Friday, November 9, 2012

Do not adjust your set

For some reason it has taken me ages to complete the last part of the set up on the Ridgeback, adding the chain. A fairly simple task, but vitally important as setting up the mechs and shifters really rest on the chain being there. What can I say but that work got in the way.

Adding the chain should have been a simple process. Measure the chain length required by wrapping it wound the large front and large rear cogs (no going though the rear Jocky wheel), add a link and this is your chain length. It is simpler for replacing as you can just measure against the original chain, although I do find that a bit rough round the edges if the old chain has stretched. So a simple process once measured you break off the unwanted links using a chain break tool (it punches the link pins out) and then join the chain. I did this previously with a SRAM chain and it was truly simple. This time though, the link pins were so stiff that the chain rivet extractor broke. It was a cheap tool, but the bit that broke was the lever and that is annoying. I popped over to the Uncle to complete the job and then popped back home to find that I needed the tool again to insert the chain pin into the Shimano chain.

Replacement chain rivet extractor ordered and delivered and down I sat for the 2 min job. The pin is a two part assembly. The first part is a guide and then the second the rivet that will hold the chain together. The first part can then be broken off. All  well and good until the first part breaks before the second part is in the chain. Several minutes and much swearing later it is clear that there is no way to insert the pin into the chain with out the first part attached as manufactured. Thankfully it is possible to order spares, which a week later allows me to have another go. I am soon down to my last pin, the broken remains of the previous four lie scattered around along with my curses. It does go in and I do have a completed chain. But at what cost? I am tempted to swear off Shimano chains forever.

So now I can set up the gears. Here I discover a problem I had not considered before. On the Adventure the gear cables run under the bottom bracket, and being a resourceful chap I have never used my flash workstand with this bike. So this is a first and after 30 minutes if trying to get the gears to change into the smallest cog I am left scratching my head. I eventually discover that the new shifter has only 8 gear clicks. But it was a 9 speed shifter!!! I am very confused. I check several times and yes only 8 clicks. I wander away in disgust and do something else for 10 minutes. Really it is no disaster I do have an 8 speed cog I could use.

When I come back to the bike I notice that the cable is looking a little slack. Odd, it should be under full tension. I go back to the bike and move the front shifter to full tension, and again a tiny bit of slack. Well that certainly explains why the shifting isn't working, but why? The answer arrives like a bolt out of the blue, the cable runs under the bike and the bottom bracket is sitting on the workstand. Even though the cable runs through a housing that should prevent the cables getting trapped it is clear that free movement is not happening. I take the bike off the stand and tighten the cable slack on the lowest tension settings and suddenly everything is working. Only now I can't fine tune the bike on the stand, so its back to hanging the bike on two broom handles and using two garden chairs to create a hanger. Perhaps it is time to invest in a professional workstand.

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