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  1. #1
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Instead of clogging up other threads with the minor stuff that we have done, from adding or swapping parts to maintenance stuff, I thought we could put it all here.

    Just got home from the local bike shop. I went in for help. I admitted defeat. I didn't want to ruin the snap ring holding my 18t cog on, and since this is a custom wheel, wasn't sure if I would damage it or not, so I took it to the pros. 18t was causing me to spin out, so I picked up a 16t which is what came on the bike originally. I was sure that I could install it myself. I was wrong. Mechanic at the shop not only did it, but showed me how to do it in case I need to remove it in the future. Not only did he do it once, he showed me a couple of times, giving me a small tip and trick along the way. Service like that is just invaluable for someone like me, who is learning. This is my first single speed, my first coaster brake since I was a kid, my first true attempt at doing stuff on my own. Always had a good buddy show me, and do stuff for me, but I want to be self sufficient. Turns out he is big into coaster brake bikes, and is working on a really old Schwinn that he is turning fakie track bike like mine. Having someone like that working less than 2 miles from me is simply invaluable.

    Leveled out the handlebars on my singlespeed. They were slightly elevated, and I could feel it while riding. Gave the bars a weird feel to them, and I couldn't find a comfortable hand position. This should help quite a bit. I am also test fitting the Speedzone Wireless computer for the rear wheel. I have an Aerospoke up front, so I am hoping that this rear setup will work. Have not quite figured out where I will mount it, or how, but I am in the test fitting stages and brainstorming.

    Removed and re-greased the pedals. I went a little conservative on it when I first installed them, not being sure if I would try flats or my SPD's. I thought that I was getting a little squeek from the left one, so those came off and were attended to.

    Removed the flats from my TriCross and put the SPD's back on. Buddy of mine rode it last, and he didn't have biking shoes with him, so flats went on. They look weird on the bike. I learned not to overtighten them and to carefully thread them on when installing.

    It is in the mid 20's, and we have a combination of a few inches of snow and ice almost everywhere. It isn't supposed to melt quite yet. I don't have the proper bike for the weather and I haven't ridden in 3 weeks. I am on day 6 of 7 working this week. I am using my bike maintenance as my calming zen time and it is relaxing me. Taking the time to learn and figure stuff out the best that I can.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  2. #2
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    I tried to remove and grease my pedals the other day. I had to heat them up with a grill lighter and I still couldn't get the non-drive side off (I do know about the reverse threading haha), did get the drive side off luckily. I might try again tomorrow.

    I have to find a place to mount a bell on the bike tomorrow. Got it as a gift after commenting that its the law to have one, so if I ever got hit they'd find some way to blame it on me not having a bell.

  3. #3
    jrm
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    I leveled the bars. Made a big dif.

  4. #4
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    Broke my handlebars:



    Thankfully they didn't actually break, but I was in the middle of a nice 3hr ride today, when I noticed the very large crack. It made for a pretty subdued ride home.

    It sucks because I love those bullmoose bars, and love my current setup. So the hunt for a new bullmoose is on. I got these at the co-op, and should be able to find another pair eventually, but the co-op is currently moving so it might be a few months, and they just junked most of their excess inventory in preparation for the move. I've got a quill>threadless adapter so I can use some spare bars/stems I've got lying around, but it just won't be the same.

  5. #5
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    Prepping for rides tomorrow and later next week.

    After my last ride, I noticed my front fender was out of alignment, rubbing on the tire. Probably because I put the bike in my car last time I rode it, and bent a fender stay a little bit.

    Sat down with a wrench and got it re-aligned. Also checked the drivetrain over and whatnot. My ride tomorrow will be snow-free and quite possibly will be in the 40's for at least part of it. Next week, there might me some snow on the route, but I have no idea how much to expect.

  6. #6
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    In addition to breaking my handlebars, I also tried fixiestraps for the first time today. I've got really grippy platforms with big and chunky boots, and getting my foot into the straps while moving was next to impossible. It took 3 or 4 full pedalstrokes with me staring down at my pedals before I could wriggle my foot all the way in. Once I actually got strapped in I had two crashes that wouldn't have otherwise happened.

    I decided that snow riding is unpredictable enough, and that doing it fixed and strapped in was a bad plan. So the straps came off after about 10km. I know there's a learning curve and it would eventually become second nature, but I think it'll have to wait until spring when I'm wearing skateshoes again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Broke my handlebars. Thankfully they didn't actually break, but I was in the middle of a nice 3hr ride today, when I noticed the very large crack. It made for a pretty subdued ride home.
    They look weldable to me. You could paint, powder coat, or re-chrome them. Know anybody that repairs steel bike frames?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    They look weldable to me. You could paint, powder coat, or re-chrome them. Know anybody that repairs steel bike frames?
    I got them for $5 at the co-op, and I should be able to find a replacement but it will take a bit of time. I'm sure they were originally just off some cheap sears or canadiantire bike from the 80s, and aren't worth welding or the hassle of rechroming. The only special thing about these was that they didn't have a brake hanger, and the chrome was in good shape. Most the bullmoose at the co-op have a hanger, and a lot are pretty beaten up. It's just annoying because if they'd broken a month I'd have had a bunch to choose from (and now that I know to watch for this I'll probably try to get an extra bar or two for reserve). I'm just glad I didn't seriously injure myself, which could certainly have been a possibility.

  9. #9
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Did all final adjustments on my rear wheel placement. Very tricky with this coaster brake setup. I am a little OCD that the wheel is not completely centered on these horizontal dropouts. Then I worry that the chain is too loose, so I redo it. Then the chain is too tight, and I redo it again. Finally got it after messing with it for about 30 minutes. Looks to be dead on center, and the chain is not too loose, or too tight. There is some play in it, but not too much. So, what do you do after that? TEST RIDE!!!! 41 degrees here, and the snow and ice is gone from the streets. Still wet out, but hey, I was in a t-shirt and track pants test riding it up the street at the end of December in Michigan. No complaints as I rode up and down the street just checking play and the brake, and just how it felt overall, listening for any rubbing or something I missed. Brought it in, and of course, had to clean it off again. Owning a white bike was a great idea, before I had it. Riding on wet roads is a nightmare. Keeping it clean is work in itself. If I could do it again, I would go with either black or blue I think. The fact that the frame is solid white with no logos or decals really makes dirt and scuffs stand out.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  10. #10
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    Today I swapped my broken bullmoose for a modern flatbar and stem:


    The flatbar came with my 29er but I don't think I've ever used it. It's a very close match to the bullmoose, but with a 90mm/6deg stem the bar is about an inch lower and an inch closer. It'll work until I find a new bullmoose, but the chunky modern stem and 31.8 bar look pretty goofy with the old frame.

  11. #11
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    So.....I found my stem that I have been searching for. It is on the UK eBay. Contacted seller via email. Seller does not ship to the US per listing. Begging him to please ship here. Anyone have any trustworthy friends that would be willing to be a third party in the transaction? They would be compensated for their time and effort.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  12. #12
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Peeled the Aerospoke decals off of the front wheel. I will probably turn the bathtub into a dipping booth, and spray it with Plasti-Dip on my next day off. The wheel was purchased used, and it shows some sign of wear. Thinking that I might go with a crazy color instead of black, but not sure which one. The best part is that if I don't like it, I can just peel it right off. I also finally placed one decal on the bike itself for the head badge. The bike came naked with a sheet of brand decals for the end user to place. Still have not decided on if or how I will use the rest.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  13. #13
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Might be purchasing a bike more suited for winter commuting. Trying to work a deal out with the seller.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  14. #14
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    I failed to replace worn parts in a timely manner.

    The bike is now unrideable until I replace the entire drivetrain, which means I am stuck riding my carbon hardtail to work in the slush this week.

    Ugh.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  15. #15
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    What parts did you fail to replace? Entire drive train is shot now?
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  16. #16
    jrm
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    A axle tug makes it a lot easier to align the rear wheel

  17. #17
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I have those on the bike if you are referring to my wheel placement. Still figuring out exactly how those work.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    What parts did you fail to replace? Entire drive train is shot now?
    Chain wear has reached unsightly proportions, about 13.5" for a 12-link run.

    Chainrings, cogs, and probably the derailleur pulleys are now pretty much toothless. The BB is questionable as well.

    I have lightly used replacement parts waiting in the basement from the last overhaul of my race bike, but I've been lazy.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    What parts did you fail to replace? Entire drive train is shot now?
    Chain wear has reached unsightly proportions, almost 13" for a 12-link run.

    Chainrings, cogs, and probably the derailleur pulleys are now pretty much toothless. The BB is questionable as well.

    I have lightly used replacement parts waiting in the basement from the last overhaul of my race bike, but I've been lazy.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  20. #20
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    How is that even possible without just breaking the rollers? Do you ride a recumbent with an 800 mile chain?

  21. #21
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    Didn't really like the look of my modern flatbar so I pulled out a northroad bar and tried it on the fixie:


    It was terrifying. We've had freezing rain on top of hardpack, and sitting bolt-upright does not feel stable. My hardtail has a Mary bar which I really like and which is really similar, so I think the stem might be the problem.

  22. #22
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    In the last few days, I've replaced the rear derailleur and derailleur cable, upgraded brake pads, and today I'll be replacing the rear wheel with a Velocity Deep V 36H. I need to spend some time with the front derailleur and find out why it doesn't want to cooperate, but I just don't have it. The rest of the month is going to be full of 80 hr work weeks, and the last thing on my mind is going to be that, although it's something that really should be done. Perhaps I can carve out a bit of time tonight to sit down, replace the cable, and get it all worked out.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  23. #23
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Swapped out my stem with an apparently hard to find one that I got from a local forum in MINT condition, only to realize that I didn't think about the actual height of the stem. Sold a big box of random mtb parts, including, yep, you guessed it, headset spacers. Will have to make a trip to the local shop tomorrow to pick a few up. Not that smart on my part. Not that I can ride it right now with the 12-14" of snow that is forecasted as a total for today. Hoping that I can get the right size to complete the bike. No more mods for this bike. This is the last one. I have more in the added parts than the bike cost me.

    Bike - 420 shipped to my door in perfectly rideable condition.

    Mods:

    Specialized Armadillo tires (2) + tubes (2) - $100
    Used Aerospoke front wheel - $220
    Custom built rear wheel with coaster brake - $160
    Slightly used Specialized Avatar saddle from a friend - $50
    Fyxation track grips and bar caps - $35
    Slightly used KORE stem - $30
    Shimano M520 pedals - $50
    Shimano 16t cog - $5

    For a cheap bike, I cleared $1000 already. That makes me a little sick.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    For a cheap bike, I cleared $1000 already. That makes me a little sick.
    If it helps, if you wanted to build a bike from scratch I think it's pretty tough to do for under $1000. I did an itemized rundown in a thread a couple of months ago, and it's surprising how all of the little $30~50 items add up.

    frame $200
    fork $100
    wheels $200
    tires $100
    cranks+bb $100
    pedals $40
    seatpost+clamp $40
    saddle $40
    headset $40
    bar $40
    stem+spacers $40
    grips $15
    cog $5

    That's $960 for no brakes, shifters or derailleurs (and cheap wheels). Some of those prices could definitely be lower or higher, but $1,000 is what I'd budget for any custom build.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    I have more in the added parts than the bike cost me.

    Bike - 420 shipped to my door in perfectly rideable condition.

    For a cheap bike, I cleared $1000 already. That makes me a little sick.

    Yeah, it sucks, but if it doesn`t kill you you can get a good laugh out of it. Newf is right. If you can`t get an off-the-shelf bike spec`d like you want it (and you won`t find a new one like yours), it`s gonna cost you. If it`s any consolation, my favorite bike was free when it came into my hands, and I dumped probably $800 into it before I ever put it to use, then quite a bit more since. Not necessary by any means, but it`s how I want it and it`s MINE.
    Recalculating....

  26. #26
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    Tenspeed, consider it money spent on your transportation budget, your hobby budget, and your health/fitness budget, that's only about $300 each.

    I got off cheap (so far) today with just some lube for the rain/freezing rain.

  27. #27
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    I got a box from pricepoint... gathering parts for a swappable flat-bar conversion for my drop-bar commuter... I'm going to rig up a complete cockpit on a flat bar, including stem and cables, so I can just unhook the cables from brakes and derailleurs, and go from drop bar to flat bar in just a couple minutes. Full length cable housings everywhere should make it easy... a few zip ties for the cables, then stem bolts and brake/derailleur cable tension...should be a quick swap once I get it dialed in.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  28. #28
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    I know that you guys are right, but when it is laid out like that, I get a little upset thinking about the cash spent. And no, that bike couldn't be bought the way I bought it off the shelf. Worst part is....I am looking at another bike, for a total of 3. If the price comes down, I will be all over it.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  29. #29
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    My wife said the same thing yesterday, as I convinced her that I'm in need of a Velocity Deep V 36H. While it probably would have been cheaper in the long run to have purchased a used bike from a reputable bike shop, I wouldn't have gained the experience (or spare parts) that I have now.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  30. #30
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    Did the overhaul that I felt compelled to double-post about last week.

    BB was actually okay, if a little wet inside. Rear derailleur was somehow all bent. I had an extra M960 cage that fit the M970 derailleur, and it now looks pretty straight.

    I think the used chain is not stretched enough to mesh with the used cogs, and was skipping this morning.

    I will try a slightly more worn chain (from my basement library of used chains) tonight.


    As you guys may have surmised, the budget for this overhaul is $0.
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  31. #31
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    I'm having the same problem with chain skip. I think it's due to a bent link. I'll be taking it out when I get back to the office this evening. It should be fine without one link.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  32. #32
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    Re: What have you done to your commuter today?

    Installed a small bar for holding a light. It's intended to replace the nut on a quick release, but since they use a 5 x 0.8mm thread pitch, it did nicely with a longer bolt threaded through the back end into a braze-on.

    There's some occlusion of the light by the tire, but it picks out potholes way better, which is great, since half of my commute is on unlit roads.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What have you done to your commuter today?-uploadfromtaptalk1389070353264.jpg  

    What have you done to your commuter today?-uploadfromtaptalk1389070366253.jpg  


  33. #33
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    The older chain worked without skipping on the way in today.

    Which is good, since roadside adjustments at -20C are something I like to avoid.
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  34. #34
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    It just doesn't stop. Found a really nice carbon Easton road fork for my fakie for a really good price, and it is local. How can I pass this up? Longer steerer tube than what I have, so it will get my bars up a little more. Will still need to be cut I think.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  35. #35
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    New fenders came in today. I doubt I'll get around to installing them until later in the week when the temps are more reasonable.

  36. #36
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Got the fork, and I am going to have to take it to the shop I think. I don't have the equipment to cut a carbon fork, and I want to make sure that the star nut and crown race are installed correctly. Really nice fork though, Easton EC70 Superlite. Wish that I could get the red and yellow decal off but it looks like it is cleared right over them.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  37. #37
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    Checked the chain for "stretch", it is just about done. Don't forget yours!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Checked the chain for "stretch", it is just about done. Don't forget yours!

    No kidding. I neglected to do this on my road bike commuter which I just bought in June '13. I put 3,200 miles on it in just a few months and then noticed that the chain was not only far over-stretched, but that it had also destroyed the 54T chain ring and some of the cogs on the cassette.

  39. #39
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Already dropped it off at the shop. They like where I am going with this setup. Will be a bit more than I thought, since I am opting for the carbon spacers.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  40. #40
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    I changed some tubes. Does that count?
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  41. #41
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    Absolutely. Anything maintenance related or upgraded counts. You need tubes right?
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  42. #42
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Actually, I just finished patching said tube, and adding some tire liners. I can't freakin' wait for payday to slap some Armadillo treads and call it a day. Never had this problem on the 26'er. Thorn resistant slime tubes and Armadillo tires. Bring it on!

    This mess is killing me.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  43. #43
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    I have the Armadillos on both of my bikes, and so far, I love them. Shop called me, apparently the 25 I had on there will not properly clear the fork, so a 23 is on there now instead. Sure, why not? It is only money right? I guess I will keep it for a spare for the rear in case I wear it out or destroy it.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  44. #44
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    Replaced the bearings in two of my outboard BBs. Never done it before, but it was easy enough with a cheap tool (although I think I got mine for $20).

    FSA BB was easy, and the tool worked great. Stupid shimano BB cups are manufactured with a lip (raceface does it too) to prevent easily pounding out the old bearing. I used a punch and worked it out, but it's still an annoying and (as far as I can tell) totally useless way to do things.

  45. #45
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    As soon as the sun comes around bike is getting a much needed bath. The roads are slop so it's somewhat moot, but that white crust is just unsightly.

  46. #46
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    ^^ I washed mine the other day, then put it in the garage... apparently I got a bit of water in a brake cable somehow (full length housing too), because after a few minutes out on the road in the cold, I hit the rear BB7 and it acted like an E-brake. There was no releasing I had to get off the bike and push the cable back using the caliper at the brake end. Beware the frozen brake cable.


    We had a slight threat of freezing rain last night, so I pulled the studded wheels off of the singlespeed (did some frozen lake playing over Christmas) and put the cassette back on, just so they'd be on standby for a quick swap in the morning. Didn't need 'em...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ I washed mine the other day, then put it in the garage... apparently I got a bit of water in a brake cable somehow (full length housing too), because after a few minutes out on the road in the cold, I hit the rear BB7 and it acted like an E-brake. There was no releasing I had to get off the bike and push the cable back using the caliper at the brake end. Beware the frozen brake cable.

    Never Had that happen....but mine is a heated garage....

    I also run the XTR cables with the little rubber boot seals.

  48. #48
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    It was warm enough in the garage...no brake drama going down my dirt road or in the first couple miles, so it must have frozen up with the cold and wind chill on the ride. This was a first for me too.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  49. #49
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    I swapped out my front BB7 mechanical disc brake for a TRP Brakes HY/RD mechanically-actuated hydraulic disc brake and took the new brake on a 44 mile ride in the rain yesterday.

    The summary report is that the HY/RD brake works very well. The braking action is not as good as a full hydraulic disc brake, but it's better than a straight BB7.

    Here is the HY/RD brake next to the BB7 that it replaced. The HY/RD is slightly larger, but it did not interfere with the fender stay on the bike and mounting was easy.



    I read a couple of HY/RD reviews complaining that the brakes were too heavy, so I weighed the HY/RD and the BB7 that I took off the bike. The BB7 weighed 167g, the HY/RD 194g. In pounds that is 0.368 vs. 0.427. Not much of a difference and not one you will notice when the brake is mounted onto the bike.

    Installation was easy. HY/RD comes with the caliper, a rotor and two different size mounting brackets. I pulled the existing BB7 bracket off and compared it to the equivalent HY/RD bracket and they look to be exactly the same. I used the HY/RD bracket but in retrospect I could have just left the BB7 bracket on the bike. I did not swap out rotors, electing to stay with the Avid Clean Sweep rotor that comes with the BB7.

    The HY/RD caliper does require longer brake cable length than the BB7. When I installed my BB7 brakes I left a long enough pigtail that I did not have to install a new cable, but if you cut your pigtail short on your BB7, you won't be as lucky.

    Here are a couple of photos with the brake mounted (you can just see a little bit of brake cable sticking out of the bottom on the first photo):





    Setup was easy, I followed the directions and it took about five minutes to get the brake cable tight and the caliper bolts tightened.

    The instructions say that it will take 30-40 good braking actions to fully bed the pads, and I probably have not reached that stage yet, but I could really feel the difference between the HY/RD on the front and the BB7 on the back. The HY/RD action was firmer and modulation of the braking action was smoother.

    The brakes did howl a bit at first (I was riding in the rain) but the further I got into the ride, the more the brakes quieted down and by the end they were operating quietly.

    I REALLY like that the pads self-adjust for wear and self-center. I won't miss having to constantly tweak the BB7 pad adjusters.

    I am using the brakes with SRAM double-tap brifters and I dislike how far into the bar you have to pull the brake lever for full braking. I'm going to do a little more tweaking of the system today and see of I can make that better.

    All-in-all, I like the HY/RD well enough that I am going to buy another one for the rear.

  50. #50
    weirdo
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    ^^Thanks for that write up. I hadn`t heard of those hybrid systems until you mentioned this purchase. Surprised it gives you the modulation improvement because I always figured that benefit of hydraulics was due to the lack of long steel cable and housing. And of course I`m a serious expert on bicycle disc brakes
    Recalculating....

  51. #51
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    ^^ I never heard of those either - interesting!

  52. #52
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    It is done now. It has to be. Picked it up from the shop earlier, and am really happy with how everything turned out. The guys at the local shop that I go to are really cool, each one into a different style of biking. I really enjoy talking to Tom, who like me, really likes the coaster brake. He plans on turning a few of his old bikes into track bikes with coasters. He did the work on my bike and is really into it.

    Picked up this really nice but slightly used Easton EC70 Superlite carbon fork from my local forum for $50. The fork is great because it has a lot more steerer tube than the stock fork which was almost slammed and put the bars a little low for me. Tom found the factory specs and cut the new fork to an appropriate length giving me far more options to work with. Got the KORE stem from the same forum for $30, which is in near mint condition. Had to drop down to a 23 tire up front to work with the fork, but oh well. Shouldn't be much of a difference I don't think.

    Now, the next thing might not go over well. In keeping with this whole "fakie" theme that I am rolling with, I ordered decals from eBay. So, I now have a true fakie. Titus doesn't make road bikes, or commuter bikes, just mountain bikes. The reason I went with Titus is that my last mountain bike was a Titus Racer X 29 FS that I picked up after a really bad crash that I had that put me off the bike for some time physically and mentally. The Titus got me back into biking, and I loved that bike. I didn't own it for long, and decided that mountain biking wasn't really for me any more. I ended up selling it and getting my TriCross on the same day. Well, I never stopped thinking about that Titus, and would get another in a heartbeat if I could afford one. That Titus put me back in the right frame of mind to keep riding, and I won't forget it. This is a tribute of sorts to that bike. I loved it, and I love this bike, so it makes sense for me. I regret selling it every day, but I needed a bike better suited for commuting and was more road oriented.

    Done. The only original parts now are the seatpost, crank, headset, chain and handlebars.







    And one of the Racer X just because....(shot before the rear brake hose was cut to fit - brake swap from another bike)

    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  53. #53
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    .

    "What have you done to your commuter today?"

    Looked sadly at it as I went out to the car we have borrowed right now. I'd prefer to ride, but I hurt my back and really hurt my shoulder moving furniture. Looks like I'll be lucky to get more than a handful of miles this month, because as messed up as they both still are, I should take at least another week and probably two off from riding.
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  54. #54
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    Sorry to hear you're hurt, Medic Zero! Hang in there, some rest sounds like the best idea.

  55. #55
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    Yesterday I slapped on those Armadillo slick street treads. I'm in love! Grippy as can be, great rolling tread, and not a single flat. A buddy of mine has them on his fixie, and he said he's got more than 3,000 miles on them. I'm picking up a cheap tool box to mount on my rack as a trubk bag, and possibly doing the kitty litter hardside pannier thing, although my bags work just fine.

    I'm really looking for the opportunity to strip it down to the frame and fork and painting it. Its an 200u that I bought used, so there are nicks and scratches and all of that. I want to do a flat black with glitter blue striping and custom graphics.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  56. #56
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    The Armadillos are a great tire. I have them on both of my bikes. My TriCross came with Bourough CX Armadillo Elites, and they are perfect for the road. The shop I go to has one that a customer brought in, literally wore the tire down to the casing. Still holds air.

    That paint job sounds like it will be pretty interesting, and I hope that you post pics of it.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  57. #57
    jrm
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    I installed the skype mechs on my CX bike after riding bb7s and really noticed the lack of fade and improved modulation due to the dual piston design vs. the bb7 single piston. I just wish i could run a 140mm rotor up front using IS tabs.

  58. #58
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    Was at the shop, and of course I can't leave empty handed.

    Replaced my Blackburn Flea 2.0 rear light with a Serfas UTL-6 Thunderbolt. I cannot believe how bright this light is. I am set now for my commute I think. That was one of the last things that I wanted to look into, and well, my friend works there, and impulse control fails me....

    Now, I just need the weather to cooperate a bit more.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  59. #59
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Was at the shop, and of course I can't leave empty handed.

    Replaced my Blackburn Flea 2.0 rear light with a Serfas UTL-6 Thunderbolt. I cannot believe how bright this light is. I am set now for my commute I think. That was one of the last things that I wanted to look into, and well, my friend works there, and impulse control fails me....

    Now, I just need the weather to cooperate a bit more.
    I run a Thunderbolt in the back as well, and it's great. The coverage that it gives is phenomenal, on the low setting, it gives a true 9 hr run time (I forgot to kill it one morning, walked into the back room after work to head home and it was still going), and it fits almost anywhere. I'd like to get a white one to run as a front blinkie, but I'm thinking of just replacing the whole front light all together with one that offers a flashing option. Currently, I only have a high/low after smashing my MagicShine clone in a wipe out the day before thanksgiving. Hoping to replace it with something similar soon, rather than a WalMart flashlight.

    Just picked up a Stanley tool box to sit on the back rack as a trunk bag of sorts. Hoping to get that slapped on tonight. I'll post a few picks when I'm done.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  60. #60
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I looked at the front light option as well. I like my NiteRider Lumina and it wasn't cheap. I wouldn't mind adding the front light maybe on the downtube aimed at the ground to make the bike more visible possibly, spotlighting the front wheel?

    I would like to see that toolbox mounted, I have an idea in my head how it will look, but am curious to see if that really is how it will be.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  61. #61
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    No dice with the tool box. Instead of going with my gut feeling and getting the smaller 12 inch box, I grabbed the 16. Well, the lid is too wide, and catches on the bottom of the saddle. I'll be going to return it tomorrow and get the smaller one.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  62. #62
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    Will this be a permanent mount, or removable? And what will you be using it for?
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  63. #63
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    I'd like it to be a removable thing, but I cant figure out how to mount it as such. If I could I'd be all over it. It will carry my every day riding stuff like tools, tube, and that sort of thing, along with lunch, wallet, and blah blah blah.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Sorry to hear you're hurt, Medic Zero! Hang in there, some rest sounds like the best idea.
    Thanks! Yeah, rest is the smart thing, but I want to ride. Feel like I'm cheating when I drive, especially since I seriously need to lose some weight and it's about the only excercise I get anymore.

    ALthough, I might've bagged yesterday and today anyway, given the high winds were right about at my cut-off point.
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  65. #65
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Going nuts here in anticipation of my first commute of the year. Changed out the battery in my Speedzone wireless computer. That was interesting, because I ended up having to reset the thing. Good thing I wanted to zero everything out and start fresh this year. Broke my riding glasses trying to change the lens out from orange to yellow. Stupid mistake of mine, and luckily I ended up salvaging the whole thing with a one time use Krazy Glue that I happened to have. I had a pair of Scattante yellow lens glasses that I got at Performance Bike that I really liked, but I pulled them out of the case to use them, and somehow they were snapped in half so I trashed them.

    Swapped out the saddle on my TriCross from the stock 155 BG Riva Plus to a 143 Specialized BG Rival that I have broken in very nicely from an older Specialized Camber Comp FSR that I had. The 155 is too wide for me, and the 143 fits absolutely perfect. Forgot to write down exactly where I had it mounted, and when I realized it, too late, the saddle had moved. I may have to mess with it a bit tomorrow, and I will write it down when I get it just right.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  66. #66
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Mounted the new 12 inch tool box to the rear rack last night. I'm digging it. I've got some blue spray paint to take care of the yellow. I'm dying for the opportunity to strip everything down and paint the bike, but being a daily commuter with no way to get to work on a regular basis otherwise (I can get the wife and kids up every once in awhile for a ride, but when I have to leave at 0530, three kids ain't too happy about it). I'm dying for a flat black with bright metallic blue accents, and blue cable housing. I also have plans to use my wife's Cricut Cutter to make a stencil in a font that I like to spray "Drink Beer Ride Bikes" on my pannier bag in bright blue, to make it look a little more put together, instead of my silver Sharpie escapade.

    I also adjusted the angle of the stem to a more upright position, since I'm not a racer, and can drop it down with ease whenever I plan on doing a long weekend ride or what have you. I'm not worried too much about the drag, since I can still easily average 16-18 mph, which is perfect for me.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  67. #67
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Forgot to add a new pic

    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  68. #68
    jrm
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    Spent the last couple of days finalizing the pompino/townie build. The mungo bar im using has 50mm of drop which is making it tough to get the high enough using just spacers and a 110mm 8-10 degree stem. I must have scoured the interwebs looking a moustache bar with no drop but only came across a $90 nitto bar with 25.4 drop. So i bought a 110mm 15 degree stem for $30. I know this will work but the aesthetics are going to suffer. I figure if i cant deal with the aesthetics ill return the stem and reinstall the cowbell 2 bar i had on there before mounted higher up. Rode it to the train station this morning. The seat - bar drop/seat angle is making things kinda uncomfortable but the bike worked like its supposed to.

  69. #69
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    So Woodway's post about the fancy hydromechs prompted me to finally fix my bb7s on the weekend.

    The front has been rubbing a lot recently, and ever since switching to dropbars 3 months ago I've never been 100% with how sloppy the pad spacing is. (it's not a shortpull/longpull issue - more just ergonomics where I don't mind the sloppiness with normal levers, but it feels excessive with the drops)

    So I spent hours truing my front rotor.

    I got it close fairly quickly, but then it all went off the rails and just got worse and worse.

    In the wee hours of the morning I decided the rotor was @#$%ed and finally gave up.

    Went to shop.

    Bought new rotor.

    New rotor also not true.

    Spent more hours truing it. Should have just taken it back.

    Hate. So. Much.

    The plus side is that things are now greatly improved over when I started. But it's so frustrating. And the spring retention system avid uses can be such a finicky piece of garbage.

    I also now have a spare 180mm rotor that is almost certainly salvagable, and a bike that could I could put it on. But I'd have to find a way to true it without going insane.

  70. #70
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    New rear rack, Ortleib panniers, Schwalbe Hurricane tires, rear fender (unknown brand) sourced by lbs.

  71. #71
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I feel your pain about the rotors and BB7's. I got my wheel taken care of today, went to reinstall it, and now there is so much drag on the rear caliper. I messed with it for over an hour, couldn't get the pads out, tried and tried to readjust it. I got fed up, took the wheel off, removed the rotor, and reinstalled. Gonna ride just a front brake to work today. I am about fed up with brakes. I can see why people make the move to fixed gear/coaster brakes. It is just so much more simple. I have had brake issues on almost every bike I have owned now. Shifting is a bit off as well, so I am just gonna find a gear that rolls smoothly, and single speed it to work. Just one of those really frustrating days that makes you want to scream!
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  72. #72
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    ^ my hardtail has some cheap Hayes mechs that came with the bike when it was originally a Giant (and since I just replaced the wheels, they are now the only part that's left from when it was a Giant)

    Every so often my vanity says "You should replace those with something cool." But they have been completely and utterly hassle-free compared to my @#$% BB7s. And if I swapped to the bigger rotor they'd probably be almost as powerful too. (But right now just the thought of truing that spare rotor is threatening to give me an aneurysm).

  73. #73
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Did some MTB maintenance this weekend. I had slashed a sidewall, so I ordered a new tire...and while I was at it I ordered some brake pads too (Hayes NINE hydraulics that have been awesome for at least 5 years. Changing those pads is such a pleasure I almost want to do it again. I have done nothing to those brakes in 5 years, no pads, no bleeding, nothing... 5 minutes to replace the pads on both brakes, and they're like new again. Self centering, zero adjustment. Just awesome.

    Rode the MTB to work today, so this was "commuter" maintenance. haha.

    I have BB7's on the Ogre... 180 rotor up front, 160 rear. They are awesome, but they do take a little adjustment when I switch wheelsets (studded tires on separate wheels with different rotors)
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  74. #74
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    Changed that chain that was due, got 7 months out of the KMC, and 6 out of the SRAM before that. Probably not really a repeatable difference, probably just variability in miles, conditions, and my vigilance. New chain measured <0 on the Park Chain Checker, meaning those measuring pins would not even fit in. I think I've checked that before and didn't get that result, but ?? Maybe the tighter tolerance means it will last longer. It's a pretty and pricey black and brass Connex, though, so it would have to last twice as long to be a better value, dollar-wise.
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  75. #75
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    Re: What have you done to your commuter today?

    Swapped my bars for Salsa Cowbells yesterday, as well as installed inline barrel adjusters, since with v-brakes and drop levers, there was no way to easily adjust cable tension.

    So far, the bars are quite nice after a few rides. Shallow drops, fairly short reach, and plenty of bar space about. They aren't quite round bend; they have just a hint of an anatomic bend.

    Just before today's ride, installed the Brooks tape I got for Christmas. First impressions: it's much more solid than cork tape. I was initially concerned that the tape, like a new saddle, would be slippery, but the firmness of the tape actually helps quite a bit there, with the very well defined spirals providing a nice grip. I have high hopes, after talking to someone who has now had their tape on for over two years.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    ...as well as installed inline barrel adjusters, since with v-brakes and drop levers, there was no way to easily adjust cable tension.
    Hey, I just did that too. Even with discs I was finding that I missed the really fine adjustments possible with a barrel adjuster.

  77. #77
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    I almost ate it today after making a right turn and starting to climb a steep but short hill. I don't know if my chainring caused the skip or what, but something gave out while I was trying to accelerate while standing. I jolted forward and my right foot hit the pavement. I managed to keep the bike upright, but I had to make a quick detour to the ditch to get everything situated again. I need to evaluate my equipment to see if anything is wearing out.

    Weather was rainy but warm. I didn't have fenders on my geared bike until Sunday, so I'm glad to have had those.

  78. #78
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    All-in-all, I like the HY/RD well enough that I am going to buy another one for the rear.
    Follow-up to my original post above. I've done some more tuning of the HY/RD brake and now have over 100 miles on it in both wet and dry conditions. I'm a very happy camper and will definitely be dumping my rear BB7 and purchasing another HY/RD when I get some cash together.

    A little more detail: After installing the HY/RD brake I was unhappy with how far I had to pull in the brake lever before the pads engaged. I decided that I made a mistake trying to reuse a marginally-long front brake cable because I was not able to get all the slack out of the system, something that the installation manual emphasizes as important. I installed a new cable and really tightened everything up.

    This improved the pad contact point, but still not as good as I wanted.

    As I was looking at solutions, I noticed that the HY/RD rotor was THICKER than the Avid BB7 rotor that I had left on the bike. Given how little the pads actually move during brake actuation and the fact that the hydraulic system is self adjusting, I realized that even a slightly thicker rotor was going to make a difference in pad contact point and lever pull. I swapped in the HY/RD rotor and the system is just beautiful to use now - the HY/RD is now night and day better than the BB7 I still have installed on the rear in feel and stopping power. Very happy!

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Surprised it gives you the modulation improvement because I always figured that benefit of hydraulics was due to the lack of long steel cable and housing. And of course I`m a serious expert on bicycle disc brakes
    I think that there are two factors in play here:

    1. Hand-cycling the BB7 actuation arm and then the HY/RD actuation arm I can feel that the BB7 takes more force to actuate. I also notice that the BB7 arm has a lot more slop in it such that even after the pad has clamped the rotor there is still play in it. I think that's why the HY/RD system has a better feel to it - more of my lever action is going into the pads as opposed to fighting a spring or taking up system slop.

    2. With the BB7, only the outboard pad actually moves - the inboard pad is fixed (but they are both adjustable). Therefore the BB7 outboard pad has to move further than the HY/RD pads and must deflect the rotor before fully clamping it against the fixed pad. As BB7 pads wear you must stay right on top of adjusting them or your brake effectiveness decreases quickly (and the outboard pad wears faster then the inboard pad). With the HY/RD system, both pads move to squeeze the rotor. Because the pads are self adjusting, they will always be a consistent distance from the rotor and should give a consistent feel though the life of the pad.

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    Hate. So. Much.
    I'm with you brother My front BB7 rotor got out of true and I finally gave up trying to fix it. I just put up with the pinging noise when the pads were adjusted close to the rotor. When I put the HY/RD brake onto that rotor, the noise went away...I think that the pads were just tracking the out of true rotor. And I will not miss having to constantly adjust the pads!

  79. #79
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    Re: What have you done to your commuter today?

    Unfortunately, almost all rotors need to be trued out of the box, even the more expensive stuff. Seems to be a side effect of having to ship the stuff.

    That said, truing a rotor isn't terrible with the right tools. Paul Morningstar made a small set of truing forks that worked better than anything else I've ever used. Unfortunately, with his passing, they will become harder and harder to find.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    That said, truing a rotor isn't terrible with the right tools. Paul Morningstar made a small set of truing forks that worked better than anything else I've ever used. Unfortunately, with his passing, they will become harder and harder to find.
    I'd debated getting them before, and it is really sad to hear about him. I've got a morningstar freehub buddy which is a great addition to the toolbox.

    In the past I've had reasonable success using an adjustable wrench to true rotors, but this time it just wasn't happening. After 2 rotors and 6 hours or whatever I was at, I finally gave up and started using my hands...which actually worked okay. I gave everything a good soaking with alcohol when I was done, and I think that may actually be my preferred technique for the future.

    And the moral of the story is that I greatly overtrued them, and today I had to back the pads out a couple of clicks.

  81. #81
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Added some CosmicBright led lights to my hydro pack. I received several comments on it yesterday on my commute through heavy traffic on a super busy 6 lane road. I picked them up from Wally World for just about 12 bucks, they run for over 24 hours, and I have a ton of rechargeable batteries anyway, so effectively this is one of the most inexpensive bike lights that one could use. I have the thought to bike up some blue ones (to match the bike theme) and lacing them down my panniers.

    Check it out, all lit up.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  82. #82
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    inverted my Clarence bars. so far so good

  83. #83
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    And another update. Picked up a bigger adaptor, and swapped my untrue rotor onto my hardtail which only had a 160mm. With the cheap Hayes brakes I had the rotor trued in no time.

    The problem with the bb7 is inconsistency. When I was fighting with it on the weekend I would true to the inboard pad and get everything how I wanted it. Then I would switch to the outboard pad. Turn it in 1 click - no rubbing. Another click - no rubbing. Another click - rubbing. Back it off 1 click - rubbing? Back it off another click - still rubbing? What? Cycle the arm a few times, and back it off another click - rubbing. Back it off a few more clicks - still rubbing! Even though the gap was now much bigger than it had been 30 seconds earlier when it was silent?!? I blame the stupid spring, although I have no idea if that's the cause.

  84. #84
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    Give the brakes a squeeze every time you back the pad off--you'll often get the pad sticking a bit in the caliper.

  85. #85
    jrm
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    $30 - moustache bar FAIL. The 2" drop of the mungo bar and short head tube on the pompino wont let me level the saddle with the curve-end of the bar. Should have just installed the cowbells in the 1st place. ON the bright side everything works perfect.

  86. #86
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    Finally pulled the hubs apart and re-packed them. Did 2 wheelsets (studs on separate wheels). The peace of mind is outstanding. All of the bearing races were looking good, which is huge, because it's been way too long.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  87. #87
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    Re: What have you done to your commuter today?

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Finally pulled the hubs apart and re-packed them. Did 2 wheelsets (studs on separate wheels). The peace of mind is outstanding. All of the bearing races were looking good, which is huge, because it's been way too long.
    I need to repack the front hub of my commuter. The bike is 7 years old and I'm sure it's never been done. I've been looking at bullhorn bars, but don't want to have to get new brake levers and shifters to make things work properly, although they're so comfortable.

    I found an article on instructables.com on how to make a front fender out of an old licence plate, which is just so funky and cool that I have to do it. I'll post pics this weekend when I get it done.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  88. #88
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Gave the bike a full wipe down and cleaned the drivetrain and chain the best that I could. Living in an apartment really hinders bike maintenance and cleaning, but I came up with a solution. Upside down on the kitchen counter works pretty nicely. Makes clean up after much easier. Bike was absolutely filthy after my last commute and it needed it in a bad way. Reaching behind the chainrings is a bit difficult, still looking for a solution for that. Also looking into turning my CX bike into a single speed with a disc brake up front only. I don't ride it off road or as a CX bike is intended. I have only commuted with it and plan on keeping it that way.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  89. #89
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    Re: What have you done to your commuter today?

    TenSpeed:
    One of the only "bike" cleaning tools I own is a gear brush. A few different companies make them, and they're worth their weight in gold, as far as reaching into tight spaces.

    Today, I pulled the freewheel from my bike and soaked it in degreaser, followed by agitation. The poor weather has not been kind to it, and the grease/oil had gone rusty... not to mention the skipping. Filled it with Boeshield, let it sit, and reinstalled it. It's still skipping occasionally, but it is much better. 3k miles out of it isn't half bad with an unsealed freewheel, in my book. Since I'm going to install a fixie sprocket anyway, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I'll just throw the original freewheel back on.

  90. #90
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    What have you done to your commuter today?



    Got myself a new riding partner. Also, a buddy dropped off some square buckets to use as hard side panniers. I can't wait to get around to painting and decorating them. They'll look great, and give me much more use compared to the small saddle bags I have now.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  91. #91
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    I found an article on instructables.com on how to make a front fender out of an old licence plate, which is just so funky and cool that I have to do it. I'll post pics this weekend when I get it done.
    Looking forward to seeing that- it does sound cool. Except with new NV plates. About a year ago they stopped stamping them, now they`re just boring flat sheets with the numbers only painted on.
    Recalculating....

  92. #92
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Spent the good part of an hour last night trying to level out my saddle. It seems as though with each bike that I get, the seatpost has some sort of a different contraption to adjust the saddle with. Finally figured out this on, but now it seems to be slightly nose up. Will have to test ride it to see if I got it or not.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  93. #93
    jrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    TenSpeed:
    One of the only "bike" cleaning tools I own is a gear brush. A few different companies make them, and they're worth their weight in gold, as far as reaching into tight spaces.

    Today, I pulled the freewheel from my bike and soaked it in degreaser, followed by agitation. The poor weather has not been kind to it, and the grease/oil had gone rusty... not to mention the skipping. Filled it with Boeshield, let it sit, and reinstalled it. It's still skipping occasionally, but it is much better. 3k miles out of it isn't half bad with an unsealed freewheel, in my book. Since I'm going to install a fixie sprocket anyway, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I'll just throw the original freewheel back on.
    What else works really well are those part washer kits that come in paint can with a basket you can find @ auto parts stores. Only problem is thatyou have to be careful-responsible when disposing of it b/c its solvent based.

  94. #94
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Finally figured out this on, but now it seems to be slightly nose up. Will have to test ride it to see if I got it or not.
    I like my saddles perfectly level and set a bubble level on them to adjust. They turn out perfect for riding every time.

  95. #95
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    What have you done to your commuter today?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I like my saddles perfectly level and set a bubble level on them to adjust. They turn out perfect for riding every time.
    I do the same thing. Sit the bike on level ground and then lay a 12 inch level across the saddle to adjust it.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  96. #96
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    Bubble level app on the phone makes roadside adjustments easy if you need to dial it in while you're riding.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

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    Well first of all depending on how inflated your tires are the level of the saddle changes quite a bit....

    And that goes for setting the saddle while off the bike and then climbing on the bike....

    Point being that things change and the saddle angle changes while riding to some degree...

    Recently I put my bike on a trainer...leveled it and started riding...

    When I went no hands during the recovery portion of the ride.....I would tend to slide forward off the saddle....but on the road I hadn't really noticed that.

    Basically I had my saddle "level" course the saddle is not a flat plan so where do you measure level anyway...

    End result I have set the saddle a little more nose up...seems a bit better and takes some load of the arms...

    Lesson try a few different saddle positions for a week or two before deciding the "absolute correct" saddle angle.

  98. #98
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    I used a level, and it is slightly off. The bubble is about halfway into the center zone. Checked my other bike and it is about the same way. Will probably be alright, can always make minor adjustments as I go along.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  99. #99
    weirdo
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    I just eyeball mine- it doesn`t stay put anyway, so I guess I just gradually adapt until it eventually gets so far out of place that I reset it.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Basically I had my saddle "level" course the saddle is not a flat plan so where do you measure level anyway...
    My question too.
    Recalculating....

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I just eyeball mine- it doesn`t stay put anyway, so I guess I just gradually adapt until it eventually gets so far out of place that I reset it.My question too.
    I put the level on the nose of the saddle and on the high point on either side of the back of the saddle (where your sit bones are supposed to go). For me when these two points measure level the saddle is perfect. I use the same type of saddle on all my bikes and I can achieve a consistent feel across them all.

    Of course when I sit on the saddle it's no longer "level" (since my fat butt scrunches the padding on the back of the saddle). But through trial-n-error I have figured out that by starting with a level saddle I get the perfect setting for me.

    Your setting will be different. Once you get your saddle comfortable, slap a bubble level on it and remember what the level says for next time or next bike.

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