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Old 04-09-05, 07:41 PM   #1
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What I learned today...

I tried out "Frankenbike" today for the first time and learned the following:

1. Don't use rough rubber-soled shoes on pedals with toe clips - even if the straps are loose, you can't get your foot out of the pedal because the rubber wants to hang onto the pedal's surface. I learned this (and fell over) before I got out of the driveway.

2. Don't use cheap (non-teflon-lined) brake housings - The housings I got from Wal Mart had so much friction that I had to manually return the brake levers to their open positions by kicking them out with my fingers. After the ride, I went straight to a bike shop, got lined housings, reinstalled, and the brakes are fine.

3. Don't run excess brake housing length - my original housings were each a couple of inches too long and they moved around when I applied the brakes. I cut the new housings shorter, and everything's fine.

4. Don't assume that the local bike shop (LBS) tightened everything even after a $60 "tune-up." About halfway through my ride, I heard a "new noise." I immediately stopped to look, and one of the rear brake shoes had loosened up enough in the caliper that it was about to fall off! The sound I heard was the brake shoe bouncing along on the rim.

5. Bring along a multi-tool - I must have stopped three or four times to adjust the stem height, seatpost height, and handlebar tilt. Having the multi-tool along allowed adjustments (and repairs) on the run.

I'm sure that most of y'all know this stuff, but after 30 years away from a road bike, I needed the refresher. Thankfully, these lessons were absorbed with no cost but a brush burn on the calf. I've removed the toe clips for now, and once I become accustomed to the new bike (in a week or two?), I'll install my clipless pedals, try on my new shoes, and go through that adjustment.

If there are other newbies like me out there, feel free to learn from my mistakes! If y'all have any knowledge to impart before I go clipless, please share. Thanks!
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Old 04-10-05, 02:30 PM   #2
Time for a change.
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Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
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One of the things I hate is running in a new bike. It does not matter how much time is spent adjusting things out, setting it up to fit and be comfortable, or how many times you check everything down to the last nut and bolt-- It always seems to take about 3 or 4 rides before it feels comfortable and safe AND THE LAST FEW NIGGLES ARE IRONED OUT. It then takes about a year before it outperforms the old bike.

This only confirms what we all know in any case-- the old one is better than these new fangled ones with the newer bells on them. Or is that just the riders.
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