Fork help?

Oct. 19th, 2013 05:29 pm
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
[personal profile] aedifica
I was recently advised that it would be a good idea to replace my fork soon.* That means deciding what to replace it with, though--carbon? steel? aluminum? titanium? (probably not titanium). Curved? straight? I have no idea, I just know that what I have now works, but something else might be even better. Does anyone here enjoy bike-geeking about forks? What I have now is a straight carbon fork on a mostly-carbon road bike, and I ride on roads from smooth to potholey. Advice is welcome, I'm feeling overwhelmed by the technical details when I search on this online.

* Turns out it isn't a good idea to let things hang from your handlebars, if the things are long enough to get caught in the wheel. I bent a wheel to the point where I had to replace the wheel, not just have it trued. I am so grateful that this happened at a time in my life when I could afford the repair! And since there may have been damage to the fork at the same time, better to replace it soon than have it break sometime when I'm out riding.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
I hardly ever ride Clyde, my Globe Specialized Carmel hybrid, anymore. It's a fun ride, but inconvenient for commuting (lights need batteries, rear fender doesn't prevent road spatter, rack doesn't hold much, greasy chain has no guard...). I prefer Eleanor O, my Dutch Workcycles Omafiets, for everyday use.

But I was very glad of Clyde when, a couple of weekends ago, I managed to break one tiny little part on Eleanor.

The part was the tensioning bolt in the Brooks saddle. It's a small part with a big job: to lengthen the saddle frame just a hair at a time as the saddle leather begins to stretch, and, incidentally, to fix the saddle onto its undersprings--i.e., to keep it on the bike. I...might have overdone the tensioning just a bit, and snap went the bolt.

A black and white Dutch bike with its saddle removed

I had to order a replacement from SJS Cycles in Bridgwater, Somerset, UK (about 6000 miles from home for me) because nobody in the US seems to carry it. It cost a whopping five bucks, I think, and three times for shipping it.

The imported part

Cheaper than a new Brooks saddle, but I've really missed riding my sturdy, reliable, no-fuss Oma.

The part came today, so I hope to be back in the saddle tomorrow, and good old Clyde can return to collecting spiderwebs on the front porch.
roadrunnertwice: Silhouette of a person carrying a bike up a hill (Bike - Carrying)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
Sing calloo and callay for overhaul season, and for grease under my nails again! My bike was getting a little wobbly and uncertain-feeling after the winter, and yesterday was a nice cloudy Saturday that I didn't mind blowing on some DIY, so I hied me to A Better Cycle and overhauled both hubs and my headset. (My bike is more than twenty years old, and I'm pretty sure most of the parts are about the same age; those three bearing assemblies have built up some pitting, and they slowly wear out their BBs and get looser over the course of a half-year or so. I mean, like all such do, but I really do think they need a re-up more often than a fresher kit would.)

Anyway, vive la difference -- Brigadelle feels *much* faster and more responsive, like it was a bear that just shook off the last haze of hibernation.

I love doing that work. Honestly, it would make way more sense to have the shop handle it, since they can work a lot faster and I'm not broke like I was when I learned it. But it makes me happy. I like the smell of worn-out grease and that orange pumice soap; I like keeping my own eye on those cups and cones as they deteriorate. (One more season, I keep saying, but they keep holding up just fine.) I like listening to music and singing while I polish away the old grease. I like the satisfaction of getting the cones locked down juuuust right, freely spinning but with no play. I like the way beer tastes after an afternoon of virtuous tinkering.

Hurray for overhaul season, and hurray for life.

(x-posted from my journal.)


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