Monday, November 23

Cranksgiving (now with more stuffing)

I woke up late (for me) on Saturday and went about my business as usual... coffee, oatmeal, internet, enjoying the last few moments of peace before the family awakes. I needed to be ready to ride by 9:30, and I hadn't touched my bike since the Hush Hush ride (who would've wanted to?). I was counting on a quick wipe down and re-lubing of the chain, and I would be good to go bust out a lap at Sherman with Big Worm, Eric Van Driver, and camera man Stabby. I pulled the bike down, dropped it on it's rear wheel, and tried to roll it backwards so I could flip it upside down for lubage purposes. As the bike resisted my efforts and the rear wheel dragged on the hardwoods I realized something was amiss.

Something was locked up for sure. That meant a contaminated hub (not likely as I rebuilt it weeks ago), an over the top nasty chain (still not likely), or a bottom bracket that shoulda been replaced over two months ago finally gave up the ghost. Of course it was the bottom bracket as it had already shown signs of its demise awhile back. After a rainy ride in Durango it first started showing symptoms, and after a couple wet Pisgah rides back in October I had taken it out and repacked the reluctant non-drive side bearings (not recommended but I was looking to stretch out its lifespan). My painstaking efforts had only earned me another month of riding as the bottom bracket was siezed completely now. Since I had no time to properly address my issue I just turned the cranks with brute force until they freed up and spun them around to break up the rust and debris within.

That makes four ISIS bottom bracket down the tubes since January 2007.

The first Crank Brothers was warrantied since it didn't last very long at all (Jan 07-May07). The warranty replacement was pulled out prematurely as a victim of upgraditis when I bought the ceramic hybrid/ti spindle beauty on the right. Months went by and one La Ruta de los Conquistadores worth of salt water and pressure washers later the fancy BB died a horrible death. Ahhhh, then throw in a few months(Jan 08 to Mar 08 and Oct08 to May 09) of riding the yet to be named Zion (with external bearing Race Face cranks) which bought the warrantied Crank Brothers some time before it received its death sentence at the Dirt, Sweat, and Gears mudfest of 2009. I replaced it with another Crank Brothers which got me all the way to now (or a month ago when it shoulda been replaced in the first place). So that last one was good for all of maybe four months... meh. Quickly doing the math that means four ISIS BB's wasted in less than two years of actual riding time... more meh.

Last night I had work to do.

Stabby has always proved to me that the best thing about having more than one bike is the ability to steal parts from one to keep another going. Robbing the yet to be named Zion to pay the Meatplow as it were. I needed to get the fancy race wheels off the Meatplow anyways, so it was a good time to flip them both upside down and go to town.

New XT pedals procurred at the swap meet to save the Shimano pirate versions (XT Arrrrrrhhh) for next year. Bash guard? I didn't have any more proper length chainring bolts, so what's a boy to do? Black Flow rim equipped wheels mounted up with a much-better-than-a-worn-out-Crossmark Ignitor and a waiting-for-a-Kodiak (or a Dissent) to-replace-it Rampage up front. I went ahead and jammed the sliders as far forward as they can go to try to see if I can tell a difference between the l-o-n-g and short set up. Me thinks folks on MTBR will be dying to know which is better.

and because I can't stand seeing a dilapidated bike hanging on the wall....

I threw the Pheonix polished cranks on the yet to be named Zion to ensure that if for any reason I pull the Meatplow off the wall and something ain't working I at least have another last minute option.

Next year as racing "season" approaches I'll have to resolve the crank/BB issue. The taper on the Middleburns is wearing out, and I have to loctite the bolts to keep them tight (I assume the taper is the issue). I love the stiffness of the external bearing set up (just riding them in front of my house I was reminded how great they are), but I hate the resistance of the system... thus my resistance to the system. For now I could give a rat's ass, and I'm just happy to have a bike to ride that I really, really like.

BTW: Why am I keeping three absolutely wasted ISIS bottom brackets? I have no idea.

The Asheville fire fighter who tried to kill a cyclist WITH A GUN in front of his child got four months in prison. I feel much safer now... well, at least for the next four months. Read about it here.


Big Dave said...

You can get really inexpensive external bb cranks that come with a bb. They work well and if the bearings go out they are fairly easy to replace. Why do you hang on to such crappy stuff like that ISIS bullshit? That stuff is/was worthless.

Anonymous said...

Good thing I have a good work history and am not often tardy. I could probably get away with firing a warning shot at whomever I want and get a four-month vacation. This country is so liberal it makes me sick. How dare we actually punish someone based on the bad decision he made and what he did without having to take into account his previous good behavior. This dude should spend years contained. Better wear a bulletproof vest next time I take my kid out for a ride. Crazy.

Anonymous said...

SKF, dude. SKF.

Big Bikes said...

The Isis she has a flaw...
that big spindle is stiff but it leaves very little room for the bearing. So you got wee little bearings which wear quickly. I have blown through many Isis BBs and have seen a ton come into the shop.

I find the XTRS spin more freely than other outboard bearing systems — they have a ring which allows you to adjust bearing preload like you would a headset.

Of course you could be a real nutter and put a pair of Campy Ultra-Torque cranks on your mountain bike (I've seen it). They spin like a sumbitch!

Andrew Brautigam said...

The ultimate SS crank would be a Rotor 3d crank narrow q factor set up, custom no bolt ring instead of the spider, and a Chris king bottom bracket.

Anonymous said...

Hope ceramic BB is cheap and good. Stainless is cheaper and almost as good. Fits all shimano compatable cranks.

EndlessBikeCo. said...

Thanks for putting a link to the Asheville Fire Fighter gun incident. Rediculous that he got away with that so easily.

Anonymous said...

CK comes with a 5 year warranty. Don't be fooled by expensive ceramic bearing. SS bearing with the CK love will last a very long time. Time to upgrade.

dicky said...

If I go with an external set up I'll probably go with a Chris King set up once the original bearings wear out.