There’s a mechanic in the house

hammer-1It’s amazing what you learn when someone with an in-depth knowledge of bikes observes what you’re riding.

My bike is pretty realistic, an On-One,  it’s nothing fancy or bling, like some of other bikes I’ve encountered around ST towers, but it’s served me well during my first year of riding. It’s taken some beatings and survived everything I’ve thrown at it so far – not that I’ve done anything overly crazy.

So generally, the noises that accompany my weekly ride are something I don’t pay much attention too. A bike’s supposed to make noise. Unless it sounds like a rocket launcher, I’m pretty oblivious to what’s happening.

I brought my bike here to ST towers last week and Ben had a quick fiddle with it. In a matter of seconds he noted a slight play in my fork – probably signalling my internal bushings are shot and one look at my rear wheel confirmed his thought that wear and tear are taking their toll – the bearings are wobbly and it follows a strange rotational path.

Both of these issues are things that I would never have noticed. I know nothing about how to alter / repair wheels and as for my forks – all I understand is that they go up and down.

Instantly, my blood pressure was rising as I was mentally calculating the repair / replacement cost.

It wasn’t all depressing news though. As well as noting the bikes faults, Ben made some other alterations – lowering the fork, adjusting the brake bite point, removing the spacers and lowering the handlebars and rotating them at the same time – whilst explaining what he was doing so I could have some type of comprehension.

When I first took my bike out afterwards, it felt like a foreign object. I was positioned differently, more over the handlebars than I would ever have been before and the bike had a different feel to it. Amazingly, I found that on downhill sections, I was able to control the bike better than before, as my front wheel had more purchase in the trail and my arms were less fatigued at the end of my local route than usual.

So, with a little bit of knowledge under me, I think I might fiddle around with the bike a little more to see if I can find the perfect position for me.

Hopefully I won’t destroy the bike too much…..

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