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Stupid question thread, I'll start...

Old 04-28-12, 10:18 PM
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woodrupjoe
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Stupid question thread, I'll start...

I worked in bike shops in my college years (1970s) and have always been a bike nut, but I don't recall when 700c wheels became the new standard. Why are 700c wheelsets considered an upgrade from stock 27"? I'm not sure I could tell the difference if I was riding a bike and didn't know what wheels were on it.
My other stupid question is when did rear spacing go from 120mm. to 126mm. to 130mm? I realize that it didn't happen overnight, but ballpark is OK. Just curious about that one.
I'm sure I could think of some other stupid questions, but that's enough for now. Feel free to post your own.
Feel like I dropped the ball somewhere this last couple of decades.

cheers, Joe
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Old 04-28-12, 10:32 PM
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There are no stupid questions. Only stupid answers. - let's hear 'em !
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Old 04-28-12, 11:18 PM
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700 c is more easily interchangeable with a stock tubular rim.

Otherwise, I think you're right...27's work fine if you put alloy
rims and good tires on them. Maybe even preferable in some
applications.

As people have accepted the idea that more speeds = better,
the rear cluster has grown from five to ten and counting.

I think I saw the first six speed rear clusters about late 70's,
but I'm told some people had them earlier. All those cogs gotta
go somewhere, thus wider spacings.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:33 AM
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700c narrow clincher tires came onto the scene in the later 1970's as I remember, and by 1990 I don't think any, but perhaps a generic Taiwan bike with steel rims, had 27" rms any more.

Narrow 27" tires are now a scarce commodity, and no premium racing tires are now made in the 27" size. There are many good 27" tires still available however, but most are only as narrow as 26mm when described as 27 X 1-1/8".

The Panaracer Pasela, IRC Road Winner and Continental GatorSkin come to mind as the higher-quality offerings in the 27" size, but there are very many others that are at least good.
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Old 04-29-12, 02:48 AM
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Here's my Stupid Question:

Yesterday while cleaning, re-greasing, and reassembly of a Shimano rear hub (7 speed Hyperglide freebody), I could never get the axle adjusted correctly. Either too much play up and down (more on the nondrive side and even then the friction has still bad), or too much friction, and the axle would barely spin.

a) the hub is shot, toss the wheel
b) the cone(s) are shot, find new cones
c) both a) & b), again, toss the wheel
d) mechanics error, try, and try again
e) something else is wrong and replace your mechanic

Bonus points: Which of the above is the most stupid answer?
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Old 04-29-12, 04:08 AM
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F) Bent axle.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:26 AM
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Bent axel fits the symptoms. The cones might be side specific and you have them switched? Perhaps a bad ball you missed?
If the hub was OK before you took it apart, don't chuck it as it's an assembly issue.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:31 AM
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Great idea, a thread for short sharp and stupid questions.

My question, I have an all chrome frame mostly painted now will heavy duty paint stripper damage discolor or leave marks on the chrome after stripping?
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Old 04-29-12, 06:11 AM
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Oh, I get it- 700c is an upgrade due to tire availability. Thanks, that makes sense. I couldn't figure that one out.
I once stripped some hardware that had been painted and the stripper made a mess out of the plating. Go easy on a bicycle frame. Maybe the citrus stripper would be gentler.

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Old 04-29-12, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
Great idea, a thread for short sharp and stupid questions.

My question, I have an all chrome frame mostly painted now will heavy duty paint stripper damage discolor or leave marks on the chrome after stripping?
I don't think the stripper will hurt the color of the chrome but..... If your frame has chrome plating under the paint that is not the same a 'show chrome' as you see on the forks and stays. Until the early '90s it was pretty common to chrome plate a frame to help protect it from rust and some thought it changed the metalurgy. However that chroming is left rough and not nearly as shiny as the show chrome you are ment to see. So while you could strip the paint unless you polish it often it will always look dull.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:10 AM
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Stupid question: what's the best way to know the bar diameter for a stem? I don't have a bar to put in it to clamp down on to know for sure. Also how to measure the stem length, from quill bolt to tip? Or?
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Old 04-29-12, 08:41 AM
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[QUOTE=Bianchigirll;14157838]

ah-ha I didn't think of that I'll see how it goes. The plan is to repaint following the original paint to chrome lines but leaving the seat and chain stays a little more exposed to chrome.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:59 AM
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Either too much play up and down (more on the nondrive side and even then the friction has still bad), or too much friction, and the axle would barely spin.
Is it possible you put too many balls on one side and/or not enough on the other? It is a very easy mistake to make...
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Old 04-29-12, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
I worked in bike shops in my college years (1970s) and have always been a bike nut, but I don't recall when 700c wheels became the new standard. Why are 700c wheelsets considered an upgrade from stock 27"? I'm not sure I could tell the difference if I was riding a bike and didn't know what wheels were on it.
What I read and I wish I could find the link right now because I know I will screw up some of this is one of the tire manufactures came up with 27's trying to corner the market.
700's were actually 1st, the 27's came and the tire manufacture cut some deal with one of the large bicycle manufactures to build with 27 inch wheels for their bikes and they cut some deal for really low price on the tires for X years to cover the retooling. The tires size I think for a while was proprietary/patented on the size assuring no competition in the aftermarket. The bike manufacture was big enough that it made a significant impact on the market and other companies followed suit like lemmings because supposedly they were better.

Last edited by Grim; 04-29-12 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JReade View Post
Stupid question: what's the best way to know the bar diameter for a stem? I don't have a bar to put in it to clamp down on to know for sure. Also how to measure the stem length, from quill bolt to tip? Or?
My stupid answer :

1. Invest in a $10 digital caliper. You'll find you use it all the time. You can also try a small metric ruler but a caliper is more versatile.

2. Stems are generally measured c-c from clamp to quill
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Old 04-29-12, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
My other stupid question is when did rear spacing go from 120mm. to 126mm. to 130mm? I realize that it didn't happen overnight, but ballpark is OK. Just curious about that one.
I'm sure I could think of some other stupid questions, but that's enough for now. Feel free to post your own.
Feel like I dropped the ball somewhere this last couple of decades.

cheers, Joe
Spacing was due to more gears. The actual space between the gears stayed close to the same the freewheel just got wider.
I think 7 speed speed is when it went 126 then with the introduction of 8 speed it went to 130. Mountain bikes went to 135 because as the gear cluster got wider some of the hubs were more narrow to fit the gears. The more narrow the hub the weaker the wheel becomes to side loading. Thats when Shimano started a Mountain bike line of parts different from the road bike line.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by JReade View Post
Stupid question: what's the best way to know the bar diameter for a stem? I don't have a bar to put in it to clamp down on to know for sure. Also how to measure the stem length, from quill bolt to tip? Or?
+1 A serious C & V owner/hoarder is going to buy a $10 digital caliper. Too many oddball sizes out there. Its one of the first tools to buy for the tool kit IMHO.

Six speed brought on the 126mm spacing. Exception: Suntour made an "Ultra six" freewheel, that had five speed spacing. Even some early 5 speed bikes had 126mm (if I recall correctly). I think my 1973 World Voyageur came with 126mm spacing. That's pretty early for 126.

Answer to below: "D"

Do it again. Verify everything (# of bearings, condition of cones and cups, etc.) Use an axle vise to keep your axle from rotating. The difference between loose to too tight can be just a few degrees. I use a clock face analogy when tightening cones. Cone is at 5 O'clock: too loose. Tighten to 6 O'clock, too tight; back off to 5:30, just right. Realize the QR will tighten it up some once you mount the wheel, so it needs to be ever so slightly loose.

Quote: Here's my Stupid Question:

Yesterday while cleaning, re-greasing, and reassembly of a Shimano rear hub (7 speed Hyperglide freebody), I could never get the axle adjusted correctly. Either too much play up and down (more on the nondrive side and even then the friction has still bad), or too much friction, and the axle would barely spin.

a) the hub is shot, toss the wheel
b) the cone(s) are shot, find new cones
c) both a) & b), again, toss the wheel
d) mechanics error, try, and try again

Last edited by wrk101; 04-29-12 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:52 AM
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Ah, the stem-measurement blues! It's hard to believe, but Cinelli (and certain other stems from certain manufacturers, including Dura-Ace and a few other higher-end Japanese) stems are measured Center of bar to center of quill, measured across the top!

The "top" measurement, as opposed to a "center-to-center, on-center" measurement, puts a bigger number on the stem. I.E., a Cinelli or Dura-Ace stem that is stamped/labeled as 110mm is actually closer to 105mm.

The polished/anodized older Nitto stem on my holdsworth is stamped 110, but actually measures only 106mm.

Most stems are measured center-to-center, on-center however.

My take on this is that the "on-center" measurement method is applied as a "drawing board" measurement, while the "across the top" measurement is intended as "measured in the field" and thus intended for racing service where riders and coaches need to be able to do these measurements themselves, there being nothing particularly precise about having to self-measure from C-C, on center.

I have found myself re-visiting this issue over the years, often wondering wich stems are measured by which method, and have used good fixturing to make the measurements.

Yet another oddity, Dura-Ace stems, made by Nitto, the ones with the "aero" closed clamp, are labeled 26.0 diameter, but readily accept the 26.4mm bars made by Cinelli and Ambrosio. It's actually a much better fit!

And I could also go off on how the amount of undersizing of quill diameter varies so much from brand to brand.
As an example, a recently-introduced Taiwan-made stem of declared "French" diameter sizes the quill at only 24.8mm, a large concession to seemingly over-stated "tolerances" of steerer I.D.
I always prefer motion-free attachment of handlebar and stem, and get the least slop from Japanese quill stems filed-to-fit into a particular French steerer. It's almost like the French 22.0 steerer I.D. was designed for custom-fitting and using different brands of stems makes a big difference in the amount of metal to be removed and can take nearly an hour in some cases with typical files.

The $10 caliper is truly money well spent. I actually bought two of the back when the price had just come down to $20, and afer some tens of thousands of measurements, the first one can still make precise and accurate measurements and the battery even lasts a good couple of years.
Measuring everything from bolts, shims, washers, spokes, bars, stems, steerers, crown races, posts, rims (width and ERD determination), tires, bearings, cables, housings, frame tubing, chain width and even chain wear, it's the best tool investment ever.

Different tire sizes came along at different times and in different countries. It is a long story to say the least!

About that rear hub, I can only guess that perhaps one of the balls got displaced from it's proper path, and is not properly contained between cup and cone. Remonds me of finding a headset ball bearing trapped between steerer and head tube, the headset not possible to adjust in that case. I can't really imaging getting too many balls in a rear hub race, it would be way too obvious!
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Old 04-29-12, 10:16 AM
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I have a caliper, it's more procedural ... when you undo the bar clamp bolt, the end expands, to let the bar out.. so in theory the measured diameter without the bars in will be larger than the true clamping diameter. So if I tighten the clamp bolt to get the actual diameter, I have no idea how far the clamp will close when the bars are in, so its guesswork if its the right diameter. Or am I being far too anal, as there are not enough diameter variations in vars ti make it worth my time?
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Old 04-29-12, 10:59 AM
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A real stupid question- I really wonder if there is a real answer.

how did come that the chainwheel is on the right side of the bike? and not the other side?
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Old 04-29-12, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by aixaix View Post
Is it possible you put too many balls on one side and/or not enough on the other? It is a very easy mistake to make...
No, 9 on each side.

Originally Posted by top506 View Post
F) Bent axle.
Checked it. It appeared to be straight.

Originally Posted by WickedThump View Post
Bent axel fits the symptoms. The cones might be side specific and you have them switched? Perhaps a bad ball you missed?
If the hub was OK before you took it apart, don't chuck it as it's an assembly issue.
I took off the non drive side nut, spacer, and cone only, so there would be no mixup.

The balls all appeared to be good, nice and bright, no discoloring, no chips.

This is a project for a church member, on his early '90s Diamondback MTB. Nothing special and you can tell from the care it has received. When I removed the rear wheel to begin cleaning and turned the axle is was incredibly tight and rough. Nothng smooth about it in the first place.

I talked to the owner this morning and he is willing to buy a new rear wheel. Before I do so, I will finish cleaning the front hub to see if he needs a full set.
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Old 04-29-12, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by puchfinnland View Post
A real stupid question- I really wonder if there is a real answer.

how did come that the chainwheel is on the right side of the bike? and not the other side?
This might be a stupid answer because I can't vet it, but I read somewhere that it's a carryover equestrian thing: The way a right-handed person typically mounts a horse.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:12 PM
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Along the lines of the axle nut problem, how do you keep the axle nuts tight? Or is that even a problem? Every time I remove a wheel the outside axle nuts will be slightly loose. I always snug them back up to not loose before I put the wheel back on.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:17 PM
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My stupid question.

How does one polish a crankset? i've heard of wet-sanding but have no idea what that is. Should you sand in a certain direction? what do you use to hand polish?

Ok stupid questions.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Epicus07 View Post
My stupid question.

How does one polish a crankset? i've heard of wet-sanding but have no idea what that is. Should you sand in a certain direction? what do you use to hand polish?

Ok stupid questions.
"Wet sanding" is simply a process you use water with the sand paper to help keep the sand paper from packing full of what has been removed. The only 2 reasons you would wet sand the aluminum is to remove anodizing (though its much easier to strip that chemically) or scratches/surface irregularities. You would work to finer and finer grade and then eventually a paste or Rouge polish to bring out the final luster.
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