Back on the bike

It’s been a while since my shoulder dislocation, and high time I got back on the bike.

So I strung up the single speed for a little maintenance. First up the whole drive chain needed a little care and attention, full strip and rebuild, then headset regressed and checked. I’ve ridden a few times down to work, and it’s a three mile ride each way. The bike worked fine, I however felt the effects of a good few months off the bike. All in, it felt good to be back on the bike.

Next up was my main road bike, which has sat idle for far too long. A full service on my work horse saw it back in action. This weekend will see its first outing for some time, I think the last time it was ridden was October of last year. Once everything was greased and oiled, everything span as normal.

It’s high time I started back out. Working further from home has certainly seen my motivation drop off, as I’m so tired most weekends. We shall see this weekend what the weather has in store, hopefully not to hot or windy. Looks like I am just back on the bike in enough time for the latest drama to hit recreational cycling, Grant Shapps and his insanity suggesting a registration scheme, and insurance for cycles, the idea has been tried many many times, and failed each one of them.

The cost would be highly prohibitive, and having just sacked over twenty thousand civil servants, good luck staffing it, it would cost far more to administer than you would ever get back.

I’m not entirely sure why he has started up with this, maybe to deflect something away to the sidelines, maybe he is just insane. Who knows, but the current climate, this is doing nothing but stoke the fires of the daily mail brigade and making the roads yet more hostile.

It just all stinks of a minister desperately trying to appeal to his gammons, trying to stay relevant as his job will soon be up for grabs. Or, like I say a diversion tactic for something that is soon to be said or done. Who knows. The sooner this lot of buffoons are out of power the better in all honesty.

One of the creepiest photos

I don’t think I have ever seen a creepier photo.

Everything in it is just weird. Boris sat there with that weird emotionless serial killer look, the kid sitting in the background looking like she has been abducted and given up all hope. What where they thinking in this photo? It’s just all sorts of weird.

Cold stones cut..

At the very top of Greenhow Hill sits the highest art installation. Designed by Andrew Sabin in 2010, it offers a commanding view of the quarry and the surrounding countryside.

Despite Andrew Sabin saying otherwise, it kinda looks like female reproductive organs

As much as I hate the quarry, watching the diggers and dump trucks running around, moving rock to the crushers and the regular flow of trucks in and out. But go round the installation up one of the flowing circular paths, you get views back toward Pateley Bridge, menwith hill and Harrogate.

But that’s not all that’s here. There’s also the ruined lime kiln Toft Gate.

Toft Gate Lime Kiln is a largely intact piece of Nidderdale’s industrial heritage, and the first bit you see is the chimney, with its horizontal flue to the burner. Coal loaded in the base and limestone in the top. Designed like this to keep the fumes away from the workers. But young children still would have to go through the flue regularly to clean and retrieve valuable minerals from the walls.

I would of liked to try more drone work, but being a Sunday, too many people about at this local spot. Maybe when I’m on holiday it’ll be quieter during the week.

Single speeds are the dogs dangles

They are just awesome commute bikes. They are the bikes you can throw around. Leave locked up in the centre of town. Perform minimal maintenance and they just keep on going.

The single speed I’m riding is fun to ride, being able to just ride along, not having to think about gear changes, just keep those cranks turning. It’s quiet (well now I’ve sorted the clicking, maintenance is stupidly easy and quick.

Maintenances on the bikes are pretty easy, with not having any complex derailleur’s, you just need to check the basics before riding, and basic maintenance at intervals.

More singlespeed goodness

Got rid of that horrible State singlespeed. Replaced it with a Mango.

The mango came superbly packaged, with all exposed frame wrapped with pipe lagging. Unlike the state bike, no scratches anywhere. I tried to keep my colour choices quite easy, but the mango bikes can be customised to what ever weird colour schemes you can think of.

There where however a couple of issues, but they where not major and dealt with easily. First off, the chain was installed way to tight. This was an issue in removing the rear wheel as there was no way, short of breaking the chain, and at certain rotations of the crank, the chain was over tight.

So, a new chain installed at a more sensible tension installed. The other issue I had was a incredible annoying click through the pedal stroke on the right.

Initially I thought bottom bracket, but before removing that, as I didn’t have a campagnolo tool, I removed the chain ring bolts, and chain ring off the crank. Each contact point on the crank arm that connected to the chain ring had a generous dollop of anti seize. As did each bolt. Clicks stopped. The bike is a pleasure to ride. It’s certainly better than the state bike it replaced. At least the mango had signs of grease being used on the installation. The state bike had no grease anywhere. Not in the headset, bottom bracket or anywhere else.

I did get mudguards for the bike, but it would appear that either the mounts are full of paint, or the threads are not cut properly. So I shall have to tap them when I can.

I might get told off by my mechanic mates for using anti seize over grease, but for a single speed, that sees vastly less maintenance than my road bikes, anti seize is the best choice or the non moving metal on metal surfaces. It’s longer lasting, able to resist water for far longer than grease. The only downside, it makes a hell of a mess.

I’m really enjoying the Mango. It’s fun to ride. I’m going to keep the bike basic. No bike computer, no cadence, speed or any other electronics. This is purely a commute bike. A commute I can enjoy. Just ride the bike and enjoy it. Want to go faster? Pedal faster. Want to get up that hill? Pedal harder and get your arse out the saddle. Just love the simplicity of single speed.

A test ride

With my new job being a little further away than the 100 meters I currently travel, thought I best do a test ride. The quickest way, is straight along the busiest road in the area. And it’s never a nice experience. So, a few plans in Strava and local knowledge I had an idea on a route.

It’s time for a test ride. The route was loose, and open to change. I pretty much just had to ride in kind of the right direction, trying to miss the busy main road. To most extents done.

Anyway, once away from the busy main road, it’s over the stray grassland, which is never fun in bad weather and then follow the bike signs all the way to Hornbeam park. jobs done.


I’ve had a set of Mavic Aksiums for a long time knocking around in the garage for ages. I’d not really used them in a long time, but decided to get them ready with a service and a couple of rides, as they make great winter wheels.

So, service time it is. Mavic freehub designs are a little different to the Fulcrum wheels I normally use. The drive ring is internal to the freehub shell, with the pawls on the drive shaft. I started by removing the drive end cap, and pulled off the freehub. Mavic hubs are known for the “Death Squeal”. Caused by the large plastic washer that presses against the hub shell.

You have to be really careful pulling the freehub off, the pawls and their springs may fall, they are not secure in their mounts. Take them out and put them to the side.

So, after the freehub is off, clean both interfaces of this washer, and check for wear. May as well check the bearings while your at it to make sure they spin freely. Clean all other parts. Don’t use degreaser near the bearings, just wipe everything clean. Mavic use a very light oil in their hubs, making it easy to clean up.

There’s many, many threads on what oil to use when lubing Mavic hubs. Of course you can use the stupid expensive Mavic oil, others say use gear oil, sewing machine oil, mineral oil and all manor of other oils.

I used bog standard chain lube. The finish line wet lube. It’s just liquid enough, but clinging oil. A drop on each pivot point of the pawls, smeared on the nylon washer. Putting the pawls back in, the small springs must be on the tiny post on the pawl. Rest the end of the pawl in its cutout, and make sure the other end of the spring goes into the depression on the hub.

To get the freehub back on, hold the pawls in, while lowering the freehub over them. Gently rotate the hub to make sure everything is seated. Re attach the cap, and done.

The Finishline lube I used has the added advantage of making this hub virtually silent. That’s something I haven’t experienced in a long time.

While being a cheap set of wheels, they are not a bad set of wheels, and are great for a set of winter wheels, commuter or just budget wheels.