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Old 01-08-12, 05:29 PM   #1
jimmuller 
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Problems you didn't expect

We took the tandem out today for 25 miles. But as I was putting the bike in the car I noticed that the captain's saddle and the stoker's handlebar weren't quite straight. So I grabbed the 5mm Allen wrench and loosened the bolt, straightened everything, then tried tightening it up. The bolt bound up as if similar-metal threads had developed burrs. Well, it wasn't loose enough to prevent us from riding, but since I had another bolt I figured I'd just swap it when we got home.

The problem was that it moved only enough to loosen up the seat post a little and then it wouldn't budge. It wore open the hex-shaped inside of the bolt instead. Dang. So I worked the seat post out and then tried putting vice grips on it. That effort just scratched some of the paint and mangled the key slot on the opposite side's flange! Eventually I pulled out a hacksaw and carefully cut through the bolt through the expansion slot, and fortunately doing no further damage to any paint. Fortunately too I had recently picked up some touch-up paint to treat a few other scratches.

That binder bolt, something I'd picked up from a LBS when I built up the bike, was labeled just "cro-mo". Really? I wonder if it was chrome-plated and the plate broke off in the threads. I don't expect the Sugino bolt in there now to do the same thing.

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Old 01-08-12, 05:51 PM   #2
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It's amazing how a poor thread interface can mess up your day.

I just found one of those cro-mo binders a couple of days ago under the fridge. May be ill put it back.
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Old 01-08-12, 07:00 PM   #3
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I've had something similar crop up.

I almost recognize that gate, but I am sure all the state park gates look alike. I used to ride through and in Wompatuck St park alot.

nice looking tandem
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Old 01-08-12, 07:16 PM   #4
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Talk about unexpected problems!
I bought this old Raleigh 3-speed flipper before I noticed the head tube was bent.
Initially, it sorta looked OK to me -for a Sports Model...





- but that was before I knew it was a'38 Raleigh Golden Arrow.

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Old 01-08-12, 07:30 PM   #5
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I almost recognize that gate, but I am sure all the state park gates look alike. I used to ride through and in Wompatuck St park alot.

nice looking tandem
Thank you. That's the '82 Peugeot I brought back to life last year. We've put about 500 miles on her. FTWelder straightened out the fork, which I'm sure is one reason it rides so nicely.

The gate is an entrance to the Minnie Reed Conservation Area in Billerica, part of the protected lands along the Concord River, in this case on the eastern bank. You're right, they all look alike. We weren't riding into the wood, just stopping briefly and deciding to turn around.

The frozen binder bolt wasn't on my mind at that point, only how to get back to where we started!
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Last edited by jimmuller; 01-08-12 at 07:32 PM. Reason: 500 is not 50
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Old 01-08-12, 07:31 PM   #6
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Jim, sorry about the challenge. Glad it all worked out. Great you can still get out for a ride. Fenders are a must this time of year. Fortunately (for me, not for the skiers) there is no snow, none, zip, natta! But there has been enough ice and snow to add the salt and sand to the roads. Makes it all a mess.
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Old 01-08-12, 07:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Talk about unexpected problems!
I bought this old Raleigh 3-speed flipper before I noticed the head tube was bent.
Initially, it sorta looked OK to me -for a Sports Model...
...
- but that was before I knew it was a'38 Raleigh Golden Arrow.
Are those two pics of the same bike? It sure looks spiffy! And unexpected too.
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Old 01-08-12, 08:13 PM   #8
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Are those two pics of the same bike? It sure looks spiffy! And unexpected too.
Yes Jim. - It's the same bike and it was quite unexpected. It cost a bit too, to get it back to something resembling the original configuration you see here (including a round trip to Florida to have the frame straightened) - but it was worth it.

I am intrigued by the topic of your post. I think there are a lot of very competent bike mechanics hanging out here in C&V, and I would be quite interested to read some anecdotes about some problems they have stumbled on, and how they addressed it.
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Old 01-08-12, 09:42 PM   #9
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I'm surprised the socket was soft enough to strip. Or that a LBS would bother stocking something so cheap.
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Old 01-08-12, 10:10 PM   #10
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I'm surprised the socket was soft enough to strip.
Ah, well, I cranked on it pretty hard. The problem was that the threads were even more frozen than the metal was hard. It is all back together now though.

The rear spoke I had to replace after last weekend's ride held up nicely. Fifteen miles into today's ride I checked the wheel and it was okay. But as I said to my sweetie, I should have brought my spoke wrench along. Sometimes the best way to avoid trouble is to tempt fate!

Most other problems I've ever had were things I knew about or expected. And fortunately most problem have easy solutions.
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Old 01-08-12, 10:16 PM   #11
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and I would be quite interested to read some anecdotes about some problems they have stumbled on, and how they addressed it.
Lessee...it is French AND it is a tandem. Sounds like a horror film. Definately Rated "R".
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