Icy

Since the first time I went over on ice, I’ve always been a little hesitant to ride while icy is forecast. I’ve fallen a few times since this video, but it always sticks in my mind. Slow and careful is the order of the day when dealing with ice, especially like this

But it’s the ice you can’t see that’s truly terrifying, the first thing you feel is the rear wheel, or front wheel going sideways, at that point you know rescuing it is nigh on impossible, and you fall in an unsightly heap.

This past week, ice has been a major issue, along with slippery snow and slush meant that my weekly target had fallen well short. But I’d rather that, than have to deal with more falls.

More Grease

I’ve written before about grease, it’s somewhat of an obsession with me. I’ve got tubes all over the garage.

Anyway, last time I cleaned out my headset (according to maintenance logs, 17th November), I used Park Tool standard grease, and as I had to remove the forks today, I thought I’d do another headset relube. So, looking at the grease that’s left, I was impressed that the bearings where still well covered, and the filth was minimal on the rear of the bearing seat. I’d ridden alot in some proper dirty wet weather, and the park grease had stood up well. A certain amount had clearly washed out, but enough remained to make me feel it would of been OK for another couple of months.

I’ve replaced it now with Crystal grease, which is alot thicker, and I’m pretty sure will stand up even more to the weather. It’s kind of become my goto grease at the minute, But time will certainly tell how it lasts.

After reassembly, the steering felt alot smoother, but that maybe in my head more than anything. One things for sure, crystal grease is alot easier and cleaner to apply than the park grease.

I’ve somehow gained a tube of MucOff bio grease to try out, so that’s another grease to try later. So far I’ve put it in my speedplays (which to my horror the left pedal was dry) but not ridden yet with it in. Muc-off states that it’s very water resistant, so hopefully it should stick around longer than the Weldtite. My speed plays are starting to wear anyway, so the grease may outlast the pedal bodies..

MucOff grease is pretty much the same colour as the Weldtite Tf2 Teflon grease I had been using, but has these weird silver things visible in the grease. I’ve not seen anything like it.

Farrants Flooring

Update

So, apparently, there has been an apology sent to @4chordsNoNet.

Origional post below.

A twitter contact (@4chordsNoNet) uploaded this video to YouTube, but has been forced by Farrants Flooring to remove it by them issuing a privacy violation with YouTube.

As there is no assumed privacy in public in the UK, I’ve reposted it, as people cannot dodge the issue of dangerous driving by trying to hide it.

If the company had put their hands up, and just said, yes, we see it, and we apologise, etc, it would not of got so bad for them. But by trying to sweep it under the carpet, can only make it worse.

Exposure TraceR

While my Icon+ is away being repaired under warranty, I’ve been using a Exposure TraceR.

And truth be told, it’s a fantastic light.

Pumping out 75 lumens, for its size is remarkable. Visible from a distance, and with its daybright settings very noticeable during the day, but unlike the icon, the flash pattern is the same, one long flash and two rapid, whereas the icon seems to be more random, with increased detection of the surroundings. The tracer is constantly lit however, which gives drivers the ability to judge distance in the dark.

Runtime is good, with 6 hours on the high flash, is more than enough to ride for a good week before recharge. Which brings me onto the only issue I have. The charging port is covered by a silicon band, and that is incredibly hard to move but does make for a very watertight seal.

The react built into the light works in a similar fashion to the see.sense, but I think the see.sense is more adaptable to the environment, and noticeable to those behind.

What both lights share, is pain for those riding behind you. Even on the lower settings they distract, and in some cases are quite painful to ride behind. At least with these lights you’ll be sent to the back, and never have to have a turn on the front.. Well, that’s my excuse anyway 🙂

Will it replace my icon+ as my favourite? It’s close, but no.

Full breakdown and rebuild

So, with the weather as it is, scuppering any riding, I decided todo a full strip and rebuild.

So each part taken off, checked and cleaned.

  • Remove seat post, clean and regrease post, collar and seat tube
  • Remove and clean saddle, and saddle clamp. Regrease if required.
  • Reinstall seat post and mount in work stand.
  • Remove front wheel.
  • Cut all break and gear cables
  • Remove handlebar tape
  • Remove all old cables and housing
  • Remove and clean bottom cable guide.
  • Mark handle bar position.
  • Remove handlebars, check shifter alignment and torque
  • Check derailleur alignment
  • Remove rear wheel
  • Remove all banjo nuts and clean threads regrease.
  • Break and remove chain
  • Remove rear derailleur and clean and check. Dismantle cage and clean jockeys.
  • Remove pedals, clean and regrease. Grease speedplay.
  • Remove cranks and chain rings. Remove chain rings, clean and regrease bolts.
  • Check and clean front derailleur
  • Check bottom bracket, remove clean and replace/regrease
  • Remove headset.
  • Check headset bearings and cups for wear.
  • Clean steerer and crown race
  • Check wheel bearings for play or bearing wear.
  • Remove rear cassette, check for wear
  • Check freehub for play, remove, regrease.
  • Grease quick release skewers.

New toys

So, Ive gone and got myself a couple of new toys to play with. With doing more and more dark rides, I decided to up the lighting game and bought a diablo and tracer light. Neither of which I really need, but hey, why the hell not.

The tracer is to complement the see.sense rear, which having recently died a death is being replaced under warranty. I really didn’t want to be stuck with the cateye rapid x should things die again. Although it’s a good light, it isn’t the most powerful light.

The diablo will mostly be used mounted on the helmet to complement the Volt 800. Not on road, but definitely down the cycle paths. The diablo is certainly a beautiful piece of engineering, light and yet solid with its solid metal construction. Only issue is a short battery life on full blast. I don’t envisage running it on full much, if ever. So one of the lower power settings should do just fine,with occasional blasts of 1500 lumens.

Targets

This year, I’m planning to ride at least 2018 with my strava plan being set to 2500, which works out to 50 miles a week. But already the plans have been scuppered by the storm, and I’ve only got 19 miles down. Hopefully I’ll get a couple of 20 milers done before Monday. If not, it’ll be added onto next week’s totals. So long as I get more than 2018 miles or more this year I’ll be happy.

I tend to wimp out for heavy winds,rain and old I can deal with, but winds are my limit. With gusts approach 40mph and more, it would be stupidity on my part to ride, especially since most of the routes I ride this would equate into a side wind for most of it,and that dos’nt make good conditions to ride in.