuning up an old bike!
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08-27-09, 10:19 PM
Hey guys! Im new on here and this is my first post. I just recently started riding a bicycle that was in my garage for a while and I had received it from someone else and so on... The bike is great, in my opinion. I've never own a ummm road bike, always just 100$ bikes from wal mart and such (mountain bike things). Im a novice/intermediate mechanic and I would like to do some repairs on this bike. It is a TAKARA Advantage. I dont know how old it is but I read that they were big in the 80's? anyway, its rough in a few areas. Lots of dirt all over the gears (which are shimano), the brakes are grabbing loosely, the tire tread is a little thin, and the real problem I want to try and fix is the umm derailer I think? The changer on the left is supposed to move that thing to change the front gears(by the pedals) up to the bigger plate... and the thing that is supposed to be pushing the chain up and down is holding it in the down position, and if i change the gear manually, then it rattles because it rubs up against the derailer (if thats what its called?). I cant tell exactly whats wrong with it except that the cable going to it is frayed badly and doesnt even move the thing when I pull it. Will someone help me with this issue or maybe answer some of my new bicycle questions?? im really excited
08-27-09, 10:27 PM
new cables & housing;
08-27-09, 10:39 PM
also, the front wheel wobbles and I can't seem to tighten it to the frame anymore.
Should I be buying cable online? Im 30 or 40 miles from a bike shop and I dont think wal mart has it? is there somewhere I can get cable, another type of store?
08-27-09, 11:30 PM
Ive been learning about how to adjust the front derailer but Im not sure how I should be adjusting the H and L screws.
If you've turned the H and L screws on the front or rear derailleur then you may as well head over to a bike shop. Those aren't adjustments, they're limit adjustments. You generally set them once and don't change the settings until someone starts "adjusting" them. Then you're screwed if you don't know what you're doing.
You could try www.parktool.com and www.sheldonbrown.com for help.
The Bicycle Mechanics forum (near the top of BikeForums) may also help.
08-28-09, 05:52 AM
Good bike to learn how to wrench with. It looks like you need to adjust that cable up some. Push lthe lever all the way forward and then loosen the nut on the front derailuer and remove the slack out of it. Read up on the sites listed above to adjust it.
08-28-09, 07:20 AM
The wobbling front wheel despite your best efforts to secure it could indicate the need for a hub rebuild. Take the wheel off the bike. Hold it in your hands so that you can spin it. Then push left and right on the wheel while still holding the hub. Do you feel play? If so, you should take the hub apart, clean the bearing races, replace the bearings (ideal, but sometimes can reuse the old ones), regrease, and put back together properly. You'll need some cone wrenches for that work.
My personal approach when presented with a bike with a history like yours is to just tear it down completely, clean and relube everything, replace the cables and housings as a matter of course, replace any broken parts, and then put the bike back together again. There are usually so many little problems from lack of maintenance that it's worth it to just attack them all in one go. I've done that several times for friends. It is time-consuming and tedious work.
Leonard Zinn's book on road bike maintenance is possibly a good buy for you. I have his book on mountain-bike maintenance. It's not my favorite book, but he tends to cover the older parts and standards that I encounter when working on older bikes. Here's a link:
An excellent website with tutorial videos is: http://bicycletutor.com/
Where I buy parts and supplies from online: jensonusa.com, speedgoat.com
It'd be ideal if you can find a friend who works on bikes, who has tools, and who can help you. Otherwise, be prepared for a learning curve, and you really won't save any money by doing the work yourself as a one-off effort. It helps to look at your expenses as "tuition" that pays off in the long haul. You'll make some mistakes too. Count those as part of your tuition.
08-29-09, 09:36 AM
okay cool. I spent a while with it yesterday. Definitely needs all the cables replaced. I think replacing the H L tension cable might be enough to fix that component, hopefully nothing is wrong with it. Someone above told me I screwed the deal by touching those screws... I saw it on bike tutor so i thought it was okay. oh and if someone could please help me with the sidepull brakes? Im having the hardest time getting these to the right setting. The instructional vids haven't helped me much.
Go to the Park tool site. They have a how to page and it is very good. Working on these old bikes is not rocket science but it does require some specialized tools.
Your front hub bearings are loose causing the wobling wheel. You will need some special wrenches to fix it but as stated above. take the hub apart and clean and re-grease the bearings.
Both wheels, the headset, and the bottom bracket need to be taken apart, cleaned and re-greased. replace the cables with good cables and housings, new tires, and a spoke wrench to true up the rims. Go slow with the rims and be patient. You may also need some new brake pads. Ride the crap out of it.
If the derailluers are real dirty you can get a can of brake-clean at the auto store and spray them and the worst of it will just fall off. Do this outside in the grass. It is flamable and pleeeese use goggles to protect your eyes.
08-30-09, 08:58 AM
Way back when I started learning bike maintenance (1970s), the manual I was working from (the one Bicycling magazine publishes) said flatly to never re-use bearings. The bearings will take a set in use, and will never re-align themselves properly.
Bearings are very cheap....
That looks like a typical Japanese roadster of the period; there are still thousands of them running around. Perfectly good bike and as the guys say, a good one to learn basic maintenance on.
09-02-09, 02:18 PM
New cables and a good regreasing are probably not a bad idea. Wal-Mart probably does have the right cables but it will probably be cheaper at a bike shop. I doubt you did any permanent damage adjusting the high low screws. Infact based on what you said if it were my bike that is probably what I would have done too. I am not an expert mechanic or anything. My experience is usually with low end department store bikes of this style from 80's and 90's. I have found that the high low adjustment being off many times has been the cause of my chain not moving and rubbing. Unscrew allows more motion toward gear screw in to limit.
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