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Maintenance: 3 Bikes, 5 Hours...

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Maintenance: 3 Bikes, 5 Hours...

Old 09-17-22, 03:04 PM
  #1  
BobbyG
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Maintenance: 3 Bikes, 5 Hours...

I am so, so grateful for my new job and commute after 18 months on my own, but I got a little spoiled at the previous job, where I had a warehouse in which I could work on my bike, and the flexibility and autonomy to do so. Of course, when I was working for myself I could just work on my bikes whenever, however, there was no commute. At the new job, there is no workspace for bike maintenance, and I have less flexibility time-wise.

So this morning at 9am I set out to install a new under seat bag on my new-to-me 2006 Felt F65, replace a tail-light that had fallen off my main commuter, a 2015 Charge Plug and then get my 1984 Nishiki International back into commuting, and park-behind-my-office-desk shape and appearance.

The new under seat bag has a rigid mount and was fairly simple. But it blocked the minimalist tail-light I had mounted on the seat post. So then I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to mount the tail-light, and I eventually came up with a clever-ish solution which I may share another time, but it involved running the rubbery mounting loop around the quick-release and hooking it over the seat's set screw. Then I rotated the bars down slightly and moved the seat in slightly.

I then mounted a new tail-light on the tail-end of my Plug's rear rack which was very straightforward.

But then I turned to my 1984 Nishiki International. I intended the Felt to replace it and had stripped the older bike down to donate it to the bike co-op. But then I changed my mind. So today I remounted the wired speedometer, but mounting it higher on the fork, with white zip-ties to match the paint up there and on the handle bars. I also wanted to minimize the wiring like I did on the Felt which looked so clean and tidy by comparison. Next, I re-mounted the AirZound Airhorn, but on the left side of the drops where the button ends up under my left pinkie and ring finger as it does on my three other drop-bar bikes. It had been inboard by the stem before. I then added newer smaller lights.

Then I replaced the chain, which had stretched quite a bit. While the bike rolled great, the drive train seemed sluggish. I haven't changed a chain myself in 5 years and it seemed to take longer than it should. A quick ride around the block seems to confirm this was the issue, and there was no chain-slip (thank goodness). Then I addressed the loose Dia-Comp brake mounts, which also took more time than I thought it would. Last week I had a tech at the bike co-op give the bike a once over and he tightened the head tube hardware and pointed out the chain and brake hardware issues.

Finally, I took another spin around the block and the bike feels better than it has in years.

I had cleaned it last weekend, but cleaned it again, even more-so and despite the paint chips, worn paint and various discolorations it should be office ready. I left the bar-end mirror off (I use a glasses-mount mirror), I left the bell off (I have the horn), left the separate thermometer off and I removed the bag that mounts under the top tube at the seat tube. So all in all it looks less kludgy, except the original right crank and spider is white, and the left replacement is chrome.

Anyway, I haven't spend this much time on bike wrenching since I converted my MTB to drop bars three years ago, and I am tired....but the good kind of tired.

I can't wait to ride the old Nishiki to work next week!

Another benefit of my new job is a steady paycheck, and I get to keep my out-of-town clients, so my income is up slightly from my last job, and definitely up from last year, so I expect more bike projects and maybe another folding bike.

Last edited by BobbyG; 09-17-22 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 09-19-22, 02:24 PM
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rvman
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Wow! Sounds like a fine day. I don't know about you, but I find my time in my garage Maintaining by bikes very therapeutic. Sounds like you do too.
I didn't do near the stuff you did, but I did service 2 folding bikes, and my commuter. No hard parts needed. Somewhere along the line I lost the handlebar spacer for my quick release head lamp mount. I found an old grommet, cut it in half, and it works perfectly. I also applied Brooks profide to the B68. Anyway cheers.
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Old 09-20-22, 12:56 AM
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tFUnK
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Amazing how time flies when you're in the zone getting some of that garage therapy. Glad it was a productive day.

My workspace is also my garage, and to really do big jobs I'd need to move one or both of the cars out (to the street since our garages don't have driveways - they open into an alleyway). I've learned to cope by parking more strategically to leave certain open spaces but unless one car is out, I can't put a bike on the repair stand. It's also challenging as all my parts are stored and stacked in boxes (wife's orders) so if I'm looking for something in particular it might mean a lot of unboxing (I should learn to label my boxes). As a result, even simple jobs end up taking way longer than needed. This sounds like a complaint (in a way I guess it is) but all this to say I sympathize with how your day went. It's great fun to just go into the garage, put on a playlist, and watch the hours disappear.
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Old 09-20-22, 06:29 AM
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BobbyG
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Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
Amazing how time flies when you're in the zone getting some of that garage therapy. Glad it was a productive day.

My workspace is also my garage, and to really do big jobs I'd need to move one or both of the cars out (to the street since our garages don't have driveways - they open into an alleyway). I've learned to cope by parking more strategically to leave certain open spaces but unless one car is out, I can't put a bike on the repair stand. It's also challenging as all my parts are stored and stacked in boxes (wife's orders) so if I'm looking for something in particular it might mean a lot of unboxing (I should learn to label my boxes). As a result, even simple jobs end up taking way longer than needed. This sounds like a complaint (in a way I guess it is) but all this to say I sympathize with how your day went. It's great fun to just go into the garage, put on a playlist, and watch the hours disappear.
I do use the garage in colder weather, otherwise I'm on the covered porch, or often in the shade of a tree. When I first began commuting, I was single and living by a college in an old victorian house, converted to apartments. The carpets were already stained, so I worked on my bike in the den.
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