Time to Change..

I went out the other day for a ride. Only the second ride for a good few months, and still had the dry lube on. I’d applied squirt lube, and this ride was very wet. I mean it wasn’t just a bit wet, it was properly chucking it down. I’d not had reason to think of the lube during the ride.

Gear shifts where remaining crisp and even, chain noise wasn’t an issue. I’d heard that Squirt was a good lube even in the damp, and this certainly was a wet ride.

Getting home, I dried off the bike, and did the ritual of spraying the derailers with GT-85, and running the chain through a rag to dry it off, the lube had gone a little runny with the rain, but it was still there doing its job.

Squirt really is a great lube and well worth the cost. It is however time to change back to the wet lube now the winter is here…

Rock ‘n’ Rolling

After cleaning off my drive chain, I’d decided to try a different dry lube.

Normally, my dry lube of choice is Squirt. An issue I had with squirt is one of muck,although the drive chain stays cleaner as a whole with dry lube, squirt tends to bunch up in areas with a thick mucky gloop. This often needs poking out from the chainring and jockey wheels. When dry Squirt leaves the chain slightly sticky. Rock N roll gold drys completly dry. No sticky feeling on the chain.

The proof however will be in the ride, which I’m planning a little later today. Will shifts be as crisp with this as they where with squirt? Will chain noise be evident? Only one way to find out!

Ongoing Back pain

The back pain saga continues. The last week, it’s been almost unbearable. When it starts I can barely get 2 miles before I have to stop and stretch it out.

I’ve played with saddle setback and height, neither seemed to help in any great way. So I’m going to try a change in stem length to see if I’m too cramped on the bike. I’ve ordered a set of 80,100 and 110mm stems to try. Hopefully, an extra 10mm will help.

Currently I’m running a 90mm stem. So maybe that extra reach might put my back in a better line. I do also need to lose some weight, and improve my core.

There was a time where my right leg would get tired quicker than my left, so maybe I’ve started to compensate with out realising for a leg length issue. When I was in speedplay cleats, I had to install a wedge in the shoe to avoid foot pain. So I guess there maybe more issues to work out than just stem length.

But let’s wait and see how a different stem feels and go from there.

Another stupid maintenance story.

The bearings have gone in my fulcrum quattro, not unusual as Fulcrum ship with bearings that are sealed on one side only. So they do tend to go quite quick.

But I couldn’t be bothered to change them out yet. So I grabbed a spare set of wheels, a Mavic Aksium pair. Cassette and tyres mounted, on the bike and spinning. They are certainly not the best wheels in the world, but they work.

Off I went for a ride. Noise. Rubbing noise. Any noise on a bike annoys me. I checked the tyre clearances, break pads. All fine. Noise was still there. I adjusted the pads on the front wheel, I could swear the noise was coming from the front wheel. Checked spokes, all appeared to be tight enough with a simple squeeze test.

No idea what this noise was. Then, all of a sudden it disappeared, nothing, no noise apart from the road noise.

Shifted up into the large chain ring, and there it was again. I thought the cable may of come slightly loose as I hadn’t adjusted it since changing the cables, so turned the barrel adjuster a turn, span the cranks and the noise was worse. What the hell.

On look, the cable end was rubbing on the wheel…

A jolly jaunt 

Set out on my bike for an easy spin, and it ended up slightly longer than I had planned. And with having nothing to eat before I went out, turned unpleasant for the last part.

Its one of my favourite routes, with some minor hills, but generally quite flat. From Ripley I headed out toward Brearton Lane, before going into Scotton with its fast sweeping bends.

Then comes that hill. Some call it minor, I call it a challenge. For me anyway. After that hill, time to recover on the long fast descent into Stavely. But watch that wind, it’s always in your face increasing the work your having todo. Hunker down and cut through it as best you can.

Through Stavely and onto Minskip Road. A long undulating road, but strangely fast. Next thing you know your crossing the A1 and into Boroughbridge, with its ever present aroma of cowshit.

Finally head out of Boroughbridge and into Roecliffe and its massive industrial area, but a lovely village. Following the road all the way to Bishop Monkton. A wonderful road to ride, but be careful as it is liable to extreme floods and it also gets very narrow toward Bishop Monkton. I looked down at my Garmin here, and noticed my power meter had died. I’ve had more issues with stages than anything else. So stopped, removed battery and reset the crank and it appears to be working again. Off I pedal through Monkton and toward Knaresborough. By this point I’m feeling really heavy legs, with hunger pangs rippling round my stomach. Knowing there’s another steep lump to climb I battle on wishing I had a banana in my pocket.

Through Knaresborough and the gauntlet of shitty drivers and zombie pedestrian idiots I make it onto the Beryl Burton Cycleway. No way in hell I can muster anything to get up the hill, so I get off and push the bike up. Finally close to home, there is only one long slope to climb before home.

Bilton Lane isn’t steep, it isn’t even difficult, my best time up it is 2:15,generally I do it in just over 3. But this time, with zero energy and a serious bonk going on, I plod up it at a very sedate 9mph against the ever present headwind.

Finally all downhill to home, bike back in the garage and food. And drink.