Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the August Giveaway for a brand new Street Bicycle Core Line fixed gear bike


Pinging noise fixed
#1
I've written in another post about changing my wheel bearings. This is about a pinging noise which suddenly started after about 600 miles. Most of us have been frustrated in trying to locate the source of a noise that shouldn't be happening, but this was a first for me, that was such a mystery.

A few weeks ago, after the pinging noise suddenly started, I picked the cruiser up and spun each wheel. Both came to a quick stop. I could also feel grinding. So I removed the ball bearings from both wheels, cleaned them and the bearing seats and reassembled them with new grease. Still the pinging was there; not all the time but would come and go, sometimes just one ping and other times three or four pings. I suspected that the tires were throwing stones up under the aluminum fenders.

I removed the BB cartridge to check that for grease, but then realized the noise was still there when I wasn't pedaling. I ordered new bearings, 1/4" for the back and 3/16" for the front.

Today I removed both wheels and found the front axle was grinding, slightly. So out went the old ball bearings and in went the new. Tonight, taking my usual 4-miles ride, no more pinging noise. What I found astounding was, something was going on with the old ball bearings that caused a vibration to travel through the axle, up the fender supports and into the front metal fender. It must have been a substantial knocking to make that noise. That's why I thought it was stones hitting the fender, but the tire tread wasn't deep enough to pick up stones.

I'm thinking the wheels assembly was a Friday afternoon job, and someone wanted to get home for the weekend, or the quality of the ball bearings must have not been good.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply
#2
(07-02-2020, 09:02 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  I've written in another post about changing my wheel bearings. This is about a pinging noise which suddenly started after about 600 miles. Most of us have been frustrated in trying to locate the source of a noise that shouldn't be happening, but this was a first for me, that was such a mystery.

A few weeks ago, after the pinging noise suddenly started, I picked the cruiser up and spun each wheel. Both came to a quick stop. I could also feel grinding. So I removed the ball bearings from both wheels, cleaned them and the bearing seats and reassembled them with new grease. Still the pinging was there; not all the time but would come and go, sometimes just one ping and other times three or four pings. I suspected that the tires were throwing stones up under the aluminum fenders.

I removed the BB cartridge to check that for grease, but then realized the noise was still there when I wasn't pedaling. I ordered new bearings, 1/4" for the back and 3/16" for the front.

Today I removed both wheels and found the front axle was grinding, slightly. So out went the old ball bearings and in went the new. Tonight, taking my usual 4-miles ride, no more pinging noise. What I found astounding was, something was going on with the old ball bearings that caused a vibration to travel through the axle, up the fender supports and into the front metal fender. It must have been a substantial knocking to make that noise. That's why I thought it was stones hitting the fender, but the tire tread wasn't deep enough to pick up stones.

I'm thinking the wheels assembly was a Friday afternoon job, and somproperlythed to get home for the weekend, or the quality of the ball bearings must have not been good.

That's a new one on me Charley, "sympathetic vibration" resulting in a harmonically transmitted sound through the fender; wow!
I don't ride with fenders except on the old 3 speed. I will say l thought l had a similar problem occurring from the bottom bracket through the chain guard on the 3 speed. A lot more direct connection through a much shorter connection than fender stays. Glad you figured it out.
As a note: always replace the ball bearings unless you just did them. Buy them in bulk (100 or more of each size), granted l am working on 3 or more bikes at a time, but l am not using a magnifying glass to inspect each ball as l do to inspect cones, races, and cups. Also, it seems that in general the balls are not of the quality/hardness in many cases that came on older bikes as what comes on newer bikes. Plus, overall cost is low, and it is one less variable to have to worry about after rebuilding. When l rebuild any drive bearing assemblies (hubs, BB, pedals, etc.), l am obsessive about my work, cleanliness of parts and work area. It takes me 2 to 3 times as long as any bike shop mechanic, probably due to rebuilding automotive systems and working in engineering and a hospital operating room. I'm quite anal about adjusting the hub "play" to nearly zero when mounted, but my hubs have lasted decades! A small bit of grit can muck up a good deal of work and parts in short order so l try my best to reduce that potential situation. One thing that irritates me at the co-op is that they leave the tubs of grease uncovered risking debris contaminating it. I bring my own tube of grease to eliminate that variable. Headsets while important, aren't subjected to repetitive rotary motion and aren't as likely to suffer the same rapid damage.

Carry on the good work,
Jesper
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
(07-05-2020, 05:54 PM)Jesper Wrote:  That's a new one on me Charley, "sympathetic vibration" resulting in a harmonically transmitted sound through the fender; wow!
I don't ride with fenders except on the old 3 speed. I will say l thought l had a similar problem occurring from the bottom bracket through the chain guard on the 3 speed. A lot more direct connection through a much shorter connection than fender stays. Glad you figured it out.

I didn't intend to put fenders on the new cruiser, but after coming home from a short ride, my wife told me I had dirt up my back. I guess I must have ridden through a puddle, so I went to the bike shop where I bought the bike and got the proper Electra fenders for it.

I removed the BB to see if that was the problem. Like you, I suspected that the sound was coming from the chain guard. When my Specialized fat bike had about 1,000 miles on it, it began to squeal, not just squeak. I was ten miles from home when it started, and it was embarrassing when I rode by people at bus stops, so I'd stop pedaling until I passed by them. It actually sounded like it was talking. I removed it, stuffed grease into it and never had another peep out of it, even with 8,500 miles on it.

Quote:As a note: always replace the ball bearings unless you just did them. Buy them in bulk (100 or more of each size), granted l am working on 3 or more bikes at a time, but l am not using a magnifying glass to inspect each ball as l do to inspect cones, races, and cups.

When the noise first started, I picked up the bike and turned each wheel and found both were grinding, so I cleaned and greased both sets of bearings. I put the same bearings back in because I didn't have any new ones, but I wasn't happy about it. I ordered new ones, 1/4" and 3/16". Despite the cleaning and new grease, I was disappointed to hear the noise still there. When the new ball bearings came I carefully examined the seats to make sure they weren't damaged. Because I had re-greased the old bearings, I didn't clean and examine them but wish I had done. I use White Lightning Crystal grease which doesn't clean off like regular grease because it's silicone based. But being only 3/16" in size (front wheel), it seemed impossible that they would be making all that noise.

Quote:...It takes me 2 to 3 times as long as any bike shop mechanic, ... I'm quite anal about adjusting the hub "play" to nearly zero when mounted, but my hubs have lasted decades!

Same with me. I've done as much servicing to my vehicles as I possibly could, over my more than fifty years of driving and riding motorcycles. And if I say it, myself, I've done a pretty good job on them. And I've had some extremely bad work done by pros. I could write some long stories about those, but since I moved to Florida I found an excellent service garage just down the road to me, so I don't do any more work on the car, myself, especially with all the computer stuff on board.

And I, too, am anal about adjusting the cones to get a perfect fit. I don't want to feel the axle click even a tiny bit, and I don't want to feel it grabbing slightly as I turn it. I found that after the initial setting I can tweak it by putting a wrench on each locknut and turning a tiny fraction for the final fit. It works well like that.

Quote: A small bit of grit can muck up a good deal of work and parts in short order so l try my best to reduce that potential situation. One thing that irritates me at the co-op is that they leave the tubs of grease uncovered risking debris contaminating it. I bring my own tube of grease to eliminate that variable.

I'm with you on that. Once I've applies the grease in which to seat the new bearings, I put the lid back on the container before I go any further. I have 1 lb pot of the Crystal grease and I don't want dust or dirt blowing into it. We think alike.

Quote:Headsets while important, aren't subjected to repetitive rotary motion and aren't as likely to suffer the same rapid damage.

When I'd put a 1,000 miles on my fat bike, I serviced the wheel bearings and decided to check the headset. I found the lower bearing had quite a bit of sideways play between the inner ring and the outer part. I could actually see it without my glasses. And I did notice a very slight bit of rust on the lower bearing cage. Yet I hadn't noticed anything wrong with it before I took it apart. I re-greased them and put them back and it felt okay. Rocking the bike back and forth with the brake on didn't reveal any clicking. Still, I ordered new ones from the bike shop and replaced them.

Do you have any recommendation as to how often wheel bearings should be serviced and/or changed?
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply
#4
(07-06-2020, 07:22 AM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  Do you have any recommendation as to how often wheel bearings should be serviced and/or changed?
Hi Charley,

Personally l feel this is a tough question to answer. Unlike most bearings which are subjected to much higher loads, heat, moisture, particulate contaminants, and/or other petroleum distillate/solvents which causes lubricant (be it grease, oil, or combination) deterioration, component performance and physical degradation; bicycle bearings and lubricants are really only susceptible to damage and degradation related to moisture and particulate contamination. A bike bearing when properly adjusted and lubricated can last for decades and 10s of thousands of miles without changing the lubricant if never exposed to water and dirt, and many do just that. The most common problem l run into on "clean" older bikes (40 yrs and older) when taking apart a never before serviced headset is "dried out" grease. The bearing surfaces are perfect, but the volatile components of the lubricant have dissipated. This is not too detrimental on a headset, but on a BB or hub bearing it means that the lubricant is no longer being properly applied to the bearing's surfaces during continued operation.
In most normal riding conditions with proper bearing protection you should be able to go a 1000 miles without issues; but if riding regularly under wet and/or dirty conditions bearings need to be serviced more regularly. Obviously this doesn't apply to sealed/"cartridge" bearings. I use one bike (1980's vintage) primarily for commuting/training and cyclocross riding. Worst case scenario for me is going on wet grass/dirt/sand/mud conditions. It means an immediate chain and sprocket cleaning, for which l keep a spare or 2 because my chain cleaning is an intensive procedure meant to actually clean a chain, not just "maintain" it. Inspection and evaluation of hub/BB/pedal bearings will be done to determine if there are any issues; visually and by feel with wheels off the frame and crank free of the chain. In most cases, a one time short duration exposure is not going to require any service if no anomalies are felt (grinding, etc.); but repetitive and/or long duration riding under less than optimal conditions might require immediate servicing. The nice thing is that if done regularly everything comes apart easily and you become quite adept at doing it quickly. Since I have multiple bikes to ride from casual to serious: l am able to pick and choose what I will be putting in "harms way" in regards to riding conditions. I generally don't ride in the rain for multiple reasons, but anyone living in Florida knows that a shower however brief may arise at just about any time early to mid afternoon and later; so l try not to ride during that period (bloody hot too!), but if I do, l use the "all purpose" road bike unless I'm doing a time trial run or timed training run on a professional race bike. Fenders serve more purposes then just keeping you and the bike clean, they also stop most water and grit from the bearings (primarily the headset). Hub and pedal bearings are not easy to protect other than the built-in seals so generally require more frequent evaluation and servicing. Don't ask me why shops don't service pedals; a component under the highest load and exposed to the worst conditions (gets lowest to the ground!). It would seem that shops must think that most pedals will last a lifetime without service (they won't!), or that they are cheap to replace (most are not!). My LOOK pro racing pedals l bought in '88 or '89 are still being used; they have some minor play now, but are quite functional having been taken apart by myself many times. They were not cheap at the time ($150 on sale) and would cost substantially more ($300+) to replace with their top of the line counterparts now. Service your pedals even the "crappy" ones, it can greatly affect riding efficiency without you knowing it. Also, really cheap pedals are inherently inefficient due to their poor design/manufacture, usually becoming a waste of material in short order to anyone who puts substantial mileage on a bike. Shy away from "kid's" bike plastic pedals, they can break/fall apart at any time even when new; they suck!
So wrapping up bearing service frequency: clean/dry conditons, about 1000-2000 miles; more adverse conditions 1000 miles or sooner; regularly wet/dirty conditions 500-1000 miles, but with after the ride inspection/evaluation. Chain cleaning: l recommend having a spare, and cleaning 250-500 miles. Sprocket cleaning goes hand in hand with the chain; do not put a clean chain on dirty sprockets!
In essence, most people who ride 10 or less miles a week probably would need to get their bike serviced once every couple of years; most others yearly or more often. I base my service requirements on specific rides and/or conditions, but being able to spread my use over many bikes l really only service each bike about once every two years. One racing bike might get used for a few training runs and then an event for less than 500 total. My time trial bike's (low profile frame) use is limited by my body so much less use due to very short albeit faster rides. I think that when doing your own service and knowing the mileage and general average conditions you ride under; you will be able to tailor your servicing requirements based on what you find when doing it. If things look good upon tear down, then you can probably decrease the frequency of service periods, but if everything is a "mess" then you should obviously increase the frequency. Also, if you find one particular area having a much less than desired condition when servicing then you may have to do that part twice as often regardless of what it is. With me it is chain/sprockets; partially due to me using a little more than adequate lubrication (not dripping or messy, just very WELL lubed) and riding conditions (regardless of mileage); of course I rarely need a chain or new gears! One "mechanic" wanted to have me buy a new chain when l brought it to him for "cleaning" (l was very busy, l still would have done it again later, my way). A 50 year old chain (original to the bike) without any undo wear/stretch, and he said "l really don't do that anymore", turns around and hands me a new chain which l declined; then turns around again with a "chain cleaner brush cartridge thing" (they suck!, although better than not cleaning it) to sell to me. I rode away never to get any service related operation done there again. l had, and still do, buy used parts from him; but l can't recommend him to anyone for service; a previous encounter was also a walkout scenario, but l figured a simple chain cleaning was safe. Wrong!

Sorry for the long winded reply; l may as well do as much "damage with one bullet" as l can!

Take care,
Jesper
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#5
(07-07-2020, 11:15 AM)Jesper Wrote:  [quote='CharleyFarley' pid='39031' dateline='1594034556']

Do you have any recommendation as to how often wheel bearings should be serviced and/or changed?

Wow! A book! Smile

Quote:
...bicycle bearings and lubricants are really only susceptible to damage and degradation related to moisture and particulate contamination. A bike bearing when properly adjusted and lubricated can last for decades and 10s of thousands of miles without changing the lubricant if never exposed to water and dirt,

I switched grease a couple of years ago to White Lightning Crystal grease because it's specifically made for bikes and is waterproof, being silicone based. It doesn't seem to be subject to breaking down. I do, sometimes, end up taking a shower while out on a ride and I get caught in one of Florida's infamous sudden rains. Sometimes I strip down to swim shorts and go riding in the rain, not far, just two or three miles. Otherwise, 97.3% of my riding is on dry pavement.

It was the bearings problem on a new bike from a bike shop, with only 600 miles on it, which made me wonder how often to service them. It seemed they just suddenly went bad. I think though, that bad assembly at the factory was the cause of the damaged front wheel bearings. When I unscrewed the cone, I found a ball under the dust seal, apart from the rest of the race. But when I cleaned and greased them, and made sure all the balls were where they should be, the pinging noise was still there. Obviously, the balls were damaged.

Quote: ... anyone living in Florida knows that a shower however brief may arise at just about any time early to mid afternoon and later; so l try not to ride during that period (bloody hot too!),...

Yep! That bugs me that most of the day during summer, is much too hot to ride. I do a early morning and late evening ride every day, but I often feel like riding in the middle of the day. Still, we can't have everything. If I was still in Delaware, I'd lose the whole winter of riding. I'm not one for wrapping up and riding in bone-chilling weather. I worked in it all my life.

Quote:
Don't ask me why shops don't service pedals; a component under the highest load and exposed to the worst conditions (gets lowest to the ground!). It would seem that shops must think that most pedals will last a lifetime without service (they won't!), or that they are cheap to replace (most are not!).

It depends on the bike. For most of us, we'll never see pedals costing more than $20. The plastic ones on my fat bike have given me no problems in the 8,500 miles I've ridden it. I did have pedals that began to squeak on another bike from a bike shop. I serviced them, myself, because it was have cost ten times the price of new pedals if a bike shop serviced them, which I'm sure they wouldn't unless they were desperate for work, and I was loaded with cash. Those tiny, little balls went everywhere but I managed to find them, clean them and get them all back in place. There was no grease on them. I don't think I would service pedals, again, but then there's no guarantee a new set of cheap pedals won't soon squeak.

And those plastic pedals on my fat bike can be vicious. I was sidewalk riding and came to a red light on a main highway. As I almost came to a stop, a strong gust of wind from the side almost blew me over. I put my foot down quickly but lost my balance. Those pedals have a bunch of very pointy things meant to give shoes grip. As my leg went down, those points gouged my shin in five places. I know some cyclists have experienced the cheese grater effect of metal pedals in a similar way.


Quote:... Chain cleaning: l recommend having a spare, and cleaning 250-500 miles. Sprocket cleaning goes hand in hand with the chain; do not put a clean chain on dirty sprockets!

I clean my chain (not as you would) every 100 miles even though it doesn't need it. And every other cleaning I use the device with rotary brushes in which I pour some citrus cleaner. It does a pretty good job. Then after drying it, I flood the chain with Rock 'n' Roll lube. They advise to do that because it's made to clean a chain as well as lube it.

I bought a cruiser from another bike shop five years ago. At 1,000 miles the gears were giving me a problem, and I knew nothing about derailleurs at the time. The derailleur was also hanging outboard, so the bike shop fixed that and put a new chain and derailleur on. I asked the 'mechanic' if chains only last 1,000 miles, after he told me it was shot. He said they're only good for 800 miles so I was lucky to get a thousand out of it. A few weeks later, the new chain broke. They hadn't charged me for the chain or derailleur so rather than take the bike back to them I decided to get a new chain and install it, myself. So back to the bike shop where I bought a new chain. When I got it home, I laid it out next to the broken chain and found it was eight inches short. So back to the bike shop to get a longer chain. The owner said because it's a cruiser it needed a longer chain, and they had added a piece on. I had them make up another longer chain and took that home. Then I realized that their chain had broken right where they added a piece on. Evidently, they had pushed the pin in too far. Thus began a journey with that LBS in which four more botch jobs happened on two more new bikes I bought from them. The 'mechanic' fed me other nonsense information, too, and has a tendency to snap at customers. I tolerated it for three years before I finally gave up on them. All this was what pushed me into starting to do my own mechanical work.

Quote:...but l can't recommend him to anyone for service; a previous encounter was also a walkout scenario, but l figured a simple chain cleaning was safe. Wrong!

I fixed up a bike (24" wheels) that somebody had thrown away. I knew I wasn't going to be able to sell it for more than about $30 (judging by sales on local markets), so it had to be done on the cheap. It wasn't even rideable. I put a new twist shifter on that I had in my parts box, and a new cable, inner and outer. One of the worst parts was the rusty chain. I removed it and it was stiff. So I put it in a can and covered it with Spray Nine citrus cleaner and left it for a few hours. I was surprised that it came out so well. So I put it on the bike and lubed it. It didn't even look rusty! The bike now runs well, but my sister-in-law who salvaged the bike from the garbage, then decided to keep it in her shed for relatives to ride when they visit. It was fun while it lasted.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply
#6
[quote='CharleyFarley' pid='39056' dateline='1594154076']
.....I asked the 'mechanic' if chains only last 1,000 miles, after he told me it was shot. He said they're only good for 800 miles so I was lucky to get a thousand out of it....
[quote]

Sorry to hear someone tell you that a chain is lucky to last only 800 miles (absolute tripe!); l can only assume that it refers to a chain that gets no maintenance on a fixed/single speed. Just think of a motorcycle chain; it goes through a lot more load and environmental stress than a bicycle chain (yes, a heavier duty build), but lasting 10s of thousands of miles with proper care! Using a 1000 mile chain replacement ethic; most moderate (50 miles per week) to serious (100+ miles per week) cyclists would be replacing 2 to 3 or more chains a year; they do not, and don't need to! Cycling is supposed to be a fairly inexpensive and economical means of transportation; now l can see from anecdotal and personal experience that the industry has gotten way out of hand! (800 mile chain my ass!) If you are doing 100 mile maintenance regularly under the conditions you stated then your chain will (should) last much longer than that "mechanic" (SALESMAN) stated. One reason some chains don't last is due to over tensioning on a single speed bike. Our single speed bikes always worked fine when we were kids. Of course, we were always dousing the chain in motor oil (Still an ample solution if that's all you have).
Those chain cleaner devices do work just, not to the greatest degree possible. Since l primarily deal with aluminum alloy chainrings, and some alloy freewheels (they are expensive!); l like to ensure that everything is as clean as possible. Granted, this is "professional" racing level maintenance; look at any well maintained racing bike and everything looks clean and new. The problem with chain "cleaners" is the fact that you continue to run your chain through a dirty solvent bath. Yes, you will get rid of a lot of the "gross" debris and grit (which mostly causes sprocket wear), but you are leaving behind the tiny stuff which is what actually "chews" up in innards of the chain. Imagine doing a load of laundry without a rinse cycle (most have two rinses!) and then drying and wearing your cloths. I guarantee that you wouldn't be very pleased with the outcome, nor would those folks standing around you (just might automatically provide that minimum 6' distancing though!). That's what chain "cleaners" do. I use a minimum of one CLEAN solvent rinse sometimes 2 (rarely 3 except on an old unmaintained bikes l pick up). I use gasoline for each bath, and always have the second (rinse) bath showing very fine debris/"dregs" in the bottom of my container (clear 2 liter soft drink bottle). Usually 2 complete baths is enough (initial and a rinse), but if the solvent gets a real dirty color (suspended contaminants) and/or has a lot of debris settling out of it; a third bath is in order! I don't waste my solvent either; it gets carefully poured out (not pouring out the dregs) and double filtered (coffee ones work fine and are cheap) and reused for that next job in new containers. There is a lot of hype about "special" chain lubes, but if your chain isn't really clean in the first place you still have fine grit in the rollers causing wear all the while. Of course you should check older/"unknown" chains for wear/"stretch" with a gauge prior to wasting time cleaning a bad chain. Old and rusty chains get wire brushed first when doing a rebuild; then usually a triple bath (initial and 2 rinses), them a hot liquid paraffin wax bath (can remove even more contaminants) for long term lubing and storage. When you use more lubrication on the chain it eventually breaks down the paraffin, but for a long time you will essentially have a solid barrier from fine contaminants entering the rollers because of the wax acting as a "lubricating seal". I have made a science of chain cleaning, thus my chains last thousands of miles over decades. Now you see why l keep a spare chain for regular use bikes; it takes a bit of time to properly clean and "seal" a chain, l often do it over 2 days allowing it to sit in solvent. Also, when the gasoline is "too dirty" to reuse just filter it again and put in the lawn mower. My mower is decades old and it has no problrms from using my "cleaning solvent" as fuel. A note about motor oil: it's funny how "bike mechanics" will say that it is too "thick" (and it comes in various viscosities) to use because it won't penetrate into the rollers; that's wrong! They apparently have no automotive experience where engine and many bearing tolerances a quite small, but where motor oil somehow manages to penetrate just fine. I've technically never seen a chain fail from the use of any lubricant if the chain itself has been kept properly cleaned and adequately lubed during its life. Everything eventually wears out, but in most cases proper care will exponentially increase the functional life of a part. Change your car's oil not at a specific mileage, but immediately when it doesn't look like the new oil you put in; that could be 100, 1000, or 10000 miles based on usage and the engine condition when you first get it, be it new or used.

Another "book", l guess l should actually write one!

Take care,
Jesper

PS. As a side study, l'd be curious to know how long your chain lasts since it is obvious you keep a tally of your mileage. A chain wear gauge is a cheap investment ($10-$20). I think too many shops are ready to sell a part, than to do the required maintenance; chains being the best example of this practice. A good shop should have a parts cleaner bath just like a good automotive shop does. Unfortunately, it has turned into a sales ethic and not repair.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
(07-07-2020, 10:24 PM)Jesper Wrote:  [quote='CharleyFarley' pid='39056' dateline='1594154076']
.....I asked the 'mechanic' if chains only last 1,000 miles, after he told me it was shot. He said they're only good for 800 miles so I was lucky to get a thousand out of it....

Quote:
Sorry to hear someone tell you that a chain is lucky to last only 800 miles (absolute tripe!); l can only assume that it refers to a chain that gets no maintenance on a fixed/single speed.

This was on a 7-speed cruiser. I've learned, since then, that he was talking nonsense

Quote:If you are doing 100 mile maintenance regularly under the conditions you stated then your chain will (should) last much longer than that "mechanic" (SALESMAN) stated. One reason some chains don't last is due to over tensioning on a single speed bike. Our single speed bikes always worked fine when we were kids. Of course, we were always dousing the chain in motor oil (Still an ample solution if that's all you have).

I remember adjusting my chain when I was a kid. Being that the chain ring and/or the single speed freewheel might not be perfectly round, but have a high spot, we had to make sure that the chain didn't tighten up as the pedals were turned and the chain hit the high spot. And 3 in 1 oil was the lubricant. I used to run a lot of miles with a friend, all over the city, deliberately getting lost and exploring, and I never had to change a chain. I wouldn't have known how to, anyway.

Quote:Those chain cleaner devices do work just, not to the greatest degree possible. Since l primarily deal with aluminum alloy chainrings, and some alloy freewheels (they are expensive!); l like to ensure that everything is as clean as possible. Granted, this is "professional" racing level maintenance; look at any well maintained racing bike and everything looks clean and new. The problem with chain "cleaners" is the fact that you continue to run your chain through a dirty solvent bath. Yes, you will get rid of a lot of the "gross" debris and grit (which mostly causes sprocket wear), but you are leaving behind the tiny stuff which is what actually "chews" up in innards of the chain.

It works fine for my need. What's left in the container after I've run the chain through it, is jet black. It's better than not cleaning it at all. And I'm not wearing chains out. I ran a Schwinn hybrid for 4,500 miles on one chain before I sold it, and it was in excellent condition. Also used it on a Sun fat bike, and my Specialized fat bike with no problems.

Quote:PS. As a side study, l'd be curious to know how long your chain lasts since it is obvious you keep a tally of your mileage. A chain wear gauge is a cheap investment ($10-$20). I think too many shops are ready to sell a part, than to do the required maintenance; chains being the best example of this practice. A good shop should have a parts cleaner bath just like a good automotive shop does. Unfortunately, it has turned into a sales ethic and not repair.

My Specialized fat bike has 8,500 miles on the original chain. I do have a Park clicker tool to check for chain wear. It is reading .05 at the moment. Park recommends a new chain at .075, but other cyclists have said they change the chain when it reads .10. A brand new chain reading starts around .25. I'll stick with Park's recommendation. Obviously, I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of the chain. The chain cleaner I run it through apparently has done no harm and may even have helped prolong the life of the chain.

The mechanic who told me a chain is only good for 800 miles, has shown me he is no mechanic. Indeed, I'd put my work up against his, any time. And here's why:

I bought a new Sun fat bike from the LBS. It came with a hub gear but I noticed a derailleur hanger on the chain stay. I asked him if he could swap the hub gear for a derailleur. He said he could, and I paid them another $100 to do that. When the bike was done, they called me to pick it up. I guess I should have given it a test ride at the shop but I failed to do that. When I got it home, it was almost unrideable because the lowest gear felt like taking off in fourth. Obviously they never tested it after doing the job. It took several weeks to get the correct chain ring. They just assumed the original chain ring, matched to the hub gears, was good for the derailleur. Also, they fitted an 8-speed freewheel and lever shifter, but when the chain was on the largest cog it touched the tire. They adjusted it so that the shifter started at #2 position to prevent the chain going onto the large cog. I didn't like that so I adjusted it to start at number one, and adjusted the derailleur so it wouldn't go onto the large cog.

In the meanwhile, the cruiser I had bought from them had some kind of fault in the front wheel rim. It would suddenly grab at a certain spot. I cleaned the rim, as they said, with alcohol, and if necessary, 400 grit paper. It worked for about a half mile and then started grabbing again. I removed the wheel and tire and checked the width of the rim all the way around; it was perfect. Pressing the sides of the rims to make sure there wasn't a soft spot, it was hard all the way around. Looking at it, I thought I might find a difference in the metal, perhaps the alloy wasn't properly mixed at the factory. I don't know, I was trying to think of what could possibly be causing the grabbing. So I went to the LBS and asked them to get me two better quality rims. The mechanic said I'm wasting my money because "all rim brakes grab." I didn't argue with him but just asked the owner to get me the rims. That cured it. I'd had several bikes since I was a kid and none of them snatched like this one did. And the mechanic went into a lecture about rims, talking about this measurement and that measurement. I tried to ask him a question and he snapped at me. "I don't care what it says..." he snapped. They'd told me to ask questions if I had any, but when I did, that was what I got. I figured he's having a bad day so I kept quiet.

When I was cleaning the fat bike I noticed something odd about the rear disc brake caliper. The caliper is made to sit flat on the mounting bracket, but one end of this caliper was lifted up and a thick adjusting washer inserted, threaded onto the bolt. I'd not dealt with disc brakes, before, but even to me this was shade tree mechanic work. I took the bolt out, removed their washer, and bolted the caliper down. Then I found out why they had done that. The caliper bit down on the rotor. But I could see the mounting bracket was adjustable, so I moved it a bit, and all was well. They couldn't figure that out!

Next, I didn't like the Sun fat bike so I traded it and the cruiser in for a Specialized Fatboy. When I was cleaning it, I noticed the rear disc brake looked odd. The two caliper bolts were sticking up in the air. The bolts were too long so they threaded a 3/4" stack of washers onto each bolt. I removed the washers and cut the bolts down to the right length.

I was on a long run (long for me) a 35-mile round trip. I was just leaving the city where I had gone, and was going uphill. I changed down to the lowest cog and the chain came off and wrapped around the axle, jammed between the large cog and the pie plate. It took me quite a while with no tools to dig it out. I carry tools but nothing that would dig the chain out. And it was pulled tight around the chain ring, so I couldn't get any slack to pull at the chain. By time I got it out and back onto the cog, my hands were black and sore. I was furious! When I got it home I put it on the bike work stand and found both limit screws were way out. Not only didn't the low limit screw prevent the chain from coming off the large cog, but the high limit screw wouldn't let the chain go onto the smallest cog. I would have though that was the bike shop's responsibility to check those kind of things before the customer takes it away.

Finally, I had bought a Schwinn hybrid online, and I wanted to fit rim brakes with replaceable pads. The LBS only had one pair and said they would order another pair and call me when they come in. That was in February of the year. In May I happened to be riding near the shop so I stopped in to ask if there was any news on the brakes. The mechanic was standing on the showroom floor when I walked in. He greeted me with a smile and I simply asked him if there was any news on the brakes. He spun around, walked briskly away from me, throwing a hand up in the air, and snapped, "We'll call you when they come in!" He then disappeared into the work shop. I stood there, dumbfounded and quite angry. I suppose I should have gone after him and asked him what the problem was, but decided to not do that. I walked out of the shop and decided I would not go there ever again. Their lousy work and his bad temper drove me away, but I figured I'd still get the brakes when they called me. October came around and no call, so I got them, online.

I did contact the LBS owner through his Facebook page, and told him about the long bolts on the fatboy caliper, and suggested he check bikes coming in for repair, and going out. Obviously, he had no idea about the lousy work his mechanic was turning out. He wrote back, ignoring what I had said about the bolts, and said that washers are used to adjust disc brakes. He didn't have a clue!

About a year after I quit dealing with them, I got a Facebook notice that a customer had written them a review. I got the notice because I had left a good review at the very beginning. I read the woman's review and she was pleased with the attention they gave her when she took her bike for new tires. I saw that her review was right near mine, so I deleted my review and removed the photos I'd posted. A few weeks after that I looked at their Facebook page, again, and the woman had removed her review and left a really bad one about being ripped off and having to take her bike to another shop to have the job done properly. Couldn't even fit tires? They responded, saying it was all her fault. And that business has been around for 40 years.

Hey, I can write books, too. Smile
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply
#8
(07-07-2020, 11:52 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  "...They responded, saying it was all her fault. And that business has been around for 40 years..."

It was her fault. Her fault for going there in the first place (unknowingly of course). I wonder how long the most senior person has been there? I tend to find when I go into a shop to "browse" for used stuff, or regular consumables that the staff looks different after 2 years. I think being in a college town (UF) that they get a lot of temp workers who are being allowed to do more than just a tire change or basic adjustment.
You are correct about test riding before leaving a shop, however minor the repair/service; new tire change- take a ride! It is what I have to do on my own rebuilds (I don't always get it right the first time!).

Thanks for the feedback on your chains, that sounds more like it; 10000 is not impossible by any means. I would suggest when using your cleaning device to do a solvent change if it is getting black after 100-200 miles unless your lube is also black then it's probably fine. If you do regular cleaning and new lube, those chains will last a very long time.

Sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations with bike shops (and maybe a little happy in a perverse sense). I can count on both my hands the amount of times I have used a shop for service/repair in my lifetime; 8! 4 times damage was caused, of which 3 were from using the completely wrong tool; 1 was damaged due to handling/improper mounting of a bike on a work stand; and 3 went okay. The good results were all over 30 years ago; one being from the guy where I bought my first brand new bike at. I found that receipt a couple years ago at my parents house, and went into town just to get a tube; the same guy still working in the same location. It's not often you get to thank someone again a bout 40 years down the road.

"Hey, I can write books, too. Smile"
I like books over quick "one liners" for responses; plus it gives you a little insight into someone's background and character.

Take care down there, I fear there's going to be a nasty storm coming with all the heating of the waters around the peninsula. Hopefully it will miss us all.

Jesper
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#9
(07-08-2020, 02:08 AM)Jesper Wrote:  You are correct about test riding before leaving a shop, however minor the repair/service; new tire change- take a ride! It is what I have to do on my own rebuilds (I don't always get it right the first time!).

I always test ride my bikes after I worked on them, no matter what work I did on them. I would think a professional mechanic would always do the same thing and not just assume that his work was good. And the owner ought to know what his mechanic is doing. It seems that the aforementioned owner has become complacent, maybe even bored just sitting in the shop all day trusting his mechanic, totally. When I first went to that shop, both the owner and mechanic were all over me, telling me this and that, really paying me a lot of attention, perhaps because I was buying a bike. They were like that with each of the three bikes I bought. It was after that first bike that I wrote such a nice review on his Facebook page, but I also left the same review on Yelp. Yelp has two lists: 'Recommended' and 'Not recommended.' My review went into the 'Not Recommended' list. I contacted Yelp to find out why this was. They said if the review seems to be too good, it goes into that list because the review could have come from the business owner. I told them I was new to Florida and had never been to that shop, before, and was a first time customer. I asked them to move my review to the 'Recommended' list. They said they can't do that because the computer program isn't set up to do that. Later, while talking to some cyclists on a Google forum, I mentioned my experience with Yelp. One of them said that what Yelp does with such a review is to contact the business owner and offer to move the review to the better list, for a fee. Apparently, that is true, and I was ticked off that they would resort to such a trick. So back to Yelp I went, to delete my review; they don't allow that but they do allow edits. So I erased all my text and replaced it with criticism of Yelp for lying to me. I'd guess they removed that.

Being new to the world of cycling and bike shops, I was reading all kinds of information online. It was recommended that we support our bike shops even if it means paying a little more for accessories than in the big box stores. It was also recommended that we buy the mechanic a case of beer for his good work. I contacted the owner through his Facebook page and asked him if they would accept a gift of beer. He was delighted that I would do that, so I took an eighteen pack of cold beer in. But this was after getting all that attention when buying the first bike. I soon began to regret that.

I was looking for information on widening the space between the rear dropouts on the Sun fat bike, to stop the chain from touching the tire so that I could use all eight gears. I asked the shop owner about a longer axle and spacers, and apparently got into something he couldn't figure out, so he thrust the parts catalog across the counter and said, "There's every part available for all bikes in this book. Read it for yourself." I could see he was ticked off but he had stressed at the beginning that I could ask them questions about anything. Apparently that was not so. As time went on it became obvious that he didn't know much about bikes and was reliant on his mechanic knowing everything, which he didn't.

When I needed a new headset for my Specialized fat bike I looked for a dealer (the current shop was a dealer). I found one about twelve miles away. When I went into that place it was a whole different world. Clean, bright and well-stocked with bikes, and a service department second to none, and they have two shops. So that became my LBS when needed, and it's where I bought my cruiser, this year. Even they were not perfect; I had paid for the new cruiser, online, and was told to come and pick it up. When I got there, they were embarrassed because another customer had taken my bike home. They had to wait until the guy came home in the evening so they could get it back. Then they delivered the bike to my home, the next morning. I wasn't angry about it because we all make mistakes.

Quote:I would suggest when using your cleaning device to do a solvent change if it is getting black after 100-200 miles unless your lube is also black then it's probably fine. If you do regular cleaning and new lube, those chains will last a very long time.

I put fresh citrus cleaner in the device every time, then rinse it out after using it on the chain. It's not greasy, just black, probably from dust picked up. The chain still feels lubed after a 100 miles, not sticky or waxy, though. I wipe the chain down so it shines, lube it, then spin the pedals backward for several revolutions, let it sit for a while, then wipe the chain down, again. Rock 'n' Roll says to do it that way... "And we mean wipe it clean!"

Quote:I can count on both my hands the amount of times I have used a shop for service/repair in my lifetime; 8! 4 times damage was caused, of which 3 were from using the completely wrong tool; 1 was damaged due to handling/improper mounting of a bike on a work stand; and 3 went okay.

I guess anyone can claim to be a bike mechanic. The proof is in the work, not necessarily in a training certificate on the wall. Bikes are not a difficult machine to work on, if you know what you're doing and have the right tools. I've built up a decent kit of tools, including a truing stand and spoke tension meter. I dismantled an old wheel down to its components, then rebuilt it just for practice, and it was great.

Quote:The good results were all over 30 years ago; one being from the guy where I bought my first brand new bike at. I found that receipt a couple years ago at my parents house, and went into town just to get a tube; the same guy still working in the same location. It's not often you get to thank someone again a bout 40 years down the road.

That is quite remarkable!

Quote:
Take care down there, I fear there's going to be a nasty storm coming with all the heating of the waters around the peninsula. Hopefully it will miss us all.

Yes, they suddenly spring up. My hearing is bad and can't hear the low ranges of sound. Sometimes I tell the wife I'm going out for a ride, and she says, "It's thundering!" I'm well aware that Florida is the lightning capital of America, and I'd like to live to ride another day.

All the best to you, Jesper!
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply


Forum Jump:

[-]
10 Latest Posts
Traveling to texas
Today 03:56 PM
Hey everyone
Today 03:22 PM
Pain from bike saddle.
Today 11:46 AM
Primary care
Today 11:04 AM
electric trikes- advice
Today 08:17 AM
2020 road cycling season
Yesterday 08:39 PM
State Bicycle Core Line | August 2020
Yesterday 09:32 AM
New member - qery
08-07-2020 01:15 PM
Freewheel hub wiggling in place + Chain ...
08-07-2020 09:26 AM
clicking new chain
08-07-2020 09:13 AM

[-]
Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Jesper
54 posts
no avatar 2. Painkiller
15 posts
no avatar 3. CharleyFarley
9 posts
no avatar 4. Papa Dom
8 posts
no avatar 5. mtnbikeracer76
6 posts