Replacement Bakfiet Spokes

A couple of the spokes where gone on my Bakfiets. I tried all the bike shops in Oxford and none of them stocked the right size. The previous owner had replaced the broken spokes with thin spokes (because no-one in Oxford stocked that size spoke) and these were essentially useless they could not take the load.


You can see how thick the spokes are and also a missing one.

So, in the end I took off the wheel and got it rebuilt by Your Spokes. He measured and sourced the spokes from a company called Central Wheel who make spokes for motor bikes.

Taking the wheel of a bakfiets

I took the wheel off by resting the bike on an old railway sleeper and tied it to a bin to keep it upright. I’ve also taken the box off because I’m remaking it at the moment.

Replacement or Repairing Bakfiets Buckle Straps

The Bakfiets bikes come with two straps for the children’s bench.   Unfortunately the buckles on my second hand bike had worn out and broken which meant they were completely useless.   The buckles are sewn into the straps and you can’t get replacement straps for the Bakfiets.  Luckily there are fantastic side removable buckles made by a company called Sea To Summit.   They can be used to replace a broken buckle without restitching the strap.

You can order the replacement buckles from Amazon here.

Replacement Strap For Bakfiets


I hope this helps somebody.

Just Brought A Bakfiet Cargo Bike

I’ve just brought a second hand Bakfiets from a Dutch man in Oxford.  It’s a little different than standard bike.  I’ve found it quite hard to find information about servicing it or even removing the rear wheel… so I’m going to blog the various things that I do to it as I go…

My lovely new Bakfiets cargo bike

Volvo V50 Losing Fuel Efficiency – Reduce MPG

I have a Volvo V50 1.6 Eco Drive.  Over the passed few months, it has started to lose fuel efficiency dramatically.  It dropped below 52 MPG and ended up around 42 MPG.  It turned out that this is caused by a semi blocked diesel particulate filter.   This was probably blocked because of soot caused by having dirty injectors.  I brought a bottle of DPF Cleaner  and also some Injector Cleaner and added them to the fuel.  I did it over two half full tanks.  I found that the MPG increased dramatically over the period of about 2 weeks.

The other potential diagnosis for this problem is a dirty MAS (Mass Airflow Sensor).  You can get this cleaned also.

How to fix Skype can’t connect – Ubuntu 16.04

I just updated to Ubuntu 16.04 and tried to make a Skype call.  It said that “Skype can’t connect”.  The error message looks like this:

Skype Can't Conect Ubuntu

To fix this you need to remove Skype completely from your system including your settings.

1) Remove the skype and it’s settings

sudo apt-get remove –purge skype skype:i386

2) Remove any settings in your home directory:

rm -rf ~/.Skype

3) Reinstall the application:

sudo apt-get install skype

You should then launch Skype and see the following term dialogue box.

Terms of Use_026

If you don’t see this box when you first launch Skype then you didn’t remove all the settings.  Your Skype should now connect 🙂

How To Install PHP 5.6 on Ubuntu 16.04

I just upgraded one of my Ubuntu Servers to Ubuntu 16.04.  The media wiki installation shopped working because it now comes with PHP 7.  I tried upgrading mediawiki to the latest version but this didn’t seem to work either.   I can’t seem to find out if Mediawiki support PHP 7.  So, I thought I would install PHP 5.6 in parallel on Ubuntu 16.04 by using a PPA (which I generally don’t like)

Here are the commands that I used:

add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
apt update
apt install php5.6 libapache2-mod-php5.6 php5.6-curl php5.6-gd php5.6-mbstring php5.6-mcrypt php5.6-mysql
a2dismod php7.0
a2enmod php5.6
systemctl restart apache2

Hope this helps someone.