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Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home Bits 'n Bolts from the Winter '02 Ask the Mechanic Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home 

By Andy "The Mechanic" Wallen

We borrow two noteworthy Q&A's from our resident handyman/advisor's most recent Ask the Mechanic column.

No Skidding = No Fun for Freestyle Rider

Andy,

I  have a Mongoose k.o. that has a gyro system. I tried everything but for some reason when ever I try to skid with it the brakes just keep rolling for about five feet and come to a stop. Is there anyway to tune the gyro system so it can make skid marks?

Thanks,
Ant

Ant,

At best, a gyro will not work as well as a direct routed cable, you know, a straight line being the shortest distance between two points and all, but there are a few things you can do.  Spare no expense on the cables.  If you can, get a teflon gyro set (I'm not sure, as I am intentionally ignorant and highly opinionated about these sorts of things; they should be outlawed or all burned up in a mass "freestyle is finally dead" funeral pyre; I thought, and truly hoped, that freestyle went out of style with 80's hair bands, but I guess I was wrong on both counts).  If you can't get teflon, use a thick oil to drip into all four cable housings, and use a lot of it.  Set the thing up right.  If you don't know how to do this, pay somebody who does.  Use the best brake shoes and only the best brake levers and brake calipers available.  Use an Odyssey brake line for the front brake, and make all cables as short and direct as possible.  Make sure that your rims are spankin' clean, even lightly sanded if needed.  Two hours and $50 invested in this project, and you may be able to actually stop, but probably the only skid marks you'll see will be in your shorts after someone opens a car door in front of you.

Andy

What's In a Frame Measurement?

Andy,

I was wondering what exactly is the measurement you refer to when you say a mountain bike is 18 or 20 inches? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time,
Randy

Randy,

Usually, the frame is measured from the center of the crank to the center of the top tube, but it is not uncommon to measure from the center of the crank  to the top of the top tube, or sometimes to the top of the seat tube cluster.  Some 18" frames are actually bigger than other 20" frames if you account for the variety of measurements that are used.

Andy

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