An eventful pedal home yesterday, pedalling along the cut the alarming creaking and grinding from my bike got very bad, I could feel it through the cranks and through the saddle, I stopped a few times to try and identify it without success, finally when after an otherwise uneventful pedal I came off the cut at Selly Oak I suddenly thought…”It can’t be the bottom bracket can it?” Dismounting I gave the pedals a quick wobble and they moved laterally by about 5 mm either way…Oops! I had 6 miles to go so I gingerly got me and the long suffering commuter home, then chucked it into the car and dropped it off at Northfield Cycles where young Neil said he would replace the offending dead bracket for me. The commuter was in a hell of a state, very muddy which I apologised profusely for, I never take a dirty bike in for repair, the height of bad manners if you ask me. Bottom brackets I can change and I have, but I haven’t got the tool for chasing the thread out which the Ridgeback would certainly have needed after 20 years of abuse.
As my computer hadn’t arrived from Amazon for my road bike which was now being pressed into service a bit quicker than I thought it would be, I took the Ridgback’s computer off so I could fit it to my Road Bike after adjusting the settings.
Sod’s Law then kicked in, when I got home what was waiting for me? Yep, the new computer from Amazon. New computer fitted, which was more tricky than I thought it would be due to wheel clearences and magnet size, but with a bit of modifying with a file, cutters and electrical tape I got the sensor on the fork ok.
So, pedal in this morning and first impressions. The big stat is time. My fastest ever trip in to work is 49 minutes. This morning it was an unbelievable 39 minutes! 39 MINUTES!!!!
I sort of knew it’d be quicker but a whole 10 minutes? Quite remarkable. I certainly didn’t feel I was pedalling any quicker, if anything I was taking it easier while I got used to the beast.
It felt quite odd to ride, quite skittish, which may be helped by moving my saddle back a tad as I felt I was hunched over the bars. Also my saddle is quite slippery as predicted. It’ll need to break in fast so I’m not sliding around too much.
Gears, I felt like I was changing gears far more on the ride in this morning than I do with the Ridgeback, also I was using the front mech a lot. Can someone tell me what combinations I should or shouldn’t be using? It’s a compact chainset by the way.
I have small hands, and I’m finding that when I’m changing the front mech I’m putting the back brake on. Which is a tad annoying, also the brakes are not up to MTB V brake standard, which came as a bit of a shock at Northfield By Pass traffic lights. Lesson learned with those then.
The pedal home tonight will be the tester on the gears front. It’s mostly uphill and Cock Hill at the end of the ride is a bastard. Will the compact’s lowest range be enough to get me up there as I am a still a complete fatty?
But the downside to this is no canal and traffic avoidance, it’ll be dicing with death through town later. For every silver lining there’s etc etc…