akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Naza’s bike – completed!

I was on mc for today and yesterday – eyesore. I don’t really know from whom I got it.

Anyway, it was kind of a blessing in disguise because I can finish off with Naza’s bike – dialing in the derailleurs.

I had no big problems in setting up the derailleurs. It was done quite fast, really.

The bike for my wife completed yesterday evening.

Hmmm... should I build a hardtail for myself, next?


Friday, 27 June 2008

Building Naza’s Bike II

I went to work with Naza’s bike last Friday, until way past midnight.
This time I wanted to finish off with the shifters. I tried to cut the cable housing with a normal cable cutter for electrical wiring jobs. It was a futile attempt, and I made a mess out of the cable housing. Uh oh, I really need a bicycle cable cutter, and just in case, a new shifter cable.

Oh well…

I’ve got an idea what to do with the wheelset’s rims. I filed out the valve holes with a set of small files, legacy of my late father-in-law. Thanks Abah.
Bit by bit, the valve holes are filed bigger to accept Schrader valves on my inner tubes. It worked pretty well. Both tires were in place, and wheelsets completed.

Last Saturday, Yad – my office mate, asked me to bring him to a bike shop - window shopping for a new bike. He’s keen on taking up cycling again. As I am babysitting my kids, I brought them along to Auntie’s bike shop in Taman Universiti, Skudai.
Yad brought along another office mate, Isaac, and Dafi.
Next, we went to Md Noor’s mother’s shop in Tampoi. Not much different, really. At least now they know the place.

Yad asked me to take a look on his steel bike. He had that bike since he was in form 4, and never been serviced. That was the first time I’ve seen a Shimano Biopace crankset.
Anyway, the major problem with that bike was the sluggish crankset.
With the bike tool at hand, I started working. Much of it was guesswork, really. Surprisingly, the bike tool is quite complete to do the job. And many were used for the first time, working on Yad’s crankset. I took off the bottom bracket (bb). It appeared that the bearing housings had broken into pieces, and the grease inside the bb had hardened into gunk. The best step forward is to get a new pair of ball bearings with races to replace the old ones. Job done and new knowledge gained.

I’ve got the v-brake bosses from BC on Monday in KL, over teh tarik in front of his office building. He agreed to give me those for free (thanks, bro!) under one condition: repay him by doing deeds to fellow bikers. I gladly told him that they are already paid in full last Saturday.

Yesterday I bought the cable cutter from a hardware shop in Masai. It was gathering dust, and tagged at rm45. The shopkeeper offered at rm40 (which is normal, by the way). Knowing that it hasn’t moved for quite some time, I asked for rm35 - and got it! That very same night, I tried the cutter with the cables. It cuts beautifully, both the cable and the housing.

I worked on the rear brake straight away. Cable cut into lengths, and bosses put into place. V-brakes hung, and cable tightened. The rear wheel is quite bent. It took me some time to adjust the brake pad positions.

Installation of the rear derailleur was quite straightforward, really. I think, that’s the beauty of SRAM’s derailleurs. The front derailleur is actually a Shimano Alivio. That too, was quite easy to install. Anyway, it was really way too late to finish up with the derailleur setting.

But as of last night (technically early morning today), Naza’s bike is complete. Took a spin, and stowed it away nicely beside my T-Bolt.

Went off to sleep (the few hours of it) feeling very happy.


Saturday, 21 June 2008

naza's bike - photo

here's a shot of the frame of the bike - what it's supposed to be.
a (replica) schwinn mesa hardtail.



Friday, 20 June 2008

Building Naza’s bike

Last Sunday, the parts for Naza’s bike were mostly complete – I took the frame from Hj. Ali after the usual ride in Pasir Gudang.

To my dismay, however, Tajudin’s bike shop in Nusa Damai was closed, and my numerous calls to his handphone went unanswered.
Much earlier, I’ve entrusted him to assemble the bike, with a few more items from his shop to complete the bike:
• One tire – Maxxis Larsen TT
• Rim tapes
• Inner tubes

Well, there might be something in store for me, this ‘misfortune’. I’ve been contemplating of assembling a bike from scratch. Perhaps, this is the right time. Albeit, the headset and cassette (8 speed) have been assembled on the frame headtube and rear wheelset respectively – much easier for me!

Monday morning before going to work, I attached the fork – Rock Shox Judy TT - to the frame complete with stem. It was a job done in haste, so it didn’t turn out good – a piece of the headset was not securely put on the bottom part of fork steerer tube. It seems that the tube diameter is a bit bigger right there. It was not obvious, until I had that problem. It makes the headtube ‘floated’ through the steerer tube for about 3mm. Well, I lay that to rest for now. After all, my itch for assembling the bike, for now, has been scratched a bit – and it feels good.

On Tuesday, I had a chat with BC Kelolo on bike assembly. Quite a few pointers he gave, especially on the tools needed.
So, yesterday I bought a set of bike repair tools (Bike Hand) and other parts needed to complete the job. I managed to get a good price for all those, and a dollop of grease courtesy of Auntie’s bike shop in Taman U Skudai.

Last night after dinner at 9.30pm, I set out with the parts and started wearing my bike mechanic hat. First task: to try out with pulling out the crankset and bottom bracket (bb) on Apis’ K2 Proflex frame. It went very well, and I’m quite surprised at how easy it was - most of it because I have the right tools, of course.

Confidence gained, and on to the second task: putting on the rim tapes and complete the wheelsets. By having the wheels ready, I can mount the bike on the bike stand, thus making my job easier. It seems logical, and that came to mind as an afterthought. The rim tapes were nicely put, and two inner tubes (Schrader valves) ready at hand – half inflated. Tires were ready, and I’m getting excited.

Starting with the rear wheelset I placed the tire bead inside the rim, and the half inflated inner tube inside the tire – starting point: valve, and around the rim. First casualty: the rim’s valve hole is a tad smaller than the valve. Perhaps a presta valve would fit very nicely. Wheelsets aside, then. Eventually, I took the wheelsets from t-bolt instead. Et voila! I have a frame with wheels, so I can mount it.

Prior to that, I went with the bottom bracket and crankset. It went well, much from the confidence of the trial from the K2 frame earlier. In fact, it went quite well I don’t have much to say about it here. Except that it looks good :)

Now that the bike is on a stand, I moved on with the cockpit – handlebar, shifters, brake levers and grips.

Back to the fork. I suddenly had an idea on what to do with the headset piece (‘ring’) to the steerer tube. Employed simple science lab procedure in the kitchen – heat it up for a minute, let it expand, and place it back to the fork. It was good! Science really works!! The ‘ring’ went down straight to the bottom of the steerer tube.

Next, the chain. The one that I bought is for a 9 speed drivetrain. This bike (because of the shifters and cassette) is meant for 8 speed system. So, the chain has to be shortened. I discovered this after painstakingly connecting the chain with the chain tool (my first ever) – the chain was ultra slacked. With the chain tool, I went on with the job.

To complete the drivetrain, pedals were installed. Soon after, I went for a short spin, without brakes. It went smooth.
Pat on my back, a smile on my face, confidence and sense of accomplishment in my heart.

Brakes. For this bike, I’m using v-brakes instead of disc brakes. The bike is intended for on-road cycling around the housing area and Tasik Layang Layang. Wheelset hubs are for v-brakes. Anyway, they are what I have. Most important of all, the driving factor – Naza’s criteria for her bike – lightweight, and not tall (unlike mine) for her to ride. So, v-brakes it is…

Alhamdulillah, I still have the v-brake boss hangers from Apis’ Manitou fork. They were put into good use on the Judy. The front brake was easily installed, and the plain bicycle now ‘upgraded’. Another pat on my back, another smile, another short spin. On to the rear brakes, and this was where a snag occurred. I don’t have the bosses for the rear brake. This morning I asked around – and BC Kelolo came to the rescue. He agreed to give me the bosses for free – to fellow biker. Thanks very much BC! One caveat: I have to repay him by doing the same to fellow biker in need, in bike parts or in kind. Next Monday & Tuesday I'm attending meetings in KL. So, it is just nice to collect those bosses.

So far so good, and I'm quite happy with the progress thus far.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

seri alam ride 8th June 2008

start from restoran ruza in nusa damai.
  • tarmac
  • trail
  • tasik
  • titi
  • tower pencawang
  • trail again
  • turun bukit
photo credits: shahrin a.k.a. melake.
thanks, man.