Getting Back On The Bike / Working On Bikes
I haven't been riding the bikes a lot, lately. When I have, I have mostly ridden the 1985 Bridgestone MB-1 (above). It requires wearing a backpack, on the commute or errands, but the rear brake on the Funk was giving me problems, and I just hadn't felt like dealing with it.
Today, though, I figured it was time to get the Funk back into good repair. I need to get back on the bike, more, anyway, but Bike To Work Day is this Wednesday (for Colorado). I figure that's a good excuse to get back into the bicycle commute. Plus, the band doesn't have a show coming up, for awhile, so I don't need to hurry home for practice.
The rear disc brake on the Funk had become largely useless, and I figured that the pads were worn down. But, when I pulled them out to look at them, they were fine. I tried adjusting the caliper, but the adjusting nut was frozen, and it was inpossible to get the pads in the right position.
Luckily, I had another matching caliper in my brakes parts box, so I just replaced the whole thing. Once I got it and the front brake adjusted, everything was good. (This is the problem with me and commuter bikes; I tend to do maintenance by replacement, only servicing the bike when something breaks....)
Once the Funk was good to go, I turned to a bike that I was working on for someone else. This old red Peugeot was originally sold in a bike shop in the Alsace region of France, according to the bike shop sticker on the seat tube. How it ended up in Denver is anybody's guess.
The rear wheel was pretty toasty, and I had to work on it for a good solid 45 minutes in order to render it useable, again. It is a replacement alloy wheel, from the mid-1990s. If it had been the original steel wheel, I wouldn't have bothered. The front wheel was missing a spoke, so I replaced it, and trued that wheel, as well.
The brake levers needed a spacer between them and the add-on adjusters someone had installed in the past, to avoid the lever bottoming on the bar just as the pads hit the rim, no matter how I adjusted the brake. Once I added the spacers, the brakes worked great.
Then, it was on to the modifications that the new owner wanted: cruiser bars and a big cruiser seat. Once I got all of that done, the old road bike had a new persona as a pub-crawler.
The WTB tires fit a lot better, both in the suspension fork and between the chainstays. So, I figure I will leave them on this bike.
Here, you can see that the WTB Trailblazer is taller, and slightly less fat than the 26x3 tire. It's still fat enough to provide good float in sandy stuff, and grip in the loose gravel we have on so many of our trails.
Frame clearance with the 26x3 was minimal, on the rear. Just a little knock out of true would result in frame rub. And, forget about riding in mud!
As you can see, the WTB tire fits in the frame a lot better, both because of the slightly smaller cross-section, and also because the increase in diameter pushes the tire past the inward bend of the chainstays.
It makes a nice-looking bike, with the big meats on it. The suspension fork may have to go, though. The damping cartridge seems to be largely ineffective, so I might just put my VooDoo cromo fork on it and roll rigid.
My next big bike-work weekend will probably involve the motorbike. I have a long trip coming up, and I need to get it prepared. As for today, I am done working. Time for a shower and a cold beer!