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Interesting Things Found in Bikes

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Interesting Things Found in Bikes

Old 02-02-18, 09:49 AM
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leob1
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Interesting Things Found in Bikes

I volunteer at a charity bike shop, folk donate used, and sometimes new, bike to us, we repair them and sell them. The proceeds go to our sponsoring charity. I have seen every kind of bike, in every kind of condition. And there is always something new that comes along, it's amazing.
Last night, I picked a bike to work on, I thought it would be an easy flip. But the back wheel was very loose on the axle. So I took it off the bike to see whats wrong. I took off the ND lock nut, popped off the dust cover, and saw the problem right away. I looked at the cone and saw that race was facing outward. Not only that but the spacer was under it, against the bearings. Since the grease was new, this was just done. I don't know why.
Another bike I worked on had a loose BB, so I took that apart. Usually they are filled with rusty crud when they are loose, or bits of rusty bearings and cages. This was a cartridge BB, but there was still something unusual in side:
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Old 02-02-18, 09:57 AM
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Insect eggs???
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Old 02-02-18, 11:41 AM
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Old 02-02-18, 12:05 PM
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I have several:

One of my volunteers was stripping a bike recently and had hundreds of lady bugs stream out of it. It kind of freaked him.

Found a live .38 bullet in a box of donations.

Someone came into our fix your bike with a front wheel that wasn't rolling well. We pulled the wheel out and found that the bearings on one side had been removed and the cone was locked against the cup without bearings. He had been turning the axle in the dropouts of the fork which were eroded and the threads on the axle (a quick release by the way) were worn off smooth. We replaced the bearings, axle and cone and I swear I heard a sonic boom when he rode away from the shop. All that muscle work had turbocharged him!
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Old 02-02-18, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I have several:

One of my volunteers was stripping a bike recently and had hundreds of lady bugs stream out of it. It kind of freaked him.

Found a live .38 bullet in a box of donations.

Someone came into our fix your bike with a front wheel that wasn't rolling well. We pulled the wheel out and found that the bearings on one side had been removed and the cone was locked against the cup without bearings. He had been turning the axle in the dropouts of the fork which were eroded and the threads on the axle (a quick release by the way) were worn off smooth. We replaced the bearings, axle and cone and I swear I heard a sonic boom when he rode away from the shop. All that muscle work had turbocharged him!
Just wanted to say I love reading your replies cyccommte! Your replies pertaining to lubes & solvents have been very helpful.
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Old 02-02-18, 01:24 PM
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This was a bottom bracket I pulled from a used Fuji Ace.



I think the shards of aluminum were from originally machining the frame or BB shell at the time of manufacture.
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Old 02-02-18, 01:28 PM
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What the heck is the finish on that frame?
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Old 02-02-18, 02:25 PM
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With lots of bikes opened up I have seen lots of stuff -- but only because I have opened up lots of bikes.

Dead wasps, sunflower seeds, the WRONG bearings, bearings put in BACKWARDS, and even spindles put in backwards with the longer end on the left side and the chainrings attached to the shorter end. Even though people have assured me on occasion that a bike has been "in the garage, basement or shed for years", I now always turn old bikes upside down to see if any trapped water runs out.
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Old 02-02-18, 02:47 PM
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I usually put my business card in the BB when I do one. Also in handlebars for theft recovery.
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Old 02-02-18, 04:55 PM
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Various insect bodies, mouse bones, vegetation, maybe gallons of water if collectively added up, drugs, rust...Andy
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Old 02-02-18, 05:36 PM
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Wouldn't that be a hard place to grow pot?
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Old 02-02-18, 09:31 PM
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Once saw a vacant paper wasp's nest under a saddle

another bike had a live snail crawling on the handlebars

spiders and other bugs are pretty common, bikes that are stored outdoors
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Old 02-02-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
....bearings put in BACKWARDS, and even spindles put in backwards with the longer end on the left side and the chainrings attached to the shorter en.
This isn't always a mistake. I bought a new '93 Trek 7000 MTB and after a couple of years it was time for some maintenance. I found the spindle in "backwards" when I overhauled it. Obviously a Trek factory mistake! So, I reassembled it "correctly" only to find the non-drive side crank arm hit the chainstay. The "backwards" spindle was necessary.
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Old 02-02-18, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I usually put my business card in the BB when I do one. Also in handlebars for theft recovery.

Actually, thats a really good idea.
I have a couple of boxes of business cards around here somewhere left over from when I used to be a model citizen and gainfully employed... and putting a business card into a BB or handlebar is actually a smart move. I will do that.

Bink
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Old 02-02-18, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
Actually, thats a really good idea.
I have a couple of boxes of business cards around here somewhere left over from when I used to be a model citizen and gainfully employed... and putting a business card into a BB or handlebar is actually a smart move. I will do that.

Bink

Until you forget and sell the bike. I found a name and info in a bike years ago from a distant state. My customer was from a different state and said he bought the bike form a class mate. Maybe it was stolen but the age and disrepair of the bike suggested it had been years since it was last serviced.


When you work in a shop you face this kind of situation every so often. I've only recovered stolen bikes a couple of handfuls of times but this time I believed the customer. He did return with the bike a few more times for service. Andy
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Old 02-03-18, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
When you work in a shop you face this kind of situation every so often. I've only recovered stolen bikes a couple of handfuls of times but this time I believed the customer. He did return with the bike a few more times for service. Andy
I used to call the cops every time somebody who brought in a bike told me a story that didn't make sense. I can't remember any time the serial number check indicated the bike had been stolen but at least I felt like I'd done my part.
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Old 02-03-18, 10:45 AM
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The left pedal on the right crank.
Apparently the first owner had received the bicycle unassembled. When I bought it the left pedal needed tightening - but it loosened when I tried. Imagine my confusion.
Then I see an L peeking out from the drive side. WTH?
I thought the manufacturer must have put together a defective crank, but no.
Apparently, with aluminum crank arms, the pedals easily make their own threads - with a little effort.
I swapped the pedals and they threaded right up!
I replaced the crankset anyway.
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Old 02-03-18, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 700 View Post
The left pedal on the right crank.
Apparently the first owner had received the bicycle unassembled. When I bought it the left pedal needed tightening - but it loosened when I tried. Imagine my confusion.
Then I see an L peeking out from the drive side. WTH?
I thought the manufacturer must have put together a defective crank, but no.
Apparently, with aluminum crank arms, the pedals easily make their own threads - with a little effort.
I swapped the pedals and they threaded right up!
I replaced the crankset anyway.

Far more common then we would want! More common then seeing those big box news paper ads with the suspension fork backwards Andy
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Old 02-03-18, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
With lots of bikes opened up I have seen lots of stuff -- but only because I have opened up lots of bikes.

Dead wasps, sunflower seeds, the WRONG bearings, bearings put in BACKWARDS, and even spindles put in backwards with the longer end on the left side and the chainrings attached to the shorter end. Even though people have assured me on occasion that a bike has been "in the garage, basement or shed for years", I now always turn old bikes upside down to see if any trapped water runs out.
Not all strange things are accidents, or ignorance, but are a fix for specific issues.

Way, way back in the day (early 1970s bike boom years), I replaced a cottered crank when the cotter pins kept loosening on my French bike (Peugeot UO-8) with a budget Japanese cotterless alloy crank. After finding the chainline was misaligned, I installed the bottom bracket spindle backwards to fix the chainline. Chainline alignment was often an issue on those bikes. My college bikeshop looked at it and said finding the appropriate sized spindle would probably require using a Campy track spindle as they were the only BB maker that had a wide variety of spindles sizes that were realistically available, and it may need to be special ordered (based upon masurements probably a track spindle). He even measured for a Stronglight 49 and 93 to see is a used French solution could be found, but they would not work either. He advised to just use it as is - as the costs for the Stronglights or the Campy spindle would be out of sync with the benefit given the fact that is was an entry level bike and French threaded. 40+ years later it is still looks odd at close inspection but is still working great.
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Old 02-05-18, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
When you work in a shop you face this kind of situation every so often. I've only recovered stolen bikes a couple of handfuls of times but this time I believed the customer. He did return with the bike a few more times for service. Andy
The funniest not-stolen bike was when a former mechanic at my shop called from her new shop because a bike with one of our shop stickers came in with a sort of shady seeming customer and a super shady story--bought it off the street for his neighbor for well under street value. She gave me the serial and I called the customer on file--yeah, they sold it to some dude on the street for x dollars, they were moving and wanted to get rid of it as easy as possible.

On topic with the topic: spiders. Been said before, but so many spiders. They love living in flat bar shifters.
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