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Bike Riding And Repair


Crank Brothers Speed Lever

SUMMARY: Not as useful as I had hoped.

I bought my CrankBrothers Speed Lever a few days ago, and have changed 4 tires with it. I had read about this tool in my bike repair book. The author said it was really good. I read some other online reviews, and most said it was a good tool. So when I bought two new tires for my road bike the other night, I wanted to pick one up and try it. The store where I bought the tires didn’t have it, but another local bike shop did have one of the speed levers.
When I got home, I quickly read the directions, and tried to remove the tire from the rim, and couldn’t get the tool to slide. The directions said that if the tire/rim fit is tight, you maybe need to lube up the tire with soapy water or spit. So I used spit. I managed to get the tire, and replaced it with the new tire. In order to get the new tire on, I was forced to use a rounded fork handle in addition to the tool.
I change two more tires last night. This time, I have a bowl of soapy water. I wetted down the tire with soapy water, and used the Speed Laver to get the tire off the rim. When mounting the new tires back onto the rims, I was again forced to use a fork handle to get the last bit of the tire onto the rim.
So if the tire is tight on the rim, the tool doesn’t work well. The tool didn’t break, but I was a little concerned that it would break when I was pulling on it. It’s a great idea. Maybe if they made a metal version for shop use only. One that you could really crank on.
I may pick up a set of Park Tool tire levers. I will keep the Speed Lever. Who knows, maybe with more practice, I might actually be able to get the thing to work by itself.
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When I bought my Trek 1000 on eBay it came with brand new 700c x 32 knobbies. I have no idea why the guy put knobbies on it. I planned on replacing the knobbies with skinnier road tires in the spring. But when I inflated the knobbies to the recommended 85psi, they rubbed against the bracket between the seat stays.
So last night on my way home from work, I bought a pair of 700c x 23 Specialized Armadillo All-Condition tires. I read a bunch of reviews for these tires, and they sounded like what I wanted. Light, but tough, and will last a while. They have a kevlar lining, so are flat resistant. I also bought the appropriate inner tubes with presta valves.
I used to have some tires tools, but I have no idea where they are. Probably lost in some move or other, or buried in a box. My bicycle repair book recommended a CrankBrothers Speed Tool. The bike shop where I bought the tires didn’t have any. They did have Parl Tool tire levers, but I wanted to try the Crank Brother’s Speed Tool. I had called another bike shop, and they had one. So after picking up the tires, I headed over to the other shop, and bought the tool.
When I got hone, I pulled the front wheel off the Trek. I let the air out, and then attempted to use the speed tool. Just lever it in, snap it to hub, and slide it along. Yeah right. It wouldn’t slide. I looked at the directions again. It mentioned that if the tire to rim fit was tight, use some soap water, or spit. So I used some spit, and with some work, and the rounded handle of a dinner fork, I managed get the tire off the rim.
I put a litte air in the new tube. I slid the new tire half on the rim. I inserted the tube, and then use the Speed Tool and the fork handle, I managed to get the tire fully on the rim. I rolled the tire back and forth to get the tube and tire in the proper position. Then I inflated the tire to 120psi. This was a trick. I am not used to Presta valves. A Presta Valve adaptor came with my tire pump. I pulled the valve cap off, unscrewed the little valve, and pushed the adaptor on the valve, and screwed it on a little. I then pumped up the tire to 120psi. Then everytime I remove the adaptor, the little O ring pops out. Then I have to shove it back in, and try to get it seated. No instructions came with my pump on how to use the adaptor. I just looked online, and found instructions for how to use the little adaptor. Apparently, I was supposed to unscrewed the little valved all the way out, then screw the adaptor all the way onto the Presta valve stem. Ahhh! Next time!
Then I replaced the back tire. I know the CrankBrother’s Speed Tool is supposed to work similar to the way the big car tire shop power tools work. But thinking about it, the brush on some stuff before removing, or replacing a tire. Soap water? Next time, I will slather up the tire before using the tool!
Trek 1000

I was going to take my Trek 1000 out for a short ride today for the first time since I bought it on eBay. I had partially inflated the tires when I put it together, but didn’t know the proper pressure at the time. I also hadn’t planned to take it out for a while, so I wasn’t in a hurry. Today, I searched the sidewalls of the tires that are the bike, and found the proper pressure to be 85psi. I used my hand pump to bring the tires up to pressure. Everything seemed fine. I went to spin the rear wheel and heard a rubbing noise. I found the tire was rubbing against a brace that runs between the seat stays. There was almost no clearance at all. The bike came with brand new tires when I bought. The brand appears to be Vee Rubber, and they are 700c x 32 and kind of knobbies. I planned on replacing them with narrower 700c x 23 tires. But I hadn’t expected to do that till spring time. Like I said, the tires seem to be brand new. So I am guessing the guy put them on there, and never road the bike. Maybe he never fully inflated the tires, so never knew they would rub. Oh well. I will try to get to the bike shop tomorrow, and buy some new tires. I am looking at buying some Specialized Armadillo All Condition tires. I like the fact that they are puncture resistant. I used to ride on either puncture resistant tires, or use a kevlar lining years ago when I had my Trek touring bike. I will also need new inner tubes for the smaller tires. And I will pick up some tires tools while I am at it. I used to have some tire tools, but they were cheap, and I don’t know where they are at.

I finished painting the forks, and had them hanging out in the garage. The morning, I brought them into the house, and hung them inside where it was a little warmer. When I got home from work that evening, it had been close to 24 hours. I pulled down the forks. To my surprised, I found the paint was still tacky in a couple spots, and I managed to put a fingerprint in the paint, mucking up what looked like a nice paint job. :( I hung the forks back up downstairs near the wood stove where it was warmer.
Eventually the paint dried. I may strip the paint, or sand them down, and repaint in the spring when it is warmer.
Eventually the paint dried. A day later, I pull the forks down, and tried to install the crown that I had removed from the Trek 700 forks. I had a piece of 2×4 with a 1 inch hole. I slid that over the steerer, and banged on the 2×4 with a hammer. But the crown wouldn’t go on. I then tried to use the 2×4 and another board, and a couple of c-clamps and press the crown on. No luck, but I did manage to mess up the paint a little more! :(
Finally I took the forks and the crown to the local bike shop. One of the guys who works there, Tim, tried to install the crown using the proper tool, and couldn’t get it on either. He tried installing a new crown, and cracked it. He measured the forks, and said the crown he had tried to install was the proper size, and gave a shot to another new crown which he finally got on. And it only cost me $3.
Well now that I had the crown installed I took the forks home. I pulled the bearings off and cleaned them in paint thinner. I re greased the bearing races, and reinstalled the bearings. I installed the forks. I also put in place the front brake cable stop which is attached to the steerer. I installed the stem I bought on eBay, and it was a perfect fit.
I also mounted the handlebars that I pulled from the Schwinn. I am thinking about getting a different set of handlebars. The handlebars that came from the Schwinn are shaped funny. I was watching a couple pairs of ergo styled handlebars on eBay last night. But I forgot them, when I went to bed, and the auctions closed both with a single bid. I missed a potentially good deal. Now I am watching a couple more auctions that close tonight, but they will probably cost me a little more.
Trek 700 X-Cross bike

Even when I saw the photos of the the Trek 1000 on eBay, I knew the handlebars would need to be retaped. And after I won the auction, a got the bike, they were then I thought. I removed the tape a couple weeks ago, and bought some new tape. First, I bought some thicker vibration reduction tape, but decided that wasn’t what I wanted, so I returned it, and got the thinner regular stuff. It only cost $10 for tape with cork imbedded into it. I didn’t have a chance to install the tape before I went to Las Vegas for the marathon. But I finally had some time to do it last night.
First, I moved where the cables for the aero brakes were routed. I moved them more to UNDER the front side of the bars, and taped them into place with electrical tape.
There were a couple options of how to install the tape. From the stem down to the bar ends, or from the bar ends up towards the stem. From the bar ends up gives the benefit of the tape edges being less likely to roll up from your hands being on the bars. But I wanted to have my handlebars taped in a professional way. So I went to the local bike store and looked at how the new Treks had their bars wrapped. They had their handlebars wrapped from the bar ends up. So that is what I chose to do.
I cut a small 3 1/2 inch piece from the end of the tape roll to use on the brack levers. The old tape was already removed, so I started by wrapping the tape around the bar end with the hanging over the end. The tape hanging over will be shoved into the bar, and held in place with the metal plug. For the direction that I wrapped the tape: looking at the back side of the bars, I wrapped the right side in a counter-clockwise direction, and the left side in a clockwise direction. I stretched the tape as I wrapped it around the bars.
I wrapped upwards.
Wrapping around the aero brake levers was tricky. I used the short portion of tape to cover the brake lever mount bracket. I tried to wrap and make it look like some pictures I found.
When I go to to the top, I used a knife to cut around the tape where the tape would end. I backed off the tape a little, then cut it with scissors using the knife cuts as a guide. Then I rewrapped the tape, and then wrapped electrical tape around the end, to hold it in place.

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