I finally got around to creating a video that demonstrates how to assemble the Park Tool PCS-9 bike repair stand I bought some time ago.
To admit the truth, I was putting off this “video task” because I thought assembling the PCS-9 will be a bit complicated. I was surprised when I took a more serious look at the assembling instructions – it didn’t look at all complicated.
The most important thing to say here is that working with a professional bike repair stand (the PCS-9 is the home version) changes the rules in matters of repairing your own bicycle. Some general advantages you will get are:
Putting the bike in a height that is most suitable for you.
A bike repair stand will hold the bike firmly in place.
Lets you access to key components on your bike, while keeping both of your hands free. This way you can handle any repair.
You can turn your bike easily in every direction, be it vertical or horizontal. This lets you put the bike in various positions that allow easier repair work.
The Park Tool PCS-9 bike repair stand is made out of only 6 parts:
Stem lower part – the legs are attached to this part.
Stem upper part – the clamp is being attached to this part.
Two supporting legs.
The leg-stem joint – connects between the two legs and the stem.
The clamp – The part that actually attaches to the bicycle. It is installed on the upper stem part.
With the repair stand you get screws, washers and keys needed for the assembly.
If you must transport the Park Tool PCS-9 with an airplane (as I had to), you will have to check it in with your suitcase. The tsa.gov in the U.S will not let you take it with you on the plane as they claim it can be used as a weapon (?!!). The Park Tool PCS-9′s box is 38.58 inches (98cm) long, 11.02 (28cm) inches wide and 4.72 (12cm) inches high.
It took me around 10 minutes to assemble the PCS-9 and I was not even in a hurry.
Last weekend I had a 3 hour single track ride in a nice area combining some dirt and some rocks in a thin forest area. While riding I started having problems with shifting, where the chain would “jump off” the lower gears (7 to 9). This makes riding uphill impossible as the gears just randomly and involuntarily shift up and down. I tried correcting this by adjusting the derailleur position from the handle bar but this didn’t help, I guess because I have little experience with this. I went on trying ride the best I can, while unaware of the strain such random gear shifts have on the chain. After few more minutes I heard a slight knock and loss of power. Looking down I was just able to see the chain slipping off the chainring and fall to the ground. Now I know that the random gear shifts combined with cycling power going uphill will cause a chain to tear. Even if it is an original Shimano XT… I temporarily fixed the chain with a SRAM 9 speed PowerLink and managed to ride all the way to the finish line.
When I got home I assembled the PCS-9 for the first time and started tuning my derailleur. Having the bike on eye level simply worked great for me and for the first time I understood why bike shops cannot live without it. It took me a while to figure out how to tune the derailleur but because I could get very close to it I could see and hear when the chain was slipping off the cogs, meaning the derailleur is not correctly set. In the end I got it just right . I think it is the beginning of a love story. I wonder what my girlfriend will have to say about it…
Since I ride quit a bit I lately started repairing my MTB on my own.
After doing some repairs I am thinking of buying a folding bike repair stand. It should be reliable, comfortable, good value for money and a one that I can fold to spare space in my apartment when I am not using it.
I can think of few reasons for buying one:
Using a bike repair stand is much more comfortable to work with as it holds the bike in the right position, just as you need it.
It saves money to repair your own bicycle.
You learn a lot about your bike doing your own repairs.
A real man/woman fixes his/her own bike! What would Tim the tool-man Taylor say about this?!
You gain trust in your bike because you know more about its condition.
I added a video that demonstrates how to install the new GC2-L Ergon ergonomic bicycle grips I bought. This takes only around 3-4 minutes and the most difficult part was to dismount the old grips I had on.
Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ broken rear pivot bolt ("head" missing)
Since some time now I had squeaking noises from my bike. Even that a bicycle is a rather simple machine and the rider is sitting right on top of it, it is often hard to localize where the noise is coming from. When I finally got an idea where the noise might come from and had the time to actually do something about it, I took a closer look.
What I discovered shocked me: the aluminum rear pivot bolt connecting the rear part of the bike to the front part was broken. The bolt has a flat “head” on one side and a screw holding the bolt from falling off on the other. What happened was that the head of the bolt was torn apart and was nowhere to be seen. My Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ is a second hand bike so I am not sure when this happened but I am quite sure I rode my bike some time before I discovered the broken bolt. In the shop I was told that this is caused by a too tight screw – someone thought something like “the more the better”. As the bolt is made out of aluminum it didn’t need much force to cause the “head” to detach . In addition, the washer on the screw side was deformed in a shape of a bowl, which is another evidence that someone over did it. I say someone because I didn’t touch this part of the bike since the day I bought it, which is my bad. I had the rear shox services some time ago – maybe they decided to tighten all screws in the area?
Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ Whole rear bolt
In addition to all that, the bolt and the sleeve it goes into were bone dry. The grease was very old and was probably never changed since the day it left the factory. Also in this case – my bad. I think this is also the reason why the bolt didn’t fall off: the dry and dirty grease held it inside!
There was a happy ending after all – in some shop they managed to find an identical bolt from an old bike that they were willing to sell for 50% off the original price. I got back to my flat and cleaned the used bolt I bought + aluminum/copper bushing + pivot area with alcohol and soap until it looked like new. Then I applied a generous amount of grease (I use Park Tool’s) to all involved parts. After that I put everything together and clean the grease rests. I had to take all front cogs off in order to get to the bolt as I didn’t have the right Shimano crank tool for the job. Why do they use such special tools anyway??
Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ rear pivot disassembled
Since then my ride feels different. I even feel a difference in the function of my rear shox – it is much smoother.
Service your bike on your own. If you know what you are doing, you can save money and the most important: you know exactly what is the condition of your bike. I think this is a big safety issue.
Do seasonal service to your bike: grease is greasy but it will not last forever. Using hinges with old grease will cause them to make funny annoying sounds and to wear off.
Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ rear pivot disassembled, close up. In the middle of the image you can see the bushing sticking out. I took it out completely, cleaned it and used grease on it.
Park City as seen from one of the northern trails. See the 2002 Olympic sky jumps on the right upper corner.
I am back from Park City, Utah.
What an awesome place! Amazing view, lots of wildlife, Clean and very dry air and great temperatures. In the winter a major ski resort and in the summer the place for all sorts of extreme sports – including mountain and road biking . I rented a MTB there and went riding on some of the great trails around and above Park-City. Climbing was at times difficult but the downhill rides are awesome on the firm dirt trails. You can even take your dog for a hike if you feel like it. Many people from Park City take their dogs with them to the trails either by bike of foot.
Park City lies mostly above 7000 ft (ca. 2100 m) so if you decide to go riding there and you are a shore rat just as I am, keep in mind that you will be out of air pretty quick. After only a short time I could feel the thin oxygen levels. It took my body few days to get used to the thin air but after that I
All in all I had a great time! Soon I hope to write a review about the city, for generations to come.