In my last post, I talked about the upgrades to my track bike. The main thing was the wheels. I love how simple track bikes are and how they look without the ‘clutter’ of brakes, gears and cables.
This was the first time I’d changed the wheels on a track bike. It’s similar to a normal road bike; you still have to wrestle with the tyres and navigate the chain, but there aren’t any brakes to remember to adjust before trying to remove the wheel from the frame. There aren’t any quick releases either; they require a 15mm spanner to loosen the wheels.
Still, I had the tools, found a bit of time over the weekend and set about changing my wheels. The front one was easy. I loosened the two bolts on either side of the wheel, carefully removed it from the fork and got to work changing the tyre. It wasn’t long before I had finished and the new front wheel was secured in the fork.
The rear one was a little bit more complicated, removing it was fine. In fact, removing the tyre was also easy. The only added complication was fitting the rear sprocket. I’d bought a new one and I’d never fitted a single speed sprocket before. A couple of YouTube video’s had suggested it wasn’t a difficult task. It did take me two attempts to get the correct tool though… Never mind.
I left the old sprocket on my previous wheels and installed the new one straight onto the new ones. It was a doddle. It was a case of simply screwing the sprocket onto the hub and then screwing on and tightening the lockring over the top to secure it. Perfect!
With the tyre and new sprocket now fitted to the wheel, I set about inserting the wheel into the frame. This bit was always the bit that I struggled with the most. I’m still not sure how tight the chain should be. The idea is that you pull the wheel until the chain is taut and then tighten the bolts. That’s all very well in theory, but it takes me a little while to get the wheel in the correct position so that it’s straight and the chain is tight enough that it doesn’t droop, but not so tight that it strains when you’re peddling.
Eventually, I managed to get it perfect, or at least as perfect as I could be bothered after however long of trying to fit a rear wheel. Needless to say, I was pleased with the end result and I think the Langster now looks better than ever.
Until next time.
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