Monday, 31 May 2010

Half Baked Spuds


Well, there was some play in the pedals so I thought that I'd have a go at them. So the first one I took to bits and - seeing all those VERY little bearings suddenly wished I hadn't. The second, I flushed, repacked and tightened without disassembling. They are both adjusted without play now, it will be interesting to see (1) if they last any time now or (2) if one lasts longer than the other.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

My 100-K Day

Not often I end up riding 100K for work, this was a first for me. I confess to being not overly worried if it doesn't happen again. (And I forgot to switch the GPS on to track between the two west London sites, it was guiding me at the time)
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Truvativ Giggle XP


It turns out that the BB bearing and crankset on both my Marin Point Reyes commuter and the LeMond (=Trek) road bike are both Truvativ GXP, which I'm sure means they were having a laugh as they designed it.

Looking around the Internet, I'm not the only one to feel they leave something to be desired in the durability stakes. Plus, becasue one side bearing is smaller than the other, you can't easily swap them out for something else.

The Marin bearings were shot through wear, only about 8,000 miles. My LBS comment was "that's good" - I don't think so, not for a maintained bike. The LeMond (probably only 2,000 miles) are clicking and have been for the last 300 miles, an early symptom of failure IMO. The only bright spot is that in taking the crank off I noticed the bung protecting the frame had risen out, so was able to correct it.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Sweet Smell of .....


I had wanted to say "success" but I'm not quite there yet.

As you may be aware, I have a running battle with bikes and London, London normally wins, wear is right on the far edge of what you have a right to expect. The one before last chain snapped in use, as I neglected it for too long and had to replace the cassette, too. So, the last chain I lavished care on, using expensive "ceramic" lube, cleaning it and generally cosseting it. And if anything, it has lasted less time. So, I have bought some Chain-L No. 5 (could there be a better name?), having heard good things about it. It arrived very quickly and well wrapped, whipping open the package I got that wonderful lubricant whiff that anyone who has worked on pre-war engines will know and love, I'm told it's sulphur.

I replaced the Shimano chain with a SRAM (for the "power link"), followed the instructions for the lube and it has all gone together well, and early indications are positive. Unfortunately, I must have left the old chain on too long (it went from 0.75% to 1% in about 100 miles) and the wear on the cassette means that it's jumping like crazy in 6-8, the gears I use most. So, another cassette.

While I was at it, I discovered that the BB is shot, too. That's a sealed unit - the SRAM Truvativ GXP, I'm not sure that I really like that, it's lasted only two years. However changing it involves changing the cranks, too by the look of it. Oh yes, and anyone is welcome to pass an opinion on the state of my carbon fork (especially Steve ;-) )



Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Cycle Facility of the Month

In homage to the great Cycle Facility of the Month I present my own capture.

Here, the London Borough of Newham has installed an amazing facility for those cyclists wishing to practice for Paris Roubaix without leaving these shores, and are to be applauded.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 10 May 2010

Numbnut Award

It's really not hard to find bad cycling in London, Paddedshorts has made a collection of them here, but after today I think I'd like to award my very own Numbnut award.

Going to work this morning I was passing through a busy and complicated city junction in rush hour when, in front of me as I was stopped by the light, sailed a guy, apparently texting on his phone. I say apparently because of what comes later. Anyway, he was looking at his phone and pushing buttons as he was riding. I caught up with him a short way down the road, he was still busy with his phone.

Much as though I rarely say anything, I couldn't help myself: "Don't ever complain about a car driver texting - what you were doing ranks as one of the stupidest things I have ever seen". It was then his girlfriend, riding with him, piped up in a very injured tone "He was looking where to go, we don't know where we are". Saints preserve us, let's hope dumb and dumber don't ever procreate.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

Some people, I believe, have a problem with the amount of float on a clipless pedal. That is, the amount you can rotate your foot without it uncliping from the fixing. This example above is an alternative approach that provides a substantial amount of float, possibly unsurpassed, for an SPD pedal.

Note to self: Next time I buy some nice carbon soled shoes and spend a long while trying to get the placement and angle of the cleat just right, do remember to tighten the screws down. Otherwise, 15 miles into your commute you may find that the cleat fails to disengage when you expect it to with amusing results. Amusing, that is to anyone watching rather than participating. Just about as funny as a bee sting.