Stripping off parts, buying some things

So I got a chance to take out the wrenches last Sunday and started on the bike.  Off came the shifters, the front derailleurs, then it gets hard.

I needed to replace the chain, to do that you need a chain tool – which I don’t have as my old cheap one broke years ago.

Then I tried to take off the right crank arm, it’s a catered crank so it should be easy.  Just take off the nut and gently tap out the pin.  But the nut wouldn’t loosen, it just seems to spin. Not sure what’s going on there, I need to use a proper crescent wrench so I can see what I’m doing instead of the socket wrench.

As it turns out I didn’t need to pull the crank off to get at the chainring, there’s enough space on the ring to remove it with the crank and peddle still attached. So loosen off the small ring which attaches to the big ring, then loosen the big ring off the crank spider. Then slip the big ring off and over the peddle, then do the same with the smaller ring.

Then it was a quick trip to MEC to buy a chain tool and a new chain. Take the old chain off (the new tool was much easier and worth the extra cost), take the rear derailleurs off and start lining things up. Here’s the tool (also my new toolbox knife from Lee Valley).


As you can see the chain tool is pretty substantial, more home use than part of a my carry around kit.

At this point I had some choices for gearing. I can put the chainring on the inside or outside of the spider. This would align with either the smallest rear cog (outside) or the middle cog (inside). I can use either the large 52 tooth chainring or the smaller 40 tooth chainring. I decided to go with the 52 tooth, middle cog option for now.

2014-06-01 16.00.10

At this point I should clarify, I’ve kept the rear hub, freewheel and cassette as is. It’s a cheap option that doesn’t have a lot of downside. Down the road I may replace the wheels and hubs or I may set up a two cog setup with shims and some cogs. But for now I’m going cheap for this part of the build.

The new chain went on with only one false start.  I set it in the drop outs so there’s some room to move the wheel back if I want to slip up a gear by moving the chain manually.

Next steps

  • Pump up the tires
  • Adjust the seat, it’s way too low and far forward. I can move it almost 2.5 inches back by just swinging the seat clamp.
  • New handlebars and grips

I’m holding off on the handlebars.  I want to play about on the bike to see if it will  fit me before investing too much into it. Right now I’m only out a chain costing $10, handlebars would be closer to $45.

Currently I’m looking at getting these porteur bar and making my own leather grips.


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