15th August 2013
This page is to keep maintenance notes. I started a project today to refurbish my hybrid as reported in a post – Ridgeback project. I’ve made this page public in case anyone wants to offer advice or share their own experience!

I was sold a ‘quick-link’ chain by Woodrups rather than a reinforced connecting pin one. Look for advice on fitting this. Searching forums suggests that there is no real difference but quick links are more convenient to fit and for maintenance. New chain (a Shimano HG40 116 links) seems to be about 1 link longer than old (which may be stretched of course). Will use full length as the new block is 12-32 rather than 11-28. Check when reassembled as when on largest ring and smallest sprocket the 2 jockey wheels should be vertical.

Took the rear gear mech off and cleaned it. Replaced with cable in more or less same position as before.

Fitted the chain (16/08) with great difficulty. Took over 30 mins and may have bent the pin plate in trying so squeezed them together again with pliers. Seemed to do the trick. Found a doc on line showing the system with a sliding pin on the pin plate – Mine was quite different and the instructions show the chain being flexed to line up the link plate hole with the second pin – – This is what I did –

The bike I was working on required a new 8 speed chain. The chain duly arrived and attached to the plastic bag was a Shimano quick link. Great I thought. I have used SRAM quick links on 9 & 10 speed chains and they work fine. The construction of this link was a bit odd as it looked like a normal link, except the one side had an oblong ring/sideplate. The slot has a slight cut out to cater for one of the chain pins, but this hole does not align with the second chain pin when putting it together. I contemplated using pliars, but resisted. If its a quick link and has no special instructions for installation, then it must be easy to install. So I inspected the attached SI more carefully and noticed 2 arrows pointing in an arc towards the installer. Difficult to show on a 2D diagram. Once I realised this it was easy. Loosen the chain from the front chain ring. Install the link. Then install the oblong ring/sideplate and bring the cut out over the remaining pin. Grab the chain with both hands with your thumbs over the chain link pins. Now bend the chain by pressing with your thumbs. (see step 5 below) This deforms the back chain side plate and allows the front side pins to move slight towards each other. The oblong link/sideplate then drops into position. Its that easy.

A general advice doc on fitting chains from Park Tools

The chain still jumps about on the rear block and the indexing is incorrect. Still can’t get the big ring.

21st August 2013
Took the bike to the Pedlars Arms, a bike maintenance cooperative in Mabgate Green, Leeds, where they provide tools and advice but you have to fix your own bike. Two things were spotted straight away. The chain was too long and the rear gear cable needed adjusting.  Using the special pliers provided it was fairly straightforward to remove the quick link and use a chain link tool to remove about 3 links. Despite using the method described above, to put the chain on the biggest ring and the smallest sprocket and make sure the jockey wheels are vertically aligned, it was obvious the chain was too long when on the small chain ring and second to top gear. Can’t remember the method of calculating required chain length – I think it was putting the chain on the biggest ring and biggest sprocket – so I will have to check.

Once the chain was shortened and re-installed it was a matter of using using the limit screws to align the jockey wheel with the smallest and biggest sprocket.. When this was done it was obvious the cable was too slack, hence having to double click to get from 7th (highest) to 6th gear and putting the indexed gear counter out. So, in 7th gear I slackened and pulled through the cable until it was quite taught and tightened the fixing bolt. I wound the rear cable adjuster fully before doing this to give the maximum scope for adjustment later on if needed. With this the gears worked perfectly. I used another screw adjustment – the B screw – on the rear mech to increase the gap slightly between the top jockey and the largest sprocket when in bottom gear. This was necessary as I had fitted a 32 bottom sprocket and there had been a 28 before. These Youtube videos show all this:
Bicycle Maintenance: How To Adjust a Rear Derailleur and How to Adjust Shimano Rear Derailleurs.

It seems the reason I cannot get the front changer to put the chain on the big chainwheel is that the gear shifter pod is knackered so I’ll have to get a new one in due course. Not a problem at the moment. My next job will probably be a brake overhaul and new cables throughout. I have already put new blocks on the front brake and have a pair for the rear yet to be fitted.

Monday 2nd September

Popped into Ellis Briggs during a ride along the canal and they fixed my front changer by squirting loads of penetrating oil into the handlebar change mechanism and working the lever until it clicked into the 3rd position and moved the chain onto the big ring. Apparently there are small pawl springs in the index ratchet mechanism and if the bike is in storage and unused for a long time they can seize up. This is clearly what happened in this case. This is quite a relief as I was told by them and by Woodrups that if I had to change the handlebar integrated gear and brake lever mechs I would have to buy a pair and these would not work with the type of brake callipers I had. My current Shimano Alivio 7 speed set up is obsolete. Of course I could have tried to track down some second hand parts.

2 thoughts on “Maintenance

  1. Pingback: Ridgeback project | The Bicycle Diaries

  2. Pingback: Ridgeback project (2) | The Bicycle Diaries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *