Having hammered the hell out of my commuter bike over the past Winter and Spring, and currently being between projects, I decided it was time to attend to several persisting problems. I currently own 2 bikes, one of which is an expensive race bike which I am terrified of damaging by subjecting it to my bodging nature and which I am currently in the midst of covering many miles on. The other is a cheapo bike which I regularly ride to work and would be too ashamed to drag into the local bike shop for repair. I mostly just ride it and ignore all of the ingrained rust, dirt and technical problems. But every now and again I give it some much needed TLC.
Tonight’s project was replacing the brake callipers, brake cables and consequently the bar tape. The brake callipers were the original ones that came with the bike. Bog-standard Tektro brakes which have worked ok for something like 12,000 hilly miles. So I was entering unchartered territory in this mechanical mission.
The beauty of the bicycle is its simplicity – just a couple of hours giving it a go and following some instructions can massively increase your knowledge and understanding and give you the confidence to try more stuff. The side-effect can be the odd moment of doubt on a 40mph descent where you start wondering whether you remembered to tighten everything back up after you finished.
This evening’s project went very smoothly. I replaced and re-cabled the rear brake first. It was a little fiddly and took about an hour; but then I managed to do the front brake and cable in about 10 minutes which was evidence of the newly acquired skill.