Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finished, Nearly I Am

I hope you all had a nice day last Thursday, whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving. Yes, there are quite a few of you that read this blog from countries other than the United States, although I know that’s not the only reason you wouldn’t celebrate said holiday. So, “Happy Whatever You Did Day” to y’all. Are we happy? Good.

Moving on, yesterday’s post from Mr. Shepherd was crazy, right? Makes you want to go right out and sign up for a marathon. I’m sure he’s still hurting from that ordeal. Let’s hope he recovers quickly so he can jump right back into training for his next adventure.

I ran into a few snags here and there working on the The Greatest Short Track Bike on Earth. I hadn’t quite completed it da udda day, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get it out for a test ride over the long holiday weekend. After returning from our holiday meal on Thursday afternoon, I headed out to the garage to complete the finishing touches. One major issue was the cables. The frame geometry on the Diamondback was a little different than its predecessor, so I had to go out and buy a set of shifter and brake cables to complete the job. Luckily, I did this before Thursday, since all the stores were shut down for the holiday. I installed them all and checked everything over.

Everything seemed to work fine, so I moved onto the next step in the process. I had to dig up some cranks for this beast, unless I wanted to ride the thing Fred Flintstone style. I found a set of slightly used Suntour three ring cranks floating in my parts bin, so I decided to use them. Only the best for me (can you sense my sarcasm?). Okay, really there are just temporary, but I need to see if I like the short track bike thing before I spend any real money on real parts.

After admiring my handy work, I realized that I had forgotten something. The Eggbeater pedals(that you see attached to the crank arm) were a gift from a friend, and there was a reason that they didn’t cost me any money. They are very well used, and I was told that I needed to rebuild them to get any kind of quality riding. Well, I’m all about quality riding, but I was a little hesitant to put a lot of effort into something that was free. I finally broke down and called Crank Brothers for some assistance.

Crank Brothers Dude: “Hi, thanks for calling. Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, hello. This is The Mutt from the immensely popular B-43 blog. You may have heard of me.”

CBD: “Uhhhhh, nope.”

Me: “I have a blog that is both entertaining and full of stupidity.”

CBD: “You and about a million other people.”

Me: “I see. So that means you haven’t heard of me?”

CBD: “What can I do for you?”

Me: “Um, I have some older Eggbeater pedals that need to be rebuilt. I am the greatest bicycle mechanic in the world, so I just need to know what parts I need so I can do it myself.”

CBD: “You can order the kit from our website.”

Me: “Okay, I will. Can I get a discount since I am a top ten locally-ranked racer boi?”

CBD: ”Will there be anything else sir?”

Me: Hangs up, totally flabbergasted.

Well, I went to the website, and lo and behold, there it was. I had an easy time ordering my rebuild kit, and it would soon be on the way to the B-43 International Headquarters. Luckily I used my real name on the order form, or else the Crank Brothers Dude might have cancelled my order. He obviously couldn’t see how awesome I am from our conversation. I hope he’s not the guy who answers the “sponsor me” mail, or else I’ll never be down with Crank Brothers. After a few days I received my rebuild kit, and it was placed on the work bench for future use.

Since it was lying there in plain sight, I decided that now was the time. First I had to remove the pedals from the crank arms.

Lefty loosey, righty tighty, or something like that.

The kit came with instructions, be who the hell needs instructions? Not me. I just started taking shit apart, hoping I would remember how it goes back together.

First, I had to remove the retaining screw from the end of the spindle.

Next was the lock ring.

The lock ring held the old (read:shitty) bearing in the pedal body, and it just fell out. Several ball bearing fell out as well. No wonder they didn’t work so well. On the other side o the pedal body, I had to remove a plastic bushing. Net step was to clean all of the gunk out of it.

That was pretty much it. I replaced the old shitty parts with shiny new ones, regreased the spindle, and I was ready to reassemble. Everything was really simple, and I didn’t have to call the Crank Brothers Dude back for assistance. I did the same thing for the other pedal, and installed them back on the bike.

I basically ran out of time (and beer) on Thursday evening, so I had to wait until the next day to finish up the Greatest Short Track Bike on Earth. The only thing left to do was to adjust the cables for each derailleur, to make the shifting work properly. That would be a piece o’ cake. I’ll get to it the next day. Speaking of the next day, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what happened next. Stay tuned.

No comments: