Well, I played a little hooky today, knowing we were going to have a fair chance of rain – I woke up to it at 4:15 this morning. I got ready and went in to the office just as I would any other day. I worked my butt off till 11 and loaded up as the sun was beginning to poke through the clouds.
I’ve been taking the Venge in on rain days to try to get an odd clicking sound resolved and I wanted to get a good jump on it with a few interesting avenues to follow…
First, my awesome wife dug through my tool box out in the garage and found the original cassette spacer that came with my wheel. It wasn’t as thick as the standard shop spacer and since I’d developed a chain skip in the third gear (from the smallest – 13 tooth sprocket) since the cassette was shimmed a couple of weeks ago… This went unnoticed because A) I never use the small ring and B) because I have to be going 27 mph to need this gear – which is mainly on a downhill so I usually flip through it pretty fast to get to the 12 or 11… Then back the other way when I’m leveling out. Well with that 25-35 mph tailwind last night I was cruising easy at 28… Right in that gear’s wheelhouse. The skip drove me nuts! Worse, it was only in that one specific gear. Maddeningly, the shop couldn’t recreate the skip on the stand (so they obviously thought I was nuts)…
We found the culprit at the shop today. When we pulled the old spacer off it was visibly deformed in three places… There are three posts that hold the cassette together and those posts protrude from the back of the cassette ever so slightly. To make a long story a little shorter, the cassette was seated barely off kilter. Matt ground the posts down, we installed the OEM spacer and voila! No more skip.
The little clicking noise, after the entire steerer assembly was rebuilt, still persists though.
Sadly, today will be a day off, minor clicking under extreme pressure or not:
You’ve gotta be kidding me… Yesterday morning I wrote a post about how I was going to kick some butt at the club ride because it was going to be so hot out, right? Well it helps to check the wind forecast first. 25 mph sustained with gusts up to (and holding) 35 mph – that’s more than 56 km/h for you folks to the north and east (across the pond). Oh yes, it was warm – 90 degrees (32 C)…so warm that the 35 mph gusts felt like standing in front of a giant furnace vent. Folks, the little ring on the Venge was used last night, for the first time ever, on flat road.
Even with that crazy wind, I showed up, ratcheted and clipped in and rode my butt off but it was about as sucky as you could expect – but taking into account that it sure beat staying late at the office.
We started out at a doable pace, right at 6 pm (and after a 9 mile ride around the block – I’d call it a warm up but all you had to do for that was step outside the air conditioned vehicle). I took my turns up front, making sure to pass up any holes that were opened to let me in earlier than the very back and things were going quite well, with the exception that we were getting pushed all over the place by the gale force gusts (as defined, “anything from 32-63 mph” though this is debatable). I hung on for eight or nine miles but things were getting ugly in the group – way too much side-to-side – so I eased off the back figuring I’d let the rest of the B+ guys catch up and we’d give it hell. Unfortunately, being the last non-racer to fall off the back I knew I was going to be in for a slog waiting for them to catch up. The best I could tell, the closest guy was more than a mile back.
I kept at it over the next six to seven miles and nobody had caught up to me which really struck me as odd but I just kept my head down, spinning into the furnace. Lo and behold, fifteen miles in I finally caught a cross-tailwind. I shifted, finally, back to the big ring and kept a decent pace up but held back just a little bit to see if someone could catch up so the last fifteen wouldn’t be so lonely. Four miles later I gave up hope and decided to hammer the last eleven with a 25-35 mph tailwind (technically two of those were with the cross-tailwind)… Folks, as you can imagine those last eleven went by in a hurry – pedaling fairly easy I was averaging between 26 & 28 mph and it was awesome.
When I pulled in, the parking lot was all but deserted – everyone but the “A” group was gone… Everyone in the group I ride with cut another eight miles off the ride and did the 22 miler.
SO, in the end the only butt I really got to kick was my own – but hey, that’s good enough for government work, eh?