Archive for the "Bike Repairs and Maintenance" Category

Garmin 305 with altitude problems

If your Garmin 305 has become faulty and the altitude reading no longer works here is a good work-around I have found. Firstly let me say by faulty I mean the elevation shows up as something like 5,000 or 20,000m.

The work-around is really simple, instead of using the Training Centre software supplied by Garmin head over to Zone Five and grab a copy of their excellent application Sports track, best of all its free.

Here is an example of the fix in action.

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Screen Shot of a ride taken from the Garmin Training Centre software

Training North of Canberra 27-09-2008, Elevation - Distance

Same ride but with the data in Sports Track.


Inspecting Carbon Fibre Bike frames

This was reproduced from a work forum and is an interesting read
NDT Capability when inspecting Carbon Fiber Bike frames.

Carbon Fiber bike frames are very difficult test and for that reason alone, most reputable manufactures will actually just replace the fame under warranty as long as the original owner has not abused the frame.

Checking if a frame is cracked is not that simple, if the crack is thru the full thickness of the carbon fiber there is a good chance that it will appear on a radiograph. However, if the crack does not go thru the full thickness of the carbon, it may still be cracked, however this may not appear on an x-ray.

Additionally Carbon Fiber is highly susceptible to a phenomena called Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID). The Carbon Fiber looks fine on the surface, however the structural integrity of the fibers below the surface is less than satisfactory. The amount of damage below the surface varies depending on the type and amount of force of the impact. NDT is able to detect this damage using ultrasonic’s, if they have a suitable standard to compare the frame against. If not detected or repaired this can lead to catastrophic failure. Could get really ugly on a downhill run.

For those of you that do ride carbon frames my suggestion is to handle them with great care. If you have had some sort of impact damage or it appears there is a crack on the surface get it checked. Check you warranty booklet and be familiar with what you can and can’t claim.

On another note, Carbon Fiber is also Hydroscopic (absorbs water), therefore if you get a chip in your paint/gel coat get it fixed ASAP, as this also can have detrimental affects to the strength of your frame. Water absorption can cause a corrosion cell to form on those bikes that are glued together to aluminum lugs, or have aluminum lugs as strengthening members under the carbon fiber. I’ve had 3 TREK OLCV 5500 frames replaced for this reason alone.


Garmin Support

Here’s a surprise. I’ve been having problems with my Garmin Training Centre software crashing continually, as I don’t use TC as my authoritative cycling dairy I wasn’t too worried so I lived with the application crashes. Every time the application crashed it would present the usual application error and ask that you send it to Garmin Tech support, being conditioned to ignoring these types of messages as you do when working with Windows I ignored it.

Then a couple of nights ago, out of boredom I think it was, I actually sent the error message to the address given. Thinking it was just going to some automated mailbox I didn’t think too much more about it. Then imagine to my surprise when I woke up this morning to find a reply a from Garmin detailing how to fix the problem. Well I tried the solution and it worked. Good stuff Garmin.

The interesting thing I have found with Garmin support is that the local support in Australia erm umm sucks! Whereas the US support is really on the ball. Last year when I was having problems with my EDGE 305 the local support was dragging its heels so I fired off an email to the US support team and then suddenly the next day the local support responded to my query. This happened on more than one occasion.

Morale of the story: If you have a problem with your Garmin product try the US support team first.


My New Project – Restoration of a PDM Concorde team bike 1988

30/7/2011 Update: Well after 3 years of saying I was going to do this, today I started work on the bike by striping it down so I can get the frame resprayed and chromed. I found a person who can recreate the original decals, more information on that once I have the decals under way.


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The rebuilding of my pride and joy a  PDM team bike used in the 1988 Tour de France

As this project progresses I’ll have some more details but here is the bike in its current condition.


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Fix it fast

Here is a tip for any cyclist who has had to deal with a bad puncture on the road which has cut the tyre casing. I have found carrying some heavy duty ‘sticking plaster’ with me an excellent temporary fix which will get you out of trouble and back home, it is preferable to have the heavy duty fabric plasters but in a pinch regular household ones will do. There are plenty of alternatives such as folded $5 note or a large patch but what I like about this solution is that it is easy to apply, stays in place and can be used on your own body should the need arise. I find storing it with my spare tube a excellent place to keep it so it is always with me when I go riding.