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…

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…