Saturday, March 10, 2007

I began my annual bike breakdown and cleaning yesterday. It begins by taking all the major components off the Turner frame. I leave the brakes, fork, and bottom bracket but everything else gets broken down cleaned, repaired and lubed. I start off outside with a hose and a bucket of hot soapy water. I try to meticulously wash everything including the frame with various size brushes, the smallest being a toothbush, and rags. Then I let it dry overnight in a freshly cleaned spot in the garage.

Today I continued to clean and rub down the pieces as I put them back together. It is unbelievable how much capitol forest red clay gets all over everything. As I was putting her back together, I noticed that my derailliuer was cracked right at the limit adjustment screw. This is the same spot that fractured last year at the Mighty Mo. Luckily, I have the rebuilt derailliuer from last year so I just put that unit on. WARNING if you use XT, I would check this spot real careful. It seems to be the spot where sticks get sucked up. Next, I noticed that the bottom bracket has a bit of play. This unit has two years on it and I knew it was getting old so I order a new FSA carbon crankset. Problem is, it will not be here before Baja. In the garage, I pulled the fork and cleaned/lubed the stearer tube and headset. I got my wheels all cleaned and set up. I am running Michellin tires, dry on the back and wet on the front for better handling.

Finally, I loaded the bike up with all the AR extras, rear light, tow, clean saddlepack with gear, double cages, pump, and odometer. Tomorrow, I will take the bike in for service. They will pull the BB and give me the bad news, service the fork, run the cables, new chain etc. It will be like brand new. I think that part of our success is that we all are very anal about our gear. We rarely have mechanicals. Well once, RVG lost his crank arm in the middle of a race. And we are all pretty pissed when somebody's bike breaks down because of maintainence or something they knew they should have fixed.

And then the shakout ride. JVG and I will hit Green next weekend. I will do all the final adjustments. Get the handlebars and levers straight and fix any cable stretch.

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