Friday, July 2, 2010
Lessons Learned: Juicy Details from the Maintenance Clinic
Okay I promised more educational matter to people linking from my Globe blog. So here it is: I learned how to evaluate inner tube damage. "Snake bites" refer to two slashes found in the tube where the rim has pierced/slashed it upon impact. This is common when you hit a pothole really hard. I don't have it in my notes, but I'm pretty certain that you ain't gonna fix snake bites with a patch. This is the moment where you're really going to wish you had a spare tube with you.
Small puncture holes could indicate a puncture cause by friction with the rim. Check the soundness of your rim tape. If you don't replace worn rim tape, don't think that a patch is going to do you much good for any significant length of time. You run the risk of another puncture until you get new rim tape.
A ragged hole that looks like it was caused by an explosion could have occurred because you ran over a nail (or something else sharp like that). *Always check the tire for debris. Run your hand around the inside of the tire casing. If you keep the tube lined up with the tire while removing it, it's easier to locate the problem area on the tire. Josh, the mechanic teaching the clinic, did this by removing the tube beginning at the valve area and keeping the valve area of the tube and the tire parallel the whole time that he was evaluating the tube and the tire.
This is all that I know, for now, that I know how to explain. I fixed my rear brake the other day (it's a linear pull brake). It was rubbing against the rim and making a loud noise, but I don't know how I fixed it. I just did what I thought I saw Josh do at the clinic. Sometimes you just have to have someone show you how to do things in order to learn. I hope that there is someone out there with bike wisdom that can teach everything that you'd like to know. Happy riding!