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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 08-01-12, 03:12 PM   #401
wroomwroomoops
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Originally Posted by mattblast View Post
Brake adjustment: For setting v brakes and u brakes without a third hand tool use a woodworking clamp to lock the brake pads against the rim. Insert thin cardboard scraps as shims between the brake pad and the rim if you want to create a perfect fit the first time. The $3 clamp/spreaders with the nylon covers that Harbor Freight often gives away work really great for this.
Brilliant. I have several woodworking clamps at home (used mostly to glue stuff together, sometimes shoes) but never thought of using them for V brake adjustment. It's true that I have almost no rim brakes in use, nowadays, but I'll certainly use this method for my friends' brakes.
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Old 08-06-12, 04:07 PM   #402
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I can see that this is working for you, a MacGuyver-ish way to store a bunch stuff with minimal $ spent, which brings a certain frugal satisfaction. I can't see this working in my world, however. Murphy sits on my shoulder. I'm Captain Klutz. I have 2 left feet, and they're both club feet, with hangnails. I'm all thumbs, even my face.

In my world I can envision that little loop of twine wouldn't stand nicely open and perky while I fished around over my head with a wheel playing "loop the hook". The loop would pinch or shrivel up, or wimp out & fall over, and personal general-life experience tells me I'd never coax it over the hook without being able to reach the hook. If I could reach the hook conveniently then the tire wouldn't be hanging out of the way. If the tire were high enough to be out of the way then I'd need to climb on something to reach the hook, which adds another whole dimension of hassle & hazard (h&h).

I don't see w98seeng's method as being "harder", although it requires a more permanent dedicated installation. I'd rather just snap a tire into the spring-loaded rollers than try to loop-the-hook.

On the other hand, Amesja's plan will hang almost anything while I w98seen'gs broom clips maybe only work for road wheels(?). I question whether it would work for a fully-shod 29x2.1 complete with thorn-resistant tube - either for the weight or the girth.

Last edited by SqueeKeeNees; 08-06-12 at 04:28 PM. Reason: better wording
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Old 08-18-12, 05:07 AM   #403
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Can't unscrew something. If you can safely heat it enough to melt wax, heat it, rub wax around exposed threads for a bit then try tp unscrew again. Ok to try process several times. If you have ever soldered/sweated copper pipe, this is same. Wax will wick into threads. Works sometimes and much less damage to parts than more forceful methods.
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Old 09-09-12, 05:11 AM   #404
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To re-cable SRAM Griip Shifters with the trap door, use 1.2 mm shift cable. The smaller diameter cables (1.1, I think) will fray every time you try to thread it through the mechanism. This really prevents a lot of aggravation. bk
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Old 09-12-12, 07:41 AM   #405
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One of those little sleeves from a V-brake noodle makes a fine double-ended ferrule, if you're willing to trim a little plastic off one housing end.
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Old 09-12-12, 08:57 PM   #406
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1. When repairing bikes I am unfamiliar with or work on infrequently, I take high resolution digital photos of components at various stages of dis-assembly. When inevitable doubt creeps in or a cell phone call or a meal interrupts,I have a crutch to fall back on. This was a life saver when rebuilding the "Strange" brand of rim brakes I have on my Litespeed, which are no longer produced because the fellow that manufactured them in Canada several years ago, started up a custom furniture business.

2. When handling chains and really grungy chainrings, I always wear thin disposable nitrile rubber gloves, and keep a pair in the bike bag of each of my rides for on-the-road repairs.
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Old 09-15-12, 09:44 PM   #407
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Heat shrink tubing on cable ends instead of crimps. Cheap,looks really sharp and comes in lots of colors.
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Old 09-16-12, 10:11 PM   #408
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I don't put anything on my cable ends because it's a PITA.

Instead, I wrap the shift cables 180 degrees around the clamp bolt, leaving the front one poking down behind the seat tube and the rear one poking back between itself and the derailleur, trimmed to be just long enough to stay there in top gear. Looks way neater. My brake cables, I just bend them a little at the pinch bolt to to tuck in out of harm's way.

I occasionally get a little bit of fraying, but it's nothing I can't twist back into shape; I find this far less hassle than dicking around with cable ends. Also, 2" is enough excess to prevent the disorder of the crushed area reaching the end; no need to have 6" of excess flapping around like some folks.

I was thinking it'd be sweet to solder the ends of my brake cables and cut them off right at the pinch bolt, but that'll be subject to some pretty rigorous testing before I recommend it... although I'm sure it'd be fine for the rear.

Last edited by Kimmo; 09-16-12 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:12 AM   #409
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Tonight I learned that limit screws off a front derailleur will work as centering screws on dual pivot brakes.

Did a tune up for a friend last night so her bike would be ready for a ride this AM. I had to scavenge a set of brake pads and a centering screw for her front brake.

Went to the LBS to get replacement parts for my Trek today and learned the centering screw was not sold seperately. They gave me a bolt that would work, but it had a large head and I did not like it.

So I got in my parts bin and scavenged a limit screw off an old derailleur and voila, I am back in business.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:14 AM   #410
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I don't put anything on my cable ends because it's a PITA.

Instead, I wrap the shift cables 180 degrees around the clamp bolt, leaving the front one poking down behind the seat tube and the rear one poking back between itself and the derailleur, trimmed to be just long enough to stay there in top gear. Looks way neater. My brake cables, I just bend them a little at the pinch bolt to to tuck in out of harm's way.

I occasionally get a little bit of fraying, but it's nothing I can't twist back into shape; I find this far less hassle than dicking around with cable ends. Also, 2" is enough excess to prevent the disorder of the crushed area reaching the end; no need to have 6" of excess flapping around like some folks.

I was thinking it'd be sweet to solder the ends of my brake cables and cut them off right at the pinch bolt, but that'll be subject to some pretty rigorous testing before I recommend it... although I'm sure it'd be fine for the rear.
So what do you do if you have to remove cables and housing for a repair? Get all new cables? One advantage to leaving some excess and using cable end crimps is that you can cut off the old crimp, pull the cable and housing and rerun it, if need be.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-05-12, 11:49 AM   #411
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Sorry if this is a repost, but I'm not reading 17 pages! More of general tips, wash your helmet while in the shower with shampoo. Shampoo washes clean, and does not leave a soapy residue or film. Also, for cool weather rides in which I don't want to carry a vest, use a Tyvek envelope. A large size will easily cover your chest, and is completely windproof. Folds up to almost nothing, weighs almost nothing. And since it's Tyvek material, it does not absorb sweat and get damp.
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Old 12-01-12, 08:20 PM   #412
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Putting a lot of hand cream on and getting it under the fingernails prior to working on the bike makes it easier to clean the hands of grease afterward.
Chicks dig clean hands.
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Old 12-10-12, 03:20 PM   #413
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Life is tough.
Life is tougher when you're stupid.
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Old 12-30-12, 05:02 PM   #414
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Crazy glue does it for me if I want a clean job but still put cable tips on most repairs for others.
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Old 12-31-12, 08:54 PM   #415
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don't use petolium based grease on o rings. if they are rubber, they will swell up.
use silicon gease.
Silicon gease.... that made me chuckle...
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Old 01-08-13, 03:15 PM   #416
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no doubt some of you have priced cone wrenches lately.
And you usually need them in pairs.
So I made some adjustable ones:



They're the $2.99 plastic calipers from Harbor Freight Tools... just drill/tap/ stick a 4/40 screw on the top to hold it in place fer wrenchin'.

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Old 02-06-13, 05:48 AM   #417
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For real mountain biking (i.e. fat tires, relatively low air pressure), the approx. $60 it costs for a Stan's tubeless system kit is the best money you'll ever spend. That is, assuming you have conventional mtb rims and tires. If you've got a factory tubeless system already, whatever it costs for a container of Stan's sealant is the best money you'll ever spend-
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Old 02-21-13, 06:00 PM   #418
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Irregular clicking that sounds like bottom bracket can be a loose saddle.
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Old 02-21-13, 06:21 PM   #419
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Irregular clicking that sounds like bottom bracket can be a loose saddle.
Or a loose/cracked QR in the rear.
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Old 02-25-13, 05:25 PM   #420
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Lube your chain! I know, incredibly basic and not a tip except for other new/intermediate people like me, but what a huge difference. Did mine because the squeaking was getting annoying, and it made a big improvement in ease of pedaling too. Must be a 10% (or more?) improvement in efficiency. Wish I had done it months ago, & of course the squeaks are gone too.

Another one, if you are thinking about getting a bike computer check out bicycle smartphone apps, it may do what you need. The one I use does distance, max speed, average speed, total time, total active time, elevation change, and records the route as well.

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Old 02-25-13, 08:26 PM   #421
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DUI on a bicycle is just as illegal and just as irresponsible on a bicycle as it is in a car or boat! It is the stupidest and most irresponsible thing any person can do while operating ANY vehicle! Plus, the attorneys fees are the same whether you are driving a car or a boat or a bicycle. Got $2500 you don't need or want, there are much better ways to waste it than on an attorney for a DUI, and much safer and MUCH LESS DEADLY too!!
Here in NV, the DUI laws do not apply to "human powered vehicles".

In any event having a beer whilst wrenching on the bike has nothing to do with getting drunk and driving a car. Your rage is a bit misplaced.
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Old 02-25-13, 09:59 PM   #422
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DUI on a bicycle is just as illegal and just as irresponsible on a bicycle as it is in a car or boat!
Pff. It may be just as illegal (which I doubt since it doesn't require a license), but there's no way it's as irresponsible.

What you're saying is that if somebody's tossing up between driving home drunk and riding home drunk, they might as well take the car because it makes no difference.

Utterly idiotic.
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Old 02-26-13, 08:27 AM   #423
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I know I posted this before but cant find it, so here goes again

Far from being a Mensa candidate, I always hard trouble turning on/off pedals until I remembered this tip: turn forward to tighten, backward to loosen. Works from either side, bike upright or upside-down. My often feeble mind must subconsciously interpret this action as forward go, backward no go.
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Old 02-26-13, 08:43 AM   #424
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Apologies if these are already in these 18 pages:
1" section of MTB innertube as lower headset gasket (fork removal required, suitable for 1" or 1 1/8" lowers),
Electrical tape as rim strip for lower pressure tires,
One half of a fork, clamped in vice as single sided truing stand (add your own feeler and reverse wheel to check dish),
More to come as I remember them.
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Old 02-26-13, 11:07 AM   #425
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For any thread, let alone pedals, stick out your right hand (or your left for a left-hand thread), and point your thumb in the direction you want any fastener to go.

Turn in the direction your fingers curl. *BAM*

And electrical tape works on high-pressure wheels too. But you have to pre-stretch it and use a couple of staggered layers, particularly if the nipple holes approach the width of the stretched tape.

Another neat use for electrical tape (or better, duct tape, which is pretty much the same stuff but wider): say you have a Shimano-geared wheel you want to run on a Campy-shifted bike, and say it's 9 speed, then your cassette spacers need to be 0.2mm thicker.

Guess what, PVC tape is 0.1mm thick.
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