The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Morningstar Lectric Lube Follow Up

I received a follow up report from the winner of the Morningstar Lectric Lube from the "Winterizing Stephen's Bike - Part 2, 2/17/09" blog.

Here is what he had to say after testing the Lectric Lube in his hubs;

"Hands down a better lube in the winter than the Phil Wood. I like Phil
and it's what I've always used in my hubs but even the tenacious oil in
a freehub body gets too sticky in the winter. The wheel was put on the
green machine and it has no delay. The problem I was having before was
that the pawls wouldn't "spring" into place due to the temp and the Phil
lube getting too thick (it's not fun to pedal forward and have your
freehub body not hook up..). At first I thought it was a little too thin
but ultimately it makes sense for the extreme temps we have. Definitely
worth it, especially if you ride in MN winters. _teej_"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Park Tool Digital Caliper Review

The Park Tool digital caliper has the unique ability to display measurements is fractions of inches as well as inches in decimals and mm in decimals. This picture shows the caliper measuring a Freehweel Bike logo at 1 1/2".

Cateye Headlight

This old Cateye headlight still works.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Servicing A Shimano Freehub

Do your pedals spin freely (without engaging the rear wheel) when it gets really cold? We have the solution: Morningstar 'Lectric Lube. This waterproof grease maintains its workable consistency down to -49 degrees F. Here's a quick overview of the winterization process for a Shimano freehub.

Remove the freehub body from the hub shell.

Remove the seal from the back side.

Remove the dust cap.

Install the Morningstar Freehub Buddy.

Purge the old grease out.

Decide if you want to try to replace the old dust cap or install a new Morningstar dust cap.

Install the dust cap.

Re-assemble the hub. Done.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Suspension Repair Bench

After 13 years and five different bike shops, Pete finally has a dedicated suspension repair bench. It's now complete with a rear shock dyno, a big tool box full of every suspension tool we need and all of the service parts are just around the corner. What can we say, business has been good.

Here Dave poses at the new suspension repair bench.

And just around the corner, we keep a bunch of service parts in stock to ensure quick turnaround on suspension repairs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fox factory suspension training

Early one Tuesday morning Nick, the Fox tech rep, came to Freewheel to give us some factory training.

The Freewheel mechanics gathered around Nick as they took in their coffee and donuts. From left to right, Chris, Nick, Tyson, Bryan, McChain, Dave, and Patrick. I'm not sure if Patrick blinked when I snapped this photo or if he was still sleeping:

Here, Nick shows us how to use the centering tool to reassemble the TALAS adjuster:

Everyone is listening for the faint noise that indicates that the TALAS adjuster knob is clocked properly:

After the training is over we all got free stuff!

And now you can get some free Fox stuff too! The first person to e-mail me at with the correct answer to the following question will win this very cool retro Fox hat (free shipping in MN only). What does the Fox acronym "TALAS" stand for?

We have a winner! Here's Matt lookin' sharp in his new Fox hat.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Employee Training Night - Suspension

The Freewheel Service Department team assembled for a late night of suspension training.

Tyson (in yellow) shows Phil how to disassemble a fox fork.

Here Graham inspects a Motion Control rebound damper shaft for scratches because this fork would not lock out.

Andy is using a torque wrench to tighten the top cap on this fork.

Karl is pretty excited about the new rear shock dyno.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting smarter

Pete, Dave and Tyson headed out earlier this week to visit the Hayes/Manitou crew in Milwaukee. The idea was to get some hands-on training from the guys who know more than just about anybody about Manitou suspension components and Hayes hydraulic brakes.

We spent a long day tearing into forks, shocks and brakes with one-on-one guidance from the mechanics who do this all day, every day. Hints and tips that otherwise would take years to discover were passed to us in 9 hours of intense tutorials. Raise your hand if you know how to use a nickel to set the fluid level in a Swinger shock. How about disassembling an IT spring without sending parts flying across the shop? These and other secrets made our trip more than worth it.

Here is Shannon (from Hayes/Manitou) leading Dave through a fork tear-down.

Here Colin (from Hayes/Manitou) guides Pete through the post-overhaul tests on a shock (it's nice to know that you put everything back together in the right order). We came home with one of those shock dynos, by the way. Just have to find some space on one of the benches to mount it...

Here Tyson uses a syringe that costs more than his bike to set the fluid level in an MRD fork.

Here Andy (from Hayes/Manitou) leads Dave and Tyson through caliper and master cylinder overhauls of the new Stroker series of brakes.

Here are the guts of the Hayes Stroker Ace four-piston brake caliper. That purple anodized bit is part of the special toolkit for that brake. (We managed to come home with those kits, too.)

Anyone have a truing stand at home? Not like this one, you don't (and I thought our Park TS-2's were heavy-duty!):

It's a little hard to tell what's going on in this next shot, but what you're seeing is a big spool of wire being turned into Wheelsmith spokes (which are also part of the Hayes family).

What else could we possibly cram into a 1.5-day trip to Milwaukee and back? Well, we do work at a bike shop, which pretty much requires us to ride bikes whenever we're not eating or sleeping, so went a little bit out of our way to find a bit of singletrack in the Kettle Moraine state forest outside Milwaukee. We tried to take pictures, but we were riding so fast they came out a little blurry...

What's the take-home message? We're working hard to widen our expertise and we're talking directly to the experts to do so. Next month we'll be hanging out with the folks from Fox Racing Shox. Stay tuned...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Repairing stripped crank arm extraction threads

What do you do when the crank arm extraction threads strip out?

Repair them with the Stein Crank Extractor System:

Install the cutter pilot into the bottom bracket spindle:

Put the oversized tap onto the pilot:

Cut new threads:

Install the special Stein self extracting cap:

Rotate the cank bolt counter clockwise to remove the crank arm:

Now the crank arm is re-usable and better than new for only $25: