Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fixer of things

Last week, I took delivery of Sally's Specialized Crossroads Cruz. I knew it needed some things. I immediately mail-ordered some tires. Those came in yesterday.

This box was huge but light. The spring clip on my rack held it in place nicely. I just had to ride across the apartment complex with it, as the package was left at the clubhouse.

As I started tearing into the bike for the first time, I caught a few things that weren't readily apparent when I took it in. For instance, the bottom bracket cup was way out of adjustment. It was binding. Fortunately, no permanent damage was done. I cleaned it all up while I had it apart and packed the bearings with my favorite grease, made for boat trailer axles. It's thicker than most bottom bracket grease, but the cranks spin smoothly. This waterproof grease is what I used on Hybridzilla's bottom bracket, and it saved me tons of hassle on wet days. Unlike Hybridzilla (Marketed by Diamondback), this bike has some dust seals on the BB cups, so water getting in won't be as much of a concern. Better safe than sorry, though.

Sally wanted narrowish, higher-pressure tires, but not slick road tires. I opted for the Forte Gotham city tires. At 700x35, they're a good touring and city tire with a nice, efficient tread pattern. They're rated for 75 PSI, so they're plenty firm but the width helps absorb some of the harshness from the road.

For giggles, I threw a battery in the computer that was on the bike. It works just fine, so I calibrated it for the tire size.

Right before I got The Twelve fixed up with a new rear wheel, my backpack broke. One of the straps just ripped clean off from the bottom. The stitches came out. This bag's construction is too thick and beefy for most stitching needles to go through, so I shelved the bag. The thing is almost two and a half years old; I probably should have thrown it out, but I didn't.

Last night, I had an idea. There's a hard plastic backing inside the backpack, and both the strap and outer layers are nylon. I heated up an old soldering iron of mine and rammed it through the layers of plastic and vinyl, creating a perfect (and sealed-from-fraying) hole for which to pass some zip ties through. It's so ghetto, but it worked so well. I have a backpack again!

I used that backpack this morning and threw my lights on the Crossroads for my commute to the bus. I wasn't expecting rain, so I got wet (damn I miss my fenders!) but it rode like a dream. It totally needs new brakes, though.

Some xkcd humor on the Starbucks blackboard this morning.

1 comment:

sallymander said...

I'm back in town, can't wait to get my hands on her for a ride! Thanks for all the extra work and care you put into fixing her up for me.

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