Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The price of living in a small country

The rear brake on the pug had lost all power and I couldn't even lock-up the back wheel on gravel. Not really a problem as the back brake doesn't get used much anyway, but I wanted this bike in tip top shape for my upcoming race so I decided to get it fixed. 

The lever travel was good and it didn't feel spongy, so I cleaned the rotor and sanded the pads' surfaces in case they had got contaminated somehow. Still no power. Time to talk to the guys at Bikesmith - my new LBS. 

Well you learn something new every day. This is my first bike with discs and I was informed the pads were probably contaminated and the oil soaks in, so you can't just clean-up the top surface. Clark said I could try burning it off with a flame (and I might still try that as an experiment) but I stumped up for a new set of pads and bought a Camelbak for the race while I was there.

Now the pain started. $32 US Dollars for something I can buy in the USA online for $14.95 at Speedgoat (and I'm sure you could buy cheaper). I don't begrudge the bike shop their profit. These guys have got families to feed and are not driving around in Bentleys. They shift a lot less product than the American shops would and are probably marking consumables like this up 100%. That's OK, they gotta make a buck somehow, but someone else in the chain is getting greedy. 
People tell me "it's the transport costs, New Zealand is a long way away from anywhere". If that's the case how come I can buy a Chinese made sofa for $199 or a dining room table and six chairs for $99? You could fit a lot of brake pads in a furniture container.

Rant over... I can stop on a dime now, or at least a half dollar.


Jeff said...

I've been eating a lot of New Zealand apples for $1.39 per lb, and I live up here in the Nevada desert.

I smell a rat.

Antoine said...

You guys get cheap petrol too.

Anonymous said...

I know a-lot about brakes, and the brakes that work the best for my trike are Haynes ceramic 3000 series
(2004 models) x3, part No:E35DP3680C.
While I'm on the topic of issues please read as follows:
Chain Lubrication... A lot has been written about chain maintenance. My own experience is rather weird.

I came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter much which lubricant one uses. I tried sewing machine oil, semi-fluid lube oil for automatic weapons, old motor oil, motorcycle chain oil, all working okay. The only lousy product I ever used was Finish Line KryTech chain wax lubricant but, anyway, I can't afford it now.

The only thing that seems important to me is that one lubes the chain after all.

Is this also your experience?

Ninja Biker

Antoine said...

I use "dry oil" on my chain. It's not dry at all, it's quite a light oil. Less sand sticks to the chain with this and I am washing my chain often anyway because I'm always riding on the beach.

Anonymous said...

Hey ANT!!
This refers to the SICK Post!!!!!!
I've found a good training guide for as follows: (please follow carefully)

Workout Basics
Here are the basic principles for this weight training program:
• One set to failure.
• Aiming for 8-10 reps per set, leading to muscular failure.
• Slow cadence. 5 seconds up and then 5 seconds down.
• Low frequency. (Max 2x per week, perhaps once every 4 days.)
• 3 minutes rest between exercises.
• Each workout will consist of 4-7 multi-joint exercises.
• Each workout will work the entire body (arms and then legs.)

The Exercises
Here are a few example exercises:
• Leg press
• Trap bar deadlift
• Overhead press
• Dips
• Incline bench press
• Yates Bent Row
• Close-grip shoulder press
• Close grip supinated pulldowns
• Hamstring curl
• Leg extension

Plus some jogging or stationary biking for a warm-up and cool-down.
Hope this help ANT good luck for your single speed race, I know you wont come last not with this training !!!!

Ninja Biker