Sunday, March 11, 2007

24 hours

That's how long the old bike was clean. I finished it up Saturday afternoon, put it on the trainer, lubed the chain, adjusted everything, and rode it for 20 minutes or so. Aside from tires, it's ready for the road.

That last fact didn't stop me from getting out for a 13.4-mile jaunt this afternoon. The bike was smooth and quiet, with a few exceptions, but the biggest problem was the enormous puddles. There's a lot of snowmelt going on, and I was forever having to cross into the oncoming lane to avoid some major bodies of water and the inevitable potholes they concealed. Had to negotiate a few anyway because of traffic, so my feet got wet and ultimately cold. I doubt it was much above 40F, with a strong headwind for the second half of the ride. All the same, it was good to get out, though the bike took a beating from all the road crap that's out there. Not clean anymore, by any means.

Had some front shifting issues when moving to the small ring, so will need to adjust the inward travel of the front derailleur. Shifting also felt kinda harsh or something, like the chain wasn't very well-lubed. Think I'll stick with 3-in-1 oil for this bike - it just seems to perform better. Had some kind of a minor clunk occasionally, which may mean I need to retighten the locknuts on the cranks. That's where I'll start anyway. And the seat rocks back and forth a little too easily, so more tightening there. All minor stuff. And of course a recleaning...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Almost done

Got the old bike mostly cleaned up, regreased, reassembled, and ready to ride. Did the rear hub and the bottom bracket, both of which were desperately in need of service. Cleaned freewheel as best I could, as well as chainrings and rear derailleur. The last thing to do is to put the right crank back on after it dries. Then it goes back on the trainer for some adjustments and a chain lube, and it'll be ready to go another couple of years. I really think I'll need to buy a couple of tires first, though. The ones it has on are either bald from the trainer, or have previously had flats or skids. Those are OK for the trainer, but not for the real world.

Sunday is looking like a mostly sunny day in the 40s, which will seem like spring after the past few weeks. With any luck, I'll get the old bike out for 10-15 miles on Sunday afternoon. The trainer is getting a little old, and I'm really getting the itch to be on the road again.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Maintenance update

Well, that bike is done and ready to ride. Chain whip and cassette remover arrived, and I took the rear hub all apart, cleaned and regreased it, and reassembled. Not a huge deal at all. Put it on the trainer and adjusted front and rear derailleurs for new chainrings and rear indexing, adjusted brakes, lubed chain, and all is well. Also retaped left side of handlebars that I just wasn't happy with, and it seems a little better now. Time will tell.

Took the old bike off the trainer and got it ready for an overhaul. Meanwhile, the Trek doesn't work so well on the trainer, because the clamp that adjusts the pressure on the tire also appears to be rubbing the tire at every turn. Not sure if the wheel is a little untrue or if the tire itself is a little off, but continuing to ride it would definitely ruin the tire. So now the old junk mountain bike is on the trainer temporarily. Can't get a high enough gear ratio to provide meaningful resistance, so have to spin in a higher cadence instead. Better than nothing, and spring is not far away...

Removed chain and wheels from old bike, but still couldn't pull off the cranks. The old crank tool was stripped. So, went to Plaine's and picked up yet another Park Tool, a crank puller for those old cranks. FINALLY, after about 10 years, got the cranks off. The bottom bracket feels like it has no grease left whatsoever, so a complete overhaul is LONG overdue. Disassembled the front hub, and discovered that any grease in there had long since congealed to the point of being useless. Gotta do this more often!!! Unable to remove the 14-17-21-24-28 freewheel without stripping, so will leave it and overhaul the rear hub around it. That hub seems a little tight, and probably also has some pretty useless grease. Next step is to find some environment-friendly solvent - Simple Green is working fine for chain grime and general frame cleaning, but not so well for degreasing some of these other moving parts.