Archive | bike-repair

If all else fails – read the manual

Many consumer goods these days are designed to work straight from the box. It can make us reluctant to read manuals, assuming we can work it out on the fly. This is often a good quick approach, but not always the case with bike maintenance, where small errors can  have big effects.

Quark Power meter reading calibration error

At the weekend, my Quark Elsa started giving exaggerated power meter readings. I’ve had for two years, and although it has died twice (and Quark sent replacement). It has been pretty consistent in power meter reading, which is main thing for a power meter. So higher power and calibration errors was disconcerting.

I realised it may have been affected by switch from double chainring to single chainring set up. I looked up Quark Power meter calibration and found advice that after change of chain rings, you may need to recalibrate 4-5 times.

This proved correct, after 4 attempts at calibration, it finally calibrated correctly. It was tempting to give up after two or three attempts, but reading manual encouraged me to try and again. Simple solution. Continue Reading →

3

Lifeline Professional Workstand – Review

After years of prevaricating, I got around to buying a Workstand to be able to work on my bike. I was reluctant to buy a work stand because:

  • I’m not very good at bike maintenance and tend to prefer to take it into bike shops. I was reluctant to purchase when with many jobs it’s easier to take into a shop.
  • I don’t have much space in my conservatory. I have so many bikes, there isn’t really room for a work stand.

On the other hand, I thought buying a workstand may have the following benefits:

  • It may make me better at bike maintenance – it’s hard enough adjusting gears without using one hand to hold bike up and the other hand to adjust gears.
  • It’s inconvenient having to take bike to a bikeshop all the time.
  • It might make it easier to clean the bike.

After looking online at different options, I choose the Lifeline Professional Workstand from Wiggle.  It had the following advantages

  • At £72 it seemed quite cheap. I didn’t want to get a higher end workstand, when I wasn’t sure how much I would use it.
  • It could be folded up quite small and conveniently put away in a corner.
  • It had reasonably good reviews.

How to set up

To set up, it was fairly quick and intuitive, there are a couple of quick release levers which can quite quickly move the stand from compact to set up.

bike-stand-closed

Quite easy to set up. Continue Reading →

3

Bike maintenance – Checking headset

My early spring bike service and headset maintenance – what to look out for and how to fix problems.

There has been a lot of salty water on the roads this winter. It’s not been the coldest winter, but it has been dipping below freezing enough for the roads to be salted and then wet. The result is bikes ridden through the winter will have taken a battering. Everywhere in Oxford I see rusty chains – a sure sign of riding through winter salted roads. I keep using TF2 chain lube, but even regular squirts can’t stop minor rusting.

rusty-chain-white-bike

Ideally, I would leave a bike service for another month (when hopefully the salting of the roads would finish), but the commuting bike has been driven into the ground so it was time to get another service from Sherwood Mobile Bike Mechanics.

I bought a new chain and cassette for Andy to put on. I thought the brake cable had gone, but actually it was the rear brake frozen up, due to rust. Andy cleaned the brake and regreased and changed the most worn components.

I’m not too fussy about the commuting bike, but Andy felt the headset needed attention. I haven’t pain any attention to headset maintenance and have never really understood headsets – so I got Andy to write his tips for headset wear towards the end of the post. In the end it was quite a lengthy service, but that is inevitable when you cycle on it so much during the winter.

new-cassette-commuting-bike

After the service the bike runs like a completely different bike!

 

I keep a tight chain because I have a single ring and no front mech to stop chain dropping off. Continue Reading →

2

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

free hit counter