BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘mechanical’

#365daysofbiking Feeling groovy

March 27th – The front brake has been quite noisy in recent days, and is juddering a little, yet the pads are fine.

A quick inspection in the bike shed at my destination showed the reason: The front disc it now severely worn and is starting top ripple on hard barking. The wear surface itself is about 60% of its original width.

A new disc will be about £25. Time to get one ordered I think. It’s seen some life, that one.

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#365daysofbiking Semaphore

March 11th – A trip to Droitwich made a pleasant change.It’s not often I come out here these days – the younger folk in the team generally do it those jobs now, but sometimes I like to pay a call for the adventure of it.

Droitwich Station is interesting – the line here hints at a much busier past, with derelict sidings and a large signal box, but today the line is pretty sleepy and rural.

I’m interested to see that here, old mechanical semaphore signals are still in use, which always seem terrifically heath Robinson to me. They are a masterpiece of rods, wires, rollers and mechanical interlocking and it’s a wonder how they keep working so long.

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#365daysofbiking Brake spring broke

February 5th – I have absolutely no idea at all what’s happened here at all.

It started at the weekend – a rubbing on the front disc brake on my current bike of choice. A light rub, no more that a tickle.

As the days progressed it got worse, and defied my attempts to adjust it away.

In exasperation, I removed the brake pads, which were OK at about 60% remaining.

The leaf spring that keeps them off the disc however, was broken. This was allowing on pad to rub.

An easy, 30 second replacement. But I’ve never had a spring fail like that that hasn’t been worn on the disc as the pad ran down.

This is most peculiar. I shall keep my eye on things in case it’s something significant.

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#365daysofbiking Springtime:

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.