Saturday, October 2, 2010

Balls out

Got to try and get myself sparked up to turn a pedal in anger tomorrow!

In a bit of a bike-mechanic mode right now. Well, the Lemond needs putting into racing shape for Sunday (Riverport) and Old Bess needs some serious work in advance of the start of 'cross season (October 31).

For a start, the Lemond. The headset was a bit loose, and I don't have those spanners. Actually, it's a threadless headset and as such only needs a 5mm Allen key, but I do find that fiddly and I prefer to leave that to the pros. Tony Lacopia (one of Nova Scotia's three enduro racing Filipinos) did the honors for me at Cyclesmith, disappearing downstairs with it to use a torque-meter.

He came upstairs and said to me "I need to talk to you about the headset" with the same manner, look and tone of a doctor coming out from OR, taking off his mask and cap, looking at the family and saying "we tried everything we could, but it was just too severe. We're sorry, but she's gone". Gulp, the Lemond is gone? Fortunately no. It turned out the headset was so badly pitted I practically had indexed steering (no, indexed steering doesn't actually exist, just think about it for a moment and you'll get it).

So the guys fitted a new one and Rob gave me the diagnosis; apparently there were no bearings in the lower race. This was a surprise; to loose one is an happenstance, two is coincidences, three is enemy action, but twelve? Conspiracy perhaps, but it would have to be a conspiracy on the order of a bad JKF assassination/Area 51 night out in Chris Carter's head. I can't even start to explain this one. Anyway, there are the required number of bearings in there now. It may be a bit heavier this weekend, but at least it will steer!

I also went for a new chain-ring. Last year 68" (39 x 15 left) me cruelly undergeared at Riverport. In fact here I am complaining about it.

I rocked out Cyclesmith and the Du It For Shelter dus (well, rocked out is a bit of an exaggeration, pebbled out perhaps) on 75" (39 x 14), which again left me a bit undergeared. So I've decided to up it to 80" (42 x 14). A bit of a learning experience. I cannabalised a 42 from an old Ultegra triple in the parts bin only to find the gear creaked every revolution! Apparently, chain-rings not made for singles/trackies are not always perfectly round! In other words they are ever so slighly biopaced! On gears this is no problem as the derailleurs take up the minimal amout of slack. On fixed all you get are awful grinding noises every pedal stroke!

I got a 42 down at MEC, and surprisingly enough, it was Fait Au Canada. I was pretty chuffed with that; it's not often you can get a legit, for real, made in Canada bike-part (your Cervelo wasn't made in Canada either!)

It certainly looked nice and shiny once it was mounted...

Strike one for the laws of unintended consequences, it even matched the silver-look of the Lemond's paint-job and everything.

An anodized black one would have looked awful, but I wasn't even thinking that far ahead! Matching componentry to paint-job - now that's hard-core!

I took it for a test spin and, so far, no horrible creaking sounds....

....nothing dropped off.

Apart, from the look on my face, a patella or two.

Will get to Old Bess later.

See you at Riverport tomorrow!


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