Bike Check: Fall 2019

Long time, no see…

It has been so long since I’ve seen, let alone ridden my bike. The bike has laid dormant in storage since May, but I haven’t actually ridden it since late April.

While school started a couple weeks ago, I was just now able to get it delivered to me.

The 2016 Giant Sedona after its summer slumber…

With all that said, I haven’t really done much to this bike. Last May, before having it toted into storage, I completely cleaned the rear tire and rim. It seemed like there was black dust accumulating on everything on the rear of the bike, so when I’d touch the tire or rim – such as to check the tire pressure – I’d get black, soot-like dust all over my hands. After a thorough cleaning which involved removing the tire and deeply scrubbing the tire, rim and spokes, the issue was gone.

However, I rode it a short distance (just from the parking lot to my building) today and after returning I decided to check the rear tire pressure after its summer slumber. The black dust was somehow back, although not as bad. I’m curious as to what is causing it.

Speaking of tire pressure, the rear tire had only dropped about 25-27 pounds over the three-month break. It had dropped from about the normal 65 PSI to about 38-40 PSI. When I broke down the rear tire to clean everything, I did find a small puncture in the Michelin Protek Max tube. So the slime is doing its job and keeping that pressure in. Also, I haven’t noticed any issues with the valve sticking “open” on this tube like others have noted – although there have been times after removing the pump head where it will momentarily leak before the valve seals.

The rear tire pressure dropped from 65 PSI to 38-40 PSI…

As for the front tire, I inserted a new rim strip and bought a thicker Goodyear-brand (Kent) tube. The rim strip is a Ritchey rim strip that I had installed on the old rim from the Huffy Superia. I probably last topped that tire off a little over a month ago, and it was down to about the same pressure the rear tire was at.

The new (to this bike) Ritchey rim strip on the front rim that I robbed off the Huffy Superia’s old rim.

Back in April I purchased a Bell Dashboard 150 bicycle computer. Costing less than $13 at my local Walmart, I picked it up and installed it on my bike. Since installing it, it really hasn’t worked well. It may work for a ride or two, and then it’ll stop registering the speed. The sensor keeps slipping down the fork. While likely installer error, I also wish it had another way to fasten the sensor to the frame that makes it fit tighter and easier to remove.

The $13 cycling computer hasn’t really worked very well, most likely because of installer error.

When it did manage to read the speed, it did a pretty good job.

One dilemma I’m faced with right now with this bike is whether to keep it inside or outside. Unlike the building I resided in last year, my current building doesn’t have an elevator. While this bike is super light (at least compared to the 1987 Free Spirit Pinnacle with its gas-pipe steel frame) it is awkward to lug up stairs, especially with its baskets.

Either way, I hope to ride this bike a lot. Over the summer I wasn’t able to ride any (where I stayed over the summer isn’t very bicycle friendly) so I’ve once again got way out of shape. However, there’s one way to fix that…

And, no I’m not forgetting it my other bike…

1987 Free Spirit Pinnacle: Update

Instead of lugging the 1987 Free Spirit Pinnacle here to use as a decorative piece for my room, I decided to leave it home in storage.

I’m actually thinking I’m going to keep it in storage until I graduate, as right now there isn’t much I can do with it and I really don’t want to waste any money or time on it right now. But don’t worry – it isn’t going anywhere (literally,) at least for now.

I did do something on it over the summer: I purchased new tubes for it. I purchased two basic $4 Bell/CST/Acimut tubes and installed them. Before installing the tube I made sure the electrical tape covered the rim nipples completely, though I don’t think that’s the problem.

Back in November, one of the better quality (Q-Tubes) tubes developed a leak in a spot near one of the holes in the rim. I believe these holes may be causing the issues and unfortunately, due to their location, I don’t believe they can be covered or fixed.

However, since installing the tubes over the summer – they have maintained air pressure… well, at least they’re not completely flat. So perhaps there isn’t a problem and that particular tube was just defective.

In either case, I believe the holes in the rim are a sign that these rims are shot, beyond repair and could be dangerous. So just another reason to sideline the Pinnacle until replacement rims can be purchased.

So, yes – the Sedona and Pinnacle are still in existence. The Sedona is going to be my sole bike, while the Pinnacle sits in storage until a later date.

P.S. – Also, you may be wondering why posts are becoming irregular. I’ve been going through a personal rough patch lately and haven’t really updated the site. Though I’m hoping things pass and I can start writing more things again…