Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Fix

Notice the pointy center sprocket. This is worn and must be replaced.
Doggone sunshine for Memorial Day! Yay! After 6 days and 7" of rain we deserve some nicer weather. And just in time to squeeze in a ride with my man. Well, at least a short one as it seems lawn mowing is in order after the long stretch of bad weather. This gave me the impetus to replace two chain rings on my Trek Antelope—something I should have done three weeks ago.

Gunk buildup beneath the chain rings. Fortunately, I have a sealed bearing hub cassette,
which requires replacement as opposed to cleaning. It still spun freely.
I removed the  exterior gunk with rag
I would occasionally notice some chain skipping—a sure sign that rear cassette, chain, or front gears needed some attention. I cleaned the freewheel; it's only five years old. I replaced the chain about a month ago. That helped for a while, but as I inspected the chain ring teeth, I knew at least one ring needed replacing. I use the middle chain ring the most, and thus after about 15 years it's worn. I ordered a new one along with a granny gear ring. I seldom use the large sprocket.

My husband helped locate our removal tool and guided me through the process. Again, I'm learning that brute strength can be replaced with a rubber mallet. Tap, Tap, tap. Loose.

I cleaned up as much of the grease as possible on large ring and crank arm. Bolting on the new rings was relatively easy. The only difficulty was tightening the stack/cinch bolts (new terms for me). In my effort to regrease all parts, I lubricated the bolt receptors, which apparently is a no no. I unscrewed all five connections, cleaned them as best I could, and put it together again. After Internet browsing, I used a screwdriver and a dime to secure one of two notches in place while tightening the Allen bolts on the screw heads. However, only two of five still properly tighten. Fortunately, it's secure for the time being. Short of buying a special tool to hold the receivers in place (notches are pretty tiny), or purchasing new hardware, I'll monitor the situation as I ride. I'm hoping a couple of wet rides will remove more grease, then I can properly tighten the remaining loose Allen bolts.

 Clean front sprockets. So nice.
Voila! Two Memorial Day fixes: a smooth drive train and a long awaited ride with my favorite partner. About time...

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