Archive for the ‘Cycling – How to’s’ Category
I love my Sidi Genius cycling shoes. They are really comfortable, I have had them since 2004 and have done a good number of miles in them. This is not one of them in the photograph, just a more modern example from the web.
One of the things I particularly like about them is that the bits that wear out are replaceable. Take for example the heels. £5 gets you a new set. The problem comes with getting the old set off. As you can see in the photo above, the heels are held in place by a very small phillips screw. Wear down the heels too far and the head of the screw gets worn away as well. The solution I found to the problem is to use a junior hacksaw to cut a grove in the head of the screw. You can then use a flat blade screwdriver to unscrew the old heels and before you know it the new ones are in place. Good for another seven years hopefully.
Gloop. It gets on your chain and onto everything the chain touches and then grinds away at all the surfaces. Before you know where you are, it gets expensive – new chain, new cassette….
In the bad old days I would regularly break a chain, stick it in a tin with a load of Gunk, shake it about, rinse it and then bake it in the oven. Once it was dry and still warm I’d put the new oil on and it would flow into the bearing surfaces. Join it back up, a quick wipe and you were good to go.
Now with Campag chains it is not so easy. First of all there is the cost of the chain tool, then there is the risk that a chain which has been slimmed right down you will weaken it and then suffer the consequences Bad enough if you are in the final kilometres of a Tour stage, pretty diabolical if you are 25 miles from home.
Now you can get snap on chain bath thingies which do a pretty good job of stripping the gloop off the chain. There are two problems with them I think. Firstly, you are left with solvent inside the links of the chain and run the risk of ending up with an oil/solvent mix on the chain. Secondly, I have never been able to use a chain bath without getting spots of disolved gloop over other bits of the bike and the floor.
So my approach now is use oil to chase out the gloop. Firstly with an old cotton T-shirt I get as much of the bad stuff off the chain run.
Then I apply a liberal drop of oil to the top of each link. Then I leave it overnight. The next day I use a clean bit of the T-shirt to wipe off the excess. This is because I want oil in the links not on the surface where it will attract new dirt.
I’m not sure if this the best way to do it, but it seems to work.
There are essentially two ways to remove old Campag brake blocks; the very slow way and the slightly less slow way. The very slow way is to remove the blocks and holders from the bike and attempt to slide the blocks out. They have been in there a while and every time you applied the brakes you tightened them into position. They are happy where they are, don’t want to come out and swearing will not help. The web is full of forum posts from desperate people who have started on the very slow way and lost the will to live
The slightly less slow way is illustrated above. Use the pliers to pull the free end of the block away from the holder then a small screwdriver to lever the block out.
Then clean the holder with a brush, making sure that every bit of grit is removed. Old toothbrushes are good for this. Then carefully lubricate the back of the block – soap, washing up liquid or a child’s wax crayon also work – you have to be careful to avoid any of the lubricant getting on the braking surface. Then slide the new block into place, making sure that you have the appropriate block in the right direction – they are labelled both left/right and forward. You might need to use a vice to do this.
Bolt them back in place, adjust and test ride. Do the test ride immediately. Now wash your hands. In fact, you might be advised to wash your hands before doing the test ride, especially if you have white bar tape.