Thursday, January 15, 2009


So I strap my Basso into the trainer to do 1.5 hours of base miles. Shortly after starting to ride, I try to shift into the big ring. The front derailleur wouldn't move far enough over to the right to move the chain on the big ring. I accept this and continue pedaling. 7 minutes into the workout, I realize that I am not going to be able to continue in the little ring; I wasn't working hard enough.

I happened to have my Hex keys and a screw driver nearby, so I tried to adjust the front derailleur. I messed with the set adjust screws and retentioned the cable. After 7 miutes, it's all set, I rode in 3 more minutes, this time in the big ring.

After getting my heart rate into the right place, I hear this scratching which quickly turns to grinding. The chain is rubbing the inside of the front derailleur cage. Now I know something is wrong. I dismount the bike and check the drive side crankarm. Loose. I assumed the the crankbolt had loosened, then I remembered that the Basso has an Italian threaded bottom bracket that unscrews in the same direction that you pedal. Italian engineers are brilliant.

Lacking the patience, time and tools to fix this, I went down stairs to get my race bike to put in the trainer. Only problem is that months ago I poached the seatpost and saddle from my road for my cross bike.

I take down the cross bike and loosen the seatcollar. I try to gently remove the seatpost. Stuck. I start twisting. Still stuck. I start bashing the saddle to break it free. No dice.

Luckily, I have a brand new seatpost waiting for the roadbike. I remove it from the packaging, grease it well and install it. I mount a Specialized saddle that I borrowed to test and dial the whole mess in, which is tedious. There was track standing, a plumb bob and a caliper involved.

When I get the bike upstairs and try to put it in the trainer, I realize that the rear wheel has a lightweight skewer that is incompatible with my trainer interface. So I remove the skewer, lean the bike against the wall and go downstairs to get a suitable skewer. I find an old Campagnolo skewer that I think will work, but once I get it installed on the bike, I find that it is not a good fit. The bike is able to move laterally while torqued into the trainer and, in addition to being unstable, it could result in frame damage.

I repeat the whole rigmarole. I end up making a trainer skewer from a vintage Shimano skewer body and the previously used Campagnolo end piece.

One hour after originally swinging my leg over the Basso, I begin my now abbreviated workout on my IF. Immediately, I figure out I hate the Specialized saddle. It irritates areas that you'd rather not consider and digs into my sit bones. The shape is actually fine, but I need a different width (indeed Specialized saddles come in 3 widths).

Sometimes you are just not meant to get in a good workout. I wish that I could accept this when it happens instead of messing about and half assing my way through repairs and fixes in order to squeeze in the workout.


rosey said...

between having a full service bike room and repair area and being...well, not too busy during the 9-5 hours i would expect your machines to glisten, and not have seized seatposts.

fwiw, i discovered a seized pedal on my 'cross bike. particularly sucky since the cranks need to be sent back to FSA for warranty.

zack said...

Wait, you have a seized seatpost on the Igleheart? Dude.

Have Cary tell you the story of his last seized seatpost frame. It involved a lot of cutting, a drill press and mill, and ultimately a trashcan(I think).

Yash Katsumi said...

Congratulations, you have what I like to call an integrated seatpost. Your bike just went up in value by $250.

Also, with this level of jankiness and parts swapping, you ought to be professor Emiritus at the PVB International school of bike maintenance.

Yash Katsumi said...

Also, when aluminum and steel meet there is an instant attraction between them where they swap out local particles. Salt and wetness enhance this localized degredation. In cross, well greased is not enough. After the season is over, you pretty much need to completely take your bike apart and re-clean everything.

zack said...

This post is especially funny coming on the heels of a entry about how much more space and organization you now have.

RMM said...

Indeed, Zach you are correct. I saw the irony immediately. Once you become cocky and over confident, things inevitably go poorly.

S Davis said...

That sounds exactly like a very typical evening of trying to build up a bike at the old Bikes-not-bombs shop on amory street.

Except that all your parts were from the same 3 year period rather than being manufactured 15 years apart from each other.

Yash Katsumi said...

What do you mean "ONCE YOU BECOME"?

Drew said...

I had thought about that after you had borrowed that saddle. My ass is wider than yours so I guess you would need the 130.