mountain bike. I could see right away why it needed a tune-up. Every thing was filthy and or coated in mud. It has been my experience that "the most common problem with derailleurs" Is Neglect. Most just need a good cleaning and lube and some slack taken out of the cable. Countless times I have tried to tell folks that a little light maintenance can go a long way. I get the feeling that most people think that if they purchase a good quality bike they will not have any problems. Even a good quality bike needs a little maintenance from time to time.
front derailleur after Power Washing at the quarter car-wash. Now it is ready for a "normal cleaning" and lube.(White Lightning Clean Streak and Tri Flo) This lady lives on a dirt road that is regularly coated with chloride for "dust control". When a chloride treated road gets wet it makes a mud that sticks like crazy. A mud that will also discolor chrome if not removed promptly. So once the mud was washed away I gave it the normal spray (White-Lightning) and brushing(Park brush and scraper set) Then a spray with the Tri Flo. After that I took a little slack out of the cable. And guess what? The derailleur now works flawlessly. So the message here is.. Do not be so quick to replace your malfunctioning derailleur, chances are it is just dirty.
Shimano Altus rear derailleur after blowing the hardened mud off at the quarter car wash.(only the derailleurs were power washed) Now the rear derailleur and free wheel and chain just needed a little basic maintenance. For cleaning the Free wheel I used White-Lightning "Clean Streak" and the Park scraper and brush. Then a light spray with the Tri Flo.
chain cleaner with Park Citrus Chain Cleaner. After the first cleaning, I rinsed out the cleaner and refilled it and cleaned the chain again. Sometimes that is what it takes. I wiped it down with a rag between cleanings to help the process. After drying I gave the chain a light coat of bicycle chain lube and wiped off the excess. There is an old saying "If your chain looks oily, it has too much oil on it". Dirt sticks to oil! You do not lubricate a dirty chain. You Clean Then Lubricate a dirty chain. Once the chain, rear derailleur and free wheel were clean and lubed. I again removed the slack from the cable (as I did on the front derailleur) then the rear shifted flawlessly as well. The brakes were not so easy.
MTB cantilever brake. I have labeled the spring cover (A) and the return (torsion type) spring (B). When the brake is assembled it is the spring cover (A) that holds the return spring (B) in the proper position. The return spring has a prong at each end. One prong end is inserted into a hole on a little flange (that on this bike is welded) to the brake post mount that is brazed onto the seat stay. The outer prong is inserted into a hole in the top inside of the spring cover.
Nishiki bicycle. As you can see these three are broken and will not hold the return springs in the proper proposition. This causes the springs to unload or loose tension on the arms. The result is brakes that do not return to the proper position when the brake lever is released. This results in brakes that rub the rim and do not apply good pressure when applied. I suspect the owner tried to adjust the rub out of these brakes making them pretty much useless. Now my problem is, Where do I find these little plastic spring covers off a 25 year old bike? Answer... I don`t.
Above: Getting back to the dirt roads sprayed with chloride for "dust control" for a moment. Above you can see where this mud ate right through the paint. The message here is "If you ride on a dirt road that is sprayed with chloride for Dust-Control, Then you better be practicing good Rust Control!"
fixed gear bike. I have installed a new brown Charge spoon saddle and some very comfortable and stylish ergo grips. I think I am going to remove the brake to give it a cleaner look.
Above: Coming soon "Raleigh Teton Mountain Touring" restoration. And a 15 to 18 speed conversion. Easier and cheaper than you might think. Until next time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE Cheers, Hugh