Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Tricks of the Trade" Bicycle Mechanics

For the last few weeks we have been compiling different tricks of the bicycle mechanics trade for us to try/use inside the shop. Many of our participants have contributed to the list and we've had some additions come from other cycling folks in the community. Please feel free to add you tricks here and we can continue to add them to our list!

Here is what we have so far:

1.       Use WD-40 with steel wool to remove rust from your bike. Be careful when using this method on rims- or be sure to clean your bike very well before riding it after using this method.  Oily breaking surface = no breaks!
2.       For rust removal, rub the part with aluminum foil dipped in vinegar.
3.       When you put the seat back on, pull a piece of string taught from the center rear of the seat to the center of your steer tube. This is much more precise than “eyeballing” it.
4.       Use old spoke nipples as cable ends, just slide the nipple over the cable end, shank end first, squeeze the nipple shank with the wire cutting jaws of a pair of pliers (gently) to fix to the cable then nip off the head of the nipple with the wire cutters.
5.       If you have a bent derailleur hanger, find an old, worthless hub axle with the same thread pitch, thread it into the hanger, and use as a lever to bend it back. Be careful not to strip threads or snap the hanger.
6.       When you are attaching your cleats to your shoes, especially with MTB shoes, fill the hex holes with melted wax (just drip it off a candle). Then, when it's time to tighten/adjust/replace your cleats all you have to do is melt the wax out with a lighter rather than spend 10mins chipping out 2 years’ worth of well packed clay.
7.       When trying to remove a stripped hex bolt try gently hammering your hex wrench into the bolt and then loosening the stripped bolt—call it Andy’s trick.  You may also try using a rubber band at the end of the hex wrench.
8.       When installing pedals, just remember that the right pedal goes in the "right way" and the left pedal is not "right”.
9.       Use a pair of spanners to hold grip tape in place when taping your bars.
10.   Use fourth hand tool to tighten zip ties.
11.   Use steel file on the end of brake housing to give your work a nice professional touch.
12.   When loosening the locknut on a front or rear hub use the “closing fist” technique.  Position both the cone wrench and box wrench in a position (cone wrench should be in the 5 o’clock position and the box wrench in the 7 o’clock position).  If wrenches are in the correct position you should be able to wrap your fist around both wrenches and squeeze them together resulting in the locknut loosening.
      I'm excited to read what you all have in your arsenals!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Afterschool Commute

For the last few weeks there have been a number of participants coming in to report that they have been told by a crossing guard that they should be riding their bicycles on the sidewalk rather than on the right side of the road. 

To help clarify things I have linked the MDOT Bicycling Laws below as well as the City of Biddeford ordinance regarding bicycles on the sidewalk.