Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
Maintenance tips, techniques and myths.
Technical discussion, description and outright lies
While posting to another thread I had reason to think of some "old school" tricks in wiper blade maintenance. (White vinegar, glycerine.)
Anyway it occurred to me that there must be heaps of old-school and not-so-old school home-remedy type tricks in care, maintenance and repair of bikes.
You may have some of your own that others could use.
I am thinking bikes, but it can go broader than this. Like perhaps you have a tirck to help sunglasses stay clear, or one to ensure that the chamois in your nicks stays resilient for longer, etc.
If so, this is the place to tell us about it.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Mr Sheen and a couple of cotton cloths to clean the bike. Good stuff.
If you still use machine oil for the chain, then it is easy to apply it ONLY to the rollers where it can get under them to the bushing by using a narrow syringe. Seriously, I did it for decades.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Here are the tips I've gleaned from fixing bikes that I got from the tip, or was given, or fished out of dumpsters. As you can tell from this list, there are many fine bike mechanics out there and I've learned a lot by observing their work:
- electrical tape is a great substitute for proper bar tape as long as you use 400 metres of it. Just keep wrapping it on!
- electrical tape is a great substitute for rim tape as long as you use 200 metres of it. see above.
- electrical tape can hold on a bidon cage - see above.
- electrical tape sadly won't hold a brake on if you have lost the nut. Try it anyway though.
- if you try really hard you can fit 27 1 1/4" tubes into a 23mm 700c tyre, no need for an expensive trip to the bike shop
- 5 patches on a tube is a minimum for roadworthiness - the tube isn't roadworthy until it's more patches than tube.
- keeping your bike outside in the rain adds lots of "patina"
- if your seatpost doesn't fit your frame, bash it in with a hammer.
- if your seatpost is now stuck in the frame, bash it out with a hammer. A few dents on the frame won't matter.
- if you hammered a seatpost into your frame and the hammer didn't work, lever the ears of the frame open with the claw end of the hammer.
- the best fix for warped wheels with broken spokes is to open up the brakes. Quick releases are perfect for this.
- house paint covers lots of rust. If there are rust holes use plaster. It's easier than welding or brazing.
- if your frame is designed for v brakes but you want to fit a road caliper brake, drill out the mudguard mounting hole.
- frozen bottom bracket cups can be removed with an angle grinder - don't worry about the marks on the BB shell, they'll buff right out.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
Sounds like you've been peering through my garage window, drubie...
drubie - you sound like my sort of mechanic
if it's meant to move and doesn't - WD40
if it moves and it's not meant to - gaffa tape
re cleaning the bike - I use baby wipes.
kero is a great chain cleaner. just make sure you thoroughly dry it after cleaning it
If your rim brakes are a little slippy/grabby, ask your lady friend for some make up remover pads, grab a bottle of metho and give rims a wipe. This will clear away any small oil patches you can't see.
Once a fortnight, spin the wheels and pick out any shards from the tires with the point of a Stanley knife.
and then fill the cut with
i'll continue to use kero.
Jason had it right.
Petrol is not good stuff to work with in close quarters. Bad to breathe and the vapour burns very easily.
Kero is the go. Non-volatile and not as easily inflammable.
My bike blog. Long on rumination, rambling and opinion. Why let facts ruin everything?
probably the first time I've been right in a long time - just ask my wife
Yeah, but don't get too excited it was Just James that said it...
Depends entirely on the method used to clean your chain with petrol.
I kind of imagine tying a section of thin wire to the end of the chain........lowering it into the petrol tank of the car.........a quick jiggle.........and you pull out a nice clean chain.........no fumes......no mess
everyone has probably heard that if you get a bubble in your roadbike tyre you can use a folded plastic banknote to get yourself home. But banknotes are too small for a MTB tyre. You can use a drink bottle. Just cut the top and bottom off using the big chainwheel, squash it and put it in the tyre where the bubble is. It still bumps a bit as the wheel is seriously out of balance but one got me home over 50kms of pretty rough dirt track.
can i borrow you car? no way would I be running that crap through my car
A friend of mine used to fix the broken spokes on his tip-find bikes by welding them back on to the flange of the hub. If that ended up with the wheel too far out of true, pulling it out and jumping on it a few times would generally do the trick (then welding up a few more broken spokes as required).
None of that changes the fact that petrol does, in fact, clean chains quite well.
Just like how asbestos is a good insulator and lead oxide makes good paint pigment.
Doesn't mean you should... just that it works if you're silly enough to do it.
who used to clean chains in petrol when he didn't have any other solvents handy
Further to that chain cleaning thread...
There's an old housewife-style method of using paraffin wax as a chain lube. You melt the wax (in a double-boiler or something else that helps avoid you going kaboom when molten wax catches fire), soak the chain in it, install, and ride away with a clean, dry, lubricated chain.
It doesn't work very well - the wax tends to flake off and leave dandruff all over your workshop floor, the wax isn't much of a lubricant, and it doesn't last very long before requiring a re-lube.
The next iteration is to mix some teflon engine treatment snake-oil (eg Nulon) in with the wax. This improves the lubrication properties, and makes the wax less brittle so it doesn't flake as much. It lasts longer, but still not very long. I did this for a while, but eventually reverted to conventional drip-on wet lubes.
However... molten wax is a brilliant chain cleaner. Being a hot bath, all the other oils and greases on the chain melt and flow away from the chain very quickly and dissolve in the wax bath. The dirt settles at the bottom of the wax pot, and the clean wax freezes above it. Once you get a bit of dirt build-up, you can melt the dirty layer off your pot-shaped moulding of solid wax.
The teflon / wax blend is a good enough lubricant for a couple of rides, then a squirt of wet lube every so often keeps it lubed. The wax fills up the nooks and crannies inside the chain, so there's not much space for dirt to hide in there, so the chain lasts longer between washes than an unwaxed chain does. Then, when it's time for a bit of chain maintenance, whatever wet lube is still present in the chain gunk can dissolve into the wax bath to improve its lubricative properties.
I use an old electric wok that I picked up at an op-shop as my wax bath. Paraffin wax can be had from supermarkets - it's used for sealing jars of preserves and pickles and stuff (apparently); a $4 block will do a lot of chains.
Beeswax is better (and safer) than parafin wax. Don't try and melt a candle get the proper stuff from a french polishing supply.
The old Sedis chains used to come pre-waxed when new with I believe beeswax.
This is an expensive and time consuming way to lube a chain but it really works.
This is reading more like an episode of Bush Mechanics than a list of helpful tips!
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My point (once I eventually got there ) was that cooking an oily chain really, really gets it clean. Like how washing dishes in hot water gets them cleaner than cold water and any detergent.
And hot wax is good because it is, to some extent, self-cleaning. Crud settles at the bottom, and the whole thing goes solid so you can separate the cruddy bit.
Quicker and easier to get a really good chain clean using WD40. Spray it for a prolonged time onto your chain while rotating it. Watch all the black gunge just drip off. But don't do this in the lounge-room, or even your workshop.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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