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Derailleur Alignment, Gear Cables & Cheap Power Meters | GCN Tech Clinic


(whooshing) – Welcome back to another episode of the GCN Tech Clinic, where I aim to help and solve your bike related problems So if you've got one, leave it for me down there in the comments section and I'll do my very best to help answer it in an upcoming episode

With no further ado, let's crack on with the first question this week And it comes in from Theo Hernandez Their question is, "Can you use break cable housing for a shifter cable?" As Theo is all out of shifter housing and needs a little piece to go in between the rear derailleur and chain stay cable stop, about six inches "Would such a short length compress enough to make my 7-speed indexed shifting unreliable?" Theo, do not do that, my friend The reason being is that the outer cables are created differently

In that a break cable is made of a spiral-bound bit of outer, which the indicator then runs through Whereas a gear outer cable, has its length done well, in one long line, if you like So it's made of many, many strands and they can't compress Whereas that spiral one on a brake, can compress, giving you well, a slight bit of modulation I guess, if you lock up a brake But it's not going to give you like an ABS style feel

But yeah, the purpose behind the gear cables being made in that way, is they don't compress because your gear cables have to be really, really exact in their tensioning So stick with some outer gear cable, if you want to have perfect gear shifting And next up a question from Luis Sanchez, "I was wondering if we will ever see budget power meters, ones you can simply glue onto your cranks, or something of that sort for us peasants who don't want to drop hundreds on a new crank?" Right, Luis, possibly, there have already been a couple of examples of this The Watteam Powerbeat and also the iQsquare Their first product was a bit of equipment basically that went in between the pedal and also the crank kind of screwed into the thread and then you put the pedal in on there

Although, now I've looked on their websites, neither of them are currently shipping anymore But keep your eyes peeled, this sort of thing does pop up on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, that sort of thing, but right now, there is nothing in production that I'm aware of Next up is zurjon23, who says they love the Tech show, which is brilliant Their problem is though, recently their rear mech fell off and it got caught on the wheels and bent the derailleur hanger Now zurjon says they tried to straighten the derailleur hanger and installed a new rear mech as well

The problem is, it seems that they can't index the rear mech properly anymore Ooh, zurjon, right then, that rear derailleur hanger alignment is absolutely crucial Doing it by eye is really not good enough, which I reckon you've probably done there What you are going to need is a derailleur hanger alignment tool So, when you fasten that on, you can actually line up in a few different places on the back wheel to make sure it is in the correct place

So, laterally adjusted as well as vertically adjusted It's amazing what a few degrees out of place can actually make when it comes to your gear indexing Along with that, I would get some new gear inner and outer cables too, if you've put a new rear derailleur on Because it's amazing the difference to indexing performance that a new set of cables can make Next up is Athur S, who says, "Hi Jon, I'm using a Tiagra rear derailleur in my cyclocross bike

But when I go off-road the chain flies everywhere on the rough terrain, hitting the frame and sometimes skipping on the cassette I thought maybe changing derailleur for Deore with a clutch mech would help Does this make any sense and what's more, will it work together?" Right Artur, firstly, Shimano road and mountain bike components don't really work that well together The reason being the amount of cable that's pulled by the shift lever isn't the same across road and mountain bike components But, there is a handy little solution for you here and it comes from a brand called Wolf Tooth and they make something called a Tanpan

Which is a tiny little metal wheel, which the chain, sorry which the cable can roll around and in turn can work absolutely perfect Check out their website and make sure it's compatible with your levers, but yeah all should be okay Next up is Ben Carley-Macauly, who says, they're thinking of going one-by on their road bike as they rarely use the inner chain ring and have had problems with front derailleurs "Apart from a narrow wide chain ring, is there anything else that I would need to ensure the chain would be secure, whilst preferably keeping my current rear mech? All the best, Ben" Ben, nice question and also good as well you want to keep that rear mech on there, because, well, you're going to save yourself a little bit of cash there

Now I've done this on my own bike, well one of them at home and with a good deal of success actually I've never lost a chain, but something you could consider on there, is a chain guide or a chain catcher, that sort of thing Which could clamp onto your existing front mech braze on, if that's what you've got on the frame If not actually a clamp on one And Wolf Tooth as well as K-EDGE even make these solutions for you

Good luck mate and let me know how you get on with those bits of kit Right next up is olly cook, who says, "Can I put a SRAM 11-speed cassette on a 10-speed Shimano Freehub?" Ooh, yeah you can, but not always If it is a Shimano actual branded Freehubs on a Shimano wheel, very unlikely In fact, I've never seen it done before, unless you do some machining of a cassette on a lathe to remove some excess material and everything and then you are able to do that However, if you've got yourself a Shimano Freehub on a Mavic wheel then the chances are it'll work absolutely fine

Because I've seen all sorts go on them They're one of the few companies out there who have a Freehub which seems to be able to accommodate anything you throw its way – Next up is, Jason M, who says, "Hi Jon, great show Is there a minimum tire clearance between tires and fork on a disc brake bike? I've recently upgraded my wheels and tires, going from 25 to 28mm The 28mm front tire has 1

5 to 2mm gap all around" And Jason says they actually had to pull off all the little new tire nubs 'cause they could hear them hitting the fork Jason, I would be a little bit concerned to be honest The reason being, if your wheel goes slightly out of true, there's a good chance it's going to start rubbing on the inside of the fork there And that's not what you want, let's face it because you're going to start wearing away the material

Personally, I'd go back to the 25's It sounds to me like it's probably an older generation disc brake road bike, because it can't accommodate 28's Most of the modern ones or recent additions, tend to be able to do that This reminds me of the old time trial bikes back in the 80's and early 90's Where the clearances used to be so tight that if you picked up a little bit of gravel on your tire, it would actually start rubbing on the frame and it would cause quite horrible gauges on the paintwork

In actual fact, I just got one of these This is a bit of fag paper and we used to call that fag paper clearances Because they used to say it was so tight you could just about put one of these through there Yeah, you don't want that on your bike, not in my opinion – And the final question this week comes in from Phil Weatherley who says, "Hi Jon, here's a question

I've made a bike light" Right, okay "6W LED at the front, 1W at the back Cables between them, it works well Currently using twin flex, supply and return

What do you think about using the frame as the return so I only have one conductor to each light? It's only 1A at the front and 350mA at the back So I thought to use copper tape, suitably insulated, stuck where you can't see it on the frame, so removing festoons of visible cable Your thought sir?" Phil, what an electrifying question there my friend I really don't know how to answer this one, because I'm not an electrician I have just done a rewire, but I'm not a qualified electrician

What I would certainly not suggest is doing this, if you're unsure really and you've asked me and I wouldn't, I just don't like the idea of sending electrical signal through a frame I know there's not a massive amperage or watts or anything like that actually going through the frame But you are going to be wanting to send an electrical signal through the frame that you're riding on On the safe side of caution you've got one heart, don't risk giving it a shock, please my friend I know that someone out there will be able to answer this question comprehensively in the comments down below, so look out for that one

But my personal thought would be, please don't do it Right, I hope I've been able to help answer or solve your problem this week Let me know down there in the comment section if you've got a question and I'll do my very best to help answer it in an upcoming episode And now, don't forget too, to like and share this video with your friend and also, why not check out the GCN shop at shopglobalcyclingnetwork

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