Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Belt and Suspenders

A customer brought in an old Fuji hybrid he had recently purchased from a yard sale. He wanted only the most basic adjustments, of course.

When I attempted to remove the front wheel I discovered that someone at some time had moved the lock nuts from the inside of the fork -- locking the bearing cones -- to the outside of the fork, acting as axle nuts. Opening the quick release lever did not release the axle, although the misplaced lock nuts did not tighten adequately on the axle threads to secure the wheel without the help of the quick release cam. The creative nut placement also squeezed the fork down from its proper 100 millimeter inside width to about 94 mm. The bearing cones, improperly secured, were ground down tight against the ball bearings so the axle would barely turn. But the wheel was not going to fall out.

Some older or cheaper bikes have used the axle nut as a lock nut for the bearing cone from the outside of the fork, but usually with coarser threads and definitely on a solid axle. It sort of works for them.

Ever the obsessive-compulsive fixer, I put the lock nuts where they belonged and spread the fork to the correct width. Even a piece of crap should be the best piece of crap it can possibly be.


Steve A said...

The Fuji illustrates how even a nice pony can be used to plow fields...

cafiend said...

This Fuj was from their dark period of budget crap; probably around the time they were making folding bikes brand labeled for Marlboro cigarettes as a promo for people who smoked enough packs to put themselves in intensive care. One of life's ironies. Smoke yourself to death: win a bike.