Thursday, January 1, 2009

Things not to do.

I cleaned my road bike. That is a thing to do. I cleaned all the road debris off. It was awful. I'm a shit pig with my bike. I cleaned one derailleur sprockets off and got like a tablespoon of grease and dirt. It was that bad. This bike cleaning was long over due.

My chain was a mess. I have read that some people say just wipe it off. Don't take if off unless you have to. Some people say take it off to clean it well. My chain was gross. I figured it was worse this dirty than it was to take it off. So I used my chain breaker and took it off. I was going to plop it into a soda bottle just like Da Robot does. Put in some citrus de-greaser and let it work it's magic. One problem. I didn't have a soda bottle. I had a glass mineral water bottle.

Guess what!? Getting a chain out of a bottle is damn hard. Hard enough where you think "Hey, I'll just break the bottle!" This is a bad idea. Don't do this. I did this. I took the bottle and held it over my recycling bin and hit it with a wrench. Glass everywhere. Like little shards of glass. Like all up and down my chain. This was perfect for use in a street fight, but not so much for cycling. Proceed to step 10. Wash each link individually to ensure all glass is gone. Little glass shards flying off your chain is a bad idea. It's an even worse idea when you have a little kid on the premises.

Wait! Don't stop reading! It gets better! I finally get the chain cleaned off. I put it back on the bike and use the chain breaker to drive the pin back in and presto! The chain is back on! Yeah! Oh Sweet Jesus, it's back on the bike wrong! I threaded it through the derailleur wrong. Ok. No problem just use the chain breaker and pop out another link. Don't get too cocky and drive the pin all the way out. Whoops.

Putting a pin back in through a chain link once it has come all the way out...this is almost impossible to do. Just throw the chain away at this point. It's a total nightmare. I zip-tied the chain in place to try to hold it still so I could drive the pin back in using a vice grip. I really couldn't think of any other way to do this. I don't have a vice or anything. I could have taken the chain off and then started the pin back in but it would have been the same thing as doing it with the chain on the bike.

After about half an hour, I got that pin sorta in. In enough that I could drive it back in with the chain breaker. Phew. I finally was able to put everything back together and get the shifting working smoothly, the brakes tight, and check the tightness of all my bolts. Everything seemed good.

I took off on a hour and 20 minute ride. It felt great. Especially after all that stress and toil. My chain seemed fine. The end.

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