The rear wheel was also loose - and in fact had disconnected when I test rode the Ross. I walked the bike home because the wheel was oddly rubbing against the brake pads. Later, I disengaged the wheel, planning to re-grease the bearings.
To my surprise, the axle was broken. You gotta be kidding! Never in my years of cycling had this ever happened. As you can see it was a clean break. Without knowledge of the Ross's history, I suppose it could've been abused or never cleaned. Anything is possible. I took the parts to the shop and bought a replacement, confirming with the mechanics, just how to go about re-threading the cones/bolts in proper alignment. I purchased a quick release axle too - no time like the present to upgrade.
But what the mechanic didn't know or forgot to tell me was the new axle is slightly larger in diameter, just enough to not accept the existing cones. Frustrated, I set the project aside for a while. Despite what I write about on this blog I don't love working on bikes, therefore I know when to walk away and come back later in a better frame of mind.
Did I tell you how much I missed the Ross while it was in "the shop?" Swinging my leg over the Trek's top tube while wearing a skirt just wasn't the same.
|Spanking 7-tooth quick release hub. A prize for the girly bike.|
In our spare parts "box" (aka room) I'd stored a gently used rear wheel, complete with freewheel and quick release. Two years ago I picked up a complete Araya wheel set in a "free" area at a garage sale. My husband is currently using the front one on his Bridgestone MB-3.
The rear wheel was pretty grimy. In fact, the axle barely moved. I needed to clean it up to see if it was salvageable or whether I should swap the new axle back to the bolt-on style. It took an hour or more, using rags, oil, and eventually digging with Q-tips to get inside the tight curves of the cups. My 10-year-old sat on one side of the wheel, with me on the other, working away until the metal was clean and smooth. I didn't know that dislodging old grease could be so difficult.
The "new" wheel cleaned up well. The axle and bearings are re-greased. Beside the addition of quick release I also have a 7-tooth sprocket vs. a 5-tooth. The disadvantage is I can no longer spin in a low 34T gear; it's now a 28T. It's okay for the present, but come next spring I might be huffing up Burlington's hills until I "find" my biking legs. Overall, I'm satisfied; mission accomplished!
Affirmation for the Ross:
Procrastination and Maintenance
New Front Rack for the Ross
New Handlebars for the Ross, Take One
New Handlebars for the Ross, Take Two
New Handlebars for the Ross, Take Three