Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And I'm away...

Finally, heading off later today. I could do more stuff on the bike - but to impatient to get going. I never intended to stop here this long.

I'd like to say that I'm well organised, and everything is ready to just pedal off after breakfast this morning, but I'm not. This morning will be the quickly throw everything in to the Go-Getters. Fill the water bottles - not that much. Going to peel a few coconuts that are here - only thought of this last night. Say goodbye to family. Endure the usual - why don't you catch a bus/train/fly routine, etc.. I expect to get on the road by mid morning. Later than I'd like - but things to do.

Today is down as mostly fine - but all the forecasts have showers from tomorrow for further than I'll be travelling in the next few days.

The road ahead is pretty much all up hill. Heading up the Palmerston highway towards Ravenshoe. There will be detours on the way, so not expecting to get there super quick. Unless my detours don't exist. Yep - Google maps isn't 100% accurate. Telling my brother the back roads I was planning on taking yesterday - he let me know that they don't exist any more - bridges gone, roads fenced off, or plain no road to start with. Actually this last is true - looking about here Google maps shows roads that I know aren't there. But we'll see.

More updates from along the way...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just about done.

Just about finished building.  Did some riding in the rain (again). Slash guards worked well. Will keep them on. Much cleaner feet at the end of the day. Cleaner bike also.

Decided not to use cloth around the Go-Getters. That would involve a lot of sewing - edges and eyelet holes. Although I've a 5000m of thread. I don't want to wait about here to get all that done. In a moment of thinking - bought a small tarp. Cost less than $4. Promptly doubled its value by putting a few more eyelets around the edge. Its big enough to go over the rack, down the sides, and up a short way on the outside.  There is also a bit to cover the ends. I'm thinking to run a string through the eyelets and use some ocky straps across the top to hold it all together.  I haven't tried it with the bags yet (tomorrow), but it looks like it will do the job of keeping mud of them. I can also use it as a rain shelter when not riding. When I ordered the frame and got the Go-Getters, I did think about using a tarp then - kind of like the Xtracycle Freeloader bags. Wasn't sure, and the Go-Getters were a great price, and they are huge!!.  I like being able to open the top and dump Stuff in. Shut the lid and its  water proof. The Go-Getters are well thought out - with buckles, and bits of velcro in the right places to pin extra strap up off the road.

Also decided not to cover the chain any further. If I put a disk on the chain ring, there will only be a couple of inches of chain free at the rear cog.

Used a piece of water pipe found on the side of the road to stop the fork swinging right around and bashing the light. Its cut so that the wheel can be almost at right angles - something that shouldn't happen riding. The spring under neath keeps the wheel straight when the bike is on the center stand. Still having problems with that spring - the extra long hoses push the wheel slightly to the right - no much, but precludes hands off riding. Changing the location of the hoses helps - but will wait until I can shorten them before playing with the spring again.

Found a Red Bull can on the side of the road - used that to make some sleeves around the seal on the pedal. Red Bull cans are very thin. The join is is made like this:
           \  \

When squashed flat - its secure against popping open. Cause to take the pedals off - it has to be pulled off. Tins are common along the road side. Use scissors to cut.

The chain guard does a great job of keeping mud off the chain. All this would have ended up a grinding past on the chain.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Greasing Pedals made easy

Fitted grease nipples to the pedals today. Just before I started, I thought about another idea - just drill a small hole in the cap, and use a syringe to force grease in. A variation of this is what John describes here on his blog. I like the nipples with the ball bearing in the end - blocks water and dirt entry.

I've Shimano 324 pedals - SPD cleat one side, flat platform the other. I removed the cage around the pedals first. Drilled a hole in end cap 7.5mm wide. Used 8mm right angle grease nipple - and just screwed it into the hole. Refit the cage, and there is about 1mm gap between the cage and the nipple. When the grease is pushed in, the cap wants to pop off - but hits the cage 1mm later. I'm leaving it there. The whole job took less time then I've spent in the past trying to force grease into the pedal. Greasing the pedals is now soo much easier.

Added slash guards to the end of the mudguards. That bucket is coming in handy. Front guard, I'm not sure yet of the attachment - at the moment its hanging on with two bits of wire. Will see how it works riding before probably using cable ties.

Tried also to make a disk for the outside of the chain ring out of the remains of the bucket - but the curve of the bucket defeated me in the end. Need a flat piece of plastic. Still one piece of bucket left.

All the excitement yesterday on the Corflute - and decided today not to use it. The sign is thick, has more weight than I'd like, but mainly it will interfere with access to the hub. Instead of this, I'm thinking to get some nylon type fabric. This will not hold water, should be lighter than the Corflute, and let me be creative with where it is placed. By tying it on in a few places, I'll still be able to access the hub without having to undo bolts. The main aim of it is to reduce mud splashing onto the Go-Getter bags, so they're not as filthy when I take them into the tent at nights.

Made another 'h' spanner today and put a length of chain on the handle for a chain whip. Not 100% happy with the chain whip part. But used the two spanners to tighten the head-stem nuts - so proving that they work.

Action shot time:

Drilled hole in pedal after the cage is out of the way.

Blury picture of the grease nipple fitted. Didn't totally remove the cage - just the two outside bolts, and loosened the other two to swing it to the side. I left the nipple pointing slightly forward and is up towards the cleat side of the pedal. The cage is lower on that side. I wanted to use the platform side, but then there isn't much room to get the grease gun in.

Got enough grease in there now. If I can find a road racer tube, I want to see if it will go over the seal end of the pedal. That seal isn't the best on these pedals. Any help it can get would be good. Will hunt about for a length tomorrow when I visit the not so local bike shop. A thought I just had now, was to use a bit of coke can aluminium. Might try that first - coke cans are common, and means I don't have to take the pedal off.

Front splash guard showing its bucket origins. It can swing on its attachment point. Not sure yet if it will swing too much when riding at speed and be useless. If so, will weight it a bit. Also want to check if it will be a problem when going through pot holes. A piece of truck tube might be better here.

 Rear splash guard - not so obviously a bucket bit. My rear guard is just a bit short, and the light gets coated with mud. Not good. The splash guard should stop that. At the bottom is a piece of 19mm water pipe inserted in the end of the Mudo frame. It plugs the holes, and I have a vague idea of using it to attach a piece of  Corflute to - to extend the mud guard all the way down. I need to find a thinner sign first.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guess what I found?

Been busy - riding about, doing small jobs. After weeks of waiting for parts to arrive, now I'm rushing to get everything done. Still waiting on a few things, but expecting them next week.

Riding about because its fun, and to test out chain guard, and find what wants to work loose. I think the chain guard is a winner. Looking at the amount of mud/sand/water splashing on the outside and on my feet, the chain is as clean as when it went on.

I've been after some Corflute for a while. Haven't found anyone that sells it up here, but today, out riding I found some. A large sheet too! Today was windy. It was interesting riding home with this sheet - it alternated between anchor and sail modes. Most of the way was anchor :( Glad for the Yuba - was easy to tie it on the back - and pedal. Would have held it and rode one handed on the MTB. Go Yuba!!!

Also acquired a piece of aluminium (6x60x300mm) and spent time on the hacksaw and file. Made one spanner for the headset bolts. The reason for the 'h' shape, is that I want to have a thick handle on the other spanner to use as a chain whip. 3 tools from one bit of aluminium. With these tools, I can do all maintenance and repairs. A wide jaw 6" shifter opens wide enough to go over the bottom bracket socket. It will also work on the Rohloff sprocket nut, and all other nuts on the bike.

I've also found the right tension spring for the deflopilator.  Its not the length that was important - its the tension - enough to pull the fork to center, but still have enough stretch to let the forks turn as far as you need them to, without over stretching the spring.  Its on now, but will change the mount when I get a longer bolt.  I'm not keen on rusty bolts - so all the bolts that I'm responsible for are marine grade stainless steel socket heads.  Makes life easy - no rust, and Allen keys.  There are a couple of bolts with nuts on the end - the front mudguard and light mount is one.  New bolt is on order.

While wandering about the hardware shop for the spring, I found right angle grease nipples.  Going to fit these on the end of my pedals to lubricate the pedal bearings.  This will involve drilling a hole, and tapping the plastic cover that hides the nut at the end of the pedal axle.  One of tomorrows tasks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chain Guard - 2nd go

Chain is well covered now. From the chain ring to near the rear cog. The top tube does not rub on the chain or the cogs. The chain does rub on the bottom. Can't hear it from the saddle though.

Rode a few km on this trying to hit every puddle and mud spot I could find. So far its going okay. Going to hit some dirt roads tomorrow. Corrugations, clay soil, and with the rain up here, will be good an messy. A chance to see what is going to work loose, and if the chain guard really does that much for keeping the chain clean. It does keep the chain of long pants though.

Still tossing up if to mount a basket on the front, or not.

Tried a few more options for the deflopilator. Not really happy with that still. Its not the flopping that is the problem - its the light being hit. Getting a longer bolt to place a metal bracket around the light.

View looking down.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Longer ride

Clocked up 40km today - would have done more, but the bottom bracket was unwinding itself and of all the tools I took with me, I didn't take the crank puller and bottom bracket socket.

Found that I need something on the top chain run - to stop the chain bouncing off on big bumps.

The front wheel needs the deflopilator. Annoyingly the front light provides the stop at the moment. I don't want to break the light. Bought a spring - but found it was too stretchy when I mounted it.. Will return it Monday  and try the stiffer one that I discounted as being too stiff. I'll also add a bracket around the light, to stop it hitting the frame - if the fork does turn around.

The Go-Getter bag is great. It swallows everything - from a bucket, to lengths of pipe. I did mess up a few tight spots and scraped wide loaders or the bag. That will resolve itself as I get used to the extra length. Not surprisingly I found that I couldn't bunny hop.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Woo Hoo - riding

My quick ride the other day was as a single speed. Decided today to quickly fix the gear changer and work that Rohloff. In a common story, it took way longer than I thought it would. The cable outers for the gear changer ended up being 1870mm long. Easy to cut them - used side cutters and then filed them flat. The liners - scissors. Cutting the inners was hard. The two pairs of side cutters in the shed both didn't want to cut. They mushed and chewed. I thought about using a pair of scissors, but ended up using the grinder. It wasn't the best and I wished for proper cutters. I'm thinking to either buy a pair and carry them with me, or better yet, find a bike shop to precut some inners to the length I need. Arrggh - to do that I'd need to take the cables out and measure them. I don't know how much is inside the twist shifter. So, next time I have to change a cable - I'll try and remember to measure then, and then get them cut to length.

Sadly I had to put a side the nice thick tubed handle bar from Yuba. By the time the brake lever, shifter, and a small bit of grip went on, there was no space left for the bar ends. I did like the extra rise it gave. Used the old bar I had, but will look to replace it with a steel tube sometime. I through on the lights, and old mud guards, adjusted the seat height, and headed out for a longer ride.

The brakes are starting to feel better. The front ended up getting some washers between the fork and the caliper to space it out far enough to adjust correctly.  The rear by careful design by me (yeah right! - pull the other one.) was spot on - no spacers needed.  By the time the rear hose was routed, it was okay for length. The front hose is really too long. I'll wait until I'm at a shop to shorten it. I don't want to risk not having a brake here.

The Yuba cargo bag goes on well. I was going to keep the space look to the frame, but now I'll find something to place on the sides and wide loaders. I want to try and stop lots of mud hitting the bags as I'll end up unclipped them and carrying them into the tent.

First trip - to the post office to collect the mail. Picture above is outside the post office.

How does it ride on the road - really good. Lots of gears - though didn't need any of the low gears here. Need to find some hills to test that out.

After riding about for a bit, I then returned to the chain guard. I need to replace my grandmothers bucket tomorrow.  I cut the bottom off it and placed it over the crank. I cut to more slots out to enable the base to sit as flat as possible against the frame (See the photo below). Its held in with two cable ties. Ideally, the distance up from the bottom of the bucket would be the same all the way around, but because the bucket is a bit soft, it doesn't sit vertically. I put the crank on, and slowly cut bits off until it could turn freely. Just cut anything that hits the crank arm.

On the photo on the right, you can see the slots cut on the back, to help the base sit flat. Cut some slots for the chain and it was done.  Tomorrow I'll sort out the chain runs. Going to go look at poly tubing again.

The guard isn't finished yet. I want to place a disk (I didn't want to upset people by taking another bucket) over the outside of the crank - so there is less of a gap, and to help that bit more with keeping pants clean. I tried with some long slacks on, it does a good job of keeping pants from the chain as it is. The bucket should be cheap - a harder plastic bowl may be better. Now I have a template to start with. I'm still thinking of other options. See what occurs to me tomorrow. I'll be going on a longer ride to the local town. Will be about 30+km round trip. Thinking time, and see how the bucket holds up.
Heres another shot - it does look like it would do a wonderful job of keeping water/mud from the front wheel off the chain. Probably need to paint it - I'm not sure how long it would last in the sun otherwise.  Depending how long, and the cost of a bucket, it might stay the way it is.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chain Guard - first go.

Not really a lot happened to day. I hunted for some pipe for the chain guard, and mud guards. The large diameter pipe tents to be heavy because of the thicker walls. Didn't get that.

The chain guard - ended up trying electrical conduit. I wanted a tube over the top chain run, and the bottom.  Spent most of the day heating, bending, filing, assembling and disassembling the chain. I don't want the chain guard rubbing on the hub. With careful bending and filing - I did acheive that, and still had the tube bending in to enclose the chain. I think this was a waste of effort now. It took a long time, and really doesn't do that much for the guard.

The initial try had a bend on both ends. The conduit has some flex - but the problem was getting the chain linked up. I find it easier to link the chain on the chain ring. This didn't allow that.

I chopped the front off - and shortened the back. But not sure if I'm happy with it at the moment.

I experimented with using just floating pipes over the two chain runs. Thinking about doing that, and leaving the chain ring free. Also thinking of other ways to cover the chain ring up.

I have access to brazing gear and was going to add tabs on for the guard. But now, thinking to cable tied it on only until I'm sure. I'll sleep on it tonight and have another look tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Disk brake Mundo

It took a lot longer than I thought, but then I got the wheel back in and the disks are on. 160mm front, 190mm rear.

This morning was lots of assembling  and disassembling it all, checking with small spacers the amount of metal to add in. I had forgotten about the axle adapter I had on yesterday  - that was an extra 2mm. All up the wheel dropped down 7mm from the original dropout spot. I ended up getting a 14mm bolt, filing the grove for the 10mm axle, and brazing that in the dropout. Then a 4mm plate on the long part of the dropout slot at the rear to get the whole thing to 10mm.  Lots of filing today.

It works, but its still going to be a bit fiddly to change the wheel. The wheel will not just drop in or out. The axle plate on the Rohloff hits the chain stay tube when at the front of the dropout. With the 14mm dropouts, I didn't notice this as there is more room on both sides for it to all move about. With the dropouts being 10mm, its noticeable. If I put the 4mm on the opposite side (the front of the dropout slot) it would have been better. Putting the wheel in or out, there is some jiggling, and rotating the external gear mech and the OEM axle adaptor, before it all drops in (or out). I'm not about to change it now. I don't need to get the wheel on/off that often, and its not that hard to do.

I did have a moment of wondering if the 203mm disk would be a just bolt on. There is enough room for it. Decided not to try it - as I didn't want to wait more days for a rotor and adapter.  Also had a wonder if there was another size caliper adapter that I could have used instead. Anyway if at some time in the future I want to change it, the bits added in can all be ground out.

The chain - I wanted to have the chain tensioner pushing up, but it didn't work out. The chain hits on the wide loader. Down still works. Don't know how many links on the chain, and I'm not counting them. I'm running 39/16 cogs, with 165mm cranks. Ended up using a half link to get the length just right.

Just as I finished, it started raining - and hasn't stopped. So there was a very short ride in the liquid sunshine.. The brakes feel a bit spongy. Need to ride a bit more to see if that is a real problem, or just my perception of them. Both hoses are too long. The front has way too much hose. Not sure if this affects the brake feeling. Will check this out more when its not raining.

The weather encourages getting mudguards on next. They will not go on easily. Brake calipers are in the way. Can make up short adapters to fix this, but am also thinking about making up some wider guards. I running 1.35 tires on at the moment, at some point I might want to got bigger. I'd like to not have hassles with mud guards then. Going to go hunt about tomorrow and see whats available. Corflute would be handy right now.

I also will put a piece of tube over the chain runs - as I want to try and keep muck off the chain as much as possible. It will also help keep the  bottom run from slapping against the frame. Ideal would be fully enclosed chain running in oil, but that's to hard to do. But any covering has to help with keeping the chain clean. Certainly will help with keeping me clean. I have a piece of 13mm poly tube, but want to try with a larger size. Another thing for tomorrow.

Out of interest, I wondered what the load limit on the Rohloff is. Ended up sending Rohloff an email last night asking. The answer is; there isn't any - but you do have to honor the gearing limits they set. So I can pick up as much stuff as I want - long as I can pedal it. That works for me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Rotor arrives

The new rotor arrived today. Its actually the 190mm Magura option from Rohloff. As I guessed, it is a bit big for the caliper to bolt onto. Yuba recommending a 180mm for the rear. I think a 185 would be just spot on.

When I ordered the frame, I also I ordered the adapter from Yuba for the rear 180mm disk. Looking at it now, its way too small. The brakes arrived with two different size adapters - 1 small  (that almost matches the Yuba one),  and one larger - that works better on the rear. Better, but not perfect.

The image above has the caliper resting down onto the top of the rotor. This is with the axle adapters on the Rohloff hub, in the 14mm dropouts. At both ends its about 5mm to bolt flat to the adapter. (Its easier to see the gap on the front bolt.) This will sort its self out tomorrow when the dropouts get narrowed. I'll get some more metal at the bottom of each dropout - and the rotor will drop downward. I might also put some spacers between the adapter, and the caliper to fine tune the height - to get it just right.

I'm excited now - this is all stuff that can be done by me - so there is not more waiting for parts to arrive. Baring any unexpected developments, I should be able to have a ride tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brakes arrive

Finally the trip to the postoffice, saw me return with a large box. First thing was to fit the rear - as it was probably the one that was going to be the problem. Arrrg...It still is a problem :( The 160mm Rohloff rotor is too small (Well that or the disk mount is too high.) I had suspected that before, but was assured that it would all be fine.
Changing the adapter when I realised that I had two different sized ones, helped slightly, but not enough. Still too little disk rotor is under the pads. And still too much for me to "fix" by changes to the dropouts. Not happy. I could have ordered a larger rotor earlier, and not be sitting now waiting again.

*sighs* more waiting time. Need to order a larger rotor. Rohloff don't do a 180mm or 185mm any more, so its either 190mm or 203mm. Yuba recommended a 180mm Rotor, so I'm going to go with the 190mm.

So, more daily trips to the post office waiting for a larger rotor.

The front fits without any dramas. So I've one brake. Might fit up the chain and have bit of a ride about on the weekend.