So there’s a cool thing going around called DIY, or Do It Yourself. Bike D.I.Y. is also a thing. Let’s take an examination of things that folks think they can do themselves, generally.
- Washing the dishes. Loading the dishwasher is not how you wash dishes. That’s called punting. Here’s how you wash dishes by hand: https://youtu.be/woT1zf2Fke0
- Repair your trailer wheel bearings. Driving down the highway in front of me that guys wheel fell off his trailer. Trailer tipped and dragged. Sparks everywhere!
- Bike disc brakes: guy brings me his brake caliper in two halves, still drenched in hydraulic fluid. “I was replacing my brake pads!” This video from GCN: https://youtu.be/Lbi1HQMQIBo
There’s Youtube videos on all of this stuff. But DIY involves a serious amount of troubleshooting. Here’s a photo of what you can do sometimes:
Do you see a sheet metal screw in there? Yeah, this guy DIY’ed after losing his bleeder valve. This caliper is done.
Headset installation. Please tell me that looks correct.
I know I’ve posted this headset assembly picture before but man it’s a good one. Another example is the guy who came in with a 1.5″ tapered steer tube fork and wanted to install it on a bike with standard headtube. He’d read on the internet that all he needed was a “common bearing” from a bike shop to make it happen.
The bike is a $500 bike, with a straight headtube. The fork is a $600 unit with all the modern tech. Not only did he assume wrongly that I had the part he desired, which cannot say exits, he also thought he could simply adapt his 9mm standard QR axle to the new fork’s 15mm thru-axle system with end-caps. The axle of his hub is a threaded cup/cone assembly. Nothing about this idea was going to work.
The best part then was he returned two months later to accomplish the same task. It was like he’d forgotten. Another tech gave him the same information.
Just because you fixed your leaky sink doesn’t make you a true problem solver or bike mechanic. DIY all you want but don’t get upset when we have to put your stuff back together for hourly labor.
If you are not at all mechanically inclined or lack organizational skills in the smallest amount, don’t get into working on your bike. This bone head didn’t get this warning. The headset was taken apart and then reassembled in the “well, it looks like I got everything in there” method.
This is like dressing your child in the dark using towels because you can’t tell the difference between towels and clothes. Don’t do it.
The parts of a headset have a home and they look like they match and correspond with other parts. It’s a funny thing. Almost like matching up a lid with a container. But some brains cannot get this logic. And it ends up looking like a banana sitting on an apple, and presenting it as apple pie.
Here’s a drawing:
Notice how in the upper image the compression collar is 1. upside down and 2. underneath the upper bearing and 3. the bearing is also upside down.
Hopefully this helps you. And don’t over think it. If you do it will get messed up.
If you are thinking where my post about adjusting front derailleurs might be, it’s not. It’s not a thing anymore, well with mountain bikes. Road bikes will continue to use this antiquated technology until it finally arrives at the bitter end of a dark tunnel.
Step 1: Take your bike to your local bike shop.
If you are more persistent and have read on, then my instructions are below. You will find a video link attached in a few weeks.
- Make sure that the derailleur hanger is straight (if you don’t know what this is then repeat the above “step 1”)
- Disconnect the derailleur cable (for non-electric systems)
- Now dial in your high and low limits by physically pushing the derailleur to the low and high cogs; gently! Adjust your H and L screws so that the chain makes no strange or shifting sounds in those two cogs
- Back off all barrel adjusters associated with this system
- Attach your derailleur cable to the derailleur using the pinch bolt (gum or duct-tape attachments that work get a star) in the default (usually high) position (Hint: XTR, XT, XX1, X01 and similar derailleurs typically like a little cable slack, maybe 2mm from the tight position at the pinch bolt)
- Begin shifting while pedaling the system
- Make necessary barrel adjustments to adjust tension on the cable if the shift isn’t quite right
- Listen to each gear as the chain rides over it; no sounds should emanate that aren’t simply the normal chain and cog interface
I promise a video to explain all this and make it easier to follow. But for now if you’re desperate then just take it to a shop and pay the $15 to get it done right.