More Maintenance headaches. 

Been quite a maintenance heavy week. I decided to change the cassette and chain, and after changing out the chain there was a terrible metallic scraping noise from the front derailleur. 

I could not see where it was scraping on the derailleur, so I changed the cabling, reset the derailleur. Still the scraping. Looking at the inner chainring, there was a slight deformity to some of the teeth. Nothing major, but it was enough to keep hold of the chain on each rotation. 

So, decided to replace the inner ring, as it had done nearly 3k, but finding one was harder than I thought. These things where rarer than hens teeth, Everyone was out of stock. However chain reaction sent an email the next day, they had four in Stock that day. I grabbed one while they had them, they where all sold by the end of the day… 

Dismantled the drive chain, full clean and fitted the ring. All good. Bolts snugged down and ready to go. 

Bike rides silently again. Back to the pleasures of silent running

But getting used to a 12-25 cassette again.. 

Brutal wind


I can handle most weather, be it rain, hail, snow am heat. But wind is my nemesis. 

This ride was one of the worst for wide I can remember. It started as a tailwind, turned to a headwind, and then, just to test me, a sideline on a busy main road.. 

All good fun resistance training.. 

Lubes

The dizzying array of greases on offer is bound to confuse people. Any cycling website will all have page after page of people explaining what’s the best grease, arguing over the perceived advantages over everything else. 

The truth is that a bicycle isn’t a demanding machine when it comes to grease. Any grease will do. Some, is better than none. 

I do however have my favourite greases on hand for maintenance:

  • Park Tool Polylube 
  • Weldtite TF2
  • Exus EG-01
  • Crystal Grease 

I use the park tool grease for almost everything and anything. 

The weldtite grease I use exclusively for greasing my speedplay as it’s bright red colour makes it easy to see when the old grease has been flushed out. 

The exus is a very clingy grease that sticks to everything. I don’t use it much. And it stinks. I mean it really stinks. 

Generally, don’t worry about grease, just use whatever you want to. 

To Strava, or not to Strava

I’ve been a loyal user of strava for years. But I’ve been thinking recently of dumping my premium subscription. Why? 

Well, in all honesty, it just no longer fits my use requirements. I’ve never really used the segments, other than beating my own times. I’m not interested in bragging rights or KOMS. One of strava’s issues is that there will always people out there who will game the system to get the bragging rights. The leaderboard is knackered due to this.

Garmin recently brought segments to many GPS units. I used to use it, but due to a bug with the garmin firmware and the inability to set a default target it fell out of favour.

So what else is out there? Well, there are a few logging sites. None of them have the same pull as strava, but my current usage is Training Peaks and Ridewithgps.com. 

Training peaks is arguably the grand father of them all. With no limits to the way you can view data, and the sheer amount you can do, it is the greatest at seeing your performance improve. But it can be a massive data overload. 

Ridewithgps is simple, but powerful. With support for ride tagging, gear management and maintenance logs. It’s recently started to gear itself more toward clubs, but it’s still a great choice for lone riders who arnt looking for a social aspect, although it does offer that, but so far has failed to pick up the type of following strava enjoys. 

And that’s what strava has going, the social aspect. It’s simply unmatched in that regard. And that’s why I’ll continue to keep a strava account, but not a premium. It just has no benefit for me. 

Rusty Rust

So, I’ve ridden my bike through all weathers, rain, hail, snow and sun. But I never expected to see the amount of corrosion on a freewheel body.

I had originally just planned on cleaning the cassette, but the last block would not come off the freehub. It took some serious effort to remove. When it was off, the scene was like a martian landscape, red lumpy rust all over the freehub. A quick scrape got some of it off, and cleaning out the filth inside the body got it looking a little more respectable.

After the ritual cleaning of the hub, I regreased the lot using the excellent Crystal Grease which is the thickest most waterproof grease I had, and reassembled it.  I’d never had to grease the splines on a freehub body before, but this time I put a thin layer on the splines just to try to keep the rust away.

Hopefully that should be enough to keep the dreaded corrosion away until I swap my wheels back onto my more expensive pair.

Next up on the after winter season is changing the cables, and bar tape. Changing the cables is going to be a nightmare, as I also need to remove the tension nuts, which I’m pretty sure have seized in the threads. But thats another worry for another day 🙂

Have fun out there.

Far to cold

Perhaps I’m just getting old, but the low temperatures are really limiting my rides to less than ten miles this year. 

I’m longing for summer weather that will get me back out on long rides.