16 Jul 2012

16th July 2012

16th 57-60F, 14-16C, very windy, overcast with sunny periods. Rain and showers forecast all day. I was going to treat it as a rest day but with a gentle ride to avoid seizing up. The new saddle had branded itself into my undersides over the last week. So I swapped back to the Brooks after giving it a slight tension. With great relief! After three years of struggling the saddle is still the limit on my range.

The gear change cables have been getting creaky and stiff. It didn't help that I had used soft, low grade outers borrowed from an old bike.  After oiling the cables I noticed that the cassette was moving an 1/8" to the side when I tried to change gear at a standstill! So I will have to strip the rear axles to find out where the play is. It won't do any harm to check the lubrication in the Trykit double freehub at the same time. The cassette is also filthy.

Glavendrup Stones near Skamby. Part of a very large, ship-formed, standing stone memorial from Viking times. An earlier, bronze-age fort is at the Westerly, prow end. Many original stones were lost in the intervening period to unsympathetic quarrymen and builders. The largest stone is covered in over 200 Runic letters and was almost lost. An archaeologist saved the stone from being broken up by buying it. The trees give the site a unique atmosphere, year round.

As I was calling this a sort of rest day I resolved to stay on the 34T chainwheel and keep the revs up. 133 rpm for a half mile felt a bit excessive. So the rest of the time I just kept twiddling freely above 95 rpm. I was still doing 15 mph + so it was hardly a dawdle.

It poured with rain at the halfway point when the saddle bag was already full and the sports bag was too. Remember to put the waterproofs on top next time! Yes, Chris. But it didn't look like rain!  What sort of excuse is that? Only 16 fairly gentle miles.

Pm. Put Mr Higgins up on the Lidl workstand to allow easy access at a comfortable level. Pulled the rear axles out, stripped the Trykit freehub, dismantled the entire 9sp cassette and cleaned it all really well. For some reason there had been an increase in the end play of the axles. So the freehub and cassette were floating from side to side. Making gear changes slower than usual. Or even unpredictable.

The Trykit freehub still looked as good as new internally. I removed both journal bearings. Then ran a toothbrush through the ratchet teeth while well loaded with car engine cleaner. Much easier than trying to work with either bearing in place. The clicks were also given a good clean and appeared as new. Everything was carefully wiped dry with a clean cloth and thoroughly re-greased during re-assembly. I use a large Allen key as an axle substitute to ensure the clicks have been inserted the correct way round.

Only the outboard journal bearings on the axles showed signs of surface discolouration. Though they had been well greased externally on each assembly. To provide some protection.  Rainwater is obviously able to get past the modified bearing cups around the exposed axles. Both bearings spun smoothly and well so were re-greased and returned to their support cups. Perhaps a short length of hose on each of the bare axles will help to keep the water out. The axles are a little large for ½", common or garden, hose.

Mr Higgins baulks at the Glavendrup stones approach avenue. 

I also adjusted the inner, right side, bearing cup to take up the end play. Using an Allen key to set the prescribed 4mm between the bare, inner ends of the axles. Access is poor for adjusting the cup. So I used my usual technique of 90 degree offset circlip pliers on the adjustable cup. I checked carefully for just a little end shake to both axles. To avoid the bearings binding or wearing the freehub central spacer. The special Trykit double freehub still had just a little end float. Which does no harm. After replacing the wheels I spun them up via the drive train. They continued spinning for ages and stopped almost together. A good sign of very free running. After a good wipe down with clean rags Mr Higgins is ready for another day.

17th 58F, 14C, windy, cloudy, but mostly sunny.  Took only the Ventus GPS logger and it went to sleep! 18 miles by bike computer. Came home early with two huge cardboard boxes. All it needs is a length of cord through the boxes to hook around the saddle. Then the boxes rest against the rear axle and saddle pin. The saddlebag keeps the boxes aligned against cross winds. Going out again. Second time lucky. The Ventus stayed awake. The i-gotU didn't. 14 more very windy miles for 32 today.

 Two noisy hedgehogs by the pond.

18th 56F, 13C, westerly breeze, sunny. Rain forecast for this afternoon. I used the tailwind to go to Odense. Had a look at saddles in most of the bike shops there. The nearest saddle, to the one I bought recently, was the 'Avenue.' The Selle Royal looked quite promising being flat, wide and the padding relatively soft. As soon as I perched on one I quickly got off again. I have been routinely asking for a "canteen" chair on which to rest the test saddle. So I can more fairly simulate them fitted to my trike.

A forward lean is useful. Careful study of my posture on my trike shows an average, upper body lean of 45 degrees. On the move, I use my reflection in empty shop windows. At home I use a very large convex traffic safety mirror. My hips are not rotated remotely so much as my torso. Which makes sense if you think about it. If ones hips rotated one would find the saddle needed raising or lowering depending on body lean.

My present saddle problem may simply be that I don't get enough rest for my own good. So any saddle discomfort is reinforced with each passing day. Hopping from a broken-in Brooks 'Professional' to any modern saddle it is bound to feel very different.

This is a very odd situation with regards to cycle accessories. One can't (easily) find a new saddle without spending a considerable sum. Then discarding all those saddles which don't suit one's particular anatomy. There is even talk of a seasonal change in saddle comfort for those who ride less over the winter Yet even the race orientated, cycle shops seem to have no facilities for matching the enthusiast to their intended support.  

Today, I brought home a complete but empty banana box for storage. The Ventus GPS logger stayed awake. The i-gotU fell asleep at half way. 50 miles.

Yet again, Tommy Voeckler was truly magnificent in the Tour de France. He really is great value. Nibali is proving to be all mouth and shorts. Meanwhile, Britain has a competent, yellow-painted robot and his African slave. Where's the love? (He asks) Where's the humanity? Where's the drama? Where's the entertainment? I see the French are having austerity measures with their police presence on the big climbs. At one summit, I counted four plods taking up valuable space (ab)normally reserved for escaped lunatics. 

19th 57F, 14C, overcast, grey and breezy. Showers forecast all day. It stayed dry. 27 miles.

The Maroon Newton is back on eBay:

Hand Built Lightweight Racing/Touring Trike. | eBay


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