Monday, June 30, 2014

FELT Q 720 Mountain Bike

Hello and Welcome,
Recently I had the pleasure of doing some work on a FELT Q 720 Mountain Bike. I remember seeing a FELT on Mackinac Island with Hydraulic disc brakes and I was really impressed. As some of you already know I work on lots of...... let's say "less expensive" bicycles. So this was a real treat. And as it turns out, an educational experience as well.

Above: Let's start with the chain. I got a call from my friend Brian (the owner of the FELT) early one evening. His chain had broke and He was stranded. He wanted to know if I had a chain in stock. It turns out I did have a "Shimano Multi Speed Chain" in stock, so off I went. I replaced the chain. After replacing the chain Brian told me it was skipping on the smaller cogs or (higher gears). I asked him which cogs he typically rode on and I think he said the bottom three. So thinking the cassette is worn (I already knew the bike had not been serviced in quite a while) I asked him to shift to the larger cogs. When he did the chain stopped skipping and seemed to be working ok. So I came to the conclusion that the 9 speed cassette was shot. I told Brian he could order one from me if He wanted to. (via my Online Bike Shop) He said that would be fine. So I told him I would go home and check stock and make sure I had his cassette in stock. I called Brian to make sure I had the cassette with the correct cog sizes. I told him I would label his cassette (in the online bike shop) so he would know it was the correct cassette. I believe I labeled it "Brian Order This One"..lol

Above: Here is the old cassette which I de greased using White Lightning Clean Streak. I will be cleaning up these cogs and then Brian will have some spare cogs as half of the cogs look to be fine.

Above: This is when the repair became frustrating. At this point I had cleaned up and lubed the rear derailleur which was really gunked up. The axle, cones and bearings have all been replaced. I also replaced the derailleur cable and the short cable housing at the derailleur. The inner workings of the Rapid Fire Shifter have been cleaned then sprayed with a silicone based lubricant. And I had replaced the cassette with the new one. But the damn chain was still dancing all over the smaller cogs and the damn thing was still skipping like crazy. I set the index with the chain on one of the center cogs, this did not help a bit. So I removed the largest chain ring and headed of to Cycle Therapy to get it checked. I was fortunate that Ernie "the proprietor" just happened to be there.

Above: Just happened to find this pic of Ernie on Google. Ernie and his Team at Cycle Therapy in Waterford Mi are Great. They have helped me out on more than one occasion. Ernie said the chain ring appeared to have plenty of miles left on it, and He didn't think that was the problem. So I told him step by step all the work I had done. At first Ernie suspected the derailleur might be the problem. That is until I mentioned the "Shimano multi speed chain". Ernie asked me, Is it a nine speed cassette? Yes it is, I said. Then He asked, Did the chain package say those exact words Multi Speed Chain? Again I answered Yes. Ernie said That is your problem. He went on to explain that a nine speed cassette like the one I am working on requires a nine speed chain. I said, That's gotta be it! That explains why the chain won't settle down, even though everything says it should be working fine.

Finally a solution! Ok, I install the new KMC 9 speed chain (above) and it seems to be working fine. It is now staying on the cogs and seems to be good to go. Although it seems to be louder than normal. Like it is barely fitting over the teeth on the front chain ring. I'm thinking maybe that is the wear on the chain ring. They said the chain ring did show "some wear". So I test rode the bike, and the bloody chain bound up on something and broke. CHEESE and FRICKEN RICE!!!! W.T.H.!!!! So I calm down and get on the computer and locate the specs. (finally)

Now I call down to CYCLE THERAPY and ask Chris (not the Chris I know, the other Chris) If he has the Shimano CN-HG53 Chain in stock. They do, "Excellent please leave it at the register and I`ll be down to pick it up straight away". Finally a solution! & it worked! The chain is smooth and much quieter and she is now shifting wonderfully. Thank You Bicycle Gods and Thank You internet. And Thank you Ernie for pointing me in the right direction.

Above: This is the first replacement chain (multi speed Shimano) floating around "particularly on the smallest three cogs" (7,8 & 9) Watch the chain on the smaller cogs. At this point I was getting frustrated. It was shortly after this that I removed the large chain ring and went to see Ernie at Cycle Therapy in Waterford. You can hear the frustration in my voice at the end of the video.
Above: Ok.... let's talk about something that went well. Brian's front cones were shot. I had the bearings in stock, and Tree Fort Bikes in Ypsilanti, Mi had the cones in stock. Also the front wheel "trued up" perfectly. I used Brian's Park Tool Poly Lube on both hubs. The front wheel trued so well that.. the last thing that rubbed the caliper pin on the truing stand was the manufactures sticker on the rim! And the sticker was not peeling off.

Above: Top Brian's rear axle and cones, the bottom axle and cones show normal wear. If you blow up this pic you can really see the difference. I was able to order the cones online for the rear axle as well. But at this moment I really can't remember from where...lol

Above: I had not planed to blog about this bike, so I never took any "before" pics. (my bad) So here is some of the work done on the rear end of the bike. First I rebuilt the hub replacing the cones, bearings & axle. Next the wheel went on the stand for truing. Sometimes you can tell if the wheel has been worked on before. I noticed that where the wheel was rubbing the pin indicating the spokes on the opposite side needed to be tightened, those spokes were already really tight. This tells me that someone may have already tried to straighten or true this wheel. So I check the spokes for tightness on the same side that the wheel is rubbing the pins. (on the wheel truing stand) They are really tight as well. So I loosen the spoke or spokes (just a wee bit) near the rub allowing the wheel to be pulled away from the *pin*.(*pin* refers to the caliper pins on the stand that the wheel will rub if they are set close and the wheel is not straight) Also I was able to tighten the spokes on the apposing side just a wee bit.
Above: This gentleman has made the best wheel truing tutorial video I have ever seen. I don't think I have ever seen anyone explain the process better than he does. So I share this with you. And hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Above: Here are the other things that were done to the rear half of the drive train. Violette Arrow ~> Installed the new 9 speed cassette.... White Arrows ~> Cleaned and lubed the entire rear derailleur paying particular attention to all the pivot points that connect the Upper Knuckle to the Outer Parrelogram which connects to the Lower knuckle..... Red Arrows ~> De-Ggreased and lubed the upper and lower Jockey wheels (huge chunks of crud cleaned off the jockey wheels) And cleaned the inner and outer Jockey Wheel Cage plates....... Blue Arrow~> Replaced the Chain.....how many times? lol "I'm not taken the rap for the second chain! ".......Green Arrow........made up a new short cable housing at the rear derailleur......Yellow Arrow ~> New Jag-Wire Shift Cable....Orange Arrow ~> cleaned up rims, spokes and pie-plate....Pink Arrows ~> Installed new inner tube and tire.
Above: Here I am cleaning away excess de-greaser before spraying the Rapid Fire shifter internals with Tri Flo (a silicone based lubricant) I also sprayed into the shift cable receiver hole with a de-greaser (Clean Streak) and after some drying time.. some Tri Flo lubricant as well. Cleaning and lubing your Rapid Fire Shifters will greatly improve their performance. (if they're just not shifting as well as they once did)

Above: The front derailleur would not even react when I first tried to shift it. After spraying and brushing it twice with Clean Streak and lubricating it with Tri Flo it seemed to work fine. I replaced the cable since I had removed the original cable to clean the Shifter internals. I probably could have re used it, it actually looked pretty good. But cables are cheap, so I went ahead and replaced it anyway.

Above: The pedals were shot so I put this cheap set on for Brian to use until he orders a new set. Hopefully he wont throw these away, I could always use them on some kids Department Store bike.

Above: I couldn't be more pleased with how the front hub and wheel came out. There was a lot of play in the front hub when I got the bike. I expected the hub to be destroyed inside, but it was not all that bad. I cleaned it out and replaced the cones and bearings and then it spun real smooth. And it trued up beautifully. Removing the discs is really easy. One of my Park free wheel removal tools fit the retainer ring perfectly.

Above: Brian has the FELT Q 720 back now, he is planing on installing a better rear rack. Also I think he has already ordered new pedals. Brian says he thinks their is a problem with the crank. I told him I am really not comfortable taking apart his Hollowtech crank. We plan on hauling the bike to Cycle Therapy to have the crank serviced. Hopefully I can see first hand how this crank works and how to remove it and replace it. I would rather the first Hollow Tech crank I work on belong to me.
Here are some random pics from the project

Above: The front axle and cones from the FELT Q720. Now I recall it was TreeFort Bikes in Ypsilanti Mi who had the correct cones in stock. I ordered these from their online store. Although I have never been there, I hear their bricks and mortar store is nice too!

Above: The info for finding the correct cones is printed right on the hub. In particular the Shimano RM65. I actually located the cones for another Shimano hub first, but it stated they would also fit the RM65 hub as well. (I got lucky)

Above: I always look for < Grade 25 > steel bearings, as I have been told it is the highest rating for steel bearings. On the other side of the bag it is labeled Campagnolo. I hear they make pretty good stuff too! ltms

Sorry for the delay folks, I mentioned on the Face Book page this would be published Sunday, obviously I didn't make it happen. Until Next Time...PLEASE... RIDE SAFELY!.......And Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Zebrakenko and other stuff too

Hello and Welcome,
Well spring has finally sprung and it is time to get the Zebrakenko bike project moving forward again.

Above: As luck would have it, the threaded headset I ordered for the Zebrakenko does not fit. So I scrounged this one up from a few old parts bike frames that I kept around for just such an occasion. I am pleased with this headset it is quite smooth the bearings and cups are in fine shape. After de greasing with White Lightning Clean Streak and cleaning, everything got re greased and reassembled. I`m not feeling this stem though. It does not really fit with the style bike I want to have when finished.

Above: This handlebars and stem combination fit my vision for the Zebrakenko perfectly. I am not sure if the stem off a Dutch bike will fit this Japanese beauty, but I will soon find out.

Above: I would like to explain my next choice. I really love the look of the L.L.Bean bike finished. The L.L. Bean started life as an all terrain bike. However, I hate the ride! It is much too stiff for me. I can feel bumps I can't even see. My narrow and low profile HP tire choice was terrible. Which also led me to using very narrow mud guards or fenders. I have wanted to go to a wider fender and beefier tire selection. But I can't afford to waste a perfectly good set of tires and Velo Orange Hammered mud guards.

Above: My solution is to use the white tires and Hammered Velo Orange mud guards
 on the yellow Zebrakenko project. Please note: I have not yet fine tuned the fenders. I will not be using the wheels off the L.L. Bean. Hopefully I will be able to scrounge up a vintage set of 700's for the Zebrakenko. It had a mixed set of wheels on it when I took it apart, one 700 and one 27 inch lol. So hopefully I can refurbish the 700 and I will only have to find one matching wheel. Part two of the plan is to sell this bike and use the cash to finance all the changes to the L.L. Bean bike. Honestly, I think I could really enjoy riding the L.L. Bean with the right set up.

Above: The buckle part came off the pouch that holds the battery pack for my Cree Headlamp to the head tube on my 29'er. I was going to sew it back on, but before I could Eddy (cat) made off with the pouch. I had not been using the pouch for my Topeak multi tool. Since I keep the multi tool in my wedge pack anyway, the pouch seemed unnecessary. But it does make an awesome pouch for my battery pack.

Above: I have it double zip tied (through the belt loop) to the head tube. As seen above, I just leave the pouch on the bike all the time. The pack is secured much better now. And there is no need to constantly check it and re tighten the velcro straps all the time. A huge improvement indeed! One good zip tie will do the job, the second is just for back-up.

Above: A friend of mine accidentally struck a bicycle (ladies bicycle) that was traveling the wrong way (on the shoulder) when He was pulling out from a side street. He did brake hard, but despite his best efforts He still bumped her over. I feel for him, because the same thing almost happened to me the summer before last. I was pulling out of a side street when a girl riding the shoulder in the wrong direction, seemed to appear out of nowhere. I did stop in time, but it was a matter of inches that I missed her by. It really shook me up! But she seemed oblivious to the whole thing as she pedaled by. The lesson here is twofold. One: If you are on the shoulder riding in the wrong direction, don't assume people are going to see you. Two: If you are driving in your car don't assume some dumb ass isn't coming down the shoulder on the wrong side of the bloody road! When I rode motorcycles my motto was this "Always expect the other guy to do the stupidest thing imaginable."

Above: Anyway this was her rear wheel, I also trued her front wheel and adjusted her rear derailleur. At the time I laced the wheel, I did not know the whole story. So if you saw me post it on the face book page as "my friends wheel" that is because "at the time" I thought it was.

Above: My first total wheel rebuild was a smashing success! (pun intended) Only a slight limit screw adjustment on the Low end was required to make it function properly. And being a Department Store Bike, it was likely already out of adjustment. Also I reset all the brake pads properly which were all "Willy Nilly" for lack of a better description!

Above: Riding my Raleigh Sports on Easter Sunday. My pledge to ride my bike everyday in April "fell a little short". I did manage to ride my bike 27 days. That's much more than my typical April, that's for sure. It wasn't the weather that messed me up, it was more of a time issue. I did manage to ride all the really bad weather days though. So I am 95% satisfied with my pledge.

Above: This picture "taken from my bicycle" is of a canal in 7 Harbors. It was taken in early April 2014. The canal is still frozen and you can still traces of our record snowfall we had this winter. Camera: Fuji Film FINE PIX S4500

Above: The same canal on April 29th 2014. The ride on the 29th was most enjoyable. It was a long, cold and snowy winter. A winter that won't be forgotten anytime soon by folks around here. But finally it is springtime and everything is coming back to life. I put out one of the Hummingbird feeders after checking the migration report. I have not seen any Hummers yet. But they should be making an appearance at any time now.

Above: Recently... I was finally able to convince my bud Tom to let me swap out his high mileage wheels for this 26 X 1.50 wheel-set off my old low mileage 1980's Rock Hopper FS. I have shown work done on both his front and rear wheels on here and on the face book page. Tom had the most battered set of cones on his rear wheel axle that I had ever seen.

Above: Tom has reported back that the wheel swap was a great idea. He says it is rolling smoother and coasting better as well. Now if I can just talk him into a set of beefier road knobby tires. Some phat tires would really smooth out the ride in the back.

Above: As of late I have been working on my friend Brian's FELT Q-720. It has been an educational experience "for sure". So look for a post about that real soon. Also the beefier tires for the L.L. Bean have arrived :) Aaaaaannnnnnd.... when Brian's FELT is finished I should be able to resume work on the Zebrakenko. I have received inquiries about 2 restorations, but nothing has developed yet.

Until Next Time...PLEASE... RIDE SAFELY!.......And Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The 30 Day Pledge to Ride Every Day in April

Hello and Welcome
Before I start I would like to thank Ryan from Ryan's Rebuilds for posting this "30 day pledge thing" on his face book page. It really gave me some badly needed motivation to get this riding season started in a good way. You will find the link to Ryan's blog in the right side column in the "Blogs By Friends and Followers" section.

I know my registration card is tough to read so what I wrote is this "Because it has been a long hard winter and I really need to get in shape" Here is the address or HTML if you would like to sign up http://30daysofbiking.com/

April 1st : Day one went really well. I picked the perfect men's bicycle for the short ride, my 1964 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed. Having not been in the saddle for months, comfort was my number one priority. And the comfort level of the Brooks Saddle really impressed me, And I was pleasantly surprised by how well the old Raleigh coasted down hills. And believe me I was coasting as much as humanly possible.

Above: Aesthetically speaking this is not my favorite time of year. The lakes are still frozen and nothing is green yet and everything seems to have that "battered by winter" look. But this year Winter Was So Bad, I will embrace the outdoors as much as I can regardless of how things look right now.

Above: The roads here take a real beating in winter as well. There are lots of stories on the local evening news about pot holes and each cities efforts to deal with them. Which is challenging as most municipalities went way over budget trying to keep the roads clear and salted this winter season. At times salt could not be found anywhere.

Above: I suspect many people do not know this..... There are huge salt mines under Detroit. From what I have heard the salt miners had a boom season. They were hauling salt away as fast as they could bring it up. Funny..... Detroit makes cars.... Salt eats cars..... Mine more salt.... Spread it all over the roads.... Then build more cars! Now that's is a self sustaining economy!

Day 2: Today I decided to take the Diamondback 29'er out, which worked out really well. All that was needed was a little more air in the tires and it was "good to go". When I put the 29'er away for the winter I made sure the chain was on the smallest cog or sprocket in the back and on the smallest chain-ring up front. This prevents the front and rear derailleur cables from being stressed (taunt) all winter and stretching. I don't know how many times I have heard someone say this about their bike "My bike was fine when I put it away, and now it is not shifting properly." And quite often all that really needs to be done is to have the slack taken out of the shift cables. So why not just avoid the whole problem? I have never been told by anyone to do this, Is this like the best kept secret in the bicycle world? Is this not known? Or is it just "bad for business" to tell people to do this simple thing?

Above: Riding along the unpaved shoulder (by choice) I unexpectedly rolled into a real soft spot in the dirt. I stood up on the Shimano PD-M520L MTB Sport Pedals and the 29'er powered through it easily. If I had accidentally rode into this on one of the road bikes it probably would not have gone so well.

Above: I tried to get a correct angle shot to show just how deep the WTB WOLVERINE 2.2 29" Tires sank into this wet spot in the soil. The 29'er never ceases to amaze me with it's ability to roll over or through damn near anything. It is the perfect bike for the mixed terrain around here. And it is really comfortable, on or off road.

Above: Today I rode around 7 Harbors for a while. It is mostly paved, and all the canals make for some really nice views. Another plus is.. there is not much traffic in there during the middle of the day. Just a smooth and peaceful place to ride.
Above: Another nice view from 7 Harbors. Just around the bend in the canal I spotted a small foot bridge. I will try to remember to get a picture of it next time I am there.

This is one of the few places I would be willing to move to around here. But we have good neighbors here and have no plans of leaving any time soon. I am just saying, if we had to move...

Above: I couldn't help but notice the Knee Board sticking out of the ice at the end of the dock.


Above: Back home and feeling a little fatigue in my legs but nothing out of the ordinary after not riding in quite a while. Like most every springtime I am weighing in right now at just under 200 lbs. This year I think my target weight will be 180 lbs.
Above: We have not seen any hummingbirds yet, I have been checking the migration reports online. Hopefully they will be here soon. Until Next Time...Please... RIDE SAFELY!.......And Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Note to my Blog followers / readers

I regret that I have not been blogging lately. We have had the most brutal winter we have had in quite a few years. It's just not feasible to heat the garage / shop this winter. And with the remodeling and redecorating of the living room (which is pretty much finished now) there is too much "stuff" stored in the downstairs family room to make room for a bike project. I needed to "take a break" anyway, so I guess maybe it was meant to be.

Above: The patio table just outside our eat-in kitchen door wall. This was to most snow from a single storm we have seen in years.

Above: This "Snow Egg" is actually an end table with a small flowerpot on it. At one point the windchill factor was -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Not the worst I have seen here, that was - 47 F. But none the less it's been really cold! This snow was followed by what some call an "Arctic front" around here we call it an "Alberta Clipper". We have another arctic front coming through tomorrow night. Tuesday's high is expected to be + 8 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be a "cake walk" compared to the last one.

Above: The ice storm that knocked out the power for a large part of this area was the biggest we have seen (right here) since the 1980's. We were lucky, the power outage area started on the next street. I'm not getting this in the correct order the ice storm came first.

Above: The ice storm did make for some great photo ops. This was taken in the State Park "Highland Recreation Area" just a few miles from here. The Ford family once had a summer home there. I think the Ford family donated the land that is now part of the state park.

Above: It's hard to believe I took this picture out the same window just a few months ago. To help pass the time we have been finishing off the living room and getting some things "fixed" from the kitchen re-mod last summer. And we are planning our next vacation, which looks like it will be on Mackinac Island again. Which we are very pleased about:) This time I might rent bikes instead of hauling one up there. Then I can blog about the different bike rental places and options.

Above: The old picnic table out back is rotting away. We only use it for feeding the squirrels and birds these days.

Above: For comparison....The same picnic table this winter. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate winter, I just don't love it as much as I once did. I`ll have the blog back up and running when the weather breaks. Enjoy your winter wherever you are :) Cheers, Hugh
 
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