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Posts Tagged ‘bottom bracket’

Admit it, we have all dropped our chain or overshifted to where we had to get off the bike and put it back on properly. Heck, remember Chaingate 2010 @ the Tour de France? It even happens to the pros.

andy schleck chaingate 2010 tour de france

What I haven’t noticed is that I am becoming more adept at riding and shifting the chain back into place without even thinking. If the chain drops by the bottom bracket, I just shift into my 50t, and pedal slowly until it catches. Recently, since I had to fine tune my bike for trainer-specific riding/shifting, I have had several instances of overshifting the chain out toward the pedal. Very embarassing…

One of the other members of spin class was surprised at how easy it was for me to get it back on the chainrings without hopping off the bike.

There are a ton of places and articles that explain what you need to do when these incidents happen, and Coach Levi says it best:

If your chain drops onto the bottom bracket shell:

If you are pedaling along, shift down to the small chainring, and immediately lose all resistance at the pedals, there’s a good chance that the chain dropped off onto the bottom bracket shell.

If this happens, the first thing you should do is relax! You don’t need to panic or screech to a halt, just roll along.

Begin pedaling easily, and gently shift the front derailleur up like you’re going back to the big ring. Typically this is enough to get the chain back onto the small ring and spinning smoothly. (You don’t want to actually shift the whole way back up to the big ring.)

However, if the chain bunches up, you have a bigger problem…

If your chain digs onto the bottom bracket shell (chainsuck):

If your attempts to shift the chain back onto the chainring fail, it’s probably because the chain got jammed into the bottom bracket shell. When this happens, the chain bunches up and completely jams. This is known as chainsuck.

When this happens, you should stop pedaling! You’ll need to slow to a stop, get off the bike, and lift the chain off the bottom bracket shell and onto the chainring. Sometimes you may need to physically pull the chain out, if it is jammed in there tightly.

If you don’t want to get your hands greasy, take a tire lever and use that to pry the chain free and drop it onto the chainring.

If your chain drops off the big ring onto your foot:

Finally, what do you do if the chain flys off the big ring and ends up hanging outside the crank arm? Or perhaps it ends up on your foot?!

In this case, you gently roll along and use a similar shifting technique, except that now you are shifting down toward the small ring. So you will pedal gently and shift down, hoping the chain comes back up and over to the big ring.

This actually happened to me in the inaugural Tour de Susquehanna. I shifted the chain right off onto my foot! I had to slow down quite a bit, but by some stroke of luck, I was able to unclip my foot and lift the chain slightly (with my foot,) then it shifted back into place!

It won’t always work that well, but it’s worth a shot.

It’s the little things like this that are sometimes difficult to teach another person, because you just learn to adapt and overcome while out on the road.

Are there any other instances or types of errors that you fix without even thinking about anymore? If so, let me know in the comments!

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I’ve sold off my Dawes road bike to a buddy of mine who has been looking for one since spring. I haven’t ridden it very much since the addition of the cyclocross bike, and I can understand where the cross bike has filled in the place of a true multipurpose drop-barred bike. It will have a good home, and I got some more space to pile more useless stuff in it’s place~

I have also reviewed and added my GF Cobia to the My Bikes section.

2009 Gary Fisher Cobia

Gary Fisher Cobia

  • Frame – Platinum Series 6066 butted & hydroformed aluminum, cold-forged dropouts, G2 29″ Geometry
  • Fork – Fox F80RL 29, 80mm travel, custom G2 Geometry 51mm offset crown, air spring, external rebound & lockout
  • Bottle Cages – 1x Bontrager Race Lite Cage, White
  • Headset – Cane Creek 1-1/8″ threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
  • Stem – Selcof 80mm 10 degree
  • Handlebar – Selcof Flat Bar 580mm 3 degree bend
  • Brake Levers – Avid FR-5 Brake Levers
  • Shifters – SRAM X5 Trigger Front/Rear
  • Bar GripsAll City BMX Star Grips
  • Cables/Housing – Clarks Pre-Lubricated Cables / White Housing
  • Brakes – Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brakes – 180 Front / 160 Rear
  • WheelsShimano M475 hubs, Bontrager Ranger disc 29″ rims, 32h
  • Skewers – Random Skewers
  • Tires – Bontrager XDX 29×2.1 Front / Intense System 29’er 29×2.25 Rear
  • Bottom Bracket – Shimano Octalink (Generic)
  • Cranks – Shimano FC-M442-8-S, 44s/32s/22s, Octalink
  • Front Derailleur – SRAM X9 FD
  • Chain – Wipperman x9 Stainless
  • Saddle – Bontrager Race MTN – White
  • Seatpost – Control Tech One – 400mm x 27.2mm
  • Seatpost Clamp – Generic Bontrager
  • Pedals – Shimano PD-M520 White
  • Cassette SRAM PG950 11-34T
  • Rear Derailleur – SRAM x5 Long Cage

The Gary Fisher Cobia is a wonderfully complicated and sweet bike. The pricepoint of it in 2009 was just a hair over $1000, and came with parts that were fairly matched to that price. Subsequently, I have upgraded the entire cockpit, the brakeset, and suspension fork. These changes were mostly for aesthetics or on a whim, but I believe they were for the best. My bike now has a near complete Silver and White aesthetic to it, all the way down the the pedals and stem. The Avid BB7 upgrade from the BB5’s were influenced by a deal from a friend on a brand new set, and the front fork was an offer that I could not resist; well… that and it was white.

I’m 167cm tall, with a 76cm inseam, and this is a 15.5″ frame. I chose this size, due to the fact that everything I read was that a smaller wheelbase was better for a 29″ bike. I was right; I still have issues on sharp switchbacks or turns, and SUDDEN changes in elevation; whether it be up or down. These issues are things that over the year of ownership, I have learned to find little ways to make up for the size of the bike, and geometry. Rarely ever does it slow me down enough to where I think about it.

What does bother me about this bike is the chainsuck. I have read and heard from other 29″ GF hardtail owners that they get unavoidable chainsuck issues just like me. Heck, I even clean my entire drivetrain after every single ride, and I still have issues. Whether it be from middle ring to granny ring, or vice-versa, I get the chain stuck between the chainstay and the middle chainring…. maybe…. one out of every seven times. It has eaten into the driveside chainstay, and I’m sure as hell that Trek will say it is just human/operator error. When they design a bike with less than 4mm of clearance from the chainstay to chainring, something is wrong. I know they needed lots of clearance very close to the crankset due to the larger wheel, and the opportunity and availability to use a big tire, but this is ridiculous. Seriously.

This bike has been a great beginner’s foray into mountain biking. It can handle just about anything you throw at it, except drops/jumps. If you have the nerves, you can keep up with your 26″ dual suspension friends, or even the 29″ DS’ers; that is if you have the legs…  The Cobia has taken me places that I have never expected to go on any kind of bike, and I like that.

Final Words? GO TUBELESS.

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Okay, so either you are a regular reader or have found this article because you want to clean your bike well. This specific guide is for road bikes only. There are many things that need to be done differently with a road bike as compared to a mountain bike that I may need to do a MTB guide later.

First, get your bike and your stand ready.

This bike stand is a custom-made piece that I use for repair and cleaning. It is made out of a foldable saw horse and other items. Works very well to keep the bike stable and off the ground.

Next, get your cleaning bucket and supplies ready. These supplies should consist of:

  • Scrub Brushes
    • Large (Mainly meant for large areas)
    • Medium – Overall areas, and crankset
    • Toothbrush – Small areas
    • Gear Brush
  • Grease
    • Anti Seize
    • Standard Grease
    • Carbon Paste
  • Cloths/Rags
    • Polishing Rag
    • Grease Rag
    • Scrub Rag
  • Any Tools Needed to Complete the Cleaning Job
  • Water Bucket + Soap (I use hand soap or Dawn)

The baby powder shown above is for use in tires when installing a new one, and the spray bottle is to get dirt out of tough-to-reach areas if need be. I also suggest getting a small box or container to place bolts, parts or accessories you may need to remove from the bike.

Don’t forget your most important item which will keep your clothes protected while dealing with your bike, the apron: (more…)

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