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  1. #1
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    My "MacGyver" abilities almost were tested

    I keep a pretty close eye on chain-wear and cassette and ring wear on all of my bikes. I sometimes allow these components to wear a bit more than I should, but at least I'm aware of their condition.

    I have too many bikes and too little time and cash to thoroughly go through each bike with any regular maintainance schedule. I've made a conscious decision to "Run to Failure". I've not yet had a severe "Break down" while out on a ride.

    So far I've been able to pick up on needed service before it's become an "Issue". For example, last summer I could feel a slight roughness in the front hub on one of the LWB recumbents. I did a thorough cleaning and repacked the bearings setting things right enough for my usage.

    My luck almost changed last week with my Tour easy while out on an 80 mile group ride. About 50 miles into the ride I could hear and feel some grinding from the rear cassette in what I thought were the two lowest cogs. I opted to ride-on and deal with the issue at home, and of course not use the lowest gears. The last 15 miles were on gentle rollers into a stiff head-wind and the going was pretty tough but I made it back to the start/finish point and loaded the bike into the Van and headed home.

    The following day I went out to the garage and popped the bike up onto the repair stand to sort things out. To my suprise I discovered that the chain wasn't even shifting down to the three low cogs. No wonder the last 15 miles were so tough! Any way...I spent about ten minutes trying in vain to get the cable tension properly adjusted and was getting nowhere fast. It seemed O.K. until I ran up and down through the gears and then it was all mucked up again.

    O.K...this is where I always sit down, look at what's in front of me, and ponder for a bit. Lucky for me, my curious bride chose this moment to wander into the garage to see how things were going. I put her straight to work operating my shifter and the crank while I positioned myself back at the deraileur to watch what was or wasn't occuring. (Remember now, this is a 67.5 inch wheelbase....long way from the shifter to the back of the bike) That was when it happened! The rear deraileur cable snapped up at the head, in the shifter.

    That explained all my symptoms...as the cable started breaking and stretching I was slowly loosing control of the rear deraileur. No rocket science here.

    Now for the cool part. In the peace and quiet of my garage I sat and looked at the bike up there in the repair stand. The slack cable hanging along side the frame, the deraileur out to the stop, the chain in the small cog, and me thinking "What would I do if this broke out on the road?".

    It took a couple of minutes to resolve this imaginary breakdown, but I think I have a good plan if it does occur. On my recumbents I have attached flag holders with small hose clamps. Being a silly old coot I carry a couple of spare hose clamps in my tool bag. It would be a very simple roadside fix to just pull the cable taught enough to get the chain in the cog of my choosing and the clamp the cable to the frame. Tying the cable off would accomplish the same end but would be much more tedious. With the cable clamped in place and the triple crank up front I would essentially have a three speed and could continue riding.

    Naturally, I have ordered two tandem length shift cables. One will go on the bike and the other will be in my tool bag. I'll pick up some brake cables while I'm at it.

    I don't know if I would have been calm and composed enough to figure this out if it would have occured on the road but fortunately I didn't have to find out. Stubborn old Cranky will be toting spare cables from now on though.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 07-04-11 at 02:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Has opinion, will express
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    Something about iinventions, mothers and necessity.

    Good plan. The other option might be to adjust the limit screw on the RD to a manageable gear and just shift between the granny and middle ring (assuming you have a granny up front). Or if a MacGuyver like you is carrying a small pair of vice-grips, pull the inner so the appropriate gear is selected, and grab it with the grips at the most convenient point at the end of an outer.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    American ingenuity, you gotta love it! I had posted on the bent forum about my wife's new bent and the wireless computer that we couldn't get to work because there was no place to mount the sensor on the front wheels and it wouldn't work on the chain stays because it was too far away and her shoulder blocked the signal. I couldn't figure out what to do until I was making her a stand out of PVC to raise the bike so the tailgate of my PU would close and then it hit me. A 5" piece of 1/2" PVC with a screw through the fender mounts and problem solved.
    HCFR Cycling Team
    Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

    2012 Colnago Ace
    2010 Giant Cypress


  4. #4
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    I keep a pretty close eye on chain-wear and cassette and ring wear on all of my bikes. I sometimes allow these components to wear a bit more than I should, but at least I'm aware of their condition.

    I have too many bikes and too little time and cash to thoroughly go through each bike with any regular maintainance schedule. I've made a conscious decision to "Run to Failure". I've not yet had a severe "Break down" while out on a ride.

    So far I've been able to pick up on needed service before it's become an "Issue". For example, last summer I could feel a slight roughness in the front hub on one of the LWB recumbents. I did a thorough cleaning and repacked the bearings setting things right enough for my usage.

    My luck almost changed last week with my Tour easy while out on an 80 mile group ride. About 50 miles into the ride I could hear and feel some grinding from the rear cassette in what I thought were the two lowest cogs. I opted to ride-on and deal with the issue at home, and of course not use the lowest gears. The last 15 miles were on gentle rollers into a stiff head-wind and the going was pretty tough but I made it back to the start/finish point and loaded the bike into the Van and headed home.

    The following day I went out to the garage and popped the bike up onto the repair stand to sort things out. To my suprise I discovered that the chain wasn't even shifting down to the three low cogs. No wonder the last 15 miles were so tough! Any way...I spent about ten minutes trying in vain to get the cable tension properly adjusted and was getting nowhere fast. It seemed O.K. until I ran up and down through the gears and then it was all mucked up again.

    O.K...this is where I always sit down, look at what's in front of me, and ponder for a bit. Lucky for me, my curious bride chose this moment to wander into the garage to see how things were going. I put her straight to work operating my shifter and the crank while I positioned myself back at the deraileur to watch what was or wasn't occuring. (Remember now, this is a 67.5 inch wheelbase....long way from the shifter to the back of the bike) That was when it happened! The rear deraileur cable snapped up at the head, in the shifter.

    That explained all my symptoms...as the cable started breaking and stretching I was slowly loosing control of the rear deraileur. No rocket science here.

    Now for the cool part. In the peace and quiet of my garage I sat and looked at the bike up there in the repair stand. The slack cable hanging along side the frame, the deraileur out to the stop, the chain in the small cog, and me thinking "What would I do if this broke out on the road?".

    It took a couple of minutes to resolve this imaginary breakdown, but I think I have a good plan if it does occur. On my recumbents I have attached flag holders with small hose clamps. Being a silly old coot I carry a couple of spare hose clamps in my tool bag. It would be a very simple roadside fix to just pull the cable taught enough to get the chain in the cog of my choosing and the clamp the cable to the frame. Tying the cable off would accomplish the same end but would be much more tedious. With the cable clamped in place and the triple crank up front I would essentially have a three speed and could continue riding.

    Naturally, I have ordered two tandem length shift cables. One will go on the bike and the other will be in my tool bag. I'll pick up some brake cables while I'm at it.

    I don't know if I would have been calm and composed enough to figure this out if it would have occured on the road but fortunately I didn't have to find out. Stubborn old Cranky will be toting spare cables from now on though.
    Can I make a suggestion, when replacing that rear shift cable, replace all the cables on that bike, if one failed, the others can't be all that far behind. When you run a "fleet", then a good maintenance log for each member of the fleet can be critical. Every winter each of my bikes gets a good going over, every 5 years they get a rebuild. That is all the components get removed, cleaned, inspected and then all the pieces get re-installed, cables all get replaced, as do all the soft parts except saddle and cable housings, those get replaced every other rebuild. I don't think I will ever have more then 5 bicycles in the stable, so I don't need to worry about rebuilding two in the same year.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Those Tandem length Cables reminds me. I used to long enduros and I learnt very soon into the rides that None of the trade and repair stands that are there to assist you carry anything that is not for a standard bike. So I had to carry my own cables- And the cable cutters and how about some outer cable aswell just in case a cable is ripped out of the frame and damaged- and must fit new Cable housing ends while I am about it. I carried that lot around for two years aswell as 3 new chains and Splitter- 5 spare tubes and spare folder.

    Then one week I gave myself a hernia lifting the top bag onto the carrier and realised how much I was carrying. Cut back to basic-PROPER- tools and not just a multitool- 4 tubes- and 3 levers- one spare chain and cutter and the first aid kit. If I had done any work on the bike then I would take the tools say for the cassette I had just changed- but for that ride only. Then about a month later and we had an off. Front tyre flatted at 35mph on a fast lumpy off road descent and shredded the tyre. That spare folder I had carried around for two years was no longer there.

    Don't know if it's Sods or Murphy's law but I don't take the chance on the Tandem now. That was one long carry down to the pub for the Tandem and it was a 2 pint rest waiting for the sag wirh blood oozing out of the various scratches and cuts from the fall. It must have been Murphy.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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