The Golden Wrench

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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shockspital movement

Just a heads-up that Shockspital World HQ is now based out of the Freewheel Bike West Bank location. We still have a lab at the beloved Midtown location (and out at Freewheel-Eden Prairie), but local walk-in customers are now encouraged to stop by the West Bank, where there is actually parking (for your car)!

Improved access is but one of the reasons we decided to shift things around. Easier shipping/receiving for the benefit of our mail-in customers is another. Stop by our new Lab to see the rest!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Headshok upgrade double-header!

Shockspital-West Bank got a pair of Headshok Fatty Ultra forks in the other day, so Troy (from WB) and Tyson (from Shockspital's Midtown HQ) teamed up to get 'em running like new.

Unfortunately, both dampers were damaged to the point that they would no longer hold oil, even with fresh seals. Lucky for us (and the customer!), Cannondale offers a damper exchange program (with certain restrictions) that makes replacing the entire damper a financially viable option. Here's the guts of the old DLR80 damper:

As is typical with this type of failure, damper oil had run down through the bearings and completely flushed out all the grease. In these cases we like to do a full service on the telescope to get everything clean before applying fresh grease. Here's the telescope all taken apart:

When the protective boot covering the telescope gets saturated with damper oil it tends to harden up and crack, so we replace that, as well:

Here you can see the needle bearing retainers covered in grease and ready for reassembly:

Here's Troy coaxing the race retaining clip back into place:

...and in goes the brand-new damper....

....and the knobs go back on and we're done!

Both forks now have an up-to-date DLR damper (with new one-year warranty) and smooth bearings. Like new. Nice!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Goodies from Park Tool (INF-1, CRP-2)

So what's the biggest difference between our shop here at Freewheel and the shop that you have set-up in your basement?  Most likely the following:

1) Less beer.
2) A collection of expert, professional mechanics.
3) Shop quality tools.

As mechanics tools are our lifeblood, having the proper well-made tools can make all the difference so whenever possible we avail ourselves of the best there is.  It is with this in mind that you can understand our - kid on Christmas morning - excitement when our friends across the river at Park Tool release their new catalog of goodies every year.  This year we managed to get our hands on a couple of new items that we are smitten with so we figured that we would share them with you.

Swivel Head: Silver-Presta, Black-Schrader
Park Tool Shop Inflator (INF-1) During the busy parts of spring and summer we fill tires with air constantly, which means there isn't a tool in the shop that gets used more often.  While it isn't the most glamorous tool having a good inflator in the shop can make or break your day so we are constantly in search of the best inflation tool on the planet.  While we have tried many, very few meet our needs or last long enough to be considered "Shop Quality", the INF-1 is here to change all that.  The usual failing point of inflators is when it takes a nose-dive from it's perch on the work stand and lands squarely on the pressure gauge.  While the inflator usually continues to fill tires after that, without knowing the pressure it is next to useless.  Another gripe with the majority of inflators out there is that you either have to make a choice between the presta and schrader head or you have to use an adapter both of which are a major drag.

Replaceable Parts.
The INF-1 is here to change all that.  With a solid body this thing truly feels like a tool that is going to last for a decade of shop abuse (and can double as a self-defense weapon).  It has a presta/schrader swivel head, so you only need one tool in your hand no matter the valve on the tire.  When you do manage to drop this thing on the face and shatter the gauge it is fully (and easily rebuild-able) and if you wreck the head, you can replace that too!  The only gripe that we have is that it takes it sweet time to fill-up a tire, but based on the (so far) decreased number of blow-outs, maybe this is saving us from ourselves.  If you have an air compressor at home and are looking for a major upgrade, look no further.  This is available today and runs $140.99.       

Park Tool Adjustable Crown Race Puller (CRP-2); As you can probably figure out from the name (CRP-2) this is Park Tool's second crack at a crown race puller.  While it is often overlooked the crown race puller is a very important tool in the shop.  In the days when many of us first started wrenching fork crowns were made of steel and crown races were robust so a razor blade, screwdriver flat blade and hammer was all that was needed to get an old crown race off.  But in the era of lightweight headsets and carbon fiber forks and steerer tubes, its has become a delicate process.  The CRP-2 is a great re-boot of the original CRP-1 and adds some much needed updates.  The first advantage of the CRP-2 is that they have moved from two adjustable pieces to three individual planks for the delicate task of getting between the crown race and the crown of the fork.  This allows for even distribution of pressure once the removal process begins.  The same tool works for 1”, 1-1/8”, 1-1/4” and 1.5 forks (suspension or rigid) and crown races with outside diameters up to 64mm and can handle steering columns up to 430mm.  Apparently the small tabs will wear out with time and will need replacement, but to be honest so did the tabs on the CRP-1 so it won't be too big of an adjustment.   
CRP-2 and Well Loved CRP-1 Side by Side.
These aren't available yet for purchase but are on track for mid-month availability so if you want one let us know and we can get it on order for you.  In the mean-time here are some pictures of it in use;

Fitting over the crown race.

CRP-2 and CRP-1

Fitting under the Crown Race


That's all for now! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Surly Rabbit Hole, Where Will It Fit?

Over the past two weeks our friends at Surly and QBP have begun shipping us all of the components required to build up a Surly Krampus (on a side note what do you call multiple Krampus bikes, Krampii, Krampusses?).  Once we managed to build up Krampus wheel using the Surly Rabbit Hole rim one of our first questions was - what else can we cram this awesome wheel into?

Here are some answers:

1) Surly Pugsley - Yes and hell yes.  This thing looks awesome in there and I imagine for those folks looking for summer wheels (and 29er) this would be a really good option (and we'd love to build them up for you this summer).

2) Salsa Mukluk - In the front, yes, in the rear, it depends.  If you have an older Mukluk (before this year) then it is a little bit tighter than we would like with clearance to the bottom bracket.  With the brand new Mukluk's sporting the alternator dropouts you can make it work if you set the alternators all the way to the back.  Also if you aren't running a 1 speed front - forget about using that granny ring.   

3) Surly Moonlander - Much to our disappointment, no.  While you can physically fit these into the wheel, the 28mm offset required for for Moonlander front and rear wheels, makes this a no-go.  Due to the width of the rim, building it with a 28mm offset would make it a little bit too flimsy with some horrible spoke angles to get it to work.  While I'm certain that someone will try this and get it to work, I will let them spend the money to test it our and end up with a ruined rim (and missing teeth).

4) Suspension forks (other then the Lefty) - Yes, there are 7,000 different  forks and we have seen them all, but I can't imagine one with a crown wide enough for this monster to fit into.

5) Lefty Fork - Yes, I know some people who would love to get that done for you.

Here are some pictures from the experimenting. 
Perfectly fit in a Pugsley

Rubbing on the Moonlander rear triangle.

Bad-ass Pug.
Rubs on the Moonlander fork.

Any Questions?