Maple Leaf Test Rides

The continuing saga of test riding a Supercycle SC1800 (Canadian Tire product # 71-1556)

Friday, April 28, 2006

km 1505.4

The wee beastie is running right and without complaint.

Sat in behind a tractor trailer and sustained 40kph for 3km. Quite a rush! Pulling out of the draft was left feeling a wall of wind that impeded progress. Thinking this would have been much less effort if was ridng the summer bike.

Will not have an oppurtunity to overhaul the summer bike until Sunday, stuck with what we got until then.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

no mileage today

Funny thing is that this experiment is about to become subjective. What is happening is that it is no fun to push around a 48lb tank. Perhaps became a bit spoiled by having a choice of bikes. Will post pictures of the competion to illustrate exactly why the SC1800 feels like a chore.

Also will stop posting on days where there are no observations, because although diligent, it is utterly pointless to make remarks about nothing in particular.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

km 1493.4

Rig riding well.

Intermittant tick happening in pedals happening during high torque applications.

Probably going to replace pedals at same time as chain and freewheel.

Nice thing about riding a bike is that it enables to hear birds chirping and smell flowers growing whilst zooming along. At least while flowers bloom.

Monday, April 24, 2006

km 1449.7

Yay! Another oppurtunity to ride again is a pleasurable release of seratonin and endorphins. Spring is here and life is beautiful.

The rig is riding right, even with worn drivetrain and being left in the rain for days.

Surprising observation - the OEM inner tubes hold air exceptionally well, as they hardly ever seem to require inflation. It may also have something to do with the way they are being run at relatively low pressure (about 50 PSI).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

No mileage today

Funny thing about an uncomfortable 48lb rig with inefficient tires is that there is not a lot of 'fun' in riding it. Practical pedalling yes, light and zippy no.

Part of the reason for keeping kilometrage down.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

No mileage today

As it is raining and we do not want to get wet.

Replaced the batteries on the headlamp and it is very bright now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No mileage today

As we is having so much fun pushing yesterday's Nishiki.....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No mileage today

As was test riding a 1984 Nishiki Barbarian...

Quite the retro ride. Mostly Japanese bits, this beauty is built to last. Performed head tube facing along with the usual maintenance.

Whoo hoo it is a blast!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

km 1395.7

No observations today.

All is well.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Funny thing happened to the bottom bracket between last night and this morning. On the way home it would tick with every pedal rotation after an adjustment was made. On the way out the ticking was completely gone. Seemed to cure itself.

The rig is riding smoothly.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

km 1342.6

As we can plainly see, the rear hub overhaul has been performed and the rear fork tips have been aligned. There was a small scratch on the drive side rear cone, other than that there was surprisingly little wear and tear on this area.

The rear brakes are showing signs of wear, there is some useful life left in them yet.

Also noted that the chain has been elongated 3/4 inches over a 12 inch length, nothing left to do now except ride it out.

Even with all these worn parts, the rig is resiliently ridable and moves smoothly. It will be a sweet hook up to get that new chain and freewheel!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Observation - there is a clicking noise emitting from the rear hub, likely because the axle is bent. Sounds kind of like a the clickity clack of a train in the far distance.

Most of the time all the audbile noises that are detctable are from the lugs on the tires as they pound pavement.

Overall, the rig is smooth.

Friday, April 14, 2006

No mileage today

As is stuck in the automobile....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

km 1300.1

All is smooth.....

No worries here....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

km 1266.78

That workshop really helped yesterday.

There is air on the chain, there is oil in the tires ;)

Seriously, everything is running as it should be.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

No mileage today

As there was a bicycle maintenance course at work.

All there was was to pump up the tires, oil the chain, and get a good setup out of the box.

Monday, April 10, 2006

km 1240.7

All is running smoothly.

Rear hub overhaul will be performed by end of month.

Kind of difficult to figure actual riding time as the clock tends to reset itself every ten or twelve hours, not sure exactly what is up with that.

We'll have to rely on anecdotal observations and mileage.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

km 1206.3

Lubed the crap out of the lock with Teflon (tm) lube, it now seems to work OK. It seems to work even better (no jiggling required) when I use a fresh key.

The intermittant noise from the pedals diminished today, perhaps becuase there is gearing down and not as much torque on the pedals.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

km 1179.3

A real observation this morning! The 'Planet Bike' lock badly malfunctioned, leaving me wrestling with the key for at least five minutes. It would seems that Friday's rain combined with today's chill did in fact freeze the locking mechanism to uselessness. It may also have something to do with wear and tear on the key itself, as it does not seems to be turning the tumblers well.

Brought it into the shop and applied a healthy dose of Triflow PTFE and it works OK now.

Also, the left pedal is making intermittent 'klik klik' noises. This might seem to indicate there is some redimensioning of the bearings.

Friday, April 07, 2006

No mileage today

As the test pilot is nursing a runny nose and thought it best not to ride in the rain.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

km 1156.1

No new observation to report today.

City of Toronto says this commuting project is contributing to:

*Saving on commuting costs: parking, petrol & insurance
*Staying active and healthy means less health insurance, increased productivity & community relations
*Saves long term costs of smog, public healthcare, traffic congestion & acid rain
*Average car operating costs in Canada are estimated at between $6000 and $9000 a year, saving between $5700 and $8700 per year
*Increasing traffic congestion could cost local business up to $3 billion per year in 2021.
*Saves wear and tear on roads - in autocentric US cities per capita road expenditure is $264. European cities that use more than one form of transport spend $135, some Asian cities spend as little as $88 per capita per year.

Source: City of Toronto

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

km 1126.7

Contrary to my hypothesis, this machine has performd ably past the 1000 km milestone. It is as smooth running as any bike I've ever ridden, all that was necessary was oil on the chain, air in the tires and a good look at the bottom bracket.

It is tremendously splendid exercise, as it is relatively heavy and works muscle groups never knew existed.

Will have to ride harder and more carelessly in attempt to put this machine properly through torture testing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

km 1092.0

Everything is running smoothly. No observations to report today.

The squeek from the front brake lever has diminished without oil and the rear brake line is pulling without friction probably due to rise in temperatures.

Monday, April 03, 2006

km 1081.7

Observation - the front brakes makes an audible 'eeynkh' noise at about 50 decibels when coming to a stop in wet weather.

Other than that, the rig is running right!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

km 1058.7

Nothing of interest to report today.

Splurged on a bell to be compliant with highway law. Cost: $2.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

No mileage today

As we was test riding a 1990 Diamond Back Topanga.

That ride rides OK. This has a really long top tube, making it quite a reach for the handlebar. It also came with average quality components that leave plenty of room for upgrade. All in all it was fun.