My First Bike Project – Pt. 2

Parts bought: Front axle, chain, seatpost, shifter clamp, seat post clamp, brake pads, brake fluid, tubes, grips.

Other parts: Pedals and saddle from my other bike (from when I upgraded those parts on that bike)

Total spent including bike: $568

After the encouraging words from David I began the process of checking jobs off the to-do list bit by bit – starting with the wheels and drivetrain.

I like the IMBY guys just down the road from me but decided to go to the slightly larger store, Kinetic, in Port Moody to source my parts. 

My first trip set me back about $200 and included a new 10-speed chain, front axle, tubes and some grease. The guys at Kinetic were great and helped me figure out what axle I needed based on the make and model and the shocks that came with the bike. A little surprised by the price, I went away and eagerly got to work. 

Chain on – no problem. Tubes replaced – perfect!. Axel – wrong size. Despite their best efforts I’d walked away from Kinetic with the wrong size axle. It fit the dropouts of the shocks but the quick release wouldn’t tighten anywhere near enough to be rideable.

1st trip back to Kinetic.

I took the bike this time and we put it on its back in the store to make sure the replacement they gave me was the right one. Quite pleasingly, the only one they had in stock at the right size was a bright red colour which matches Big Al quite nicely. Happy with the new part, I was even happier when they rang it through and told me I was owed about $50 because the new part cost considerably less than the first one! Win!

While I was there I asked them to throw in a basic shifter clamp compatible with SRAM X9 levers, which they did, tallied up my refund and sent me on my way.

The new axle went on no problem and with the tubes replaced this thing was starting to look more and more like a working bike – it had two wheels now after all.

With the wheels on it was time to get the shifter clamp replaced and tune up the gears which would tell me what kind of shape the rear derailleur was in. Sadly, the shifter clamp supplied didn’t come with a bolt, so, once again play came to a stop due to a part needing returning.

2nd trip back to Kinetic.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by the lad who’d served be the first and second trip, who now recognised me and just said “oh no, the wrong part again!?” Sadly, yes. A quick swap out this time and a whole dollar refund owed to me – which I left one my account as credit for a little surprised next time I would inevitably be there –  I headed back and got the shifter clamp on.

Much to my surprise the rear derailleur worked great, just some slight bending which, with a bit of encouragement, got back to its original shape, and we had smooth shifting! Just a seat and brakes to go.

With a couple days break, I headed back out to kinetic to get the final bits and pieces: seat post, seat post clamp, brake fluid and brake pads.

I just picked up a cheap seat post, around $30, just to get the bike in working order and give it a test – I figured I could always upgrade at a later date if I get enough use out of it. Different employee this time, I asked for the parts, asked for a seat post clamp to fit the 31.6mm seat post and off I went back home happy I’d be able to almost finish the the project off.

Sadly, this was not the case.

3rd trip back to Kinetic.

The seat post clamp would only fit around the seat tube with a lot of prying and effort. Then, once on, the clamp was too open for the bolt to fit through and insert nicely into the thread to be tightened. 

Back to Kinetik we go…

Thankfully they had a clamp just slightly smaller than what I needed bit it fit and we were off to the races.

With everything now in place, the only thing left was potentially the most expensive part to check yet…were the brakes any good or not?

Stay tuned!