Thursday, February 6

Things fall apart

Wear items.  Not so much of an all out fail, but a barely noticeable slow degradation of performance.  A downward spiral of entropy that can go unnoticed until it's too late to really do anything about it.

Yes, last night before I tightened the chain on the Fastest Bike in the World, I broke out my Park Tool CC-2.

Of course I waited too long.  Beyond the 1.0 mark of no return.  The chain had been loose for a week or more, but I was waiting.  Waiting for the weather to break, putting off wheel removal until I had time to chase down a very slow leak in the tube that had me dropping 20-30 PSI from Monday morning to Sunday night... for the last three or more months.

Lazy.  No excuse.

Leak found.  Very tiny spot next to an old patch.  I put a patch over it, didn't bother dunking it under water afterwards, hoping for the best.  New chain installed, expecting a groaning drive train the moment I pedal away from the house.

Popping out of the pedals on a fixed gear is quite excite.  Either the pedals are worn or the cleat... usually the cleat.

By "new" I mean salvaged from somewhere (I don't remember) with the SM-SH51 still readable but slightly worn.  By "old" I mean probably a few weeks away from breaking off the leading edge.

Removal is always fun at this point.

Right side, still takes a 4mm allen.  Left side, FUBAR.

I know the way it should be done.  Dremel a slot in the bolt and use a screwdriver or drill out the bolt head and use vice grips to remove the rest of it.

My drill:  It's under the work bench, covered in dust and dog hair. My drill bits are all seriously worthless and ruined.  The time it would take to get them out, find one close to the right size still sharp enough to put a dent in the bolt... not worth it.

My Dremel:  Also under the work bench.  More than likely has something other than a cut-off wheel mounted up.  Swapping things around, I usually manage to break a cutting wheel in the process. 

Why not just take out one bolt, stick the cleat in a vice, and twist the shoe around?  The soles are shit anyways.

So I do that.  It works.

The thing I almost always forget is that if the cleat is worn down wafer thin, chances are the sole has been worn down as well.  I realize this as I walk on the marble floors of the Bank of America Corporate Center as soon as I get to work.  I'm pretty much walking around on a hunk of metal the rest of the day...

like I have countless times before.  These shoes are toast.

Ending my day at the courthouse with a last minute pick up at the judge's chambers that has to be ran down from the ninth floor to the third floor to be filed with less than a couple minutes to spare.

Almost busted my ass.  Almost.

So begins the re-purposing of an old pair of mountain bike shoes into work shoes.  Removing all excess metal that will set off the metal detectors at the courthouse and cleaning them till they look like something you might wear in the company of well dressed attorneys.

This includes pulling out the super awesome metal detector friendly two hole plate outta the old shoes and putting them in the "new."

And of course, the toe spikes that were in the shoes were so worn down that I couldn't get them out with the proper tool or even vice grips...

So I had to dig around under my work bench, grab the Dremel, mount a cutting wheel, drop the whole thing on the floor, break the cutting wheel, replace it...

Being a bike messenger is about 5% as glamorous and exciting as Premium Rush made it out to be.


Anonymous said...

You mean you don't have one of these?
Pro Gold Chain Tool

dicky said...

I do. I just enjoy my mechanical Park Tool... and couldn't find the PG one.