Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Zincbike; A Diversion.

This is Zincbike;

Zincbike is the bike I built when I discovered The Game, and it probably wasn't the correct frame to use to build a bike to go faster on, mostly because it is constructed entirely of steam pipe and lead. It was however very cheap and the correct 63cm size for my lengthy frame. As it is my daily commuter I have grown very fond of Zincbike over the many miles we have traveled together, which is kind of a shame as I intend to use all the bits from this bike in the new frame... this is due to the many shortcomings of this frame, but still.

At one time it was an 80's Avanti 10 speed, but I have added a Shimano Alfine 8 speed on 700c wheels, various handlebars, a Brooks saddle, and most important of all I had the frame zinc plated. On the face of it this was to keep the frame well protected for my all weather commutes, but in reality it was the start of my mission to apply every diverse protective coating known to mankind to as many bikes as possible.

Now, I am a big fan of internal hub gears (currently I have 4 bikes with geared hubs and only one with nasty nasty derailleurs), and the Alfine is a lovely bit of kit. However I have noticed the shifting has got a bit sticky recently, and the wheel feels a little rough when turned by hand. This is understandable as I have done somewhere between 3000 - 4000 kms on this hub and have not touched it - it is probably due for some loving.

The font of all things "the internet" comes to my aid and tells me that an oil bath is the solution to all the worlds problems. It also tells me I am a fool to use 100 quids worth of dead dinosaur which is the cost of the Shimano factory kit, and to just use ATF fluid, of which I have some literage in my garage...

So off to the garage and a short time later;

Interestingly things look completely mint, and while I was taking off the shifter mechanism I saw it was not seated exactly right. At this point I decided to simply stick it all back together with some new grease in the bearings and see what gives...

The result...? It feels a lot smoother and definitely more free, but has gotten slightly noisier while coasting in certain gears. Hmm, I will put this down to the grease having yet to distribute itself evenly and wait a few kms. Maybe the oil bath is on the cards after all....


  1. Oh, your true competitive nature comes out here! Man you're going to smash me next weekend, I haven't been on my bike for over a week. :(

  2. If it is wet and I am on Zincbike then yes, I will smash you you so hard you will cry. If I am on the Hercules then the limitations of the bike and my riding position on it mean I will be at a serious disadvantage. Pray for fine weather lass.

  3. If it's wet I will be on the duchess which might make it a more interesting duel. PS chivalrous gentlemen do not make young women cry.

  4. You are assuming I am a chivalrous gentleman...