Archive for the ‘Repair and Maintenance’ Category
Wow … I am impressed. I called last night because I need new idler mounting hardware after stripping off the TerraCycle Idlers. Greg Peek answered the phone and was so helpful … it was amazing. He is putting together a package of parts and shipping to me. This is outstanding support.
Most bike manufacturers are just interested in building and selling new bikes but Greg is addicted to excellence. He really takes the time to support existing customers. Kudos Greg!!!
Tightening the linkage didn’t work for very long. So back to my orginal premise .. loose headset.
Once I loosened the retainer bolt it was obvious that the headset was loose. A quick 5 minute adjustment and things were fine again. I must not have set the lock nut tight enought last Fall.
Nuts and bolts are in your future. I try to keep the nuts and bolts on my bikes tight … if I don’t over time they loosen and fall off. Also, nuts and bolts on some components aren’t the best, over time corrode and need to be replaced. After a few years of riding I have some that definitely need to be replaced.
Finding good nuts and bolts isn’t easy … the best are a good grade of stainless steel and have nylon binders in the nuts or on the bolts.
A source that a recumbent/trike rider friend recommended is PowerOn Cycling. He buys most of his parts from them. I recently bought replacement idlers from them and can say they are quick and easy to work with. They definitely have some hard to find parts that most recumbent riders will need. They only show a few nuts in their online catalog but have more.
Another more complete source is Allen Fasteners. Ordering from they is more complicated because they sell all kinds of fastners and you will have to look through a lot more items to find what you need.
When in doubt about what you need talk with your local bike shop and buy from them.
Recumbents have big expensive chains. The Slipstream has one of the biggest chains on any bike. Chains tend to stretch (wear) over time and need to be checked.
If you don’t replace a chain before it wears too much you will be replacing not just the chain but the chainrings and rear cogs. That can be expensive.
Luckily chains don’t have to be checked very often if you ride on the road and they are easy to check if you have an inexpensive tool.
As the video shows, measuring chain wear is easy. When the stretch measured start to approach 1.0″ it is time to replace your change. Measurement from 0.25″ to 0.5″ are typical of chains in good shape, new chains often have that much stretch. Those numbers are on the side of the Park CC-2 so you don’t have to worry about remembering them.
Take away: Check your chain every month if you are riding a lot, less if you aren’t putting many miles on. Do replace the chain before it gets to 1.0″ of stretch.
My first guess was wrong, the front end wobble was not caused by the headset. It was the result of a loose connection in the steering linkage not the headset. Tightening the steering bar mounting bolt made the wobble go away.
The steering bar still moves freely but the bar doesn’t move up and down anymore. Nice simple fix and something to put on my list of thing to keep an eye on.
I know, I have said check every fastener every month and that covers this problem. It is just I need to look at this one a little differently than I have in the past. This bolt felt tight because the nut has a nylon insert. I need to check for steering bar movement not a loose nut.
Riding home on Sunday my Slipstream suddenly developed a sever front end wobble at speeds above 20 MPH. I haven’t really checked it yet but I suspect the headset is loose. Last year it started to bind and I adjusted it. I am hoping that another adjustment will do the trick.
I am also hoping that my sloppy maintenance last year didn’t create a problem. Last year ( Adjusting the Slipstream Headset), I just assumed it was sticking because it was tight and loosened the adjustment. I should have disassembled the headset and checked for dirt or foreign material in the headset. If that was the case I will probably be replacing the head set this year.
This year I am going to do the job a lot better - Bicycle Tutor – How to Overhaul a Threaded Headset. This is a terrific video, it makes everything simple and reminds you of all the things we non-mechanics forget.
But it is cold, dark and raining hard now – so checking the headset will have to wait another day. Instead I have been reviewing headset adjustment videos on YouTube so I’ll be ready when the rain stops. I have the wrenches and lube I need already. I got them last year.
BTW: Park recommends checking headset every 2 or 3 rides and greasing 2x per year
Here are a couple of YouTube Videos you might find useful:
I’ll update you after I check out the headset. This time I’ll remember to disassemble the headset and lube the bearing before I do any adjustments.
Bicycle Tutor – How to Overhaul a Threaded Headset – This is a terrific video – the best by far on this subject
Yup, yesterday I had my first flat of the year. It happened only about a mile from my house.
Strangely, I enjoyed fixing the flat. This is the first time I found fixing a flat fun. I have become competent at fixing flats with lots of practice but for the last few years just haven’t had many.
Being prepared made a big difference. I had the equipment listed in my Tire Repair Tools Post and that made me feel confident and helped me relaxed. The other thing that helped a lot I had no time pressure. This was a legs loosening ride after a bad calf cramp a few days earlier and I had no need to get a long ride in.
My Longbikes Slipstream has a 1″ threaded Shimano105 Headset. It is easy to forget about the headset but you should check it and adjust periodically. This video shows how easy it is to make that adjustment. You will need 2 32 MM thin wrenches for this.
I posted this because my bike was becoming more and more difficult to handle. Strange but I thought it was me not the bike that had changed. It felt like I had forgotten how to ride over the winter. But when I checked the headset I found that it was sticking in the straight ahead position.
My first thought was that headset sets usually loosen not tighten and I’ll have to replace the headset. But I borrowed 2 32MM thin wrenches and loosened the headset and everything freed up.
So like lots of other things on your bike, the headset set needs to be checked (usually it has loosened) and adjusted.
Nice set of tips on fixing Rear Dérailleur shifting problems. This video is not a tutorial on how to adjust your rear deraileur see Rear Deraileur Adjustment Made Simple – Wow!!! for that.
Instead this video goes through common rear shifting problems and how to fix them on the road. Yes, the video is in the shop but the techniques shown only require a 5MM socket and a screw driver, tools that you would have with you if you are touring.
After installing shorter cranks, I just needed to touch up my front derailleur. Here’s a video on Front Dérailleur Adjustment.
The good news is that front dérailleurs are more stable than rear derailleurs and don’t require much attention. When they do you usually don’t have to go through the whole procedure, most of the time it is just a minor chain rub.
If you have a minor chain rub just adjusting the in-out travel limit screws on the top of the dérailleur will usually do the job. Just remember that these screws are often the reverse of what you would expect. For example for my Shamino XT Front Dérailleur, the screw closet to the frame on the top of the dérailleur sets the outer travel limit for the dérailleur. So if your chain is rubbing on the largest chain ring, then the inner screw is adjusted. If it is rubbing on the smallest chain ring then the outer furthest from the frame) is adjusted.
Just be sure that the when you adjust the Front Dérailleur that the chain is on the right rear sprocket (sprockets are driven by chains, gears are driven by gears by we usually call them gear on bikes anyway). When adjusting a rub on the largest chain ring use the smallest rear sprocket. When adjusting for a rub on the smallest chain ring use the largest rear sprocket.
If that doesn’t work, clean, lubricate and try again. Then if that fails follow all of the steps in the Video.