Thursday, June 16

Not ready for Prime time

Back in March of 2006 Mario Correa came up with the following theory:

"There's only six degrees of separation between any cyclist (in US or Canada) and Team Dicky."

I believe that five years later the theory has evolved and advanced exponentially. The theory, revised for current times, would go as follows:

"There's only three degrees of separation between any cyclist or cycling industry insider (in US or Canada) and Team Dicky."

Case in point: Shortly after the last time I bitched about not being sponsored by Hayes Disc Brakes I received an email from a friend. He knew someone who worked at Hayes in a department that would not necessarily be able to help advance my standing with the company, but he/she possibly could talk to the right people. Next thing you know, a set of Hayes Prime disc brakes arrived at my house a few weeks later.

Let's get the facts straight, though. I am still not sponsored by Hayes. They have a long list of worthy sponsored riders, Evan Plews... and one photographer? Forrest Arakawa is sponsored, but still I am not worthy?


Since I am such a big fan of Hayes they sent a set of Primes Pros to me for review, provide feedback, and I'm sure to utilize my marketing juggernaut of a blog to make Hayes the biggest thing in brakes since Fred Flintstone's feet.

They were mounted and ready to ride on Tuesday, and I did thusly. I will talk about the actual performance of the brakes when I get around to it, but for now I'll only talk about the boring stuff.

I did ride the bike with the hydraulic lines at their full, pre-bled length. I was a sad sight on the trails.

Last night was The Pie's yoga night, so I decided I would trim the lines and bleed the brakes to set things up proper style. On my way home I recalled that in the Prime Bleed video on youtube the Warranty and Tech Support Coordinator named John suggested something about having plenty of alcohol on hand when bleeding your brakes. I knew there was no alcohol in the fridge, so I headed to the BROcery store after work before going home. I lost a fair amount of time in the beer aisle trying to make an educated decision, and at one point I had a six pack of New Belgium Trippel in one hand and a sixer of Hopsecutioner in the other thinking the New Belgium would get me through any stressful moments, and the Hopsecutioner would be for celebrating a successful bleed. I almost left the aisle before I saw Torpedo on SALE in the bush for much less than the expensive birds in my hand. Victory!

Oddly enough, he suggested putting the alcohol in a spray bottle for emergencies, but I prefer to leave mine in its individual single serving dispenser.

Once I got home I went straight to work. Brake fluid can be nasty stuff, and if you don't have a nice Hayes mechanic's shirt like John's...

I suggest you wear your 3rd Place Men's Solo 24 Hours of Tahoe shop apron... and nothing else.

I figured I would trim the lines on both ends first and then get busy with the bleeding. I lost a lot of valuable time choosing the right beer for the job, so I would have to make quick work of this to get it done before The Pie came home. I started with the rear first. I removed the line, measured once, and cut thrice.

During this process I half-installed the line at the too-long length. By half-installing the line I compressed the fitting into the caliper without it cinching down on the line. When I went to remove the line for the second cut, the fitting stayed stuck in the caliper. Fail... on my part.

I then spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get the little brass piece out with needle nose pliers (fail), a screw (fail), a drill (fail), and an awl (success). Valuable lesson learned. Install the fitting all the way or not at all in future line trimming ceremonies.

Between the confusion in the beer aisle and the unique issue I propagated on my own stupid self, I was running short on time. I did manage to get the front line trimmed as well, so I now have two very aesthetically pleasing but non-bled and non-functioning brakes.

With only a few minutes to spare before The Pie walked in the door demanding beans and rice, I was able to slide the Hayes Tube Tops into place.

Speaking of Tube Tops and top tubes, I got semi-creative on my day off.

Frittering and wasting the hours in an offhand way.

Hopefully soon I will be able to do as John says and as he does thus bleeding my brakes in a proper manner and squirting my bike with beer.


Tyler G From SLC said...

Dicky, what an awesome self portrait in your man apron...I am seeing a little resemblence with you and Ghandi in the background...only difference is your massive meat pistons make you superior. Thanks for the blog!

Dr. Brett said...

Only one comment? Must rectify. Kudos to old men that include Pink Floyd references in their blogs from another old man who is also shorter of breath, and one day closer to death.