Inspired by the sunny weather (uh… what happened to the forecast thunderstorms, chaps? I could have gone walking in Cumbria with Olly & co…), I spent some quality time with my bicycle. That’s with, and not – sadly – on.
I’d forgotten what it feels like to have all your skin oils removed and replaced with the cloyingly orange-esque scent of citrus degreaser. Unfortunately, beneath the grime, the bike is worse than I first thought. All the sealed/heavily guarded bearings are fine – the headset, bottom bracket, hubs – but everything else is pretty wrecked, frankly. It really needs stripping and cleaning from scratch.
The chainrings are even more eaten down than I remembered; BiopaceHP rings were never high-quality, and these have done something like 8,000 miles. But they’d do, for a short while. The tyres are perished, and I wouldn’t vouch for the inner tubes either. More worrying, the stem appears to be essentially rotten. Well, it’s always been rubbish, but no, it now looks pretty much rotten – there’s significant corrosion around the handlebar clamp. Ouch. That’s a big job to replace.
So… I don’t have a bike that’s trivially rideable – something like a day’s work to fix it, and not inconsiderable component costs if I do it properly.
Dang. And now the forecast, which had yesterday been crock for next week, is suddenly promising. So I should have bought the Ridgeback after all.