I have been experiencing some strange, occasional issues with my primary bike, Mizz Judith over the past year. Sometimes it’s an odd sound. Sometimes it feels like a looseness in the freewheel. Other times I’m certain it’s a BB issue. You know what I never took the time to check, or even consider? “How long has this chain been on here?” Turns out the answer was close to 3000 miles. That’s about 2000 miles more than it probably should have been on there.
I checked her over as I cleaned up all her filthy teeth, and none were noticeably worn. I was still worried when I put the chain on and took off for my first test ride. But everything shifted smoothly and, at least for that brief ride, there was no popping nor clicking nor feelings of looseness. I will have to be more mindful of this sort of thing in the future since I love my drivetrain and have been unable to find a NOS replacement with the same gearing. And even if I did I can’t bring myself to pay more for the freewheel than I paid for the bike, so there’d have to be some serious luck involved.
I also replaced the rear brake cable and housing since it’s been a bit sticky lately and I haven’t replaced either in three years.
After all that I got the tandem set up for a taller rider than my ten year old and took a friend out to meet yet another friend for lunch. We all commiserated about the horrible place where two of us used to work, and one of us still does work. It was cathartic for everyone involved, all in our own ways. It was a nice day for a ride!
When I got back I was trying to adjust the rear saddle height for my wife so that I could finally try to coax her gently onto the bike and either awaken something powerful deep inside her or completely ruin her day. But the bolt snapped off as I was loosening and tightening it. Luckily I had a quick release lever for that sort of thing in a drawer in the ol’ attic workshop. So I switched it out and now I have the perfect set up. I can measure the best height for my wife and get the saddle just right in the new seatpost. Then I’ll keep Ezzie’s saddle on it own seatpost, adjusted just right for him. I know his seat post height, so I can just switch the whole set-up over when I’m changing stokers. And I also have to change the pedals, at least until the wife decides she wants a pair of SPD cleats.