BIKE ROCK CITY 2008

BIKE ROCK CITY 2008

Postby BlackBox » Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:34 pm

Having the distinction of being the ONLY full service bike repair camp open all week in '07, Bike Rock City will be returning with a bigger camp and more mechanics. We are trying to get a infrastructure block of Black Rock City HxWare, welding camps, Bike Rock City, etc...

We will also be hosting a variety of bike related events including bike polo, repair classes, bike socials, and of course THE ALLEYCAT!!!

If you are a mechanic who will bring your own tools and want to volunteer, get in touch.

Also, Help me out and let me know these few things.
1. Did your bike break on the playa in '07
2. What broke?
3. Were you able to fix it?

BRC 4 LIFE!

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Postby SpaceCowboy » Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:58 am

This year was my first year and I spent too much time on my bike. I was on it all day every day. But, that was not what you asked. I lost a small screw that held my rack to the bike frame. I was able to fix the bike myself. I spent a lot of time on the bike before I went the playa. new tires and tubes, wheel bearings cleaned and relubed, etc. It paid off for me. Your idea sounds interesting. I will be keeping an eye on this post.
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Postby duke of weimar » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:28 pm

BlackBox, if you were the guy with the "free blow job" sign - a huge thanks for being there. the only thing i needed on my bike was some air now and then in the tires. much appreciated!!!!
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Postby BitterDan » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:43 pm

Well my bike didn't break but one night we were out on the playa and a couple of our folks were on the Rhoades bike (quadracycle) doing powerslides. After a few slides one of the mag wheels broke dumping both people into the dust. How did we fix it? Duct-Tape baby!
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Postby Elliot » Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:02 pm

:D
My hat's off to you, BlackBox!

We repaired a lot of bikes in our camp also, and the most unexpected frequent need was the nut/bolt that holds the crank arm on the crank shaft (three piece crank). So stock up on those. Some use a nut and some use a bolt and there may be several kinds of each. So grab any you can.

And the most oddball single piece we needed... a metric set screw for an adult tricycle (RhodesCar type axle hub). So stock up on all kinds of hardware! (Yes, I had one. 8) )
:D
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Postby seelivemusic » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:48 pm

2 years ago it was a challenge for my brother and I:

The very first eve I blew the side wall of my front tire and the official taking care of bike related items burner for our camp forgot replacement tires. I knew a few folks from Truckee that do those cool firebikes and they hooked me up with another rim, tire, and tube. It was about half the size of the first one so it was sort of an improvement.

The third day I broke my chain and the official taking care of bike related items burner for our camp did in fact bring the correct size chain links and the little screwy doodad to replace the links.

Night of the burn my brother lost his bike because he wasn't paying attn and had a fairly long walk back. No pointing fingers for this one.

I can hear the squeeks from the dust on the chains now. Thanks for doing this as I can handle simple playa repairs, but anything remotely unique or complicated would be tough and I would be impatient.
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Postby panduh1337 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:24 pm

i think thats a awesome idea. my bike did not break down at any time. but my costume got stuck in the chain and i thought i almost broke that. if that helps any!
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:32 pm

I used to have a big bike repair camp, from '00 to '05.
The most common issues were tires, tubes, and chains. We used to collect free old bikes ahead of time and bring them to cannibalize for parts on-playa, since as noted already, you never know WHAT someone will need.
In our last year, we made the shop self-service. That worked out quite well, since most people were perfectly capable of fixing their bike, they just needed tools and parts.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:27 pm

I ended up sacrificing a spare bike to fix a tall bike by replacing the sprocket/crank assembly and building an idler gear out of the de-railer. It was an awesome fix.
It's all about getting people back on playa with their ride.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:02 pm

Cool! In '00 I ended up making an idler gear from a rotary can opener to get a tandem bike going!
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm

I ended up making an idler gear from a rotary can opener to get a tandem bike going!

That is the kind of ingenuity I truly appreciate. Well done!
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Playa Wobbles

Postby Sharky » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:12 pm

In 2005, the front wheel hub on my wife's bike froze up while out cruising the Playa....... had to drag it in a skid back to camp where I backed off the cones until the wheel just sort of wobbled, but rotated. The bearings were shot, probably from mega-abuse and neglect before we hit the Playa! From that time on, I always pack a pair of vice grips with me in my Playa Pouch. They've saved me on more than one occasion! It seems like when repairs are needed, one is always at the far, opposite end of the city from the friendly, neighborhood bike camp. :)
And remember....... even those yard sale specials need some TLC before hitting the Playa....... lube, grease and adjust........ an ounce of prevention goes a long way! Oh yes, and be sure to find out where the "bike camps" are!
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Postby ¡Niers! » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:20 pm

This year will be my first at BRC, and I'm trying to find a place to set up camp. I am intrigued by the infrastructure block that you mentioned.
I feel I can contribute quite a bit to something like this. I am a professional certified welder and am planning on bringing a welder and a generator, as well as a cutting/brazing torch. I'll have a 20 foot geodesic dome, and am considering bringing a second one with, for some kind of communal space.
I am also very knowlegable with bicycle repair. I also have the skill to fix cracked frames, or even customize bikes.
I'm excited for my first BRC experience.
If anyone has any thoughts or recomendations for me in my quest for camp let me know.
Thanks!

¡NIERS!
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Bike Fixings

Postby StaceyS » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:39 pm

Hey BlackBox,

Last year was my first year, and I heard before going that there wouldn't be an established bike fix-it station. I decided to bring my own tools, having worked in previous incarnations as a bike mechanic.

I decided my gift would be rouge bike fixings, stealth chain lubes and random acts of bicycle repair. I can't believe how great it was!

Like someone else who posted earlier, I encountered so many loose cranks that I just started carrying my crank wrenches (both the bolt and the allen wrenches) with me everywhere. Bad chains were also common, so the chain breaker joined me in my first aid kit.

I also discovered that for the 1 week we're out on the playa WATER works way better for lubing chains than oil. I found oil simply attracts more dust and dirt, drawing dust between the links and causing the common squeaky bike syndrome. Flushing the chain with water washes that crap away, drys clean, doesn't attract more dust, and is environmentally sensitive to the playa. And hey, if you start to squeak again, just spray more water on, no polution worries.

I'd be happy to hook up with you this year and help out at your camp. I'll still be doing my mobile bike doc thing, but some clinic time might be good too.
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Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:14 pm

:D :shock:
Water.
.
.
.
.
.
Water.
.
Why didn't I think of that? :lol:
That's similar to an old trick we use in trucking. Instead of lubricating the fifth wheel slider with grease or oil, and making an awful mess, lubricate with liquid soap -- self cleaning whenever it rains.

Wow. Water! All those dust-jammed bearings I disassembled and reassembled... Maybe they could all have been cleaned out with water???!!!

How about a manual pump garden sprayer?
Sticky crank? "Whooooooosh." All better!
Must try this!

By the way, all you bicycle mechanics who who feel homeless on the Playa, come on over to Kinetic Sculpture Racing Camp!
:D
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:30 am

No soap on the playa.. Wash your bike over a tarp so the water can evap..

Simple Green is made of veggies It leaves a slight oily slick if not washed off... That would be a good thing for your bikes..

Don't leave Simple Green around at home.. It spoils like the veggy it is.. Skeater love to breed in it..
It rots in the window washer tank in your car..


Elliot, Will I be seeing you washing the sprockets: in the mud bogs and sand traps?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:57 am

Elliot wrote:That's similar to an old trick we use in trucking. Instead of lubricating the fifth wheel slider with grease or oil, and making an awful mess, lubricate with liquid soap -- self cleaning whenever it rains.


Wow... does that really work?? I'm one of those truck polishing freaks that spends as much time buffing metal as I do going anywhere, and those damn greasy fifth wheels are a sore spot. As necessary as grease is, I hate the stuff. But I'm guessing you have to apply the soap very very often? I rarely unhitch the trailer.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:05 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:
Elliot wrote:That's similar to an old trick we use in trucking. Instead of lubricating the fifth wheel slider with grease or oil, and making an awful mess, lubricate with liquid soap -- self cleaning whenever it rains.


Wow... does that really work?? I'm one of those truck polishing freaks that spends as much time buffing metal as I do going anywhere, and those damn greasy fifth wheels are a sore spot. As necessary as grease is, I hate the stuff. But I'm guessing you have to apply the soap very very often? I rarely unhitch the trailer.

/\
I would say that spendy green dish soap would be the ticket for the job..
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Postby Elliot » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:08 am

:D
I'm talking about the sliding mechanism, not the fifth wheel plate itself. (Not all trucks have a sliding fifth wheel.)

For the fifth wheel itself, you can install a nylon disk instead of grease. Perfect if you always pull the same trailer.

As for washing dust out of bearings and chains on the Playa, I was thinking straight water, no soap. Of course, if you wind up washing grease out of the bearings, that grease would have to be contained, yes.
:D
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Postby StaceyS » Thu May 15, 2008 4:31 pm

If I could shout it from the mountain, I'd encourage everyone to degrease their bike chains before coming to the playa, and leave the chain naked while out there. Maybe we can get that into the Survival Guide. Less oil, less chance of pollution on the playa. I figured out the water thing the first time I tried to lube my own chain with my stupid little oil dripper bottle. The thought struck me that there was way more dust out there than I had oil for. I figured the water would at least keep everything cleaner.

For the water application, I used a small garden pump sprayer, a 2 liter hand held thing. That was probably the best thing I brought to BM. I used it to keep myself and others cool with misting, I could direct a stream at a nasty squeeking chain from 10' away while riding, and with the trigger lock, I could stick it between my knees and wash both hands at the same time, or quickly wash dishes (over a greywater bucket).

I would spray people's squeaky chains as they rode, most of them unaware of what I was doing. I thought about the possibility of oil washing out, but figured with the chains squeaking so badly, there probably wasn't much oil left on the chains anyway. I sprayed one guys bike as we rode along on the Esplanade. His bike suddenly went super quiet and smooth. He looked down suddenly and I was already off in the other direction, undetected... :mrgreen:

I did run into a few bad bearing cases, but solved them by loosening the cones and jiggling the bearings around in there. Then I'd tighten the cones back up, but left them set with some play. Not spec, by any means, but good enough for the playa. Giving some more play in there may make the parts rattle and wiggle, but there's less chance of seizure and serious damage to the bearing races/cups/cones. I always told my "patients" what I was doing, and explained how bad it was that I was doing it, and that they needed to clean out the affected bearings and tighten them properly upon returning to the everyday world, but for the week we're out there, hey, it gets you by.
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Postby Elliot » Thu May 15, 2008 5:02 pm

:D
Hey StaceyS, that's great! Guerilla chain quietening!

I've had a couple more ideas since last time we were on this thread... such as pouring water down the seat tube of the bicycle frame. Many -- not all, but maybe most -- bicycle frames have an opening between the bottom bracket and each frame tube. So pouring water down the seat tube ought to wash the crank bearings out from the inside. Just an idea, but I'm sure gonn'a try it.

And yes, my experience is also that bearings should be a bit "too loose" so the Playa dust can "circulate" without jamming up the works.

Wondermuss!
:D
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Postby gyre » Thu May 15, 2008 11:07 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Hey StaceyS, that's great! Guerilla chain quietening!

And yes, my experience is also that bearings should be a bit "too loose" so the Playa dust can "circulate" without jamming up the works.

Wondermuss!
:D
I think that's how the kalashnikov works.

I salute all of you who do bike repair out there.
It always looks overwhelming.
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Postby Elliot » Fri May 16, 2008 7:37 am

:D
...and amazingly keeps working, yes. We may have stumbled upon a "peace dividend"!

Bicycle repair on the Playa can indeed become overwhelming. Just ask the guys from ByB. We'll be fixing bikes again in Kinetic Sculpture Racing Camp, but there will be no sign announcing it, and we must reserve the right to say "sorry, all out." Common sense, I think.
:D
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Postby kafin8ed » Sat May 17, 2008 9:39 am

Is there a website for Bike Rock City? I am interested in joining possibly
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Postby bobalou » Sat May 31, 2008 8:46 pm

I'm just getting back after a multi-week motorcycle trip.

Yeah, water seems the way to go with cleaning chains on the Playa. I use one of those chain washers like you buy at a bike store. Works great. Just don't use the little bottle of oil they give you. The Garden Sprayer?...That could work. I use one for dishes and even for personal hygiene. Less water for the grey water evap pond, eh?

Elliot and Tomcat and myself held a bike prep workshop at BMHQ - I think it was early April - but didn't get too many bikes to work on. We did get a lot of discussion time though. I'm planning another one for late July, and will probably set up some sort of "booth" with posters describing what people ought to do for the Playa. Less emphasis on actually working on their bikes. This thread seems like a good place to get ideas about the main things you all think would get people through the event trouble-free.

Any ideas?
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:27 am

BIG BUMP

Are you guys still on the scene?

I had to junk a couple of old bikes for project parts. So stripped and saved all the little nuts, bolts, springs and thing that scamper across the playa as you work on some thing else..

I can put them in a divided case for your parts slection if you care for this kind of stuff..

Also have some larger parts.. If I know what breaks that often on the playa, You could have them.. All desassembled and boxed.. Derailers, cranks and bearing sets.
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Postby Clar-i-ty » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:19 am

I had a really bad bike year last year. I forgot my lock, so consequently my son's bike got stolen, my bike tire was melted by the exhaust pipe on my van, then the seat was taken from the replacement bike I got. an actual tire and extra seat may have helped the situation.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:32 am

Clar-i-ty wrote:I had a really bad bike year last year. I forgot my lock, so consequently my son's bike got stolen, my bike tire was melted by the exhaust pipe on my van, then the seat was taken from the replacement bike I got. an actual tire and extra seat may have helped the situation.


One of the locks from the $tree helps keep the seats on the home bikes here in Salem.. Will bring extra tire/tubes just in case some one is in need..

Might fine a few $$'s for cheap locks to gift..
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Postby gyre » Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:01 pm

If anyone is buying enough locks at once, 6+ depending on the lock, I will get them for you at my wholesale price if it will save you any money.
Quantity usually gets me better prices.
None of this is chinese.

Light duty, I recommend the Python by Master.
Cable lock but adjustable so it can wrap around a coat or whatever and tighten up.
Sharp bolt cutters will go right through the cable.
It's what I use on the playa.
The version Walmart sells is a piece of cheap crap, not the good one.
My wholesale is about the same on the good one as the retail of the cheapie at walmart.

There is a light hoop lock.
Good, very cheap, $20 or so.

They make a heavy hoop lock, $45 up, very good.

Cutproof chain is made too.
It is not hard to get locks that normal boltcutters will not cut.
Same with chain.
Way to go for generators, trailers, etc.
I use a shrouded padlock with a 7/16 shackle, $25 cost.
I have had them attacked many times and they have not failed.
Cutting wheels and torches are the only thing that will cut the good ones.

There are higher end monobloc locks too and specialty locks for storage containers and heavy trailers, if anyone is interested.
I am using some of those.
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