Bicycles

This years work on the bicycle

Atlantis 2012 Naked

My Atlantis stripped bare by her bachelors, even

Part I: DIY

Things have been pretty solid with my Atlantis for years now really, but as I’ve mentioned in the past I’m trying to replace all the original components. This year that included the rear derailleur which since I replaced the front one last summer completes the replacement of derailleurs. I also replaced the shifter pods with the ones that Rivendell makes which as I mentioned in this post, should eliminate what I think was the cause of the failure of my first set of Silver Shifters. The plastic washers had already cracked, which apparently they were prone to do as Rivendell has made better, tougher replacements available, so I replaced those as well.  Since cable was being pulled I replaced the front shifter cable as it was all frayed, but kept the rear as it seemed fine. So basically I did a lot of work on the shifting system.

Atlantis 2012 derailleur

New Derailleur

I adjusted the front and rear derailleurs pretty well just riding around the apartments garage but went out for a real ride the next day. The shifting was so sure and smooth and my drive-train just hummed along. Sometimes you don’t realize when you are fighting something until you replace it. The jockey gears were pretty tapped out on the deralleur and it was definitely a lot more work to push the chain through. I’d replaced my cassette, middle chain-ring and chain mid-winter as the winter riding had pretty well chewed them up. I have to say the cassette and chain already look pretty beat with just a few months of winter riding on them. I did clean up the chain a bit during this repair and then oiled up so I’m sure that helped too.

 

Atlantis 2012 Silver Shifters

New pods for my Silver Shifters

So that’s about it for the work I’ve done on the Atlantis this year.  I’ve got about everything I can do replaced (bottom bracket and headset are about all that’s left) and the remaining bits seem to be running fine. This year though I am going to take it to my LBS before I tour to give everything a safety check and professional adjustment.

 

Free Range Cycles

FreeRange Cycles in Fremont

Part II: The LBS

On the Wednesday following the above work I took off all my bags and rode the ~2 miles to Free Range Cycles. I was running a bit later than planned but really flew with the totally unloaded bicycle on the Burke-Gilman trail.  It’s pretty rare that I ride without any bags at all and while it handles about the same it definitely feels lighter and more spritely. Good times. I also passed another Atlantis on the ride – another super rarity.  Shortly I was in Fremont at my favorite Seattle area LBS, Free Range Cycles. Free Range is about as dead on with my retro-grouch style as an LBS pretty much can be. They sell Rivendells, Surly’s, Rawlands and other bicycles in the steel/utility/practical/classic/touring vein. They have the expected parts and such but also locally made bags, tons of Brooks stuff, Velo Orange parts and so on. A great shop and they definitely know Rivendells. This is the first time I’ve had my bicycle actually worked on by them since they have only been local to me for the last 8 months or so.

Atlantis 2012 Grip King

Rebuilt Grip King

After a preliminary check it was determined my pedals needed rebuilding, which I think is cool – nice to not have to just replace them like a disposable part. The chain is on the edge but I’m opting for replacement. Everything else just seems to need some adjustment – brakes, shifting etc.  That seemed all good and I was looking forward to riding the tuned up bicycle, and to have the pedal creak gone.  Then while I was out shopping in Fremont they called me up and informed me that both wheels needed replacing.  My front wheel with it’s dynohub has never been replaced and frankly not to shocked that it’s due.  The rear though I’d gotten just a couple of years ago from Rivendell’s great wheel builder and it seemed to be going strong.  The build I think is still solid but a crack has developed in the rim.  I wonder if riding on all the horrible Seattle streets shortened it’s lifespan?  Anyway an unexpected development, but this is why I took it in.  Better to do this upfront then mid-tour.

3 thoughts on “This years work on the bicycle”

  1. Yeah, I wish wheels lasted longer. I get about two years of life per wheel generally. Nice that you got the pedals overhauled. I overhauled some pedals myself last month and would do it again if either of my MKS pairs were getting grindy. And I would definitely recommend getting a new chain before you go!

    What size/type tires are you running?

  2. As far as the “consumables” go on a bicycle the wheels are definitely the biggest expense. I do have to say that I got tons of life out of my front wheel – I’ve not had to replace it since I had the dynohub laced in. The LBS told me the rim was just worn down from the brakes. The lighter front load and I think that bigger hub were the key but I’ve gotten 5 years out of it.

    Rear wheels not so much; my first Riv built one lasted the longest, maybe three years. I’d say it’s followed your two year span since then.

    I read that post where you overhauled your pedals. I’d figure that these ones being a newer item wouldn’t have that option so I was pleasantly surprised when the LBS said they could do it. Next time I might tackle it myself!

    Tires are Schwalbe Marathon Plus 38s. Best tires I’ve ran for flat prevention – two flats in two years including two tours. The two flats were caused by pretty serious objects too I have to say.

  3. Ha, I just got a huge crack in the braking surface of my rear wheel. Got about 27 months of use out of it. For 26 of those months it worked almost perfectly, but just last week half the spokes untensioned almost spontaneously and there’s been a bit of a symphony of clicks and creaks back there for a few weeks.

    I must that though cheap, the Sunrims CR18 is really, really good. No complaints here.

    Of course, Free Range is going to build me a new one tomorrow.

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