Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crisis Averted

OK, I took my bike in last week for a tune up and some service thinking I might need to replace the bottom bracket.  I had talked to the mechanic at my LBS and he was going to take it apart and give me a call if that was the case. I dropped the bike off on Friday and they said it would be ready on Saturday by 3:00.  I was stoked they could do it so quickly. I didn't get a call on Friday, but Saturday about noon my phone rang and I was dreading the call figuring it was the bad news. I was pleasantly surprised when I answered and was told that my bike was ready!

So my wife and I went to pick up the bike and I talked to the mechanic.  The bottom bracket is worn and will need to be replaced in the future but it is still good to go for now.  They took the measurements so they would know exactly what to order when the time came. I was more than happy with the service.

When I got home I took it for a ride and it was wonderful.  No noises from the bottom bracket.  No wobble in the pedals.  It ran nice and smooth.

Fast forward 10 days.  I took my bike out the night before last in a light drizzle and right away there was a strange noise coming from the rear wheel. It sounded like a spoke making noise and it happened with each revolution of the rear wheel.  I stopped and checked for a broken spoke, but didn't find one. Figuring I should be gentle on it, I slowly finished my ride and took my bike into the garage to see what I could find.

I went around the entire back wheel checking each spoke. They were all good it seemed.  I decided to wait a day and see what might happen, thinking it might be the rain which was contributing to the noise. Sure, I knew it was unlikely but I didn't see anything wrong.

Last night I jumped on the bike for my ride and it was again making the noise with every turn of the rear wheel. I slowly finished the first lap.  As I got close to home I tried to note where the noise was coming from on the wheel.  I slowed to a crawl and started walking my bike and there was no noise.  I sat on the saddle and slowly pedaled and no noise.  It wasn't until I was doing about 3 or 4 miles and hour that the noise started again.  Fortunately I was able to stop the bike with the tire in the position where the noise occurred.

I grabbed the rear wheel to holed the position and carried the bike into the garage.  Noting where on the wheel the loose spoke was likely to be, I flipped my bike over and started checking the spokes one more time.  There was one spoke in the target area which was just a bit looser than the others.  I could tell by the feel as well as by the sound when I strummed it.  I grabbed my spoke tool and tightened the spoke one full turn.

I then strummed it again and the sound was close to those around it.  I spun the wheel looking for any deviation in it's true and there was none.  I flipped the bike over and headed out for another lap and was very relieved when it was once again whisper quiet.

Not sure what had happened to the spoke that it would suddenly be loose and making noise, but I am very glad it was an easy fix.

Time to ramp up the miles and the climbing because in just over 2 weeks I have the 25 mile Pedal to the Medal ride for Special Olympics.

Get on your bikes and ride!!!!!