Monday, May 14, 2007

You Get What You Pay For

So, I made progress on the Bleriot, but not enough to ride it. I've got to get the handlebars taped and I can't seem to get the diamond pattern using two colors of tape right. I got pretty frustrated working on it Sunday. Spent some time last night looking for instructions on the web and got an idea or two. Tonight it went better.

Rode the Quickbeam today and boy did that stink. I used the messenger bag and yeow it was so hot on the way home. Okay it wasn't all that cool on the way to work either. I've got to figure something better for tomorrow. You'll see why I have no alternative. This time of year, I'd ride the Atlantis and use the small front panniers. Except the Atlantis has had an odd problem.

The problem is that it seemed like the cassette freehub was stuck. Or sticking. Or something. If I coasted, the freehub and cassette would continue to turn with the wheel. This caused excess chain to collect on the chain stay between the crank and the axle. Followed by a immediate slip into the smallest cog.

So I guessed it was due to the freehub needing some lubrication and I thought a little Phil Wood oil or maybe Mobil 1 I use in the Elephant might do the trick. I thought that wouldn't take too much. Put the Atlantis in the spare stand and went for it. Pulled the rear wheel and pulled off the cassette. I was even pleased that I found the Hyperglide cassette tool without a week long search or buying a new one.

When I looked at the hub, I was shocked. the freehub was stuck to the cassette. I tapped the cassette on the workbench and the freehub fell out, followed by falling apart. I'd busted the axle. This is where the subject comes from.

Years ago, Gnashbar had these hubs for really bargain prices. I don't remember at the moment but lets say, $30 for a cartridge bearing hub. Huh? Yes. No maintenance. Music to my ear, especially the cheap part. I bought several and had a rear wheel built in preparation of the Atlantis. I've been using it since I got the frame set. This is way back when I was married and the ex wasn't too pleased at an even more expensive bike. So I got a cheaper wheel to compensate. Now, I'm not saying its her fault at all, it was still my choice and decision.

Now I know why those hubs were cheap. I'll have to clean some of the goo and dirt off and take a few photos to show the cheap material and construction. I believe the wheel is toast. Oh, I suppose I could respoke a new hub in, or something, but I'm not sure what direction I'll go yet. I'm leaning toward a real bullet proof hub (Chris King or Phil Wood) but that's some savings away. Now the pressure is on to get the Bleriot running so I can work on the Atlantis. Its always something.


Reflector Collector said...

It's hard not to love a nice Phil Wood cassette hub. BUT drop in to Hiawatha and pick up an XT for around $65. Don't quote me on price. Unless you are going fancy or want more than 36 holes, hard to argue with the economy.

Sometimes it is good to try stuff out. Disappointing when it goes foul though.

rigtenzin said...

I broke an axle on a 14 year old hub the other day. I'll replace the axle and be back in business for another 14 years.