#365daysofbiking The daily grind:
25th November – A mechanical job that should have been easy was far from it. Replacing brake discs resulted in a struggle with seized fasteners, the failure of a brake calliper and the discovery that the parts I thought I had in the spares box brand new for this eventually were in fact the wrong ones.
The front disc was so badly worn it was starting to warp.
For a job I thought would take 15 minutes and leave me bags of time to get out turned into hours and I was lucky to get time for tea…
Perhaps I shouldn’t leave it so long next time.
March 19th – The thaw was thankfully quick, and the day felt positively warm and sunny as aI zipped about the Black Country on errands.
I was only when I got back to work and the bike started to dry out did I realise the toll the snow had taken.
That bottom bracket won’t be long for the world now with all that grit. My bikes will need some real TLC when the better days arrive.
December 13th – The snow, ice and road grit is destroying the brakes on two bikes at the moment. This rear disc is now wearing considerably, and is about 0.3mm thinner than it was new, and the front, 0.7mm. That doesn’t sound much, but once you get to about 1mm worn off, the discs get so thin they buckle and become useless.
One thing about cycling through the winter: It isn’t cheap!
November 21st – In a familiar bike shed at a client’s premises, a neat illustration that the common or garden bicycle, whilst being a marvel of engineering in many ways, is still riddled with design conflicts and the whiff of mechanical compromise.
Here, a well-used and muddy mountain bike, not a cheap one by any stretch. The lack of mud and water shielding means and mud and detritus carried on the back tyre ends up not just as a skunk-stripe on the rider’s back, but also on the front gear mechanism and transmission.
In areas of hard grit like the Peak District, this continual spray works like grinding paste, gradually eating your wearing surfaces.
All for the want of some shielding.
Still, if you were a designer today, and proposed the derailleur system of gears – relying on forcing a flimsy roller chain between gears using side play as a conformal drag factor – you’d be laughed out of industry.
Except there’s nothing much better.