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I feel accomplished so I wrote you a story.


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For some reason most of my adult life the tuning of a rear derailleur has been a skill that has eluded me.  I would like to think of myself as a reasonable intelligent person that has a pretty good understanding of mechanical workings and a fairly decent capacity to turn a screwdriver and or a wrench.

 

I knew how an RD worked, I could tune a front easily.  I just could not manage to get shifting dialed in.

 

Yesterday I watched a youtube video that some kid half my age working in a bike shop made.  It seemed to make sense to me.  I ventured out into the garage and changed the rear shifter cable on the new tandem.  (which in itself is a small task since it is a twist shift, my first time changing one of those).  Once I had a new cable on it I reset the limit screws (which were both WAY off).  I lined the RD up under the smallest cog.  I then tensioned the cable and fine tuned a little bit with the barrel adjuster.  Holy cow, it was shifting.  Well!  I set the limit on the top end so the chain was not thrown off the biggest cog and the jockey pulleys did not go into the spokes and before long I had adjusted the RD!  The old tandem was shifting like it was brand new.

 

The hardest part was shifting the gears.  Since I could not reach the shifter from my spot at the RD I had to enlist Griffin to shift when I told him to. 

 

With my new-found confidence I tackled the shrill on the front canti brakes.  I cleaned the rim well with alcohol. I roughed up the pads.  I adjusted the toe in.  I got the shrill to diminish considerably but under hard braking it was still there.  So I guess a trip to the LBS for brake pads is in order.  After all, it was just me on flat ground squeezing on the lever.  Once you got the combined weight of my wife and I together descending a hill it would be a different story so I want to make sure the brakes are up to snuff.  I will change out the rears as well. 

 

The tandem is pretty close to being able to accomplish it's intended goal of causing my wife and I to argue and bicker with each other.

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I like this story, it needs dogs and kittens though.

Sandy and Charlie stood at my feet while I did the repairs.  They sniffed each other's butts a few times as well.  Bootsy the cat did come over to the garage to check out the commotion but he acted like he didn't care much and kept walking around.  I never saw Flash the cat.  He must have been chasing mice.

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FIFY

As I finished the repairs a redhead in a catholic school girl outfit came walking up the drive.  She said she was so hot and asked if she could use my pool.  Without waiting for an answer she stripped down to her bikini and went to the back yard.  I was hesitant to include this part in the story because things like this never happen to me.  I'm just a normal guy...

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Keep searching YouTube for a video on adjusting cantilever or direct pull/vee-brakes.

I did, and I tried just about everything that I saw.  They are better this am, but still have a little shrill when you pull hard.  Nothing under standard braking.  The front pads look quite a bit newer than the rear.  I plan on just replacing all of the pads.  The rear brake really does nothing at all to help slow the bike.  I mean you can seriously hardly tell if it's on. 

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For some reason most of my adult life the tuning of a rear derailleur has been a skill that has eluded me.  I would like to think of myself as a reasonable intelligent person that has a pretty good understanding of mechanical workings and a fairly decent capacity to turn a screwdriver and or a wrench.

 

I knew how an RD worked, I could tune a front easily.  I just could not manage to get shifting dialed in.

 

Yesterday I watched a youtube video that some kid half my age working in a bike shop made.  It seemed to make sense to me.  I ventured out into the garage and changed the rear shifter cable on the new tandem.  (which in itself is a small task since it is a twist shift, my first time changing one of those).  Once I had a new cable on it I reset the limit screws (which were both WAY off).  I lined the RD up under the smallest cog.  I then tensioned the cable and fine tuned a little bit with the barrel adjuster.  Holy cow, it was shifting.  Well!  I set the limit on the top end so the chain was not thrown off the biggest cog and the jockey pulleys did not go into the spokes and before long I had adjusted the RD!  The old tandem was shifting like it was brand new.

 

The hardest part was shifting the gears.  Since I could not reach the shifter from my spot at the RD I had to enlist Griffin to shift when I told him to. 

 

With my new-found confidence I tackled the shrill on the front canti brakes.  I cleaned the rim well with alcohol. I roughed up the pads.  I adjusted the toe in.  I got the shrill to diminish considerably but under hard braking it was still there.  So I guess a trip to the LBS for brake pads is in order.  After all, it was just me on flat ground squeezing on the lever.  Once you got the combined weight of my wife and I together descending a hill it would be a different story so I want to make sure the brakes are up to snuff.  I will change out the rears as well. 

 

The tandem is pretty close to being able to accomplish it's intended goal of causing my wife and I to argue and bicker with each other.

 

Tandemonium!

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I must say that I am a little disappointed, especially in Bosox.  I was pretty certain that most of you all (especially Bosox) were going to berate me and try to make me cry for my lack of ability in the past to accomplish such a seemingly simple task.

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The rear brake really does nothing at all to help slow the bike. I mean you can seriously hardly tell if it's on.

that is why tandems use disc brakes.

Did you try toeing in the front of the brake pads? Wrap a small rubber band around the rear of the pad when adjusting the pad placement.

I recommend Kool-stop Dual Compound pads.
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I must say that I am a little disappointed, especially in Bosox.  I was pretty certain that most of you all (especially Bosox) were going to berate me and try to make me cry for my lack of ability in the past to accomplish such a seemingly simple task.

dude...I can use a pencil and a ruler and still not get a straight line.  WTH would I berate you for having my kind of skills?

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rear deraileurs are the devil, or close to it.  my least favorite thing to do.  

 

My favorite is repacking hubs. The feel of a newly repacked, well adjusted hub spinning in your hands is so rewarding.

 

I love to show kids how to do this at our work days at church (got one coming up in August!).  Take the wheel off.  Let them spin it.  Show them how to tear down, clean, repack, reasssemble and adjust.  Let them help.  

 

Then let them spin the wheel they just worked on and see their face light up!  

 

Headsets and bottom brackets are not as rewarding.

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rear deraileurs are the devil, or close to it.  my least favorite thing to do.  

 

My favorite is repacking hubs. The feel of a newly repacked, well adjusted hub spinning in your hands is so rewarding.

 

I love to show kids how to do this at our work days at church (got one coming up in August!).  Take the wheel off.  Let them spin it.  Show them how to tear down, clean, repack, reasssemble and adjust.  Let them help.  

 

Then let them spin the wheel they just worked on and see their face light up!  

 

Headsets and bottom brackets are not as rewarding.

I totally agree on hubs.  Bottom brackets are going to be next on my list.  I feel like I could do them but I need crank pullers and BB tools.  And of course I have several different styles so this means buying multiple tools. Boo.

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I must say that I am a little disappointed, especially in Bosox.  I was pretty certain that most of you all (especially Bosox) were going to berate me and try to make me cry for my lack of ability in the past to accomplish such a seemingly simple task.

I'm impressed that a murse could figure out how to shift the bike, never mind being able to do some repairs.

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I totally agree on hubs.  Bottom brackets are going to be next on my list.  I feel like I could do them but I need crank pullers and BB tools.  And of course I have several different styles so this means buying multiple tools. Boo.

I am not your Boo.  Just saying.

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I must say that I am a little disappointed, especially in Bosox.  I was pretty certain that most of you all (especially Bosox) were going to berate me and try to make me cry for my lack of ability in the past to accomplish such a seemingly simple task.

 

Bikes are tough, I can't set up front derailers, myself.  Rear are fine, front derailers mock me.

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Did you need a YouTube video to change the saddle? :rolleyes:

 

No, I got that one Ok.  And I was kidding about the shifting.  I was able to get that all on my own as well.

 

The brake pads are on, saddle is on and it is tuned and ready to ride. 

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