In addition to the trailer, I had other work I had to do today, too. Hachi (or maybe Loki) munched on the rear derailer cable a little, and although it was only a few toothmarks I could see, which don't even show up in pics, I figured she might've crushed the cable or housing enough to cause me a prolem later on with internal friction.
While I was at it, I did a few other things I had been considering, one of which Liveforphysics reminded me of during the brake discussion in this thread:viewtopic.php?p=262008#p262008
I got that big blue box of assorted bike stuff at the swapmeet a couple of months ago, and so far have done very little with most of it. Used a few reflectors on the new trailer, a pair of metal pedals on DGA to replace the old plastic ones, etc. But there is a lot of nice (to me) stuff in it, though very little of it is matching sets or complete items.
There was *one* set of good Shimano brake arms, for linear side-pull like DGA already had, but with a much better spring mechanism. The pic below shows DGA's original factory arms (left side of pic), which have never really sprung back evenly regardless of how well adjusted I got them. They are stiff enough, and have never caused a problem with braking, just sometimes didn't return quite right, and kept rubbing on the rim one side or the other.
On the right are two different but very similar arms (both for the same side, of course
) with a much better spring return mechanism, which looks like it would adjust far better and more reliably. Fortunately, I did have an actual pair of arms similar to those, with almost the same mechanism (possibly even a better one), by Shimano.
They seem to return evenly without any adjustments at all, which is good, because they're both missing the adjustment screw.
They also have a much better pivot point. I am not certain but I think they are bearings, rather than the brass sleeve bushings the old arms had. I'm not taking them apart to find out (unless they break
I'm still using the caliper-style brake lever off the stroller, since it has the locking pin for my "parking brake". Even though it is the wrong type, it does give me enough leverage to lock up the wheel on these brake arms (even the old brake arms worked fine with it, except for the return problem).
Only thing I don't like about it is it's a short lever.
Since I had to change the derailer cable housing, I figured I might as well clean the derailer, too. While I had it off I realized how similar it looked to a couple of others in that box.
The green one is the old one off of DGA. The black one on DGA and on the white sheet are the ones from the box. They're all Shimano Tourneys, but mine was a #30, the one on DGA now is a #50, and the last is a #70. Both the 50 and 70 have a Directional Pulley on the back end to guide the cable for smoother shifting. Seems to work, too.
It's just about as worn as the one on DGA (factory stock part, from 2005), but it shifts a lot better, and doesn't rattle around loosely as it just sits there with chain going thru it like the old one. I'd've used the #70, but it was missing it's backplate and it's jockey wheels, and is a little looser at the main pivot than the 50. Might make it shift less accurately, and that's part of what I'm trying to fix.
I also had these in that box:
and I like the dark one's shape a lot. Fits my hand nicely. But I only have the one. However, the little Royce Union kids' bike I got from Freecycle on Saturday had a pair of Kalen bar ends. They're just round bar types, but they match.
I might go ahead and use the ergonomic fit one out of the box for the other one, instead, though. Be nice if I could find a second one for the other side somewhere, but that's unlikely.
Anyway, they are more comfortable than just holding onto the bars while I ride, as they give me a place to shift my grip angle when my hands begin to go numb, rather than just letting go one hand at a time to fix that. Also protects the bar-mounted stuff if I have to flip the bike over to fix something.
Of course, I can't ride with both hands on there on the road in traffic, but I can do so on canal paths and the like where I'm solely on human power, and don't have a need to shift or brake very often.
I'd need to add throttle, and brake (somehow in parallel to the regular ones) at minimum in order to use these in traffic. Or move them from the bars to the bar ends somehow, but I don't really think that would work--not enough room for any of that plus my hands. Have to rig something else up to hold all that, somehow in parallel with the bar ends, and that's all too complicated to deal with just yet.