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  1. #1
    gentle like
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    top story: local cyclist infuriated by week of maintenance woes

    kept man, a frequentor and contributor to the mtbr forums, was enraged today to find that the chainring bolts on his cross bike had siezed in their nuts - this was discovered as he attempted to replace his worn rings. "the little b@stards are just rusted right together, and spin in the chainring holes." no amount of lube, or attempts to stop the nuts from spinning with the bolts, has been productive.

    while he plans to visit a trustworthy lbs tomorrow, kept man believes that there is little to no hope now of salvaging his crankset. thankfully, he can return the replacement chainrings he had bought and use that credit towards a new set of cranks. "even if i drilled out the bolts, as someone suggested to me, new bolts would bring my total cost of replacement rings and now them to around $100. i can have a completely new ritchey or fsa cross crankset for $130. me messing around with a drill like that is not worth saving the $30."

    this comes at the end of a week which saw kept man learn that the chain, cassette, and chainrings on his cannondale xr800 all needed to be replaced. "i had asked the shop i bought it from months ago if i needed to buy a new chain in order to extend the life of my chainrings and cassette. they said no; now i'm pretty sure they just wanted to gouge me for replacing all those parts down the road. well i moved away, so those bloodsuckers won't even see my cash now."

    while frustrated and angry at this behaviour, kept man is sad to admit that he's not surprised. "learn to do it yourself," he recommends. "or find one of those rare shops that actually gives a sh*t about you. this place was supposed to have excellent service; five years no cost on maintenance (time wise). so instead they just cream you on parts ... what's with that?"

    this latest debacle with the cranks has kept man especially worked up as he'd paid particular attention to the crank bolts, knowing that the winter commuting he did on the bike would take its toll. "i checked 'em, oiled 'em, loved 'em. and now look. cheap, unreliable, coda-brand garbage."

    this was not the first time he'd had trouble with cannondale's in-house parts. "the screws on my coda stem broke, and the wheels came built with cheap nipples which kept throwing spokes out on me." he adds, "but at least those other parts had the good graces to fail while still under warranty, and were replaced free of charge."

    still, the particular nature of the cannondale parts failings has brought some relief - in the form of amusement - to the frustrated cyclist. "nipples, nuts, screws; i swear, my bike is sexually dysfunctional." and so kept man can still laugh when, despite it's troubles, he describes the bike as still being "an adequate performer."

    arrrgh.

  2. #2
    I just got goth served!
    Reputation: silversurfer's Avatar
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    The worst part about stories like this...

    Is that kept man could have avoided all of this frustration with a $3 Park tool. Appropriate application of Park tool part no. CNW-1, not only removes chainring bolts when used with the proper Allen hex wrench, but emotionally soothes the home mechanic, as well.

    This part can be found at this link: http://www.parktool.com/tools/CNW_1.shtml
    and is available through your local bike shop.

    Sorry to hear about the personal tragedy of kept man, and others like him, who suffer needless for want of the right tool for the job.
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    Last edited by silversurfer; 04-03-2004 at 03:40 PM.
    insert witty comment here

  3. #3
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    stubborn bolts

    other than using the proper tool on the backside of the bolts (that's what the two little slots are for) it's often possible to sneak the jaws of a vise grip in betwixt the ring and spider and firmly clamp the backside of the stuck bolt. If none of that works, and you can't be bothered to drill out the bolts for $30, well, you should be slapped. When the revolution comes, we're eating the rich first.

  4. #4
    Zippy, the wonder bike
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    Use a kitchen spoon in the slot on the back of the nut if you don't want to buy the proper tool, that's what I do.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: singletrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silversurfer
    Sorry to hear about the personal tragedy of kept man, and others like him, who suffer needless for want of the right tool for the job.

    When I was like 14, I installed bb's with a screwdriver and pressed headset cups with a wood block. Those were the days.

  6. #6
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
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    i hear ya! one of the cheapest, best tools i've ever added to my kit! makes an easy job so much easier!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  7. #7
    -> SickLines.com <-
    Reputation: mtb_biker's Avatar
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    Listen!

    i'd personally be ashamed if my bike got to the conditon that his seems to be in...

  8. #8
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    Ditto. Just some regular maintenance(like relubing the fasteners) could have avoided all the woes.

    Anxiously awaiting the next installment of inept kept man.

  9. #9
    gentle like
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    update

    i tried the spoon back; and the knife; and the paint scraper; and the beaten old chisel; and the industrial-grade 'un-stick-it' lube ... i will buy the park tool because it looks most useful to have around for other occasions (honest thanks to silversurfer). but i don't think by hook or crook these particular damned bolts are coming out.

    when i was riding in the snow and salt and junk i checked/oiled them weekly (read the article, people!) - i didn't ride this bike at all this winter, and did a regular end-o' season check in october (and lubed 'em then ... no issues). i really don't know what went wrong. sitting pretty in my basement.

    *now cue melodramatic music. "and as for you maintenance peanut gallery; why, for shame. i try so hard, i'm learning with an eager heart, and i pour out my grief and rage only to be met with maintenance sarcasm and equipment snobbery. you think you're better than me, hiding safe and superior behind your keyboards, your own bike issues nicely stuffed away in old shoeboxes behind those alphabetized stacks of porno? well, you're not, i say - not. and i'm afraid of drills. why must so many of you be quick to judge, but slow to love? don't be so afraid of your own hearts!"

    "aboohoohoohoohoo."

    ... next stop on the continuing adventure is to find out why the '02 marz mxc air fork someone just gave to me (yes, gave) is running at 63mm of travel and not 80. will call shop friend, having never cracked a fork open before ...

  10. #10
    I just got goth served!
    Reputation: silversurfer's Avatar
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    nm.

    _______
    insert witty comment here

  11. #11
    I just got goth served!
    Reputation: silversurfer's Avatar
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    Length of negative springs.

    That's most likely why the fork is running at 63mm, instead of 80mm. Those Marz air forks are pretty simple set-ups. Get instructions, read them, and follow them(a few easy things to screw up, no big deal really). Just order the right negative springs, and swap them, and it should cure what ails ya. Or better yet, have your shop friend walk you through the whole process.

    As for the chainring bolts, seriously, try the tool. Works much better than a spoon. It stays in place, AND gives you simple leverage. That, and liberal(not to get political!) amounts of penetrant oil.

    Oh, and never listen to Fred Cubed. He is a scary little man who speaks publicly of "relubing the fasteners". I'm creeped out!

    brian
    insert witty comment here

  12. #12
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    once more ...

    thanks (again), surfer. it is always interesting to note people who can appreciate some a touch of honest (even witty?) self-deprication, and those - well, who don't ... thankfully my self esteem is generally not based on the opinions of anonymous strangers. but again, merci.

    i will try to track down said tool today ... there are a couple of local shops that usually have what i need between the two of them. i had noticed that with each successive check and cleaning the bolts and nuts were getting rougher - a little harder to clean off the rust spots, etc - but i really thought i'd taken good enough care to prevent this from happening. if the tool works, i owe you a beer next time you're around boston. don't worry about that being a pick-up line; i am, after all, already a kept (and straight) man.

    and as for the negative springs thing - sounds good. i have learned that neither of the now-local shops are particularly well fork-versed (it was only my asking that made them track down a supplier of fork oil?!), so hopefully a quick call to marzocchi tech will confirm things, and my buddy will be able to help from there. i have found the mxc manual (or, at least parts of it) in pdf on the net already.

    alright - off to recover from my final 4 watching party ... maybe i'll go watch hellboy. and just because this too is funny: it was a pretty standard party - i had the fortune of hanging out with a bunch of really excited uconn grads - with two twists; 1) everyones' first language - exept mine - was polish, and 2) there was a new baby in attendance who finally fell asleep at halftime. so while there was some whispered opportunity to learn the more colourful polish words for good and bad, the bulk of celebration was conducted in mimed silence. it was something.

  13. #13
    Ebo
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    If you had read any of the Silver Surfer comic books, you would know that he is one righteous dude. Long live the Silver Surfer and good luck with the maintenance woes. Just used that Park chainring tool yesterday. Well worth the 3 bucks and my 2 cents....

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