Bicycle Snowplow bike needs surgery

Today was spent running between bike shops. A week short of the 1 year anniversary of buying the Giant Simple 3, the bike went in for repairs to fix shifting issues.

The first repair was to replace a stretched shift cable and shift housing. There were still shift problems so the bike had to go back to the store I bought it from.

While the bike was being looked at, I had to waste a lot of time in a coffee shop until the bike was ready. I returned to the store and rode it around the parking lot. It still was not shifting into 3rd gear. The mechanic thought the shift housing was sitting too far out and wasn’t pushing the shift rod in far enough. More runs around the parking lot. The shifting improved but still refused to shift into 3rd unless I back pedaled and put on the brake.

After a few hours at the store, the mechanic decided the only thing left was to take the hub apart. It was obviously going to be a warranty repair and since it was only about a week left on the warranty, the examination had to be done now.

Heavy snow was falling for about a half hour before tapering off. The mechanic found a spring unwinding on the axle. The spring shifted the gears into 3rd gear. The bike was put back together and I was told not to do much shifting because the spring could break and damage parts. I’m waiting for Shimano to allow a warranty repair.

The bike still worked and I shifted into 1st gear and left it there while hooking up the 5 foot plow. The higher elevation on the pathway was covered in about a half inch of snow. It was plowed quickly, leaving a ridge of snow on the pathway with a five foot wide path on one side of the pathway and about 2 feet on the other side of the snow ridge. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go out and hook up the plow and push the snow ridge off the pathway. It was just a quick clean today.

The new rear wheel mounts are flat steel bar. They allow me to raise or lower the wheels by bending the steel. Today with the light snow, I bent the wheels up and put the whole blade on the pavement. In deeper snow I can adjust the wheels down several inches. This works very well for setting the plow height to exactly what is needed for the snow conditions.

In 1st gear I was doing about 15 kph up to about 20 kph maximum at a very high cadence. Surprisingly, the Ice Spiker studded tires occasionally lost traction now and then on icy patches hidden in the snow for a fraction of a second. It is rare for this to happen but remember a 5 foot plow does offer resistance in snow so I often hook up tire chains as well if snow is several inches deep.

Once the plowing was completed, I bent the wheels back down and raced home, coasting down hills. Since I didn’t bring my panniers with tools and a leash to pull the plow to the side, it was not possible to push the snow ridge off the pathway. Tomorrow I may load up all the gear and finish the job. Snow should end soon. Nothing is falling tonight.

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