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Old 10-15-06, 05:16 PM   #1
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Winter Bike Prep

I found a can of spray-on rust protector last time I was at Canadian Tire. I wanted to apply it inside the head and seat tubes of my steel bikes, but I couldn't figure out how to ensure a thorough application. What I needed was a long broomstick with a sponge-like attachment at the end. And then it dawned on me, the perfect tool: my gun cleaning kit!

I just screwed together two of the three rods, threaded on the biggest plastic end, and cut an extra large patch from my roll of patching cloth. After removing the seat post and stem, I just sprayed inside the tube, then spread the fluid with the cloth attached to the rod.

Ever'thang was fine until I was tightening the seat post bolts on my tandem. While tightening the front, I felt something give. One of the binder tabs had broken off (the frame is 25+ years old). I didn't want to send in the frame to get this part rebrazed, and fortunately, the frame is welded together without lugs (not sure if it's TIG-welded or fillet-brazed, but who really cares?) and the front seat tube rises a couple of inches above the top tube. So I took a hacksaw and sawed off the other tab, then filed down the area where the tabs used to be. I measured the OD of the tube (29mm), and the inside diameter of a spare seat post collar I happened to have (28.6mm). Hmmm, I wondered if it would work.

During the week, while at work, I walked over to the nearest bike shop during lunch to discuss seat post collars and tube diameters. This is a shop that does a lot of business with people who work in downtown Vancouver, but I won't mention its name since a brief conversation with the counter guy proved to me that he was totally clueless and equally arrogant. And did I mention patronizing?. Why is it that most bike mechanics assume that anyone who walks in wearing a suit must know nothing about bikes? I didn't mention that I had been working on my own bikes and building my own wheels for around 35 years and that I had spent a significant amount of time while unemployed working as a wrench at a bike shop as a survival job.

Anyway, I ended up gently hammering the seat collar into place (it works, but it's a bit tight) and ordering a 29.6mm collar from Bike Tools Etc. in Oregon.

Next project is getting the stem out of my winter bike. It's frozen solid. I managed to find a container of ammonia (Sheldon Brown says it does to aluminum what penetrating oil does to steel) and I've got my CO2 cartridge ready to freeze the inside of the stem. More later...

- L.
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Old 10-15-06, 05:28 PM   #2
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.....uhhhhh, I put on my knobbies. Kind of pales by comparison.
Carpe who?
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Old 10-16-06, 11:49 AM   #3
Time for a change.
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I normally ride offroad so the Mountain bike and the Tandem are always prepared for the worst the weather can throw at it. All my bikes have aluminium frames so do not have a rust probelm but Moisture and crud get everywhere. After washing the bike after most rides- I only have to do a couple of extra jobs on the bikes that some of you may like to take in hand. I release all the cables and wash the outers through with WD 40., or similar. This washes out the crud and wet and it is surprising how many expensive Stainless steel cables go rusty in the parts that are hidden from view. Then the seat stem- I always keep it well greased. Surprising how often it seizes in the frame if you don't. Then wheel bearings- If you have the cone and ball type- then I grease them liberraly and make certain that the Cover shields are not misplaced.

Then once a year- Normally in the spring- Each bike is stripped back to a bare frame and checked for damaged parts or parts that are about to fail.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 10-16-06, 11:53 AM   #4
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Nothing special for me to get ready. I just do the regular stuff, but more often.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831
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