Monday, August 25, 2008

Bike Shop Day


Saturday I took the family on a Whale Watching Cruise out of Boston. It was fun. I forgot to apply sunscreen and when I got back, my face was, and still is, sunburned. So as a result, I didn't feel very much like going for a ride on Sunday.

Bike Shop: Schwinn

So instead of going for a ride, I decided to tinker with my bikes. I broke out the bike stand in my (shady) driveway and threw on my 1982 Schwinn Varsity. Back in the spring I had thrown on some new tires. I took it out for the test ride and the chain snapped. So on Sunday, I decided to see if I could fix the chain instead of getting a new one. I had a chain tool as part of my Topeak Bike Tool and I figured I should learn how to use it. Better to learn that in my driveway than out on the road.

Cleaning the Chain
Schwinn Chain
Nice and clean.
Chain Tool Clip
Almost back on.

I had the chain in a zip lock bag. So, before doing anything, I poured some chain cleaner in it an shook it. The chain got real clean.

Fixing the Chain

Getting the bad link off was real easy with the tool. Reconnecting the chain once on the bike, not so easy. The difficult part was trying to line up the "peg" with where I wanted the peg to go. I was determined to do this with only the tool I has in hand. What I did was use some of the pieces of the links I had taken off to help with lining up the "peg". Once I figured out how to do that, the rest was easy. Now I have a Schwinn that I can pedal but can't stop reliably (the brakes still suck).

Bike Shop: Specialized Seat Position Experimentation

Old Seat Position
New Seat Position and Height

On the last Phat Tuesday ride, someone had commented that my seat may be too high as my hips were rocking. Someone at work had also mentioned that my seat was angled too far forward and should either be neutral (parallel to ground) or angled back. so the first thing I did was to level out the seat. Easy enough. Then I measured the height and lowered the seat to minimum recommended height for my inseam (see the frame size calculator in left column). I threw on my bike shoes and took a spin in the neighborhood behind me.

Wow! What a difference! Sitting felt a little awkward at first but it was definitely much more comfortable. I felt like I could pedal with much less effort. I may not need to swap out my 11-23 rear cassette for a 12-25/27 cassette for those tough climbs after all. We'll see on the next ride...


Anonymous said...


A few quick thing on saddle height and position

- for a good check on saddle height you should put on your bike cleats and place your heel on the pedal. At the botton of the pedal rotation you should still have a slight bend in you knee

- for saddle tilt, use a level (going from from to back on saddle). The tilt on the saddle should be level or slightly going up.

I'll get some information for you on other additional adjustments