Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bike maintenance

After taking bike.1 out for a long, wet ride, I made a list of things I needed to do to it.

The saddle wasn't high enough - fixed.
The pannier bag wouldn't close properly - I have a strap I'll use.
The gear shifter wasn't returning, it was fouling the throttle - moved it.
The thottle wasn't returning to zero when I released it; I've oiled it and it's fine now,
The bracket that I'd made out of plastic to hold the rear light broke; I've made one out of steel now.
The red rear lamp fell apart; the red plastic fell off the body. Sellotape fixed it.
Even with tape over the blue battery condition lights, I was still being dazzled by them at night - another layer of tape added.
And even the voltmeter LEDs look very bright at night; I've now got a flap that I can fold down to cover them.
The voltmeter was showing about half of the correct voltage. It's working now, I don't know what was wrong.
The horn button wasn't in a place I could easily press; sometimes, when you want to beep the horn, there isn't time to search for it. Button moved.
The time was wrong on the bike computer - fixed.


Maybe the ammo can I'm using for a battery holder is too wide. I've replaced it with a narrower bag.
The clock/thermometer arrived, so I've installed it. So I'll know just how cold it is while I'm out, and I can see the time.

Then, in recharging the batteries, I found that battery 5 (of the 5/6 pair) has a wonky connection. I've taped up the connection, but I'm not sure if it'll be good enough. If it's still a problem, I can always replace battery 5, those batteries are only about £15.

And before I put the bike back in the car, I tested it. Just as well! It didn't work. After some messing around, I found that if I started the wheel off going backwards, then it would run ... backwards. That points the finger at the controller, or maybe a loose wire. So I undid the tape that keeps the leads from the controller out of the wet, and I think I found a disconnected wire (although it's possible I disconnected it when removing the tape). So I reconnected the wire, and the wheel went fine without needing to be started off ... only backwards. I really can't imagine what could have caused this to happen, but I know how to deal with it. Instead of connecting the power leads yellow-yellow, green-green, blue-blue, I scrambled them, so that the same colours didn't connect. That had the effect of making the motor go the other way. Result!

I also decided that I could simplify my wiring harness, by incorporating the watt-meter and fuse in with the special lead that connects a pair of batteries to the bike. So, less wiring, and therefore less to go wrong. I'm also going to make up a spare lead, so I ordered a couple more fuses.

I've also separated out the bike repair kit, so that it can go into a miniature pair of saddlebags that can go on the front frame. Or the same bag can go in a rear pannier. In this kit, I have:

Puncture repair kit: patches, glue and tyre levers
Multitool for bikes
Spanners for front and rear wheel
Spare inner tube (not one of my excellent pucture-proof ones, this is a thin light one, just to get me home).
Quite a good lock (not good enough for leaving the bike in a town center, but good enough for leaving it in the middle of the countryside while I walk a few hundred yards across a place I don't want to take a bike).
Rear light. For a front light, I prefer to use a head torch (which also has a rear light). But two rear lights are better than one!

So now, I think, bike.1 is ready for the next outing, although I'm going to give it a further test tomorrow.

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