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Daily Archives: February 14, 2016

Road Cycling Maintenance: Running a Cable for a Font Derailleur

There are two tricks for installing a cable for your front derailleur.

First is getting the tension right, which isn’t all that tough… If you start out in the right gear.  Before you take off the cable the front should be on the smallest chain ring. This is wrong:


This is correct:


The second trick is properly routing the cable over the derailleur bolt. Something as simple as running the cable on the wrong side of the bolt will mean your bike won’t shift. There is a little ledge, call it a finger, the cable runs over:


From there it runs under the washer:


Once you get the routing correct, it’s just a matter of pulling the end tight with a pair of needle-nose pliers and tightening the bolt.

When I did that cable, I didn’t even have to index the derailleur, it worked perfectly.

If you don’t know your derailleurs, take a closeup photo that shows how the cable runs at the bolt before you remove the old cable so you can look at it after you run the new cable.

As the Weight Falls Off… Cycling Works, with a Good Plan to Eat Intelligently.

Two weeks ago I was eight pounds over my target weight of 170-171 pounds.  I can get as low as 165 before my wife complains…  I’ve been as low as 149 but I end up looking like Matt Damon toward the end of The Martian (though it seemed to me they skinnied him up digitally or with a body double – great movie by the way!).  I truly believe I look my best at 170, though I like (for obvious hill climbing reasons) 165 better.

The weight gain is expected, anticipated, and accepted with the lack of outdoor cycling and the holiday eating season (late November to late December with Super Bowl Sunday as a late Fun Day).  That said, I’ve managed to pack on a lot less weight this year through eating season.  Usually I’m between ten and fifteen pounds overweight so that 179 was a welcome sight indeed.

Before we get into this, I ate just as much as I always have from Thanksgiving through Christmas so I should have gained my normal 10-15.

  1.  I’m eating homemade subs for lunch instead of fast food (burgers, etc.- I can get away with that during the cycling season but not off-season).  Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Cheese, Spinach, Green Peppers, Cucumber, Jalapeno and mayo.  Rather than a 1,400 calorie lunch, I’m closer to 850-1,000 depending on the size of the bun.  I don’t skip the meat and I don’t skip the bread.  Never will.  A decent dinner, and I’m under my 2,700-2,800 calorie target.
  2. I’ve switched to Hydrus electrolyte replacement concentrate in lieu of the normal sports drinks.  No calories and it’s got a fresher, sharper taste.  It’s not great on longer rides (50+ miles) because of the lack of calories but it’s great for its main purpose, rehydration and electrolyte replacement.
  3. More miles.  I’ve been riding a minimum of six days a week, seven over the last two weeks.  Not only that, with they typical El Nino weather, we’re putting in hundreds more miles outdoors than we can normally get away with.  All I need to really drop some serious weight fast is some good old-fashioned miles.

I’m down three pounds in two weeks, to 176 with six weeks left till hit Spring.  At this rate, I can actually shoot for that 165 for the start of the season!

In short, it’s been confirmed yet again, eating sensibly, cutting out “stupid calories” (soda, sweets, etc.) and hard work on the bike pay dividends.  It’s as easy as turning the crank on a bike.

Now, interestingly, as is always the case, when I start to see results I become excited. This excitement leads to a desire to be even more responsible… and that ends up translating into even better, faster results.

I eat more responsible food and, as happened yesterday, instead of putting the normal 45 minutes in on the trainer, I popped in Matrix Reloaded and doubled that. In part, this is to get a good jump on Spring but it’ll also give me good results on the scale next weekend.

There is no doubt, cycling has it all… Cool toys, almost unlimited calorie burning, and feeling the wind in one’s face. Well, technically it’s all about finding something one loves to do for fitness, but let’s not get too technical.