the importances of good maintenance
I was going to put this in my last post but I waffled on a bit, so here is a new post.
Back at the beginning of the year I found that I needed to get a new chain for the Cannondale as it had reached end of life according to my chain checker . Well the chain arrived and last weekend as I was preparing the Whyte after the weekends ride ready for this weekends ride, I thought I should check the chain. A quick measure revealed the chain was well past its best. I was not impressed with my own lack of checking the chain, after all it is basic maintenance, I have no excuse for not checking it. I ordered a new chain and ensured it would be with me in time for me to fit before this Saturdays ride.
The chain arrived a couple of days later so after changing the Whyte’s tyre’s for the mud tyre’s from the Cannondale (with the rain we have had over the past few days it was going to be muddy). I then set about fitting the new chain. A quick test ride up and down the road to ensure everything was working well revealed the gears were not working right, the chain was jumping as I applied any heavy pressure to the peddles in the mid range gears and on the middle chain ring. After much searching I was unable to spot where the problem was, I asked some biking mates for some information and while the information was useful I was not able to pin point where the problem was with any certainty, cassette or chain rings. It to damm expensive to just keep ordering replacement parts until I resolve the problem and not only that it was now late in the week and to get any parts and fit them on the bike be for Saturday. As I wanted to ride the Whyte on Saturday, I decided to put the old chain back on and ride with it, to be honest there were no problems with the gear changing using the old chain and another 24 miles was not going to damage the problem component much more.
After the ride I headed back to Cyclefix who had a look at the bike and pointed the finger of experience at the cassette, while the cassette teeth were still square you could see the burred edges on the leading edge of the teeth. See *picture below (this is not my cassette but show what I mean)
This really show how important it is to have a regular and thorough maintenance schedule for your bike. As it stand now, both my bikes are out of action (the Cannondale need some minor work done on it but has no chain or tyres fitted at the moment) and I will (hopefully) spend a couple of evenings and next Saturday sorting them out before I can ride again.
A new Cassette is on order and will be fitted is due course, hopefully this will resolve the problem. I should say that the gears worked perfectly during the ride despite the large amounts of mud they collected.
While I was prepping the bike ready for the ride on Saturday, I also added a bottle holder, one problem with the Whyte is, it only has one bottle holder location in probably the worst place possible, on the front face of down tube at the bottom by the bottom bracket, right for all the muck from the front wheel to spray the bottle with all the crud of the track. So I got myself one of these bottle mounts ignore the carbon bottle cage in the picture, I used a standard bottle cage. It was ok in use but I think might turn the bracket up the other way so it points downwards as with a bottle sat in the cage it sits a bit high (if you want to hang of the back of the bike). Before anybody says anything about mud coming off the back wheel I have a crud catcher on the rear which limits a lot of the mud but yes it does collect a little. I will post some pictures once I have turned the bracket over.
*the picture came from this blog