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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BikemanforU Show Episode 4 "Antique Schwinn Bike Check


Episode 4 is a departure from recent repair oriented shows. What do you get when you cross BikemanforU with the Antiques Road Show

No, not Billy the Talking Bass with cobwebs (good guess) or powdered Mohawk wigs from the French and Indian War (not hygienic). 

How about a vintage Schwinn Superior bicycle with wooden wheels made before World War I? 

Built in 1909, this bike has an overall geometry and componentry that is surprisingly modern, despite being over 100 years old!  Differences are interesting; glue-on tires on wooden rims, a wire-held skip tooth chain, an ancient Messinger leather saddle.

What's it worth?  Good question.  It's is not out of the box, time capsule, mint condition.  On the other hand, try to find another one! 

BMFU bought this eye-catcher back in the '70s. Find out what he paid for it in this episode. The BikemanforU Show uploads weekly to our channel on YouTube.

--JPorter

"Spoke on the Go" BikemanforU Show Episode 3


Spoke and word, anyone? To thine own wheels be true?  The Bikemanforu Show tackles a popular topic in the world of bike maintenance on this week's episode -  no, not Shakespeare, spoke replacement and truing up a wheel to spin properly!

The situation is familiar; a dirty old beach bike, cobbled together with more mismatched parts than Frankenstein, that all sorta works together. 

A stretched-out chain, and a replacement wheel with an 8-speed freehub after-market fitted to a 7-speed cassette are equally cringe-worthy. This bicycle is not pretty. 

The customer wants his ride "fixed" at little or no cost. The focus is on replacing a broken spoke and truing a badly warped rear wheel. 

Getting down to action after a snappy Monty Python-esque musical break, the episode focuses on measuring, installing and adjusting spokes.  A key point is made about how spokes follow a "lace pattern" over and under adjacent spokes. 

This pattern lesson is further re-inforced when we see how another spoke of a mismatched color had been installed incorrectly.

Once the spokes are in, the wheel is spun. It's still warped, or  "out of true."  Method is applied to BikemanforU madness, as the Maestro of Repair demonstrates how to fine tune those spokes to get the wheel spinning straight again. 

Viewers get to see how and where to apply the spoke wrench to tighten things and true up the wheel.  By the end of the show, that wheel is spinning like a DJ's turntable! 

Bookmark this episode for the next time you hit a curb or pothole a little too hard! The BikemanforU Show uploads weekly to our channel on YouTube.

--JPorter

Thursday, March 15, 2012

BikemanforU Show Gains Speed in Episode 2


In the BikemanforU Show's second episode, "Make it GO," YouTube's most entertaining master bike mechanic addresses the age-old problem of spinning your wheels. 

An old Fuji road bike has a problem. The pedals spin forward but the back wheel does not grab.  Congealed grease shows how long the bike has been hanging around. BMFU quickly demonstrates an alternate use of this grease as war paint / eye shadow.

We learn early into this instructional video that sometimes how ya gotta play Sherlock Holmes to understand what you are fixing before taking action. 

First, he determines that we are looking at a stuck cassette freehub and not a freewheel.  Then he dives into cleaning things up.

We get a close look at some of the tools of the bike repair trade. Compressed air blows out a lot of the gunk. Brakleen, a strong and toxic chemical cleaner that calls for wearing safety glasses, handly cuts through the grease.

We see how to clean and manipulate the stuck freehub until it grabs again. Bike parts  re-assembled and re-lubed with a wax and alcohol-based solution that resists grit and grime.

The customer shows up just as the work is completed.  Since he didn't want to pay a lot for the fix, he must be happy he got back a working bike at no charge. 

As the customer wheels his ride away, it's easy to agree with our show host a new bike is probably in this guy's future. Maybe a mountain bike, since he mentions riding in the woods. 

The BikemanforU show continues to be fast-paced, entertaining and informative. Episodes upload weekly to the BikemanforU Channel on YouTube.

With nearly 2000 subscribers more than a million video views, the popular BikemanforU Channel mixes humor with how-to instructional videos for bicycle repair and maintenance.

--JPorter

Friday, March 9, 2012

BikemanforU Show Premiere Episode 1 Parts 1&2


A violent ending is the the kickoff premise for the BikemanforU Show Premiere episode, aired March 8 in two parts on YouTube.  No need to be squeamish, this is only bicycle violence, so there will not be blood. 

The rear derailleur got jammed into the back wheel and mangled, along with the attached gear cable. BikemanforU shows you how he goes about fixing it.  Would-be mechanics and bike riders will be entertained by his "how to fix it yourself" approach.  His instructional delivery is anything but stilted; you will not be beamed back to the classroom! 

Funny, yet packed with pearls of wisdom.  BMFU explains that a good mechanic washes his or her hands after the dirty business is over, but before putting things back together!  We also learn why you never want to use a brake cable as a gear cable, or vice versa.

We get some walk-through views of the shop environment, which, together with his instructional style, keep things dynamic. We even witness the master bike mechanic's sartorial transformation in the beginning of the video! 

This is the first episode in a weekly series that looks to be informational, entertaining and free.  Hope he covers a standard "fix the flat tire" scenario in the coming weeks, replacing tubes, rim strips and so on.  Looking forward to seeing more of the BikemanforU show, until then, keep on pedaling.

--JPorter

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Value Find: Giro's Bravo GA Cycling Gloves


Bravo GA cycling gloves
I often search for quality products that give me the most bang for the buck.  When it comes to half-fingered bike gloves, a compelling case can be made for the Giro Bravo GA Road Glove.  They are affordably priced and come in a variety of colors and sizes.  I grabbed a pair in white/grey/black.  

These cycling gloves come equipped with a thin, stretch mesh upper section that is comfortably soft and moisture wicking.  On the palm side, three padded panel sections cushion your hands on the handlebars.

The entire palm is covered with breathable Clarino synthetic leather.  A smart, low profile velcro pull tab gets them on and off your hands with ease.  Comfortable and machine washable.  What's not to like?

--JPorter