Saturday Mar 21, 2009

Summer bike back on the road

I've just completed one of the best jobs of spring. Putting my summer bike back on the road. This year it has the obligatory new chain and cassette (I ended up splashing for the Record cassette as I could not find a Chrous one), new cables and jockey wheels. Here is a top tip if your bikes gears no longer change as positively as they did when new,replace the cables and jockey wheels. I also replaced the G springs and the broken front brake spring.

The things I never thought I would wear out were the bottle cages:


I'm not sure the picure does it justice but almost half the profile of the bars have worn away which has had two effects. The cages no longer hold bottles securely and the aluminium wearing off on my water bottles means they look horrible. So I have new carbon fibre (but thanks to the credit crunch not Campagnolo) cages:


Finally the obligotory new handlebar tape and I'm done. The tyres are still good for a few more miles.

As always even just getting on it to test things are o.k. is a dream compared to my winter bikes. The trouble is it leaves me with no excuses for being slow.

Saturday Aug 30, 2008

Chainrings made of cheese

I rode my blue bike to work this week for two reasons. First I needed to carry more things home than usual and so had a pannier and second to make sure it was all ready for the winter. It turns out that all is not well. Having replaced the chain and cassette at the end of the winter and now I know that the Shimano Ultegra chain rings are only marginally more hard wearing than the 105 rings.

Prior to the bike's last major rebuild the 105 rings had only lasted one winter (3000 miles or so) and were replaced with TA rings. When the whole chain set was replaced it had Ultegra rings on so I left them. The Ultegra rings have lasted three winters (about 10,000 miles), not that bad until you compare the my summer bike. It is 9 years old and has done over 36,000 miles and still has the same chain rings (Campagnolo Record). The maintenance schedule of both bikes is the same, new chain and cassette after 3,500 miles. Yes the summer bike is lighter and does not go out in the winter but I still don't think that explains the drastic difference in the wear. I can't help agree with those that claim Shimano chain rings are made of grey cheese.

Luckily I have a spare set of chain rings, Stronglight ones, that I spent a happy hour fitting.

Monday Aug 27, 2007

Bike maintenance tip

Today, being a bank holiday, I had some time to catch up with some bike maintenance that should have happened a while back but I did not find the time. Specifically I fitted the new chain and casette to my summer bike that I bought in the spring. The last ones had done 6400 miles which is way to much and wears the front rings so that they often have to be replaced. I seem to have got away with it.

I splashed out on a gold chain to give the bike a bit of bling to celebrate the the arrival of the Tour and looks fantastic, even if it is now late:




That is enough bike porn. Now for the tip.

When fitting brake blocks into brake shoes spray both the shoe and the part of the block that slots into the shoe with furniture polish. It helps the blocks slide in. Simple but effective

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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