Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Salt's bad for Wolfgang's health

One of the annoying side effects of riding your bike in the winter is the havoc wreaked by salt. I have full fenders, a mud flap, I'm relatively good in rinsing down Wolfgang more or less every day, but nonetheless the mix of salt, dirt, and grime gets everywhere on the bike and causes various kinds of problem. My chain, even though lubed frequently looks pretty rusty and a couple days ago I noticed that the right arm of my rear cantis no longer properly sprung back after braking and thus rubbed on the rim all the time. My initial repair attempts, involving no disassembly but a bunch of WD-40, were unsuccessful and so I had to take off the brake yesterday. I couldn't find instructions for completely taking apart the Tektro Oryx but I managed to disassemble the arm enough to get a bunch of oil into the right places. I would have preferred to take it apart completely and re-grease it, but at least for now the brake is functional again. I think in April I'll take a day or so and completely overhaul Wolfgang. So far I haven't noticed any permanent damage from the salt, but I'm sure cleaning everything and re-greasing the bottom bracket or hubs wouldn't be a bad idea after several months of calcium chloride showers.

On a completely unrelated note: I finally drank the Kool-Aid and ordered a Brooks B17 Imperial saddle. I don't really like the idea of riding on a dead cow's skin, but if the saddle is really as fantastic as almost everyone believes, I suppose I (and my butt) can live with it.

And on another unrelated note: my accomplice has a blog now, too. And I think it's supposed to be somewhat bike-related. So go check it out, non-existent reader!

Odo Wolfgang: 3016 km
Odo Gunnar: 45 minutes on the trainer

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