Bad Mechanics and Poor Maintenances of Cycles

For discussions within the Cycle Training profession.
pops

Postby pops » 1 Feb 2008, 9:37am

billynibbles wrote: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!



That is all scarily accurate. Those stunt BMX set ups should be clearly labelled not for road use as they are so rarely in working order - and I did some GoRide coaching at a school which had it's own bikes 3/4s of which had the cable pulled through on the front brake exactly as you describe - you've then got the dilemma of do you squeeze it back with a pair of plyers or not.

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DaveP
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Postby DaveP » 1 Feb 2008, 10:31pm

billynibbles wrote:"my dad checked it last night", no doubt spraying WD40 all over the rims in the process.


I thought I was the only one!
Went round to pick up sons friend for off road cycle trip. Dad had just fixed the squeaky brake... :shock:

keepontriking
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Postby keepontriking » 12 Feb 2008, 5:31pm

Today three of my five trainees had handlebar stems extended at least three inches beyond their safe limit.

On one you could even see the top of the expander bolt.
The young lad said his Dad had raised it, and added that Dad had promised him a new bike when he had outgrown this one :x

Just how much more growth adjustment the Dad thinks there is, beggars belief :(

keepontriking
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Postby keepontriking » 21 Feb 2008, 3:42pm

DaveP wrote: Dad had just fixed the squeaky brake... :shock:


More of the same today... groan :(

Lad turned up at the training course this morning with the front disc removed by dad - "coz it was making a noise".

And then... I noticed the forks were back to front too....

And there's more.
Mum says: "its a new bike it must be alright; there can't be anything wrong".
So I ask where was it bought?

"Toys'R'Us"

SCREEEEEEAM

matt.tucker

Postby matt.tucker » 22 Feb 2008, 10:10am

Hi.

I am a bike mechanic, and am shocked at how bad some of the bikes I see are. I completely agree there are some cowboy mechanics out there that shouldn't be doing their job! Supermarkets should be banned from selling bikes too.

Of course kids bikes are always worse, made in the same way as an adults, but treated a lot worse. If you can't rely on the local bike shop to do a good job, why don't you have mechanics going round with the trainers? If it is a matter of cost, then don't forget people pay to get the bikes serviced (20 quid for a safety set-up service at my place).

I am not an officially qualified mechanic, but have been doing it for the past 15 years on and off. I have worked in many bike shops, all over the world, and I'm afraid to say there are monkeys everywhere. The official training that the mechanics get makes them think they know it all, when in actual fact it doesn't teach you how to have a mechanical mind.

Anyone can pass a test - it doesn't mean they're any good.

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towedhaul
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adjustments

Postby towedhaul » 25 Feb 2008, 7:24pm

The NS says an accredited instructor should be capable of checking & adjusting a bike. You should be capable of adjusting brakes & gears & fit. Doesn't mean you'll have time to do it though :roll:

barogerl
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Cycle training

Postby barogerl » 13 Mar 2008, 5:23pm

I spent several years with both Richmon on Thames and Surrey Councils.I was apalled at mechanical state of the bikes. One gradually lost bits day by day, On test day it had no brakes at all and had been repainted three times inthe eeek.
On another, the machine had brake squeal, the father cured it- BY OILING THE RIMS!
Unlike all the other instructors I used to ride to the schools- practice what you teach should be compuilsory for all the instructors.
Sián Charlton

keepontriking
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Postby keepontriking » 4 Apr 2008, 10:15pm

billynibbles wrote: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!


Don't joke about it :(
Today a youngster turned up at cycle training with a brake lever attached by parcel tape.
I was assured "Dad had fixed it".
First time the brake was pulled up it all came away from the bars.

keepontriking
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Postby keepontriking » 4 Apr 2008, 10:15pm

billynibbles wrote: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!


Don't joke about it :(
Today a youngster turned up at cycle training with a brake lever attached by parcel tape.
I was assured "Dad had fixed it".
First time the brake was pulled up it all came away from the bars.

Kris Socha

Postby Kris Socha » 10 Apr 2008, 9:03am

Whilst working yesterday in Feltham I came across a bike with:
- no brakes
- chain too rust to move,
- both inner tubes punctured,
- both rims bent beyond repair,
- handlebars loose,
- saddle ripped,
- rear gears ripped off.
The bike had apparently been checked by a local shop.

As for the local Police, well... It's the capital of chav culture, Feltham.

Paul Power
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Postby Paul Power » 1 May 2008, 1:56pm

Kris Socha wrote:Whilst working yesterday in Feltham I came across a bike with:
- no brakes
- chain too rust to move,
- both inner tubes punctured,
- both rims bent beyond repair,
- handlebars loose,
- saddle ripped,
- rear gears ripped off.
The bike had apparently been checked by a local shop.

As for the local Police, well... It's the capital of chav culture, Feltham.


"The Bike had apparently been checked by a local shop"

Yeah right oh - and you believed him?

Paul

barogerl
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NationalStandard Cycle Training

Postby barogerl » 2 May 2008, 8:18pm

As a training instructor Ihave worked for both Richmond, Surrey and Surrey CC, I can easily adjust a bikes set up , but now in view of this "health and Safety" nonsense am not permitted to do it. You are instructed to pass the buck to Dad- who has probablynever ridden a bike before and has not the foggiest idea how to adjust the brakes, let alone saddle/ bar heights orthe gears. Parents jib at paying £20.00 for a bike service, yet happily spend £500 on the family car. They seem to forget that both can be lethal to user or bystander. As a cyclist with over 70 years riding behind me I am shocked.

keepontriking
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Re: NationalStandard Cycle Training

Postby keepontriking » 2 May 2008, 9:06pm

barogerl wrote:As a training instructor Ihave worked for both Richmond, Surrey and Surrey CC, I can easily adjust a bikes set up , but now in view of this "health and Safety" nonsense am not permitted to do it.


As an accredited National Standard instructor you can take out the CTC Cycle Activity provider Insurance.
This allows you to make those adjustments.

Do I assume you are not providing an NS course then?

barogerl
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National standard cycle training

Postby barogerl » 4 May 2008, 7:13pm

Thanks for that piece of information, I am no longer engaged in cycle training as my local council Waveny are just not interested in employing peopleof experience. However must make it clear, the"don't adjust or repair edict was the council ruling", this depite the fact that for several years I carrie don my ownbusiness in the servicing, repair and sales of tricycles, mainly those by the disabled.

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lauriematt
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Postby lauriematt » 25 May 2008, 3:49pm

Kris Socha wrote:Whilst working yesterday in Feltham I came across a bike with:
- no brakes
- chain too rust to move,
- both inner tubes punctured,
- both rims bent beyond repair,
- handlebars loose,
- saddle ripped,
- rear gears ripped off.
The bike had apparently been checked by a local shop.

As for the local Police, well... It's the capital of chav culture, Feltham.


so what do you do in a situation like this??

can you turn someone away??

if everybody turned up with naff bikes youd spend the whole of the session fixing bikes!!
WHAT DOESNT KILL YOU .... CAN ONLY MAKE YOU STRONGER