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.

Knock Knock, Whose there?

A few days ago I had a knocking noise from the bike. Initially I thought it was the seat post worn, so I changed it for a spare I had kicking around. It seemed to stop for a few rides, but after I got back from my break in Scotland, and went out, it was back.

So i pulled out the seat post, re greased it and checked the torque on the saddle rails, checked the pedals and oiled the contact points. Next ride, nope knocking galore, especially on the hills.

OK, now its time to get serious. Loaded the bike up into the work stand and stripped the whole drive train down. I even removed and cleaned the chain rings. I removed the rear dérailleur and saw a movement in the hangar. It was loose. The two little screws that hold it onto the dropout had loosened, and given it a slight movement. This movement would cause it to knock on the frame when torque was applied. Could this of been the source? While this is obviously an issue, the rear wheel QR should of held this tight. But, of course it’s possible this was at fault.

However, the knocking and scraping resumed on the next ride. So, I thought back to changes I’d made. One of those changes was the seatpost. I’d installed a carbon seatpost, and out of pure laziness I’d greased it, rather than using gripper paste.

Removing the post, the grease had a “pooled” appearance. Cleaned the grease off, and cleaned the seat tube well. A good smearing of carbon paste, and refitted.

The next ride was better, but I did hear a couple of knocks/scraping but no where near as bad. It kind of sounded like chain sticking to the chain rings, and during the course of the ride, which was wet, it seemed to get better. Could of been the chain being sticky? Quite possibly as I may of over applied the squirt lube, and the rain cleared it off.

So a really good deep clean and a different lube applied. Let’s see what happens.

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.

Night rides

Apart from some minor annoyances, I love riding at night. The light slowly fades, it’s quiet and you get to see more wildlife that normally hides away.

I’ve ridden behind owls flying, I’ve seen badgers and weasels, and of course too many rabbits to count.

If I could change one thing though, it’ll be other cyclists and their headlights. I’ve got a powerful front light as some of my local routes are pitch black with no lighting. However, when I see another cyclist, pedestrian or jogger, I put it down to the low setting. No one else seems too, making it hard to judge seperation on very narrow cycle paths.

Grease, anti seize and locktite

Three things you should have, two things you use in certain circumstances, and one you need in exceptional circumstances.

So when to use, and when not to use. Well, it’s not really that complicated. Just slather the grease about and you’ll be golden. However, if like me, you like to play about, anti seize has a valid use. If your the kind of person who assembles things, and don’t plan on taking the apart for awhile, anti seize is your friend. Let’s take pedals as an example, you install pedals, they may never be removed from the cranks for years, if ever over the course of the frames life. Anti seize will stay around for a longer period of time than grease, which may wash out over time, or dry out. Anti seize, thanks to its metallic particles will always help prevent galvanic corrosion and jamming up.

So when the time comes to remove those pedals after a few years, you’ve a better chance with anti seize applied. However, if you plan on bike maintenance, with a good schedule, grease is just fine to use. I’d use anti seize on:

  • Pedal spindles
  • Bottom bracket cups
  • Derailleur bolts

That’s it. Quite a narrow use clause for that one. You could quite easily manage without a can of it in the workshop.

My singlespeed, which sees alot less maintenance than my geared bikes tends to see more antiseize than grease. Purely based on the fact it gets taken apart much less.

Thread locker, aka locktite, is used on bolts that you bolts you just can’t afford to come lose. I’ve only ever used it on jockey wheel bolts, where they have almost zero torque, but you can’t risk them falling out. Use it on anybolt you want to lock in. People use it on handle bar bolts, chainring bolts, seat pin bolts and many many others. Just use the blue coloured one. The red is too strong for use on bikes.

So grease, grease is your friend with bike maintenance. Use it wherever you have metal on metal contact, be it screw, slide or rotate. Unless you have a need for anti seize, or locktite, grease will do.