24 January 2009

pirates vs. bike mechanics -- Bunny's story

First of all: my new bicycle (see recent post) finally has a name!
Now, the story of what happened in the bike shop when I went there again for fixes and fine-tuning.
To better understand what happened, please recall the scene from Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest where William Turner challenges Davy Jones for a dice game proposing a life of servitude as his stake and asking for "the key" as Jones'. Of course, young Bill looses, but he still achieves his purpose: Jones shows the key and now Bill know where it is stored.

Okay, here's what happened in a bike shop in Taipei, threehundred years later. I asked for a readjustment of my headset which the shop owner does with the wrong tool (my heart is bleeding!) and with unsatisfactory results. But at least I do now know how the handle post is to be dismounted! This confirms my expectation without myself having to take a risk.
But the stories goes further, because I also asked to increase the gear ratio. Shop man's first reply was of course that I should have bought a more expensive bike with more gears in the first place. I explained, that I do not want more gears, but just want higher gears. (Same story which happened with Speedy, only on a different level of quality.) Anyway we discussed a number of options and in the end he offered me a piece of hardware which had a smallest sprocket with 13 teeth instead of 14. The piece looked used and it was not Shimano. He later told me that it's from a racing bike. I suppose he meant a big racing bike, not some other folder. This clarified my other question: apparently the Dahon rear hub takes any standard free wheel with sprockets. This means that I could put one on myself. In Toronto, I would probably find such a piece at the Bike Pirates or UofT Bike Chain...
In any case, I got the information!

I am still horrified when I think how the bike shop man tried to adjust the headset without loosening the counter nut first. Maybe I misunderstood that, but it seems he just wanted to avoid taking the seatpost off first. I will investigate this further before I make any adjustments myself.

So, finally, it looks like Bunny got all her tuning for commissioning done. I am satisfied with her so far and soon we are going to go for more rides. Let's get up early tomorrow morning! And starting from tomorrow I will also look for potential buyers who appreciate her strenghts...


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