Saturday, November 28, 2009

Starting anew: chain, lights, front wheel

I had set up this blog a year ago or so, thinking I'd blog about my riding and other bike-related stuff. Well, obviously it didn't happen. So this is a new start, with a more limited goal: keep track of my maintenance, new acquisitions for my bike, kilometrage.

My total kilometrage count is somewhat off because I accidentally cut off the wire of my bike computer and it took me a while to get the spare part. But now all is good an running.

Latest maintenance:
  • new chain (SRAM with PowerLock): 18 $ The old chain was getting to 0.75% elongation and I thought I'd better change early and do the switching technique to keep my cassette alive for longer. So I'll keep the old chain and put it back on once the current one has reached .75%.
  • installed BUMM Toplight Line Plus rear light (about 30 $). This light just was introduced at the last Eurobike and so far it looks very good. There have been rumors about a recall of faulty lights but no definitive info on this yet. I'll be really pissed if I have to exchange them. The installation on my Jandd rear rack required some improvisation. The Toplight has two horizontal mounting bolts, spaced 50 mm, whereas the rack only has two vertical holes in the center. Solution: I cut a strip of metal out of a bean can and drilled three holes into it. I'm not sure how durable this solution is but for now it works great. I had checked the local Lowe's for appropriate pieces of metal but the metric spacing makes it difficult to find anything. Yeah DIY.
  • truing and tensioning: A while ago I built up a new generator hub front wheel. Shimano DH3N-80, Mavic Open Pro 32 hole, DT Swiss 14 gauge spokes. Initially I didn't have truing stand and only used zip ties for truing. This worked more or less but I still got a truing stand and re-trued the wheels. This made them more true but I could clearly see that the spoke tension was rather uneven. Thus I decided to also invest in a Wheelsmith tensiometer (50 $ at LBS). Using the combo of truing stand and tensiometer was an interesting experience that taught me some things about proper wheel truing. Achieving both perfectly true wheels and even spoke tensions isn't possible but I think I've achieved a good compromise. I'll test the wheels again in 500 km or so and will see how they held up.

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