I went to the bike shop yesterday and got some M5x18 bolts to replace the shorter ones that had stripped out of Kuroko’s rear brake caliper. These turned out to be a perfect fit, and I soon had a working rear brake once again.
With the brake sorted, I ran the derailleur through its paces. There was some wobble in the very smallest cog, so I removed the wheel and undid the lock ring. I decided to give all the gears a bit of a cleaning as I was having a hard time seeing the numbers engraved on one or two. (Cogs go on with the engraved side facing outwards.)
I didn’t get all the grime off, but the lion’s share of it. (The wet chain lube I’m using, which doesn’t come off in the rain, ensures the gears will soon be black again.)
Once the cogs were all back together and the wheel mounted in the bike, the derailleur shifted flawlessly. I returned my attention to the front brake, which was still rubbing a bit after the wheel swap. In this case I removed the brake pads and used a tire lever to compress the pistons, before assembling it all again. That did the trick.
Cleaning up my act
I’d had trouble wrestling the wheel back into the frame while fixing the flat on the most recent ride, and my greasy fingerprints all over the frame were evidence of the struggle. I decided to give Kuroko a bath, culminating in a chain clean-and-lube job. And now she’s ready for the next adventure.