Miscellaneous Blog Posts

2012 Spring Wreckage Collection

I haven’t been able to master the trick I set as my goal for March. Not a good situation, even though it has been snowing furiously from late March to like two days ago. There are some other reasons, breakage and wreckage being the leading ones.

Let’s start with, um, the big stuff. The bike frame.

Gorgeous cracks growing there, meaning the tubes will snap within a few hours of riding. What should I do? Let’s fix it.

Though not a professional level at all, I’ve been messing with welding recently. This is a perfect opportunity, as I’m too scared to do this on somebody else’s bike.



Mmm let’s hope reinforcement works as magical cosmetic…

Now the frame material is hybrid, including the stainless steel washer used as reinforcement. I ran out of welding sticks, so tried a broken drill bit as well. One more hole in the frame, one less drill shaft on this planet. Now it’s an official knowledge that welding sticks are made in that specific way for reasons. Besides, you really shouldn’t build a bike frame by stick welding.

My awesome rig. Little cost on used car batteries my friend Occhi gave me, jumper cables I’ve had, and a good investment on the automatic mask, which turns dark reacting to the first spark. DIY is fun and you get to know something interesting even if the results are not best, but you need to be careful about safety. Well at least for me, cause I can be quite sketchy.

So I ride the Halloween-like bike. Not bad. No problem after a few days.

However, the appearance just called for a re-repair in the end.

Looking good! Got gussets, and even some painting job done to hide the filthy welding job. The welding stick was downsized from 2.0mm to 1.4mm, resulting in less holes. Later I heard that you can weld thin stuff better with the plus-ground, minus-stick setup, which I may try next time.

The reason that the original frame does not come with this kind of gusset is that it creates stress riser points on the seat stay tubes where they meet the gussets, resulting in quicker snapping. Then the reason that this is okay as a repair method is that it’s only meant to lengthen the product life a little extra bit. Roughly, the frame gained the life of a new frame with this kind of gusset design, which can be a few months for me.

And within that few months, I’m going to get a new prototype frame. The new one has more support for sideways forces by the chain stays, reducing a lot of stress applied on seat stays which causes problems like this.

So I was glad for a while, before my palm got wrecked. Bike riders are friends with calluses. Due to the contraction of skin as it grows into calluses, there sometimes appear cracks. When that happens at the foot of a finger, I sometimes have to cut open both ends of the crack to make it one united canyon all the way across. It means carving your live skin, it means some pain, but it’s better than having the problem longer.

Don’t click the thumbnail if you can’t take this kind of stuff.

For a few days there was pain, and more pain when I grab the handlebars. In the similar veins my jeans had holes and it was cold.

I still went out and practiced, then…

You too, Brutus?

It’s been a great fork. Originally a 160mm travel all-mountain one, converted by me to 100mm and used or abused in the street, including grinds down rails on fork ends. Bye bye sweetheart.

Luckily though, my great friend who hooked me up with Rock Shox is going to help me out once again about the fork. So these days, I’ve been jumping up, down and over fences with no bike, while also waiting for the snow to melt.