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Random weather, and other ramblings

Monday, September 12th, 2011

The week before last, we had temperatures in the 90s, tipping topping out at nearly 100 on Saturday. All of a sudden the temps dropped and we had cloudy, drizzly days most of last week, in the 50s-60s. Some of my favorite weather, really.

Now we seem to be in a middle ground — in the upper 80s the next couple days, lows around 60.

This weekend was a total loss though, I spent Saturday throwing up and otherwise feeling miserable due to what must have been a nasty combination of a hangover and food poisoning. It was truly awful. Sunday I was much better, but still dehydrated and weak … I tried to keep it a restful day, spent recuperating, with a little cleaning around the house.

My mountain bike is now fixed again, I ended up having the shop upgrade my rear brake to an Avid BB7, instead of the BB5 I had before. I haven’t had a chance to try it out, but I’m excited.

I had a couple hiccups with the LHT, the first being a flat tire. I lucked out — I walked out after work and found my front tire flat. It was hot that day but I just sat in the shade and calmly changed the tube, rather than fighting with it by the side of the road. The hole was right by the valve stem, so there was no patching it.

The shifting is getting fidgety on the LHT, as well. I’ve made some adjustments, but the problem seems to be getting worse. So, I just threw my barend shifter in friction mode, and it has been a lot better. In fact, I’m rather liking the improved control I get with friction shifting.

Unfortunately, I think my cassette may be wearing out. The brakes are also not quite right, and my front shifter is stiff. The bike needs work, and it may need a professional’s touch at this point. I’ve done a good job of keeping it tuned up for a while, but it’s getting to a point where it just needs more than I can confidently do. At this rate, I’d say it definitely needs a good solid tuneup before winter strikes, if not sooner. That’s probably a good idea, anyway, I suppose.

7 Responses to “Random weather, and other ramblings”

  1. David Crowell Says:

    I gave up on index shifting on LHT very early on. The shifters themselves are problematic. Friction works much better.

    My LHT has more miles on it than my other bikes. I’m on my third chain and cassette. It still doesn’t shift wonderfully, but it works. I may have a slightly bent derailleur hanger, but if so, it’s only slightly.

    I’m considering replacing the derailleur with next chain/cassette change. It may just be worn out. That bike sees all kinds of abuse.

    I also hate the stock brakes on the LHT. One of the return springs broke on my front brake. I haven’t fixed it because I want to replace the brakes with some of the “wide” cantis that should give more stopping power, and more clearance to mount the headlight at the fork crown.

    I’ve been un-impressed with bike mechanics recently. I can do most of the repairs they do, although it takes me a lot longer. I’ll leave wheelbuilding to the professionals, but I’d rather do as much of my own work as possible. I take greater care when I’m working on my bike then what a professional does on other’s bikes.

  2. Apertome Says:

    Interesting. I’ve been doing more and more of my own work, but whenever I get in a jam, or if I just don’t have the time to spend tinkering with my bike, I reliably drop it off and pick it up later, hassle-free, working much better than I could have achieved myself, given any amount of time. So, sometimes it’s worth it.

    I upgraded my rear brake to some still fairly basic Shimano canti and it’s been much better. Front is still stock and is more or less doing the job. I’m sure you could do better than that Shimano piece I put on the rear, but it seems good enough for me.

  3. Tim Says:

    Had to do the new chain/cassette thing after the chain break during the Bloomington MT ride. Hard rides and hard treatment make fir such upkeep. If you were only doing sunny day road rides it would be different.

  4. Scott Loveless Says:

    The Tektro Oryx brakes that come stock on the LHT are hit or miss. Some people have really good luck with them. Others, not so much. I’ve observed a few of these, including those on my recently departed LHT, and it’s almost like they’re manufactured in different places. They look the same from a distance but the tolerances are all over the map. I couldn’t keep them from squealing on the front, but they did fine on the rear.

    I’d suggest a Tektro R720 wide profile cantilever on the front. Unlike the low profile Oryx, you should set the included straddle wire as high as you can. These brakes have wonderful modulation and a tremendous amount of stopping power when you need it. They’re also nice in the back, in theory, but might get in the way of panniers, depending on your rack and bags. It’s probably easiest to stay with a low profile brake back there.

    As for shifting problems, it might be time for new cables and housing. While you’re doing that it wouldn’t hurt to take off the bar end shifters, clean them and apply some fresh grease. You shouldn’t need to take the body units out of the handlebars, but if you do turn your wrench clockwise to loosen them. This might help. http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/techdocs/content/cycle/SI/Dura-Ace/SL-BS78/SI-6J60A_En_v1_m56577569830605258.pdf Hit me up via email if you have questions.

  5. robert Says:

    I think especially with drivetrains you have to anal-compuslively clean them or basically just replace them more often. Personally I’ve opted for the later though I think after the next time I replace it I might try to be a bit better on squeezing more life out of it.

    You know my recent trials around brakes, well I have to say the cheap but perfectly functional Shimano brakes I had on my Atlantis originally were a huge PITA to adjust the pads. So I bought these IRD brakes that you can put in brake pad cartridges and have a micro adjustment screw. So theoretically once they are set right you just tighten the screw to accommodate wear and once its worn out back out the screw and just replace the brake pads. So I of course ended up getting the brakes professionally adjusted but hopefully now I can handle the rest of the pad replacements. We shall see.

    Oh and I love friction shifting, I too went with the indexed settings that the Shimano bar-end shifters my Atlantis came with until it started missing shifts (something always changes – wheel alignment, cable stretching, etc) and instead of fiddling with it much I just flipped on the friction shifting and found I much preferred it. Enough so that I replaced the Shimano shifters with Rivendell’s silver shifters which are ratcheted and just feel great.

  6. Steve A Says:

    Hmm. It must be contagious. I’ve got the same symptoms on my Tricross.

  7. Chandra Says:

    Sometimes, a professional working on the bike is a fine idea! Good luck with the glitches!!
    Peace 🙂

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