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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BikemanforU Show, Episode 7: "Truing a Wheel"


A renewed call to action emblazoned on the BikemanforU tee-shirt shouts: One less car! 

Ride a bike instead. As gas rises above four bucks a gallon, the fight against our oil addiction become more compelling.

BikemanforU carries the green message forward in this episode, which is all about "advanced" truing of the bicycle wheel, and as the our favorite master bicycle mechanic points out, "This is not for the timid." 

The repair problem lies with an old-school Schwinn World road bike,  built in Taiwan in the early 80s and now used as a serious commuter. Its ancient derailleur slammed into the wheel, ruining the derailleur and banging the rim out of round. 

He calls on Mr. Pump to bring on the IBM mainframe.  The original dual processor, this isn't Big Blue big iron, but two matching 2 x 4s, labelled IBM (don't ask). 

After marking out the affected areas of the wheel removable black magic marker, the rim is strategically placed horizontally over the "mainframe."

The master mechanic then dances the old soft shoe in his Red Wing boots to make an initial corrective adjustment.  He applies his 230 pounds to give a rough truing to the section in question. Viewers can actually hear the bike wheel reclaim its shape. Afterward, fine tuning is accomplished with a spoke wrench.

Results may not be perfect, but the repair is strong and solid enough to ride the bike again without having to spend big bucks. 

Episodes upload regularly to the BikemanforU YouTube channel.

--JPorter

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