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Bike Service???

By pikey - Posted on 02 April 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.


Rob, In my industry (Air Con) we have a sales formula that if you’re spending aprox 1/2 the $ on getting your A/C fixed in one year than it would cost to buy a new one then its time for a new one!

Just a thought! Sad



No, no, no... it's nothing major. I'm just going to get them to true the wheels, change the read derailleur and cable (don't worry - this is not expensive, I have one I picked up cheap from T7 not long back).

Just 'cos you've got a fancy new bike now Sticking out tongue

Next year, I promise! Eye-wink

...getting them to change your derailleur! Rob really, what do you use those tools in the back of your 4wd for? Fixing a Latte?

How much do they charge for that? I'm thinking I could do some of this stuff for site members for beer money.


I've never been able to get the derailleur to work as well as the bike shop blokes that tweak them day in, day out. It seems a black art and a skipping drive train just ain't worth the hassle.

As it turns out the one spare rear I bought is wrong spring configuration or something (lucky T7 have that nice returns policy!). But not to worry, they pulled the old one apart and tossed it in their component bath (try getting one of these at home) so hopefully it will come out good as new.

They will also true my wheels as I don't have a stand, which again I can imagine is a black art (actually, they've had nothing done to them in 4 years and are remarkably straight still - go the Mavics). And straighten my bent rear disc.

Just a few little things that don't take a pro long, but for a busy amature just take too much time playing about with.

There's a simple procedure for tuning in your rear derailleur that takes 5-10 minutes, especially on Shimanos, they're a bit easier to set up than SRAM from my experience.

If it's a standard mech which springs towards the smaller cogs then: Attach cable finger tight in smallest rear cog with barrel adjusters almost fully in, then shift up a gear on the shifters and turn the barrel adjusters enough so that it actually moves the chain onto the gear you selected. Repeat up the cluster and then check it shifts down OK. minor tweaking to fine tune, taking up cable slack/stretch and proper lubing and it should work easily. A ten minute job if you're handy. If it doesn't work out then something's probably bent and you need esoteric kit like a derailleur hanger alignment tool, very sexy...

I've not heard of the spring configuration thing?? Did you have a "low normal" derailleur by mistake? These spring towards the larger cogs, ie opposite to the usual convention. If you did you should have given it a go, takes a bit of getting used to but I prefer it, only reason I went back to normal is that SRAM don't make em that way and SRAM mechs don't break as easy.

Bent disc is a doddle, just takes a good eye and a sturdy wrench.

Wheels however I'm yet to master.

Seriously I'd do this stuff for beer money...

you can find out how to true your wheels (and much much more) at this very clear, concise, accurate and helpful site...
it doesn't sound very hard. in fact truing my wheels was one of the only things stopping me from going 100% DIY and now i think i'm going to start.

Truing wheels is really easy to do with a little practice. All you need to remember is to tighten the spokes on the side that you want the rim to move towards.

So spin your wheel, find the worst bulge and tighten one or two nearby spokes to influence the bulge. Just give it half a turn if you're not sure. Only work on one bulge at a time. If you have trouble twisting the spoke wrench, try loosening spokes on the other side. Make sure you turn the spoke wrench in the right direction; pluck the spokes (like a guitar string) before and after if you're not sure (tighter spokes will give higher notes).

You don't need any special tools (apart from a spoke wrench). Make sure you engage the spoke wrench properly on the nipple or you can round it off. A truing stand lets you true the wheel more accurately, but not enough that you'd care most of the time.

Try it out at home; it's easier than it looks. The useful thing about all of this is that if you break a spoke on the trail you can roughly true up the wheel and ride home. Otherwise, a broken spoke might end the ride; you might not have enough chainstay clearance for the tire, and rim brakes will drag.

Expect some pinging noises from the wheels when you first ride them. This is just the spokes settling into place. If you don't like this, squeeze pairs of spokes together when you're done truing them.

is really important here!! as you tighten one side it is worth being mindful to loosen the other broken spoke.
The descriptions here are very good and truing is quite easy when you get the hang of it but there are tensions to be observed in the equation. Just remember the process is a combination of tightening and loosening.
One turn of tightening is the same as a half loosening and a half tightening (opposite sides of course).

I'd say excess spoke tension is really only an issue if you have less than 32 spokes, garbage rims, or are *really* forcing the spoke wrench.

I always have problems with rounding off the nipples before breaking spokes.

This is usually only an issue on the drive side of the rear wheel; sometimes it can be useful to loosen the non-drive side instead of tightening the drive side. I prefer to only work on one side at a time - it makes it a lot harder to overcorrect and bend the rim too far. If you need two hands to twist the spoke wrench, don't do it!

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