Categories
Projects

SR Suntour Forks – Changing Bicycle Forks on a Trek Bicycle

So, earlier in the year I was riding my Cross Country Trek Mountain Bike and noticed the forks gave way. This mean that I could no longer lock my suspension out or actually use suspension the way it’s meant to be – like reducing road and track vibration and generally absorbing shocks.

So, I took to searching online to find a supplier for the forks.

After inspecting the forks I found one of the names on it was, “SR” and “Suntour.” Knowing that, in terms of MTB forks, there’s really not that many brands that I know of besides Fox. So, I figured it must be a brand name.

After researching, I found Suntour appears to be a Japanese bicycle component manufacturer. Great, now I just needed to find the fork I needed.

SR Suntour Website

So, the SR Suntour website has a great product selector filter – So, I simply found I needed to select my wheel size and my bicycle’s intended use – And it returned my exact forks – Just minus the Trek OEM branding.

So, go figure, Trek and as I found out later, pretty much every sub-$600-$800 bicycle in Australia appears to also use the same brand of forks.

Great, so, I found the fork I need, now I just need to work out how I replace my forks. After watching a handful of videos on YouTube I figured I would be capable of replacing the forks if I get the right tools and support aids – Such as a stem cutting tube guide, new start insert, hacksaw and the appropriate tool for inserting the start nut and crown. Have I missed anything?

If you want a good video to watch, I found this one pretty helpful.

Ordering the Parts

So, I found Cycling Deal seemed to supply a fair few Suntour products and they had good access to the parts I needed – So, I’ll paste in my shopping list below. Thankfully, all this happened before COVID19 so when I was ordering the world wasn’t in shutdown mode.

Did I mention I had a budget also? Yes, bascially it was fix the bike so I can get a few more years life out of it – Hopefully another 4-5 years – As it’s already about 7 years old. I’m pretty good at maintaining my collection of bicycles.

So, the shopping list:

All the components I needed came in at approximately $200AUD

I purchased what I needed from Cycling Deal:

Tools I needed to complete the work was was a caliper, a small toolkit with sockets and allan keys – The type that you can normally pick up from SuperCheap Auto or Repco for about $80. I just use my car’s service tookit.

Mechpro Socket & Tool Set 74pc – MP201K-1

So, how did the install go, it went great – I got the swap over of the forks done in about 1 hour and finished within an hour and a half.

Some images of the service are below:

  • Servicing the MTB on the Bike Stand
  • Cutting the steering tube with saw guide
  • MTB forks mounted in the vice with some fabric to protect the paint
  • The old forks

Would I recommend to the backyard bicycle mechanic or budding mechanical engineer to complete a fork change – Of course, just take it slow and do your research and you’ll get through it.

Categories
Work / Life

The May50k

I am running to leave MS behind! Please support my goal to reach $500 by donating here.

Support my challenge to leave MS behind!

I’m taking part in The May 50K. I will be running 100km throughout May and leaving my limits behind to raise funds for life-changing research into multiple sclerosis! 

There are over 25,600 Australians living with MS and I need your help to leave MS where it belongs, behind us. 

And research is the key to changing the future of MS, so I’ve accepted The May 50K challenge to change lives.

Please make a donation to support my challenge.

Thank you so much!

Categories
Work / Life

Cruising through April

Well, it’s been about a month since my last update here. There hasn’t been many huge things happening the last month – Most of the major things that have happened, happened in the last weeks of March. Just before Australia went into a lock down of sorts.

Being in Queensland, which is a state that so far hasn’t been affected too badly from Covid-19. Whereas our New South Wales counterparts, also the state that hosts perhaps Australia’s busiest Airport – Sydney International Airport has been affected worse. To date there’s more than three thousand cases in NSW.

As I’m writing here tonight, it’s the long weekend, it’s about 8pm on Sunday. I’m watching Lego Masters – which is a great Australian show with Lego Masters that build all sorts of wonderful creations. Watch the show over at 9Now.

Technical Changes the Last Month

The last month I’ve mostly been focusing on my Virtual Private Server that’s been successfully running this website along with several others. What I’ve got setup is a Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) server that’s ran by a company in Brisbane known as BinaryLane.

I came across Binary Lane after researching and looking for an Australian ran Virtual Private Server infrastructure company. Too my surprise, I came across them and their prices were very reasonable and in many cases much simpler to understand than that of Amazon AWS in Sydney or even Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean wasn’t going to cut it for me with the closest servers for them I could find being based in NYC with a 300ms ping time! My server in Brisbane has ping rates of about 24ms!

Church Online – So, Church Online has been running quite well for the church I’m apart of. We’ve been pre-recording each week’s service. Than I have been pushing it up with OBS Studio on a LiveStream using Castr.io to go to YouTube and Facebook Live. We’ve also been utilising the Church Online platform from Life.Church. From stats, we likely reach about 40-60% of our congregation.

Church Member Voting – This month we’re having our belated membership meeting. Which, I was able to pull together and online voting system to allow votes to be completed anonymously. The system I found at Code Canyon is called Pro Polls. It’s built with CodeIgniter and Bootstrap so I found it relatively easy to customise and use for the purpose a Church Membership voting platform.

Upon installation of it onto my church’s hosting the system ran well but I made some customisations that have hopefully simplified the system.

I’ve worked a bit with CodeIgniter over the years and I find it quite an easy Mode-View-Controller system to work with.

Categories
Projects

Building a Double Gate

Over the weekend I ripped out the side yard fence to my property and installed two double-gates in preparation for the shed I’ve got coming later this year. Yes, I’ll have a shed by about July hopefully, though, who knows what to expect with many businesses’ closing their doors due to the Coronavirus.

Why did I need to put in some double gates for my shed, well simply because I had no side-yard access for a backhoe to come in and prepare the site for the shed.

So, after having looked around for some quotes from fencing companies I found it was incredibly hard trying to find anyone that would quote on such a small job. Well, I had some businesses say, I would have to basically get my whole fence replaced and not just have a small portion completed.

So anyway, I ended up deciding I would do it myself. I figured I had the tools, a circular saw, horses and I’m confident I can put in a post as needed and hang a gate.

I found that of course Bunnings was the cheapest supplier for what I needed.

Bunnings also makes it pretty easy in the sense they sell a system that allows you to build a gate to size. The system is by a company called Fortress Gates and they have sizing calculator built into their website. After inputting your measurements and buying the frame kit and your chosen fencing material it’s just a matter of getting the work done.

I found it took me an my sister’s husband the best part of a day to get it done. To put that into perspective about 5 hours with a break and a trip to Bunnings in between. Which isn’t bad considing we don’t do this everyday and I’m in IT and he’s a solicitor.

Take a look below to see how it all came together.

Categories
General

Coronavirus in Australia – March, 2020

Wow, what a whirlwind time of the month it has been. With the Coronavirus spreading throughout the world and all the anxious and worried people. It is hard to not have a little worry. This month and indeed the months to come will be a period that’ll likely be ingrained into our lives for the rest of our lives.

At the moment in Australia, it still feels relatively safe in a regional City, but for those in capital cities, I do feel for them. It’s really taken off in the capitals such as Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

In recent weeks, I’ve had to step back my consumption of ABC’s News Radio and even the nightly news as too much exposure to what’s going on I felt wasn’t good for my mental health. My strategy to date has been

I feel that I’ve had to take a step back from watching news, sometimes I just switch off and do something else. This strategy for me has been working, I’ve also generally decided not to watch the Coronavirus specials on the TV each night and simply focus on one or two articles from the ABC or check the Queensland Health website to confirm the number of new cases in my region.

So, like with all things in life, we’re all only human and have our limits. I’ve recognised what my limits are and too protect my mental health – I’ve put into place actions that I’m comfortable with.

Categories
General Work / Life

Getting into the swing of 2020

I’m three weeks into work for the new year and it’s going steady so far. I’ve been enjoying my rides into work, despite the terribly hot and stormy weather. Though, I’m very grateful for the rain Townsville has been receiving this past week.

So, a few things have been happening, I’ve serviced my bicycles and have a project that’ll keep me relatively busy most of the first half of 2020.

In the last month, I’ve enjoyed tinkering on the bicycles at home. I’ve successfully learned and subsequently flushed my Trek 6000’s hydraulic brake fluid and replaced the brake pads. This was fun to do as to date, I had put it off probably at least a year too long. Honestly my brakes were fully functional until January when there was no engaging of the front brake. I think, if I was to service my bicycle again, and complete a brake flush, I would be able to get it done in under half-hour.

So, this project that’s going on is we’re getting a shed at home. It’s been well needed with the current shed being a 3x3m lawn looker and it’s looking a bit worse for wear, like it may fall-over in the next cyclone.

It took me about two-months to research the shed companies in and around Townsville. As you can expect Shed quotes can vary in price by several hundred to several thousand. The build quality can also vary tremendously.

Categories
Work / Life

January Commute Challenge

Hi friends, last month I successfully completed the Strava Rapha #Festive500 Challenge which involves riding 500km during the 8-days between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. It came right down the line for me with a little bit of scarring and a fall on one of my rides, but I made it through. Since completing this challenge, I had a well earned break of about 5-days before commencing the January Commute Challenege.

I’m actually quite looking forward to this January Commute Challenge. My usual job involves having a vehicle that I usually am able to garage at home. Though, in this instance, I wont be able to do that, I’ll need to cycle in about 13.5km to work. This commute usually takes about half-hour and it’s my ideal distance for commuting – By that, I means it’s worth extra effort of kitting up in lyrca and packing the cloths and towel for work.

In an early post, I’ve commented on the benefit it is in having a workplace that provides bicycle, washroom and shower facilities for those commutes in the hotter months. If it wasn’t for these facilities, I wouldn’t be cycling.

So, anyway, I’m two days into the challenge, the challenge itself is only one commute a week, but it looks like it’ll end up being at least 3-5 commutes a week (About 27km a day).

Well, that’s all for now folks, I hoped you’ve had a great end to 2019 and whatever you’re planning in 2020 can come into being.

Another random though, I’m also feeling really blessed that my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms have not surfaced for probably over 2.5 years now! Praise God.

Categories
Holidays

Maria Island, Tasmania – Phone Coverage

Phone coverage for the island is patchy at best but rest assured campers that like staying connected! In and around the main camping site at Darlinghurst you can expect 50-90% 4G coverage (meaning 2- 4 bars) according the the iPhone! Which is great news. So when you’re exploring just snap photos and leave your phone in Airplane and when your back at base upload those images to Friends and Family on your various social networks.

A Speedtest ran with Ubiquiti’s WiFiman speed network confirms speeds of between 20/7Mbps – Better than many NBN connections in Australia. Fast.com showed similar results.

Categories
Work / Life

The Daily Commute

Since commencing work in the city, I’ve started riding to work! I’ve been enjoying the ease of being able to squeeze in physical activity both before and after work. So, on average I’ve been riding about 4 out of every five days. I seem quicker on my commute home than my commute into the city.

Work has secure facilities for securing my Trek bicycle – As it’s stored within a locked building with swipe card access to the garage. I also have swipe card access to a washroom and locker – so, it’s easy enough to have a shower and freshen up.

Though, I’m fearing I’m in for a rude awakening as the weather starts to heat up into Summer. Townsville’s always been a beautiful place to ride a bicycle during the cooler-winter months!

Did I mention I’ve been riding my commute on my my mountain bike as I enjoy the extra effort over the road bike.

The ride into the city is great from Kirwan and the Townsville City Council and Main Roads has done a good job at ensuring there are clearly marked bicycle lanes along most of Townsville’s major roads – Some of which I ride on for my commute.

If you’re a local, hopefully I see you out on the road at some point. Find out where I’m riding by checking in and following my Strava Athlete profile.

My commute’s Stats:

Distance: 13.7km
Average Time: 27-30 minutes inbound to the city and 25-27 minutes outbound.

Categories
Holidays

Malaysia, Penang

The last week we’ve been able to get into Asia, just across the equator into the nation of Malaysia. It’s the first time I’ve flown into a non-english speaking nation. Though, in general, you find that most can speak enough English to enable you to order what you need when for example buying food or groceries.

My wife and I have been staying with family in the city of Penang. It has been a wonderful holiday with many new experiences such as visiting Buddhist temples, tropical gardens or even the local markets and even seeing some of the highly visited street art of Penang.

More to come…