Wednesday, October 25, 2017

When The Simplest Thing Fails

The Raleigh Tamland Two- Highly evolved, not much stock here anymore!
I was doing maintenance on a couple of my gravel rigs yesterday. The first up in the stand was the Twin Six Standard Rando. I wasn't happy with the SRAM cheapo cassette that was on it as it was making a racket whenever I shifted due to the individual cogs not being secured perfectly. I opted for a lower geared cassette, an 11-36T, and in eleven speed, of course. The cogs are mounted on a carrier for the last three, largest cogs, and the others are made more precisely and should not rattle. I have the same model cassette on the Tamland Two which has worked really well.

I thought I might need a chain also, but when I checked it with my tool for wear it was well within spec. Such a waste to pull it off, so I left it on there. I am chalking the longevity up to using DuMonde Tech lube which I have used on that chain for a while and on the Tamland's chain for ever. That chain also checked out good as well. The Tamland just needed a bit of fresh lube on its chain and a refresh on sealant. Then it was out for a bit of a test ride.

I noted a "clunk" which was hard to repeat. Was it the chain not shifting quite right? Hmm.....nope! What about that bottom bracket? I couldn't remember ever replacing it. It could be time for it to go. However; the noise wasn't tied to pedaling. Weird. What was it?

Bad part! Bad part! Go to the bin!
I got off my bike and grabbed the rear wheel and tried to see if the hub bearing maybe had loosened up. To my surprise, I could wiggle the wheel and recreate the clunk. That White Industries hub had a bad bearing already? Well....... I do ride it in severe dusty conditions a lot. It was possible, but I had ridden other wheels more miles on gravel with no ill effect. Maybe the axle was broken? Gah! That would suck!

But once the wheel was pulled I could not find fault with the hub at all. Hmmm...... What about that QR lever? Now, I'd be real surprised if it was that, because the wheel moved a lot when it was clamped in the frame. But whatever..... I had to try it to see if I could eliminate that as a reason for my troubles. I grabbed a good Shimano skewer, they are the best, you know, and slammed the wheel with that Shimano skewer installed into the frame and clamped it up.

No more wiggle, no more noise!

A simple part swapped in and no more issues. Shimano skewers are always a sure bet.
I'm not sure what company made that skewer, but it won't ever get used again after that! It is ironic that Shimano makes such a dead reliable skewer and hardly anyone else can seem to come close. Most skewers that you see are external cam skewers and most of those are junk. Then you have some internal cam skewers which can be relied upon other than Shimano, (Velocity USA's are pretty good), but those are rare. I have a set sold by FSA that were designed like Mavic/Simplex skewers and those are pretty decent, but they are an oddball design.

Obviously, through axles get rid of a lot of this, but they also have their own issues. One being that no one wants to pay SRAM or Shimano/Fox a royalty for their good designs and they come up with their own. Some are good, some are........dumb. Some are so difficult to get to work properly you may as well just use a bolt, and some other through axles are bolts! So don't just say QR's are dumb and everyone should use a through axle, becuase there are some real clunkers in the through axle world too.

The bottom line is that a simple part like a skewer should just work, and when it doesn't, and fails, I find that to be rather amazing. Just quit trying to make it different so you can avoid the fees and make simple parts that actually work!


Skidmark said...

Non-shimano QR skewers, typically having delrin /plastic cam pieces, are responsible for an awful lot of BB noises.

DT said...

I chased down a "crankset creak" that turned out to be my rear QR. I spent the money on the nice Salsa ones, but forgot to tighten it down all the way after doing some maintenance. Fixed that problem real quick once it was secured properly.