Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finished Product

(for now)

The little b@st@rd$ in the middle of the handlebar gave me hell all the way until the wee hours of this morning. First I couldn't get any tension after I installed the one for the front brake, then realized that I needed a longer cable for the rear (a realization that only took 'til 5:27am Sunday morning to sink in). After managing to get some brake functionality... and losing it as I coasted into the ferry terminal... and precarious tip-toe-riding through the LES... I proceeded to the only bike shop in the LES that's open on Sunday (that I know of). After an initial condescension at my attempt, it was suggested that I try again with new cables (an additional $8 to go with the other $80*).

I eventually made it back to the abode and after a nap of epic proportions I started at it again. I got the front to work nigh on immediately. Now the rear refused to tension properly, meaning another all night/morning-er. Sometime around the arrival of this previous day's dawn I made the great-ape level realization that where the cable was positioned inside the top tube had an effect on the tension. I fiddled with that until it was worked sufficiently and went to wrap the bars.

Of course, in the glee of achieving working brakes (read: stupor), I neglected to 1) properly match the wrapping on both sides of the bar near the inlines, 2) forgot to go back and level the brake hoods with each other before wrapping. You may note that the inline levers aren't level either, that however is on purpose. They are actually a little too close to each other for the cable movement necessary. Just to give them a little space for the cables to flex, and angled them off a little. The rest is goof. I'm not completely happy with my job of it, but I'm very satisfied with the idea of wrapping the brake hoods; wish I'd done it last year.

Things I've learned about bikes this weekend:
  • messing with brake cables sucks; but I knew that already
  • if you've got your bike set up in any way out of the ordinary, make sure you let the bike know in advance to LEAVE IT THAT WAY; otherwise there'll be some surprise conventionality upon it's return
  • if you can change a shifter, you can do the $40-$60 bike shop tuneup yourself; eschew laziness and do it
  • if, like me you despise any one part of the process (truing, for example) or there's something that genuinely requires a special tool you don't have, take it in and have them do JUST that one thing
  • I want $40 of my $80 dollars* back...I'd chalk it up to not specifying, but I could've sworn I asked to be called before anything involving extra cost was involved...ask me before doing extra work! [growl*]
*although they did seem like a nice crew. and I do support the cause. perhaps it was due to the season rush. ..

oh, and at that other store, I left the bike in the condition it was in when I was grasping at straws, so I had to show her how it was set up when done "correctly", at which point the condescension left....mostly (wink).

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