Friday, November 13

Limited Race Horses

Before I start whining about my wet people problems, apparently this is a thing now:

Hard to believe that my life goal of being on a sticker has been achieved twice now.  I make no money on the sale of these things, but I heard it will help a young man get his associate's degree in Biscuit Cheffery at the Bojangles Academy of Culinary Science.  Get yours here.

I replaced the clapped out, I don't know how many years old Dura Ace square taper bottom bracket on my tarck bike the other night.

I went with the cheaper chicken, the Shimano BB UN55, with its boring black spindle and simplistic installation requirements.  Despite the fact that "work" paid for it, I couldn't justify the extra cost of the White Industries unit.

This gives me sads on so many levels.  Firstly, the fact that I'll be tossing the old bottom bracket in a box so that my children will have yet another thing to discard after I'm deceased.  Secondly, I loved looking down and seeing the polished spindle (despite the fact that it was usually covered in grime 90% of the time).  Thirdly, I'll no longer have any use for this archaic tool:

The tarck bike is still rife with ancient technology.  Threaded headset, cup and cone hubs (Campy and Suntour Superbe Pro... because no matchy-matchy), a quill stem without a removable face plate... one man's trash is another man's bike parts.

I was glad I stopped in the beer aisle before I started the removal/install.  Of course I had a hard time remembering which way the fixed cup needed to be turned to get it out of the shell.  Of course the tool had seen better days and was difficult to keep on the flats.

Of course I remembered how I thought cartridge bottom brackets were an incredible step forward back in... the early '90s.  Why would anyone want to fiddle with three different tools trying to get the perfect preload on the bearings when you could just toss this stupid cartridge in and never think about it again?

And of course, there were still more issues.   Although the Dura Ace cup threaded nicely in and out of the frame, the threads on the lower end unit must not be as refined.  I came upon some unexpected resistance about four rotations in... every time.  I kept taking it out, putting it in, eyeballing it to make sure it wasn't cross threaded, digging into boxes and finding old cups that I could thread in to be sure everything was kosher (it was) before just using a little torque.

Oh, yeah.  Torque.

I hadn't had to lean on this tool since ISIS was a thing (a bottom bracket thing, not a terrorist thing or a bottom bracket terrorist thing).

So I forgot that I'd somewhat ham-fisted it a few too many times, fudging up the engagement enough that it required a fair amount of attention and patience when being used, two commodities I was short on at this point.

Did I mention how bad the hub on the rear wheel felt when I pulled it out of the frame... something I was trying to not even think about during this other repair because I was going to run out of time and have to address that later?


I got to it later.

Those itty bitty flecks of something?  Those are pieces of my balls.  They're in terrible shape.  I gotta get new ones... I guess that happens.

I feel bad for my tarck bike.  It sees way more use than any other bike I own.  It's outside nine hours a day, five days a week, forty something weeks a year.  For the past nine years.

And I work on it twenty times less than any of the others.  I take it for granted, and when it comes time to do some work, it's because it really needs it.  The only moving part that hasn't required much attention is the Cane Creek headset.  Every time I've torn into it, I regret that I bothered breaking out the cumbersome headset wrenches just to see all that clean grease still in there.  I've decided I'm going to never touch it again, unless the bike implodes of the headset melts due to the increasing surface temperatures on our planet.

Only a few days in, and I already miss that ticking noise that the bottom bracket has been emitting for almost nine years on every pedal stroke... except on rainy days.  Made me almost happy when it rained, but not really.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I found a PC-1 chain on the floor that was only 50% worn and only one link longer than the one that was on the bike?


Remove the extra link, swap the 18 tooth summer cog out for the easier-on-the-knees 19 tooth winter cog, go to install the chain...

and it's too short by one link.

Which explains where that chain came from, I guess.


Mike P said...

A one apple tall version of a four apple tall person.

Anonymous said...

I have 6 on the way......wahoo.

Anonymous said...

ISIS was a thing - haha...I got a good laugh out of that one, they probably went from bikes to bomb shells...

I wanta sticker! how do I get a sticker?