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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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  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.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  14. #14
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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.

  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?
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  16. #16
    jrm
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    A axle tug makes it a lot easier to align the rear wheel
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  18. #18
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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.

  19. #19
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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.

  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.

  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.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1480/2500

  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
    weirdo
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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....

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