I’VE been wrenching on my own bikes for years and am comfortable doing the basic, and some higher-level repairs and maintenance myself. Those more difficult repairs…Different story.
I’M hesitant to mess with the Di2 on the Emonda so I leave that to Wizard Jay at Big Daddy’s. Hydraulic brakes? Haven’t tackled those either but I’ve got the bleed kit now. Sheepish grin. Read on…
New cables and housing on the bikes with internal cable routing? Nope, not yet.
AS Toph would say, though, it’s all on YouTube, Mark, so check for videos before you do anything. He’s gifted, though. Me, I got a “C” in wood shop.
STILL, with patience and deliberation over the years, and lots of practice, I’ve done a lot of things that others might have to pay for. And I know that if I get to the point where I’m stuck, or if I screw anything up, I’ve always got Jay.
RECENTLY, though, I’ve gotten a couple of wake up calls and so I thought I’d share in the hopes that you don’t do what I do (uh, did), and just ride your bike.
Yup, Maintenance is Required
Got some sweet new bottle cages for Blue for Christmas (thanks to my nephew, Bret) and thought one morning before a ride that I’d just switch out those cages really quick so I can flaunt the bling-bling.
WHOA, that bolt came off way to easily. Sure enough, just the bolt-head came off; the rest of the f*$%#n bolt was still in the frame. There was some sticking out, though, so I grabbed some needle-nose pliers. No dice. Not enough gription.
OKAY, you’re up Mr. Dremel. I cut a nice slot in the top of the bolt but no dice with that either. That bolt was just too corroded; it wouldn’t budge. Eventually, the edges of the slot I had cut “stripped away” and there was no more bite to be had by the ‘driver.
GRABBED a different bike for that ride and took Blue into Jay. He drilled it out. Not something I know how to do and not sure I would have done it anyway on that frame. Better left for the pro…
NOTE to self (and good advice for you as well, mayhaps): grease and check those bottle cage bolts regularly, especially if you ride in weather or post-weather, if you will. Spray from snowy, slushy roads was the culprit in my case I theorized since I don’t ride much in the rain or snow itself.
So, I’m Reading the Recent Issue of Bicycling
AND there’s this great side-column, “Maintenance Minute – Presented by ParkTool” and a nice list of basic things to look for when inspecting your bike. Some of the items on this list include:
- Chains – Check wear with every lubrication. Use a chain-checker regularly, says Jay.
- Brake Pads – Disc: Replace at <1mm pad thickness. Rim: Replace when worn to wear line.
- Hydraulic Brake Fluid – Replace every ~5K miles.
- Cassettes – Typically replace with every third chain.
I do a good job keeping my eye on my chain nowadays. This since Jay gave me ca-ca when I took the bike in for excess chain noise. Have you checked your chain lately? No, Jay, I just ride my bike. It was way past worn, as it turns out. I hung my head in shame.
BRAKE pads? I can honestly say I’m good at that one. Ride discs and have pads handy, and have done quite a few pad swaps over the years. But…I never really did think about a specific thickness at which they should be changed. I just went by feel, you know? Not the best plan though so I took off the wheels and removed the pads and measured them. 2mm all around. Thank you bike gods. That can wait.
BRAKE fluid? Well like I wrote at the beginning of this post – it’s on my list. And honestly I bought the kit before I read the article. Still, Blue has ten-thousand on him so I need to get on that obviously.
CASSETTES – I’ve never really paid attention to those. Mostly, in my defense, because up until the last few years I haven’t ridden enough miles to make it an issue. I eventually got around to it. So, cringe, let me check the cassettes on the KICKR and Blue.
HOLY chain wear Batman! Not good. I’ve never seen such ridges.
THIS pic from Blue’s rear wheel. The cassette on the trainer was a bit worse.
THANKFULLY, I had a cassette handy so I was able to change out the one on the KICKR. It wasn’t the right size for the Emonda. I ordered one of those though, and I will soon change out that cassette (and the chain). I checked, Jay, it’s at about 75% wear.
I’M experiencing better shifting on the trainer. No surprise. And, I’m looking forward to that “new drivetrain experience” on Blue very soon.
HOW about you? Any funny maintenance stories?
ARE you going to check your chain, cassette or brake pads now? No worries, that’s what I did. If it wasn’t for someone at Bicycling having the presence of mind to slap that little sidebar in there I probably would have gone awhile and could possible have experienced some mechanical issues. Likely in the worst possible place, too, like eight (8) miles behind the gate on Monitor Pass or something. Wait…is there a good place for a mechanical?
IN any case, don’t be like me, okay? Ask yourself, “What would Jay do?”
BY the way, we hope to see you at the Ride & Walk 4 Art next weekend!
COME on by & say hi, and if you show me your new cassette, chain or brake pads, I’ll give you a tee!