Bicycle Maintenance

Tuesday, I took a break from walking/hiking and got the Mountain Bike down. A modest 10.1 mile loop, including an 800 ft climb to get into the park, and my butt was kicked. There is a big difference in the muscles you use to hike the same trail you ride up, and dayum, it was a brutal day.

Of course, since this is the first time I had the Specialized Crave Expert out in a while, I noticed that I had been a laggard on my maintenance. Yes, the last time out it was slightly muddy, so the bike was a bit, uh, ugly, but nothing was broken.

However, it became clear that the shifters needed to be tweaked. After shifting up, there was a slight noise from the derailleur, hinting that the indexing was ever so slightly off. So up on the rack it went. Then I noticed that the chain was pretty dry, so I got out the degreaser, and the wash bucket out, and gave it a good cleaning. After drying it off, and a few trips up and down the street to work the water out of the chain, I liberally applied my latest lube of choice, Purple Extreme, and I noticed that the rear brake pads were about shagged. Less than a half mm remaining.

Fortunately, I had a spare set, and they were brain dead simple to replace, taking longer to remove and replace the rear wheel than to swap the well worn pads with fresh ones, and I was back on the road. The bonus is that where I thought I needed to bleed the disc lines, the new pads returned the firm feel at the lever. Cool.

Tomorrow, I will slather on the sun screen and head out for another butt kicker ride. One day, I will finally replace the tires with something more appropriate to our baked, clay-hard terrain. But that is for a different session