An evening on Ebay meant by Wednesday it was like a Christmas with so many small packages coming arriving in the post. Following on from last week having put all the big bits together, it was now time to ‘do the wiring’:
- break cables
- gear cables
- handlebar grips
Tom wanted to help and the plan was do this first thing, so by 11:30 we had started. The day wasn’t looking promising and so we squeezed the bike stand within the undercover bit outside, we could just about work on it as long as we didn’t need pass each other. Fortunately, before we had got too far into things, the sun came out and we moved into the garden and more space.
We cleaned up and oiled the existing outer cables, starting with the front brake we cabled it all up and fitted the brake blocks. Quick and easy, we moved onto the rear brake, after which with so much quick success, we had a tea break.
I remember tweaking and playing with the rear gears in the days I was using this bike everyday for work, the pain it was to get the indexing working, and the lack of success. The tea break had been on purpose, I didn’t want to spoil the feel of success. We did the familiar oiling of cables and did the front mech first and then the rear. I gave the fear gears a test, going from highest to lowest and the indexing worked fine, until the derailleur hit the spokes, clearly going a little bit too far. I tweaked the adjustment screws, the indexing was fine and the stops on both the high and low were now perfect. Suddenly something that I had previously spent hours on and failed, worked first time. Maybe there is something about new cables all nicely oiled and new.
The front mech was a bit more of a pain. First it would not get onto the third ring and then it wouldn’t get onto the first. Moving the mech up a bit and turning it slightly and I did witness it working on all three rings at least twice. That was good enough for me.
We played with the saddle, putting it up quite a bit for Tom. We pumped the tires up, fitted reflectors. Put on the new handlebar grips, but they were a bit too long, so we put the old ones back on. It seemed it was time for a test ride.
Tom wanted a prop stand for his bike and having helped me for the day I thought it was a valid request. I packed my bike with some tools, just in case, and we set off. Tom on the Highway, and me on the Marin ebike, but with the e part fully switched off (it’s not a work day after all). I was very impressed that even with the weight of the motor and battery, pedaling with no ‘e’ assist was no problem at all but instead just felt like I was carrying a bit of luggage (but not too much). Mind you, I was only casually doing 10mph, when switched on I am casually doing 18mph with no effort instead.
Today was not a day for zooming to and from work, it was a ride with Tom who was more than happy with the bike, proudly riding ahead along the seafront. We headed towards Shoreham and the nearest Halfords, the wind was behind us and while it was still a little bit cold, the sun was out. We tweaked the brakes a little bit where the routing of the cable didn’t quite seem right for the rear, but that was all we did. Tom used the gears as needed and even remarked how the numbers on the shifter lined up with the actual gears (I’ve always told him they are not really meant to match, I don’t think he ever believed me).
Because I had bought tools, once we had bought the prop stand we were able to fit it straight away. Tom was very pleased again and didn’t even grumble as we turned towards home and felt the cold wind that had pushed us on the way. I opted to keep off the seafront and the worst of the wind and instead we went inland a bit to meet the old toll bridge and along the edge of the A27 on the cycle path.
A day of success. We got the bike back to running order, looking like new. Sure, the bottom bracket had not been replaced and really does need it, but short of a bit of angle grinder action it is not going to happen. At least it meant costs had been kept low, with everything costing around £15 – £20 in total for new parts, everything else had just been time and effort. It was good seeing Tom ride the bike which must not be forgotten had not only got me to work and back for years, good days and bad days, good weather and bad weather, but also from London to Brighton. The bike that had looked like it was ready for scrap having been abandoned (by me) for the last year and a half, now it looked brand new and Tom was very happy.