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Sunday 26 April 2020

Bike maintenance experience

You can watch all the YouTube videos and follow all the instructions to the letter but sometimes you only get it right with experience.

My bike has been rattling for a week or so and finally I found the issue.

The cassette was loose.

When I changed the rear wheel, I had set it up exactly as per the original. What I now know is that there are sufficient differences between freehub drivers that some of them need spacers.

I've stripped it down, cleaned it up and fitted a 1mm spacer.

That's enough to allow the lock ring to clamp down on the cassette rather than on to the end of the freehub driver!

That's done the trick and the cassette is secure. I've adjusted up the gear change and taken it for a short test ride.

I also had a creaky bottom bracket (BB). Apparently this is not uncommon and not always easy to fix.

My attempt, at a fix, is to take the cranks off, put the BB press back on and clamp it tighter. I then re-assemble it.

The short test ride tonight is not sufficient to know if the creak is still there or not.


I've been for several rides. The creak was gone initially but returned on the third ride as noisy as ever.

"I wonder if anyone will ever do do a SRAM dub compatible press fit bottom bracket with a threaded inner sleeve to lock it in place?"
Perhaps I need to work on that design.


Tuesday 21 April 2020

Wash your hands and stay safe

During these times of social isolation, due to Covid-19, Shelley is continuing to garden, as long as it is safe to do so.

Staying away from people, in her job, is not difficult however, she may not always know what her customers have touched in their gardens. She needed to be able to wash her hands. To that end, her Defender now has a hand gel dispenser.

I designed and 3D printed a simple holder that easily hooks on the dash.

Printed in two halves to avoid the need for masses of supports.

It has a simple joint formed of an arc, 10mm wide by 1mm deep.

It slides together like a dovetail joint but does not have an overhang so it can be easily 3D printed without supports.

It's printed in PLA, for ease and speed, so it won't survive hot sun in the car for a prolonged period. Hopefully we won't be in 'lockdown' for so long that it matters.


Thursday 16 April 2020


Working from home I have been doing a lot of video calls and the importance of my webcam has been raised. I had an ageing Microsoft LifeCam which, in a recent Windows 10 update, became unmanageable and the image to dark to be usable!

This has meant that over the last few days I have used a number of different solutions and I decided to do a quick comparison of the images.

Built in Lenovo laptop camera

Old GoPro lookalike Action Camera from my bike.
Not ideal as a webcam because it needed turning on and setting to webcam mode every time I started the computer.

Logi C920 camera

My opinion is the C920 is a much better image.

I also tried a couple of positions. I think front on from above is best. The laptop view is the best but to achieve that with my main monitor it is too low for me.


Thursday 9 April 2020

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Lunchtime build

I'm taking advantage of working at home during the Covid-19 isolation.

I made a shoe rack, mainly to store the bike helmets but it also tidies up some shoes and boots.

Done before work and lunch times, over two days. The second day was oiling and drying time.


Monday 6 April 2020

Bike saddle bag minor mod

Every bike rider has their own view of what makes an ideal bag. Many riders avoid any attachments to their bikes in favour of carrying a rucksack, using pockets or not at all.

My preference is to have the smallest bag possible that will contain my choice of essential tools and spares.

Since I've had a dropper post on my mountain bike, my previous choice of bag was no longer ideal. The strap round the post would crush when the saddle was in the dropped position. I've been on the hunt for an alternative.

I could not find anything I liked, so made a change to the straps to attach to the saddle instead of the post and this has worked well.

I used two hook and loop straps. The straps I could find were either too long or too short but two joined were just right.

Job done, I am very happy with the result. It is now more secure than it was before and does not get in the way of the dropper.


Sunday 5 April 2020

Lego bikes

The product of a Sunday in the shed...

Minifigure 71025

The bike, helmet and gloves came from a Lego minifigures set.

The people were made up from various kits that we had somehow accumulated over many decades. Pirates, knights, police and even some Star Wars.

The peak was a bit of plastic I Superglued (CA) on and then sanded down. Where unnecessary, I cut off the hair to leave only the helmet.


John (me)





I posted this little scene to the 'Look At My Bike Leaning' group on Facebook.