Category: Local Bike SHop

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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three rides, three punctures

This morning ride was a little different, it was the first time my wife and my son would be cycling together since our son got his proper bike, secondly it was the first time that my wife and son would be going off on their own while I rode off on my own.

I had decided to ride a short loop from Badbury Rings to Long Crichel and back, while I was doing that my wife and son would start of riding with me but would then turn off and do a short loop round the fields and back to the car park at Badbury Ring. All the paths they were riding were very wide and quite smooth farm tracks with the last part riding along side the road on the wide grass verge.

Things did not start off well for the wife, we had stopped on a hill (after about half a mile) where the son had got stuck with his gears and ground to a halt, after manually changing them for him and then giving him a quick push start up the hill he was away and made it to the top. As I remounted my bike and started pedalling I heard some shouts from behind me followed by arghh and then laughter, on looking back I saw my wife laying on the ground with the bike on top of her laughing her head off. Apparently she wobbled when she started pedalling and then just keeled over.

When we got to the split I went over all the instructions with my wife and son again as they had never ridden on their own before, bid them farewell and rode off down my trail wondering when the first phone call would come asking for help. Thankfully that call never came.

My ride was pretty much uneventful, quite muddy in places with my third puncture in three rides coming about two thirds of the way round. This time the culprit was a Slime inner tube (the Dr Sludge tubes having been consigned to the rubbish bin) that I had stuck a patch on after getting a hole in the tube which was to big for the latex slime to repair. The patch I had put on the tyre had lifted and the slime was oussing out (as was the air).

Once I had replaced the tube I carried on back to the car park at Badbury Rings where I found my wife and son playing Angry Bird on their phone. I found out that they had not ridden up the grass verge as it was too heavy going (and I would agree with that, it was hard going) so they had rode the half mile or so on the road carefully, I was quite impressed. Their little ride was just over 5 miles while mine was just under 14 miles.

The replacement parcel from Chain Reaction Cycles for my lost parcel turned up, must say they were very good about it no arguing about it. To be honest it has been a bit of a quiet week, four trips for work this week all had early starts so I ended up having early nights to ensure I got some sleep. My intended mid week ride this past week never happened, school visit and acting as the family taxi put pay to that. Not sure where I am riding tomorrow yet, fancy something different than the normal Throop loop so I think I will go and investigate my list of saved rides and see what I have not ridden for a while.

Last night after returning from collecting my bike from CycleFix after having a new headset fitted I found a large nail hanging out the side of the rear tyre of the van and leaking air. It was 5:30pm as I franticly called a couple of tyre centers to see if I could get it fixed. In the end, nobody had a tyre on the shelf but I was able to get the spare fitted but now I am running about with no spare tyre until they can get a replacement.

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what a week

Why can’t life be simple, if it can happen it happens to this family, don’t know why it just does. It has been a bit of a roller coaster week with a few surprises and even more surprising outcomes and to be perfectly honest at the end of the week we are in exactly the same spot we started the week, just a bit more harassed and wiser. Unfortunately I can not elaborate on what has gone on.

Due to one thing and another I never got out for an evening ride this past week so this morning ride was my first since last weekend. While I had planned to go riding today I had not decided where, when I went to bed last night I had decided on the local heath but when I got up this morning I felt I wanted to ride some where new. I remembered seeing a route on bikely web site which showed a route down to the local beach. After a quick search I found the route and downloaded it. Unfortunately it was part of a bigger route so I chopped out the section of the route I did not want and left just the section to the beach and back and then uploaded it to my GPS. I was interested in this route for two reason, one it used a couple of new section of areas that I already ride and secondly I was interested in how much of an off road ride there was to the beach. The route was not a direct route from A to B but more of a direct-ish route using all the available off road sections in between home and the beach. It turned out that from my house to the beach, along the promenade and back through Bournemouth town centre and out through Meyrick Park to the point where I crossed my outward path near Bournemouth University was 7.5miles. I guess 50% of that was off road (a mix of heathland track, path through woodland and gravel paths). At this point I decide I still wanted to do a bit more riding so I continued along the road to the local heath and took a loop around the heath and then home. Checking the GPS at home showed 18.9 mile ridden. Nothing spectacular, but interesting none the less.

While out riding this morning I pasted two new cycling attraction currently under construction but close to opening, one is the new Bournemouth cycle track at Slades Farm and the other was new cycle shop opening on the premises of an old cycle shop that closed towards the end of last year in Wallisdown.

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lack of enthusiasm

The enthusiasm to post has been missing for a the past week or so, life is just getting the better of me at the moment. Last week the diet really went down the pan big time around mid week, but some how I was able to pull it back over Friday, Saturday and Sunday so that when I got on the scales last night I had lost half a pound, I was expecting a 1 to 2lb gain……….

Went for a couple of rides at the weekend, the ride on Saturday was not until late afternoon as I had to replace the bearings in the headset which a local bike shop had cocked up. Not impressed when I found out what the cause of the problem was. I should of gone back to the shop but I just don’t have the enthusiasm to argue with them, better of sorting out the problem myself, avoiding the shop and getting on with life.

The ride was a bit of a disaster as I started to suffer from chain suck, not the best thing to happen in the middle of the forest in the pitch black, so I cut the ride short and headed for home, still managed around 16 miles. That is the last ride on the Canondale now until the bottom bracket and crank are replaced. Sundays ride was out in the New Forest, my legs were feeling a bit heavy from the ride the night before, added to that the mud I found in places, it was hard work. Did not help when I took a wrong turn and ended up having to walk through a bog, still managed 17.6 miles.

the importances of good maintenance

I was going to put this in my last post but I waffled on a bit, so here is a new post.

Back at the beginning of the year I found that I needed to get a new chain for the Cannondale as it had reached end of life according to my chain checker . Well the chain arrived and last weekend as I was preparing the Whyte after the weekends ride ready for this weekends ride, I thought I should check the chain. A quick measure revealed the chain was well past its best. I was not impressed with my own lack of checking the chain, after all it is basic maintenance, I have no excuse for not checking it. I ordered a new chain and ensured it would be with me in time for me to fit before this Saturdays ride.

The chain arrived a couple of days later so after changing the Whyte’s tyre’s for the mud tyre’s from the Cannondale (with the rain we have had over the past few days it was going to be muddy). I then set about fitting the new chain. A quick test ride up and down the road to ensure everything was working well revealed the gears were not working right, the chain was jumping as I applied any heavy pressure to the peddles in the mid range gears and on the middle chain ring. After much searching I was unable to spot where the problem was, I asked some biking mates for some information and while the information was useful I was not able to pin point where the problem was with any certainty, cassette or chain rings. It to damm expensive to just keep ordering replacement parts until I resolve the problem and not only that it was now late in the week and to get any parts and fit them on the bike be for Saturday. As I wanted to ride the Whyte on Saturday, I decided to put the old chain back on and ride with it, to be honest there were no problems with the gear changing using the old chain and another 24 miles was not going to damage the problem component much more.

After the ride I headed back to Cyclefix who had a look at the bike and pointed the finger of experience at the cassette, while the cassette teeth were still square you could see the burred edges on the leading edge of the teeth. See *picture below (this is not my cassette but show what I mean)

This really show how important it is to have a regular and thorough maintenance schedule for your bike. As it stand now, both my bikes are out of action (the Cannondale need some minor work done on it but has no chain or tyres fitted at the moment) and I will (hopefully) spend a couple of evenings and next Saturday sorting them out before I can ride again.

A new Cassette is on order and will be fitted is due course, hopefully this will resolve the problem. I should say that the gears worked perfectly during the ride despite the large amounts of mud they collected.

While I was prepping the bike ready for the ride on Saturday, I also added a bottle holder, one problem with the Whyte is, it only has one bottle holder location in probably the worst place possible, on the front face of down tube at the bottom by the bottom bracket, right for all the muck from the front wheel to spray the bottle with all the crud of the track. So I got myself one of these bottle mounts ignore the carbon bottle cage in the picture, I used a standard bottle cage. It was ok in use but I think might turn the bracket up the other way so it points downwards as with a bottle sat in the cage it sits a bit high (if you want to hang of the back of the bike). Before anybody says anything about mud coming off the back wheel I have a crud catcher on the rear which limits a lot of the mud but yes it does collect a little. I will post some pictures once I have turned the bracket over.

*the picture came from this blog

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