Experimental music, photography, and adventures


Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

I was supposed to go mountain biking with my friends Dave and Jeff tomorrow. I have been loving having my 29er back in action.

But it needed some work. My brake cable was rusty, and my brake pads weren’t grabbing well, both on the rear brake. I’ve been getting better at working on my bikes, and I stopped and got some parts the other day. Tonight, I went to work and I was making great progress. I was following a particular method for adjusting my Avid BB5s (first article, second article).

Long story short, the first article tells you to “tighten down as tight as you can with out breaking it,” speaking about the adjustable brake pad. I did this and went through the rest of the steps, but it turned out to be too loose and it didn’t work right. I tried again and tightened a little more this time. Made some adjustments, everything seemed good. Then I went to back the adjustable pad back out and I stripped the head of the screw! I couldn’t get it out. It’s still stuck there. I also busted the red hand knob that goes around the head of the screw.

Naturally this means I won’t be going mountain biking tomorrow. I’ll probably do a road ride instead, so all is not lost, but I’ll miss out on mountain biking with friends. And now I’ll have to pay my LBS to bail me out. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had to buy a whole new brake at this point. Damn.

7 Responses to “Damn.”

  1. Jon Grinder Says:

    I have a couple of extra BB5 calipers lying about, if you need to replace the whole shebang.

  2. Tim Says:

    Unfortunately my father taught me the (occasionally misguided) division of labor. So now I can’t really do anything technical and so have to pay the Man to get things accomplished. Damn indeed.

  3. Bike Shop Girl Says:

    Oh no, how did you strip out a Torx??

    If you pull off the red knob you can turn the Torx with an adjustable wrench… use that to adjust, or use a dremel to cut a notch into the torx bolt for a flat head to turn.

    (Does that make sense?)

  4. Wil Says:

    I have messed with BB7 and assume the BB5 are nearly the same. I don’t think you stripped the bolt. First of all, the red knob is just attached for tool less adjustments. If you turn the Torx head in too far it actually goes all the way through the thread and then it won’t be lined up to back it back out. You will have to take the caliper off and pull the pads, then fish the screw out and start over.

  5. Steve A Says:

    Interesting, in my link to your blog post, the first word is “иконографияI.” Are you actually a Russian spy? I think Michael is simply an Americanized version of Mikhail (as in Gorbachev). Nobody else’s blog seems affected.

  6. John Romeo Alpha Says:

    I find actual torque specifications more helpful than “as tight as you can get it without breaking it”, since I would end up end up breaking it most times. Yep, too tight. Dremel with a cut-off wheel, cut a slot a Bike Shop Girl mentions.

  7. Apertome Says:

    I really did strip the hell out of the Torx. Metal shavings are falling out of it, etc. I was actually surprised at how soft the metal felt. I didn’t turn THAT hard.

    The bike is now at the LBS. I’m letting the pros handle this one — and upgrading to a BB7 in the process. All is not lost.

    Torque specs would not have helped me, as I don’t have a torque wrench.

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