Monday, November 9, 2009

Pumping up, stopping short, gearing down

So I dug out the bicycle pump last weekend from the depths of the bike shed (you know the scary dark part where you find the feathers left after something ate a pigeon-ok maybe your bike shed is less scary than mine).  Partly because I was on a tire replacing jag, and partly because it was just time.
And BOY does it make a difference to have nice full tires on Robert-  I feel a LOT faster and can make it up hills a lot easier.  A great side effect, but the main reason I went back there was because I got my new tires for the DL.   So called 28" tires are an odd size, but Schwalbe makes them, and I got the same Marathons as I have on Robert.  I love how bright the reflective strip is-  it doesn't look like much on the tire, but boy does it glow.

While I had the tire off, I pulled the fender and decided to do something about the rust.  Ok, So "decided" sounds more premeditated than it actually was.   I just started sanding, and the next thing you know, I'm down to bare metal and freaking out about the next steps.  A quick trip to Autozone and I at least primed it before it could start to flash rust.  15 minutes on the bike forum boards made me realize that I need to take everything else I got at Autozone back and go to a real automotive paint store and get real automotive paint or else it will just scratch and look horrible.  A project for next weekend.  In the meantime the fender and the chain case are primed and ready to go.  
The basement shower AKA spray booth.  I didn't spray in there, but there's a good exhaust fan, and it can be closed off from the rest of the house, so I left stuff to outgas there overnight.

Of course I'm going to have to find a way to remove the cotter and chainring before installing the chain guard.  I made a quick attempt last night with a C clamp and a socket, but didn't get very far and was running out of steam.    Disassembling the rear wheel assembly for the first time was interesting.  I hope I can get everything back in the places it came from.  Should have taken photos, I know..

Unfortunately Robert is starting to have a worrisome problem.  When I step on the pedals hard (like to take the lane to pass the double parked UPS van) I get a lockup like I've applied the brakes hard.
Actually it's exactly like what happens when your axle nuts aren't tightened enough and you pull the wheel out of the dropouts and against the chainstay (don't ask me how I know how this feels!)
But the nuts are tight, and the wheel is running true.  I'm afraid it might be the bottom bracket,  but like a driver who thinks their transmission is failing,  I'm afraid to find out..

The cure, for now is to shift all the way down into my granny gear at stops and start up gradually and shift up slowly.  Hopefully I can either figure out what's wrong, or nurse it along until I get another bike up and running,  either the DL-1 or the nameless raleigh.

A final note- lots of chatter about chic cyling in the blogosphere today.  Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of my outfit on Friday-   Denim knee length skirt, multicolored striped sweater,  orange tights, dansko clogs.  Not that exciting, but the point is, it's what I wore to do laundry, can chickpeas, bake bread, meet with an insurance broker, and remove and replace a faucet cartridge on our bathroom sink.  Oh and also bike to the grocery store, the CSA pickup, the compost dropoff and the hardware store.

Since I didn't take a picture of that- here's a picture of what I wore to work today:  Cotton sweater, leaf print skirt (FINALLY arrived from Boden after all kinds of international shipping shennanigans) brown tights and  heeled brown suede boots.


  1. sorry to hear about robert! sounds like he needs some TLC...

    the cotters will not come out without either (A) a cotter press, or (B) a sledge hammer. putting the cotter back in also will require one of the above tools.

    if we ever get the vintage 3-speed co-op started, i think one of the workshops should be on cottered cranks!

    the lock-up issue sounds very bizarre... i need to think about this one!!! it doesn't sound like a BB issue, but maybe a hub issue. strange!

    contact me off blog if you want to troubleshoot...

  2. I like your skirt. Very retro! Please tell me, is Boden a place or a business?