Todays plans was simple, get up, have breakfast, put new chain ring on bike, go for a ride. Unfortunately real life never happens like that. Everything went ok up to the point of putting the chain ring on the bike, it would not fit. The plastic moulding on the SLX chain ring that aids the lifting of the chain was fouling the chain ring webbing on the outside Truvit chain ring. There was no other option, I would have to buy a new Shimano SLX or XT 44 tooth chain ring. Several phone calls later I have only been able to locate Shimano Derore (lower spec than a SLX or XT) or Race Face chain ring in the local stores. I end up buying the Race Face chain ring and leaving the shop several £ound lighter.
Back home I am left to my own devices as the family go off to do some shopping. With everything assembled and a quick run through the gears and everything seemed to be OK. A quick spin down the road and back revealed otherwise. The chain would not lift off the inner ring and on to the middle ring, it would either end up sucking it self between the chain stay and chain ring or just sit half way rattling across the teeth of the chain rings. No amount of adjusting the front dérailleur made any different, so I loaded the bike up and headed over to Cyclefix to see if they can resolve the issue so I can at least go for a ride.
Diagnoses came down to two possible faults, the small inner chain ring was worn and holding the chain or the middle chain ring was incompatible in some way. The only way to resolve this was to fit a new one of each (one at a time) to see if this resolved the problem. I could leave my bike and it would be ready late afternoon or I could do it myself in the shop using the spare bike stand, I took the later option. I soon had the crank out and in bits fitted the new small chain ring and then re assembled the crank. A quick test on the bike stand showed it was changing ok so I took the bike for a ride around the doctor surgery car park next store. The changing from small to middle chain rings was now working. So yet another chain ring was purchased, all in all an expensive morning and the bike is now sporting three new chain rings and a new chain.
Here is a picture of the old and new chain rings (sorry not a very good picture)
Here another reason I had to change the chain ring
After all that I never had time to go for a ride this afternoon so the bike is now ready for tomorrow mornings ride
This morning ride was a little different, it was the first time my wife and my son would be cycling together since our son got his proper bike, secondly it was the first time that my wife and son would be going off on their own while I rode off on my own.
I had decided to ride a short loop from Badbury Rings to Long Crichel and back, while I was doing that my wife and son would start of riding with me but would then turn off and do a short loop round the fields and back to the car park at Badbury Ring. All the paths they were riding were very wide and quite smooth farm tracks with the last part riding along side the road on the wide grass verge.
Things did not start off well for the wife, we had stopped on a hill (after about half a mile) where the son had got stuck with his gears and ground to a halt, after manually changing them for him and then giving him a quick push start up the hill he was away and made it to the top. As I remounted my bike and started pedalling I heard some shouts from behind me followed by arghh and then laughter, on looking back I saw my wife laying on the ground with the bike on top of her laughing her head off. Apparently she wobbled when she started pedalling and then just keeled over.
When we got to the split I went over all the instructions with my wife and son again as they had never ridden on their own before, bid them farewell and rode off down my trail wondering when the first phone call would come asking for help. Thankfully that call never came.
My ride was pretty much uneventful, quite muddy in places with my third puncture in three rides coming about two thirds of the way round. This time the culprit was a Slime inner tube (the Dr Sludge tubes having been consigned to the rubbish bin) that I had stuck a patch on after getting a hole in the tube which was to big for the latex slime to repair. The patch I had put on the tyre had lifted and the slime was oussing out (as was the air).
Once I had replaced the tube I carried on back to the car park at Badbury Rings where I found my wife and son playing Angry Bird on their phone. I found out that they had not ridden up the grass verge as it was too heavy going (and I would agree with that, it was hard going) so they had rode the half mile or so on the road carefully, I was quite impressed. Their little ride was just over 5 miles while mine was just under 14 miles.
The replacement parcel from Chain Reaction Cycles for my lost parcel turned up, must say they were very good about it no arguing about it. To be honest it has been a bit of a quiet week, four trips for work this week all had early starts so I ended up having early nights to ensure I got some sleep. My intended mid week ride this past week never happened, school visit and acting as the family taxi put pay to that. Not sure where I am riding tomorrow yet, fancy something different than the normal Throop loop so I think I will go and investigate my list of saved rides and see what I have not ridden for a while.
Last night after returning from collecting my bike from CycleFix after having a new headset fitted I found a large nail hanging out the side of the rear tyre of the van and leaking air. It was 5:30pm as I franticly called a couple of tyre centers to see if I could get it fixed. In the end, nobody had a tyre on the shelf but I was able to get the spare fitted but now I am running about with no spare tyre until they can get a replacement.