Monday, September 29, 2014

More gems of design

A customer -- formerly a triathlete at a professional or near professional level -- brought in this used Trek something or other he found on line to replace his mid- 1990s Aegis. He just wanted a cassette and some quick release skewers for the spiffy carbon wheels he bought. Our leader suggested he should bring the bike so we could make sure there were no weird compatibility issues.

The wheels will work. But what I would take to be an expensive bike has some pretty cheesy details.

These plugs on the top tube press into threaded bosses spaced as if for a bottle cage. They don't seem likely to pop out, but they also do not exclude water. The widened bit that holds them into the bosses does not fill and protect the threads the way a properly greased bolt would.
Every set of bosses has the same cheesy plugs. But that turns out to be a minor concern. See below:
When you need to replace the rear brake cable you'll probably just buy a new bike. I love how the brake arms just disappear into the frame. The cap screws that secure the cover have sockets for dinky little hex wrenches, so they'll probably round right out when you try to break them loose after their long service on the bottom of the bike.
Furthermore, the problem of a few inadequately plugged little holes loses a lot of significance when you pull off this squishy plastic shrouding to reveal a good sized tunnel going into the frame. 

This shot shows the rusted fasteners inside the hollow stem through which the cables run down to the top tube. Nearly every bolt was corroded on this bike. It probably saw a lot of trainer use, bringing downpours of sweat.


greatpumpkin said...

I found those little plastic plugs in the bottle-cage holes on my 2009 Trice and 2008 Dahon. Seems the industry wants to save a little money, and make the customer pay for the screw.

cafiend said...

You always end up paying for the screw.

greatpumpkin said...

Pay or get paid, that's the way of the world...