My bike is cursed...

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
AAARGH!

So I was given a bike over the winter, didn't really get it out until two months ago, but really pleased I did. Am loving cycling - I'm using the bike to get to work in most weathers, and doing 10-15 miles most days whether I'm working or not.

But - since I was given my bike (originally a freebie given out by Liverpool Council last year, passed on to me after a period of neglect):

  • Puncture in front wheel - fixed
  • Front valve leaking - tube replaced
  • Whole bike generally wobbly & loose - serviced at LBS (who said it was a wonder it hadn't fallen apart)
  • Puncture in rear wheel - fixed
  • Chain broke - fixed by LBS
  • Rear bearings disintegrated taking hub with them & twisting wheel at same time - rear wheel replaced by LBS ("You know this is a piece of shoot, right?" he said kindly.)
  • Another puncture in rear wheel - fixed
  • Seat post won't stay at the height I want, keep slipping - adjust every other day (and about to ruin seatpost bolt entirely!)
  • Irritating rattle developed from loose screws holding mudguard to hub - tighten daily
  • Another puncture in the rear wheel - not fixed yet, don't have the heart
Two months, all that has happened in. Two months. I remember having bikes as a kid, and perhaps twice in 10 years I had a puncture.

I think the only explanation is that my bike is cursed... trouble is, I'm utterly utterly skint (not even getting benefits right now as being pushed from pillar to post) so replacing bike is out of the question. I simply can't replace it. So I just make sure that I've got a PRK, pump and change for the phone everywhere I go.

Edit: Just needed to vent...!
 

Spokesmann

Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...
Location
Plymouth, Devon
What sort of bike is it? Ive never had any trouble from all of my 30 and in some case 40+ year old machines.
 

raindog

er.....
Location
France
If it suffered neglect, then you were bound to have trouble with tyres/tubes/wheel bearings etc. Maybe it's not very good quality, or maybe, now your LBS has sorted it, you won't have any more trouble. Good luck with it, and enjoy the riding. And perhaps start saving up for a decent steed of your choice? :dry:
 

tongue_tied

New Member
Just a thought, if funds are really an issue it may be worth keeping an eye on Freecycle if anything else goes wrong, either for parts or a new bike. I have got rid of loads of unneeded things through the site, and found a few things that I've needed myself, and quite often see bikes offered on there in working order. Can certainly help if on a budget, or alternatively having a clearout! Almost got rid of everything I've doubled up on now...
 
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alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
It's a 2009 Richmond Optima Trekking bike (as here). Not really even in a position to start saving for my first "n+1" as it's pretty hand-to-mouth now (though not for long I'm sure... fingers crossed on job interview in 2 weeks!), but the Freecycle suggestion is a good 'un, I should re-subscribe to that.

The latest puncture was undetectable under water, so off to get a new tube tomorrow - that's still within budget, esp as my wife was given £25 in Halford's vouchers recently!
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Chrome steel seatpost eh?

How to stop it slipping.

Set it to where you want it. Mark round it with Tip-ex at the seat tube top.

Take it out and give it several clouts ( in the region that will be IN the frame clamp ) with the edge of a file, a big file, so there are many dinks.

When replacing it to the mark, spread the frame clamp with a screwdriver so the raised dinks don't score the frame clamp.

Tighten up and hey presto.
 
It is fairly easy to pinch a tube when fitting it; the tubes usually holds up for a while (to make you think that you fitted it properly) and then it goes down. There are good video tutorials on the web about cycle maintenance, but nothing beats actually being shown how to do it. In a city the size of Liverpool there must be cycle maintenance courses being run by various agencies, and a fair few of them are free. Ask at the library, cycle shops, cycling clubs, etc. until you find one.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Another puncture with a new tube usually means there's something left in the tyre.

Be careful feeling for it though, you can get cut and some sharp objects aren't nice.

Edit: Also check that there aren't sharp bits of spokes etc. coming through the rim tape.
 
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alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
Thanks all, some good tips there. I'll get the tyre & rim tape right off this evening & have a proper gander.

@xpc: Yes, a group called Cycling Solutions do bike maintenance courses at various levels, might be a good idea.
@brumjim: A track pump is on the wish list... but for some reason my wife thinks it's more important that we own an oven & a bed that doesn't wreck our backs, so it'll be a bit of a wait while we save up! Not sure that's the problem here, though, while I do use a cheapo track pump initially, I get the wheels up to pressure at the local garage.
@Jimbo: Great tip - and additionally, I legitimately get to beat the sh*t of out of my bike, thus relieving some of my frustration at the same time.
 
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alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
OK, maybe it's not the bike that's cursed, maybe it's me...

Took my wife's new mountain bike out yesterday, decided to do a quick 10-miler to get the heart pumping a bit. Of course left the tools & PRK at home since it's my bike that's the crappy one...

20 meters shy of the farthest point from home, huge puncture, air audibly gushing out. 1cm long arrowhead of glass sticking out of the tyre (must have been hidden in the fallen leaves etc from high winds previous day). Good thing I'm not a believer in the supernatural, or I'd be thinking some Higher Power wanted me to not cycle... that's four punctures in a month.
 

hulver

Fat bloke on a bike
Location
Sheffield
Not that this would have helped with the glass cut, but try pumping your tyres up a bit harder. That can often help with avoiding punctures from small things.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
+1

As for the rest, take a while watching the vids on bicycletutor.com - they're a very good intro to the wonderful (and money-saving) world of DIY.
 
Chrome steel seatpost eh?

How to stop it slipping.

Set it to where you want it. Mark round it with Tip-ex at the seat tube top.

Take it out and give it several clouts ( in the region that will be IN the frame clamp ) with the edge of a file, a big file, so there are many dinks.

When replacing it to the mark, spread the frame clamp with a screwdriver so the raised dinks don't score the frame clamp.

Tighten up and hey presto.



Jimbo, you are such a mechanically caring sort that I never, ever, thought I would hear you suggest giving any part of a bike a 'clout'.
Still, makes me believe that it may be necessary for a non slipping seatpost in this instance, or you wouldn't have said it!
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