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Bike maintenance - John C. Kirk

Jul. 9th, 2009

01:47 am - Bike maintenance

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From:ext_5743
Date:July 9th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC)
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The point of the metal knob is that by partially unscrewing it you can sometimes make it fit better onto the valve. But it sounds to me like you're not pushing the pump far enough onto the valve. It is easier once the tyre is partly inflated.

Riding your bike with partially inflated tyres makes it much harder to ride, wears the tread off and eventually cracks the sidewalls. I've been there and done it!

It's usually worth getting a spare inner tube and either carrying it with you or leaving it at work. It's much easier to swap out a whole inner tube rather than repair a puncture at the side of the road. And then you can repair the old one at your leisure.
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From:ext_5743
Date:July 9th, 2009 10:53 am (UTC)
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Also, not sure how well this will work on a Brompton, but toe clips will massively improve your efficiency and improve your foot placement on the pedals. What you probably want are "half clips" which just go over your toe rather than having a strap that comes over the arch of the foot. They are easy to ride with and make a big difference: http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/productDetails.asp?productID=20972

Check that your pedals can take the clips first. Or ask your bike shop.
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From:johnckirk
Date:July 11th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
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I checked with the bike shop today, and unfortunately the Brompton can't take toe-clips, but I'll keep it in mind for my next bike.
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From:johnckirk
Date:July 9th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
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I think you're right about not pushing the pump far enough. I pumped the tyres about half-full, then my second attempt (before I left the flat) was a bit easier. However, the bike felt really weird when I started cycling, and I could hear a regular thumping sound, so I got off and pushed it to the nearest station. I pumped up the tyres again on the train, then again en route to work, so it was just about rideable but I could see the rear tyre "splodging" out to both sides of the wheel.

I borrowed a pump from someone else at work: this is the same basic design as mine, but a different brand, and I had more luck with that. I got the air in without it hissing, but I still lost a bit when I took it off (as with my own pump). It felt ok riding back this evening, so I'd say that I'm in roughly the same position that I was in yesterday evening before I had my bright idea of pumping the tyres.

As for a track pump, I think I would benefit from having one (or at least having access to one), but I can do without one for now, so I'll put that on my "wish list".

I agree with you about inner tubes; I used to have a few for my old bike, but I gave them away because they're too big for the Brompton, so I ought to get some smaller ones.

Regarding toe clips, I think the left pedal will be the tricky one, since that folds up against the side of the bike. However, I'll ask about that at the bike shop the next time I go in (hopefully Saturday).
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