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The Immaculate Transmission

August 2013


Now that’s clean…


So is that…

Today was maintenance day for tomorrow’s Tour des Lacs century. What used to be a simple chain cleaning and bike wash has turned into something much more thorough, and less time consuming. I’m a big fan of bike maintenance – it’s served me well… Almost 10,000 miles on my current chain without a 32nd of an inch of stretch. No visible wear on the chain rings or cassette and my Trek still runs like a top even though it’s 14 years old and I’ve ridden it hard for two of them.

So, today I tightened every single bolt, looked over and cleaned every component, degreased the chain, cassette and chain rings, checked and cleaned the brake pads, cleaned my bike with a wet cloth (a full shower wasn’t necessary as it was already quite clean), checked the brake levers and the shifters, made sure that all of the cables were free moving and clean, checked the index adjustment on the front and rear derailleurs, brake and wheel alignment, checked my tires for nicks, small imbedded rocks and imperfections and made sure the wheels were running true (my Rolf Vector wheels are virtually bomb proof so it wasn’t surprising that they were as close to perfect as one could expect after 14 years of use).

Later in the day I picked up a few items from the LBS; like a true dope I left on my bike yesterday with the saddle bag unzipped. I noticed it while cleaning the bike this morning and when I checked the contents I was certain I’d lost my multi-tool on the road so I picked up a new one, a new mini CO2 pump and a new, sportier saddle bag (just barely big enough for a tube, a couple of CO2’s, my driver’s license and a credit card). Imagine my surprise when I emptied the contents of my old bag and my multi-tool was in there having worked its way under the spare tube – I gave the new one and my old pump to Mrs. Bgddy.

I took the day off the bike today so now it’s just a matter of laying everything out during the commercial breaks of the Tigers game.

Nothing left but to do it. Oh how I love the century rides. The weather report for tomorrow is spectacular (sunny and 80).


  1. IowaTriBob says:

    Spooky, just did almost the exact same thing (write up coming soon) and even did it with a new repair stand I just got today. Quick question – before and still after doing the maintenance I notice when I start to push the pedal there is a little extra required and I can almost hear something like a grain of sand resisting the crank from rolling. Mind you its not much and if I was sitting and pedaling I wouldn’t even notice but when its on the stand and I’m doing it by hand with ear next to the gears I can just barely feel and hear it. Any thoughts?

  2. chris9911 says:

    kudos for taking good care of your bike! I think you are nuts for riding on a 14yr old wheelset. Spokes are a ticking time bomb, you should at least re-lace them with fresh set of spokes, so it will last another 14years 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      I have them inspected regularly by my LBS owner, who I ride with and am quite good friends with, but I’ll definitely mention that when I take it in for its yearly checkup (Matt, the shop owner is a world renowned bike builder – I add this not for pampas foolishness but to understand the context – I assure you, if I had something to worry about, we’d have spoken about it. He sold the bike to me, and will be selling me my new bike in a few months. Thank you for your concern, it’s greatly appreciated.

  3. kruzmeister says:

    Nice work Jim, enjoy the century!

  4. Daniel Weise says:

    Nothing like some mintenance to keep you in touch with the workings of your steed. Looking good! Have fun on the century and looking forward to a great report.

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