Chain drive fixed on Roadie

Had to put in a fair few hours maintenance this weekend. Drive chain on both bikes gave up the ghost. Totally my fault. I underestimated the deterioration the bikes had suffered over a year where they had each done over a thousand miles. Not during dry summer weekend rides but through all season weather in and out of the city most days. I hadn’t realised just how badly the chain had stretched and how badly the big chainrings in particular had worn. A lot of lessons learned this week. I managed to install everything myself on the roadie over the weekend. The only difficulty was removing the cassette lock ring which had corroded solid. At one point the missus was literally standing with her entire body weight on cassette removal tool while I held the chain whip in place. I gave up in the end and took it to Evans down the road. Unlike most outspoken cyclists I love Evans. Their staff are brilliant, they know their stuff, they will get me anything I want and most times price match too. They stuck it in a vice in their incredibly well equipped workshop, and had the corroded lock ring off in seconds. For free of course as they always do with something quick and simple for regular customers. I swapped the chain for a Shimano N-HG71  8 Speed chain which Halfords price matched to a bargain £6.14. I swapped the chainring like for like for a cheap Shimano Claris 50t. There was no 11-32t version of the Shimano HG-41 or HG-50 cassettes in Halfords, Evans or the local bike shops. I decided to try an SRAM PG 850 road cassette for the first time. I’ve got to say first impressions are good. Smooth changes this morning and it has the longer lasting chrome coating similar to the Shimano HG-50. Only thing wrong with the roadie now is the back brake. Replacement pads are already on order. The mountain bike is next. It is getting a new chain drive and a new wheel which should arrive soon. Have you had any positive experiences or disasters whilst installing your own cassette, chain and chainrings? Any experience of SRAM cassettes and components? If so let me know by commenting below…

New chain, cassette and chain rings.

Had a bit of a nightmare with both bikes on Friday. Several weeks ago I stupidly left my mountain bike unwashed for a fortnight. After riding it every day for a week on salted roads. I will never do it again. A lesson learnt the hard way. I was shocked at how badly my chain, cassette and chain ring were all corroded. The chain was so bad it was a complete write off. I was using dry lube and it looked like the dry lube had actually attracted the salt out of the splash and accelerated its corrosion properties. I bought a new chain this week and fitted it Thursday night. I used my mountain bike for my commute Friday morning and soon realised I wasn’t going to get away with changing just the chain. I had to return home as the chain constantly slipped off the old and corroded cassette. I took my adventure road bike instead which had also been giving me some slippage in the week. Its cheap chain drive components have needed replacing for months. I had stupidly and lazily ignored that fact. On my way home Friday night it finally gave up the ghost. I couldn’t even ride the bike and had to get my girlfriend to come pick me up. You can see from the photo above just how badly worn the big chain ring is compared to the smaller one. I always ride the big ring and never use the small one. I live in a flat region with very few hills. My next bike will definitely be a single chain ring for this reason and easier maintenance. I went to my local bike shop on Saturday morning and ordered new big chain rings for both bikes. I also purchased a new cassette on the mountain bike to replace the old corroded one. The chain rings will take a few days to arrive but for now luckily the mountain bike with its new chain, new cassette and lesser worn chain ring is rideable. It felt brand new this morning. I never realised until this week the importance of replacing the entire chain drive. Chain, cassette and chain ring instead of just individual singular parts. Its not the cheapest thing to replace all at once but its not the most expensive either. It is by far the best way to give your bike the feel of brand new efficiency. Have you had any good or bad experiences when it comes to your chain drive or replacing it. If so let me know by commenting below…

How do I stop noisy mudguards rattling?

Need ideas of a way to stop my my guards bracket rattling. I have SKS mud guards on my bike which Evans Cycles did a good job of installing for free when I bought my bike a few years ago. They have been excellent, especially during the last two winters. When I first saw them on the bike I was convinced they would come loose and not withstand the harsh conditions, only as they are so light and minimal. They have far exceeded my expectations and even survived knocks and crashes. However one slight niggle I have with them is this metal bracket which attaches them to the brake bridge on the seat stays. The bracket is never truly permanently attached the mud guard the mud guard instead just sits loosely on the bracket. Therefore the mudguard constantly rattles in the bracket which is quite annoying. Looking at the Evans website I can see that on the newer versions the bracket has been replaced with a permanently fixed bracket which won’t rattle. Any any simple and discreet ideas of how I could stop this bracket rattling? If so let me know by commenting below…

Bike lube I use in winter conditions.

I think I may have finally find the bike lube that works best for me. Over the past few years I have ridden over three thousand miles cycling to work and tested dozens of different bike lubes. Ranging from basic pound shop bike oils and wet lubes to the top selling brand ceramic dry lubes. Weather conditions, terrain and application know how can all be a factors but for overall general usage I have finally found the perfect bike lube. Best thing is, it is one of the cheapest too! Wilkos £2.49 All weather lube with Teflon surface protector. This excellent product has been by a mile the best performing, most consistent and easiest to use bike lube. I clean my chain as normal with the rest of my bike. Put my bike up against something or on its stand. Reverse the pedals to move the chain and drop the oil over the rollers of a dozen or so inches of the chain at a time, using a cloth underneath to catch excess and wipe along the chain. The oil does its job perfectly, dropping into the rollers and on to the pins where it cleanly and effectively lubricates for days. The lube does not seem to attract dust or mud from the road like most other wet and dry lubes that I have used and is not weakened or removed by the rain. I have been massively impressed by what is a relatively cheap product. I think some other retailers sell the exact same product just branded slightly differently. For example I think it is the same product as Decathlon’s £2.99 B’Twin Teflon All Weather Bike Oil. Have you used this product or have any other recommendations? If so let me know by commenting below…