Friday, October 17, 2014

Jigsaw puzzles and more

Do you like jigsaw puzzles? If so, the bike business may be just your thing.

Here are the pages showing derailleur hangers in the Quality  catalog.

Every time a bike comes in with a tweaked derailleur hanger we have to check it against the reference pictures, the way you consult the picture on the box when you're doing a jigsaw puzzle. As with jigsaw puzzles, we compare all angles, swoops, curves, cuts and protuberances to pick which one of several similar hangers will actually fit.

Disc brake pads are a less detailed jigsaw puzzle, but still important to get right.

The bike in front of me takes a Wheels Manufacturing  number 43. We have plastic tubs full of Wheels  Manufacturing  number 27, accumulated from Fujis that came with two in the box. The 27 looks somewhat like the 43, but not close enough to tempt improvisation.

Because most hangers are alloy, they often snap when you try to coax them back from what looks like a minor deviation. They're meant to fail to save the frame and possibly the derailleur. A wise off-road  rider should buy one or two spares ahead of time. I can't imagine too many shops bother to keep every style fully stocked.

Yesterday and the day before I spent bringing a 1991 Specialized Hardrock back from the dead.

Here's what I found inside the left shifter:

That's some kind of old bug nest. 

This thing was profoundly cruddy. It went well with everything else that was rusted to a lump.

 The derailleurs wouldn't even move. A day and a half of penetrating oil actually loosened them up. Hard to believe the bike functions, but it does. I was about ready to declare it dead when eyelids fluttered, metaphorically speaking.


Anonymous said...

Cool story about how some bike shops are run by idiots and about trigger shifters both.
Visiting a friend who had moved to florida, I decided to get their bikes ridable again. Walked to a large local bike shop, and bought some Boeshield. While there I saw a nice clean early 90s scott MBT in their used section. They were asking 125 bucks for it. Looked it over and the rear shifter cluster didn't work. Chewed the shop owner down to 100 over the bad shifter(he said it needed to be replaced). Sprayed some of the boeshield I had just bought into the shifter, whacked it a couple of times with the can, and it started shifting. I rode it out of the parking lot while the owner stood there getting all red in the face.

Now I wonder how many times they spray lube into stuff and beat on it in that shop...

cafiend said...

Excellent! And maybe you did leave them more knowledgeable than you found them.

Matt Boulanger said...

Could we start a shop where bikes that come in like that just get fitted with thumbies and returned to the owner?