Monday, December 27

Bikes are Like Old English Cars Only Different

There was a period when we drove English Cars, mostly Jaguars, every day. One thing about older Jaguars (and other makes as well) is that they silently communicate to each other, enticing all but one to break down and become non-mobile. You could own four or five and find that only one would run. Alfa Romeos seemed to have the same characteristic.

Old Jaguars are NOT Real Reliable! Ours Occasionally Broke Down
In that way, it seems my bikes have gotten infected as well. First, unaccountably, Frankenbike got a flat tire, just sitting around the house. That was compounded by a reluctance on its owner's part to chop down the retention band on the Minoura Besso light holder. Not real hard to fix, but it requires a decision.

Next, for unknown reasons, the road bike's rear brake cable got sticky. That's an easy item to fix, but the road bike's rear cable will work well for the front canti brake on Buddy, which I haven't installed yet.

Third, Buddy displayed a little attitude (as if bikes could do such a thing) last weekend. The night before the ramble, I tried pumping up its front tire. No joy - psss. I had to put a new tube in (this was the tire that I busted the presta stem on a while back). Everything else seemed fine, including the new rear canti brake once I added a couple of extra washers to compensate for the brake difference.

I tried patching a tube that'd picked up a largish hole previously when it failed due to a rim strip break, but that didn't work. As a result, I put in a new tube. Everything seemed fine. A little sloppy, I didn't feel like cleaning the chain the night before the ramble, so I added lubricant without cleaning. Yes, it's not a good practice but it is better than riding with a dry chain. It's an "ABC Cheat."

SKS Fender Snapped for No Apparent Reason
On the ride, the chickens figuratively came home to roost. First, for reasons not determined, the SKS rear fender snapped on the way out. I'd hoped they would last longer than nine months. Then, the rear tire went flat on the way back. As I removed the tire, Doohickie wryly observed my chain could use a little cleaning. Thanks!

ON THE OTHER HAND, bikes may break, but unlike Jaguars, they're a lot quicker and easier to fix. Heck, for the price of a tuneup, you can even get a whole NEW bike.

Buddy, With Half a Fender and No Air in the Rear Tire


limom said...

I wanted to comment about that fender, but I don't quite know what to say.

Big Oak said...

Bike problems are like a harmonic divergence. Plan for an event for a long time, then as it arrives, everything goes to hell.

Plan as you will, here's nothing you can do about it. Well, that's my experience in such matters.

Maybe a clean chain and new tubes / tires might help. My SKS fender bit the dust after a year or so. Nothing you can do about that.

Pondero said...

I've been planning to do some "preventative maintenance" over the winter, but who knows? Maybe I'll just wait until I have a storm of failures. I'm really glad I have more than one bike. I can usually keep at least one reasonably operational.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Another good reason to have several bikes. I've seen some fenders get totaled by rather modest sticks spinning up/into/through them. Is that what happened with yours?

Apertome said...

Yikes. Fenders do break. Wonder what happened with yours.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Austin Mini's. Now that's what I call a good English car.

Ed W said...

Sooooo, your bikes are leaving oil puddles on the floor?

Guy asks his heart surgeon, "Whaddaya mean my pacemaker's a Lucas?"

Seriously, Steve, I've never seen a fender break like that. Also, you should know by now to avoid ever mentioning fl@t t1res. It brings out the bike demons and gremlins. Not that I'm superstitious or anything.

Chandra said...

I have never broken a fender, knock on wood!
I am really surprised that your SKS Chromoplastic fender broke. Mine is still going strong 4+ years.

Any chance you can get the manufacturer to replace it as a defective?

Peace :)

cycler said...

I think it would take something really substantial to break one of my steel fenders, although my aluminum VO fenders got stress cracks and sheared off after about a year- very disappointing. If I had to put new fenders on a bike I would have to go with stainless ones- I don't think the others are worth the hassle..
BTW sorry I couldn't catch up with you- the Scientist's family live in the NE/ central Dallas area near White Rock Lake, and just looking at a map, North Tarrant county looked to be the opposite side of the metropolis. The Scientist and his dad were going to go bird watching up there somewhere, and I hoped we might meet up then, but he had a bad ear infection and it got cancelled.
Anyway, I'm missing the warm weather this morning as I walked to the T through the snow!

Chuck Davis said...

The Brits really tend to think out of the box when it come to mv's (for better, worse, indifferent or just for the hell of it)

Twini Minis (or anything John Cooper got his hand on was interesting)

Marcos and Morgans(three or four wheeled)

BRM H-16s

I think that Chaucer penned the shoppe manual for my BSA B50

RANTWICK said...

Wow, I would be angry if my SKS fenders broke after so short a time... while not freakishly expensive, they ain't cheap either.

The SKS fenders on my fixed commuter, which sees action daily when there is no snow, have been on there and abused fully without so much as a wimper for about 3 years now...

Chuck Davis said...

That fracture line on the fender looks to be very close to the forward "rivet" attaching the strut "fixture" thingy, the rivet hole might have "something" to do with it

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