Tag Archives: Nexus

Gentle ride to the duck pond with the baby #cycling

He was as quiet as a mouse for the 12 mile ride, even up the hill (going both ways).
There was a postcard picture moment of a squirrel scoffing his face perched on a log looking directly at me as I cycled past. It’s not the first time either (different squirrel though).

The Nexus lacks the gear range, boy did I miss Bluebell today. I’m hankering after a better baby bike!
I can’t use bluebell until I get a different Burley attachment because of the Rohloff cables

How much slack to leave in Rohloff cables

Someone asked “how much slack to leave in rohloff cables”.

Well, that is the great thing, the gear cables don’t need fine tuned tension to work, once correctly setup they are set until you need a new cable or gear ring cable whichever comes first (normally the latter).

Mine are loose but only a fraction of a turn on the shifter will take that slack up. You have to be sensible about it, too tight and those bayonet connectors are not going to couple easily, too loose and you’ll be waggling into your spokes and of course will not be able to change into all 525% / 14 evenly spaced gears.

The nice thing is the barrel adjusters can take up the excess slack if you have a bit too much.

Have you seen Shimano’s effort even on their latest Alfine? Yuck! No better than my awful Nexus.

Back to the Nexus for a while #cycling

My rear wheel has been feeling a bit wobbily recently as the spokes needed retuning, the rim was very worn so I was already in the process of getting quotes for a rebuild when I noticed this:
Without the flash if this is any better?
So that split has forced my hand, I’ve cut 32 spokes and boxed up the Rohloff for postage to SJS cycles to rebuild it. Evans wheel builder hasn’t heard of Rohloff, what??? Local bike shop builder was going to source parts from SJS anyway and would cost more! Anyway that aside, man is it difficult to cut 32 plain gauge spokes, my hands were really sore by the end of it.
With no other option, I kitted out the Nexus bike
Nearly forgot the mirror….
No time to transfer the Ergon grips, they will have to wait till tonight.

The family shopping trip #cycling

Ready to go with a smile….20121007-142434.jpg
Sleeping soundly upon return, only crying before leaving town
It’s the wife’s bike in the background, if she starts cycling more then I’ll buy a nicer bike, till then she’s stuck with that old Frankenstein bike.
And no, I don’t live on a beach, that’s my driveway.
I hadn’t realised how much we’d bought
The Burley holds a fair amount in the back, I didn’t have any luggage on the bike, but I imagine you could carry a lot if you did.

It really is odd how little the weight bothers me, I guess we’re not climbing mountains or going fast, so that’s good.

I hope we get a few more of these rides in before winter kicks in and puts the wife off the idea.

Battery or dynamo hub powered front light, the big decision #cycling

At present I have an Air Bike P7 Ever Light (SCC P7 LED, 700 lumens) and it’s been working well for several years now but a while back the cat chewed the charger cable, so I patched it up, but the lamp cable has also been patched up, the lens is cracked and the reflector surface has bubbled in places too. Sure, it still works, but a replacement is overdue.

I can’t afford a decent branded battery pack light (oooww Betty) or a SON dynamo plus a decent lamp. Given the price of the MagicShine lights I’m tempted to buy one, but I’ve also been thinking about a dynamo. Dynamos seem expensive, mostly lack a flashing mode for daytime use and quick release would have to be a DIY solution too. Why am I still interested in a dynamo? Well, the modern battery front lights have such poor runtime that I find it annoying to have to keep charging it, my rear lights last the week so they can happily be battery powered without getting annoying. Fortunately Busch & Müller’s IQ DRL lamps aren’t that expensive and have a Daylight Running (flashing) Light, so if I can keep the price of the hub and wheel down then the only issue is a DIY quick release bracket, I can deal with that. Another thing about a dynamo (in theory) is that I can upgrade or replace the lower costing lamp in future, so when the IQ2 is widely available I can upgrade (or just wish I’d have waited for it). Nexus and Bluebell have different wheel sizes, so I can’t swap it between the bikes, but then I’ll still have the Air Bike that I can use on the lesser used Nexus if I have to.

Finding somewhere that sells dynamo hubs laced into rims isn’t that easy either, some don’t, they only sell the components, some say you’re going to have to contact them with your requirements and they’ll create the custom order for you. A few people recommended Bike24, so I went there, they do sell the built wheel, but unfortunately the cheaper dynamos were out of stock, after some huffing and puffing I decided to just splash out a bit (no, not on a SON, I can’t splash out that much!), here’s what I ordered:
Supernova Infinity S dynamo hub laced into a Mavic XM 719 rim (center lock or rim brake) – €229.90
Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Fly RT Senso Plus LED Front Light with DRL 174QRTSNDI – €49.90
Total = €279.80

The downside (there always is one) is Bike24 are based in Germany (hence the Euro price tag), so I’ve no idea how much it’s really costing, but I figure if I can afford it in pounds then it’ll be fine.

Wish me luck!

The all important first ride (in a Burley) #cycling #burley

I’ve finally got around to posting this up…

The first ride, important for both me and the baby.
Unfortunately the Burley only fits the Nexus bike, because of this issue with Bluebell (Thorn Raven Sport Tour):

Easily solved by buying a new (different style) hitch, but as of yet I haven’t.

The setup:


Test ride, you’d be amazed how bumpy my lawn is!

Out on the open road:

I then took him on a short loop (max 1 mile), he was quiet the whole way apart from when he started complaining because we were waiting for a while (OK, ages!) at a set of traffic lights.

My Burley is second hand, it’s a Burley Solo, I’m happy with it, though I have nothing to compare it to, so I won’t review it other than to say they are a big investment.

Since this I have taken him up a mid sized hill (i.e. a hill that is a bit of a grind, but my chest doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode), sure it was a grind with him on the back, but fun to whizz down the other size as roadies were slogging up it, some had a bemused look about them, as if to say how did you cycle up this hill with that on the back?

Code name: Bluebell – the build #cycling

Here is the final photo of Thunder (Thorn Raven Tour), I didn’t even go to the effort of cleaning it:

The plan:
Move all components over to Bluebell (Thorn Raven Sport Tour)
Use new headset spacers because Thunder doesn’t have enough
Use new crank bolts because I can
Replace non allen bolts with allen bolts (e.g. mudguard bolts)
Clean and grease every bolt thread except crank bolts
Clean and grease v-brakes because they are old and need some TLC
Try and retain as much of the original filth on the other components and wheels as possible

Starting midday I could see the clock was against me, I first disconnected the Rohloff bayonet connectors incase there was trouble there, then I pulled the cables through and lined up Bluebell for a photo:

I really dislike the Rohloff transfer, I think it’s the yellow “look at me” colour, so I taped that up, the blue tape doesn’t match as I’d have liked:

So I was ready to begin, I undid the rear brake cable so all the cables going through the braze-ons were out. I was going to start with the rear brake, but I thought I’d quickly move the seat post first. Eert errr… it was stuck solid. I took the hammer and helped it out:

Nice and rusty!
A quick and gentle rub with some sandpaper sorted that out:

I fitted the seat post and then the rear brake. The rear brake was a bit fiddly to take apart, but once I’d done one side the other was easy. Next I removed the chain and cranks, gave the chain a good clean (nothing worse than a gritty chain) and put them to one side. I then incorrectly fitted the headset and handlebars, more on that later. Then the front brake, what a nightmare, the least said about that the better, needless to say it took a lot of fiddling to get it back together and working properly. Since it is now rearwards facing I had to swap brake blocks left to right. I’d run out of time and needed another day to get it finished, so I stopped before it got too late, I took the following day off work rather than driving in and depriving the wife of the car.

The following day I fitted the front mudguard, some adjustment was needed as it was now sitting a lot closer to the tyre, stuck the front wheel on and here we go:

I then realised where I’d gone wrong with the headset, it did seem odd that I had two thin headset spacers left over, I had bought the right amount hadn’t I? Well, I’d missed the bottom washer (seal, erm, whatever you call it) and I had two in the top. So I redid that and it felt better and all the spacers I thought I needed fitted as planned. It wasn’t that much of a mistake, Thunder actually only had one washer anyway.
Going back to the rear again I removed the wheel and set about trying to remove the mudguard, the bolt was so badly corroded it sheared off, doh!

The mudguard woes didn’t end there, the bolt holes didn’t line up:

I attached with a cable tie then taped the frame thinking that would protect rubbing, then I decided to trim the mudguard too:

I changed my mind about this, decided I needed a new hole, so I drilled one and fitted it:

Great, mudguards fitted, but I still wasn’t happy with the front one, it was very close to the headset, so I filed off a fraction of a millimetre just to set my mind at rest. I fitted the rear wheel and most things were done now, just the cranks, chain and a bit of cabling and tweaking I thought. It turns out the bottom brackets I had didn’t fit with my cranks as they weren’t long enough! Thunder had a Shimano BB-UN53 68 BC 1.37 x 24 MM110, Bluebell had the same sized Shimano BB-UN54:

Both these fitted Thunder:

But when fitted on Bluebell there wasn’t enough room for the LHS crank to turn. Fear not, that wretched Nexus bike was about to be useful again:

Muhahahaaa! I did check my cycle spreadsheet to find out what size I bought for it 3 years ago, so I was 99% confident it would fit. Comparing:

The bottom bracket was thankfully long enough! A Shimano BB-UN54 68 BC 1.37 x 24 XL118.

Next I fitted the chain, but it was two links two long, Bluebell having the bigger frame too!

Just goes to show the Thorn Raven Sport Tour has a tighter rear.
The final touch before tweaking and a test ride was the speedo (another thing taken off the Nexus), oh, aero spokes, doh! Fortunately the magnet fits really close to the hub:

I’ve no idea what the settings should be, but I know how far my commute is, so I can tweak those over the coming week or so.
Final (pre tweaks) pictures:

Some tweaks and then a fast 2 mile spring around the local estates to test Bluebell out, tomorrow she’s got to earn her money 🙂

See also Code name: Bluebell – The first ride