Friday, October 24, 2008


That's right, howtofixbikes on Facebook is now a group. I've been a member of Facebook for a little while now and find that it is a great way to make contacts and share ideas. Hence the creation of the "HOWTOFIXBIKES.CA" group.

Come join us to share, rant, rave and post pictures of your ride with all the other readers of this bicycle repair blog. I hope to make this a true international bicycle exchange of ideas. The combination of this blog and the group should make for some interesting exchanges. Don't be shy and post your stuff, ask questions and have fun. I'll be there at least once a day to maintain the place and keep you posted on the latest here.

Come and join us today here: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/group.php?gid=49048827216

You can also contact me directly at: howtofixbikes@gmail.com

See you there soon, Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


First off, this technique is only good if you need to replace a rim. Also, it will only work of you are replacing the rim on your wheel with the same diameter rim. You won't be able to put a 26 inch rim on an old spoke and hub set up for a 700 bicycle wheel.

Now that we got that out of the way, on with the show.

For the benefit of this post, I will switch rims from alloy to steel for a cruiser project. What you need is your bicycle wheel, a replacement rim of the same diameter, spoke key wrench and some masking tape. Make sure that you are replacing your rim with a straight one. A bent rim will only provide you with more reasons to curse. You can easily check this by laying the rim on a flat surface and any bends will magically be revealed.

Next, take the new rim and tape it to the old one. Now you must match the two rims together. This means that the valve holes must be aligned with each other and the sides of the spokes as well, ie a left spoke hole matches a left spoke and a right spoke hole matches a right spoke, etc...

Now start removing the spokes from the old rim and transfer them to the new rim one at a time. Don't screw the spoke nipples tight on the new rim, we just need them to hold in place.

Once all the spokes have been transferred to the new rim, remove the tape and the old rim. Voila! You have just built a new bicycle wheel the lazy and easy way.

Take your newly rebuilt bicycle wheel and screw all the brass nipples until you can't see the thread on the spokes. If you know how to true a bike wheel, now is the time to put it in the stand and true it. Tension will be put in the wheel after this initial truing and you'll top it off with a final true after that. For those of you who can't, you can go to my article with a video on the subject listed at the bottom or you can bring in your wheel to your local bike shop for final truing. Hopefully you will save some bucks since they didn't have to build it for you.

How-to true a bicycle wheel video link

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Monday, October 13, 2008


Yes, yet another bike build is on the way. The good folks at ratrodbikes.com yelled "BIKE BUILD OFF" again and this time the theme is a Klunker bike. Klunker bikes were the genesis of the mountain bike back in the late 70's in Marin County California when a bunch of guys and gals decided to race old cruiser bikes downhill on a trail famously known as the Repack. It was called this because at the bottom of the hill, after every run, the coaster brake hubs had to be repacked with grease since they would smoke them out on the way down. The need for better brakes, multiple gears and the shrinking supply, not to talk about the limitations, of classic iron motivated the development of what we know today as the mountain bike.

I got my hands on this Klunker wannnabe from a friend for a mere $10 CDN. I had stashed it away for next season, but the build off requires me to get going now, so I figured I would take a chance and share with you guys at the same time. I plan on fixing this thing more than going for a full out rebuild and selling it on Craigslist as soon as possible.

What we have to work with here is not incredible. We are talking about a late 90's, chain store, klunker look alike. The diagnosis so far is grim. My main concern is the seized seat post. This problem could bring this project to an end if I can't pull it out. Thankfully it is a steel seat post inside a steel frame. Aluminum seat post in steel frames are a lot harder to get out when jammed. It will also require, at first glance, new brake calipers, cable and cable housings all around, shifters and pedals. That's for now until I put it on the workstand and do a more in debt autopsy of the beast.

So keep posted while I scrape my knuckles and curse myself to eternal damnation to finish this bike before Winter shows up it's true ugly face with a monster dump of snow. I'm sure it's going to be a blast.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Well, to the riding season anyways here in the snowbelt. It is possible to ride in the winter, but for those of us that actually did it, it's not as fun as a nice ride on a warm sunny day. For the past four days I've been hit by a nasty cold and within the daze of the sickness and medication, I have managed to reflect a bit about my riding season.

I came to the sad conclusion that I didn't take as many riding opportunities as I should have. Sure we had gray and misty days most of the summer, but I was in good shape and more than able to ride. It kinda reminds you that some people don't benefit from that privilege due to ailments or physical disabilities. We should all thank our lucky stars that we can ride and enjoy it to the fullest every chance we get.

Hopefully I will get better real soon and I swear to you that I will ride as often as I can until that white crap hits the ground. Sorry I couldn't write a how-to post, my brain is just floating in a gooyee fog this week folks. This cold is so nasty that the usual combination of Advil sinus and NyQuil knock out aren't as effective as usual. However, I did try something on the home remedy front. I made some chicken noodle soup and added a dash of hot sauce. This provides relief for a couple of hours.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :/