Bad Mechanics and Poor Maintenances of Cycles

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Philip Benstead
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Bad Mechanics and Poor Maintenances of Cycles

Postby Philip Benstead » 8 May 2007, 10:50am

Bad Mechanics and Poor Maintenances of Cycles

I have been appalled by the state of some of the cycles brought to children cyclist training,

For example:

Pedals put on the wrong way round, done by a bike shop.

Front V brakes cables twisted around steering column, you need to disconnect the cable to permits correct function.

Handlebars bar twisted 360 deg which cause the cable to be twist around the steering column.

Comment on your experience welcomed.
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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Postby nigel_s » 8 May 2007, 6:38pm

The "classic" that I had the displeasure to reject at a school course was a bike shaped object purchased from Asda the day before:

brakes adjusted so that blocks not anywhere near the rims at full extent of levers.

tyres flat.

wheelnuts not even finger tight

forks facing backwards

both wheels buckled

saddle loose

gears non-functioning

All this on just one brand new machine! And the parent complained about me rejecting his offspring's pride and joy that cost him the princely sum of £39.99. How dare I!

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Postby drossall » 9 May 2007, 11:27pm

My neighbours had two successive bikes assembled by Toys r Us with the forks the wrong way round.

There's a bike in the shed at work - it's not just that the stem is raised above the safety limit, half the expander nut (it's of the angled type) is showing!

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Postby hubgearfreak » 10 May 2007, 12:15am

drossall wrote:half the expander nut (it's of the angled type) is showing!

:shock: :shock: :shock:

i was at the 5-8 yr school the other week, collecting my baby from the childminder, and i saw a girl riding a bike whos forks/stem was 180 degrees off from each other :shock: . i did mention it to the mum, and compared her bike to mine, with the caliper at the front and also the the fact that the dropouts should be ahead of the steerer tube centre line. she understood perfectly....but that's how the shop built it :evil:

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Postby ianr1950 » 10 May 2007, 4:54pm

How can pedals be put on the wrong way round? One is left hand thread and you would have to be King Kong to get them put all the way on.

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Postby hubgearfreak » 10 May 2007, 7:43pm

ianr1950 wrote:How can pedals be put on the wrong way round? .

i wondered briefly about that..perhaps they've been fitted to the inner side of the cranks, and can only make 1/4 turn :lol:

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Postby meic » 11 May 2007, 12:14am

I've done it and it wasnt hard at all. I had a very cheap aluminium crankset and the pedals just wouldnt find a bite. I was convinced they were going in cross-threaded (which in a way they were!). When the pedals were in they were at a funny angle but I blamed the cranks for being poorly made. Despite this the pedals worked fine and I only realised my mistake after I removed the pedals and tried to fit them to a crank that I knew was good. I am no novice to the world of mechanics so I guess a novice could easily do it.

empty head

Postby empty head » 13 May 2007, 1:41pm

MY local Bike shop (a small chain of shops in the area) has kiddies in there putting the bikes together. Go in there after school and you'll see them pratting about. I'm not surprised things like this happen.

My brother bought a bike from the local Car parts shop and the bottom bracket had been forced in the wrong way, it failed within months...oddly enough.

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Postby towedhaul » 16 May 2007, 6:44pm

None of this is unusual. Put the bike right if you can. Teach the trainees to check their bike. They tell me if it's not right in subsequent lessons. Presumably they'll tell their parents too after the course. It all increases cycling and knowledge about bikes. That's what we do.

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Postby John Brady » 18 May 2007, 8:35pm

Yes, in the past week, while doing cycle training in primary schools, I have encountered three young people's cycles assembled with the forks 180 degrees (not 360!) out of place, leaving the forks back-to-front and the front brake working backwards! Two of these bikes appeared to be new, and from a major supplier (Halfords?). The worst case I have come across was a bike with the front V-brake deliberately disconnected by the child's father, so he could be sure his son would not go 'over the handlebars'.

There is a lot of educating needed!

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bikes not as designer intended

Postby Punk_shore » 26 Jan 2008, 10:27am

Hi concerned trainers,

Wouldn't it be nice if some of you got a voice on design/technical committees. For instance, why are forks made so that they can be set 180-degrees out of position relative to the handlebars?

Perhaps if one's local Police rode bicycles more, they would be more aware of the need for brakes etc. than some youngsters seem to be. I show my age by recalling a Policeperson stopping me for showing no back light at night.

We live in hope...
What is the colour(s) of your cycle?
Which of its benefits would you recommend?
Please lookup the Bicycle Renewal Programme, linked to the website button beneath "Santa's Little Helper" cartoon.

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Postby yakdiver » 26 Jan 2008, 12:34pm

just a note, but on some Pace forks the brake is on the back and not on the frontit was in the instructions and had to tell the guy in the bike shop just in case he didn't know as he was going to do the job for me at first he thought I was talking out of my bottom

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Postby georgew » 26 Jan 2008, 7:41pm

^^^ As is some models of Thorn bikes.


Postby pops » 30 Jan 2008, 5:41pm

ianr1950 wrote:How can pedals be put on the wrong way round? One is left hand thread and you would have to be King Kong to get them put all the way on.

Not really - it doesn't take much force at all - I've met people who have done it.

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Postby billynibbles » 1 Feb 2008, 8:18am

The one that sticks in my mind the most was the lad that turned up with a bike that his dad had tack-welded back together after coming apart at the crown. I suppose I should be impressed that he hadn't just soldered it or used gaffer tape!

The most common fault with potentially-disastrous implications is one we find on cheap unbranded V-Brakes - i.e the final swing link in which the cable nipple sits (don't know its real name) tends to spread, being soft alloy. It only takes one good emergency stop to pull the cable through completely, just when you needed it most.

If you really want to spend half the lesson sorting out bikes, there's nothing better than a BMX with a badly maintained 360-degree rotor-head - back brake in various states of disconnection and a front brake that Arnie Schwarzeneggar couldn't pull hard - gotta luv 'em (not)

Phrases to watch out for - "it must be OK, we only bought it yesterday", or "my dad checked it last night", no doubt spraying WD40 all over the rims in the process.

However, if they say 'my grandad checked it last night', that's usually alright!