Monday, May 16, 2016

Some mechanical issues in my Ambuklao loop ride

Wheels of Happiness

Rizal Philippines
May 16, 2016

I had some concerns about the mechanical fitness of my bike yesterday.  But discounting them (which are minor) I love more my bike, and that should make more attentive to some of the issues with MTB:

1. Its front wheel tire orientation relative to rotation direction is wrong.

2. The cleats mechanism. I could  not engage or disengage fast after we passed the dirty, dusty road between Halsema and Ambuklao dam

3.  I lost brakes at the rear. It happened too to Long and Dino.  Too much heat degrade the mineral oil and cause the expansion of the brake lines containing the hydraulic fluid. To avoid this, some mods have to be made on brake lines:   SS or braided lines at least near the chain stay to avoid this thermal expansion of the brake lines.

4.  Suspension and tire pressure:  I was challenged at the dirt off road section of the provincial highway (17 km) because of two things:

    1.  The recommended tire pressure is 40 psi. for off road   Mine was at 65 psi.  I had no gauge so I could not estimate the right pressure, I wanted to be conservative as in road bike, we prefer to have  tire pressure of 100 psi to avoid flats

   2. I had the suspension adjustment wrongly set at lock, and not at soft setting

  This caused me to have jarring jack hammer like ride that even caused the flashlight and seat mount to loosen.  I braked frequently and moved slowly and was left behind by 2 to 3 minutes.  The MMS rider were kind enough to wait for me.

Well it takes a lot of practice and maybe crashes.  But Dino advised that to avoid the jarring vibrating ride aside from having  rough ride, he advised me to ride fast so that the bumps look some 25 ft ahead to see obstacles.  Once it is 10 ft or less, you are committed and dont panic if you make a mistake. Just Go go. Bumps, berms, rocks  are evened out (that is the reason why we have 29 tires for the rough x country ride\  I have to work on my techniques too.  I must not do this where there are cliffs and passing vehicles

I learned my lesson and I will do better next time

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