January 24, 2010

Not a morning person

Route: Eltham to Southbank
Distance: 26.1km
Duration: 1 hour 1 minute

As good as it is to get some exercise before work, I’m not sure I’m a fan of leaving the house at 5:45am to get to work on time. Yesterday morning I did just that, turning my bike lights on and rolling out of my driveway with a bit of rain around, plenty of moisture on the road and no daylight to be seen.
Despite the early challenges the ride was quite pleasant. Rosanna Road is certainly far more enjoyable without traffic on it and Hoddle Street is largely downhill which is a nice way to finish the commute.

Unfortunately though, the touch of wheels that Brendan and I had at Mordialloc the other day has done something to my rear derailleur. Whenever I put any sort of significant pressure on the pedals in several of my gears the chain jumps off onto an adjacent cog. At my last service the dude at the LBS told me that I need a new cassette due to wear and tear but I’m pretty sure the little nudge from Brendan’s wheel has pushed my derailleur out of whack as well. All of this made for fairly frustrating riding – whenever I was trying to push up to a decent speed the chain would slip and I would be in a different gear to the one I had selected.

I have purchased a replacement cassette online and when that comes in I’ll head down to the LBS to get the derailleur looked at and the new cassette put on in the process. I’m a little hesitant to ride on the bike as it is but with both Brendan and I having the day off on Tuesday it is a perfect opportunity to get some good kays in the legs. So, do I put up with the slipping gears in the name of continued training, or do I skip the ride in order to get things right with the bike?

We’ll see, but I’m feeling the need to get out and do some more 100km+ rides soon. The more long rides that we can manage between now and March the better.

42 days to go…

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2 Comments

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  1. kosh / Jan 25 2010

    I would advise acquiring a “BikeHand” home bicycle maintenance toolkit. Assuming you’re on Shimano or SRAM this includes the splined crank and chain whip necessary for the surprisingly easy task of changing the cassette!
    As for the derailleur, I also recommend the empowering DIY route! Watch a couple of YouTube videos on dérailleur adjustment, and read Sheldon Brown at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html then spend a happy evening with your bike upside down (or on a stand) learning this fine art! You should only need your LBS to fix a bent hangar. Having done all this you will feel the joy of a closer connection to your bike.   

    • Matt / Jan 25 2010

      Thanks for that kosh. I had a quick look at the derailleur last night to see if I could see what was wrong with it but no luck. I’ll have a look through the stuff you suggested and see if that helps me. Thanks for your help and for thanks for stopping by.

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