Empty Days

Wednesday, September 08, 2004



Finally I have a workshop.

My parents cleaned my kitchen - thank you very much. As a result I now have a very well-lit room (my actual room has no ceiling lights) with a perfectly empty table on which I installed my bike in an upside-down position (it's convenient since I have a mirror fastened to the handlebars now and thus can't put the bike upside-down on the floor anymore without unscrewing the mirror every time - already did that on the road). This is ideal for truing wheels as it's right at eye level.

The wheel-truing is going ok. I smoothened out the worst wobble, now it's a matter of a lot of little turns here and there to achieve a certain... how would I say?... approximative roundness, heh. I want this bike to be less hard on me - when it's all crooked and skewed I am exorting much more pushing power than I should. Maybe I will change the chain too - it's so mucked up I marvel how it even runs through the derailleur :-0

I think the kitchen will serve as a bike-shop now. The primary advantage is that it has two ceiling lights and is thus very bright in the evening but also in the morning because of the big window. The food will be cooked closer to the sink and around the actual stove. All the other space will be reserved for bike repairs, heh. I have a makeshift bookcase there that's been empty ever since I sold all my old latin/greek books, so now it will hold tools and such.
I love this new idea because I've always been prevented from working on the bike at night due to insufficient lighting in the room. Nights is the best time because of better concentration, at least for me.

I still have to figure out how to raise the handlebars - or even how to turn them on the stem. The whole thing seems completely blocked no matter what parts I unscrew and loosen. Maybe there's is a blocking mechanism somewhere inside of which I am not aware - or there's been some corrosion and the stem-metal is firmly glued to the frame tube. So far I have no idea what's up with this.

Another big advantage of the kitchen now is that I can't see the former space of the tree from it. Thus - less depressing.

*

Heh, I am doing something wrong with the wheel - I wish I understood the principle better. Spokes are off-center on the rim and provide tension to each side plus stability by being criss-crossed. Ok. Now, to which side pulls each pair of criss-crossed spokes and how is this related to the diametrally opposed pair of spokes "upstairs" on the wheel? Blah. It shouldn't be that difficult - but it sure looks easier on paper than it is in reality. Curiously the wheel now seems slightly obliqued on the axle - but there's less wobbliness.

Hilarious.

*

Well, how can I avoid Sheldon Brown's site, heh. What's more I will probly need to read his article on wheel-building if I want to get a clue as to what I am doing to the poor wheel. Besides there seem to be some differences between rear and front wheels in spoke-tension due to the freewheel etc. Who knew. Quick "how to articles" don't mention that kind of thing. All in all I will probably ruin that rear-wheel completely by tomorrow morning. Heh.

*

Ok, Sheldon, I have a problem. You say:

If the rim is off to the left, tighten spokes that go to the right flange and loosen those that go to the left flange. If you do the same amount of tightening and loosening, you can move the rim to the side without affecting the roundness of the wheel.

But on my rear-wheel where the rim is particularly badly off to the right (yes), the so-called "opposite" spokes which is those that run from the left flange, are far tighter already than those from the right flange which are suspiciously loose. How the fuck am I gonna tighten them even more than they are already - and how am i gonna losen already very lose spokes on the other side?

Maybe I am just not getting it at all as yet :-0

*

It's interesting - I could have gone and asked all this questions of the mechanic with whom I had those philosophical conversations. But this is his trade and if I ask questions concerning his trade he will think I am trying to use him for practical purposes. I am pretty convinced of that. There is never such ridiculous touchiness with an amateur - where there is no cash involved, people share information much more readily. So in actuality I must actually avoid any bike-talk with the guy just because I come to talk to him in his bike-shop and not somewhere else. Hilarious situation :)





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