My updates @ College and whatever in-between.

Sport

Cycling: Wheel Building

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I’m still working on getting the bike to peak perfection, this time with changing the front rim over. Never done this job before but I bagged a Sun Rims Singletrack for £5.00 on eBay and went for it. This wheel has been totally awesome it’s just so strong, the Sun Rims Mammoth has to be one of the best rims out there for strength, but still I got my other Singletrack now so finally matching wheels time !

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One of the key things to do when building a wheel up is knowing exactly what spokes you need !

Edd, an easy to use spoke calculator

This was a bit of a challenge due to my M755 front hub which is rather ancient, so it was not on Edd’s hub database. I luckily found all the numbers on a forum post through Google and inputted them into the spoke calculator manually… at least my rim came up on the database search 🙂 As you can see once you put in all the details it tells you what to get (263.9 / 262.9mm). I decided to go with 36x263mm Halo black spokes off eBay which only set me back £12.99. I only need 32 spokes for this build but a few spares might come in handy ! I also got an 8way spoke key for £1.90 which is a must have for later…

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Next was stripping the wheel down, which was done using a flat blade screwdriver going around each spoke nipple and loosening them off two turns as you go round the wheel. It’s a slow process but if you loosen the spokes off progressively it’s much easier than doing one at a time, because of the pulling stresses from the alternate spokes on the other side of the rim.

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Cleaned up the old XT HB-M755 hub and kept the old spokes just temporarily. Just waiting for the spokes in the post now…

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Here is the new wheel after about 2 hours of using the spoke key which drove my crazy ! The wheel is still not perfectly true but it’s not like I’m entering the Tour De France or something ! For some reason the spoke key really was not the best of fit on the spokes and started chewing up the nipples real bad, so a word of advice perhaps go for one of the better “Park Tool” spoke keys which cost a bit more.  For putting the spokes back in I just copied my back wheel which is obviously the same but I also used these two videos which are pretty helpful:

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It’s very important to watch the truing video because It’s important to understand how the spokes are pulling the rim from left to right as well as inwards to the hub ! So I’ve switched back to my IRC Mud-Mad tyres as you can see, though I hate mud they are good for summer off-road and loose surfaces for the places I got cycling. I hope this post is helpful to anyone considering building a wheel or two 😀

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Cycling: Suspension Forks, Rebuild or Replace ?

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Bikes been out of action for a while now since the left fork seal decided to fail, which to my luck the oil ran down the fork and contaminated the disc pads ! It wasn’t a catastrophic failure but more of a persistent weep which had to be wiped down every week. I eventually had to make the decision whether to rebuild the 14 year old Bomber Z4’s or just purchase another set of forks ?

I had a look at my options mainly in the used marketplaces of Gumtree and eBay where I found similar spec forks from around £50.00 a bit beaten up like mine but described as “good condition” or “works perfectly”. I did eventually even find my exact 2001 Z4 aria’s on Gumtree for £45.00 which was very tempting. The thing about me though is I don’t like waste, if something can be fixed then I’ll give it my best shot and hopefully I’ll learn something along the way too.

So I decided to go for the rebuild option with a little extra and that was paint ! After 14 years the forks look quite battered although they look alright in the photo above trust me they need a good refurbish.

Purchase 1: Prep Bits

Sandpaper – Pound Stop/Stretcher/Crusher/Whatever £1.00

Wire Brush Drill Bits – Tool-station £3.50

These drill bits were actually overkill to be honest on the fork legs, but the pointy thin brushes are key for stripping off the paint under the MG arch and in the V-brake mounting recess areas, where sandpaper just cannot reach.

Purchase 2: Spray Paint

Hi-Build Primer – Coastal Car Spares £5.00

Industrial Jet Black Spray – Tool-station £5.10

Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Laquer – Wilko £7.00

So three stages for paint, I hope it will stay on 😀

Purchase 3: Seals

Enduro Marz 30″ –  Tweeks Cycles £24.00

The important bit, and not cheap for 4 seals but it’s great someone still makes these considering the age of the forks.

Purchase 4: Oil

Stendtec 5W fork oil – £5.99

The forks rely on oil and air displacement to function so I had to get some more.

Purchase 4: Decals

Marzocchi logos x2 – eBay £3.50

I like my finishing touches and didn’t want them totally blank.

Total for parts: £55.09

Okay so I drained and stripped the forks and there was no real turning back. It was pretty annoying with the painting process these last few weeks because the rain was on and off and holding me up big time. Eventually I got there with the painting process and I could put the new seals in, which I must stress you should follow the instructions on the Enduro site. When they say put the seals in as evenly as possible you really need to Now the internal seals are pretty easy but the blue wiper seals are tricky and get really stuck if you knock them in at an angle, so do be patient if you are putting these in.

So oil in, PSI’d up and stickers on here’s the result !

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I think they look pretty awesome and totally unique. I can report after an initial ride down to Hythe and back I’m still alive and the forks are working as they should without any leaks ! If you’ve owned a set of forks for years then yes it’s well worth servicing them, especially the old Marzocchi Z series forks.

Next thing coming up will be the front wheel which I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I’ve picked up a Sun Rims singtrack rim for £5.00 on eBay so finally I can run a matching front again, so I’m off to order black spokes to go with all this craziness. I gotta get some matching tyres too hmm, another DMR Moto or a Geax Blade ? I do like the green sidewall look 😀