Monday, June 07, 2010

Bike Maintenance and The Yellow Dart

After some complications in rebuilding my front wheel, the bike shop recommended to just order a new one so I went that route.  It finally came in and was ready to go over the weekend, so I picked it up yesterday.

The Yellow Dart

One complication:  the disc brake rotor was sitting a millimeter or so too far to the outside causing it to rub against the outer pad.  The pads couldn't really be adjusted, so I used a washer to space out the hub and that worked absolutely, 100% perfectly. No rub at all.  I was quite stoked to get that working and patted myself on the back for what (to me) was a somewhat ingenious solution.

Another complication:  the rear wheel is following a similar fate as the old front wheel.  The wheel wiggles ever so slightly from within the hub (not as bad as the old front wheel, at least not yet) and the bike shop alerted me to this, so I overhauled it yesterday, taking the hub apart, cleaning things out, and regreasing the bearings and axle.

In doing so, I found out the axle is bent.   As a result, to eliminate the wiggle, tightening the bolts does so, but hinders the free spin.  There was no happy medium.  It was either have the slight wiggle or reduce the spin capacity... no way to eliminate both.  However, I got it pretty close.  Rode today with the bolts a bit on the tight side but decided afterwards to go ahead and loosen them and opt for the slight wiggle.  Will order a new wheel very soon, but the current one should hopefully hold out okay until then.

The more I'm learning about bike maintenance, the more I'm really enjoying it.  Tinkering with my bike with the Red Sox game on and having a beer nearby is very enjoyable.  I like the challenge of fixing and tweaking my bike, and at the same time feel much of it is in my grasp and realm of understanding.  I've been doing a lot of research on it which has helped.  It's quite rewarding.

So, today's ride...  Went well.  Did the nine mile loop from my house.  Felt good, albeit a bit rusty.  Knowing the rear wheel was a bit tight and not free spinning as much as it could played some mind games with me at times, but I think the slower speed was more the result of rust.  A bit muddy at spots with the weekend rain.   Nice to finish the ride covered in it though:

Mountain biked 9.0 miles @ 9.5 mph/avg (25.1 mph/max)
Trails, some dirt roads, some paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 70s, partly cloudy. 
Shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

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