Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sticky Shifting

On longer rides, calorie intake is a necessity. However, the sugars contained in many sports drinks pose a hazard to the function of your bikes shift cables. If your bottles leak the fluid, gravity will eventually pull it down to the lowest spot on the frame, which is the underside of the bottom bracket shell. This spot also happens to be where both shift cables run over the plastic cable guide which leads them to their respective derailleurs. The extra friction caused by dried sugar on the cable guide inevitably leads to poor shifting and possibly broken shift cables.

The underside of this bike has been coated by dirt and debris that only stuck to the frame because of the sugar residue. If you look closely you can even see the red tint of the energy drink. The easiest solution to this problem is to make sure you close the valve on your bottle after taking a drink, as this is the most common cause of leaks. Also make sure the bottle lids are fully tightened but not overtightened to the point of damaging them.
If you find that your bike does have a coating of sugar residue, Pedro's Green Fizz does an excellent job of removing it without damage to your bike or the planet.

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