emily’s bike stuff
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Quick Maintenance on the Hardtack and Egret

I haven’t been able to ride my beloved Tanglefoot Hardtack (weed can)1 in a while. I stole its front rack for (egret) and it’s been hanging in the bike shop since. A few folks have borrowed it now and then, so it’s been in a couple different states and needed a bit of a spa day. Mary is gonna borrow it again for a nighttime ramble in the headlands and then I’m gonna bring it back home. I’m optimistic that my pain management strategies for my wrist can get me on my favourite non-electric bike again. Here it is on a joyful little test ride after its tune-up, with Ayla in the background on her canti Lightning Bolt (after its bar-end shifter conversion!).

A pink rigid mountain bike under an oak tree on a foggy dirt trail

It got some quick touches: chain lube, sealant top-up, and swapping the demo saddle for my other Ergon. The main event was cutting 40mm off the steerer. I’ve never cut the steerer on this bike — I’d been experimenting with trying to get the bars as high as possible while still feeling comfortable elsewhere. But I settled on a lower position, so I cut the steerer to where Mary had the stem. Thanks to Jay for cutting through the steel steerer in like .2 seconds. There was already a star-fangled nut in the steerer but I just put a long M6 in and banged it past the cut mark.

The threadless steerer tube of a pink bike with a cutting guide clamped onto the steerer

The only other thing weed can needed is a little rear brake adjustment. I’m using Yokozuna compressionless housing on this bike but it doesn’t make it nicely around the first bend out of the brake levers. So there’s some bendy Shimano housing for that first bend. The Yokozuna stuff has a ~5.22mm outer diameter and doesn’t fit in a double-ended ferrule. That means I have the Shimano ferrule and Yokozuna ferrule tip-to-tip underneath the bar tape (well, it used to be underneath the bar tape but then I put narrower bars on and the Yokozuna sticks out lol, you can see it above). The cable wasn’t pulled taut and the initial lever pull was just bringing the two ferrule tips together. I also lazily supported the ferrule sticking out with a zip tie so there’s less housing flex when you pull the lever. Fixed all that real quick and now the Hardtack is ready once more!

Oh! And in speaking of Tanglefoot! I was worried when I heard the Hardtack was getting new colors but they’re actually great.

Egret needed two small things: the linkage bolt on its suspension seatpost was getting loose (glad I randomly noticed this) and both brakes needed centering. I don’t think I ever did the latter when I assembled the bike. They weren’t rubbing so I didn’t touch it. But, as the pads have worn it’s become noticeably off-center. This was one of those great moments where the quick way to center hydraulic brakes actually worked — on front and rear! Loosen the caliper fixing bolts, toe strap the brake lever closed, tighten the caliper fixing bolts, release the toe strap, and voilà! Done!

  1. This is the dumbest name, I know. I bought this frame while I was recovering from a broken collarbone and imbibing some good old THC beverage. Someone said something stupid, I said something stupid, and now my bike is called “weed can,” our cutesy name for our favourite drink. ↩︎