Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Small Parts Are Important

This was what happened a couple weeks ago.
You may remember a couple weeks ago how when I was running my Ti Muk home from work and the crank fell off because that little, seemingly insignificant pre-load cap fell off. Such a catastrophic issue due to such a small, cheap part.

Fortunately for me, I only had about a mile to go, and I didn't roach the splines on that crank arm, because I quit pedaling the instant I felt something weird. Many people don't do this and they pay the price. I see it on a semi-consistent basis at work. People "pedaling through" chain issues, derailleur issues, wheel issues, bottom bracket issues, and so on and so forth. All causing much more damage and financial distress than need be had they just stopped and observed what was going on. Trust me folks, if you have something going on with your bike- noises, weird feelings, or non-functioning components- pedaling more will not make it magically go away. Yep. I'm pretty sure I am right about this.

So, I am really glad I stopped pedaling when I did, because I saved myself from crashing, bodily injury, and probably from toasting the left crank arm splines which would have rendered the crank useless. But then again, I am a bicycle mechanic and I have a sensitivity to these issues that, perhaps, the ordinary human does not. Maybe.....but maybe not. Maybe many folks are just not paying attention. Whatever the reason.......

$6.99 of cure. 
Now that looks much, much better!
It was an easy fix, of course, but I really didn't want to ride the bike without that tiny, seemingly unimportant bit of threaded aluminum. I was missing that bike last week too, since it was really the best thing I had to ride for my commutes course. There still are some bad spots it will be good for out there yet. One particular nasty rut I created with the 1X1 will get "steamrolled" back into shape once I get the Ti Muk on that bit of grassy crossing. I can think of one other spot similarly rutted, but not as deep that this bike needs to help "smooth over".

In the end, the commute route will be fine, but the big fat tires will enhance and speed up the recovery process. I'm not really sure there is too much frost driven into the ground this season, since it seems to be boiling out in some places pretty quickly already. Maybe "slop season" won't last too very long this year. I know I will be happy if things straighten out and get on with being "Spring" sooner than later. My drive train bits on the Ti Muk are already on the sketchy side of worn, and replacement parts should be obtained and installed before I get on too much further with riding this beast.

Once I get past the slop season and begin to fund the upgrade on drive train bits, I am going to make a decision to do something with the 29"er wheels I have for this bike. Those wheels are laced with Stan's Flow rims, and to be perfectly honest, I am not a huge fan of those rims, as I have plenty of good tubeless ready rubber to choose from, and many of my tires are not compatible with Stan's bead seat diameter, which is optimized for folding bead, non-tubeless ready tires. So, I believe I am going to start looking into a wider, tubeless compatible rim to re-lace those wheels with. Then I may think long and hard about using the Ti Muk on a rougher gravel event like Odin's where the magic of titanium and the Body Float seat post will be most beneficial for my purposes. I know I had 29+ wheels for this bike once, and I wasn't very stoked on that set up, but 29"er wheels on this bike work really well.

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