After last week's service, today I got around to finishing the job.
There is a universal joint in the steering column. It's made with a plastic block which provides a low friction and low weight method building a universal joint, but it's a part which wears over time and introduces a bit of play. In my Mango there was now a bit too much play, so it was time to replace this part.
It's very easy to do. You just take out the two bolts which hold it in place, remove one block and put the other in its place. However, I thought I'd take a few photos to show what happens to the block.
The photos show the old and new blocks next to each other.
By the time I took mine out, the play was really a bit much. I should have done this a while ago. However, you can see that there was no danger of the steering column actually coming off. I don't think it's possible for it to get to that stage.
The play comes not because the holes in the block wear larger, but due to the sides wearing down so that they are no longer flat. They rub against the aluminium of the steering column, which is harder than this plastic block, so it is just the replaceable block which wears out.
I also went on the huneliggers ride this morning. Peter and Harry were waiting at the start point and the three of us set off together in our Mangos through the Drents countryside.
This particular path is new and it was the first time we'd ridden along it. Lovely smooth concrete for cycling through a very pretty area of countryside. It'll be a part of this year's cycling holiday routes.
One of the recreational paths that we used was a bit soft. It's got an environmentally sensitive surface, which is fair enough for what it is and where it is - through a large heath area.
Normally this surface works well enough. However, after a lot of rain and a few freeze and thaw cycles it was so soft that our tyres sank into it a bit and made it rather nasty to ride on. A couple of km of this reduced our average speeds somewhat, but this is a touring ride, not a race, and the scenery is lovely here.
Peter got a puncture in his rear tyre, which gives an opportunity to write about repairing punctures on a Mango. Happily it doesn't take long to sort this problem out. You just find somewhere soft that you can roll the Mango on its side without damage, and take off the tyre and inner tube.
This can be done without having to take the wheel out, as all three wheels on a Mango are mounted on one side only, whichever gearing option you have.
Note also that the chain cannot be seen. It's safely within the bike, and stays clean. Because of this, you don't get oily hands when doing this job, either.
I'd done the same with mine before leaving home. As you can see, there's no snow and ice today, so I'd swapped back to my extremely puncture proof Schwalbe Marathon Plus rear tyre. I like these in wet conditions because I've never ever had a puncture with them.
In the Netherlands, the main cause of punctures seems to be this sort of small and sharp stone. Peter has a Schwalbe Marathon Racer on his rear wheel. It's relatively puncture resistant for a fast tyre, but it wasn't quite enough against this particular stone. I like Marathon Racers, but for me they're a summer tyre.
Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.
US cycling from a Dutch perspective
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