Bicycle on a balcony overlooking the city

Tidying up

Replacement brake pads
Replacement brake pads

I spent a good amount of time in maintenance today. I made my second attempt at converting Kuroko to tubeless tires. But just like the first, although I’d purchased better fitting rim tape, I couldn’t get the tires to hold any air. After a few attempts I gave up and reverted to tubes.

Cycle rear brake caliper with wrench
Removing old brake pads

The next item was replacing the brake pads. Ben, the fantastic mobile mechanic, pointed out that the pads needed replacing while he was fixing the spokes that were broken by a badly adjusted derailleur. Fortunately, the pads are readily available and the replacement is straightforward.

Replacing screw in disc brake caliper
Inserting the screw

It’s a single hex bolt to remove the old pads. The same hex key is used to back out the adjusters. And then the new pads snap into place, and with the bolt tightened down it only remains to adjust the brakes for the new pads. I asked Nana to help by squeezing the brake lever while I adjusted the rear caliper.

Unscrewing the brake pads of a front caliper on a bicycle fork
Unscrewing the front pads

Reflective tape for bicycle wheels
Wheel reflectors

Reflective tape for bicycle wheels
Opening the package

I came across this reflective tape for bicycle wheels and decided to try it. I wasn’t happy with the reflectors on Kuroko’s wheels, from a purist standpoint, and they’d started falling off anyway. These Flectr 360 tapes seemed like a perfect answer: negligible weight, highly visible and not attached to the spokes.

I’d ordered the tapes nearly two weeks ago, and by the time I received a notification from the post office that I had a delivery from Germany, I’d quite forgotten about it. (They could have just left the envelope in the box, but it was registered post and required my stamp to show it had been delivered.)

Anyway, the installation was very simple and straightforward. I just cleaned the rims, decided where I wanted the tapes, peeled off the backing and then applied them to the rims. I think the result looks pretty good, and I feel more secure riding at night with something like this rather than nothing.

Flectr 360 rims tapes on a bicycle wheel
Pleased with the result

I also took this opportunity to swap out the generator hub for the original, and to replace the generator lights with rechargeable battery units — all in the interest of increased efficiency. Next month I’ll get a chance to see if all the purists on the Tour de Tohoko approve. (I’ve stashed all the generator bits in a giant Ziploc bag for the next extended tour — whenever that may be.)

The only remaining maintenance I’m aware of is a retightening of the bottom bracket and crank. I’m still waiting on a replacement for the lost self-extracting bolt. I think Kuroko will be rideable in the meantime, and I’ll check the main crankset bolt again before setting out for a ride tomorrow.

Two hubs and a spoke tension meter
Two hubs and a spoke tension meter

Meanwhile, I received a couple of bits for the Ol’ Paint refurb project: a couple of hubs and a spoke tension meter. The rims will take a bit more time, which is fine with me as I haven’t started sanding off the old paint yet.

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