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Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home     Bike graphic linking to full selection of bicycling books.     Send your questions to bicycle expert Andy Wallen. (Cartoon image of Andy)Ask the Mechanic
Fall
1998                Sum 98 | Spr 98 | Winter 98 | Fall 97 | Spr/Sum 97 | Winter 97 | Fall 96

Stuck in gear and need expert advice? Ask Andy the Mechanic (a.k.a. Andy Wallen), the proprietor of Wheelcraft Bicycles of Wheeling, WV. (Please, no old bike & antique questions.) E-mail to ibike@bikexchange.com, subject "ask the mechanic," or mail your question directly to Ask the Mechanic, c/o Wheelcraft Bicycles, 2185 National Road, Wheeling, WV, USA 26003. Andy will e-mail your advice and we may post it afterward. Take a look at our back issues to find answers to all kinds of bike fix-it questions.

Read the Ask the Mechanic Disclaimer.

Fall 1998 Questions...

Andy,

I have a Trek with RX100 with 7-sp components on it. It has a triple chainring as well. I recently purchased RSX STI shifters for it. The rear shifts fine, but the front has been a real problem to set up. Have you come across this, and if so, do you have any suggestions? Thank you.

David Messina

David,

RSX shifters only work with top-swing front derailleurs. You need an RSX front der and everything should work, assuming your BB axle is the correct length.

Andy

Hey Andy,

I've got a question. I want to weld together my own frame but I'm having problem locating manufacturers who make tubing specifically for mountain bike frames. Help! I've contacted Reynolds but what about Tange, Columbus etc.? How can I get a phone number, email, web site? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris Allen

Chris

Try these numbers: 612-333-7771--Island cycle supply, Nova Cycles--916-624-6549. Hope this helps.

Andy

Andy,

Help!!! I hope you can help me or point me in the right direction. I have decided to purchase a new road bike and I'm not sure if the most expensive is necessarily the best for me. I have been looking at the DeRosa Primato, and the Fondriest Status.

I am 5' 11" and 200 pounds. I ride 5 days a week 20 to 25 mph. What I am concerned with is my weight versus frame flex and longevity. Bike shops who sell these frames tell me they don't see a problem, but they want to sell a bike! I know very little about the different types of steel, but I know I want to ride steel. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Randy

Randy,

I like the DeRosa. Weight is not an issue. You ought to look at an 853
frame for strength and economy.

Andy

Andy,

I would like to get into bicycle mechanics just for fun and to make a quick buck. Is there any online education on bike mechanics or what do you suggest?

Nestor I Rocha

You won't make quick buck or even a slow buck from bicycle anything. Off hand I don't know, however, Sutherlands may have an online service. You can call 510-547-3966.

Good luck,
Andy

Andy,

I ride a 20" freestyle bike, and I am constantly popping my rear innertube. I admit that this is probably due to the stress I put on my rear tire, but this is getting out of hand. I was wondering if there is a tube manufacturer who has any kind of warranty. I pop a tube approximately every 3 days, so even the shortest of warranties would work. 

Thanks,
Brian McCormick

There are no tube warranties which cover your kind of riding, however, you can use a wider rim. You should use a thornresist tube. Thicker tubes work better.

Andy

Andy,

I've got a fairly old Mavic rear hub that uses a thread on freewheel. The spindle/axle is originally spaced for a 6-sp freewheel, which I had on there. I upgraded to a 7-sp freewheel and now need to re-space the axle. However, the spindle is strange in that it is not threaded and the packing is held together by end clips. I tried asking around and have been told that I can't re-space the spindle nor retrofit it with a different spindle with the correct spacing. Is this true? All that would need to be done would be to move a spacer from the non-drive side to the drive side and re-dish the wheel, correct?

Many thanks,
Steve Lau
Calgary, Canada

Steve,

I recently bought an axle for 130mm spacing(7-sp) from Mavic so they must be available. My advice is go to your local Mavic dealer and order the part.

Andy

Andy,

My rear wheel is wobbling from side to side. I noticed this problem long ago and took it to my mechanic, but he could not find anything wrong with it. Well, recently it has gotten much worse and is now making clicking noises. I've thoroughly examined the outside of the bike and nothing appears wrong. The clicking noise seems to be coming from inside my rear rim. The rims I have on my bike are the Carbon Fiber tri-spoke Spin wheels. Do you by chance have any idea what might be causing this problem?

Thanks,
Jeff Tucker

Jeff,

Spin wheels don't have the best tolerances so you should expect a little wobble. The clicking could be a bad bearing.

Andy

Andy,

I own a '97 Specialized FSR Comp. The bike came with a Fox Vanilla Rx rear shock. One day, I accidentally touched a valve, then some oil came out from the shock. I think I need to service the shock, but I do not know how. Do you know how to service the shock? I was asking around, but no one seems to know how to service it.

I would send it back to Fox. Most shops are not equipped to do nitrogen
charging etc.

Andy

Andy,

Hi ...Found your page through Snap.com. I have a spoke wrench. Can you tell me the procedure for truing a rim?

Bob,

I recommend The Bicycle Wheel, by Jobst Brandt, and a truing stand

Andy

Andy,

I am having trouble finding an answer to a question I have about Shimano drivetrain parts (mainly because their website is down). I am looking to upgrade my rig with an XTR Rapidrise rear deraileur. I currently am using XT shifters. Will these two sets of components work together or do I need to also upgrade to a pricey set of m951 series XTR shifters to work especially with the Rapidrise. If I can use or modify my current shifters to do the job that could save me some cash...if not , that's just Shimano I guess. Hope you can help.

Cheers,
Cris Shiffler

Cris,

I think you can but XTR really works best if it's all XTR.

Andy

Andy,

I would like to buy a new Sachs 7-sp freewheel to use with a Shimano Ultegra 8-speed rear deraileur. A mechanic friend of mine mentioned that there are two colors of spacers for Sachs freewheels, black and brown. One color is Shimano-compatible and the other is Campagnolo-compatible.Which spacer color is Shimano-compatible and which is Campy-compatible?

Thank you,
Steve Cammarata

Steve,

All I know is that Sachs 8-spd freewheels are Campy compatible, 7-spd freewheels are Shimano compatible. Ultegra cassette hubs are not very expensive. It will be a lot easier to replace the hub then to start trying to buy any color of spacer.

Andy

Andy,

Saw your "Ask the mechanic" website. As of this morning, I am having a problem. I am riding a '97 Specialized Hard Rock Classic. This bike is almost two months old and gets 60-100 miles per week ridden. The bike has SRAM gripshifters and Shimano ACER-X derailuers. The bike has been recently degreased and lubed. The problem: Unless the deraileur is in one of its two smallest sprockets (6 and 7), it keeps trying to shift gears as I ride. It does not actually change gear, but it does kick the chain up and settle back down. The deraileur is not having any problems changing gears otherwise. I assume the cable needs adjustment, but wouldn't mind any words of wisdom you could throw my way. Thank you.

David Adams

David,

You probably need to have your cable adjusted. Check your chain for a kink or a pin pushed too far. You can do this by pedaling backwards and watching to see if the chain gets stuck in the jockey wheels.

Andy

Andy,

If I have a threaded head set can I change it to a threadless? Is there any advantages to either one? Also, I bought my bike used and it has ceramic wheels on it, but the break pads are for regular alloy wheels. Do I need to replace the pads and what's the difference?

Thanks for all the great information on the web site.

Mark

Mark,

You can easily change the headset and stem for around $50 and up, however you will need a new fork. The advantages of a threadless headset are reduced weight, stronger steertube, easier maintenance, and full compatibility with suspension forks. One caveat unless this is a 1-1/8 headtube, don't buy anything for it. Also, you must replace the brake pads because ceramic wears regular pads out too quickly.

Andy

Andy,

Hi. I was wondering how I can take off my crankarms an crank set. I already got the two screws off but it is stuck on the bottom bracket.

Simon

Simon,

You need a crank puller and don't try anything else.

Andy

Dear Sir,

I have a 1995 vintage mountain bike with a wobbly bottom bracket spindle. I have purchased a Shimano UN-72 BB and the necessary tools. Could you please give me directions/pointers on removal and replacement of said BB?

Thanks a Bunch,
Jay

Jay,

Just remember to remove the right cup clockwise and install counterclockwise. Tork to 400" lbs.

Andy

Hey Andy,

This isn't really a bicycle repair question but here goes. What is the difference between 6000 and 7000 series aluminum? Which is better (lighter, stronger, more durable, more affordable, etc.)?

The numbers designate presence of non-aluminum metals in the alloy. 6000 is generally preferred for its light weight and ductility. 7000 is popular because it is easier to weld and therefore cheaper to manufacture. The ride quality is not as good and 7000 frames are usually heavier.

Andy

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