Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Zest and the Art of Bycicle Maintenance

A couple weeks ago, I noticed the housing on my front shifter breaking. Eventually, a piece broke off, and I tried gluing it back together. Didn't work, but I could still shift by pushing the internal lever with what was left of the housing... 'till that broke apart and fell off.

That's one broken SRAM shifter. So today I went to my local bike co-op and purchased a replacement. A friend of mine said he could probably figure out how to install it, but he was busy tonight, and I was not.

The dude who sold me the replacement assured me that it was a simple process, and the new shifter came with installation instructions. After reading through the instructions three times, I got down to work.

First: remove the broken part.
Turns out I was in no way supposed to lubricate the bar, which I did in order to remove the static grip. Oops. After washing the bar with soap and water, I installed the new shifter. I can't say whether I tightened it with exactly 1.7 N-m of torque. I just went until the Allen wrench felt like it was starting to bend. (It was a very small wrench!)

Threading the cable correctly into derailer took two tries. I was thankful for my needle nose pliers with built in wire cutter - made it much easier to grip the wire, pulling it tight as I screwed down the derailer's clamp. I tested out my new shifters out on my trainer. Lookin' good.

I'm actually glad my friend wasn't available to help me tonight. Figuring it out for myself was way more empowering than having someone else show me how to do it. Now I bask in my accomplishment, enjoying a slice of the lemon tart I made from scratch the other day - including candying the lemon zest! Cheers, y'all.

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