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A Day of Maintenance

by on March 8, 2012

When I purchased my second bike (the fixie), I thought that bike maintenance requirements would remain the same, not increase.  After all, I reasoned, maintenance is dependent upon miles traveled and it was not like I was dramatically increasing my total mileage with another bike.  I would just be sharing those miles between the two.  How naive!  Today, both bikes required work.

The Kona went into the shop for new cables and a light “tune up”.  (Who knows what else will be found?).  The fixie hasn’t been ridden since January 6th (on a very wet day), and I deferred cleaning her and attending to her needs.  So, with temps in the 70’s I pulled out my maintenance stand and gave the fixie a shower, then proceeded to tweek a few components.

My first order of maintenance was to swap out my tires.  I have some great leather looking tires I wanted to put on the bike to match the saddle and handlebars.  That was a whole 30 minutes of frustration and failure.  First, the tire was TIGHT.  Brand new tires can be a royal pain to install.  I don’t like using tire “irons” to put the tire on the rim because it can damage the tube, but this tire required such manipulation.  When I inflated the tire, I discovered that the tire near the valve stem was not seated properly.  There was a bulge there.  I pulled the tire off, and tried again.  Now there was a leak in the tube.  I replaced it and once again installed the tire.  Again, the bulge was there.  I determined that the new tire has a thicker tire wall than the one I removed, and would not seat properly in the rim.  I finally gave up and re-installed the old tire.  It worked better, and I discovered a way to seat this tire differently.  When I have some more time, I’ll try the leather looking tires again.

Next came the new chain.  I’ve only installed a new chain once before, and that was on the Kona.  This chain was different.  I carefully laid out the old chain, counted the links, and broke the new chain in the right place.  Installing the chain was almost too easy.  I was worried I did it wrong, but testing it didn’t result in a fail.

The fixie has had a problem since I purchased it.  At one point in the rotation, the chain is very tight.  At the opposite part of the rotation, the chain is loose.  This has caused me some difficulty and stress.  I loosened the 5 or 6 screws holding the front ring onto the crank, moved it to the tight spot, and hit it with the palm of my hand to move it toward the rear cog.  I then carefully tightened the screws.  Testing revealed that the chain maintained tension through the entire revolution … or at least much better than before.  At least that worked!

I checked brake pad locations and made adjustments.  When the rear tire on a fixie is moved to adjust the chain tension, the brakes need to be adjusted so that they ride in the proper place on the rim.

A quick check ride didn’t result in any other noted deficiencies.  I plugged the light battery pack in for recharging, and she is ready to go for the morning breakfast ride.

I’m looking forward to the ride … and the longer ride after.

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From → Cycling

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