What Have You Fettled Today?


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Attempted to true the 27" front wheel on my Raleigh Royal, which was pretty bad when I got the bike. (to be fair, the seller was upfront about this - which no doubt contributed to the low sale price so I can't complain). I suspect the rim has taken a whack from a big pothole, or been kerbed, because I can only get it properly true with wildly variable spoke tensions. Rather than really push my luck, I've decided to tolerate a small amount of out-of-true in return for slightly more even spoke tensions. On the plus side, the roundness of the wheel is pretty good.
Swapped on a comfortable Selle Italia touring saddle that came from a £1 donor bike and spent some time on getting the fore-aft position right then adjusting the bar height and rotation so the bar tops are parallel with the ground. Running bare alloy bars ATM, as bar tape currently on order and not yet arrived. Also tweaked the downtube shifters to give them a bit more friction so it stays in whatever gear I've selected rather than changing by itself.


Über Member
Attempted to change rear derailleur cable yesterday on the commuter,turned out to be a failed effort after losing the liner and after a couple of hours,yes hours,I gave up.This is a job that usually takes 10 to 15 mins if the old cable hasn't frayed and wrapped itself around the shifter.Took the tube(underground)to work,allways good to remind myself now and again why I commute by bike.I got in from work this eve,pulled the new cable out and started again.No more than 5 mins later it was attached and working perfect,what I was at yesterday,I have no idea.


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Given the Ribble a clean ready for a full service tomorrow. Can’t let it go to LBS unclean can we ;)
I'm sure there's some logic to that somewhere.... I just can't seem to find it! :laugh:


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well for one it keeps the car clean , two I’ve not given it my normal all out clean just a quick clean so still something for them to do. Three I don’t work on a grotty bike so I don’t expect others to. Not to mention the next time I want something going I’m more likely to get done cheeper or for free.
Hardly any of the following strictly needed to be done, but I'm an inveterate fiddler and can't help myself.............
Fings wot I 'ave fettled on my new-to-me M5 M Racer.
  1. Moved the seat back as I am several inches taller than the previous owner.
  2. Fitted a Schwalbe Durano Raceguard 700c x 28 rear tyre.
  3. Swapped the Schwalbe front tyre (40mm wide from memory) for a Durano Raceguard 1.1"/28mm.
  4. Fitted flexible noodles to all brake and gear cables at the handlebar controls as the cables as-fitted had some awful tight-looking bends. Took the adjusters off the gear & brake levers/shifters as the brakes already had in-line adjusters and the gear-cables now have too, as the fitted adjusters were far too fiddly to use with the crowded M5 dashboard and my big mitts!
  5. Removed the boom, cleaned the very (very) slight amount of dirt/corrosion off the tube and refitted, adjusting it several cm out to suit my limbs.
  6. Fitted non-QR skewers for added security if leaving it in town. I always have a multi-tool with me with allen keys so it's no hardship. They've got nice red-anodised end cups, so I've decided that this will be the colour of all future fastenings if I can get them :smile:
Still to do;
  • Fit some extra links of chain to bring the rear mech arm back to a more sensible angle whilst accommodating the boom being further out for my limbs!
  • Make new, taller adjusters for the rear seat mount to raise the seat up to 23 degrees (maximum according to M5 I believe) from 19 degrees. This is recommended on most 'bent forums 'til you get used to riding them :smile: Already have the Delrin bar for this, just need to nab the lathe at work for an hour tonight/tomorrow.
  • Fit recently purchased full-length mudguards and to-be-delivered-tomorrow Topeak Master Adaptarack (disc).
  • Make high-rise front R.H. seat bracket to allow.......
  • .....fitting of twin idler under the seat. I'm sure chain tube works very well but it's offends my mechanical sensibilities :shy: Only time will tell if I needed to have bothered! :laugh:
  • Fit replacement anodised red stainless screws to various parts of the bike as I'm a tart :shy:
  • Move the existing bottle cage to behind the seat and fit the two cages taken off my DF at the now-vacant lower mount and it's mirror the other side, as they were bought specifically to work with the stainless water bottles I insist on using. The moved cage will hold the recent;y-purchased Zefal bottle cage-fitting placcy tool pod.
I'm getting into this whole 'bent fettling thing, as there seems to be fewer conventions about what you can/should/should not do, which suit an interfering type like me down to the ground :becool:


It's a puzzle ...
With the weather on the turn and the nights drawing in, I decided that I need to get my old Basso ready for turbo trainer action. It was getting clunky last winter - worn jockey wheels, worn rear mech etc. I had forgotten that the bike has semi-horizontal rear dropouts. I noticed today that they looked suitable for a singlespeed conversion. I have been getting on well with my Specialized singlespeed bike on the road and fancy similar simplicity for turbo use. I can vary the resistance on the turbo so I don't need gears on the Basso and it isn't needed for road use now so no point in keeping all the old worn parts on it. I took those off and gave the chain a superficial clean. The bike itself could do with a good clean but I wanted to get it on the work stand and try to see if I could singlespeed it without using a chain tensioner (or the old rear mech to do that job)...

It turns out with the worn chain I can just get it to work with the wheel axle at the front of the dropouts. I could really do with putting a half-link in the chain to be able to move the wheel back a bit, but I think I will get away with it for now. I'll buy a half-link soon.

It is nice and quiet with the chain going directly round the ring and sprocket, and no tensioner/derailleur involved. I may eventually decide to use the ss Basso on the road, and the Specialized (with its slightly noisy chain tensioner) on the turbo. I can sort that out later.

The little screws for the back of the dropouts are missing - the ones used to adjust how the rear axle sits in the dropouts. I have a vague memory of the frame having those when I bought it. I am a bit of a hoarder so they are probably in a tin or a drawer somewhere. I'll have a look tomorrow.

This is what the wheel looks like in the dropouts. With a half-link in the chain, I reckon the axle would move back nicely into that space. It is possible that a new chain would need 2 half-links (or leave one extra pair of links in the chain and swap for the half-link once the chain wore too much).

Basso singlespeeded.jpg

I'm sure there's some logic to that somewhere.... I just can't seem to find it! :laugh:
A mate of mine used to be a mechanic in a bike shop. They charged £25 extra for working on dirty bikes! (The reason being that they wouldn't work on dirty bikes, so they ended up cleaning them before working on them and charging for that.)
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