Friday, September 8, 2017

This Just In: New Outside Column!

Here it is, as promised, my latest Outside column:



It's all about why should should work your own bike, which I don't even know why I'm mentioning since it already says that in the title.  And no, that is not my child.  (My two year-old knows how to install a derailleur properly, thankyouverymuch.)



--Wildcat Rock Machine

25 comments:

Serial Retrogrouch said...

podio?

Michael Benedict said...

Podio!

Michael Benedict said...

Podio?!

Michael Benedict said...

Podio!

John L said...

Invest in the best tool for the job - at least if it's a chain tool. Still have the scar from when my half assed job failed, the chain snapped, and I threw myself to the pavement knee first.

Oh, and podium?

Gem Benedict said...

podio!

dancesonpedals said...

Po?

The Benedicts said...

Sorry. Got a little excited there...about the Outside article! (And the weekend!)
Wrench safe everybody!

Hee Haw the Barista said...

PARK TOOL

Anonymous said...

funny story about GWB. I hate those blind corners. A big day for me yesterday, bike #5 was stolen. Good news is that I a lock nut on the front wheel which can only be opened with a special wrench, so they are screwed when they get their first flat. will have to take a grinder to it to get the wheel off. Also, I now get to go bike shopping.

Dooth said...

"acquainting yourself intimately with your drivetrain and servicing it yourself" sounds dirty.

Grump said...

I'm too cheap to pay people to do things that I can learn how to do. Bikes and cars. Back in the dark ages, when I realized that wheels with galvanized steel spokes were crap, I bought blow out hubs, rims, and spokes from Bike Nashbar and taught myself how to build wheels.

Michael Benedict said...

KOOL PART

dana said...

Oh my God your kid is cute AND cold-setting the derailleur hanger. Freaking precocious.

Jackie Chiles said...

I demand my client Mr. Troll be allowed to speak freely in the comment sections of this blog,this is OUTRAGEOUS EGREGIOUS AND PREPOSTEROUS!
Jackie Chiles

BikeSnobNYC said...

Dana,

That's not my kid, it's a photo Outside chose.

--Wildcat Etc.

dop said...

Wicker Papasan? Where the hell did that come from? Furniture shopping with Mrs. Snob? Cocktail-driven observations seated on the porch furniture of the Vermont rental? Antiques Road Show? Or was the just idling in the thesaurus section of your frontal lobe so you gave it a kick & put it to work?

bad boy of the south said...

Awfully quiet for a Saturday. perhaps many are out for a bikey ride,or trying to out run a storm or two,or....

bad boy of the south said...

...or checking their Equifax breach,or..

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Good article Wildcat. Perfect timing too as I was just doing some wrenching on my bike. Been my own mechanic for years now. After one learns the ins and outs it can be very relaxing, meditative and rewarding etc. etc.

As I mentioned in my previous comment I decided to ditch the single speed setup and put my steel mountain biking cycle back to geared configuration. Yipee! after I returned home from the day job yesterday a package was waiting and I got right to work. My bike had no shifter cables being a single speed but the break cable jackets were braking down after five years or so so I changed them out with new ones. And added shifter cable set for my new thumbies. I find it very satisfying trimming cable jackets to perfect length for a nice symmetrical layout and visually pleasing cockpit. I admit though it did take many years of doing cable jobs to learn to enjoy it. It can be stressful when you're learning.

The other new parts I added were a XT cogset for the back wheel. Haven't bought a new one of those in a decade at least. They've come a long way. Also a new HG chain to compliment the cogs. Just a 9 speed setup. 9 works fine for me. My front and rear derailleurs are vintage XT from at least 1996 and all I had to do was tighten up the cable tension and they were working flawlessly as the day I took them off. I had an old 90's Deore LX compact crankset with the traditional 5-bolt pattern hanging above the workbench so I threw that on the square taper. It had very little miles on it so good to go.

Now about the thumb shifters. I just got back from a little 18 mile shakedown around the countryside to settle in the new drive train. I bought Microshift brand thumbies and the indexing for the rear worked perfect right off the bat. So I'll leave it as is. Positive and precise shifts. The left shifter is friction only and changes the rings in the front unbelievably easy. It's been 30 years since I had a bike with friction thumb shifting for the front derailleur and I forgot how nice they work. In all that time riding several different kinds of indexed shifters for the front I've never been happy with any of them. Always got that irritating grinding of the cage against the ring in certain combinations and no amount of fiddling with the little screws would bring it in to perfect adjustment for all usable combinations. Yes the Microshift thumbies cost a little over a hundred fun tickets but they work better than many of the indexed triggers I've tried. Being able to trim the front for absolutely quiet spin is the bomb.

So in conclusion of my short comment I say doing your own wrenching may not be for everyone and that's ok but for anyone out there that is thinking about taking on some maintenance tasks I say go for it. I believe it greatly adds to the enjoyment of the cycling sport/hobby/mode of transport and gives one a deeper understanding and appreciation for their machine of choice.

Anonymous said...

I used to work on my bikes. Never, anymore. I "learned", alright. I learned that working on bikes is messy (tool chaos). It's dirty (grease, lubrication, road dirt). It is in no way satisfying (uncertain, tentative adjustments.) And, I have better things to do with my time: (no, not sleeping, or going to the toilet ... RIDING the stupid bike.) All hail to the friendly, competent shop mechanic!!!

Skidmark said...

@RecumbentConspiracyTheorist- How did you cut the brakeline and thread it through the frame and fork without getting brake fluid everywhere? Is thumbshifter what you call satellite sprint shifters? And didn't you have to remove the "square taper" to run the wiring harness to the rear derailleur from the seat tube battery? In my case the irritating grinding sound was not the front derailleur it was my teeth, as I meditated. Bikes can be so relaxing.

BamaPhred said...

I should have stayed hone and just punched myself in the face instead.

1904 Cadardi said...

@RCT,

The current Shimano front derailleurs are designed so they basically don't rub no matter how hard you cross chain. No trimming required which is pretty darn awesome.

Michael Benedict said...

1904 Cadardi,

Is this really true? I have basically all vintage bikes and parts. I put a newer fd on my roadish bike, and it needs a lot of trimming. No big deal. But on my mtb with older fd, never needs trimming. Basically same exact crankset with very similar ring sizes and cassette. Almost identical. Can you recommend a cheapish new fd model that you are speaking of?