Friday 11 March 2016

More bike maintenance

I was about to take the bike out to the car, when I noticed an ominous bulge in one of the tires. Whe I prodded it with a finger, I could feel the inner tube. Oh dear. That's not good.

It would continue to work for a while, in my experience, but at some point fairly soon, it would give up being able to contain the inner tube, followed by a loud BANG as the inner tube burst. I don't want that to happen while I'm out on a circuit. Time for a change!

I have the back wheel on a quick-release skewer, so I quick-released it ... and it didn't release. So I wiggled and waggled it, then released the brake so that the wheel could come out, then deflated the tire so I could get it past the brakes, and eventually, I got it out. When I examined the tire, I was right, there was a split in the side. This is caused by the jamming of mud into the back wheel, which then rubs against the mud and erodes the tire.

So, off with the old tire, and on with a new one (I usually have a couple of spares. The inner tube looked fine, so after wiping the inside of the wheel and the inner tube, I put it back together, which was pretty easy, although I did use a couple of tire levers to get it in place.

Putting it back on the bike, wasn't easy. The problem was getting the gear changer into position, because it has a very strong spring, and I have to tension it against the spring, put it in position, and hold it there while I screw in the retaining bolt. Eventually, I got it into position, added the metal rod that guards the gear changer, and tightened everything up. The wheel was rubbing against the brake at one point in its rotation, so I used my spoke spanner to tighten the appropriate spokes to that it didn't rub.

 I noticed that I've put the tire on the wrong way round. That's despite carefully working out which way I should put it on. Oh well, it'll still work, it'll just give me slightly less grip in slippery mud. I'm not going through the hassle of taking the wheel off, turing the tire and putting the wheel back.

Then I adjusted the brake to make it tight enough ... and the brake cable snapped. It's a stranded cable, and the strands tend to break one at a time. This was the last strand snapping.

No problem, I have spare inner cables, so I swapped the cable, readjusted the brake, checked that the gears all still work, and the bike is now ready for action!

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