Friday, August 28, 2009

Bike Therapy

It's been a slow week bicycling for me this week with a sick kid (flu) and lots of stuff to get done at work. On top of that heavy fog and rain several mornings this week made me not want to ride to work. This is the first week in 16 weeks I haven't ridden to work at least one day. On top of that, it's staying darker later in the morning.

I realize all of those are pretty lame excuses for not riding, but tonight after supper I hopped on the trusty Tricross and rode 20 miles in the rain. Similar to Mike, I had been feeling pretty grumpy until I got on the bike and out about a mile from home.

The familiar wind in my ears, the passing scenery, and the comfort of balancing on two wheels once again worked its magic. Here's a photo of my friend on the iron bridge.

An update on the Kuwahara - I've gotten the bike ridable again but the bike wants to pull to the right. I suspect the fork might be slightly bent, but I'm not sure. I've tried several different wheels on the front, so I know it's not the wheel. For some reason, I have to really pull the fork apart to get the wheel in the wheel mounts. If anyone has any ideas on what to do, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

If I can't figure out why the bike pulls to the right, I'll probably just clean the bike really well and make sure it's safe to ride, then sell it.

Happy riding!


Rantwick said...

Therapy is right... isn't it strange how any longish ride can help mellow a person (or me, at least) out?

The Kuwhara fork is steel, right? If you can figure out whats bent, you might be able to "cold set" it.

Disclaimer: I have no idea of this idea is cool or safe. I've only ever seen info on cold-setting on rear hub spacing.

Big Oak said...

Thanks Rantwick, that might just work. Yes, the frame is steel. At the very least, I'll try to use Sheldon's string method to determine if the fork is bent, then maybe I could use a long pipe to hopefully coerce the fork back into compliance.

jeff said...

If you can't figure it out you could ride the wrong way on the track, always turning right. ;)

rlove2bike said...

Sometimes it is so hard just get it all going...but once out there on the bike, I wonder why it was so hard to get it all going. Nice friend you have there.

Steve A said...

OK. Google:

straighten bent front fork bike books

click on the link to the book by Rob van der Plas. If you have trouble finding the stuff, go to your library and have them get it via inter-library loan.

It may be the steerer tube that's bent. You may have to do some careful measuring, using the Sheldon Brown approaches to same.

Don't cold set the thing until you KNOW what's off. My only bike I know the complete history on pulled to the right from the day it came from the bike shop. I got used to it, but you can do better.

Mike J said...

A little cycling therapy never hurt anyone. Glad it worked for you.

Jon said...

Every Peugeot that I've ever had needed the fork straightened and aligned (cold set). It's no problem, safety-wise. If you take it far enough to comprpomise the integrity of the fork, it will be fairly obvious.

It is time consuming and fiddly, however. Well worth the effort, once you're done.

Check the front to back alignment, as well as vertical. Often, one dropout is forward of the other.

Once you have the fork straight, take it to a shop with dropout alignemtn tools and have them get the dropouts parallel. Otherwise, you risk breaking an axle.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Big Oak said...

Thanks Steve. I've checked out Rob van der Plas's book from the library before for other projects, but I didn't need to straighten a fork back then.

Thanks Jon for the advice. I'll try to attempt the straightening of the fork in the next two weeks and will blog about my experience.

I appreciate all of your help!