Category: bike maintainance

more confusion

Last week I was ready to change the bottom bracket bearing after two rides were drowned out by creaking, since last weekend I just lubricated the chain and put the bike away (the bike was only dusty as we were still getting a bit of an early summer weather). Well I went for a ride today and it was in utter silence, nothing not even a hint of a creak, I don’t know what is going on. I was going to order a new bearing tonight, now I am not sure what to do.

Yesterday morning the heaven opened, I was planning on going out in the afternoon but decided to give it a miss. I was not the only one, only two riders turned up for the ride, they went on the ride and never had any rain for the duration of the ride…

Went out this morning, decided I needed to do long ride after yesterday non ride and as there was some new paths I had found and wanted to try and I also wanted to have another test of my Zero High5 tablets so I decided on a home to Moors Valley Country park and back ride. A total of 32.8 miles with 80% of it off road and unlike previous ride from home to Moors Valley, I did not ride over the same section of trail more than once. I can report that I did not have any problems with cramps although that may be related to the fact that it was not particularly warm this morning so I was not sweating as much as normal. In fact it was that cold this morning that I had to stop after about a mile and put my winter gloves on rather than my fingerless gloves that I started with. By the time I got home I was knackered.

Now for a farewell, I started this blog on the 6th May 2009 it was just general chit chat nothing special, no theme. Like many new blogs it soon seemed to loose its way and within a few months it was on its way to becoming another dead blog. Towards the end of 2009 I came across a blog called MassiveMTBer (Don’t ever stop). The blog was written by a guy called Clive Chapman, he had a serious weight problem and had rekindled his love of cycling as part of a plan to get his weight back to where it should be. I found the blog easy to read, well written, funny, humorous, frank and honest. In fact it was good enough for him to be asked to pen a couple of monthly column for one of the national cycling magazines, that no mean feat.

This weekend Clive announced that he had penned his last blog post, with a new job and new coaching commitments (he is a rugby coach) he does not have the time to continue writing a daily blog. But Clive blog has touched so many guys with a weight problem who have got back into cycling as part of a plan to get there weight under control it is really going to be missed. His blog was a kind of meeting place, not in the real sense like meeting your mates in the pub. But in the way where you knew that other guys with the same weight problem as you were suffering from were there reading the same blog. Clive’s frankness honesties of his own weekly weight ups and downs made those readers reflect honestly on their own weight when it came to standing on the scales. Clive’s blog became a sort of weigh loss club for guys.

Good luck with your future Clive, you blog will sorely be missed.

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return of the creak

The creak is back on my hard tail bike. Last week I stripped the pedals down to check that they were ok, gave them a good grease and put them back together again. But Sunday’s ride was plagued by the persistent creak as I pressed down on the left. I have stripped the crank down and checked all that is tight. It happens when I stand up and pedals so that takes the saddle and seat post out of the equations. Standing over the frame with my hands on the handle bars and pushing down on the bars does not reveal a creak. So it seems as if it is the left-hand (non-drive side) Bottom bracket bearing again. Those that read this blog will know that I fitted a new Hope Bottom Bracket bearing back in August last year. After a couple of rides I started to get a creak and after some investigation found that the left-hand bearing had very little grease in it. While I did contact Hope and they replied asking me to send it back to them to investigate, I repacked the bearing with grease and fitted it back on my bike, went out and test rode the bike and problem solved, no more creak. So in the end I did not send the Bottom Bracket back to Hope.

Question is what do I do now? I don’t really want to fork out £15\20 for new bearings as it is less than a year old and it would seem the fault was with the bearing when purchased. Hope gave me the options back in October when I contacted them. But having ignored their previous offer to send it back to them I may have shot myself in the foot if I contact them again about the bearing. I think at the moment it is a case of watch this space….

No ride today, windy and wet. I woke up in the night to a very cold back (other half had pinched all the quilt again) and I could feel the blowing in from the open bedroom window. Lifting the blinds this morning revealed a rain splattered window and the pampas grass waving happily in the garden. The rain has been on and off all day while the wind has been getting stronger all day.

Windspeed graph
A little windy

So with no rides today I did what everybody else does on a wet bank holiday Monday, we went shopping, we are now the proud owner of 6 Tomatoe plants and 6 pots of onion seedlings (is that the right word baby onions??). It was suggested that I spent this afternoon stood out in the wind & rain getting wet and cold replanting said plants etc. the reply to that is not printable…….

In a quest for a cheaper life here is a web site I used recently to purchase some electrolyte tablets. The company is called Dolphin Fitness, they seem to do all the energy drink type stuff that cyclist normally use and certainly cheaper than what the local bike shops are charging. My order was delivered a day earlier than advised when I placed the order (I took the 5 day free postage option). Hope it helps somebody out there.

Tomorrow night is stepping on the scales night, I am not hopeful…..

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Ouch! it was almost funny

Woke this morning to a lovely sunny morning, had been expecting a cloudy overcast like yesterday, but I am not going to complain about it being sunny even it was several degree lower than last weeks 20 degrees.

Thought I would to a gentle loop around Throop this morning, everything was going well until I got to Hurn Forest, the tree felling is still going on and the little bit of single track I ride when I get into the forest has been completely lost, I decided to follow the deep tyre track out to the main path and go from there. Everything was ok until we got to a boggy bit and it seems that they lined this section of the tyre tracks with small logs and branches from the trees they had felled to help get the machine through the boggy bits. I lost the front wheel on one of these logs, hit the side of the trench on the left and fell to my right, somewhere in this I managed to hook my ankle under a small branch at the side of the trench, then as I fell onto the hump of tree debris between the tyre trenches I managed to somehow pull another branch on to my leg just above my knee pinning it down. My bike came to rest on my legs and where I was now lying over the hump my head was looking at the forest in an upside down way. I eventually managed to free my left leg and use it to push my bike of my other leg. I could not move my right leg as it was still pinned at the ankle and above the knee, I pushed myself up on my arms which then released a bit of the pressure from the log pinning me above the knee, I could not move the log that was pinning my knee as I was actually sat on it (or another log that was holding it in place). I eventually managed to wiggle myself free but I guess it took a couple of minute all toll from the point of falling off to being able to stand. I imagine that had anybody seen me they would of thought it was quite funny, thinking about it now it is but at the time it hurt and was considering shouting for assistance (I had past a couple of dog walkers when I rode into the forest).

Having regained a vertical stance, I carried on up the tyre trench onto the main path and the rest of my ride which was thankfully uneventful. As I went across Parley Common my leg started to hurt and at first I thought it was a cramp affect from yesterday ride (I got cramps in the same place yesterday). So I decided not to push it and head for home rather than head back to Throop and home via the river. It was only later that I realised that it was infact where the log had pinned me down earlier, there is no bruise there yet but I expect by tomorrow morning it will be showing.

The afternoon was spent chasing a creak on the bike, I stripped the left hand pedal and gave that a good clean, will see if that has resolved it or not. I is definitely on the left hand-side and from the crank area. Not sure if I am riding mid week this week, would like to do a slightly longer ride but I need to plan a route so unlikely to be this week and with a 4 day weekend I guess I will do several two or three ride if we get the weather and maybe get the Whyte rolling again.

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just another week at the office

A week of contrasts, I have been very busy with work, sorting a problem with a software supplier who had set-up a new test environment which was not working correctly. They failed to get it sorted so we had to tell them how we could get around their cock-up but we still had to drag them along to get them to get their software working…….and we pay for this sh*t

One day this past week (can’t remember which) one I was going from desk phone to mobile and back to desk phone answering calls with little or no time in between to actually do any thing in between.

Boss: What did you do all day?

Me: answer the phone

Boss: and?

Me: answer the phone!

I was just complete madness.

On top of this I had to travel to head office around trip of 280 miles and then the next day I was at an employees house sorting out there ADSL connection which was a round trip of 300 miles, the joy of driving.

And while this has been going on I have had the pressure of the wife’s non-employment looming over me. At least I can reveal that as of 9:30am Monday 26th she will be back in the land of employment. A phone call to see if she was interested in a job, a phone call to go to an interview (for said job), an interview (for said job) and a phone call with the offer of a job, all in the space of 6.5 hrs. There was a loud audible sigh of relief when the news broke in this household, it is such a relief.

Not sure if an evening ride is going to be possible this coming week, the wife job has a couple of late finishes and with the clocks moving to BST, will just have to see how things settles.

Went for a ride this morning this is what happen half way round my ride

Tyre blown off
Inner tube bursting out after the tyre blew off the rim

(I can’t be bothered to rewrite the story so here what I wrote about the event on the MBR Forum)

The story, with the summer weather here I took my mud tyre’s off and put the Maxxis Larsen on this morning then went for a ride over the local heath. There is a long descent with about 6 railway sleepers as step on the way down. On the second step I jumped off the step but went a bit off line and landed on the grass bank and got a big kick from the rear end as I continued on down the path. I stopped at the bottom checked the rear wheel, particuarly the spokes but everything seemed ok. I then rode about 3/4 of a mile along wide gravel path, the last 1/4 up a long steep climb. At the top I am a wheezing gasping wreck and as I rolled down the trail there a sort of a thud, the back wheel locks up and I come to an abrupt halt, the picture was what I saw when I got off the bike.

I think two things led to this, the first was I put the tyre on the wrong way round (which I noticed when I took it off after it blew off). The Larsen tyre has square tyre block threads, the middle blocks of thread have a leading edge which is champered, while the trailing edge is square 90 degree cut. Secondly while I put the same amount of pressure in the tyre that I have had in the mud tyre’s for the winter, I did feel the back end was a bit soft (while both tyres are 2.0 the Larsen is a bigger profiled tyre and a lot softer). So what I think happened was when I landed on the grass bank and it kicked the back round I think it was the square cut section of the thread that bit into the grass and as well as kicking the back round and with the low tyre pressure it dragged the tyre either off or very close to the edge of the rim. Why it took so long to come off I don’t know.

The back wheel took some getting out, the inner tube was a slime filled one and it was difficult to get enough air out of the valve without it sealing up. Tool me about 25 minute all toll. I am glad it went when it did as the next section was down hill through some tree and then down a short steep hill

It is funny really because as I was fitting the summer tyres this morning I noticed that a section of the side wall on Kenda tyre that goes on the front wheel was wearing through (which is what happened to the other Kenda tyre) so I thought I better be careful and take it easy on that tyre until I get a new one (which I have done ready for tomorrow), but it was the rear tyre that played up.

I will leave the story about getting home from the ride to find I had been locked out the house as everybody had gone shopping for another day.


not much left…

During my ride yesterday I got to thinking about what was still original on my bike (with the advent of the new front disc brake). The bike is approximately 2.5 years old, the only original items that are still on the bike now that were there when I bought it are:

Front Wheel
Rear Brake
Seat Post
Rear Mech (dérailleur)
1 tyre (currently in the shed as it is more a summer tyre than a muddy winter tyre)

There is not a lot of the original bike left is there? Bits of the bike have been changed either through, fault, personal choice, wore out or upgraded. Having given you what left I suppose I should tell you what happened to the other bits:

Frame, exchanged under warranty
Front dérailleur, changed due to damage
Rear wheel, freehub wore out
Handle bars, changed for personal choice
Handle bar grips, changed for personal choice
Saddle, changed for personal choice
Front forks, upgraded
Headset (bit that connects forks to the frame for steering), wore out and upgraded to better model
Bottom Bracket\Crank, wore out and upgraded to a better one
Front brake, upgraded to a better model as the old one needed servicing
Pedals, changed personal choice
Tyre, sidewall split
Lots of inner tubes!!

That list does not take into account the servicing of the components during their life on the bike. The hub (Hope Pro 2) on the current rear wheel has been rebuilt, the forks have been serviced recently (complete strip down and all new seals) after failing while out on a ride. Then there has been a several cassettes, chain rings, chains and brake pads fitted as the previous one wore out.

I am not even going to try and put a price on this as it would likely scare me, but to me it is the price of exercise, fitness, freedom and fun. What price would you put on your enjoyment??