Author Topic: refresh the lot  (Read 2518 times)

JimK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1625
    • Interdependent Science
refresh the lot
« on: August 25, 2019, 05:22:28 AM »
I haven't been riding so much this year, mostly just running various errands around town. No good excuse, just too many distractions and diversions! But somehow, probably when I changed the oil in my hub, I put on a new chain. It was pretty grumbly, a new chain on an old sprocket, but I figured it would settle down before long - that's been my experience in the past. But this time things actually got worse. For sure the chain got pretty loose, and it started skipping when I pushed the torque. I tend to do that in traffic, e.g. making a left at a stop light when the light turns green. Skipping becomes a safety concern in those situations! So I decided I needed to act. Today was the day.

At 21,440 miles on the odometer, it was time for a new sprocket. I don't remember when I flipped the first sprocket, but anyway  I remember that sometime along the way I did. Fortunately I'd already bought a new sprocket - I think when I heard about the new splined sprockets, I figured I'd better get an old style one when I could. The old sprocket came off easily enough - I have a chain whip and a mighty big crescent wrench so I don't expect much resistance!

I also flipped my chain ring. I'd installed a Surly ring when I got the chain glider, quite a few miles into my ownership, so it hadn't been flipped yet. I don't know if it was really necessary, but I'm thinking I'll start changing chains more frequently so nice fresh tooth surfaces will get me started on the right foot! I notice the Surly is not exactly symmetrical, but that didn't seem to get in my way.

Putting on a new chain means adjusting the eccentric bottom bracket. Somehow it seems when I put the new chain on early this year, I had the eccentric at maximum extension, so to tighten it would have meant removing a link. I don't remember why it didn't seem to work to just remove that link at the beginning. Anyway, now with a new new chain etc., the eccentric seemed perfectly happy pretty close to minimum extension, where I could reuse a dent. The eccentric was moving a bit stiffly, so I worked some grease in between it and the frame. Not easy to get in there, but I just slide it from side to side, exposing a bit which I grease and then keep going back and forth and around, and eventually the grease spreads inside reasonably well.

I also cleaned up my chainglider - it was pretty filthy! I also put a touch of chain lube inside it... I've never tried that before, but I figure it can't really hurt!

I must say, it was like getting my bike back after a long absence. The crunchy noise and the skipping meant that riding was just not so fun. Now, with my new drivetrain, the bike is very quiet and I can stand up and jam on the pedals and the bike is just happy to respond!

It's looking like September may not be so filled with distractions and diversions... maybe I will be able to get out and ride more! Having the bike running properly is sure an inspiration!

The old sprocket:



Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3473
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2019, 03:21:24 PM »
I dunno, Jim, it seems like your sprocket could do another 21440 miles. Compare, for instance, this sprocket from one of the trans-Africa tourers:

Only joking! That's a fascinating report, admirable in its instructional level of detail, and I agree with you wholeheartedly: you don't want to save a few bucks if it risks your life in traffic.

I've saved your sprocket pic to compare my sprocket at 10720m/17250km to check if needs turning yet. There's a difference in our riding milieu -- I have no dirt roads at all -- and transmission management -- I run my chains for their entire life solely on factory lube inside a Chainglider, zero extra lube -- but your approx 10K per side seems like a reasonable aspiration.

Thanks a lot, Jim.

JimK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1625
    • Interdependent Science
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 04:29:08 PM »
Wow, Andre, that's a sprocket that got used!

PH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 980
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 09:49:38 AM »
Thanks for the interesting info Jim. Maybe we ought to have a thread where such things are detailed,  owners experience on wear is all on the forum, but it's spread out in lots of different threads.
I've just replaced the chain and flipped sprocket and chain ring for the first time on my Mercury, 6,800 miles, no chain guard, no fancy cleaning routine, but it's always well oiled.  I could have tried the new chain without flipping the chain ring and/or sprocket, but I'm basically lazy so as your title - refresh the lot - is the easiest way to know it's all going to work well for many miles.

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 05:31:54 PM »
Hi there Jim, 

Nice to hear about your two-wheeled doings & plans, and thanks for all that well-presented info on chains, rings and sprockets. Look forward to more photos from high in the Wasatch Front.

A note which may be of interest, now or in the future:  This past summer, I've moved away from using Surly stainless rings (36T) on my Raven.  Had an irritating ripply-clickety creak at the front of my drive train, and couldn't trace/banish the wretched thing.  I thought that irregularities in the ring might have been partly at fault, even though it was new in July 2018, with only about 1,000 kms on it in mid-2019.

So, I ordered a very spiffy 36T alloy item from Rivendell Bike Works in your neighbourhood (California).  This is made for RBW by Originate, and it's very well made indeed -- no tight spot in my chain.  The ring is quite thin, 3mm below the teeth, which is the max recommended for using a Hebie Chainglider.  When I installed the new ring, I upped the torque settings slightly for all five chainring bolts, and did the same for the two grubscrews which fix the Raven's EBB.  (So, I changed several variables at once -- not so good for fault tracing, I know.) The outcome is that the irritatin' ripply-clickety creak has surrendered and gone away.  (I haven't yet re-installed the Surly ring, just to check.)

I'm assuming that the Rivendell ring won't last anywhere near as long as my Surly rings have done in the past (around 10,000 kms), so ordered a 2nd Rivendell item for future use.

Cheers,  John

JimK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1625
    • Interdependent Science
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2019, 06:54:26 PM »
Thanks for the chainring tip, John!

One tool I don't have is one of those nifty split screwdriver things for the back of the chainring bolts. I had one bolt give me some fight when removing them & just grabbed that back part with pliers. I cleaned and greased them and they went back on easily enough... but there is the danger of having one or more loosen up as I ride. I need to check those a few times over the next few months. I should get one of those special tools!

Here's a Wasatch photo from a recent hike:
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 06:58:55 PM by JimK »

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2019, 11:06:09 PM »
Thanks, Jim.  What a view!  And y'know, with that splendid beard, you could be saying to your followers, "This is the place."   ;)

On a more mechanical note, yes, those chainring bolt spanners are handy wee things. They do only one thing, but nothing else works as well.

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3473
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2019, 12:10:04 AM »
Baron Haussmann* would be proud of whoever laid out that town: wide, arrow-straight roads running perfectly parallel to each other, crossing each other perpendicularly.

*Haussmann was the fellow who gave Paris the aspect it still bears, which was copied by cities around the world. He was arguably the most influential city planner of all time. Whether cyclists have anything at all to thank him for is a different story, as his prime motivation was to create wide boulevards specifically to speed vehicular traffic, precisely the sort of city planning one would perpetrate if the explicit objective was to kill pedestrians and cyclists (yes, I'm aware that Haussmann worked before the invention of the bicycle, but there were surely pedestrians in his time). Nor am I aesthetically all that keen on Haussmann's vision of Paris, all chill, inhuman scale and distance, a perfect prescription for the unlovable fascist cities Mussolini and Hitler created in the 1930's, which are also inhumane aesthetic disasters hostile to cyclists.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 12:19:34 AM by Andre Jute »

JimK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1625
    • Interdependent Science
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2019, 12:36:54 AM »
yeah, we're rather dominated by visionary politics out here in Utah! I do prefer a bit more diversity, but despite that, here I am!

https://widestreetsofsaltlake.blogspot.com/2012/11/history-of-grid-system.html

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3473
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2019, 06:34:34 AM »
From Jim's link:
'...the story goes that Brigham Young, who led Mormon settlers to the West in 1847, directed that the streets of Salt Lake City be made sufficiently wide so that a wagon team could turn around without “resorting to profanity”'

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2019, 06:35:42 PM »
Those streets wide-enuf-to-turn-a-wagon-train-around pop up in all sorts of towns born around the late 1800s/early 20th century:  when I first visited Bulawayo in the early 1980s, my first reaction was, "Jeez! This feels like Saskatoon!"

Your reaction against Haussmann's planning is well founded, Andre. His post-Commune design included star-shaped intersections with roundabouts where one properly organized machine-gun nest could control several avenues. 

Not quite at the same level, to be sure, but Jacques Gréber's design for federal lands in postwar Ottawa was based on parkways for cars, and with that went extensive demolition of working-class areas as well as our electric railway, built in four months in 1894. (Its replacement is due to open in mid-September, wildly over budget and 18 months behind schedule.) The parkways now have bike paths, and those are welcome, to be sure, but we still lack a real network of paths for working/daily rather than recreational cyclists.

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3473
Re: refresh the lot
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2019, 12:37:46 AM »
The parkways now have bike paths, and those are welcome, to be sure, but we still lack a real network of paths for working/daily rather than recreational cyclists.

I remember Bulawayo too, a town so dull they rolled up the pavements at 6pm every evening.

I'm tempted to say, "Humane city planning takes bicycle commuters into account," but the fact is that, if it is true, it also appears to be irrelevant except in cities that were modernised largely from pedestrian walkways, like Dutch cities. Compare the British "New Towns", designed at a time in the 1950s when close living memory was of a poor prewar underclass which perforce cycled and could not dream of possessing a car, many of which offer interesting and in some cases exemplary cycling infrastructure -- which is mostly stands unloved, unused and empty.