When things bicycle go well, I can cope. When things aren’t quite right, I mostly struggle and scour YouTube for advice. I am not a natural mechanic.
I expected the replacement freewheel to arrive later in the week so, to get the kilometers in and hit the 3,500 k number this week, I rode the Bishopsbourne, Armstrong Lane loop first and, the next day, out to Carrick. The Armstrong Lane loop is interesting. Why does it always seems hillier going anticlockwise through Bishopsbourne than going clockwise? I have recently tackled it both ways and I still don’t know. Obviously the climbing and descents must be the same but it certainly feels less hilly turning left off Bishopsbourne Road and looping clockwise.
What’s annoying? This website has been found by silly people who, during the week, posted a heap of rubbish comments. What do they get out of it I wonder? The comments have been deleted.
On to real life. It took a little while and a few “round-the-block” rides to get the Brooks saddle set up on the Brompton in preparation for our caravan/cycling trip. The ‘Penta-Clip’ that attaches the seat to the post provides for an infinite level of adjustment fore and aft and up and down. I think the setting is just about there now. The original saddle is back on Vivente and is also being worked on having replaced the Brooks. Again, it’s nearly there, nearly comfortable but not quite. I find it take several rides to get saddles in exactly the right position. How different to sitting in a “deckchair” on the trike.
Once more I seem to spend more time working on bikes than riding them.
Monday. With the weather being cold and wet early on I concentrated on the Anura. The difficulties with the gear change may be because I pushed the boom out without adding links to the chain. It may also be because the chain is worn. To deal with both possibilities, I decided to replace the chain with new and, to do that, I needed to know what chain was on there now. An initial look showed me there was already a short chain extension added using power links. I couldn’t get the power links undone with what I had – so took a trip into Launceston for a pair of powerlink pliers. Using them I easily undid the two links and removed the extension piece only to find the added chain was probably really too narrow – it was for a 9 speed cassette. Perhaps that was the issue? I broke a bit off the main chain and looked up the numbers on the chain on the ‘Net. Crikey – bicycle chain is a complex issue!! Millions of internet pages devoted to it (where do they all fit!!!? How many servers hold the information?? OK, let’s ignore the sidetrack). Eventually I worked out the current chain is a 7mm wide jobbie for an 8 speed Shimano hyperglide freewheel (not cassette). Probably.
The next day, back to the LBS to see if they had any chain of this type. They did and I bought 3 (plus 7mm power links) to make sure I had enough. Also slipped into the bag were a pair of SPD pedals. By Tuesday afternoon I had linked up and installed the new chain which seems to hang correctly at the derailleur – but not exactly like the Greenspeed doco picture.
By then a box had arrived from Greenspeed containing new tyres and mudguards. At the LBS I had also purchased 3 new inner tubes so they could be installed. Once the chain was in place (a simple statement hiding a lot of swearing) I started work on the tyres. It was about 2°C at the start and the old tyres were hard to get off and the new tyres just didn’t want to be installed – even with the tyre jack. I put the new tyres in the sun to (hopefully) expand a bit, left them and went to work some more on the chain – adding a few links. When the day had warmed up I returned to the tyres and got the new units installed. Just as the light faded. Tuesday over and no riding so far.
The is the “Tyre Jack”. Thanks to this device I can change tyres and mend punctures!
Wednesday began with a tyre check. All had remained inflated overnight .. so far so good. This morning was disc brake adjustment day so, back to the ‘Net, how do Avid BB5s work? I adjusted the front brake which had been rubbing, added the new pedals and then took the trike for a ride up Wilmore’s Lane.
On Bishopsbourne Road about to turn into Wilmore’s Lane. The Ortleib pannier fits well on the back.
Uphill the Anura/Tony combo was quite slow but not too much effort was needed to keep the pedals spinning. Coming back it was also slower down the hills than Vivente and this surprised me with all the hype about trikes being fast downhill. The very bumpy chip seal felt quite bouncy but there was no back jarring thanks to the seat. Hey, how about that – there was a ride today!
Wednesday evening was spent getting the Bike E into the back of the car c/w all the clobber we need for 2 nights away with Oscar. A bit of a challenge.
Thursday we set off early for Huonville and by early afternoon the Bike E had been handed over to Ken.
Friday was a short ride around Huonville to check out the Bike E making sure it had survived it’s trip south and then for Ken to ride it while I followed on his Dahon. He was happy with the way it rides now. Phew. No further cycling on Friday as we went to a commemorative event for a friend who passed away last week.
Saturday was also a “no ride day” as we spent it getting back home and visiting friends at Swansea on the way. A really tasty soup and bread lunch was supplied by Sally – well worth a mention in these pages!
On Sunday I adjusted the Anura gears and added a couple more links in the chain – still trying to get it right. There has been a noisy crunch when changing down from 5th to 4th and when hopping onto the largest cog at gear 1.
The sunny look belies the 6°C – note new tyres (with reflective sides) and mudguards!!
Then I headed out to the Perth / Breadalbane cycle track once more to give it a run. 3 laps had me getting tired and finding how the gears are now working. There is still an issue with the down change now and again and I have no idea what the cause is at the moment, but it is easily managed with a little care.
I think I have done all I can Anurawise for now. Next week I should be able to concentrate on getting a few ks in on all bikes and getting the total for the year up a bit more.
Till next time …..
Total for week : 52 k Total for year : 2,199 k
Vivente : 0 k Brompton : 0 k Bike E : 5 k Anura : 47 k
What? Well, it’s like this.
I set up a new WiFi T100 on the Brompton yesterday and a quick check showed speed readings although it seemed to be speed reading a bit high. However, today the T100 did not work. The screen lit up but nothing that should come from the sensor registered. Checked the sensor distance to magnet on the spoke and it was OK. Checked the T100 “manual” which is a sheet of paper with simple pictures – distances within spec. Also checked the internet and found on a general cycle web site that the distance, magnet to sensor, should be within 3-5mm – and it is. Checked the magnet lines up with the white line on the sensor – it does. Opened up the sensor and found a small battery and pulled it out. OK, which way does it go back in? Can’t remember! Where is the plus or minus sign on the fittings to tell me? There isn’t one.
On Sunday we had an awful day weatherwise. Gales, driving rain and very cool. No cycling.
Monday saw the north of the state getting better and the south getting the gales. 156kph recorded on Mt Wellington overlooking Hobart and many lower areas had wind up in the low 100 kph (Lucky Tempo!). We had wind still though and initially I wasn’t going out! Instead I took the front wheel out of the Bike E and checked the bearings. Not good. There was some grease in there but it was a rusty colour! I whacked some more in and bolted things back together. Then I replaced the front and rear brake blocks that were just about worn out. A thin sliver of rubber left on each. The Launceston “Cycology” bike shop had replacement shoes – I was surprised. The brakes didn’t work well as in one arm of each not returning properly. Onto the internet and found I was working specifically on “side-pull linear brakes”. Read about plastic spring holders, springs and spring tension and didn’t understand a thing. Took the brake arms off, looked inside and all became clear. Cleaned and re-tensioned and things worked. Even the little adjustment screws actually did something.
The front wheel still didn’t seem good and complains (grumbles) a bit but I wanted to try the mods out so I set off to cycle the 15 k loop along Bishopsbourne Road and Wilmore’s Lane.
Cycling into the wind was slow going but the low gears and legs spinning like crazy had us along Bishopsbourne and into Wilmore’s surprisingly without too much effort. The real test turned out to be descending. For the descents the wind was coming from behind and I just let the bike roll. It was bad. Every bump seemed to throw the steering out and corrections turned into overcorrections and the bike did not feel so good. I braked, slowed down and regained control over the bike. Two more hills to descend and each had to be tackled slowly. Any attempt to speed up resulted in a strange wobbling and lack of tracking. Not quite as bad as downhill, one-handed, on a Brompton but getting there.
Later in the day I found a group on Facebook – the Bike E Riders Group. The members are very active, very proud of their Bike Es and the work they have done to keep them running. One member was key in the company that made the bikes. Seeking advice and logging what I thought was wrong I explained the downhill problem and over the next few hours received a lot of advice how to fix.
Deciding that the crappy wheel must be part of the problem, I took it in to Cycology yesterday but they cannot mend it. A new wheel is now on order. I had found the cup and cones are chipped and worn as are the bearings – and there was a bearing missing on one side. Cycology found a “spare” in an old box out the back and I patched up the wheel once more so I can use it until the new on arrives. The old wheel remains noisy and feels lumpy so, I think, light use only.
Mr Atwood, the Bike E (BE) Guru, suggested making sure the air suspension was set correctly for my weight and height. How to do this? Where is a chart? K from Hobart (the BE Owner) had a copy of the original manual and sent me a PDF and there was the calculation. I found the air shock was currently about 30psi under for me so pumped it up a bit to 130psi. Immediately things feel better. Now to get the new wheel and then I will try descending hills again.
Once it has brakes, handles OK and generally functions properly we will take the bike back to Huonville for K to ride.