Monthly Archives: December 2013

Stiff Rohloff shifting #cycling

I’ve been meaning to write about my Rohloff shifting experiences I had a couple of years ago I for a while now, probably since I had them, but now I’m finally putting the words down on virtual paper.

I had a long commute at the time and I was getting really bad wrist pain in my shifting hand. This was before I had decent grips too, so it wasn’t the most comfortable ride either. I put the wrist strain down to shifting it too much, people do warn of such wrist strain injuries that can occur, but this is one I never thought I’d encounter.

So, tugging at the gear ring cables and the Rohloff seemed to change gear easily enough, pulling the gear cable through by hand also seemed a little stiff, but nothing major, so I couldn’t see a problem.

I decided to replace the gear cable inner and outer (cable housing) just to rule that out and my gosh, what a difference! Shifting was then possible using only my finger and thumb rather than huge effort, marvellous. My wrist strain went away and I also bought some decent ergonomic grips, I’ve not had a problem since!

What prompted the change of cable was a bit of rust I spotted, but actually it turned out to be far worse, the housing had actually split in a couple of places and was long overdue a replacement.

I often think that if I want a bike that feels new, the best thing to do is replace the cables, adjust the brakes and that makes a world of difference.

New 55mm SKS mudguards for Bluebell, ready for the winter tyres #cycling

The SKS mudguards I had on Bluebell (my Thorn Raven Sport Tour) didn’t give enough clearance for my Schwalbe Marathon Winter tyres. Last winter I tried to ride without mudguards, but it’s just nasty and I’m too lazy to clean my frame every ride, so the frame was beyond my normal dirty threshold.

This year I decide to get bigger mudguards.
Simple? No, fitting mudguards is a pain!
First I had to drill a hole through the rear one so I could bolt through it into the mount point.
Then swap tyres to make sure I had it adjusted correctly, turns out my inner tube was on its last legs, so it fizzled flat, tyre off, spare tube fitted and I was back in business


Wow, this photo really shows the filth behind the v-brake and some rust on the cable retainer, it looks better in real life 🙂

The front was even more tricky, the fancy rubber thing on the front of the guard had to come off, it just rubbed the 1.75″ studded tyre, there’s very little clearance!


Then I had to mount it further around than the bracket it is pre fitted with, fortunately I didn’t have to remove the original, which is the normal thing to do, instead I just used the sliding bridge (bracket) that would have been used on the read mudguard.


Which seems to be a far easier solution to drilling out rivets, drilling new holes then bolting the original bracket back on.

Final things to do are:
1) Hacksaw off the extra metal from the mudguard stays, I keep thinking I’ll leave them, but then I also keep catching my legs on them (not while riding)
2) Give them a real test when the weather gets wintery enough for ice tyres

I’ll post an update if everything goes wrong, otherwise assume they work perfectly and I’m happily enjoying the foul weather.