Saturday, March 17, 2012

Procrastination and Maintenance

I'm almost too embarrassed to mention this, but it proves I'm still, after all, only human. A human with a tendency towards procrastination. At least for some things. I'm good at oiling and wiping a chain. Okay, quit stalling. Confession time. I've been riding the Ross around since I've owned it, approximately 6 years, with a wobbly crank. No kidding, it's been forever. Did I think it would just go away and the cogs would magically straighten themselves? Well, I was kind of hoping...

The excuses go something like this:
  1. It's just going to be a parts bike.
  2. After 2 years both wheels seized up, so I repacked/regreased the bearings. I'm tired. I'll get to the crank later.
  3. It needs fenders.
  4. It needs a back rack.
  5. Neat, I found green pedals to match the frame color. 
  6. Year 5. Cool. The front rack is a swell addition.
  7. I learned how to add swanky golden lettering and pin-striping to the frame. The Ross definitely needs that...
  8. Hmmm. I'll get to the crank maintenance this winter when I stop riding. It's a good project to do in the basement.
  9. Egads, what if the axle is bent, or the cogs? It won't be worth fixing and it's currently functional. Leave well enough alone.
  10. I'm not planning on keeping the Ross so why get all greasy? Let the next owner deal with it.
You get the picture.

The crank symposium didn't happen because I never stopped riding this winter. At least that's what I tell myself. In actuality, it's not an easy or sexy task that adds a colorful splash, kind of like emptying the dishwasher. I also haven't taken apart a crank in a good many years. I don't recall that it's difficult, per se, but you need the right tools, which we have. When I can get to it. There I go again.

So last week when I drove myself home with the bike on our van's rack, I made a spontaneous detour to the bike shop and paid to have them look at the problem. And just like that, in two hours the cups were greased (no pitting either), the axle straight, beautiful cogs. The bike runs like a dream. And surprisingly the mechanic said I have a sweet bicycle. "They don't make bikes these days with quality components like this one."

Oh brother. After all this I may have to keep this thing.


  1. Seems to me that you secretly really love this you said you might have to keep it.


  2. A bike shop guy explained to me that back then, there was true competition among the parts manufacturers, with quality and durability as factors, rather than price race to the bottom on the big box store bikes, and silly gram-saving on the high end, that we have now. My LX crank set from the late 80s gives every impression that it will last forever.

    1. That's very interesting and may explain why all my bikes are well thought of as they all come from the 80s. I purchased my first two then, and now I tend to seek out bikes from that time period because I'm familiar with thumbshifters and cantilever brakes. But it's pure coincidence that they were from an era when the componentry was so good. Thanks for that information.

  3. I too am a major procrastinator. But I am am not even good at the little things, like oiling the chain!

    That is the funniest part when you actually get around to it and it was no big deal. Yup, why do we put these things off again??

  4. An oldie, but goodie I say :).

  5. I'm a bit of a procrastinator too, especially with the things that aren't really noticeable but really crucial, like greasing the BB on old cup and cone BB's. But I usually try to do everything in one fell swoop every blue moon


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