Monday, February 14, 2011

Doing It On My Own: The Results

I reported on Saturday that I had intentions to attach my new handlebars and reattach the necessary brakes and shifters to the Hillborne on my own. Here's how it all went down.

Step One: Take a deep breath and know that it's not the end of the world if this doesn't go well.
Hillborne awaits the mustache bars
Step Two:  Install mustache handlebars to the stem and tighten bolt.
Mustache bars are in place and tightened
Step Three: Attach brake levers to handlebar and tighten in place.
Brakes are on the bars, but not tightened
Step Four: Attach shifters to bar ends, and tighten?
Everything is on, right?
While on the surface it looks as though I was quite successful with my undertaking, it didn't actually go so well. First of all, because I have so little hand strength, the handlebars were not even remotely tight enough, so they were slipping all over the place. Sam had to tighten them when he arrived home.
Sam 1 - G.E. 0

Next, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to tighten the brakes on the handlebars. I looked, and looked, took them off of the bars and looked, but to no avail.
Searching for tightening mechanism on brakes
I also went online to attempt to find assistance, but apparently there are not bike assemblers out in the universe quite as slow as me, and this is obvious to all others on planet Earth. I decided to go ahead to the next step, attaching the bar end shifters, instead of stressing about it. When Sam got home, he illustrated that the tightening bolt is used by depressing the brake lever and sticking a wrench inside (rather blindly, I might add) to tighten these to the bars. The ironic part is that I had actually looked in the right place, however, I just didn't see what I was looking for.
Sam 2 - G.E. - 0

The nice thing about all of these attachments is that everything was already connected to derailleurs and such, so there really wasn't anything for me to do except re-attach them to the bar ends. It seemed simple enough, but while the left side slid right in, the right side was not cooperating at all.
Shifter just won't slide into the bar end
I had noticed that there was a portion of the shifter that had been unscrewed from the rest, but I didn't understand why this had been done, and had re-tightened the screw. What I discovered later, was that there was a reason it was disassembled, and that it was how the shifter was loosened and tightened into place. By this point, I didn't want to get upset, so I decided instead to head out to do some shopping with a friend in Denver. When Sam got home and explained what was needed, and then completed the task for me, it made sense, but I realized even more that I was just not cut out to do these sorts of tasks.
Sam 3 - G.E. 0

In all of this, I was proud of myself for at least trying to get the job done without assistance, but I was even more impressed that I didn't have a complete meltdown when it didn't work out.  Sometimes, patience is the best route, and knowing your own limitations can be invaluable. While I did attempt, with Sam's tutelage, to get the job done later in the evening, we realized that I just don't have the strength to tighten parts to the level they need to be. But hey, the stuff is on, and that's all that matters. I'll report on the first ride with these bars at a later time, but for now the realization that they are on appropriately is good enough.

1 comment:

  1. I think it went reasonably well, i mean, how can you find out where the tightening bold it, unless someone show's you at some point?

    As far as tightening things, really we need tools with more leverage, like they use in bike shops, not chincey stuff that i use : )

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