Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Life goals in 2012

Back in 2012 I was looking at my life and realised that whilst I was doing 'stuff', and new stuff too, I didn't have any set goals. I'd just heard of the popular term 'bucket list' and it started to make sense for me to create my own.

I split bucket items into 2 categories; life goals in a given year and life-time goals with no dates attached.

The idea was to challenge myself and focus my efforts, time and resources on achieving them. They weren't set and could change whenever, but they all had to be significant to me and not something I could easily achieve. Some of them would be completed by chance, others by dedication and training.

I've continued these life goals each year into 2015 and I'm only now looking back and thinking about what I went through and how it's changed me. Whilst those thoughts are for me and to aid in shaping my next goals, I thought it cool to share what the life goals were and whether I managed to complete them.

This guy right here just went scuba diving and loved it
Ride 100 miles in one go - done
I rode a UK Cycling Event sportive at 101 miles or so and it was exhausting. It genuinely felt like a great achievement; a milestone in my endurance and my commitment to these challenges. I've since ridden more too.

Scuba dive - done - lifetime goal
This was on my 'lifetime goals' list that wasn't specific to a year. I just happened to be in Egypt this year and the hotel offered the option. I snapped it up and had one of the most fun and unique experiences you can have.

Run an Ultra marathon - done
I've marked this as done, but cheekily, whilst writing this in 2015, I hadn't actually run my first ultra in 2012. It wasn't until October 2013 when I chose to run the Caesar's Camp 30 mile Endurance run that I could say I'd run my first Ultra.

Complete a marathon - done - lifetime goal
My awesome Rome marathon medal
I completed this one in 2012, honest. It was Rome and whoever planned the event was clearly on the tourist board. A fantastic route that snaked around all of the major attractions that starts and finishes at the iconic Colosseum!

Looking back, for me at the time, a marathon was a miracle of endurance. Only the toughest run marathons, and the training is long and intense. Now, pfft. A marathon is a hard 4 hours with or without training. The change in my attitude to them is night and day.

Complete a trail run - done
Sounds easy, but before 2012 I hadn't really run off road all that much. I was mainly a road-runner and was content enough with running between roads, dodging cars and accepting the damage that sloped roads inflict on legs and ankles. Running on trails, and on a regular basis, has changed my preferences and opened up a world of experiences.

Visit Niagara Falls - done - lifetime goal
Running in the US Timberman
half Ironman event

This was a lifetime goal again. A mega-big-deal for me and I was so happy to be there and to experience the awe of nature. The boat trip around the pool underneath the waterfalls was a tremendous experience and I'd recommend it to everyone who goes there.

Complete a half Ironman - done
Timberman, US. An iffy stomach made this harder and less comfortable than it should be, but the support of my friend, Mark Dye, and a determination to finish it led me to the end. I must have used the port-a-loos 10 times on the course. I've not done any triathlons since (or maybe there was one), but it's on the lifetime goals to do the full Ironman at some point.

Set-up my bike shed - done
A life goal? Setting up a bike shed? Really? Yup. I'm passionate about my bikes and I've always wanted a proper bike shed to call my own. Setting up a space just for me and my bikes is the perfect rewards for years of fettling unstable upside-down bikes.

Learn how to cook a meal from scratch
I didn't do this one. I love food, but just not enough to go out of my way and try to create something from scratch. I thought I'd learn something, gain some insight and maybe form a new hobby, but alas, it's just not for me.

Finish the year with my Manager happy with my work performance - done
This was important. I try hard at work and whilst I'm still learning the ways of the corporate ladder, my passion can at times be unequalled and I wanted to start to really prove myself at work.
Chewie, our rescue Dalmation

Own a dog - done - lifetime goal
I've always wanted a dog. My Nan had one. My friends had one. My girlfriend had one. They knew people who had one. Random people on the street had one. And when I finally convinced my wife, that I, Sean Parry, swore to look after the pooch in sickness and in health (yeah, right), she gave way and we got the most lovely dog in the world. Clearly she's out for lunch most of the time, but she has character, cuteness and she loves running and riding with me. Best dog ever.
The awe of nature. Niagara Falls

How to remove a Lefty SuperMax steerer tube

I wanted to make a warranty claim on my 2013 Lefty SuperMax as the lock-out had stopped working. Apparently it's a common issue in UK wet and muddy conditions.

Anyway, for UK warranty claims, you need to speak to TF Tuned. Great bunch of people who service all manner of suspension forks and shocks. Used them for years and will continue to do so.

They needed the fork to be sent to them and I don't much like going to the local bike shop after they screwed up a simple headset fitting, so that left me with removing the Lefty myself and that meant removing the steering tube.

The tools you'll need to remove the Lefty SuperMax steerer tube

  • Ernie - it's a Cannondale tool (KT020) that's specifically designed to remove Lefty steerer tubes. And it works on all types of Lefty too.
  • Mallet / hammer - you'll use this to bash Ernie which will provide the force to move the steerer tube. I use the Park Tools HMR4
  • Allen keys to remove the disc brake, wheel and stem and to loosen the Lefty clamp bolts
The Ernie tool fits into the Lefty steerer tube
and will go all the way through the head tube

Prepare the bike

  1. Remove the disc brake by undoing the 5mm allen key bolts
    • Unhook the disc brake from any cable management holders / zip ties
    • Bag the disc brake up so that it doesn't get contaminated
      • I wrap it in a bag and zip tie it up
  2. Remove the front wheel by un-doing the 5 mm allen key bolt on the hub
  3. Remove the stem cap
    • I've fitted a Thomson unit, so need to use a 5 mm allen key, but many Lefty's just come with a cap that be easily prised off with a small flat-blade screwdriver
  4. Remove the stem and any steerer tube spacers by undoing the allen key bolts on your stem
  5. Allow the stem and handlebar to naturally lay next to the bike
    • Optionally, wrap the bar in a thick cloth and zip-tie in place (this protects the stem, handlebar and cockpit controls from getting bashed or from bashing the frame)
The removed steerer tube

Removing the steerer tube

  1. Undo and remove the Lefty fork clamp bolts completely (5 mm allen key)
  2. Place the Ernie tool into the Lefty steerer from the top (the Ernie tool will fit flush with the steerer)
  3. You will need to hit the Ernie tool firmly and several times at least to dislodge the steerer tube
    • The steerer tube initially will be hard to remove, but then should come out easily enough
    • Watch the the headset seal that may fall off the top of the fork
  4. The steerer tube will fall out once you've hit it enough
    • Extra point if you can catch it before it hits the floor 
  5. With the steerer tube removed the Lefty fork can now be removed from the frame (slide it out sideways from the head tube
    • Pro-tip: add the clamp bolts back, so you don't lose them
Once done, you should be left with a steerer tube and a headset cap. They are the only two items, apart from the Lefty itself, that should come off the bike.

Headset cap in situ

Bearings underneath. There's no cap at this end

Lefty on the work bench

Re-attaching the steerer tube to a Lefty

  1. Clean and inspect the headset bearings and headset cap and grease as needed
  2. Place the Lefty fork around the head tube of the bike
    • Ensure that the Lefty clamp bolts are completely undone
  3. Place the steerer tube underneath the lower Lefty fork brace
  4. Push the steerer up through the lower Lefty fork brace as far up as you can go
  5. Place the Ernie tool into the bottom of the Lefty fork and tap up
  6. The steerer tube should move easily up and then get progressively hard as the taper start
  7. Hit the Ernie tool in the centre until the steerer tube has moved to sit flush with the headtube
  8. Do up the Lefty clamp bolts
  9. Add the stem, stem cap, wheel and disc back on and take the bike for a test ride to make sure it all works as expected
Hope this helps someone.

Note: If you have an OPI Lefty fork, I'm told the process is the same, except to remove an OPI stem, you need to undo it first from the bottom of the steerer tube in order to remove it. I believe there are specific tools for this.

Personal note: I need to get better at taking photos!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Thomson Dropper post UK service and warranty centre

I Googled and Googled trying to find the UK service centre for my Thomson post and I couldn't find anything. I gave the importers, i-ride a go and turns out they're both the service and warranty centre. They just don't make it very obvious at times.

So, if you need to service your Thomson dropper post or have a warranty claim, as I recently have, then you need to speak to the people at i-ride.

Contact them by email or phone: 01444 243 000 and 01444 870 370.

Warranty claims can take around 4 weeks, so do be prepared to use a spare post or not ride for a little while. For smaller jobs, you can generally chase them and they'll try and put it to the front of the queue.

Hope this helps someone.

Replacement Cannondale Lefty SuperMax 2013 hub bolt

I was riding along on the road and I saw something ping from my Lefty out into the road. I thought nothing of it, presuming that something on the ground had hooked onto the huge tires on my bike and flung it off, and so I carried on riding.

But there was a 'ping' in my head as well that said it might have been something. And as I rode on the way back, the sense grew stronger and more clear, it must have been something. So when I got back and inspected the bike, sure enough, it was something. Somehow the Lefty cap, but not the bolt, had come loose and flung itself off into the road.

I went back to where I'd seen it flee and found the cap bent out of shape, probably smashed into the ground by a car tire. A replacement was the only option.

What replacement part do you need?

This is NOT the bolt
you were looking for
I have a Cannondale Trigger 1 from 2013 with a carbon Lefty SuperMax PBR 130mm. I mention this because if you do too, then the regular Lefty bolt, that's sold 'that it will fit all Lefty's', will in fact not fit any Lefty SuperMax.

The Lefty SuperMax cap is much deeper than the regular Lefty cap and is the only thing cap that will work.

However, when you look at the Cannondale owners manual, you'll find the same product code as the regular Lefty cap and bolt. Which really isn't helpful and caused me to buy a bolt that is sitting uselessly on my workshop side. Thanks Cannondale.

Finding the right part

This is what the right
part looks like
Annoyed that I had wasted £25 and not wanting to try ordering any more bolts that wouldn't work, I found and fired them an email. They advised that the easiest replacement part was in fact a Mavic kit and that would solve my woes. And it did.

The part you'll want is the Mavic Crossroc SuperMax assembly kit. Mavic part number: 36709301.

How to fit the Lefty SuperMax hub bolt

  1. Remove the wheel from the bike and remove any old hub bolt parts (for example, my bolt remained perfectly intact and in place)
  2. Prepare the hub bolt with a decent grease (I use Exus E-G01 grease) and then screw into hub
  3. Prepare the new threaded bolt stop with blue Loc-tite
  4. Thread into the hub using a lock-ring fitting tool (I use a Park Tools FR-5) over the hub bolt
    1. Do it up to 15nm (tight)
  5. If you now unscrew the hub bolt it should push against the threaded bolt stop
  6. Put the wheel back on the Lefty axle and screw in the hub bolt
  7. Re-fit the disc and test ride to ensure it works as expected
Hope this helps someone.