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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 02-14-08, 05:42 PM   #126
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Location: mostly flat florida though I do live near the ridge I have 200' foot elevation ride wich is rare!!
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To get more leverage with your wrenches take the box end on the nut your are loosening and use another
wrench's box end to hook into the open end on the other wrench, It will double the length and power!!
It is a good trick to know when you are on the road and instead of carrying a socket set and a breaker bar
just carry the wrenches that you need and not carry extra weight!! Silver antisieze is a life saver and there
is no reason to not use it especially aluminum bike owners!! it will prevent electrolysis, corrosion, galling and
stripped threads. Even carbon, titanium and steel riders will benefit from using it on the water cage bolts since
a few drops or the condensation dripping onto it will essentially make a battery, To make a battery all you need
is two dissimilar metals and an electrolyte (water, gatorade etc.) and the process takes metal from one metal
and gives it's electron to the other.
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Old 02-15-08, 02:40 PM   #127
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If you don't have a cable cutter handy, you can cut excess brake cable off with a moto-tool fitted with a cut-off wheel. I'm not sure if this works well for the cable casing.
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Old 02-19-08, 03:18 PM   #128
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How to remove a stripped bolt with a Dremel (pics!)
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Old 03-11-08, 02:55 PM   #129
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If you have one of those freewheels that cannot be removed save for the destrucive method described at ParkTool's website but you would STILL like to reconstruct it afterwards - here's how.

One pic from "before" the reconstruction - this is the so-called inner body of the freewheel:

And a pic of the "after". Notice the wear on the teeth. That's how you know I actually removed (destructively) and rebuilt the sucker:

  1. The biggest problem are the pawls. What I did was, I carefully degreased the inner body and the pawls (you'll see why), put the springs and the pawls back into place, and then secured them with normal, transparent, adhesive tape The tape is wider than the height of the pawls several times, and that's good, because it will protrude from the top once you put the outer body on. The tape is also the reason you have to degrease the inner body and pawls carefully: otherwise, the tape just won't stick well enough.
  2. Now it's time to put some heavy grease into the lower race of the inner body. I used Mobilgrease Special NLGI 2. It's a kind of lithium grease. Then put the ball bearings in there.
  3. Put the outer body on top. The pawls, being flush with the inner body due to the tape that keeps them there, won't be any obstacle.
  4. Time to remove the tape. You will need a small screwdriver, possibly with a flat head or torx, to keep the pawls IN (by keeping them down) while you pull the tape OUT. Use common sense while doing this - start pulling the tape from the free end and work your way around. This is extremely simple, actually.
  5. Put back the spacers on the inner body.
  6. Now just put grease in the upper race of the outer body and put the other half of the ballbearings in.
  7. Screw on the lockring and you're done.
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Old 03-12-08, 01:07 PM   #130
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tricks and shortcuts

One useful trick someone once told me relates to keeping the ends of brake/gear cables in good condition. If you solder the non nipple end, it will pass through the outer sheath without the individual wires spreading. When the cable is ultimately in place, instead of using those crimp-on cable ends it is easy to use the protective sheathing from domestic electric cabling. You may have to soften the sheathing in hot water or with a cigarette lighter first.
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Old 03-13-08, 02:10 PM   #131
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I had a front deraileur cable break while I was 40 miles from nowhere. The break was right at the derailer so I only needed a couple of inches to fix it. I removed the housing from the cable guides in the frame and butted the cable housing ends to each other. After readjusting the cable it worked as good as new until I could replace the cable.
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Old 03-24-08, 11:20 AM   #132
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Or you could just dig in each ear and use wax. Varying earwax color does not affect performance.
Ken "I can hear better now" Matthews

Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
Another tip: if you find yourself cycling in some place in Africa, Indonesia etc. temporarily without access to good lubricants for your bike components, be it chain or bearings, you can use coconut oil. It will work fine for all the components that need lubing (usually it's the chain to cause these emergencies) and it's impervious to peroxidation. (in fact, coconut oil, virgin or refined, has the lowest peroxidation index of all organic non-mineral oils). In other words, it won't get rancid for a very long time.

It's less than ideal in very cold climates, but in the above example that's not a problem.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:46 PM   #133
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work stand in a hurry

hello all,

I needed a workstand one day so i came up with this in 10 minutes, oh and yeah you can use it to carry bikes on your towbar too!
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File Type: jpg rack timber.JPG (29.8 KB, 304 views)
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Old 04-15-08, 03:10 PM   #134
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I needed a mirror for use with a bike stored in another state. We had a dental inspection mirror with a plastic handle. I heated the plastic with very hot water and bent it so it would work mounted on my eyeglasses. I cut some off of the back end of the handle so it did not push past my ear. I ground a flat spot along the handle for the proper orientation. Then I made a groove in the flat spot with a Dremel tool and a burr. It attaches to the bow of my glasses with a little masking tape. I have used it for several hours of riding in city traffic and it works fine.
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Old 04-15-08, 06:28 PM   #135
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Someone on this forum taught me to clean my chain by applying plenty of fresh motor oil with an oil can and then wiping the chain in a cloth as it runs backwards. The oil floats the grit off and lubricates it at the same time. I needed to do this where no oil can could be found. I got a 1 quart plastic bottle of motor oil and drilled a small hole in the cap. Turn the bottle over and squeeze ever so gently. The right amount of oil will run out onto the chain.
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Old 04-17-08, 01:47 PM   #136
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When refurbing an ancient pair of Mafac "Racer" centre-pull brakes for my 1970 road bike restoration ( I bought a pair of these brakes new back in '72 - wish I'd kept 'em!) everything was good & polished but the thin red plastic washers that go behind the pivot bolt heads were missing. I couldn't find any on the web or at any bike shops, so decided to make some. I remembered the originals on my previous set were made of slippery soft plastic that damped the vibration from the brake arms & let them move freely. Fibre washers won't do & anything but red is wrong. I found 2 steel washers the right diameter & bore and a nut & bolt that fitted them. Cut down the lids of 4 empty Fairy liquid bottles to leave a rough disc larger than the steel washers. Threaded one steel washer on the bolt then the plastic discs then a steel washer & the nut & tightened it. Placed the shank of the bolt in an electric drill and gently sanded the plastic down to the edge of the steel washers with fine grade emery paper. Hey presto! A set of perfect repacement washers, even the right colour and material. They work great and look genuine. This idea might work for other components with similar parts and it's free!
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Old 07-19-08, 07:44 PM   #137
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tip and question

To clean your road rims quickly and easily, grab a cloth with degreaser or whatever, hop on, start rolling, roll cloth into a ball, reach down and CAREFULLY apply cloth to front and rear rim surfaces. Make sure you have plenty of space to ride in a straight line. Have done this many times on long, rainy/muddy rides. Careful, the rear wheel is tricky.

Question: How do you perfectly align road brake/shift levers on drop bars? What tricks to pro wrenches use.
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Old 07-23-08, 04:27 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
When you're attaching your cleats to your shoes, especially with MTB shoes, fill the hex holes with melted wax (just drip it off a candle). Then, when it's time to tighten/adjust/replace your cleats all you have to do is melt the wax out with a lighter rather then spend 10mins chipping out 2 years worth of well packed clay.

That is frikkin GENIUS! (I just spent 10mins chipping out 2 years worth of well packed clay.)

My tip:

When tightening your stem onto your $1800 World Cup forks with a Carbon Fiber steer tube, you don't have to torque it until the carbon fiber cracks... Yes, I found out the hard way.

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Old 08-01-08, 07:32 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
I swear I saw some posts in this thread about chemicals that can be used to remove rust from parts but perhaps it was in another thread.......

Do a forum search for Oxalic Acid, and you'll get all the information you need. Commonly known as wood bleach, it comes in crystalline form and is easily available at most hardware stores.

A little pinch dissolved in a hot water solution works wonders if you let it sit overnight. I use it all the time with small chrome bits (dérailleurs, cable stops, etc) with fantastic results.
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Old 08-06-08, 06:15 PM   #140
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very nice tricks!! Thx boys
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Old 08-31-08, 06:39 PM   #141
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Keep a long steel "fixin pipe" around, you can put it on the ends of wrenches and get tons more leverage

uhh this is aq good idea to undo stuff but DO NOT use it to tighten things, it will WRECK THEM, me and my brother both used it on our crank arms to tighten them when they were loose, when i wanted to replace mine, i couldnt get the crank arms off, i ended up having to use a heavy duty grinder to cut them off and it cost me several hundred pounds to replace all of the parts that were damaged.... dont ever try cut the spindle with a hack saw....
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Old 09-04-08, 12:41 PM   #142
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8 speed Campagnolo shifters and derailleur can be used with modern Shimano hubs. I took an 8 sp. SRAM cassette and a 7 sp. shimano cassette apart, put the 7 speed spacers in between the 8 speed cogs, and put the new cassette on my 9sp shimano wheelset. Works like a charm, and the parts are much easier to find parts than an 8 speed campy wheelset (at least in my neck of the woods).
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Old 09-08-08, 07:28 PM   #143
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Put some thick oil (ie: Phil Wood's) in your lock's key hole to prevent it from freeze in the winter. I've learn that one the hard way. Lock de-icer (which I had to go to three gas stations to find the middle of the winter) didn't work. I had to resolve to using my lighter (thank FSM I'm a smoker!) to get the ice inside the lock to melt. I now carry around a small butane torch. It then happened once more, but that time I was prepared. But since having added some oil, I've had no other freeze.

Carry around a bunch of tie-wraps, it'll hold many things and even replace bolts & nuts while you get home/to the hardware store/lbs, comes in one (or two) size fits all and weights less than their value in cash at the dollar store.

Straps holds things on a rack better than bungee-cords.

If you've just reinstalled your seat after having locked your bike, and realized a couple of blocks afterwards that it's not straight, you can usually straighten it by grabbing the seat with your thighs, unclipping the quick release, repositioning and re-clipping. Make sure you have a fair stretch in front of you!
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Old 09-17-08, 09:44 AM   #144
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Here's an interesting article on the materials that are, or could be used for bike frames. Slightly technical, but very readable.
Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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Old 09-18-08, 08:54 AM   #145
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When installing pedals, I just remember that the right pedal goes in the "right way" (righty tighty, lefty loosey). The left pedal is not "right."
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Old 09-21-08, 02:04 AM   #146
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broken V-Brake spring workaround

On a bike tour I had to notice that one of the springs which retract the V-brake from the rim had broken, causing the brake to stay on the rim on this side. Just unhooking the remaining spring did not help, leaving the brake pads still rubbing on the rim. Two ball pencil springs put over the brake cable between the brake levers solved the problem.
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Old 09-23-08, 09:30 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by DMF View Post
Here's an interesting article on the materials that are, or could be used for bike frames. Slightly technical, but very readable.
This article is really interesting. Thanks!
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Old 10-04-08, 11:33 AM   #148
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PSA - Rim Tape - save your scraps

I had to replace a rounded nipple so I cut an X into the rim tape over the hole to replace it but neglected to patch the hole before reinstalling the tube/tire. Didn't think about the tube finding it's way into that breech under 100lbs of air pressure and popping...

Glad I saved the 6" of rim tape scraps I trimmed off when putting the tape on my wheelset. A 1" piece patched the hole on the rim tape securely.

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Old 10-04-08, 06:20 PM   #149
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i was pretty proud today. i'm at college with no tools, and i needed to rebuild my wheel. so to get the tire off with no spoons, i used the little handle on the bike pump. the one that puts the pressure on the valve. it was pretty cool.
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Old 10-09-08, 08:44 AM   #150
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If you're working with little parts it's a good idea to have a magnet handy... Something like an ashtray magnet thingy (they sell them at AutoZone) I also have old speaker magnets in the garage from blown speakers that come in handy.
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