Bicycle in stand on balcony

Some Love for Dionysus

I’ve started commuting on the bike again the past couple of weeks (although certainly not every day). It’s been good to get back on Dionysus and fight with traffic again rather than being squashed with the other commuters in the train.

But Dionysus had been sitting unloved in the bicycle parking for a couple of months at least, and hasn’t had any cleaning or adjusting for several months before that. While she was fine overall (after I pumped up the tires before the first ride), there were a couple of small issues. The shifting wasn’t quite as precise as it should be, with a little chatter in a couple of gears and a tendency to come off the lowest gear at the worst possible moment while climbing. (She would just pop into the next lowest gear, and an additional push on the thumb lever would put things back where they should be.)

I have the day off work today, but courtesy of Typhoon I, it’s rainy and cold — the perfect day to get Dionysus up on the racks. I started by cleaning and oiling the chain and inspecting it for wear: it’s still got lots of life yet.

Then I started fiddling with the adjustments, starting with the B limit as there seemed to be quite a bit of extra space. Then the low limit screw and the cable tension. Finally a touch-up with the high limit screw, and a bit more tension adjustment. I think things are where they should be now, but the proof will be in the next couple of rides.

The brakes were an easier go: I just needed to tighten up the cables. One of the cable ends came off during the process, but I have spares on hand. I was able to get the pads in quite close to the wheels as they’re still very true. (The rear is slightly egg-shaped, but that doesn’t affect the rim-to-pad clearance. I’ll take care of that another time.) Now — on the stand, at least — the brakes aren’t rubbing the rims, and they come on quite firmly with just a few millimeters’ pull of the levers.

Bicycle on balcony overlooking city
Could use a bath still

She could still use a bath — another thing that will wait for a warmer day — but for now she’s ready for the next sunny day’s commute. (Hard telling from the forecast when that might be.)

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