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bike repairs on tour

Old 07-16-10, 12:51 AM
  #1  
k9power
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bike repairs on tour

I got a repair manual because I want to be able to handle a few basic things that can go wrong besides fixing flats.
What are some things you would learn to do if you were new to touring?
Do you carry a manual with you?
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Old 07-16-10, 01:11 AM
  #2  
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I have no need for a manual as it is my job to be able to fix pretty much anything on two wheels...

I carry a fairly complete tool kit, patch kit, pump, and chain lube as well as a spare gear and brake cable, extra spokes, and a few bolts and nuts in case I have to re-secure a fender or rack.

A little bit of duct tape can go a long ways... you can make a tyre boot or secure things to your bike with it.

I built my touring bike from the frame up and hand built my wheels, used very high quality parts, and the bike has not failed me in 10's of thousands of kilometres of riding... my tools usually come in handy to help other stranded cyclists.

It might be worthwhile to take a basic mechanics course to familiarize yourself with all the various components on your bike, learn how to adjust your derailleurs, and trouble shoot any problems that might come up.
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Old 07-16-10, 01:20 AM
  #3  
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Taking your bike to pieces and putting it back together again will teach you a lot. Up to you how far you break it down.

For starters you can leave the wheels, crankset and headset alone as these may need more specialised tools than you'd want to carry on tour.

I carry the tools to do this on tour, plus tyre levers, puncture kit, chain tool and duct tape... surprisingly few tools actually...

No repair manual 'though. Park Tools website is a great resource for advice whilst putting your bike back together again:
http://www.parktool.com/repair/

Last edited by imi; 07-16-10 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 07-16-10, 02:00 AM
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I would suggest you...
change a chain, install new brakepads and adjust them, replace cables, adjust gear cables, replace a spoke and true a wheel, adjust the headset, repair a puncture.
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Old 07-16-10, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve0000 View Post
I would suggest you...
change a chain, install new brakepads and adjust them, replace cables, adjust gear cables, replace a spoke and true a wheel, adjust the headset, repair a puncture.
I'd add... take the pedals off and put them back on again. Allow more time than you think for this, because you'll almost certainly try to turn one of them the wrong way and, if it's tight in the first place, you'll probably just carry on pushing harder and harder. I can never remember which one is 'right' and which one is 'wrong'...
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Old 07-16-10, 04:15 AM
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Here is how I remember how to put on pedals the correct way. Right side is the "Right" way to put it on. Meaning it is clockwise. and the Left side is the "Wrong" way to put it on. Meaning it is counterclockwise.
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Old 07-16-10, 04:24 AM
  #7  
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hihi "Right is Right" is exactly the mantra I use while working with pedals! 'though sometimes the bike is upside down, so I have to stand on my head and work
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Old 07-16-10, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
sometimes the bike is upside down, so I have to stand on my head and work
Exactly! That's the bit that always screws me up. Right is right unless it's upside down in which case it's wrong. Or left. Or something. I need to eat more fish.
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Old 07-16-10, 05:05 AM
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Know how to do all of the above sitting in the dirt under the hot sun.
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Old 07-16-10, 05:07 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by nancyj View Post
Know how to do all of the above sitting in the dirt under the hot sun.
with semi-trucks blasting by a few feet away...
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Old 07-16-10, 07:46 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I have no need for a manual as it is my job to be able to fix pretty much anything on two wheels...

I carry a fairly complete tool kit, patch kit, pump, and chain lube as well as a spare gear and brake cable, extra spokes, and a few bolts and nuts in case I have to re-secure a fender or rack.

A little bit of duct tape can go a long ways... you can make a tyre boot or secure things to your bike with it.

I built my touring bike from the frame up and hand built my wheels, used very high quality parts, and the bike has not failed me in 10's of thousands of kilometres of riding... my tools usually come in handy to help other stranded cyclists.

It might be worthwhile to take a basic mechanics course to familiarize yourself with all the various components on your bike, learn how to adjust your derailleurs, and trouble shoot any problems that might come up.

But when all else fails, and you've done something REALLY bad that can't be fixed on the road, there's the equivalent of AAA for bicyclists; I have a roadside assistance policy from Better World Club, for example: http://www.betterworldclub.com/bicyc...assistance.cfm Never had to use it, but it's cheap enough insurance. I believe AAA actually does the same thing in very limited areas of the U.S.A, as well.
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Old 07-16-10, 08:09 AM
  #12  
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But what is cell phone reception like in the remote places worth going to? I sure know we dont have cell phone reception in a lot of places in West North Carolina mountains.

I never had any kind of book for repairing anything on a bike.
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Old 07-16-10, 08:34 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
hihi "Right is Right" is exactly the mantra I use while working with pedals! 'though sometimes the bike is upside down, so I have to stand on my head and work
OK, one more helpful trick; this on works even if you or your bike is upside down. For a right hand threaded nut or bolt, point with your thumb on your right hand which direction you want it to move, and your fingers will show you the direction to turn it. For a left hand thread just use your other hand.

Tom
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Old 07-16-10, 09:07 AM
  #14  
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I hate putting "right and wrong" value judgments on my beloved bikes , so I just remember that starting with the wrench handle at 12 o'clock, both pedals rotate toward the rear of the bike coming off and toward the front of the bike going on.
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Old 07-16-10, 11:35 AM
  #15  
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There are a lot of potential mechanical issues that can arise. Common things I have to do are tightening things that may come loose: 1. The stem bolts that hold the handlebars on can loosen and the bars rotate down; 2. Rack bolts can vibrate loose (use Loctite!); 3. Derailleur cables can stretch. Know how to use the adjustment barrel on the rear derailleur without having to figure out which way to turn it, and know how much to rotate it. (I usually rotate one click and ride for awhile before trying another click.) 4. Know how to fix a flat, including finding the problem so you don't get a repeat puncture; 5. Know how to adjust brakes and how to align wheels properly when reinstalling them so they don't rub the brakes. I'm sure I'm leaving out some things from this list of basic stuff.

Beyond these, I think it's important to know what to do if you break a spoke. On my first long tour I broke a bunch. I would put on an emergency spoke, true the wheel somewhat, loosen the brakes so I could ride the wobbly wheel, and ride it to the next bike shope. Since then I've learned to build my own wheels. Besides using good quality parts, I also carry a Stein Hypercracker tool for removing the cluster, and I carry two spare drive-side spokes, in addition to the emergency spokes, plus a spoke wrench. If I break a spoke I'll be able to replace it with a real one, and I think I have enough skills to be able to true and tension the wheel fairly well by the side of the road. Luckily, I'm proud to say that I haven't broken another spoke since, so I must have done an adequate job of building these wheels.

I also haven't had a flat or a tire problem in a long time. I have Schwalbe Marathon 32's and I think they are part of the reason. I've toured with someone who tore a tire and it was a big problem. For that reason I carried a spare tire for awhile, but since decided that having tires in good condition would minimize the risk.

I've never had a chain problem, but my multitool has a chain tool. It would be good to know how to use one.
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Old 07-16-10, 12:33 PM
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This page has 5 links to what tools to take on tour. While not exactly on point, it is so closely related that I think you will find good information in several of them.

Ray
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Old 07-16-10, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
Here is how I remember how to put on pedals the correct way. Right side is the "Right" way to put it on. Meaning it is clockwise. and the Left side is the "Wrong" way to put it on. Meaning it is counterclockwise.
Why not just look at the threads?
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Old 07-16-10, 01:44 PM
  #18  
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Back in the day, I used to tour with this handle little book in my bike bag. It was called the Bike Bag Book, published in 1981, long out of print. Available used for a couple of bucks. Handy, very light reference for emergency repairs that will keep you on the road:

http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Bag-Book-...9309373&sr=8-5
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Old 07-17-10, 08:10 AM
  #19  
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I learned to fix my bike(s) by building them. I own two bikes right now: a commuter and a touring bike. I built both up from a bare frame. Well, I started by taking apart my full suspension mountain bike actually: I took most parts apart to see how they work and to clean them. Then I mounted these on a rigid frame to build my commuter. I also bough some cheap specialized tools on eBay so I can build a bike without a help from LBS.

I turned a corner of my room (apartment dweller) into a bike shop and I try do do all my home repairs and maintenance myself. Then roadside repairs are much easier, assuming you bring the right tools along as well as some spare parts and plenty of zip ties

I read at least one book on bicycle mechanics and spent a lot of time on the forums here as well as watched the videos on http://bicycletutor.com/ plus several other sites. The only thing I display no skills and no patience for is building the wheels. My wheels don't come out too good

Originally Posted by raybo View Post
This page has 5 links to what tools to take on tour. While not exactly on point, it is so closely related that I think you will find good information in several of them.

Ray
I've been wondering about a home made chain whip and a cassette tool. After breaking a drive side spoke I learned that I need to carry cassette removal tools. However, will these DIY ones provide enough leverage? And how much weight will you actually save as opposed to taking the full size tools? We're talking ounces here.

Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I also carry a Stein Hypercracker tool for removing the cluster
Interesting! How does that work? It has to be installed on the wheel and then you turn the wheel or the crank? I saw the pictures on Harris Cyclery site, but I have hard time visualizing this.

Last edited by AdamDZ; 07-17-10 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 07-17-10, 08:16 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
some spare parts and plenty of zip ties
Ahh, I see you've played bikey-breaky before!

Zip ties are the new duct tape.
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Old 07-17-10, 08:32 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by TonyS View Post
Ahh, I see you've played bikey-breaky before!

Zip ties are the new duct tape.
Yup.

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Old 07-17-10, 08:38 AM
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Macguyvver would be proud.
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