Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More haste less speed

Finally, finished fitting the last components to the Adventure this week. Super I can ride on the road with sensible tyres. Armoured from the general road crud that buckles the wheels of racing bikes, and with enough traction that I won't feel like I'm about to slide off the bike at each corner. This is where I learn a valuable lesson - "more hase less speed" as the proverb goes.

More haste, because if I had completed this in a shorter time frame I would have not had one problem. Less speed would also have helped in keeping the costs down. At least it wasn't an expensive mistake. Fitting the rear cassette I was presented with a shrink wrapped set of cogs and in my eagerness to open the packaging all the cogs fell out of order. I was left with one small black O-ring lying on the floor. I stepped on it and snapped it. There was then the question as what to do with it, and how to replace it.

What to do with it, well it didn't work as a sprocket spacer any more as it just fell off in its traditional position of spacing 3rd to 4th. So I stuck it at the back of the cassette in the short term as a conventional spacer so that the whole thing sat on the rear hub. Then came the cabling up process and it took ages to get round to that so I forgot what I had done. More haste less speed.

It wasn't until I came to setting the gears up that the problem then became....well a problem. Shifting up and down was fine, but now I couldn't select 3rd with any reliability. The cog was there I could see it and I had sorted the index problem from a cable pinch. Why wouldn't it select?? Then I looked closely. Those cogs look a little close together. Hang on I'm missing a spacer!! Where is it? I remember it in the packaging. Hmmm I think I might have lost it. I turn out the toolbox where the spares sit and there is nothing that fits the bill. Do any of my old cassettes have this spacer. No of course not! I am upgrading away from the one piece design to a more interchangeable set. Where then do I buy one? Local bike shop or internet?

Well this kind of spacer is probably not something you would keep in stock at the bike shop, but it could save all the hassle of buying the wrong one. On the otherhand I can do a lot a research from the comfort of my own home and save the traipsing to the shop to find out that they don't have one or that I have to buy a complete cassette to replace it. So Internet it is then.

Wiggle, Chainreaction cycles, and Evans lots of spacers but sadly for adjusting the cassette to different wheel hubs. I am noticing here a big shift towards 10 speed and I think again the evolution of the drive train will make it increasingly difficult to find parts for those "affordable" bikes that most of us buy. So Google it and look at the images to see if I can find what I remember the sprocket spacer look like. Search term, hmm this is a tricky one as I don't know what it would be called. Try a combination of "shimano", "spacer" "cog" and "sprocket". Click. Scan.

There it is! Bonus it is on a cycle parts supplier website for a might £4. Could have been worse I suppose. Click order and wait.

A few days later it arrives through the post safely packaged in a cardboard protector to prevent it from bending and snapping in transit. It takes me a few more days to find the time to fit this and check the gear shifting. I remove the cassette quickly and easily (I'm getting better at this with practice). Slide on sprocket spacer in correct postion. Bugger! I can't get the lock ring on. I could have sworn that this was a 9-speed hub. Yes it is a 9-speed hub, I distinctly remember checking with Shimano.

I sit on the floor of the shed to have a little think. More haste, less speed. What if I take the whole cassette of and check the size I think. As I pull the cassette forward, plonk! A small black crescent of plastic falls to the floor. What's this? It looks uncannily like half a sprocket spacer. Then I remember how I had put it at the back for safe keeping. More haste, less speed.

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