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The Busch and Muller Toplight Line Brake Plus* taillight on Frodo stopped working about 3 weeks ago, and it took me until yesterday to get over to the bike shop to see if they could help me sort out the problem. I believe it should still be under warranty, but the shop needs to do their own testing to pinpoint whether the problem's in the light or the connections. I wound up handing Frodo over to the shop owner because the mechanic who did the light install wasn't there that day. Plus, it's spring now, so the shop's going to be hopping for the next couple of months. Especially on Saturdays. I did mention to the owner that it's impossible for me to get to the shop on weekdays due to work. Maybe he'll take that to heart and work with the mechanics to adjust the shop hours. I doubt it, though. Small business challenges.

So, back to Froinlavin for now. At least I have Froinlavin as a backup!

Coming back to Froinlavin, I am glad that I figured out a workable system to quick-wash my bikes for winter riding. A key initial challenge for me was that I was used to using a hose to wash my bikes, but I can't do that here in the winter. So here's how my process goes for salty winter roads. On a day when it's relatively warm and I have some daylight, I basically start out with this quick washing method, skipping the cleaner-lubricant step: https://youtu.be/TK3eCu1fPos . I fill a 3-gallon bucket with hot water and just a small drizzle of soap (if any). I apply the water to the frame with a similar long-handled brush, to start loosening everything up, focusing especially on the brake pads and undercarriage (you'd be amazed by how much crud builds up under the bottom bracket!). But I don't stop there because that would just move the salt around, not get rid of it. So next, I take a smaller pouring container and pour rinse water over key parts of the bike to help rinse the salt completely away, including across the drivetrain, over the brake pads, and along the rim braking surface. The 3-gallon bucket holds just the right amount of water for this project.

I also discovered that a chain will start to rust after about 2 winter rides (!), so [personal profile] scrottie and I came up with a system/idea, to keep a set of TWO active chains, so one can be swapped out for cleaning and rust removal at any given time while the other chain is in use.

I will confess that when I switched over to Frodo, I put Froinlavin away in the basement without cleaning her. So step 1 this morning was a quick bath and I was relieved to discover she hasn't rusted (phew!). Then I replaced her front brake pads and now she's good to go again.

I prefer Frodo for the commute, due to some nasty potholes and Frodo's improved handling when fully loaded. But on the other hand, it is SO NICE to have a reliable backup bike.


*This link is for a Wiki page about taking one of these lights apart to repair bad soldering, which is apparently a common problem for these lights. I don't have the same issue as described here because my light won't turn on at all, which means that the problem could be corrosion somewhere.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1288337.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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