Maintenance – what a disaster!

Posted: January 31, 2011 in 2011, General

I now find myself in the unenviable position of having no rideable mountain bikes. Both are in serious need of some tlc and I am going to have to spend a reasonable chunk of cash to get them up and running again.

The Swift was suffering from a dead bottom bracket. These external BBs are all well and good but they don’t last as long as the old style internal ones. In fact, the best BBs I ever had (longevity-wise) were the old square tapered ones. They would go on forever, octalink were a little better (except for the XTR ones which were made of chocolate) and the newer style ones just fail with alarming regularity. Anyway, new BB purchased on Friday afternoon, I set to work on Sunday morning. All was going well until I dropped the drive side crank on the floor. It bounced on the concrete and I saw some dust etc fly up. A quick check revealed that nothing was bent or broken (fail!) and I continued with the job in hand. When it was finished I noticed that the jockey wheels were stiff… very stiff, if not a little worn. I made a mental note to attend to these after the BB replacement. So, chain device in place I span the cranks a couple of times to marvel at my achievement (it doesn’t take much to amuse me!) only to find the chain wasn’t sitting on the chainring and it only took 3/4 of a revolution for it to be thrown. A close inspection revealed that the earlier fall had bent some of the teeth and one or two had significant chunks removed. I tried (and failed) to bend them back into place so now I’ll not only have to do the whole BB process again but I’ll have to buy a new chainring and fit that too. Not a big deal but it will chew up some more time when I could be riding.

In despair, I turned to the more worrying matter of the Superlight. Last ride had seen the headset stiffen up noticeably, a drop off in suppleness from the forks and an alarming cracking sound from the rear shock. Not only that but the rear end seems to have loosened off so the bike feels as if it is wandering round bends rather than tracking accurately.

I have revived the headset three or four times already with judicious cleaning and a generous application of grease. I fear it has gone beyond hope of recovery now. The forks, well they need a service as does the rear shock. The cables need replacing and to be honest, a new rear mech would come in handy too, but that can wait. If the shock and forks are coming off I may as well get new bearings made up. I knew the bike would need some tlc this winter but I have just put the job off time after time. As it hasn’t had a major overhaul since 2006, it is time I set to and spent some money on it. This probably means any dreams of a new bike are out the window, at least for the time being.

Meanwhile, I can at least ride on the road and a quick change of tyres will let me pop into CX mode so I am not stuck on tarmac forever.

  1. rossburton says:

    You can borrow my Hardrock if you want. It only needs a new cassette and whilst you are there you can install the replacement fork. 🙂

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