darxus: (June 2012)
darxus ([personal profile] darxus) wrote2013-09-11 11:01 pm
Entry tags:

I seem to have gotten my rear derailer straightened out.

I went into it thinking I totally knew what I was doing, since I was pretty comfortable with the front derailer by the time I went to bed last night. But it wasn't cooperating. I was only messing with the cable tension knob. And... it was not very responsive.

Then I watched a couple videos on the rear derailer, and realized there's a cable tension knob right on the derailer. Which, for obvious reasons (friction), is *much* more responsive.

Then I sat on my floor for half an hour, with my bike upside down, running back and forth through the rear gears, fiddling with the tension, to balance out the smoothness of up-shifts and down-shifts as much as possible. Not because that amount of time was remotely appropriate, but because it was fun.

I still don't understand how people cope with the lack of lock nuts on these things.
volta: (wrenches)

[personal profile] volta 2013-09-12 08:06 am (UTC)(link)
In my experience with consumer level bikes (<$500), the derailleurs require adjustment so frequently a locknut would serve almost no purpose. When I was commuting by bicycle (~25mi round trip over moderately hilly terrain, and I was/am out of shape enough that made for a lot of gear changes) it was unusual if I only had to adjust once a week. I suspect higher quality equipment requires less frequent adjustment, but have no relevant experience to back that up. My friends who are "into" bikes still give me crap about the bikes I used to ride.

I no longer own any vehicles that lack IC engines, but I have recently been giving serious thought to a "city bike" to keep in the office for travel around town. Suggestions welcome.

[identity profile] darxus.livejournal.com 2013-09-12 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, what kind of bike do you want? Road (race) bike, for maximum speed? Hybrid for more comfort? Endurance bike for theoretically slightly more comfort than a typical race bike? Cyclo-cross bikes are like road race bikes but more durable - Specialized actually recommends them for commuting in sub-optimal conditions (weather, roads). But I kind of doubt endurance or cyclo-cross bikes are worth the additional cost.

I bought the cheapest road (race) bike they had at Ace Wheelworks in Davis Square, for $630 (2013 Specialized Allez Compact - last year's model, on sale). I think that's a great option. I really like Bike Boom, a used bike shop also in Davis. They were about sold out when I went there, due to apparently worst possible timing in relation to student influx.

I think the Montague Crosstown is a very interesting option. It's a folding bike, implemented in a way I really like. Full size wheels. Hybrid, so a lot more cozy. They don't seem to have it listed on their website, I think it's about $700. So, maybe great if you value the ability to more easily throw it in your car, and aren't terribly concerned about speed.

Oh, another thing to keep in mind, if you're getting road (race) bikes, is the variety of shifters available. I think if you get a used road bike from Bike Boom, you'll probably get friction levers on the steering stem or down tube. Without individual clicky things per gears. You move the lever, it moves the derailer, you determine if it's in gear by feel. I kind of enjoyed using it (down tube style), really like the simplicity, and I hear they are more reliable / easier to maintain. But I bought a new bike because I felt the convenience of modern shifters was worth it. On my bike, with older Shimano shifters, you push the brake lever toward the inside to shift one way, and press a button on the inside of the lever to shift the other way. Way more convenient than friction lever shifting. Although surprisingly difficult to hit that button when on the drop bars. Which is why the 2014 model (which costs $100 more) has, I think, a paddle behind the brake levers to shift the other way. The other common option, but I think more expensive, is SRAM Double Tap. The brake lever isn't involved, so it isn't as wobbly, which in theory I like (haven't tried). They also have a paddle behind the brake lever. Push it in till it clicks to shift one way, push it in all the way to shift the other way. Dunno what that's like. Personal taste.

Part of the reason I got the cheapest road bike they had was because I imagine with a little experience, I'll want something else. No matter how much research I did ahead of time.
drwex: (Default)

I'm glad you're having fun with it

[personal profile] drwex 2013-09-12 02:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I have an old clunker of a bike that I've had for *mumble*thirty-some*mumble* years. I keep being afraid that it's going to fall apart spontaneously or develop some major problems but so far so good.

Re: I'm glad you're having fun with it

[identity profile] darxus.livejournal.com 2013-09-12 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Cool. Probably a good idea to look it over thoroughly for weld cracks?
drwex: (Default)

Re: I'm glad you're having fun with it

[personal profile] drwex 2013-09-12 02:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I suppose that's possible. I'm not sure if the bike shop guys checked for that during its tune-up a few months ago. Also I'm not sure I could spot such a crack before it got really huge.
ext_174465: (Default)

[identity profile] perspicuity.livejournal.com 2013-09-13 03:21 am (UTC)(link)
most bikes i've worked on have physical range locks outs front and back

and the cables have finger level adjustments on both ends of each cable; i've had to tweak on the fly.

AND if you count the actual cable clamp, that's two more.

when i upgraded my shifters, the instructions came with "the procedure"... basically you first have to reset the physical ranges, adjust gross physical cable length, and then tune the tension levels.

the pros can do it in under 20 minutes. takes make 2-3 times longer as i rarely have to do it. after new cables break in, very few adjustments are required, even phyiscal ranges.

keep it clean, and lubed, esp the chain, and bob's your uncle.

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