Thursday, May 26, 2011

i am a bad mechanic. i am a baaaaad mechanic.

Admission: I do not always take the best care of my bikes.

..::ducking now to avoid the wet shop rags that will surely be thrown at me by pals Justin and Chris over at Crank::..

Like many who work full-time in the bicycle industry, I have more than one bike (though with a grand total of four, I am far below the national average for shop rats, most of whom have nine or more): a cargo bike, a city bike, a road/touring bike and of course, Stompy.

Stompy is my racing bike, a singlespeed Redline Monocog (26" wheel version) with several parts upgrade to make it lighter and more fun to ride. I raced it all last short-track season, cleaned it, gave it a two-week break in August; then turned around and threw a full season of cyclocross practices and races at it. I raced in December at USGP-Portland. I rode home from the race, rinsed off the worst of the mud, then hung the bike vertically in the Bicycle Brain Trust and went inside to wash the mud and embrocation off my legs.

There it sat for four months.

In April, feeling guilty, I pulled Stompy down off the hook, put it in the stand and gave it a better cleaning. I did NOT pull it all apart, because I simply didn't have time. A frozen pedal was treated with a healthy dose of lube suirted into the tiny space between the pedal body and the spindle; an hour later the pedal turned freely again. I did a cursory truing of the front wheel, which helped. And the bike rides pretty well, all things considered. But I have not yet pulled it all apart to clean the bottom bracket threads, or see if any water has collected in the bottom of the frame, nor have I replaced the sealed bearings in the front wheel (and it's clear that I ought to).

In short, I have been a baaaaaad mechanic.

This next week I have a little more free time so I will doing the inevitable.
Full tear-down, bearing replacement and all.
I sort of HAVE to now.
Short-track begins June 6 and Stompy is rightly pissed at me for months of benign neglect.

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