Kuroko has been idle the past couple of weeks following a challenging ride which brought out some noise from the bottom bracket. This was the new bottom bracket I’d installed to accommodate a new crankset.
I figured I needed to tighten up the bottom bracket a bit — the instructions just said to make sure the bearings were flush, and I’d done that — and for that I needed to remove the crankset. I gave it a try a few days later, but it seemed to be taking more effort than I thought it should. So rather than risk damaging a rather expensive group of parts, I decided to take it in to the shop and let them have a go at it.
The same, but more of it
My opportunity came today, a holiday for me but a working day for the rest of the country. I set out for the brief jaunt to the shop just after noon, when it opened. I had no difficulty describing the issue the mechanic, and his questions showed me that he understood me perfectly. But while he was happy to give me advice, there was a strong undertone that since I hadn’t bought the parts there and had done the work myself, he wouldn’t be willing to take it on. What he told me was that I’d been going about things in the right fashion, but I just needed to put more force into it. I was a bit put out by his refusal of the job, but he put it in the light of saving me money. I had no choice but to return home and up tools once again.
And he was right. Armed with the confidence that a pro had instructed me, I put more force into the wrench than I had been comfortable with at first. And with that, the crankset came right off. (I’d thought I had to remove the lock ring to get it off, and I didn’t have the tool for that. But he assured me that no, the lock ring had to be in place in order for me to get the crank off with the 10mm hex wrench I was using.) I had to apply some persuasion via the BFH to get the left crank out of the bearings, but I was expecting that.
Then I inserted the bottom bracket tool and tightened the bearings further than I had initially. The instructions were to just make sure the bearings were flush with the bracket housing, which I had done. There was no torque measurement for this. So I just used hand tools and — once again — more force than I would have been comfortable with otherwise. (I have ruined more than one threading in the past through excessive force, and I’m eager not to inflict the same on Kuroko.) I was able to turn the tool an extra half turn or so and then it was really like pushing against a wall, so I figured that was stop I was looking for.
The final step was to apply a bit of new grease to the left crank, reinsert it through the bearings, and then torque the right crank back into place. This all went like butter. Once it was back together, I gave it a few spins and I couldn’t hear any noise. In all, it took me about 10 minutes (15 minutes with the clean-up).
I had other plans for the afternoon, so with the job done, I only took a brief spin around the block. There’s lots of traffic around here so I can’t be sure, but I’m pretty confident the job is done right this time and there’s no noise coming from the bottom bracket. So hat’s off to the shop mechanic who wanted to save me some money and was willing to offer me lots of good advice so I could finish the job myself. (I suspect the shop has a policy against fixing customer mistakes or working on gear not bought there. More pity for them as the two mechanics were just chatting to each other with nothing else to do when I wheeled Kuroko in through the door.)
A little more shopping
The other plan I had on for this afternoon was to get down to Kanda and fill in some of my camping needs for the upcoming trip. I knew a store there with lots of camping goods from the time the Halfakid was in Boy Scouts. As it had been more than 10 years since I’d been there (except perhaps for some hiking boot laces a bit more recently), I checked online first to make sure the shop was still open and located where I’d left it. Check to both. And Nana agreed to come along, although we both knew she’d be bored with the whole thing.
We arrived at the main store a bit before 3 p.m. and looked about. There was a lot of skiing goods and hiking boots, but the sleeping bag selection was a bit thin and the variety of tents even poorer than I remembered. We spent a few minutes looking around and then going through their sleeping bags and sleeping pads to find the most suitable (i.e., the lightest). I was pretty happy with what I found and we took it the register and checked out in short order.
We’d only gone a few steps down the street when Mina noticed a branch store with the same logo at the next corner. And this was the shop we were looking for. A lot more camping and climbing gear. The sleeping bag and pad selection was pretty much the same, so I stuck with my purchases. But they did have somewhat more variety in tents. After looking quickly through their list of size, weight and features, we asked to see the smallest one-man tent. (Nana was a big help here, asking a nearby salesperson if the display model was the only kind of tent they had.) The salesperson readily agreed to set it up for us on the floor, and quickly had out a tarp and some sandbags for the job. Setting the tent up was a matter of three or four minutes, and it looked like something that I could do pretty quickly in the rain. (There are tents that go up more quickly, but they’re considerably heavier and don’t pack up as small.)
We watched the tent go up and I made mental notes, and then we tore it down together and again watched while the salesman packed it away. It’s something I’ll be doing on a daily basis quite soon, so I’m sure I’ll get to be pretty quick at it. Meanwhile, I’m glad of our comfortable bed (and my CPAP) at home.
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