Author Topic: [LEL17] Mechanic's advices for the next LEL  (Read 10623 times)

redfalo

  • known as Olaf in the real world
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #75 on: August 22, 2017, 07:06:55 pm »
I think Alain talks a lot of sense. Moreover, the volunteer mechanics are  among the unsung heros of the LEL.

Here are some shots of Team BC at work:







I was particularly impressed by this level of preparation:





Moreover, I can back up the statement that STi levers are eating up gear cables like they are going out of fashion. After less than 5000k, the rear cable on my Mercian started to fray, 10 miles or so north of Thirsk on the way back. Beforehand, I had asked the shop that built be bike to check the cables and replace if necessary, and they thought that they were still ok. Oh well. At least I was carrying a spare and Colin at Thirsk replaced it within 20 min.



Relative to my experience on PBP 2015, this was a bit of an improvement. Back then, I only made it to Loudeac on the way out, before I had to get my gear cable changed (on 10 Speed 105).  :facepalm:



From now on, I'll replace the rear one every 4000 or so km.  :thumbsup:

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #76 on: August 22, 2017, 08:26:03 pm »
Having been a mechanic on [only] two LEL's, I'd be very happy to stick by a judgement based on those two enjoyable experiences :

So there we were waiting for the riders to come in at St Ives [first control], and I remember saying to Clive and his son Max, "see these early fast riders coming in now - they won't be coming anywhere near us. Know why? Because for them, it's an unnecessary waste of time, and they are not the sort of riders that mess about wasting time".

Course there are always exceptions and the unexpected unfurls - like the German chap whose dura-ace hub bust and vorspung's seat-post snapping - it's the nature of a mechanical vehicle with so many moving parts that are subject to wear. These things can happen. But generally speaking, faster, experienced riders do not piss about hanging around with bike mechanics. I know who the experienced AUKers are. And I don't see much of them. I see them come into the control, I see them eat and I see them leave.

Get further down the pecking order and it's a different story.....of ALL nationalities!!

Nice thing about LEL is that is requires no qualification. And that's an attractive platform for cyclists that want to have a crack at it, chance their arm and leap into the unknown. But that potential lack of experience can bring it's own problems for riders, and they're the ones that suffer because of it.

Personally I wouldn't necessarily change anything, but I would really emphasize on the web-site for 2021 all the points that have been made in this thread about spares etc. And stressing 'Look, it's up to you.... but if you come mechanically unprepared, you might have to wait ages to get anything fixed, the mechanic might be really busy if you suddenly need them, and you're going to be wasting your own valuable time - and time you most definitely have not got'.
Garry Broad

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #77 on: August 22, 2017, 08:43:02 pm »
As well as spokes, I would carry a spare seatbolt (if your frame has seat lugs).  These can snap without warning after happily doing their job for years, and then you have a big problem as the saddle plummets to top tube level and swings about so you can't even use it like a BMX rider.  It's not a viable spare for mechanics to keep because they come in a few different lengths.  I've had a couple go pop over the years.

I assume the mechanics can remove a Hyperglide cassette to change a RH rear wheel spoke but, if you have something obscure on the back, like a Shimano or 4-prong freewheel (singlespeeders?) it might be a good idea to take a remover that fits.  Unfortunately, they are never lightweight.

On the subject of whether a bike can be expected to run for 1400km without attention, of course it can - but you have some riders who don't pay enough attention to maintenance and others that go for light weight and speed at the expense of durability.  A full-on road race bike is really designed for a 100-150 mile day ride before the team mechanic gets his hands on it again.  Most of the time he'll just wipe it over and re-tape the bars, but it does get checked.
Never tell me the odds.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #78 on: August 23, 2017, 10:30:00 am »
As well as spokes, I would carry a spare seatbolt (if your frame has seat lugs).  These can snap without warning after happily doing their job for years,

<snip>
On the subject of whether a bike can be expected to run for 1400km without attention, of course it can - but you have some riders who don't pay enough attention to maintenance and others that go for light weight and speed at the expense of durability.
Statistically, with 1500 bikes covering those 1400km, a few are bound to have problems, even if well maintained. Your seatbolt is a good example, but there will be a few other failures on components whose mean-time-between-failures is 10,000km.

Of course it's still sensible to spec your bike to make these failures unlikely, and replace consumables fairly close to the off.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #79 on: August 23, 2017, 11:42:05 am »
There were times when I had an overwhelming urge to add the word "stash" to Alain's disgrams, with an arrow pointing to the end of the bars ;D
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #80 on: August 23, 2017, 02:25:36 pm »
The two rides aren't entirely equivalent:

LEL: bikes being ridden 1,400km since last opportunity for maintenance / mechanical checks

RLS: bikes being ridden 160km since last opportunity for maintenance / mechanical checks

I totally agree, and will add one point: LEL is 1400km, with a good part under rain and on roads full of dust/grit. Regarding this, I saw a clear difference between the bikes with full mudguards and all the others. Bikes with full mudguards were definitely cleaner, and less subject to all dirt-related problems: clogged chains and derailleurs, poorly working brakes, and stiff cables due to the dirt packing into the cable housings.

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #81 on: August 23, 2017, 02:33:54 pm »

[/quote]

I totally agree, and will add one point: LEL is 1400km, with a good part under rain and on roads full of dust/grit. Regarding this, I saw a clear difference between the bikes with full mudguards and all the others. Bikes with full mudguards were definitely cleaner, and less subject to all dirt-related problems: clogged chains and derailleurs, poorly working brakes, and stiff cables due to the dirt packing into the cable housings.
[/quote]

Function overcomes form every time, in the long haul 😀

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #82 on: August 23, 2017, 09:43:31 pm »
Received wisdom is that rim wear is higher with mudguards because the gritty water drips onto the wheel instead of being thrown off.  This may have been one of Jobst Brandt's theories, though, California not being a place where there is much practical experience of "fenders".

Were there any burst rims on LEL?  I would have expected a few unless everyone diligently measured the remaining thickness, or looked for the wear indicators, before the start.
Never tell me the odds.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #83 on: August 24, 2017, 12:46:21 am »
Rim wear is higher with mudguards because they make it a lot more pleasant to ride your bike when it's pish.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #84 on: August 24, 2017, 06:51:27 am »
Received wisdom is that rim wear is higher with mudguards because the gritty water drips onto the wheel instead of being thrown off.  This may have been one of Jobst Brandt's theories, though, California not being a place where there is much practical experience of "fenders".

I'm not sure about that.  The front mudguard actually protects the bottom bracket/chain/rear wheel area from the spray coming from the front wheel.

Were there any burst rims on LEL?  I would have expected a few unless everyone diligently measured the remaining thickness, or looked for the wear indicators, before the start.

I have seen none. My guess is that most modern wheels get destroyed by poor spoke tensioning, failed tiny bearings, or failed freewheel mechanism, long before the rim has any chance to burst.


redfalo

  • known as Olaf in the real world
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #85 on: August 24, 2017, 06:56:59 am »
Received wisdom is that rim wear is higher with mudguards because the gritty water drips onto the wheel instead of being thrown off.

I have to keep this in mind for my round-the-world DIY

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2017, 07:29:46 am »
Disc brakes remove the question of rim wear. What were the issues with them?

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #87 on: August 24, 2017, 08:09:02 am »
Rim wear is higher with mudguards because they make it a lot more pleasant to ride your bike when it's pish.
;D

Probably true in fact.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #88 on: August 24, 2017, 01:19:50 pm »
I have seen none. My guess is that most modern wheels get destroyed by poor spoke tensioning, failed tiny bearings, or failed freewheel mechanism, long before the rim has any chance to burst.

LEL finished off the wheel bearings in my Hope front wheel. It's in the LBS today getting new ones fitted.
Rims (Mavic Open) pro are still O.K .
It had done 2 X PBP , 5 x SR and a few other rides as well , so not complaining.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #89 on: August 24, 2017, 01:58:47 pm »
That's presumably the average AUK principle again.  The cyclists who tend to wear out rims have the sense to make sure they're not going to explode on LEL.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #90 on: August 24, 2017, 07:05:11 pm »
That's presumably the average AUK principle again.  The cyclists who tend to wear out rims have the sense to make sure they're not going to explode on LEL.

True - and if only we were also gifted with x-ray vision to be able to detect incipient failure of tiny bearings....
My freehub has had to go back to Hope to get the broken bits out  :(

grahamparks

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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #91 on: August 24, 2017, 07:29:16 pm »
True - and if only we were also gifted with x-ray vision to be able to detect incipient failure of tiny bearings....
My freehub has had to go back to Hope to get the broken bits out  :(

Isn't the "Made in UK" lettering on the outside?

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #92 on: August 25, 2017, 10:05:09 am »
That's presumably the average AUK principle again.  The cyclists who tend to wear out rims have the sense to make sure they're not going to explode on LEL.

True - and if only we were also gifted with x-ray vision to be able to detect incipient failure of tiny bearings....
My freehub has had to go back to Hope to get the broken bits out  :(

With Hope freehubs the noise,or lack of usually gives some indication of the condition of the pawls.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #93 on: August 25, 2017, 03:41:08 pm »
That's presumably the average AUK principle again.  The cyclists who tend to wear out rims have the sense to make sure they're not going to explode on LEL.

True - and if only we were also gifted with x-ray vision to be able to detect incipient failure of tiny bearings....
My freehub has had to go back to Hope to get the broken bits out  :(

Er, I am not a bike whisperer by any measure but to see if the bearings are good or bad you don't need to disassemble a freehub

Remove the wheel, remove the skewer and hold the hollow axle then rotate the wheel as if pedalling.  It should feel silky smooth.  If there is any roughness replace the bearings.

Accessing if the pawls (the bit that does the freewheel) are working is different for different makes but basically Hope/Campag should be noisey when free wheeling - quietness is usually bad.  On Shimano the first sign of pawl problems is a lack of immediate enguagement.  Again, if you notice this get the hub serviced.  On Shimano usually the easiest thing to do is completely replace the freehub body.
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Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #94 on: August 26, 2017, 09:12:11 pm »
Were there any burst rims on LEL?  I would have expected a few unless everyone diligently measured the remaining thickness, or looked for the wear indicators, before the start.

Yes, there was one at Louth northbound, rider had a bust spoke and adjacent spoke had started to pull through the rim so it was toast, rider took a new wheel.

idiotboy

  • idiotboy
Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #95 on: August 30, 2017, 08:42:18 pm »
 I was one of those riders who needed your help at Brampton.
After having endured a lot of rain of my way south ,I needed to lube my chain. I was totally knackered from the strong winds etc..I asked for some lube, and to add insult , asked the mechanic if he wouldn't mind applying it!     I could see that despite being tired , he checked himself (and telling me to piss off)  adeptly applied the oil, describing the process as he applied it ( I must say that I learnt a few tips!).
An example/inspiration of exemplary public service, Many thanks

Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #96 on: September 01, 2017, 12:22:04 am »
Er, I am not a bike whisperer by any measure but to see if the bearings are good or bad you don't need to disassemble a freehub
Absolutely.
Remove the wheel, remove the skewer and hold the hollow axle then rotate the wheel as if pedalling.  It should feel silky smooth. 
Yup - silky smooth immediately before the event.
Accessing if the pawls (the bit that does the freewheel) are working is different for different makes but basically Hope/Campag should be noisey when free wheeling - quietness is usually bad.  On Shimano the first sign of pawl problems is a lack of immediate enguagement.  Again, if you notice this get the hub serviced.  On Shimano usually the easiest thing to do is completely replace the freehub body.
Pawls & springs were still fine after.

What happened was that the two halves of the bearing casing separated, allowing lots of tiny balls to escape.
If you were to represent the cross section of the bearing in normal condition as:
[ o ]                 [ o ]
what it ended up with was:
[                           ]
 o                       o
   ]                    [
                           oooo
                               oo

Fortunately Hope stuff is sufficiently over-engineered that the inner bearing held together and kept things sufficiently in line to the finish, albeit with some strange grinding noises, as the outer spacer also collapsed inwards allowing the cassette lock-ring into occasional contact with the dropout.

Unfortunately susbsequent disassembly revealed there was not enough of the outer part of the bearing casing to drift out of the freehub shell - but Hope lived up to their legendary reputation for customer service and have now provided me with a new unit.   :)

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Mechanic's advices for the next LEL
« Reply #97 on: September 01, 2017, 12:49:43 pm »
After having endured a lot of rain of my way south ,I needed to lube my chain. I was totally knackered from the strong winds etc..I asked for some lube, and to add insult , asked the mechanic if he wouldn't mind applying it!     I could see that despite being tired , he checked himself (and telling me to piss off)  adeptly applied the oil, describing the process as he applied it

I had a similar problem on PBP in 2003 when my chain started squealing like a tortured mouse on the road between Mortagne and Villaines. I wheeled it over to the mechanics at the control and asked if I could use their pot of dry lube.  The answer was a resounding "Non", followed by (if I understood the French correctly, something like "You should go and eat and leave us to do that."  :)

(I imagine at that early stage in the ride, they weren't that busy...)
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery