Archive for the ‘Maintenance’ Category


Dahon Puncture!

Saturday October 22, 2011

Took the Dahon out today as I was spending the morning out and didn’t want (or need) to take the car.  The trusty bike was a great ride as always and the 3.5 mile round trip was very nice on a cold autumn morning.

Back home and the Dahon was placed in the hallway and left whilst I had a coffee.  Shortly after, the rear tyre was completely flat and the bike leaning to one side.  Hmm, a damn puncture.  Will need to take a look at that, but not today…


Gerber Sport Multi Tool – UK streel legal?

Sunday July 3, 2011

I’ve had my Gerber Sport multi tool for a long time (bought from  These days it’s with me when I’m out taking photographs and I have carried it on me when out cycling too.  However, reading the letter of the law, it’s illegal to carry this multi tool in public due to it’s locking blade.

Today I removed the blade from the tool so that I could confidently carry it whilst out and about without fear that I was carrying an illegal blade.  I don’t use the blade that often so it’s removal isn’t too annoying.  The pliers and screwdrivers are the useful bits on the tool and now they can come with me everywhere.

To remove the blade, you just loosen and remove the bolt/pivot at the base of the blade.  Then you can pull the pivot out and the blade and two screwdrivers fall out – take note of the orientation of the bits at the pivot before attempting this!  I then replaced the blade (on the pivot) with two 1mm washers and put the bolt back on.  Perfect.  The tool still functions as in its original configuration but I no longer have the illegal locking blade.  An easy and quick modification which can easily be reversed if needed.


Trek 4300 – March 2011 Upgrades

Saturday February 26, 2011

Upgrades or downgrades?  I’m planning on changing the quick-release skewers on my Trek 43oo to standard non-QR skewers.  This should make securing the bike much easier when out and about.  Now I realise that a determined thief could still nab the wheels but I don’t plan on leaving the bike for long periods anyway.  Even if I do, I can still loop the lock chain through the wheels.  Changing to non-QR skewers would make short term locking much easier (for example: nipping into the shop for five minutes).

I’m also looking to replace the quick-release seat post collar with a non-QR variety so I don’t have to lock that each time too.

I’m thinking of ordering the parts this weekend and then giving the bikes their spring service during the next couple of weeks (time permitting).


Pedro Tools

Thursday August 26, 2010

I stumbled across this tool whilst browsing the ‘Net earlier this week, it’s the Pedro Trixie.

Specifically designed for the fixed gear rider, the Pedro’s Trixie is the urban survival tool with all the right pieces to keep that fixie rolling.  Hardened tool steel give this tool a great feel and long lasting life.

  • 15mm box end wrench.
  • Lock ring hook.
  • 8,9,10mm box end wrenches.
  • 5mm hex.
  • Of course, a bottle opener.

And whilst looking at that, I found their Tülio seat post tool which replaces the QR fixing on your seat post – I thought that this was a great idea.

Tülio provides the functionality of a standard quick release mechanism while providing a multi-tool at the ready which includes eight of the most commonly used bicycle tools – 4,5,& 6mm hex wrenches, an emergency 8mm hex wrench, a No. 2 flat head screwdriver, a chain tool (single-speed -11 speed compatible) and a pair of spoke wrenches (3.23mm & 3.45mm).


Trek 4300 – Modified

Saturday March 6, 2010

Following on from the tyre post below, here’s the finished bike and a list of the upgrades.

  • Bioflex Ozone saddle
  • Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres (and Schwalbe inner tubes)
  • Topeak Super Tourist DX Rear Rack
  • Ergon GC2 grips

Larger photos of the modifications over on Flickr.

    Trek 4300 Modified


    Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres – Trek 4300

    Saturday March 6, 2010

    Tyre ComparisonWith a lot of miles forecast for 2010 I’ve set about modifying the Trek to make it better suited for on-road use.

    This doesn’t mean that I’m never going to take it off-road again, or that I’m regretting buying a mountain bike over a road bike, but I just need to be able to adapt the bike to the sort of cycling that I’m planning on doing.

    Having clocked up a few long rides on the stock bike, I thought that the best mod, and the first to tackle, would be to change the tyres.  Off came the standard knobbly ‘tractor’ tyres and on went a set of road-specific Schwalbe Marathon Plus.  I’d contacted they guys at Dotbike for some advice on an alternative tyre and they came back with some suggestions which included the Marathon Plus.  So, I placed my order (along with some other bits) and whilst there also bought some Schwalbe inner tubes to fit at the same time.

    Fitting the tyres was as straight-forward as any tyre fitting and they look pretty good on the bike, making it look more ‘road-worthy’ than with the stock tyres.  They’re 26×1.75 tyres which makes them a bit thinner than the tyres I removed, which were 26×2.25.

    The only thing I don’t particularly like with the Marathon Plus tyres is the 3M reflective strip on the sidewall.  I know that this is a pretty good safety feature, providing extra visibility at night, but I’d prefer the option to not have this feature – purely for aesthetic reasons.  But still, it’s probably best to have this feature on long rides when you’re not sure at what time you’ll be returning…

    I haven’t managed to get any miles on the new tyresTyre Width yet, maybe tomorrow, but a quick ride along the street showed them to be very smooth and comfortable.  The flatter tread and lower rolling resistance should improve comfort and speed on my long rides.

    Photos over on Flickr along with photos of the mods I’ve made (saddle, rear rack, grips).


    Dahon Bottom Bracket – Loose

    Monday June 8, 2009

    I think I’ve mentioned before, either here or over on the Dahon Forum, that my D7HG makes a ‘clunking sound’ when I pedal.  This has been happening more or less since I bought the bike but I finally worked out what it was last weekend when out cycling.

    I had initially thought that it was related to the internal workings of the Nexus hub and the drive mechanism ‘catching-up’ with itself as I pedalled.  I left it at that and just lived with it.  But then, as I cycled recently, I thought more about it and looked at the bike as I slowly cycled along the flat.  Then I realised that it was the bottom bracket – the piece where the pedals attach to/through the frame – it was not loose (see photo below).  Not sure if this was an original assembly issue, pre-sale check issue or it had just come loose.

    Anyway, I needed to tighten it up and didn’t have the right tool for the job so I headed to my new favourite bike site Dotbike for a BB lock ring tool.  Now the lock ring and bottom bracket are correctly secured and that should stop the clunking noise as I pedal.  I now need to get out and try  it, but that won’t be today.

    I also grabbed myself an Ice Tools Spoke Wrench.

    (Hmm, why do my bikes always look dirtier in photos than they do in the flesh?!)


    Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres – Dahon D7HG

    Sunday May 24, 2009

    As posted yesterday, I collected my Big Apples from the Post Office and my plan was to fit them this weekend.  The plan has been successfully completed and the Schwalbe Big Apples are now fitted to the Dahon D7HG.

    I purchased the tyres from online store Dotbike and they arrived ‘next day’ – although I was out so the Post Office held on to them until the weekend when I could get over to collect them.  It was the first time I’d used Dotbike and it was a smooth and speedy transaction so I’ll be using them again in the future.

    Schwalbe Big Apple - BIG AppleThe Big Apples (BA) are known as ‘balloon tyres’ which offer a softer, smoother ride and effectively absorb more of the road imperfections.

    The BAs are replacing the factory-fitted Kenda Kwest tyres on my D7HG.  Compared to the now fitted BAs, the Kwests look very narrow – the Kwests are 20 x 1.5″ and the BAs are 20 x 2.0″.  The BAs are far chunkier and really to enhance the look of the D7HG making the wheels look far more substantial.  Based on looks alone, the BAs are definitely worth the cash!

    Like the Kwests, the BAs have a 3M reflective strip on the sidewall which makes you stand out at night.  The BAs also have ‘Kevlar Guard’ which is designed to provide additional puncture resistance.

    Fitting the tyres was relatively easy.  The front wheel was the easiest to remove: unhook the brake cable, loosen the two axle nuts (with my new spanner) and pull the wheel off.  Then, using the Crankbrothers Speedlever, I removed the Kwest tyre.  After a quick visual check of the existing rim tape, I pushed the BA tyre onto the rim followed by the new Schwalbe inner tube.  Before pushing the tyre completely onto the rim, I pumped the tube up slightly to enable it to gain its shape – this was to minimise the risk of nipping the tube as I pushed the tyre on.  I didn’t use any tools to fit the new tyre, resorting to thumbs and fingers so as to not damage the new inner tube.  Once fitted I inflated to 60PSI and refitted the wheel to the bike.

    The removal of the rear wheel was going to be a little more complex and it was to be the first time I’d removed a wheel with a hub gear system. With this in mind I checked out the Dahon forum and other sites and collated the following information:

    Schwalbe Big Apple - Fitted on the DahonAll proved to be useful.  One thing that I noted was that I didn’t remove the chain from the pedal cog prior to trying to remove the wheel – if I had done, after loosening the axle bolts, then I’m sure that I would have removed the wheel quicker and ended up with less oil and grease on my hands.

    Having refitted both wheels, minor adjustments were required to prevent the new, fatter, tyres from rubbing on the Dahon’s mudguards.  The front adjustments involved a couple of screws and the rear mudguard was adjusted with a little bending and brute force.

    After all that it was time for a quick ride around outside to check that all was in order.  They definitely do make the ride more comfortable and they do change the handling of the bike, in a positive way.  I didn’t ride far so I haven’t really tested the tyres, that will be (hopefully) tomorrow’s task.

    So, tyres fitted.  They look great and really do improve the look of the bike.

    More photos on my Flickr account.

    Schwalbe Big Apple - Fitted

    Dahon D7HG and Schwalbe Big Apples


    CrankBrothers: Power Pump Alloy

    Saturday January 17, 2009

    As I was pumping up the tyres on my D7HG during the week, I began thinking that I could do with a new pump.  I’ve been using the Zorin pump which is in the bike’s seat post but I began thinking of pumps which have pressure gauges in-built which surely must make pumping the tyres an easier task.

    I went to Halfords thinking of buying one of the floor/foot pumps but ended up coming out with a CrankBrothers Power Pump Alloy.  With space an issue at ‘Dave HQ’, hence the reason for a Dahon, I thought that the floor pump would take up too much space so the £25 Power Pump Alloy seemed like a good decision with it measuring in at just over 9″ long and 173g in weight.

    The pump will inflate up to 130psi which is more than enough for the Dahon’s tyres.  The pressure gauge is a little under an inch in diameter and shows the pressure in both psi and BAR.  My quick tests against a mid-range digital pressure gauge showed that the readings from the pump’s gauge were accurate.

    The pump has a dual head which fits both Schrader and Presta valves.  Included in the pack is a plastic case/cover which fits snugly over the dual head and the pressure gauge, keeping the important bits safe from knocks and dirt.  The case also doubles as the mounting fixture should you wish to mount it to the frame of your bike.

    The pump works very well.  I deflated one of my tyres and then inflated as a test.  There’s a switch on the bottom of the pump which selects either ‘High Volume’ or ‘High Pressue’.  Starting out I used the high volume setting to get the most air into the tyre in the shortest time.  After a while, it became difficult to pump due to pressure now in the tyre, so it was time to quickly switch to the high pressure setting.  Now I could finish pumping and took the pressure up to 50psi.

    The build quality of the pump is very high and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.  I’m getting to like the CrankBrothers, they make some great kit!  (Previously purchased the Speed Lever for puncture repair.)  So, if you’re looking for a good quality, small bike pump then look no further!

    Update, 27th January: I’ve added some photos to Flickr of the pump to show some of the detail.


    Cateye H-34: Comes Loose

    Monday September 15, 2008

    Having fitted a Cateye H-34 bracket to the handlebar of my Dahon, I had expected it to stay put.  I went out for a ride over the weekend, around the three mile mark, and on the return I noticed that the H-34 bracket was loose and had slid to the end of the handlebar.

    The light wasn’t fitted at the time so I didn’t notice the problem until I started to push the bike alongside me as I walked.  It’s strange as I haven’t used the bike a great deal since fitting the bracket so it hasn’t been subjected to too much vibration and use. 

    Fortunately, the beauty of the H-34 bracket is that it’s simple to tighten back up – just a few twists of the wheel and it’s as good as new.

    I’m going to have to keep an eye on this…

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