22nd 35-40F, 2-4C, heavy overcast, slightly misty, very windy. 25 miles.
In the interests of keeping these helpful chaps in business I chose from their existing stock. What use is a cheap website if I can't get help, expert advice or back on the road in a hurry? Whatever savings I might make by buying from a box shifter are totally insignificant when viewed from that viewpoint. I'm unlikely to need the shop's bike mechanic skills but at least they are there if I get stuck. I seem to be endlessly exploring new technology with all the more sophisticated, modern kit which I am fitting to Mr Higgins. Nothing much changed for decades in cycle parts. Then it was suddenly all change without my having been directly involved. (or informed)
My reasoning (if it is of any interest) is that one doesn't buy a new chainset every day. Not even a modestly priced one. The secondhand chainset which I found in the shed is already well worn with some damaged teeth. So it is likely to wear out a new chain far more rapidly than running with a new set of rings. Given the cost of 9 speed chains, at four per year with my mileage, a new chainset is a long term saving.
The one remaining unknown quantity is the 9 speed Sram cassette which I fitted last autumn. Does it still have a few thousand miles left in it? Or at least enough to allow a decent mileage from the new chain before both have to be replaced? I shall find out if the chain starts skipping tomorrow.
Now I'll have to read the 3 foolscap pages of close-packed, microscopic writing and drawings of the chainset instruction manual. Eek! Let's see now... FC-M542 uses 3 spacers with my 68mm bottom bracket width. Acknowledged, Houston. Lucky I remembered to buy the Hollowtech cup fitting tool. I'll have to dig out my old torque wrenches.
Work commenced after lunch with the removal of the old chainset. I followed advice of the bike shop owner and sawed slits in the ends of the cranks. The pedals then came out without much effort.
The square axle cups were removed and the bottom bracket threads brushed out with a small wire brush. This was wrapped in a cloth and repeatedly moved to new areas of the cloth to clean the threads as thoroughly as possible. The threads were then finally brushed with the naked steel bristles, wiped out again and then well greased.
The Hollowtech cups were screwed into place to 40nM. Using my small torque wrench and the specially shaped socket. The cup packing rings were arranged as per the instructions for a 68mm wide bottom bracket shell. I found that I could have reversed the spacers to bring the chainrings slightly inboard. To make the large chainring slightly more reachable by the front changer cage. In top gear the changer will not quite move out far enough to ensure clearance between the cage and the chain.
The new chainset in place with the new chain fitted. I had to drop the front changer quite a long way to cope with the 6 tooth reduction in the large chainwheel. I just had time to take a snap as it started pouring down. The lower gears should suit me better than having a large chainwheel which I never used.
Note the state of the grass after weeks of permafrost and snow. This afternoon coincided with another growing storm. It is supposed to gust to 50mph tonight. My tools kept being blown off the workbench. I have only roughly sorted out the gears so far. Both cables were slightly too long after the changes. The ground clearance is further reduced. Not a problem on a trike, on the flat, but ramps and traffic calming humps can catch one out. I'll take some more pictures tomorrow in better light. I'm rather pleased with the improved appearance.
Click on any image for an enlargement.