Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sun is back. Serious business.

After a couple days of rain and boredom the sun came back on Sunday. Did my first road ride in the mountains that day and it was really awesome. Knee hurt really bad for the 1st hour and I thought I might have to turn back. After doing the first climb however it felt fine and I was good to go until about the last 30min when it started to hurt again. Took yesterday off and iced it a little bit and took some Aleve. Seems to be feeling better today but still hurts to walk, have to do a little gimp shuffle. Going to try it out on the mountain bike trails today as well as my new rear derailleur I installed on the X-Ben. I was unhappy with my rear shifting because my XTR Shadow derailleur didn't come in close enough the road cassette I installed on the bike. I had heard that you could use a 7900 DuraAce derailleur with no problems, I had also heard that there were problems and that it wouldn't mesh with 9 speed. Well my friend brought it down to me and I installed it last night and it seems to be shifting great. Sits much closer to the cassette and the shorter cage keeps better tension on the chain. I am looking forward to trying it out on the trails today, oh yeah I'm also looking forward to just riding the trails today because mountain biking is awesome.

New DA

Old Shadow

Due to the rain we found our selves getting quite restless. We have had the idea to build a bike rack in the garage for some time now. Me and Derek made a quick stop at Home Depot and started to formulate a plan. We decided to simplify and just make it out of 2x4's as opposed to the steel bar we first had our eye on. Andrew, Derek, and I made an afternoon of it with the handsaw and some screws. It made us feel really manly.

As I was uploading the pictures from my camera I found some funny ones. One particularly warm afternoon the young lady next door decided to put on a show for us and it looks like it was captured on my camera, don't know how it got there? Honest. The funniest part is mom standing in the door, hands on hips.

Last Derek is showing his appreciating for the GTS-t I hope to have as my daily driver by the end of this year.

As you can see it's serious business here in SC. I'm outta here for now, getting ready for my ride. Usually takes me a good 90minutes to do that.


Friday, March 12, 2010

How-To: Service 2009 SID Team open bath

Strap yourself in for another How-To. This time we are working with the 2009 RockShox SID Team suspension fork. The purpose to a basic open bath service is to check for any irregular wear on internal bushings, inspect lower leg assembly for dirt contamination, and to top up the oil bath that helps lubricate the stanchion tubes and foam dirt wipers.

Tools required.
-Socket wrench with extension
-deep 10mm socket
-5mm Allen key driver bit
-fork oil (15wt)

Step #1 – Remove the fork from the bike. Not 100% necessary but makes it much easier to work with. If you don't know how to do this turn back now, you're going the wrong way!

Step #2 – Remove all of the air from the negative air chamber on the bottom of the fork.

Step #3 – Remove all of the air from the positive air chamber on the top of the fork.

Step #4 – Firmly grab the rebound adjustment knob with your plyers and pull it out of the fork.

Rebound adjustment knob is really just a glorified 2.5mm Allen key.

Step #5 – In the bottom of the same rebound leg, insert the 5mm Allen key socket attachment and extender (so that it can reach). Loosen counter clockwise a few turns and then tap lightly with your mallet to unseat the chamber from the fork lowers. Unscrew the red bolt the rest of the way.

Tap lightly to unseat

Rebound chamber fixing bolt

Step #6 – Use your deep 10mm socket on the negative air side of the fork and loosen the nut a few turns. Again tap it a few times to unseat the negative air chamber from the lowers. Unscrew the aluminum nut the rest of the way.

Tap to unseat

Negative air fixing nut

Step #7 – You’re pretty much done the hard parts now. If you unseated the chambers properly by tapping them loose with the mallet then the lowers should now slide easily off the uppers. Some oil will come out, that is the old open bath fluid. At this point do not attempt to disassemble the uppers in any way. Do not remove the top caps, ever, and leave the snap rings alone. The internals of the cartridges are unserviceable by you or me.

Step #8 – Now is a good time to clean out your foam wipers. They get dirty and contaminated so you can gently pry them out with a small screwdriver. Rinse them with isopropyl alcohol to clean out the old oil/dirt. I was glad I checked mine since the one wiper had been installed incorrectly from the factory and was pinched under the rubber wiper. To remove the rubber wipers from the lowers just use a large bladed screwdriver to gently pry it out, they should be easy to remove. To get them back in just a tap with the rubber mallet.

Removing the rubber wipers

Oops Rockshox pinched my foam wiper

Yikes, was still able to salvage

Step #9 – Clean everything up. It is easy to get in the nooks and crannies now that it is disassembled. Make sure not to let any dirt find its way into the lowers. Unless there is already dirt and contamination in them you don’t need to flush them out. There are also nylon spacers that sit in the bottom like 1” thick little donuts. Mine stayed in there but make sure they don’t rattle out and also they are oriented correctly when you go to re-install the uppers.
Set your cleaned parts on a clean surface to get it ready for re-assembly.

Step #10 – If you removed the rubber wipers then put them back now. Light tap with the mallet to make sure they are seated down in the lowers correctly. Now saturate the foam wiper with your fork oil, I used 5wt. Install saturated foam wiper back into its channel in the rubber wiper making sure it is flush and seated properly.

Step #11 – Now you are ready to add the new open bath fluid. I used 5mL of 15wt fork oil. Lay your fork on a slight angle so that the fluid migrates to the bottom of the lowers but not on such an angle to let the fluid run out the bolt holes in the bottom. Both sides get the same treatment.

Step #12 – Slide the correctly oriented uppers into the lowers making sure to keep it at such an angle to not let the fluid run out either end. Do this slowly or the rush of air created from sliding the uppers in will blast the new open bath fluid out the bottom of the fork.

Slide the uppers in slowly

Step #13 – When lined up correctly the aluminum bolt from the negative chamber will protrude through the lowers and allow you to tighten the aluminum nut back on. Make sure the little rubber o-ring is seated at the end of the alloy nut as pictured. Don’t torque the nut down yet, just tighten gently.

Don't forget about the o-ring

Finger tighten

Step #14 – Grab your 5mm Allen extension and finger tighten the red bolt back into place on the rebound side of the fork.

Step #15 – Torque both sides down. Probably 4N-m is sufficient or if you don’t have a torque wrench it would be like a 5 out of 10 on the tightness scale. It is not that easy to strip these guys out but they are alloy on alloy so err on the side of caution.

Step #16 – Install the glorified 2.5mm rebound adjustment knob. Might need to wiggle it a little into place.

That’s it. Fill the fork back up with air and hopefully it won’t burst into flames if you’ve completed the steps correctly. Give it a final wipe down to remove your oily fingerprints and shake it up a little to get the fluid coating the lowers. Install it back onto your bike.

All done
As always comments, suggestions, experiences welcome.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm alive ok!

Yes I know I really have been dead to the world this past week. You know what they say, the more time you have the more time you waste. Well I don't know if "they" say that or not. I think I just sort of made up that saying after I realised one year that it was a struggle some days to get out for our ride before the sun went down even though we had absolutely nothing else to do besides play pool and eat mountains of food.
So here I am, it only took me a week this time to acclimatise to having 24 hours of free time in a day and 7 days off in a week haha. I have been getting in a lot of mountain biking these past few days. Two good reasons for that. Reason one is that mountain biking kicks ass. Reason two is that my friend Gareth leant me his road bike (bless him) with a seized bottom bracket so I have been waiting for that part to arrive at the Clemson bike store. Derek actually got the bearing spinning again so I packed her with grease and don't plan on waiting for the bearing before christening my legs on the asphalt this year.
Was going to get out today for a nice sunny ride in the mountains on the road bike but last night my throat started hurting a lot again. Probably as a result of the stress of trying to keep up with Derek on a mountain bike ride lol. Then I was up at 3am with a fever and started having silly thoughts like how much it would suck to have to go to the hospital in the US and wondering if my travel medical insurance had a deductible. Well I woke up this morning feeling o.k. just a little feverish and throat is still sore. I took it easy all day and ate comfort food and now I am pounding back the gingerale. I am obviously anxious to get back out on the bike though so I hope it will clear up soon.
Took a couple pictures on our ride yesterday and the day before that. Was actually in shorts and short sleeves yesterday and the weather is supposed to be 20 degrees all week.
That's all for now.

Derek does the wall ride on the DH course at Issaqueena