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Old 03-10-09, 01:49 PM   #1
andronoctus
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spring tune up, some help needed

hi,
snow melted, time to fix whatever isn't quite right after sitting her in a shed all winter. first things first:
rear brake on disc brakes...got the pads re-adjusted, but the cable housing is pulling out of the brake lever up front. it's probably about half an inch of movement, but it's making the brake handle feel squishy. How do i solve that?
secondly: rear deraillure (sp) will move small to big fine, but either hangs for a second or needs an extra half shift to go big to small. Cable seems fine, how do i adjust this to fix?
finally:
The cassette and chain rings are showing a bit of corrosion, apparently i didn't get them as clean as i thought i had. Both are shimano components. Does anyone know of a jury rigged tool to get the cassette off so i can soak and clean it?

post-finally: this is the nub question to top all the above: At what points does the brake assembly and rear/front deraillure need lubricant, if any?
thanks in advance, o helpful mechanic sages...
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Old 03-10-09, 01:52 PM   #2
X-LinkedRider
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Not your typical how do I lube my chain questions. all very good in my humble opinion as I am also looking for a tool to take the cassettes off of a bunch of back wheels as well.
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Old 03-10-09, 05:28 PM   #3
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Sounds like you need to take up some of the slack in the brake cable. You really should just get a proper cassette tool, unless you don't want to keep any of the components involved.
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Old 03-10-09, 05:39 PM   #4
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To take off the cassette you need a 'chain whip' [not from the fetish store!] and a cassette lockring tool. You can make your own chain whip with a slab of metal and a piece of old bike chain, or you can buy one for about 20 bucks. This will give you leverage for when you loosen the cassette via the lockring tool which has a bunch of little splines that match up to where the cassette meets the wheel hub. These tools are good investments. As a fellow newb, these are two of the first bike-specific tools I invested in. Make sure the lockring tool is for shimano cassettes.

I'm guessing your brake cable could use a few drops of oil into the housing up front to stop it from wanting to pull the housing out of the lever [corrosion on the cable inside, perhaps] - but the housing its self might just be too crunched down to be adequately grabbed by the lever body anymore. New housing and cable aren't expensive and would likely solve the problem. You might just need a ferrule [fat nub piece] on the end of the housing where it goes into the lever. Again, just guessing here, really.

For the rear derailleur, I'm guessing you need a little less tension on the cable. Try twisting the barrel adjuster [fat nub where cable meets derailleur] to the right - top side moving away from the spokes. Turn it 3/4 of a turn or so and see if shifting improves.

It's a good idea from time to time to lube the moving joints in the derailleurs and brake levers to keep the action smooth and proper. Your shifting issues might be a combination of cable tension and gunked up/corrosion inhibiting proper movement. Look for anywhere that pieces hinge around a pin and squirt a little CLP or lube of choice.
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Old 03-15-09, 05:29 PM   #5
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just an update: 2 hours later and at least 20 minutes of washing my hands, the cassette is cleaned, the front two chain rings are clean, lubed the derailluers, wiped down everything, replaced the chain and fixed the brake cable. Turns out that it was a combination of crap in the housing entrances that was screwing the cable, so after i cleaned that out and yanked the cable nice and hard it works just fine. I was considering running back up to the store to get whatever i needed to pull off the cranks to clean those bits, but made do with some Q-tips to swipe the buildup out.
Did i miss anything small but incredibly vital for a spring cleanup?
Thanks for the tip on the cable tension JT, fixed the shifting right up. Chain might have helped too, was about time for a new one (800ish miles).

Also, i think it was in the helpful tips section, so thanks for whomever noted that a seatpost can be used as a breaker bar, i was on the verge of verbal armageddon until i remembered that tip when i was after the cassette.
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