I headed over to Erik’s last night to pick up my bike.
The bill surprised me…they were able to true my rear wheel, everything looked good, so the only thing above the labor charge was a new chain. Quite the deal.
Since I had budgeted for a bit more, I talked to Dave about changing out my gears. I spend almost all my time in my hardest-pedaling gears…I often take anything flat or more declining in my final gear. Because of the design of the bike, he suggested it would be cheaper and easier to swap out the chainrings in the front than attempt to do any magic in the back. We ordered the part, and then I was off on my way.
Even tho it was overcast, and was going to be dark in a little bit more than an hour, I thought I would drop my car off at work and bike home. No sooner was I on the bike and I knew something was amiss…now when I was in my final gear, any amount of real power applied would cause the chain to slip. I hobbled home, content with just being able to ride again, even if it was without my final “overdrive” gear.
This morning I biked into work, same thing again. It even slipped once or twice in my second-to-the-final gear when I was powering up hills. (I know I should be spinning, but heh, it feels good to really push when you’re only going 4 miles!) I called back Erik’s; Dave apologized profusely and asked me to bring it back in over lunch.
I bring the bike in…the maintenance guy takes a look at it and determines that it is an issue with the rear gearset (I think they called it the freewheel). The funny thing is, Dave suggested that I might need a new one of these before the bike was even serviced, but was assured by the maintenance guys that it didn’t need to be replaced. 5 minutes later I’ve got a loaner, they arranged to add the needed part onto my order for the chainrings in the front, and said they would do it all without a labor charge to make up for my inconvenience. As an added benefit, the only spare freewheel they had around has a bit steeper gearing, so it will be a nice transition to the new chainrings (and accompanying gear ratios that come along with it!).
Looks like the Woodbury Days Bike Ride is on then. 60 miles this Saturday morning along the beautiful Saint Croix River.