Category: bike maintainance

fresh bugs don’t taste nice

I had a plan for today, get up, breakfast, fit the new front brake to the bike, test ride the bike round the block, shopping and then out for a club ride this afternoon. What actually happen was, get up, breakfast, fit brake new to bike, take new brake off bike, fit new brake, take new brake off again, fit new brake on bike, take new brake………….. and so it went on. The problem was the brake calliper was rubbing on the brake disc. It did not matter what did I could not get it to fit. I made a phone call to my favourite bike shop to see what they said, they confirmed from my description I was doing everything right. In the end I decided to fit a new disc rotor, I was going to wait until the end of the month to buy a new one but they were cheap enough for a basic disc rotor so I opted to get one in the hope that it would solve the problem.

Back home with the new shiny rotor I quickly fitted the new rotor to the wheel refitted the wheel, fitted the brake calliper and it was still rubbing on the calliper. After checking the internet for inspiration I decided to take all the bits off and start again. It was only as I was taking the adaptor off the forks (for those non cyclist out there, there is an adaptor that fits onto the front forks that the brake calliper is bolted to), that I noticed that there was a small arrow printed on the adaptor saying up, it was currently pointing down doh! Refitted the adaptor the right way up, refitted the calliper, adjusted the fit and everything was working as it should. In my defence what I will say is the instruction that came with adaptor had drawing on showing the positioning of the adaptor on the forks, one picture showed my adaptor fitted to the forks in a position that was actually upside down. There were no specific instruction just general instruction, it was only the arrow on the adaptor which pointed out my error.

By now it was to late for the shopping or the club ride, so I opted for lunch and an afternoon ride on my own. I had been reading on the local club forum about exploring Ramsdown Forest, this is normally part of my Throop Loop ride. So I set off towards the Stour River which for a sunny afternoon was quite quiet, I was expecting a running battle with walkers and their dogs. If I need any proof that spring was here, a mouth full of bugs did that and had me grinding to a halt coughing and spluttering much to the amusement of those around me. I made it down to Throop Mill where I met two fire engines, an ambulance, ambulance car and a police car blocking the entire road. It seems as though somebody had had an accident on the river bank about half mile away and this was as close as they could get. As I crossed the bridge over the weir I could see a group of florescent green jackets down along the river bank to the west of the weir, I was heading east.

In Ramsdown Forest I decided to ride up to the view point, I have only done this once and as I want to improve my hill climbing it seemed like a good idea at the time. By the time I got to the top of was a gasping spluttering wreck again and again an amusement to those already at the top of the view point.

I took the opportunity to have a rest and take some photos (see below) before heading back down the way I came up. I did some more exploring around the forest and while I did try a couple of paths I had not ridden before none of them revealed anything special. From Ramsdown I decided to carry on like I would do on a Throop Loop and headed out towards Hurn Forest and then out onto Parley Common and home.

A very pleasant afternoon and where until near the end of the ride I actually felt I had a pair of riding legs, hopefully they will be there again tomorrow!!

Looking west towards Hurn Airport, you can just make out the roofs of building on the industrial estate alongside the airport.
Looking out towards Ringwood (hidden behind the trees) A338 in the middle ground
Looking east towards the Isle of Wight and the needles
Been a while since my bike has snuck in to a picture
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wow – two rides in one week

Well if you can call yesterday ride, a ride, then going out again this morning I guess constitutes two rides. I a woke to clear blue sunny skies this morning so I thought I had better go for a ride. if as latest as walking off the drive I had not decided where I was going riding this morning. It seems as though old habit dies hard as I automatically turned left off my drive and headed toward Throop. It might have been blue skies and sunny, but it was a wee bit chilly. I thought I would do the same ride as I did last week until I realised that I had past the turning so it was a normal Throop loop then.

Thankfully I had more energy than I had yesterday but it was not long before the gremlins struck. I stopped just before going over the weir at Throop as my front brake was rubbing and quick re-centre of the calliper and I was on my way. I did one thing a little different on this ride which was going clockwise around Hurn as opposed to my normal anti-clockwise route. By the time I had got on to Parley Common my front brake was rubbing again so I had to stop On closer inspection it looked like one of the callipers was stuck (not re-turning). I managed to encourage it to move back into the calliper and continue my ride. More work was going to be required once I got home.

At this point I had forgotten about the trail destruction caused by the tree clearing in Hurn Forest at the rear of the old St Leonard Hospital.

Trail destruction
Crushed drainage pipe, just above the puddle of water on the left

In the first picture it look as though there is a path but about 7 meter behind where the bike is resting in the tree, it is only about 18″ wide and is an open ditch which connects up to the broken drainage pipe in picture 2

The the tyre trenches are ridable it is certainly not enjoyable and will remain wet through out the summer where the broken drainage pipe is (the area to the left in the first picture is boggy which is what the pipe is draining). Hopefully once they have finished the tree clearing they will repair this section. I should imagine the local caravan park will be complaining as this is one of the paths from there site to the forest. The rest of the ride was uneventful.

Once back home the front forks were removed to allow me to re-grease the lower headset bearing. Once the bearing was sorted and the forks refitted I turned my attention to the front brake calliper. After removing the brake pads and with the help of a screw driver I was able to get the stiff piston moving again, certainly moving more than it was.

Later this coming week the rear shock from the Whyte goes away for a service and then I can get that bike up and running ready for the summer so I can give the Cannondale a rest after months of slogging through the mud.

Well enough waffle from me I am out of here……………

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has anybody seen my get up and go??

My get up and go never even turned up!! That is how I have felt since the start of the new year, at first I put it down to the wife lack of employment and the problems that was causing, but that has been resolved as she now working. I still have the remnants of a cold lingering around, blocked snotty nose type. When I go out I feel the cold more than I have ever done before but as soon as I wrap up I am sweating. I am not sleeping well, and always find the bed and bedroom to warm despite the windows being open and the radiator being turned off. Work is a right nightmare at the moment with a queue of jobs which were supposed to have been completed yesterday. My diet as gone out the window since Christmas and that really is annoying me but I just can’t seem to control what I am eating, I have no will power when it come to eating at present.

When I go for a ride I have no energy, it is getting to the point where I don’t even go for a ride at the moment (I never went out last Sunday or today). I want to go for a ride, it just my get up and go has got lost. Last Sunday I woke up early (still dark 6:30am-ish) and just laid there in bed before fulling back to sleep, when I woke up again it was 9am. By the time I was up and had breakfast I had no interest in going for a ride. This morning I was in two minds where or when to ride, go out in the morning over the heath and come back and do some work on the bikes (more of that in a minute) of do the work on the bike and go out on the club ride in the afternoon. I decided to do the work on the bikes and by midday the wind had picked up and it had started to rain so no riding for me.

Now with the rain this afternoon, tomorrows ride is going to be muddy (assuming I do go for ride). I had picked a ride which hopefully would only have a little mud but it is only a short ride so now I don’t know if I will do that ride or do another ride or even go for a ride? Why am I trying to avoid the mud anyway, it has never worried me in the past?

I spent this morning swapping the rear wheels over between the Whyte and Cannodale now the Hope hub on the Cannondale wheel has been rebuilt. While I was at it I played with the rear mech hanger bolt now that I have a tool to hold the chain ring like bolt that secures it to the frame. I also gave the jockey wheel a clean and grease while I was at it. Once that was done I started on the Whyte, I refitted the rear wheel (which I had fitted on the Cannondale when its rear wheel failed) and then took the rear shock off the bike ready to go for a service. As well as a shock service, the rear brake calliper needs a service, a new rear brake rotor is required and a new rear mech cable before it is ready to hit the trail again.

I had even put off typing this post as I did not want to write about the fact that I had not done anything constructive in the past few days. Going back to my diet, I have made a decision, I am going to rejoin Slimming World (we both left just before Christmas to save some money), I have set a date for rejoining in an attempt that I can bring my eating under control before I rejoin, it is not working very well at present.

Well I have bored you enough, hopefully my next posting will be more entertaining…

nothing goes to plan

Todays plans was simple, get up, have breakfast, put new chain ring on bike, go for a ride. Unfortunately real life never happens like that. Everything went ok up to the point of putting the chain ring on the bike, it would not fit. The plastic moulding on the SLX chain ring that aids the lifting of the chain was fouling the chain ring webbing on the outside Truvit chain ring. There was no other option, I would have to buy a new Shimano SLX or XT 44 tooth chain ring. Several phone calls later I have only been able to locate Shimano Derore (lower spec than a SLX or XT) or Race Face chain ring in the local stores. I end up buying the Race Face chain ring and leaving the shop several £ound lighter.

Back home I am left to my own devices as the family go off to do some shopping. With everything assembled and a quick run through the gears and everything seemed to be OK. A quick spin down the road and back revealed otherwise. The chain would not lift off the inner ring and on to the middle ring, it would either end up sucking it self between the chain stay and chain ring or just sit half way rattling across the teeth of the chain rings. No amount of adjusting the front dérailleur made any different, so I loaded the bike up and headed over to Cyclefix to see if they can resolve the issue so I can at least go for a ride.

Diagnoses came down to two possible faults, the small inner chain ring was worn and holding the chain or the middle chain ring was incompatible in some way. The only way to resolve this was to fit a new one of each (one at a time) to see if this resolved the problem. I could leave my bike and it would be ready late afternoon or I could do it myself in the shop using the spare bike stand, I took the later option. I soon had the crank out and in bits fitted the new small chain ring and then re assembled the crank. A quick test on the bike stand showed it was changing ok so I took the bike for a ride around the doctor surgery car park next store. The changing from small to middle chain rings was now working. So yet another chain ring was purchased, all in all an expensive morning and the bike is now sporting three new chain rings and a new chain.

Here is a picture of the old and new chain rings (sorry not a very good picture)

chain ring
The old chain ring is the top one and if you look carefully you can see the wear compared to the new one behind

Here another reason I had to change the chain ring

Bent tooth
Bent tooth

After all that I never had time to go for a ride this afternoon so the bike is now ready for tomorrow mornings ride

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the only way is up

That is how I see things at the moment, when you are at the bottom of the proverbial ladder the only way is up.

I will start with good news, the wife has got a new job and starts on Monday, she was told she had got the job on Tuesday but there was a bit more form filling and checking to do, but it was not confirmed 100% until nearly midday Friday. So thankfully that is one major issue out of the way.

After my cold laid me low last weekend I thought I had been getting better all week, that was until this morning when a sneezing attack followed by a runny nose (for the rest of the day) made it’s return. To go with the runny nose I also have heavy eye syndrome, you can liken it to how your eyes feel when you have been a wake for more that 24 hours and want to go to sleep but you are forcing yourself to stay awake. At least I am not alone with the cold this time as my son has it as well.

I was intending to go for a ride this morning but several factors put pay to that. I still had the front gear change to check after the chain suck problems I had at Cannock the other week. I got the bike out the shed and put it on the stand and was looking at the front gear change mechanism from the left side of the bike (based on you sitting on the bike) and I remembered something I read on the MBR Forum in the week about a guys problem with chain suck and checking the chain rings for hooked shaped shark finned teeth on the chain wheel. Sure enough I had those very same “hooked shaped shark finned teeth” on my middle chain ring. No amount of playing with the mechanism was going to solve that problem, so I dismantled the crank and chain ring so I could get the middle ring off and then put the bike back in the shed. With winds over 20mph all day today I don’t think I would of enjoyed riding today.

In need of a new chain ring I thought I try a new web site I heard about on the (previously mentioned) MBR Forum, Bike Discount, it is a German web site and they are more than happy to post to the UK. I have heard nothing but good things about this company so I thought I would give them a try and what is even better is the cost of a new chain ring and the postage was cheaper than I could buy it from any of the UK web sites, is that just stupid or what??

So another weeks goes by with no rides due to a case of bad bike servicing on my part, weather and illness and my weight loss program is non-existent at the moment which is not being helped by my eat anything and everything in sight mind set.

This is not the start to 2012 I wanted, the only way is up………………………….I hope

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