Monday, April 10, 2006

On the rim.

My bike was in the shop last week for some repairs. The gears had worn out, the crank, freewheel and chain were being replaced. This work was done at the new Iron City Bikes in Oakland, by the way. The technician pointed out a problem with my brakes. The pads were still ok but when I squeezed down on the lever, I used up almost all the slack in the cable of the side-pull brakes. I knew I had to do something about that but I didn't actually notice it until I was riding this weekend and the back brakes weren't working.

Only when I was at the hardware store buying some washers to take up some of that slack did I realize why this problem was happening in the first place. Last year, one of my rims broke and when the techs at TRM replaced my rims they did so with slightly narrower ones. Most of my riding is on trails and road so having slightly narrower rims and tires on my hybrid isn't a big deal but my brakes were designed for rims of a certain width and changing the one means I now have to adjust the other.

I should have insisted on rims of the same width but the rim was broken and they didn't have the identical size in stock so I had little choice but to get what they had. Thankfully, adjusting the brakes to work with the new rim width was a simple matter of adding some 1/4 inch washers.

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