General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Things you can learn from washing a bike Rss Feed  
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2016-09-12 11:12 AM

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Elite
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Subject: Things you can learn from washing a bike

I am a believer in bike washing but it is a chore.  This bike may have gone longer than it should between washings.   Even more than having clean bike, when you get down close to see the dirt, you notice other things too.  

Three things I learned.

1)  There was excess glue squeezed out around the decals on the wheels.  I learned this as I wiped the rag over the rim decal and it got dirtier rather than cleaner.  Every time I wiped over the decal a greasy, gray smear was dragged across the white decal. Plus, it was hard to rub off.  Upon closer examination, I could see a little deposit of goo all around each decal.  I rubbed and rubbed with a soapy rag to get the glue off but every time I thought I was done, I would wipe one last time and more goo across the sticker.  In frustration, I put some citrus chain cleaner (Parks chain cleaner) on the rag and wiped over the decal. Voila, clean decal.  If I had used a lot of solvent, maybe the sticker would have come off, so if you try this yourself, be careful not to use too much.

2)  As I was working on cleaning the rim, I noticed that one spoke was 90 degrees from the correct orientation.  The spokes are bladed and the flat side was in the direction of rotation.  The misaligned spoke was not twisted into a spiral.  The whole length was just rotated perfectly perpendicular to the air flow.  The wheel seems true and the spoke tension is ok so I will rotate it back when I have a spoke holder and nipple wrench.  As someone who has spent a lot of time figuring out the structural mechanics of bicycle wheels, I find this really odd.  If a spoke had loosened, I would have expected it to show some twist.  The spoke is a straight pull so the head looks like the head of a nail rather than the more conventional J shape.  So so it is possible for the head to rotate under torque.  But the head of the spoke is not lubricated like the seat of the nipple. It would take a good deal more force to turn it than to turn the nipple.  Also the threads on the nipple are semi-locked with a weak thread lock compound.  So what has happened, most likely, is that the nipple and the head rotated exactly the same amount which is really strange because it would take very different torques on each end for that to happen.  I will watch this to see if it happens again.  The spoke is on the non-drive side of the rear wheel.  These spokes have the lowest tension of all the spokes in a wheel set.  Less tension means that the spoke would rotate more easily than other spokes.

3)  Lastly, I noticed a thin crack in my seat post.  A broken seat post is one of the bike failures you would really want to avoid in life.  I took the seat post out and tried to bend it against my knee to see how bad it was.  It did not bend or open up the crack.  So the post was not in imminent danger of breaking.  Seat posts like this are actually made as two pieces, the top piece is a solid part that is cast or forged or machined from a block of aluminum to make the complicated shape for the clamp and for any setback from a straight line.  The bottom piece is an aluminum tube that is welded on.  I think I am seeing spalling from the weld that is just cracking the paint. But even so, I ordered a new post.  Nothing lasts forever.  Check you seat post.

 

 

 



2016-09-12 1:19 PM
in reply to: tech_geezer

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Subject: RE: Things you can learn from washing a bike
Even though it probably doesn't make you any faster, washing a bike does give you a little closer connection to it. You get to pay attention to little details that could be a problem later.

I came around a curve a little too fast and came across this little spot. Obviously had to clean my bike afterwards.

2016-09-12 1:37 PM
in reply to: NeilsWheel

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Subject: RE: Things you can learn from washing a bike

It's a dirty sport but somebody has got to do it.

TW

2016-09-12 2:58 PM
in reply to: NeilsWheel

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Master
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Subject: RE: Things you can learn from washing a bike

Originally posted by NeilsWheel Even though it probably doesn't make you any faster, washing a bike does give you a little closer connection to it. You get to pay attention to little details that could be a problem later. I came around a curve a little too fast and came across this little spot. Obviously had to clean my bike afterwards.  

Is that a GoPro you got that picture with?  The shadow looks like it might be...  Just got one myself but haven't really had much chance to use it on my bike yet.

2016-09-12 10:02 PM
in reply to: tridantri

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Subject: RE: Things you can learn from washing a bike
You can see the GoPro under my left arm in the shadow. It takes great pictures. I try to use it on every mountain bike ride. You just never know when you might see something interesting. I have an external HD on my laptop and every time I ride I download it. The drive costs about $90 or so and will hold almost 6 months worth of video. The GoPro software is okay. I have Adobe Premiere and Photoshop on the laptop and usually use it instead.
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