Bike Maintenance Fall Workshops

Mostly nonsense. Also riding bicycles inappropriate for off road terrain, off road; GIFs

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rmmierau@gmail.com
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:06 pm

Re: Bike Maintenance Fall Workshops

Post by rmmierau@gmail.com »

BEGINNERS - interested in becoming Intermediates, please add your name below:

Shirley Mitrou
Chelsea Henderson
Mark Stephenson
Justine Calder
Johnny Tyre (Beard says I'm "bi-curious", but I'm really just interested in different drivetrains)
Joji I
Megan Thomas
Peta Tibbetts
Mark Devitt
Julia M
Andrew Neale
Matt Taylor
Lynn C
Lani Trenouth (I've got some experience with basic maintenance but know nothing about maintaining disc brakes or tubeless tires)
Jenna Peters
Heidi Mierau (I have some experience)

INTERMEDIATES - interested in becoming Advanced, please add your names below:

Tipsy Tyre (assuming I graduate from beginner and am not too hungover)
Megan Thomas (same)
Matt Taylor
Mashby
Heidi Mierau (again probably this is the level I am but can always use a refresher at beginner)
Ron Mierau
JamesB
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:28 pm

Re: Bike Maintenance Fall Workshops

Post by JamesB »

Okay - steady progress and wonderful participation so far. Just a reminder, these sessions are meant to encourage and enable each of us to become more “trail-proof” in terms of our abilities to repair 90-95% of our most probable issues and get ourselves home out of the trail. So, we’ll continue to encourage You to get your hands dirty, to use the tools we’re carrying either on ourselves or on our bikes and to resist the temptation to succumb to the pressure of people standing around while we all take our turns fumbling with tools and such to finally repair our bikes. Sure there’ll always be someone who could “do it for us” and likely even do it faster, but that’s not the point here.

Expect to be like the rest of us and make some mistakes! No biggeee at all. We’ll learn from these together and carry on.

I’ll try to shoot off a summary of our key points from the Beginner workshop once we’ve finished them.
Next we’ll be posting 3 or 4 dates for the Intermediate clinics - please watch for them.

Finally, after the Advanced workshops are done, I’d be happy to host some very specific workshops that are based on ideas that are coming from each of You. For example, Roxanne S asked if we could host a session that teaches us how to disassemble our bikes for air travel — and then the reassembly too … AWESOME Idea Roxanne!

So keep bringing your questions and ideas to these sessions. It’s becoming the perfect time of year to cover and share some of these learning experiences - especially in a laid back and social TS way! :D
JamesB
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:28 pm

Re: Bike Maintenance Fall Workshops

Post by JamesB »

JamesB wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:58 pm Okay - steady progress and wonderful participation so far. Just a reminder, these sessions are meant to encourage and enable each of us to become more “trail-proof” in terms of our abilities to repair 90-95% of our most probable issues and get ourselves home out of the trail. So, we’ll continue to encourage You to get your hands dirty, to use the tools we’re carrying either on ourselves or on our bikes and to resist the temptation to succumb to the pressure of people standing around while we all take our turns fumbling with tools and such to finally repair our bikes. Sure there’ll always be someone who could “do it for us” and likely even do it faster, but that’s not the point here.

Expect to be like the rest of us and make some mistakes! No biggeee at all. We’ll learn from these together and carry on.

I’ll try to shoot off a summary of our key points from the Beginner workshop once we’ve finished them.
Next we’ll be posting 3 or 4 dates for the Intermediate clinics - please watch for them.

Finally, after the Advanced workshops are done, I’d be happy to host some very specific workshops that are based on ideas that are coming from each of You. For example, Roxanne S asked if we could host a session that teaches us how to disassemble our bikes for air travel — and then the reassembly too … AWESOME Idea Roxanne!

So keep bringing your questions and ideas to these sessions. It’s becoming the perfect time of year to cover and share some of these learning experiences - especially in a laid back and social TS way! :D
Proposed but flexible goals for Intermediate Workshop:

After a recap of the beginner clinic, questions and answers, expect to be asked what “Intermediate” skills you’d like to be familiar and reasonably confident with by the end of this session. We will record these targets to make sure we hit them and then break out into groups of 5 and move between 3 stations until we’re done. At the end we’ll come back together for a beverage, cleanup and final thoughts.

Station one: discusss pros and cons of tubeless and then how, when, why to use bacon strips;

Station two: front/back brake servicing; and then giving our bikes a deeper drivetrain clean (removing the cassette); and

Station three: saddle bags and jersey pockets - how to pack our tools/spares for our rides.
JamesB
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:28 pm

Re: Bike Maintenance Fall Workshops

Post by JamesB »

Here’s a summary of some of the key points or takeaways from our initial workshops:

- resist the temptation to allow someone else to fix our bikes for us! We’re all in this together and just as we wouldn’t let someone ride our bikes for us, why let them fix it - we need the practice and confidence just as much!
- being aware of what’s in our saddle bags and how to use it is really important;
- preventative maintenance (yes even simple drivetrain cleaning) is critical to our awareness of our bike’s condition and at very least saves $$ and time as it prolongs the interval between visits to the LBS (local bike shop).

We introduced the idea of stopping our ride as soon as (not waiting) we detected a problem. Flipping the bike upside down to rest on saddle and hoods (as long as we don’t damage anything mounted to the handlebars) so as to give us easy access to wheels (90-95% of our trail issues) and drivetrain (the other 10 - 5%) and keep things out of the dirt.

We talked about how anytime we need to remove the rear wheel, always helpful to shift our chain onto little ring - little ring first, then release the derailleur’s clutch (if you have one) before removing the wheel.

For home cleaning of the drivetrain we talked about 3 levels of cleaning. First the kind of cleaning we do every 3 or 4 rides (depending on conditions and length of ride of course); versus what we’d add if we were cleaning it after 2 or 3 months (aka -likely removing the chain and the wheel for this cleaning); versus, the once or twice a year cleaning where we might remove the whole cassette as well. Each of these steps requires progressively more tools than the previous one. Lean on your fellow TSers for support here! Don’t worry if you don’t have the tools or confidence just yet - that’s what this Club is all about!

One big item - but relatively inexpensive - is to suggest we each might want to have and regularly use a chain wear measuring tool. When we see 50% - time to make sure we have a new chain at the ready; as we approach 75% wear … go ahead and change it. But now, keep the left over links that you likely cut and also keep the old power link (clean it) and tuck these away with your chain breaker in the saddle bag.

We learned how to break a chain and install a power link - quick link - missing link (the name just depends on the manufacturer). We also talked about how we can save time (and counting of dirty greasy links) by laying out our old chain so as to measure our new chain against it before we cut it to size with our chain breaker.

Practicing with our trail pumps we learned to “pinch” the tire beads together to help the tire be as loose as possible on the rim before we use a tire lever to carefully pry up one side of the tire … to brace the wheel on our knees and against our belly to keep the hub (maybe the cassette and rotor) out of the dirt. Once the tube is free and removed, we carefully inspect the inside of the tire for any foreign object like a thorn, staple, sharp piece of glass or nail to make sure we remove these before installing the new tube.

Again, as we carefully install the tube making sure it’s not twisted, we then use our fingers to pinch the two beads of the tire together making sure we don’t tear the tube in the process (just about practice). Finish at the valve and hopefully if you’ve pinched it all together for about 320 degrees worth of the wheel, you’re now left with just the 40 degrees (or 5 or 6 inches) of tire to roll up with the palm of your hands (gloves can help here).

Don’t be surprised or discouraged if you make a mistake … been there, done that - own the t-shirt! … It’ll happen again but that’s just life! We’ve all got spares and just happy it’s not our turn to need ‘em.

Inflate it and don’t be surprised if you have to over inflate it to seat the bead on each side … now drop the pressure to what you like to ride on. Take your time and put away your tools and xtra parts.

…..

Moving on to Intermediate stuff we talked a little about some tubeless-specific items we might need to carry (if we’re using tubeless tires) … bacon strips and the insertion tool and touched on some xtra maintenance for this set up. (We hope to host a future session dedicated to this conversation in much greater detail - please standby and watch Spond for this workshop).

We introduced and saw what it means to clean our chains in the sink with a firm plastic brush and simple all purpose detergent (eg. Mr. Clean) … we did the same with our cassette both on and off the wheel. We talked about and demoed how to lube the chain after such a cleaning and between rides.

We inspected our disk brakes - we serviced them using degreaser or rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth/rag (remember, try to do brakes after our drivetrains as we’re likely to displace grease from our drivetrains onto our brake components anyway).

With those who brought them, we used a shock pump and looked at how to adjust the pressure for the rider and terrain.

Although we kinda neglected to discuss this in detail together (pretty busy sessions), we promised to produce a list of items that we might want to carry with us on our weekday rides versus the stuff we would rather keep at home due to size, weight or frequency of use …

Recommended Contents for Gravel/CX Saddle Bag:

- saddle bag;
- one or more tubes appropriately sized for your tires;
- one or more tire levers;
- one “travel size” chain breaker (part of multi-tool or standalone);
- xtra chain links (left over if you cut your chain before installing it);
- power link (aka - quick link etc) specific to your chain, at least one but always better to have a couple;
- multi tool or Allen keys specific to your bike’s many adjustment points;
- mini pump that works with your valve stems;
- 1 or 2 spare cleat (shoe) screws; and
- if using tubeless tires - bacon strips and the insertion tool.


Nice to have but not as Req’d as above (unless going deeper into the trails than a typical weekday CX ride):

- CO2 valve and 2-3 canisters;
- clean rag and ziplock bag;
- couple small zip ties;
- a patch kit (for patching holes in our tubes);
- nitrile gloves;
- small roll of either gorilla, electrical or duct tape (great pro-tip from Andy B is to roll it on a tire lever; and
- 1-2 other common size power links for fellow riders.

The above was compiled by the volunteer clinic guides. The consensus seems to suggest more stuff for going further away from help. An overnight excursion would of course draw even more gear and planning (eg. Spare brake pads, chain ring bolts and even first aid considerations).

These are not exhaustive lists and bike maintenance is a bit of an ongoing conversation - it starts with simple stuff but as we pick up the lingo and our experience and confidence rise suddenly it all falls into place. Be patient and ask for help - that’s what we’re here for.
JamesB
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:28 pm

Re: Bike Maintenance Fall Workshops

Post by JamesB »

Coming up on Sunday, Nov 21 - from 2 to 5 pm …

A real scenario - I’ve just replaced my BB (bottom bracket - the stuff between our cranks) due to time of year, age and a bit of grinding. But now, after installing it, the gears don’t shift as well (could be due to new spacers or other stuff). So, Damian has agreed to take a shot at servicing my rear shifter cable and housing and this could likely involve some indexing of the gears - stuff, I would normally be handing off to the LBS and simply pay for.

So … does James end up bringing the mess to his favourite LBS or does Damian come through and earn a pile of beer in the process!?

This is precisely the time of year to talk about servicing our bearings and bottom brackets - they are parts that simply wear over time and breakdown. But because they are hidden away (not like our chains and cassettes) we are all a bit more intimidated about doing any kind of service to them. As it’s always good to have the parts available ahead of time these days - we can discuss that too.

So bring one or two of your favourite bevies (maybe another one for DP), a snack and watch as Damian does surgery on James’ 2021 Aspero 2 X 11 with GRX components most of our gravel bikes are using now.

If you ride over (recommended) feel free to park on the patio but bikes this time will stay outside please. This workshop’s format will be more about “Show and Tell” than about see and do as we simply won’t have enough time or materials for others to practice this. I need to say in advance that my building requires guests to be dblvaxxed and we’ll need masks pls/thx. (But not while eating/drinking of course).

Due to the complexity of this one, and the fact that it’ll have to be 100% indoors, there’ll be a limit of 10 participants. If you need to cancel for any reason, please do so with enough notice to make sure someone on the wait list has time to make it - Thx.
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