Adventures in Modern Cycling: Off The Peg.
I've ridden it at least four days a week in all weathers covering around 15-20 miles a day.
I tend to ride "eye-balls out" (low gear/high cadence) along the flint strewn dirt tracks to darker places sorry, designated cycle-paths between Felpham and the outskirts of Chichester.
In my original post I swore not to modify the bike in anyway and only replace the bits that broke or dropped off.
So, how's it going then?
|N.B. Usual layer of filth removed for picture.|
I could change the stem to raise my riding position but the truth is this bicycle is to small for me.
I've made more minute adjustments to the saddle than my mind can contemplate yet it's still eye-wateringly uncomfortable.
The seat stem is extended to the full limit (70% of my body length is leg) but it only remains like that for about 5 miles before it begins to sink back into the frame.
I replaced the seat bolt with a quick-release clamp which may seem like a bad idea but it makes it easier to re-set the seat height quickly and puts less stress on the frame than bolting and unbolting the original fastening.
A couple of weeks ago the bike developed a 'clunk'.
I instantly knew exactly what had happened.
The bottom bracket cups have no seals in them thus allowing in gravel and water (the constituent parts of the local cycle-paths) which quickly replaced the imaginary grease through-out the B.B. assembly.
One of the bearing cages gave up the ghost, the axle developed an alarming amount of play and the 'clunk'.
Until today I haven't been in a financial position to do anything about it so the situation just got worse.
I set about the repair work this afternoon.
Having removed the clamp ring I found the bearing cup impossible to remove with any spanner I have in my collection and had to resort to my biggest set of grips to get it out.
Needless to say the grips destroyed the threads on the bearing cup and that my diagnosis of the fault was right on the money.
£7 for new cup and bearings.
I've jammed as much water-proof grease into the assembly as I can and will now clean off the bottom bracket area after every ride.
I give it about 6 weeks before I have to do this all again.
I could save up for a one-piece sealed unit but I've got better things to spend my money on, food for instance.
At time of typing I've repaired 10 punctures caused by tiny pieces of flint.
I now understand why many cyclists choose to risk riding on the roads rather than the cycle-path.
A dick-head local councillor wrote a whining letter to the local paper just before Xmas complaining about cyclists who insist on riding on the road when there's a 'perfectly adequate cycle-path'...
I have to stop typing now, a 'red-mist' just made it hard for me to see the screen and I have the two worst swear words in the English language repeating endlessly in my head.