Friday 23 October 2009

Oddly Specific Instructions on Glue / Annoying Bike Noises

I recently bought some superglue and found the following instruction on it "Not suitable for sticking rear view mirrors to car windscreens". I suppose there could be a legal issue here since it would be dangerous if the mirror fell off whilst you were driving, but it seems so oddly specific. As a friend commented, "They might as well also put 'Unsuitable for Sticking Anvils To Ceilings".

And here's this week's contribution to cycling: Fixing Annoying Bike Noises.

1. Annoying squeaky noise coming from the brakes.
Two possible causes: a) Bike mechanism needs greasing. Simple – apply grease to the bolts on the brake mechanism WITHOUT getting any on the brake pads or wheel rims (wipe off if so). b) Problems with the brake pads. You need either new brake pads, to toe-in the brake pads, or to check the tension on the brake cables. Instructions for all can be found on the 'net.

2. Annoying rattly noise coming from the chain accompanied by difficulty shifting the gears.
One possible cause (there may be others I have yet to encounter): the gear cable is loose, usually on the rear derailleur. This is particularly likely to be the case if you twisted the cable barrel adjuster by mistake whilst removing the cable housing to grease the gear cable. Find the cable barrel on the derailleur (it’s a black ring where the cable goes into the derailleur mechanism) and tighten it, then try again. If the chain doesn’t rattle and the gears shift okay, you’ve fixed it. If it does still rattle, you may need to tune the gears, in which case a) find some online instructions (Google is your friend here), or b) talk to your friendly local bike mechanic.

3. Annoying rattly noise coming from somewhere on the bike you can’t identify.
Try greasing all the mechanical parts (brake mechanisms, gear shifters, chain) WITHOUT getting any on the brake pads or wheel rims (wipe off if so). Ride the bike again, see if this cures it. If not, go over it looking for loose bolts i.e. mudguard bolts, pannier bolts, and tighten them. Try again. If it’s still rattling, bike shop time.

4. Annoying rattly noise coming from the front gear derailleur
Two possible cause: a) the chain is being stretched too far over on the rear sprockets i.e. it’s on the smallest front chainring and the smallest rear sprocket, or vice versa, and is caused by the chain rubbing against the sides of the front derailleur. Fix by shifting the gears, usually by shifting the front derailleur (if you’ve got the chain on the smallest front chainring and smallest rear sprocket, you’re probably going fast enough to shift onto the middle front chainring). b) the chain has failed to shift from one front chainring to the next. Click the shifter back to the position for the original chainring, pedal as gently as you can and try again.

5. Annoying pingy noise coming from somewhere.
If you have a bike computer, lift the front wheel off the ground, spin it, and see if the pingy noise corresponds to the magnet on the wheel spoke brushing against the sensor. If so, push the sensor out very slightly, and check again (be sure you haven’t moved it so far out it doesn’t pick up from the magnet). If this doesn't fix it, your guess is as good as mine.

6. Annoying flicking sound coming from the wheels.
Stop and have a look at the forks / mudguard / pannier rack to see if there is anything stuck on them i.e. a dead leaf. Remove it, pedal off.

No comments:

Post a Comment