Reader Gabriel from Brazil had a jumpy chain and wanted to keep it in place. He submitted the following text and pictures. Not sure about this one as far as functionality, reader comments are welcome.
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I'm from Brazil and my bike chain was jumping off. Well...some pvc pipe, wire and tape and . . . It doesn't anymore.
Reader David was having difficulty with a wobbly wheel and decided to get creative with miscellaneous parts from his garage. I would say this DIY truing stand was a brilliant success. For technical assistance with the actual truing process, this Bicyle Tutor link might be helpful. Take it away David . . .
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I have been clearing the garden shed, as one does, and the old tandem from the shed corner has been earmarked to go to my son, in London. I have been trying to put it into some sort of roadworthy condition for a couple of days now.
I could not get the rear brake to work properly due to a rather untrue wheel. So, for the first time ever, I decided to have a go at wheel truing. Its one of those things I always thought I couldn't do, and, besides, it needed a fancy bit of kit to achieve. Please see attached. It obviously didn't take long to 'make', and it worked just fine.
The brackets came from a box in my garage labelled 'Building Brackets'.
Reader Matt has power tools, space, and the will to use both. He both completely transforms one object and tweaks another for bike purposes. The text and pictures below will whet your appetite, and his blog has videos and pictures that document both the repair stand and the trailer.
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I have two hacks: I created a bike work stand using pallet wood and my work bench vice, cost $0.00. Also I created a bike cargo trailer. I bought an old burley child trailer for $50 on Craig's List. I took it apart and made a cargo container using old closet shelving, garage door opener track and other items. Total spent: $50.00.
This . . .
. . . . was turned into a repair stand.
. . . . was transformed for a small human carrier to a small stuff carrier.
Way back in December I posted this picture when I was ranting about how much I hated glitter.
My commute is flat and I pretty much ride in the same gear all the time. The only hills that really confront me are stiff headwinds. Around early December last year my chain started to jump around like kid on Christmas morning each time I leaned into my pedals to climb a slight incline or to pedal into the wind. At first I thought that all that was needed was a simple derailleur adjustment. After that did not work I did what any person with a bike related issue should do - I visited Sheldon Brown's site. Thankfully some kind souls have kept the site up after his unfortunate passing.
I have completely ignored chain life over the course of my cycling life. I do not know if I am lucky, but I have had the same chain on my road bike for 17 years and have only oiled it to keep it up. I have had no shifting problems on that bike, even after putting over 20,000 miles on it. My luck did not extend to this bike though. As can been seen in the picture, one sprocket is distinctly different than the rest. This is a result of "chain stretch."
Sheldon's site does an exemplary job of explaining the fact that chains do not really stretch, rather the movable parts of the chain wear out and thus change the way the links of the chain interact with the cassette and chain rings. One result is what you see in the picture, the teeth of the sprockets and chain rings can change shape. When the teeth wear off, the chain can slip when pressure is applied.
Generally speaking it is easier and cheaper to replace a chain as opposed to a cassette and thus it is a good idea to keep an eye on the condition of your chain. It is good to lube and clean your chain, Sheldon's site is a great resource for this, and to measure your chain to get a sense of the "stretch" that is going on over time. This can be done with a specific tool or with a tape measure. Here is a portion of text from Sheldon's site:
The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler at the side of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark. [For accurate measurement, the chain should be held under some tension -- either on the bicycle, or hanging. Also, use a metal ruler or tape measure. Wood, plastic and cloth all can expand or shrink.-- John Allen]
If you do visit Sheldon's site, be prepared to have time fly quickly. It is pretty easy to get engulfed in all of the great content and soon you will wonder where the time has gone. Moral of the story here is to keep an eye on your chain wear, or you might find yourself having to replace more parts than you would like to.
Wheel truing has beguiled me in the past. The only way I will ever get comfortable with it is possibly getting some wheels to practice on. I tried to true one of my wheels once without having practiced, and it was never quite the same.
Reader Pedorro obviously takes his wheel truing seriously, and the following hack he submitted proves it.
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Construction time: 10 minutes using Metal Devil blade
tools: stick welder, circ saw with metal cutting blade (recommend Morse Metal Devil about $50)
dial indicator on magnetic base, can be purchased from Harbor Freight for about $40
~16" of 1-1/2" x 3/8" steel bar
~16" of 2"x2"x1/4" steel angle
Use circ saw to cut dropout in one end of steel bar (no need to be precise, but make it at least as wide as your largest axle) and then cut other end at 45 degree angle.
Weld 45 degree cut end of steel bar to steel angle about 5" from one end.
Mount angle in vise, clamp wheel into dropout with qr or nuts, clamp mag base to angle, position dial indicator for horizontal or radial truing.
45 degree angle on bar puts wheel over bench and puts dial indicator in convenient spot for using spoke wrench.
The picture says it all. It works on all sizes of wheels, you just move the dial indicator, you can put the dial on both sides of the rim, you can use the mag holder arm for radial truing or make a wide roller for that, you can even true disc rotors. The dial indicator takes all the guesswork out of lateral truing, it's really easy to get the rim within 0.01" in a couple passes.
A post I wrote up on the first sprinkling of salt on the Boston roads a while back spawned a small series of sorts, and this is our third reader response based post on fighting salt corrosion during the winter. Reader Paul does not have any pictures to accompany his words, but the words should be enough to get your creative juices flowing.
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Keep frame drain holes clean - use a thin fuse wire, pipe cleaner, paper clips, etc.
Fit mudguards to prevent spray of road grime / salt onto components
Pack bearings and bottom bracket with waterproof grease. If yours are sealed, check the seals to see if still sealed - sorry for the poor latter tip I´m an old school bearing guy - maybe hack a seal with waterproof plumbers tape after lubricating if you suspect your seals are leaky.
Light coating of grease or wax on components /frame
Repair paint chips before your first salty road trip (steel is painted for a reason - to exclude oxygen). No oxygen = no oxidation (rust). If you care about matched paint and don´t have a paint match use clear coat - remove any rust before you repaint / clear coat.
Move to Jamaica (just joking)
To wash or not wash dilemma- Washing removes salt etc but also removes laboriously applied grease wax and this will have to be redone. Better not to wash UNLESS you can replace grease coatings before the next ride, etc. A quick wipe with a warm soapy cloth is better than a jet wash as the risk of blowing water proof grease, etc. out of bearings is reduced.
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A few weeks back I published a post on the challenge that salt on roads poses in the winter. I encouraged readers to submit their own hacks for keeping their whips corrosion free and our first submission focused on Plasti Dip as a possible solution. Reader Chuck rides in Wisconsin during the winter and sent along his own advice on fighting the corrosive combination of CaCl2, MgCl2, and KCl found on roads.
The combination of Upper-case and Lower-case letters and subscript numbers above came from a couple of quick Google searches on "road salt." The search made me dizzy and scared. Dizzy because chemical diagrams and shorthand make my head spin. Scared because I am pretty sure the "salt" we throw all over the place is super bad for the environment. I don't claim to understand most of what I stumbled upon, however the "salt" appears to be a combination of . . . long sounding words that are hard to pronounce and likely kills stuff.
I definitely don't belong in the lane that deals with chemical compositions, but if readers out there wish to comment, I would love to read more. Well, maybe that is overstated because I am sure whatever I read will depress me . . . anyway, take it away Chuck . . .
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For winter-proofing my ride for Wisconsin winter I use:
1-Change any fasteners that are not stainless steel to stainless and liberally coat the threads with anti seize.
Repair stands are a common search term on Bike Hacks and we have seen our fair share of sweet DIY submissions. Ideas include bike stands that are:
One day I hope to brandish a flame that is mega hot to stick metal things together, something reader Ben has experience doing as described in the following write up. Ben does the Flickr and can be found at thedidley's. Take it away Ben . . .
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I finished this repair stand about 2 months ago. After I bought a welder, this was one of the first projects on the list. I had made a PVC stand about 4 years ago and it was not much better than leaning the bike up against a wall so I really wanted to make something worth using.
Another consideration was that I do all my projects in a storage shed (or outside it) and I wanted to be able to collapse the stand down to store flat. The parts include:
The vice grips are mounted to the square tubing and the rod is sized to fit snugly inside the square tube. I use a towel or piece of foam to protect my bike when I clamp it in. I put a set screw on the square tubing using a weldable nut so that I could secure the bike at various angles. The floor flange is welded to the bottom of the stand and the black pipe threads into the flange. The way it's set up I can rotate the bike on the clamp post and on the vertical part of the stand (black pipe), so it's pretty easy to access just about any part of the bike.
All of the parts are available at the big box hardware stores. If you know someone who does metal work or has a farm, they probably have some angle iron or black pipe you could score. Metal bed frames are also a good source of angle iron. The project cost about $50 (using all new materials) so it's not as cheap as some of the PVC or hook type DIY stands, but its as sturdy as some of the $100+ stands out there.
A few readers responded to my The AsSALT Begins post from last week. Reader Carl sent along an email with his unique solution to the fight against salt corrosion. He coated his entire bike with Plasti Dip. He no longer has the bike and is not sure if he can dig up pictures, but he was kind enough to offer the text below. And for another example of a unique use of Plasti Dip, see this past bike hacks post. And if readers have other ideas/solutions, send them along to us for posting.
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Sold that bike to a buddy when I left the bay. It has since been stolen
He didn't double up on his locks. Don't think I have any pics of it... but here is a basic write-up . . .