November 30th – I wondered how long it would be before this set of Rockshox forks suffered the notorious ‘sticky lockout’ problem. A year, they’ve been fine, the control on my bars reliably allowing be to make the suspension solid on road, then active on rough terrain at the flick of a lever.
Usually, it’s as simple as a corroded cable. Not this time. The damper gate appears to be failing.
Spares on order, and for now, a spring and a cable tie to assist the mechanism over it’s reluctance.
This must be the fourth iteration of these forks, all excellent on the whole, but all suffering lockout issues.
Time for a redesign, SRAM…
365daysofbiking Noble jacket:
October 7th – I set out on a pleasant but cold afternoon full of optimism. I was off to Cannock Chase to find deer, fungi some fine downhills and some autumn colour.
Fate had other ideas.
The first problem was I’d left home with a flat battery in my camera, so all these are phone photos, and without exception, I think they’d have been better pictures if taken with my camera. But I would tend to think that, I suppose.
Two mechanical failures and I was sunk. A makeshift repair on a shredded tyre wasn’t dependable, so a quick visit to Castle Ring was to be my lot.
I found good toadstools on the sandy embankment by the canal between Wharf Lane and Newtown bridges, which was nice, and the golden hour at Castle Ring was beautiful. Sad to note though now the once stunning view is again obscured by the tall trees down the hill – you can barely see the power station at Rugeley at all now.
A great sunset as I passed back through Chasewater just rubbed salt in my flat battery wound.
Some days are just not well starred. This was one of them, sadly.
June 2nd – A ride that turned out nothing like it was meant to, but still very good. First weekend of June is always the steam fair at Klondyke Mill in Draycott in the Clay, near Sudbury, so in the afternoon, I was headed there.
Coming down a long hill far side of Yoxall on the A515, the return spring in the front brake calliper overheated, buckled and bound in the disk.
It came out after a struggle lasting well over an hour – thankfully, patience and care meant neither the calliper nor disc were seriously damaged, and I had spare pads and a spring. But it meant I was far to late to justify the entrance fee to the fair, so I went to Sudbury, had a pint in a lovely beer garden, then explored Scropton, Hatton and the Dove Valley on a beautiful summer evening.
It was 55 miles, and not a bad ride overall.
April 15th – After a great day of sunshine on Saturday, Sunday was not so great – it was grey, overcast and periodically rainy, but it still felt warm. I’d had some noisiness and drivetrain grind on the ride the day before, so I decided to busy myself investigating it. I was glad I did.
I found issues with chain, sprockets and chainset, the former two of which were very close to catastrophic failure. It’s not often you’re glad to find a serious mechanical issue, but better here in the workshop with all the spares I need than the middle of nowhere.
I slipped out on a test ride at dusk, with the skies clearing. I didn’t see a soul, but the canal looked very moody and dramatic.
Never mind, weather’s warming up this week…
December 6th – Something today I noticed on a couple of bikes in a communal bike shed whilst locking mine up – what is it with quick release seat clamps?
For me, you find your ideal seat heat for a bike, and stick with it. Once you’ve dialled it in, there’s no need to fiddle. Unless you’re riding a folder, or a serious off road bike that requires a remote dropper that can be adjusted on the fly, I don’t understand why you’d use something so insecure, non tamperproof and pointlessly complicated on such a seldom adjusted clamp.
Can anyone enlighten me please?
June 29th – Some tools are small, cheap and indispensable, and this little red wonder is just such an item.
This is a Rixon & Kaul ‘Spokey’ spoke key. I’ve had a fair bit of trouble with broken spokes lately (due to damage, not bad wheels) and a good spoke key makes replacement much easier, as it did when I got home this evening.
This little tool costs about a fiver, and fits the spoke nipples positively, without damaging them, and provides a large, easy lever for gentle adjustment.
It’s also small and light enough to pop in the saddlebag toolkit for emergency adjustments on the road.
A real cycling design classic.
March 26th – There’s times when you just have to give in. For several reasons I’ve recently converted from 28mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres to 25mm. the ostensibly small, 3mm change has made a big difference to fitting the tyres, which has led to a couple of tubes being pinched on reassembly – notoriously during my ride around the Roaches a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve been looking for solutions. These tyres won’t be fitted by hand, the combination of Mavic rims and Schwalbe rubber is notoriously tough, so I’ve opted to try a new tool – this plastic hook device made by BBB and costing about £7 pivots like scissors, and you rest one arm on the opposite rim, and hook the tyre on with the other.
I’ve not tried it yet, but it has to be worth a shot. Never known tyres this tight before.
April 18th – A devil of a day beset by difficulties at work. I rode off early in the morning into an unpleasant headwind with a bad stomach and the day didn’t improve much. I was distracted on the way home by a mechanical issue, and just took these photos of the new pond at Clayhanger, which is greening up beautifully at the moment, but is suffering a little for being a hanging-out place for local kids who are littering a little.
Hopefully in a few weeks the slopes around the pool will be alive with orchids again, as they were last year. Sadly, it’s a bit too wet down there at the moment to investigate.
Repairs carried out at home, I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow – it wouldn’t be hard to achieve.
March 11th – A nasty graunching from the rear brake on the way home was severe enough to have me check it out as soon as I got home. Much to my shock, I found the stock, soft resin-organic brake pads in my rear calliper were just a bit worn.
The new sintered metal ones are at the rear, the ones I took out in front. That’s bad. Should have spotted it sooner – luckily I don’t seem to have damaged the disc.
Never take your eyes of those essential maintenance tasks, people!