Re: tweak tweak then tweak a little bit more


Martin Wilson

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:38:17 -0000, jas0n <[email protected]> wrote:

>been trying to make the bike I bought from ebay functional today, didnt
>do too badly, but needs more work ...

What bike did you buy? New or secondhand?

>so far had to tighten the seat bolt as the saddle is wobbly, think it
>might need a washer as it was a bit looser again after a short ride.

If your anything like me at first I had the saddle quite low to the
frame but as my experience grew the saddle was raised a bit at a time.
So adjusting the saddle height and tilt might be something you do a
lot in the first month or so.

>i pumped up the tyres and got some green goo type stuff come out of them
>whilst doing it - they must be slime innertubes - lovely stuff!

Don't forget to always take a spare inner tube about with you too.
Puncture repairs to tubes are best done at home. Also take a small
pair of rough old tweezers with you to pull out whatever got through
the tyre to cause the puncture, in addition to normal necessary
spanners and tyre levers.

>the dynamo is too close to the tyre to push/engage so theres some more
>adjusting to be done, although its not rubbing so left alone for now.
>had to adjust the v brakes as rear one was rubbing and mudguard rubbing
>too ... the rears i dont think are centered.

If its anything like my bike I tend to have the front v brake set
pretty close to the rim as the front wheel is pretty immune to going
out of true and make sure you set the toe in on the brake blocks to
reduce braking noise/squeal. Setting the toe in only lasts for me
about a month before I have to do it again. I tend to have the rear
brake set with a greater gap as its more likely to go out slightly of
true sometimes.

>so went out on a litle test ride - the gear range has definately
>improved from my previous 6 speed although the front cage seems to rub
>on a fair number of gears - I could trim it away for some of them but
>definately needs some adjustment.

Its the same for me on the left gear shifter I use '2' and just past
'2' like a sort of '2.1' setting as this eliminates front cage
knocking in some gears.

>after all this i think id possibly be better off just dropping it off at
>a decent bike shop and getting it serviced properly although i spose
>doing it yourself helps you when things go wrong in the field

Personally I prefer to do it myself. When I first got my cheapo ebay
bike I found for the first 2 weeks I was tweaking the spokes to get
the rear wheel back to true a fair bit. Where as the front wheel was
only ever done once and that was after a minor accident. The point is
I would have been at the LBS quite a lot and spent a lot of money. My
local dealer is very expensive and very profiteering but you may have
a more down to earth fair priced LBS to go to. My LBS quoted me £60 to
tweak/true 4 wheels. Everytime I've spoken to my local LBS the prices
quoted are far higher than most people elsewhere would expect to pay I
think. That £60 went a long way in equipping me with some decent bike
tools and trueing myself didn't take long to learn thanks to numerous
helpful websites. I'm semi reasonable at doing it now.
On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 23:35:41 -0000, jas0n <[email protected]> wrote:

>its certainly not in the 'as new' condition the seller put on his ad but
>it isnt in bad shape and once tweaked a bit more should at least get me
>out and about again in time for the better weather (at this weight and
>fitness level im definately a fair weather cyclist but once i get into
>it properly and get the fitness level back and lose a fair chunk of the
>weight i'll be wanting to upgrade the bike and start going out in
>whatever the weather ... as of right now though i cant enjoy it all that
>much as im too unfit and overweight and the rattles still need tweaking
>out ..... all of which will sort themselves out the more i get on and
>ride ;)

Seems like a nice bike. Strong high tensile steel frame and some
pretty good components fitted.

>i keep saddle height in line with put pedal to bottom of rotation and
>knee is slightly bent - works fine for me.

At first I didn't do this as my balance wasn't amazing on my bike. I
liked to be able to put my feet out quickly to touch the ground.
However I'm riding a mountain bike so the clearance is higher I think.
Anyway sitting on the saddle I have to have the bike tipped either
left or right for my feet to touch the ground now.

>im only going to gym and back for a few weeks and on way back will just
>go round the block a few times - my cycle legs are a distant memory and
>my perceived fitness was oh so optimistic ;)
>i did take my exercise bike into my office for lunch time spins but been
>a busy week being out and about so ive had plenty of excuses not to get
>on it which ive taken .... !

My regime is one where I always do the exercise but give in on the
dieting a fair bit. Over the weekend I did 140km on my exercise bike
at the highest friction level. How successful this will counteract the
numerous curries and apple pies I've also scoffed is debatable but
generally mon-fri I keep fairly rigidly to a sensible diet.

>> >the dynamo is too close to the tyre to push/engage so theres some more
>> >adjusting to be done, although its not rubbing so left alone for now.
>> >
>> >had to adjust the v brakes as rear one was rubbing and mudguard rubbing
>> >too ... the rears i dont think are centered.
>> >


I found with my cheap ebay bike that after about 3 weeks of riding I
had to tighten the axle cups on the rear wheel as the rear bearings
bedded in and became more lose. As a heavier rider like myself the
rear wheel seems to be the thing that needs most attention and
monitoring more than anything else.

>> Its the same for me on the left gear shifter I use '2' and just past
>> '2' like a sort of '2.1' setting as this eliminates front cage
>> knocking in some gears.

>yes, i'll have to sort that out as rattles drive me nuts - havent had a
>close look yet as I didnt have all my tools with me at the time.

This isn't a problem related to heavier riders its something all
cyclists appear to have due to the angle of the chain between extreme
gears. Fine tuning of the front derailleur position is one of those
skills you develop over time as you use the bike. I tend to ride
almost 100% of the time with a mp3 player and so sometimes don't hear
it though.

>just so glad ive got a range of gears I can use - even if im hardly
>moving on the really easy ones - its still better than walking - in fact
>it'll probably be better for me to stay in the easy ones whilst just
>doing the local runs to help me start to build those spin muscles I hear
>folk on about - that its better to spin than push a higher gear -
>certainly sounds logical to me - i think i used to spin at 80 on an
>exercise bike at the gym.

Yes I've heard you can do in your knees constantly using as high a
gear as possible but must admit I ride that way. As a heavier rider my
legs are quite heavy too and I'm more comfortable with power delivery
rather than high cadence. However as I lose weight I think I'm
gradually shifting the other way. The point is though I find high
cadence more exhausting I think even with a lesser load. My bike
generally lacks high gearing though. I think in its highest gear on
the flats with a normal cadence it probably only goes to about 20-22
miles per hour. So to get to 30mph for example for short spurts takes
a very high cadence indeed and can only be achieved when the road
pitch is slightly in my favour.

>the basics seem to come back fairly quickly, just the leaning over the
>bike and kneeling hurts me back these days!!!
>ive a fair few tools i use in my work that are perfect for most of my
>cycling basics so didnt need and had a few more specific bike ones from
>last time I bought the 6 geared thing!

I bought one of these;

Both the main toolkit and chain cleaner are very useful. Theres
something strangely satisfying about watching the chain cleaner in
action taking off all the crud using the degreaser and then using it
again to apply fresh oil. Removing the rear freewheel to get to the
bearings is quite an important thing to do occasionally as is getting
to the bottom bracket and servicing it. Practically anything you need
specific to bikes is included with this toolkit. The only thing
missing is a good set of wire cutters.

One of these is also super handy for wheel trueing and cleaning and
adjusting gears and the chain.