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Saturday, January 30, 2010

DIY V-brake Roller Chain Tensioner Completed! - Update

Here is an update on my November 2009 post on "DIY V-brake Roller Chain Tensioner Completed!". Basically, I have added a "cage" to the roller to ensure that the chain stays on. What I discovered while riding was that there is an enormous amount of pressure exerted on the roller chain and the tensioner's roller.

Whenever the wheel comes in contact with the wooden pallets or other surfaces, the chain gets shaken intensively. This causes the chain to come off the roller and slacked, which is a VERY dangerous situation.

And so, as added security, I attached a soft tin metal plate to wrap around the chain to ensure that the chain will not derail when under heavy pressure. See the following photos of the DIY roller cage.

Up to now, I have had zero incident, where the chain would come off the roller. Lets keep it that way eh? LOL. While I was taking photos of the roller cage to update this blog, I noticed that the nut (or spacer nut?) holding the gear cog in place was completely loose! Unbelievable!

I unscrewed the nut (or is it a spacer) to take a closer look at the gear cog. Believe me, I was thankful that I noticed this now instead of later. A disaster waiting to happen. I am definitely adding this to my safety checklist before riding any bike!

I removed the chain roller so that I could get at the gear cog.

With the chain out of the way, I could tighten the nut holding the gear cog in place.

I took out my "Bike Hand" bicycle tool set to look for a tool to tighten the nut.

Heck... none of the tool could be used... LOL.

In the end, this 20 years old spanner did the job!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is it Pedal Up or Bunny Hop?

I was back at learning the pedal up again last Sunday. This time, I added an additional pallet, bringing the stack to 4 wooden pallets. The previous Sunday, I was training on 3 wooden pallets.

This time I was pretty single-minded. I did nothing but the pedal up. At first, it was difficult to get on top of 4 pallets, but once I could get up the first time, it was easier after that.

Learning to "pedal up" onto 4 wooden pallets.

After a while, I realised that I could not pedal up and land on just the rear wheel. It felt more like a bunny hop... except that I "pedal up" into the bunny hop, instead of "rolling" into a bunny hop. Did I say that correctly? Hmm...

How the heck do those guys do it? Here is a video of Wong Xu to show exactly what I want to be able to do... LOL.

And here is a video from Trashzen:

While writing this post and watching the videos, I realised that I was going about it all wrong! I should not be learning to pedal up higher, but rather lower, to get the technique correct first. Yes... nail that rear wheel down first!

I think that's what I am going to do this coming weekend :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paper Pallets For BikeTrial Training?

Never thought I would be interested in pallets, let alone those that are made of paper, which I thought was pretty damn cool! I saw an advert on this blog that promoted this company called DeFrazer that made compress paper pallets. They have offices in Malaysia and Singapore.

DeFrazer manufactures the Green Pallets, which they described as:

"It is with economically light and high strength quality using recycle paper, glue, and staples (when it is necessary).In addition, the outer layer of GREEN PALLET is made of craft paper and test liner which prevents moisture penetration What is more, we can also include an element that made out GREEN PALLET water proofing. The weight of GREEN PALLET is at approximately 8 to 12 kg which means lighter than wooden (range from 20 to 40 kg), plastic (range from 12 to 45 kg), and metal (more than 50 kg) pallet."

On their web site, they even have a DIY section, where they showed how a Green Pallet can be assembled.

Now if only I can get my hands on a few of these and test them out with my bike. First thoughts are that the Green Pallet will not last. The fact that the bike will pedal scratch and abuse the pallet with constant hammering and knocking, will probably turn the pallet into paper pulps in a couple of weeks... LOL.

As of now, more than half of the wooden pallets I have, had been repaired numerous times. Some of them have been infected with fungus, slowly eating the wood inside out. With the constant rain, the deterioration just gets worse... :-(

I guess it's time to call up my friends in Kepong to reserve some really nice wooden pallets for me... LOL.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Sunday Afternoon Learning the Elusive Pedal Up

Last Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day. To me, a beautiful day is clear blue sky with partial cloud cover... LOL, but not the thunder storm-type of clouds. Just enough to provide more than an occasional shade from the Sun. In other words, it is a perfect day for BikeTrials!

I had not been training the pedal up for a long while now. My plan for that day was to get back to it. Up to now, the consistency in the pedal up is still elusive. The last time I trained the pedal up was back in September 2009.

And so that Sunday, I dedicated my time to the Pedal Up. This time, I up the ante a bit. I added another wooden pallet to make it 3 pallets high. But the wooden pallets kept shifting due to the enormous amount of pressure each time the rear wheel landed. So instead of just 3 pallets, I stacked up 8 pallets, 5 pallets at the back to support and prevent the pallets from moving. Check out the following video.


During the training, I discovered that there were two main things that affected my pedal up; the position of the hand brakes and the position of the handle bar. I will explain the details in a another blog post, but they sure affected my performance.

A Sunday afternoon of fun with BikeTrials.

It was a fun and satisfying afternoon. Looking forward to this coming weekend... LOL.

Related Post:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Video: How to Replace the Hydraulic Fluid with Water on the Magura HS33 Brakes

Finally, I managed to get the video done. Read what I wrote about "How to Replace the Hydraulic Fluid with Water on the Magura HS33 Brakes" in the previous post.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to Replace the Hydraulic Fluid with Water on the Magura HS33 Brakes

On the 2010 New Year eve, together with my son Joel, I went to Wong Xu's apartment in Puchong to get my Magura HS33 brakes' hydraulic fluid (mineral oil) replaced with water.

Wong Xu has been using water instead of mineral oil on his HS33 brakes for the longest time now. It seems water is a popular substitute for mineral oil for HS33 in China. But not all hydraulic brakes can use water instead of hydraulic fluids... this only works on the Magura HS33 brakes without any leakages... :-)

Wong Xu removing the HS33 brake lever from the handle.

The grip was stuck so tight that he had to use a chopper to cut open the grip... LOL.

After removing the whole set of brakes from the bike, he proceeded to remove the screws to drain out all the hydraulic fluid.

The hydraulic fluid, originally yellowish in colour, is now completely BLACK with dirt particles!

Using a washing basin, the complete brake set is submerged in soap water. Using the lever, the soap is sucked into the brake tubing and pumped out to cleaned the inside completely.

Joel watching and learning... LOL.

After rinsing the brakes thoroughly, water is pumped into the brakes and the opening screwed tightly to ensure no leakages.

The Magura HS33 brakes... now powered by H2O.

The exterior of the brakes are cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt.

The HS33 installed back on the bike.

15 days later, I have to replace the water in the brakes again. This is to ensure that all the dirt and grit inside the brake system are flushed out thoroughly. After that the brakes can be used for the next 6 months on a daily basis without any problem... I hope... LOL.

I will post up the How-to videos after I have finished uploading to Youtube.