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Category Archives: bicycle diaries

That clicking when you pedal

One of the problems I have been experiencing with my newly constructed ride was a clicking sound (and sensation) on the right hand pedal, especially when I put a lot of pressure.

When I first mentioned the problem to one of the volunteers at the bike shed, he told me that the clicking, while felt on the pedal, can come from various sources, including chains, gears or the bottom bracket, so I expected to spend at least one whole day figuring out the source.

But last week I discovered that the problem was indeed coming from the pedal itself. phew. And so it only took around 40 minutes to take care of that.

I was already planning to change my pedal, because I didn’t like the look of the one I was using, but  I am told that I  can try fixing the problem by simply putting some lubricant on the part that connects it to the crank:
Imagethe best way to do this would be to hold the pedal with the part connecting it to the crank (the spindle) facing you (like the position of the pedal on the left-hand side displayed in the pic), squeeze some lubricating liquid into the nut-like part, then threading the spindle with your finger, so that the liquid can go inside the pedal.

To remove the pedal, I used a tool that looked something like this:

ImageAnd it did not take much force – I simply grabbed the “nut” part and gave it a little twist. As the rule of the thumb goes, things go a bit weird on the left pedal, because you rotate clockwise to remove and vice versa.

However, the  helpful video below shows that some pedals can be removed using a different tool, which is  “hex” (hexagonal) in shape.

So right now I am using a different pedal, sort of “vintage” type, as the "vintage" pedalsweb description says. The person who helped me fix the problem in the bike shed said she dislikes this type because it’s less gripping. I am yet to affirm this.

She gave me a tip. As I was digging for used pedals, I had to look for decent ones, and one of the things to do when scavenging  is to make sure that the pedal’s connecting part (the spindle) rotate smoothly but is not wobbly.


Cycling Craze Gives Birth to New Category

Beautiful bikes at the shed

Beautiful bikes at the shed

If anyone at all have been following this blog up to now (wouldn’t blame anyone for not doing that  since it has been ridiculously long  time since I last updated it), you will notice:

a. the changing theme.

b. re-organizing of categories and the appearance of the “bicycle diaries” category.

For (a), I just think it’s time for a re-vamp and WordPress now has so many nifty themes that it’s just proper that I pick one.

and (b) well…I am tidying up the categories so they fall more into the “categories” category rather than “tags”. So I lumped all food-related post (recipes, restaurants, whatnots) to “Food”, artworks by me, artworks by others and other arty stuff to “Arts”, reviews of books, movies, concerts to “Reviews” and so on.

And yes, there’s the “bicycle categories”. I recently took up bike fixing/building and I am still shit at it but I am learning as I go, volunteering at this awesome place called Bikeshed at CERES .

So it is basically an initiative to help promote cycling and re-cycling (ha!) bicycles. There you’ll find free tools to borrow (not to take home), volunteers that will help you fix your bikes or give other cycling-related advices, and a huge pile of used bikes and bike parts. Most of the parts are free since they are donated, and the bike prices vary according to its condition. It can be as cheap as $50 but that means it needs a lot of work done on it.

The bike shed, as the name suggests, is located in a community environmental park called CERES, which also houses a nursery, cafe, garden/farm, and a think-tank/lab for green energy and eco-friendly living.
It will be a long time apparently before I can actually be of any use there but I hope the notes I keep from my days there will help me accelerate the learning process.

Cheers! Bike Punx!

Bottom Bracket Dissection part 1 – Cranks

So we were trying to fix a bottom bracket of the Hallmark bike last week because the bike keeps making this clicking sound when pedaled. At the end of the day, the clicking won’t go away but I did discover that dissecting and re-installing the cranks takes extra care.

We used the special tool to remove the crank-the small one sort of like this:

From website, this is an Icetoolz brand

From website, this is an Icetoolz brand

We messed up the dustcap by using a – screwdriver instead of trying with a coin, which is probably gentler.

Using my memory and this very helpful video:


this is what I came up for a step-by-step guide to removing cranks.

a. Remove the dustcap as gentle as you can.

b. Remove the bolt just under the dustcap. Using that thing on the left-hand side: a 14 mm driver. Installed on the top part displayed on the picture. Using a wrench, uninstall using anti clockwise method as usual.

c. make the two ends (the grey “nut” and “bolt” at the bottom of the tool) in line with each other.

d. screw it in (“thread” it in, actually) gently into the crank part with your hands just until its tight enough.

e. now screw the other end (top end, with the driver installed) in with a wrench. This is probably two wrongs making a right in bicycle universe. You do double clockwise actions to remove the crank.

f. It will gradually feel much easier. Now remove the crank remover. Anti clockwise using a wrench.

g. Uninstall the crank.

What we did then was remove the insides of the bottom bracket -ball bearings and all – cleaned them and smeared some grease. But I will go through that in another post.

Re-installing the crank is quite easy and didn’t call for the Crank-Remover (well-duh, they would’ve called it a Crank-Remover-Installer if it had now, wouldn’t they?). But the video reminds us that we should make sure its in tight enough so that the cranks  doesn’t eat away the spindle and the bracket in general.