Tag Archive: “bike”
A few weeks ago I put a bike rack in my truck bed. Today I added a pair of pannier racks!
Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013.
I turned a pair of old roof rack bike trays into a truck bed bike rack. More photos here.
Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2013.
Earlier this year I picked up an older Dahon folding bike for cheap. It worked, but needed some TLC: the wheels were lopsided, the rotating parts (hubs, pedals, crank) needed lubrication, and the folding mechanisms were all a bit sticky. I had the wheels trued at the bike shop. I greased all the bearings and replaced the gummy old pedals. Today I freed the seized-up seatpost and re-adjusted the brakes with newer pads. It’s still a bit of a rattletrap compared to the precision standards set by my main bike, but now it is ready to ride!
Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2013.
Readiness procedures require periodic test-fit of touring gear.
I worked out a new way to carry a foam bedroll perched on the back of my trunk bag. I like this arrangement because most of the bag’s compartments remain accessible without removing the bedroll. Perhaps this sort of packing minutiae hardly seems worthy of report, but I think it’s fun to figure out clever ways to carry things.
Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2012.
Last night I noticed my truck’s taillights weren’t working. (Brakes and turn signals were fine.) I replaced the fuse, but it immediately blew again. So this morning, in search of the evident short circuit, I took apart the taillights. The bulbs were fine. The circuit still shorted out with the light assemblies unplugged, ruling out corroded sockets.
Turned out, the short was under the dash. An unused wire in the radio head unit wiring harness was making contact with the metal of the dash framework. It was the only wire missing any insulation – just a nick – and, of course, it also happened to be a hot wire that was making contact with ground at that spot. Taped it up and the gremlin is dead.
(It’s weird that the radio is on the same circuit as the taillights – but I got the idea to check from a few clues the web turned up for similar symptoms, so apparently it’s not too unusual.)
In higher-mileage vehicle news, yesterday I recentered the bottom bracket on my main bike. Basically, I moved it starboard a millimeter or so. This evened out the clearance between the cranks and the chainstays; previously, the drive-side crank was pretty close to the chainstay. (The cranks are the arms the pedals are attached to; the chainstays are the parts of the frame parallel to the ground that flank the rear wheel.) The asymmetry was due to my inattentiveness when reassembling things after a previous teardown.
I make problems so I can fix them! But, that’s how you learn to get all you can out of a system.
Like the Millennium Falcon.
Posted on Saturday, September 29th, 2012.
Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have acquired a set of clipless shoes and pedals. After a few stationary experiments, I installed the pedals on my bike and went for a short ride. I was happy to find I was able to disengage and dismount without tipping over! I’ll have to practice a lot more before it becomes instinctive, though.
I expect that I will continue to use platform pedals on a day-to-day basis, as the practical advantages of being able to ride with any footwear far outweigh the potential performance benefits of being clipped in to the bike, at least for my routine errand-oriented riding. I can imagine using these pedals if I ever get into racing, though, or for future bike tours where I expect to be in the saddle all day.
And yeah, it’s confusing that shoes which clip in to matching spring-loaded pedals are referred to as “clipless.” The name distinguishes the design from pedals with straps or toe cages that surround the foot.
Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2012.