Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rattlle, rattle, shake

Well, brick streets look very pretty, but they are not much  good for bicycles. I'm sure that's nothing new to any of you out there. I was reminded of it last Saturday when I had a pretty good head of steam up descending a gradual grade and turned left at full speed onto a brick street and like to have rattled right off the handlebars. It also shook loose a bolt on my non-drive side rear rack bracket. The bolt had been coming loose, I believe, before this, and I (because I'm into precision and such) took the end of a screwdriver and bent down the little bit of extra bolt that stuck out past the nut to make it impossible for the nut to back itself off of the bolt's threads.

I believe the last two years' use had created a fracture in the bolt that finally was completely compromised by the extreme vibrations caused by the brick street.

My two oldest boys were behind the bike in the trailer and they were treated to a nice sound of the rotating tire as its tread rubbed against the rear reflector screw which was mounted to the rear fender/mud guard, and was now askew from being aligned with the tires due to the loose bracket.

I fixed this a little later at the hardware store with another bolt and a nylon lined lock nut. They were friendly enough there to allow me the use of an adjustable wrench and a pair of small slip-joint pliers to fasten it tightly. Ideally, I would also have added some of that liquid "Lock-tite" to the threads as a double precaution against vibrating loose.

I'm debating whether or not to have the 27" steel wheels of the Takara trued over the summer. Another debate I'm having is whether I should take time to learn to true a wheel myself. It seems like it would be a good thing for me to learn. It can't cause any harm to increase my knowledge and experience with bicycles, especially if I plan to continue to ride them.

I'm also debating whether or not to shed myself of a few different bikes I have around. They're for my wife. I guess they're for me, as well, but we haven't used them consistently. I don't think they're going to fetch much money. I did spend some good money to outfit them with high quality tires to guard against flats, but I doubt a person would pay for the frame and the good tires.

Do you ever find yourself trying to decide these things? Learn to do it myself or have something done? Sell off a couple bikes, or keep hold of them in case somebody wants to ride them? What are your experiences with this?

Keep on commuting by bike!

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