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Adjusting a caliper brake is pretty straightforward.
First off, loosen up the cable anchor bolt with an allen wrench. Make sure the quick release lever on the caliper is closed and not opened. Next, close the caliper with your hand to right about where you’d like them to be, in terms of distance of the brake pads from the rim.
If your brake pads are not perfectly on the rim and are either angled up or down, loosen the bolt that holds the pads in place. Close the caliper to position.
First things first: a freewheel is not a cassette. There are several differences between the two. In a cassette, the ratcheting mechanism is part of the hub and is integrated, not screwed on. A freewheel is threaded onto the hub. A way to tell is to look for a flat lockring on top of the smallest cog. If it has splines or grooves, it is a cassette and not a freewheel.
Cassettes are used more typically nowadays, whereas freewheels can be found on older bikes.
You also have to remember that most companies make their freehubs non-compatible with cassettes from other companies. So if you have a Shimano cassette and need to replace a cog, a Campagnolo will never work because they are splined differently.
Adjusting your road bike brakes is a pretty straightforward matter. And faulty braking, at any level, is something you don’t want.
First, you’ll want to look at what is going on. Maybe the brake pads aren’t the correct distance from the rim. In order to correct that, check to see if the caliper mounting bolt is screwed in tight. Then assess and make sure the tires are correctly placed in their dropouts and see how much, if at all, are they not centered in the caliper bridge.
Check your brake pads. If they are worn, replace them. To toe them in correctly, loosen the pad mount bolt and grip your brake lever to position them directly onto the rim. Make sure you clear both the tire and the spoke edge. If not, consistent braking will form a lip on the pad and if that is on the tire side, it will cause a blow out.
Changing gears on a bike is the heart of what may make or break your biking experience. Even though a mountain bike is featured in this tutorial, the information can easily be applied to road and triathlon bikes.
What you need to remember is that the rear derailleur is controlled by your right hand and the front derailleur is controlled by your left hand. What normally tends to happen (unless you are constantly in changing terrain) is that you adjust the freewheel (left hand) setting first and then play with the combinations on the back.
“STI” stands for “Shimano Total Integration” and it refers to the fact that the gear shifter and the brakes can be accessed in the same lever.
How it works is that the lever is a vertical one that if you pull the lever towards you, you operate the brake. If you push it in towards the bike, you operate the shifters.
Right hand operates the rear brakes as well as the rear derailleur whereas the left hand operates the front brakes and the front derailleur. There is a trigger, either on the lever or to one side of the shifter grips where you can click the gears back through the range of sprockets.
These shifters are normally found on a road bike and may also include brakes not only on the drops but also on the straight of the handlebars, as well.
Shimano Rapidfire Shifters are used on upright handlebars and use a mechanism that consists of a thumb and an index finger trigger. The thumb moves you to a larger sprocket and the index finger usually takes you to a smaller sprocket.
Like a trigger on a gun, the Shimano Rapidfire Shifters click over briskly. This is a very popular option, as trigger shifters are the more common option on a bike.
The right shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left shifter controls the front derailleur.
These types of shifters are usually found on mountain bikes.
Grip shifters are basically rings that twist on the handlebar itself. They differ from the trigger shifters in that they don’t have a lever extending from the handlebar, creating a bit of a cleaner look. People opt for grip shifters for a variety of reasons, mostly for aesthetics and/or for the rapidness with which you can shift from one gear to another.
To shift gears, all you have to do is to twist with your thumb and forefinger.
The right shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left controls the front derailleur.
The most popular make of grip shifters is Sram but there are other brands so make sure you do your comparison shopping.
These types of shifters are normally found on a mountain bike.
Chain wear can definitely affect your ride for the worst and can cause an accident. They wear out as a result of the rivets being pulled on by the outer plates. It’s what they call a chain stretch. The chain itself doesn’t really stretch; it’s just the plates being pulled apart.
At any rate, it’s no good so to check if there is wear. If things don’t look perfectly round or straight, that is a possible indication of damage.
Your chain is really far gone if, because they stretched and pulled so much, they don’t even sit on the sprocket teeth and ride up.
There are also a couple of methods you can use to check. One is using a chain checking tool like this one:
In order to make sure you have the right length of chain on your bike, place the new chain on the largest chainring as well as the largest sprocket. You don’t have to thread it through the derailleur just yet.
Once you’ve got that done, pull the ends together. See where they could approximately connect. Then take the longer end and count off two pinholes more. Make sure they are able to mate with the other end and normally, that means that the part that you cut with the chain tool must end with INNER PLATES. If the point of two more pinholes ends in an outer link, round up and cut at the next inner link. DON’T EVER ROUND DOWN!
Thread the chain through the derailleurs and then with your chain tool or with your master link, connect the two ends. With either case, you will probably need to pull and bend a tad the link as it will probably be a bit stiff.
Chains are where you can get a lot of grit and just plain dirtiness accumulating so it’s something you should clean and maintain on a regular basis. If you need to install a chain, remember to get one that is compatible with your system because the larger the number of sprockets you have on your bike, the thinner the chain you will need. A thin chain for a 10-sprocket bike can theoretically be used on sprockets designed for wider chains.
The inverse is not true. You cannot use a chain from a single-speed bike (wider sprocket) on a 10-speed (thinner and multiple sprockets).