All entries for Wednesday 18 May 2005

May 18, 2005

Bike Maintenance 101

Took the big bike out for a ride round the Goyt Valley yesterday. It was all going really well, and I was enjoying blasting down the steep stuff, until I hit a square edge of rock at speed and pinch-punctured the front tyre.

Shouldn't really be a problem – on the XC bike it'd be a 2-minute job to whip the wheel out, swap the tube, and pop it back in. Except that the big bike doesn't have a quick-release front wheel. Instead, it has one of these:

– a 20mm thru-axle, held in place by 4 pinch-bolts and 2 6mm hex plugs. Fortunately, I'd checked the manual and packed sufficent tools ( 2 * 6mm alan keys and a 4mm), unfortunately I'd never actually tried removing it. The manual said 'loosen the pinch bolts, undo one side (couldn't quite remember which) and slide the axle out). So I loosened them off, turned the cap bolts, and… one came off. The axle remained firmly in place. Hmm…

So, I tried pushing it out, sliding it out, tightening the pinch bolts back up, tightening one side, loosening the other; nothing worked. Of course, I didn't have the manual to hand, so I couldn't actually see what I ought to do. Gah.

After about 20 mins of fiddling, I gave up and rang home, to ask Amanda to go out to the shed and look for 'the manual with a big M on the front'. Of course, 20 seconds after I put the phone down I worked it out – screw the cap that fell off back on, then turn the 6mm bolts whilst holding the cap in place, thus forcing the axle out the other side. 10-mile push back averted, inner-tube replaced, ride continues. Easy when you know how :-)

Moral of the story: Try new stuff out at home! Now I need to go back and see if there are any other new bits and bobs I ought to learn to maintain before I go out again.

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