lethargic_man: (bike)
I am so hopeless with my hands. I spent ten minutes the other day trying to figure out how to close the special link on a chain I was putting on my bike; eventually I had to give up and call my father in.

The reason I was doing so was I'd been told at the end of last year that switching back and forth between two chains every six months prolongs the life of the gear cassette and range wheel, so you don't have to replace them (an expensive business!) every time you replace the chain. So I was told then; the other day a mechanic at the bike shop said that was only if you cleaned and oiled the moving parts every day. (I do so only from time to time.) I remember the narrator of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" arguing in favour of knowing how to service your bike, and knew that this was the right thing to do, but can I be bothered to clean and oil the thing every since day I take it out? Not bloody likely.

I intend to switch the chain back after six months and see if it improves the lifespan of the gear cassette regardless... but I've a sneaky suspicion I'm going to have difficulty getting the special link on the chain back open again.

Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance? Hah! For me, it's more like:

View piccy )

lethargic_man: (bike)
Reached fifteen thousand miles today since I got my bike:

[mileage graph]

(Not all of it is on that bike: a few hundred miles are on my father's bike in Newcastle, a few hundred on my clapped out bike in Berlin, and maybe twenty on my spare bike here, but the vast majority is.)

When my old bike died after 7000 miles, and I had lots of problems with the derailleur on it and then on my new bike, I said, "My next bike will have internal gears!" But since then I've realised that, barring accidents and misuse, there's no reason for me to have a next bike: I can continue using this indefinitely, replacing components as they wear out...
lethargic_man: (bike)
I had my chain and gear cassette replaced two or three months ago. Both the bike shop and the Bike Doctor who comes around work had recommended, strongly, I did this after a year; in the end I waited a further year without incident. When they did the work, they also replaced the chain ring, which had become completely worn. (That explained why the chain kept falling off the inside edge of it.)

Unfortunately, this led to the chain repeatedly falling off the outside edge of the new chain ring: between the chain ring and the chain guard. So I took the bike back, and they took out the spacers they'd put in (and didn't charge me for it), and all was well... for a few weeks. Then the chain fell off again, and got so thoroughly jammed between the chain ring and the chain guard that it took me a good five minutes to get it out, in the process bending both the chain ring and chain guard, which meant that it's been happening repeatedly again since.

I took my bike back to the bike shop today, and the mechanic (appropriately named Ezra) put a new chain ring on, frowned at it, spent a good while searching through catalogues, announced he wasn't happy replacing the chain ring without the chain guard, but couldn't find the latter listed anywhere—he's going to have to 'phone the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative tomorrow, and then replaced the original chain ring.

And then told me my derailleur was out of kilter, and fitted a new one. Which means I'm now on my third derailleur in two and a bit years, grrrr! I asked him was I just incredibly unlucky, or was I damaging my bike without being aware of it. He said probably a bit of both, and asked if I'd had my bike racked with others. (Answer: no—the bike racks at work are far enough apart I don't think it's a case of other bikes falling on mine.)

*sigh*

How often do you ([livejournal.com profile] bluepork, [livejournal.com profile] ewtikins, [livejournal.com profile] hairyears, and any other cyclists reading my blog) have to have your bike seen to and new parts fitted?

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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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