Have a cup of coffee while you're setting up to do a repair.
Have a beer if said repair isn't going well.
Agreed, it's not zero; my not-too-clear point was that it shouldn't be enough to loosen a properly tightened cup.
Always remove the cap from the valve stem before attempting to add argon...I mean air.
Sometimes, when you have a flat and are not too far from home, you might be able to inflate the tire and cycle for a few kilometers, then reinflate it again etc. until you get back, and fix the tube in a more cosy environment.
Related to this, check also this and this post.
And if you have a gear hub and/or rollerbrake, check this.
Never fix things that aren't broken the night before an event...they're guaranteed to break and the LBS is closed.
Tubes with holes in them have a tendency to leak.
Never forget that bikes are really simple machines. Derailleur adjustment is a little bit of voodoo, but anyone can learn it. BB removal and replacement requires extreme care and cleanliness to avoid damaging very shallow threads. Beyond that, everything is easy. bk
Adjusting the chainline on a FG or singlespeed bike - and you don't have the right BB width. Now, of course, you can play around with the dishing of the rear wheel (remember that you have also to move around the spacers on the rear wheel's axle, or else you didn't really "get it" how redishing the rear wheel is supposed to change the chainline), but there's a better way, if your chainline is off by only a few mm: spacers on the chainring bolts.
And not only that: if you have a road crank, you don't necessarily have to put your chainring in the outer position - remember, there's the inner position, too. So you can put the chainring there thus moving the chainline closer to the bike's central symmetry plane.
A straight chainline is critical. Just one mm away from the perfect straight parallel can mean a falling chain, and I don't have to tell you how annoying and even dangerous that can be.
Oh, and related to chainring bolts: can't tension some of the bolts properly, because they are slipping? Clean with a degreaser or with alcohol the affected surfaces to remove any trace of grease or oil. Often that's all you need to do, but if it's not enough, apply a little bit of acetate glue - actually, I found that any paper glue will work fine, including wheat starch glue (if you can even find such anymore (I'm passionate about antique book conservation, so I have my sources...)). Wait till it dries a bit before tightening the chainring bolt.
NOTE: You apply the glue to the surfaces of the bolts that face the chainring, not the threads.
If your derailleur is out of sorts, and you are going to go through an adjustment sequence, always do this first. Run the chain down to the smallest cog. Check for slack in the shifter wire at the derailleur. If there is slack, loosen the pinch bolt and pull it out. Retighten, and you are ready to do your adjustments. bk
Buy a fresh set of hex wrenches every once in a while. Much cheaper than stripped bolts and extractor kits.
One other hex wrench tip: not all hex wrenches are created equally. Cheaper tools are much softer and are much more likely to round out hex recesses while rounding the corners of the tool at the same time. Quality hex keys are a good investment to make.
I know there are a lot of uses for old/worn out/too many holes inner tubes but the other day I was out of patches and so I thought about it and determined to give it a shot. I cut out a piece of "old" inner tube, cleaned it along with the spot where there was a hole with rubbing alcohol then buttered (put rubber cement) on both pieces. The place where the hole was in the inner tube and the cut piece of inner tube. So far so good. No problems for over two weeks now, so it doesn't look like I'll be buying any "patches" in the near future.
Carry a $5 bill when you ride.
It will buy some food if you bonk hard.
It will boot a torn tire sidewall.
It is enough to bribe someone in a car for gas money if you break down, and is better than carrying a $10 or $20 as they are guaranteed to "not have change".
You aren't likely to find an impulse buy along your route that a $5 bill will cover, sparing you spending it.
To remove a square-taper crank, the full procedure:
When you screw in the puller, be sure that the "plunger" - the inner screw - doesn't bottom on the axle before the outer screw bottoms in its hole. If it does, it will feel like the puller is all the way in, but it may not have more than a few threads.
When pulling square-taper cranks:
- Visually inspect the crank, checking that there isn't a washer in the hole or parts of the dust cap still in the crank threads.
- Always screw the plunger all the way out before inserting the puller.
- Don't use a wrench to set the puller in the crank unless necessary. If you can't get it in with your fingers, then something is wrong (usually, the threads are damaged). You can use the wrench when you think it's finally all the way in to be sure it isn't hung up, or to force it past damaged threads but be sure it's not crossthreading.
- Count the number of turns the puller makes when inserting it. That will tell you how many threads are engaged. Anything less than about 6 and you're taking a risk.
- If the plunger is tight and the crank doesn't want to come off, tap the end of the plunger with a metal hammer a couple times. The vibrations should cause the crank to loosen. It may pop loose, or loosen just a bit. If it doesn't pop loose, try turning the plunger again to take up any new slack and repeat.
instead of trying to rub talc,cocoa,baby powder,... or whatever onto your tube,... put the talc in a plastic bag with the tube and act as if you were getting ready to bake the tube and shake it. this will get the entire tube covered very quickly.
torque specs can always be related to bottles of beer placed on the the end of a 12 inch wrench
when installing a tube make sure that the valve is in the middle of the largest label on the side of the tire... "it looks professional and will help you to locate the source of flats" - the art of wheelbuilding
before you build a wheel read Zinn's The Art of Wheelbuilding
stop working on other peoples bikes if you don't want to work on your own anymore
don't spend all of your time on this website reading about bikes, get your @$$ in the saddle and ride!
I try not to reply to posts in this thread, but I feel this one time I'll make an ecception: it's not at all a mandatory requirement to (buy and) read that book. Sheldon Brown's article on wheelbuilding is detailed and will enable anyone to build rock-solid 1st class wheels.
I have followed his instructions, and all my wheels are bombproof and true.
Use old spoke nipples as cable ends , just slide the nipple over the cable end, shank end first, squease the nipple shank with the wire cutting jaws of a pair of pliers (gently) to fix to the cable then nip off the head of the nipple with the wire cutters.
[QUOTE=wroomwroomoops;5277707]This seems like an eccellent hint, thanks! Will it work just as well with nickel-plated brass nipples, or only aluminum? Brass nipples might be a bit too burly for the wire cutters.[/QU
I,ve only used the normal n.p. brass nipples , the wire cutters on an ordinary pair of pliers are more than adequate for the job.
The following information shouldn't be divulged to anyone outside of this very small circle of forum members.
Ride your bike to a thrift store and head for the women's section. Find the rack with the exercise clothes and start browsing. Amongst the leotards and fluorescent track suits, you'll find decent cycling gear there (for women and men). Jerseys, cycling shorts, and even rain gear, often of good quality and condition. I guess the people that organize clothing at thrift stores don't recognize the value of these items and misplace them.
Not that there's a whole lot of difference anyway. A lot of that stuff in the women's "athletic" section are made from the exactly same materials as expensive brand-name cycling gear, and usually half the price.
If you have a bent derailleur hanger, find and old, worthless hub axle with the same threading (I can't remember the exact threading off the top of my head), thread it into the hanger, and use as a lever to bend it back. This works amazingly well, from my experience, but there is the possibility of stripping the threads.
... or, alternately, put it in a vice and go at it with a pain of channel lock pliers, perhaps with some wood in the jaws to keep from biting into the hanger. Bend it, look, bend it, look...
It'll never be perfectly aligned and sooner or later it will be too soft to keep using, but until that happens, you can extend the life of the thing dramatically.