Headset service

Headsets are one of the things that people seem to have problems with, so during this maintenance of my headset, I’ll work through the steps needed to break down, clean and rebuild a headset.

The headset on this bike uses two sealed bearings in an integrated, other bikes use caged bearings.

So, the first thing todo is remove the front wheel. Once that’s out the way, remove the brake, and secure it to the frame of the bike. Doing this will let you completely remove the full fork, and make it easier to clean the steerer tube, and fork crown.

Now comes the interesting bits.

Start by removing the top cap, there’s a lot of parts to a headset, so make sure you have somewhere to put them all down. Try to lay out the parts in the order you remove them.

There maybe a small spacer under the top cap.

Slacken off the stem pinch bolts, and gently remove the stem and handlebar assembly, and secure it on the bike frame.

Remove all the spacers from under the stem.

But while your doing that, ensure your supporting the fork, as there is a possibility it might drop out the frame.

Now, if the forks won’t move down, support the fork underneath, and slap the top of the exposed steerer tube, and it should move down. Now push it back up, and the weather cover, and the spacer should be able to be removed. the whole fork should now slide out.

Check the fork to see if the bearings came out with the fork, or if the stayed in the frame.

Now, remove the bearings, from both the top, and bottom, taking note of which way they came out, and which one was top and bottom.

Now, get a rag, and clean up.

  • Clean the top bearing seat
  • Clean the bottom bearing seat.
  • If sealed bearings, wipe off the old grease and dirt, but don’t use degreaser. Spin each bearing in your fingers feeling for any play or grittiness. Replace if any problems
  • Clean off the fork steerer tube, and crown race.
  • Leave all parts to dry out.

When your ready, it’s time to reassemble.

Start off with a liberal amount of grease to each bearing race, top and bottom, and the crown race. Use a good quality grease, the grease both lubricates the races, and protects the bearings from dirt and water. The headset gets absolutely soaked by the front wheel, so a good waterproof grease is the best option.

Now, slide the first bearing onto the steerer tube in the right orientation, and seat it into the grease. I like to take the grease that presses out and smear it over the bearing. Now, taking the fork, slide it back into the frame, making sure the bearing seats correctly.

And, this is where having everything to hand really helps. As your holding the fork in place, slide in the top bearing, and the bearing spacer. I like to smear a little grease on the top of the bearing, just to give it a little more protection. Add the weather cap, spacers and put the stem back on the steerer tube. Rethread the top cap, along with any spacers needed, don’t tighten it, just enough to hold the whole system to get her.

Now take a moment, and clean up any grease that’s squeezed out. Reattach the brake, Put the front wheel back in and finally center up the brakes.

It’s time to tension the whole assembly. Take the bike out of the work stand, nip down the top cap just a touch. Apply the front brake and rock the bike forward and back. What your feeling for, is play in the headset. So any knocking you feel, tighten the top cap by a very small amount. Keep on repeating until you can’t feel any play, or feel any knocking. Check that the whole system can be rotated, with no binding.

If a video, is easier to follow for this, I’ll let the excellent GCN explain it in this video.

Once your happy with the tension, center your stem, and tighten your stem bolts, double check your bars are still straight, and go ride your newly greased bike!

I will update this with pictures the next time I do a full headset service.

Raspberry Pi

I’ve gained another raspberry pi for the home network. I’ve been thinking what I can do with it.

I tried running a squid proxy, and to be honest, it’s just not worth the effort. Most websites now use HTTPS, and a result of which will not be cached or scanned by the proxy. And the overall speedup of the network was non existent or very close to minimal benefit.

So, I settled on running a OpenVPN server, so I can access the whole network when away from the house. This makes things more secure as I no longer have to have the CCTV system open to the internet, and I can use it to route around other networks I don’t trust. Which is pretty much all networks not under my control. I’ve also used the box in the backup scheme. It now takes the archive from its primary location, and copies it to a NAS, and once a month runs a scrip to compress it to a tar.gz and copy it to another NAS on the system. This gives me 3 copies of the data, plus my copies on Amazon S3. So all that data should be pretty safe.

The NAS boxes are connected only when data is being copied, and disconnected when done to avoid any nasties corrupting the backups between updates. I’ll update the scripts I use and publish or update my previous post on the back up later.

Now, I just need to get each of them mounted via NFS to my main desktop so I can work on the scripts without having to SSH to them.

Too Google or not to Google

For the longest time I’ve been an android guy. Recently however, that changed.

I was in the market for a new handset, and it was between the iPhone 11, and the Pixel 4. I watched the keynote from google, and there was nothing for the pixel 4 that really grabbed me, I was underwhelmed. There was nothing on the handset that really grabbed me as a must upgrade feature.

Couple that with Google’s need to grab all the data they possibly can, as evidenced by my piHoles constant DNS blocks from the android handsets, I decided to go down the Apple hole. Which I will be honest about, is not a decision I regret.

Apples stance on privacy is the polar opposite of google. That’s mostly the fact that stood out to me, and weaning my data away from google wasn’t that hard.

iPhones and Apple hardware does indeed have its issues, and a slight learning curve, but I’m an Apple convert.

TwitterBot

I’d thought about writing a script for a Twitter bot. So the only thing I could think of is to push PiHole stats from my PiHole server.

In order to create a Twitter bot, you have to register as a developer but that’s easy enough. Next up is to find a interface that’s scripted in bash, as I didn’t fancy trying python, and I found the excellent Twurl Package.

Here’s a link to my repo where I’ve stored the code: https://github.com/mikethompson/PiHoleStats

I’ll update this, add a step by step and the repo when I have more time.

Pedal Maintenance and new wheels

Respect your pedals. They suffer a lot of abuse but just keep on going..

My pedal maintenance is simple. Every few rides, I lube the contact points with a dry lube, this avoids the annoying pedal squeak when the cleat rubs. Drop a drip into the spring mechanism while your here.

Every once in a while, I’ll crack open the axle, clean it off and fill the chamber with fresh grease. Reinsert the axle and snug it down driving the grease up through the bearings.

I’d used the muc off biogrease for this first time, and the pedals went slack really quick. Did them about 500 miles ago, this time using Park Tools grease. Spinning the pedals today, they are smooth, with a little resistance from the grease. Perfect.

Needless to say, that tube of biogrease has been binned never to be seen again.

I’d bought a new set of wheels, that come with cup and cone bearings, and what excuse do I need for another tube of grease to try. My existing greases would of worked fine, but wanted something that was quite thin, and tacky. The crystal grease is a little too thick, the park tools grease has a tendency to stain light coloured areas. The exus blue would of been my choice, however I’ve sorta stopped using it in favour of the crystal. So I’d ordered a tube of Rock ‘n’ Roll Super Web. The stuff Is amazing in bearings. It’s quite a thin grease but hellishly sticky and coats everything. It’s ideal in the hubs and loose bearings. Being a nice bright white colour, it’s easy too see where it’s applied too.

I’ve also had to replace the rear brake caliper. I’d disconnected the cable to space the pads a little further out, and when I removed the cable, the right hand arm had a massive amount of play. So I’ve ordered a new R8000 ultegra to replace it. I’ll also redo the front caliper later in the month.

Rock ‘n’ Roll

Sometime ago I wrote about trying Rock ‘n’ Roll Gold lube. I did try it, and its an odd lube to use. Its advertised as a cleaner as much as a lubricant. When using it, I found it didn’t last as long as my favourite dry Lube, Squirt.

You literally douse the chain at the cassette with this stuff, you don’t skimp with it, really soak the chain. Once you get over the strong petroleum smell, you run the chain backwards, while wiping. The solvents in the lube penetrate the links in the chain, causing any muck to raise up and get wiped off.

Keep doing this until you have a clean chain. Then reapply to get the lubricant in. Its a long winded job. The instructions do say it will remove other lubes, but I would still suggest a full clean and degrease before application. No doubt it will remove lubes from the same manufacturer, however more stubborn lubes will need a full clean.

The formulation goes deep down into the chain and traps any dirt. Then, with the energy of the chain freewheeling backwards, the dirt and grit floats to the surface so you can wipe it all off, leaving a new and clean application of lube inside the chain, where it’s needed. The lube down inside the chain creates a protective membrane to seal out dirt and moisture from the moving parts of the chain. As well as holding in place the best lube on the planet, for longer chain life, super smooth shifting and pedaling.

http://www.rocklube.com/about-us.html

But, once I was happy the chain was at least lubricated I went out on a ride. To me at least, the chain was noisy, and the lube didn’t last that long. Perhaps with more applications and time it’ll prove its self a bit better.

You never know, I might give it another chance when I clean off the drive chain next time and see what happens.

Update to the Backup

A quick update to the backup script. Instead of having a set list of folders stored in the backup directories to be uploaded to S3, the script now uploads everything in the backup location that’s not specifically excluded by the exclude file. This cuts a good few lines out of the script.

A quick note on the exclude file, you must exclude both the directory, and it’s contents as S3 has no concept of folders.

So, to exclude the folder /back/folder and it’s contents your exclude file must contain /back/folder and /back/folder/*


	if [ "$1" = "-s3" ]; 
		then 
			#This code is still subject to Testing. It shouldnt require a re upload of data.
#However, this uploads the WHOLE backup to the cloud. It does not filter out folders at this time.
#Use the S3 Exclude file for this purpose.
			shopt -s dotglob
			shopt -s nullglob
			array=($BCK_DEST/Backup/*)
			for dir in "${array[@]}"
				do
					echo $(basename "${dir%.*}")
					echo Uploading $dir
					FOL=$(basename "${dir%.*}")
					s3cmd sync $S3_CMD $dir $S3_BUCKET/$FOL/
					echo .......
				if ! [ "$?" = "0" ];
					then
					function_error "S3CMD" $? "Check S3CMD Command Line, and Dirs"
				fi
				done

	fi

See.Sense Ace

So I’ve had the New Ace lights for awhile now, and have been using them on both day and night rides.

They are designed for commuters, their power output is low, however it’s noticeable, not quite as retina searing bright as the Icon+, but they get the job done.

Ace Rear

But, there are issues. First off was battery life. Initially, it sucked. They would run out of juice just sitting there on the desk, meaning a charge every day. A firmware update went a long way to curing this, unless you are an Android user. The companion app took months to arrive from see.sense, they blamed the exit of their developer, and farmed it out to an external company. A release was made, but it lacked almost all the features, and was pretty much only able to turn the lights on an off. So if you wanted to update the firmware, you needed an iOS device, or at the very least a mate with an iOS device..

Now, in the latest Kickstarter news letter, they’ve stated an in-house android developer will soon be starting, so hopefully we shall have a passable android app soon(ish).

Other than the poor development and battery life issues, they really are quite a good set of lights for commuting with.

The mounting options for the lights are first class, you get a multitude of mounts as standard: including a seat-post mount, aero seat-post mount, and bag clip, which I use to mount to the back of my jacket as I’ve two rears, so one on the seat post, and one on my back. There have been reports of lights falling out of the cradle, but I assume this is due to not being clipped in correctly. My lights seem to be in solid when clipped in correctly. See.Sense, to my horror lobbed a poor innocent bike off a roof, and the lights stayed on, that was the icon2, however it uses the same mounting system.

The ACE lights feature the same intelligence of the previous lights, with a little more processing power. They can track changes in movement, g-force, and ambient lighting; tailoring the light output to the conditions and surroundings: for example, on a quiet road the light lets out just a gentle pulse, but if a car’s headlights are detected then the light lets out a sudden burst to increase awareness.

The reactivity both noticeably improves road presence, compared to a regular mid-power flasher. My only continued niggle with the reactive element of the See.Sense lights is that the sudden bursts of light from the front light can be a little distracting. This is because the light is designed to have good side visibility, which unfortunately includes the upper side too – upwards towards your eyes, should you have it mounted horizontal on the bars. To be fair, my favourite daytime lights also have this issue, the Exposure Trace. A sliver of electrical tape however remedies this.

The Smartphone integration allows you to tailor the output of the light to further improve battery life. It also allows you to use the movement sensor as a theft alert. Both useful features, if they ever get the android app to release.

Backups.. (Again!)

For a little while now, I’ve been working on a new backup script, as switching from Windows to a full Linux environment rendered my last script unusable.

So, here is the full script, it works well, but I’m making tweaks to it.

One issue I Have, is certain users don’t exist on certain machines, so my development branch doesn’t quite work. I’ve managed to loop through an array contains user names, and another looping through IP addresses, however I’ve not worked out away yet to filter those arrays to remove IP and user names that don’t exist on the target.

But basically, this script connects to machines using RSYNC, over SSH and copies the files to the backup location, and optionally uploads them to Amazon S3.

So, without further ado, here is a wall of code..

#!/bin/bash#Main Script file for Back ups.#See Bitbucket Repo for further information https://bitbucket.org/thompsonmichael/backup-sys#Michael Thompson 2018# mikethompson@gmx.co.uk (GPG Key-ID: 062C03D9)#Version 0.0.1#VARIABLESBCK_DEST=/mnt/Logical_DataEXCLUDE_FILE=/home/michael/Script/rsync_excludeS3_BUCKET=s3://RSYNC_CMD_STD="azh --progress"RSYNC_CMD_CLEAN=" --delete-after --delete-excluded"S3_CMD="-rHv --skip-existing --acl-private --continue-put --storage-class=STANDARD_IA --no-delete-removed --exclude-from=s3_exclude"S3_EXTRA=$2LOG_FILE="/home/michael/Script/log_file.log"REM_HOST="192.168.0.2"BLUE="\e[1;34m"RED="\e[1;31m"NORMAL_COL="\e[0m"if ! [ -z "$2" ];thenif ! [ "$2" = "-clean" ];thenecho "Running Custom S3 Command"S3_CMD=$S3_CMD" "$S3_EXTRAfifiecho Backing up systemsecho ______________echo -e ${BLUE} S3 Bucket Configured: $RED $S3_BUCKET${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}S3 Command is: $RED $S3_CMD${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}Exclude File Path: $RED $EXCLUDE_FILE${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}Running on: $RED $HOSTNAME${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}Destination is: $RED $BCK_DEST${NORMAL_COL}if [ -z "$1" ];thenecho -e ${BLUE}Command line passed: Empty ${NORMAL_COL}elseecho -e ${BLUE}Command line passed: $1 ${NORMAL_COL}fiechoecho -----------------------------------------------------------------------echo#error function. pass as func error,code,messagefunction_error () {echo -e ${RED}"xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"echo -e "CRITICAL ERROR!"echo -e "Error occured in: " $1 "Error returned was: " $2if [ -z "$3" ];thenecho -e "Unknown Error, cannot advise. Check FAQ"fiecho -e "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"${NORMAL_COL}return 1exit}#ENSURE DRIVE IS MOUNTEDif mountpoint -q $BCK_DESTthenecho -e ${BLUE}"Backup Location is mounted " $BCK_DEST ${NORMAL_COL}elsefunction_error "Backup Location not mounted" $? "Mount location and restart"exitfiif [ -z "$1" ];then#--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------#Copy To Local Storageecho Command Returned: $?echo -e ${BLUE}Backing Up Dads${NORMAL_COL}wget -q --tries=10 --timeout=20 --spider http://google.comif [[ $? -eq 0 ]]; thenecho -e "Internet Connected"elsefunction_error "Internet Connection Down" "INT_DOWN $?" "Check Internet Connection"exitfiping -c1 ${REM_HOST} -q 2>&1 >/dev/nullRET=$?if [ ${RET} -eq 0 ]; thenecho -e ${BLUE}"Host Is Alive"${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}Ping Command Returned: $? ${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}rsync command is: "-$RSYNC_CMD_STD ( ${REM_HOST} )"${NORMAL_COL}rsync -$RSYNC_CMD_STD -e ssh --exclude-from $EXCLUDE_FILE william@${REM_HOST}:/home/william $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dadsecho -e ${BLUE}"Command Returned (RSync):" $? ${NORMAL_COL}if ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "RSYNC" $? "Check RSYNC Command Line, and RSYNC Dirs"firsync -$RSYNC_CMD_STD -e ssh --exclude-from $EXCLUDE_FILE $USER@${REM_HOST}:/home/$USER $BCK_DEST/Backup/$USERif ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "RSYNC" $? "Check RSYNC Command Line, and RSYNC Dirs"fiecho -e ${BLUE}"Command Returned (RSync):" $? ${NORMAL_COL}elseecho -e ${RED}"Host ${REM_HOST} failed ping monitoring on `date`"${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${RED}"Ping Command Returned (Ping):" $? ${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${RED}"${REM_HOST} is Dead"${NORMAL_COL}fiecho -e ${BLUE}Backing up $HOSTNAME${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}rsync command is: "-$RSYNC_CMD_STD ( $HOSTNAME )"${NORMAL_COL}rsync -$RSYNC_CMD_STD --exclude-from $EXCLUDE_FILE /home/michael $BCK_DEST/Backup/Michael-Debianif ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "RSYNC" $? "Check RSYNC Command Line, and RSYNC Dirs"fiecho -e ${BLUE}"Command Returned (RSync):" $?${NORMAL_COL}fiif [ "$1" = "-clean" ];thenping -c1 ${REM_HOST} -q 2>&1 >/dev/nullRET=$?if [ ${RET} -eq 0 ]; thenecho -e ${BLUE}"Host Is Alive"${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}"Ping Command Returned (Ping):" $? ${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}"Host is Alive" ${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${BLUE}rsync command is: "-$RSYNC_CMD_STD ( ${REM_HOST} )" ${NORMAL_COL}rsync -$RSYNC_CMD_STD$RSYNC_CMD_CLEAN -e ssh --exclude-from $EXCLUDE_FILE william@${REM_HOST}:/home/william $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dadsif ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "RSYNC" $? "Check RSYNC Command Line, and RSYNC Dirs"fiecho -e ${BLUE}"Command Returned (RSync):" $? ${NORMAL_COL}rsync -$RSYNC_CMD_STD$RSYNC_CMD_CLEAN -e ssh --exclude-from $EXCLUDE_FILE $USER@${REM_HOST}:/home/$USER $BCK_DEST/Backup/$USERif ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "RSYNC" $? "Check RSYNC Command Line, and RSYNC Dirs"fiecho "Command Returned (RSync):" $?elseecho -e ${RED}"Host ${REM_HOST} failed ping monitoring on `date`"${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${RED}"Ping Command Returned:" $? ${NORMAL_COL}echo -e ${RED}"${REM_HOST} is Dead"${NORMAL_COL}fiecho -e ${BLUE}Backing up $HOSTNAME ${NORMAL_COL}rsync -$RSYNC_CMD_STD$RSYNC_CMD_CLEAN --exclude-from $EXCLUDE_FILE /home/michael $BCK_DEST/Backup/Michael-Debianif ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "RSYNC" $? "Check RSYNC Command Line, and RSYNC Dirs"fiecho -e ${BLUE}"Command Returned (RSync):" $? ${NORMAL_COL}#-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------# -s3clean has been added as a command line option, and must be passed a second command to -clean# it will cause a S3 clean event to be processed.# -clean on its own will pass only a standard archive clean. S3 is not routinly cleaned, unless explicity passed with -s3clean.if [ "$2" = "-s3clean" ];then#Call Clean_S3source s3_cmd.scfi#-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------fiif [ "$1" = "-s3" ];thenecho S3 destination is: $S3_BUCKETecho Amazon Upload Proceding...echo Uploading $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dads/william/Pictures/s3cmd sync $S3_CMD $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dads/william/Pictures/ $S3_BUCKET/Dads/Pictures/if ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "S3CMD" $? "Check S3CMD Command Line, and Dirs"fiecho "Command Returned (S3CMD):" $?echo Uploading $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dads/william/Documents/s3cmd sync $S3_CMD $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dads/william/Documents/ $S3_BUCKET/Dads/Documents/if ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "S3CMD" $? "Check S3CMD Command Line, and Dirs"fiecho "Command Returned (S3CMD):" $?echo Uploading $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dads/william/Videos/s3cmd sync $S3_CMD $BCK_DEST/Backup/Dads/william/Videos/ $S3_BUCKET/Dads/Videos/if ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "S3CMD" $? "Check S3CMD Command Line, and Dirs"fiecho "Command Returned (S3CMD):" $?echo Uploading $BCK_DEST/Backup/Michael-Debian/s3cmd sync $S3_CMD $BCK_DEST/Backup/Michael-Debian/ $S3_BUCKET/Michael-Debian/if ! [ "$?" = "0" ];thenfunction_error "S3CMD" $? "Check S3CMD Command Line, and Dirs"fiecho "Command Returned (S3CMD):" $?exitfi#EOF

Power of the edits..

While I always like to process images as little as possible, if at all, some times it’s a requirement of every shot.

Here, for instance this shot taken from my Spark. It lacks depth and colour. Visually, it just didn’t stand out.

However, a little time spent in the Google Photos editor tweaking exposure, clarity, saturation and blacks improve things.

Shadows have a bit more depth, the colours are less muted but still hold the autumn setting.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it

Ansel Adams

So, don’t be afraid to play with the sliders, just don’t overdo it, and keep it realistic and you’ll do just fine.