Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Lotus Rides Again

I think I Fixed It.

Finally got my hands dirty and fixed the shifting problem that the Lotus was having. The reason that I tinkered with it in the first place you might recall, was because the gears would shift by themselves. Funny if your watching a Disney kids movie, not funny if you are climbing a hill and your bike decides you should be riding in the hardest gear. My first attempt at fixing it, solved the auto shift problem, but left me with only 2 working gears out of 27. Not good.

You know that I want to get in a 20 mile ride on the Lotus to properly send it off, back to it's owner. Also, I'd like to return it in a little better shape than I got it. So I headed to the garage last night determined to fix it.

I started with the rear derailleur, because that's what I messed around with the most last time. There was a bolt that could be loosened, which would allow the gear cable to be pulled tighter or given more slack. I thought this was how to solve my problems last time, but since it didn't really work, I put the cable back the way it was before I messed with it and moved on. Next, I found that where the cable entered the rear derailleur, there was a thing I could turn that would loosen or tighten the cable. I messed around with that a bit, but I was noticing that no matter what I did, whether tighter or looser, the shift lever itself, didn't have enough tension on it to keep the thing in the gear that was selected. Eureka! So I tighten that screw, which I may or may not have fumbled with when I "fixed" it last time, and it all came together.

Not only did the rear derailleur move when you moved the shifter, now the shifter was staying in place and keeping the bike in gear. Before I got too excited, I took it to the streets and tested it out in my neighborhood. The thing was shifting like a dream. Well, a thirty year old dream, but you know what I mean. Bottom line, I think it's really fixed this time. The weather is supposed to be great today, so the goal is to get home as early as possible and get in a farewell 20 miles on the old Lotus. It just feels right.

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