Monday, March 29, 2010

Maladjusted And A Pain In The Butt

DHS 138

I put new tires on my bike Saturday before my ride just to see how they would handle, and found that it rode like a brand new bike. The ride was smoother and the bike handled much, much better.

I don't want to put any more miles on them until i actually start my TransAm ride so i took them back off this morning and put the old tires back on. That's when trouble started. Unfortunately.

Me and brakes have never gotten along. I think it's because we're so much alike — i'm maladjusted and the brakes are hard to adjust. After replacing the front tire, the front brakes seemed to adjust fairly well and fairly easily.

The back tire went on the wheel without a hitch, and then on the bike, but i just could not get the back brakes to adjust. If they were centered the brake lever was too soft. If the brake lever was tighter, the brake pads were off center and one side drug on the rim.

After 45 minutes, i finally got them adjusted to something acceptable, changed clothes, and headed out the door for today's ride. Two miles down the road i noticed that there was a "bump" in the back tire as it went around. It was very clearly periodic so it was off balance in one particular spot. Sort of felt like the tire was going flat? I watched it but that wasn't the case? Was it not seated on the wheel correctly? I pulled over at 2.5 miles and checked, but it looked OK. However, the rear brakes were now dragging on the rim so i had to try and adjust them again. The only thing i could get to work ended up with a very soft brake lever; soft enough that i sure hoped i didn't have to make an emergency stop.

To see if the tire wasn't set on the wheel correctly, i let all the air out, worked my fingers and thumbs around the circumference to break the seal between the bead and the wheel, and then re-inflated it. Then off again. Weak brake and the periodic bump, bump, bump, .... continued. Crap. Double crap.

Let the air out again at 8 miles and tried again since i can't see anything wrong with the wheel. Opened the quick release and made sure the wheel was completely seated in the drop outs. Unfortunately, still no better so i went home. Total ride, 16 measly miles.

Have no idea what i'm going to do. I'll take the wheel off again tomorrow, take the inner tube out in case it's crinkled (wild guess) and put the whole thing back together again. Will then work on the brake again as well. Then out the door for another ride.

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