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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Zebrakenko Mixte Restoration Part 2

Hello and Welcome,
I recently restarted the Zebrakenko restoration. I had striped the bike to the frame then sanded the frame using wet/dry sandpaper.

Above: To remove the paint from the nooks and crannies I used a Vermont American fine brass wheel brush. As for the drill I used my high speed DeWalt 8 amp Drill. CAUTION: You must WEAR SAFETY GLASSES or GOGGLES when using the wheel brush or any power tool that rotates in any way.

Above: After the sanding was finished I hung up the frame for about a month or so while I worked on some other projects. So when it was time to spray primer I quickly re-sanded the frame and wiped it down with mineral spirits. Now I am confident the frame is ready for primer.

Above: This is my first time using white primer. If I were to use grey or black primer it could show through in some hard to reach spots. My thinking is this white primer should make my Sunburst Yellow Rust-Oleum enamel really pop.

Also when the paints get chipped the white primer should make any chips much less noticeable. I am using Rust-Oleum brand primer for clean metal. After seeing the white primer I was wondering if I should have painted the frame white?

Above: After seeing the Sunburst Yellow enamel on the frame I am glad I decided to stay the course. I am considering installing white fenders (mudguards) or possibly chrome fenders with white tires. The weather has now turned cooler. The day I painted it was just warm enough to paint (50 degrees Fahrenheit) but the humidity was much lower than the maximum recommended humidity of 85%. The humidity was about 40% when I sprayed. Due to the cooler weather I am going to let the frame cure for a week or two before I start reassembly. I hope the cooler weather has not had a negative effect on the paint.

Above: Here I have wet sanded the fork. To remove the paint from and around the fork crown, I will again use the Vermont American fine brass wheel brush. The same goes for the *drop-outs.
* Drop outs: Sometimes referred to as drops, are the four points on a bicycle frame and fork, where the wheel hub axles fit into the slots. (on the rear frame or lower fork ends)

Above: Here "hopefully" you can see the paint removed from around the fork crown detail. I also use little pieces of gritty wet sand paper folded to get some of the really tight spots. Probably not my best photography.. sorry bout that.

Above: I had a very small "weather window" to get the fork primed and painted. If not in a rush I normally would have removed or taped off the crown race. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Above: I do need to order a set of Zebrakenko decals soon, which I believe are $29.99 . I will have to double check the model name. I think this one is a "Thunder" model. I am not real crazy about the idea of spending the 29.99 for decals. But I definitely want them.

Above: This photograph shows the "Thunder" decal located correctly on the drive side chain stay just behind the indentation in the stay. I often use photographs to check the proper location of the other decals and clamp-on cable guides, shifters etc. etc.

Above: I was going to refurbish and use this wheel set for the Zebrakenko. But upon closer inspection they are not exactly a set.

Above: This wheel is clearly marked 27 X 1 1/4 which is typical for old "bike boom" ten speeds from the 1970's

Above: This wheel is clearly marked 700 C. I am glad I gave them a closer look before I started cleaning them up. They were both salvaged from Motobecane road bikes but obviously not the same model.

Above: I might salvage the wheels off this Nishiki Century. It has a cheap (stamped) crank and appears to be one of their entry level models. I also have another option, a woman's Fuji that was just donated. But I also have a beautiful Fuji Mixte frame I wanted to use the recent Fuji as a donor bike for the Fuji Mixte. I`ll have to think about it while I am rebuilding the crank and headset.

Above: I think a "Zombie Ride" looks like it could be lots of fun! I have heard of "Zombie Walks" and such. But this is the first Zombie Bicycle Event I have seen. I guess I need to get out more. Or at least get to the city more. I hope if a Zombie Ride comes up in S.E. Michigan I hear about it in advance. I did order the Zebrakenko (Thunder) decals last night from Velocals and I think the frame is ok to handle now. No decision regarding the wheel-set yet. After I post this I will go take another look. The first order of business will be cleaning up the seatpost and installing it. Then I can mount the frame correctly in the stand and get to work on the headset and crank.
The Michigan VS Michigan State football game is on, and so far things are not looking real good for the Wolverines. I`m going to go watch the 2nd half inthe shop. This way something good can come out of watching the game.
Until Next Time...Please... RIDE SAFELY!.......And Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh

Friday, October 18, 2013

MAGNA Mountain Bike / Is this Department Store Mountain Bike Thing Ever Going To End?

Hello and Welcome
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this year will forever be remembered by "yours truly" as The Summer of the Department Store Mountain Bike. This D.S.M.B. belongs to the son of a friend. I was told it needs a new shifter thingy for the front gear thing. (or something to that effect) ltms... I was sure I had a decent set of twist grip type shifters I saved from the LL Bean bike. And after this lad's mum told me this young man had given his other bike to a friend who badly needed one...well how do you say no to that?...... Right! You don't

Above: I hope you are on a Personal Computer or something with a big screen so you can click on this pic and see the labeling that I just recently learned how to do.

Above: The broken shifter is pretty simple, first I locate the replacement. Ok now I disconnect the cable from the front derailleur. I will then remove the short grip by carefully inserting a small slotted screwdriver and give it a quick shot of WD40 inside the grip. Ok the grip is off that was simple enough. Now I pull the shift cable free of any cable guides or braze-ons. For the twist shifter I locate the hole and insert the correct size Allen wrench and loosen the Allen screw or bolt. Now the shifter mechanism will slide right off the handlebars. Now for the sake of keeping it simple I kept the cables and housings with the salvaged twist shifters. So this is basically a remove and replace job. So now it is just a matter of sliding the new shifter into position and tightening it's Allen screw.

Above: Then I route the cable to the front derailleur using the original derailleur cable housings. I make sure the shifter is in the 1 or low position and I have no slack in the cable. And of course I have the chain on the small chain ring and with no cable the derailleur is in position over the small chainring. Now I attach the cable at the anchorpoint and try the shifter. Now it is working fine, so I can install the original short grip this will make it look more original. Remember the thin plastic washer that is probably on the floor goes between the short grip and the shifter. I'll adjust the shifter latter on, right now I have bigger fish to fry.

Above: When I spun the rear wheel it sounded like it was rubbing the frame. It was actually a bad bicycle wheel bearing and badly worn cone shown above. This is kind of cool... The replacement cone and bearing cartridge are both off his mom's bent rear wheel I recently replaced.

Above: On the left is the replacement bearing cartridge. On the right is the bad bearing cartridge. The bad one has been cleaned I suspect the bearings probably turned color as they overheated. The new bearings will be packed with grease before installing. And the axle and cones will get a little grease too. I like a light coat of grease on the axle to protect it from rust.

Above: I do not like the look of this bearing cup, but it feels pretty smooth so I'll use it for now. But I think I will be finding a good salvaged rear wheel and hub for this bike at some point in the future. As I think John mentioned on the face book page recently.... The one good thing about these D.S.M.B.'S is salvaged replacement parts are plentiful. And many of the parts are like new since these bikes are usually disabled so early in their lives. So I guess the message here is, If you can't fix it yourself you better learn fast or buy a better bike.

Above: While I have it off I'll clean up the 6 speed freewhee with a quick spray with White Lightning Clean Streak. And lubricate the free wheel by adding a few drops of oil to the gap and spinning the freewheel in my hand to let the oil work its way into the needle bearings.

Above: Here is the rear hub all back together and working really well. I checked back after a few days and the lad told his mum the bike is working great. I did do a small adjustment to the low (L) limit screw on the front derailleur before I took the bike back and it was working fine. I also had to take a wee bit of tension off the front derailleur cable to get it dialed in.

Above : As for the front hub, it just needed the cones adjusted (they were set a little too tight) and a little grease. The boy should notice this bike rolling 100% better than it was last time he rode it.

Above: The bike ready to go back home. As usual I have placed the worn or broken parts in a zip lock bag. A few other things I did were to reposition the brake levers and reflectors. The chain was lubed with the White Lightning self cleaning lube. And then I just cleaned up the bike a bit with Armor All Cleaning Wipes. Which reminds me I have to pick some up at Meijer's tomorrow.
Now I need to repair my friend Tom's rear wheel. Which ironically has almost the exact same problems. But it's NOT a Department Store Bike. Holeluuija!

Above: Tom's wheel off his Giant Mountain bike. I ran into Tom the other day and He said "Hey Hugh I got something for you". So he opens the trunk of his car and pulls out this rear wheel. Basically he said It needs a broken spoke replaced and could you take a look at the cones, I think they might be bad. I look at the Freewheel and see it is a Shimano (I have the right tool to remove it) Sure Tom no problem.

Above: Yeah these cones are shot alright. So I took the axle, with one of the bearings and the cones and spacers along with the broken spoke to Cycle Therapy in Waterford. I didn't have any black spokes and this is a really nice bike and I wanted tho replace the axle and cones with new. Cycle Therapy had everything I needed. They also had some citrus based Park Tool Chain Cleaning Solvent in stock. This is cool as I have been out of this stuff for what seems like forever.

Above: Although these bearings look o.k. to the naked eye, they have to be damaged if they have been rolling on those cones for a while. The young man who waited on me suggested I reuse the original spacers. I already knew this but I was impressed that he thought to mention it. Ernie has some good people working for him (at Cycle Therapy) who have kept me on the right track more than once.

Above: The take down and reassembly went fine without a hitch. Everything got a good cleaning and re greasing. Did you ever notice it is almost always a spoke on the drive side of the rear wheel that breaks? In this case it didn't matter as the hub had to be broke down anyway.

Above: I have placed the wheel just inside the small shop/garage door so I don`t forget it. I am meeting up with Tom and some other friends in the morning. As usual I have his old axle, cones & bearings along with the spoke in a zip lock bag. I guess I could have tossed the spoke in the wheelie bin. I`m pretty sure Tom knows it could not be repaired ...ltms
P.S. Didn't mention it but I did also true the wheel on the stand, after the hub was rebuilt of course. Chatting with Tom earlier this morning He told me the wheel has 1,500 miles on it. If I understood him correctly the hub was never broken down and cleaned / greased. I guess that would explain the condition of the cones.

Until next time, Please RIDE SAFELY and remember to always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers,Hugh
 
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