Rock 'N' Roll 'N' Repairs

A scene near Křivoklát castle, taken during my ill-fated attempt at an imperial century a few weeks ago.

Took my bike to the shop this morning. I still take my bike to the shop in my old neighborhood of Prague 6, Cykloservis "U Tyrše" at Jaselska 29. Mate, one of the technicians there, speaks English and is a good guy. He told me I desperately need a new chain. He also promised to fix the rubbing on the back tire that I noticed the morning Rob and I attempted our centuries. The tire can't spin unimpeded for some reason.

Mate said it's necessary to replace your chain every 1,000 kilometers or so, that it gets stretched and can slip easily, which is exactly what was happening to me. I've been riding on the same chain since I bought the bike back in March, almost 1,800 kilometers ago. (Rob says he has more than 7,000 kilometers on his chain, though he hasn't suffered any slippage problems. They told him to wait to replace his chain until he needs a new cassette. He goes the same shop as I do.)

Mate also chastized me for bringing my bike in so dirty.

"You should have seen it before I cleaned it!" I told him.

I'm getting it back on Tuesday, which means no riding for a few days.

In any event, Daisy and I are heading to Munich today for the weekend to see one of our favorite bands, Interpol, play live, so I wouldn't have ridden this weekend anyway.

Munich's a great city for cyclists. There are bike lanes on almost all city streets. Who knows, if the weather's good, perhaps we'll rent a couple of bikes and pedal around the city a bit. Right now in Prague, though, it's around 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), and Munich's liable to be just as cold.

I will say that the sun is shining in Prague today, which makes a huge psychological difference. After a few weeks with no sun, you start to feel like you've been placed in solitary confinement or something.

I'm also eagerly awaiting the arrival of a bunch of winter riding gear that I ordered from Bike Nashbar -- shoe covers, gloves, helmet cover, and a breathable base layer, jersey and jacket. I already have long thermal riding pants and a balaclava. I did have a nice pair of gloves, but one of them melted after I put it too close to an open fire during a rest stop when I was out with Stewart one cold and rainy day.

I sweat a lot when I'm riding, as I learned during my century attempt. My shirts were soaking, as if I'd been in a rain shower. And my windbreak didn't allow the moisture to evaporate. Consequently, I turned into what I like to call a sweatsicle on the downhills.

I will be very interested to see if the clothes really do make that much difference.


Anonymous said…
A new chain every 1000km???

I've got over 5000km on my current chain/groupset and there's no trouble with slipping. I thought the general idea was to replace the chain and groupset all at the same time. I've tried putting a new chain on an old groupset with disastrous results. A new chain simply won't sit on worn gears.

Anyway, what exactly do you mean by 'slipping'? The chain jumps to the next gear, or something else?
Hopefully Nashbar will have better products and attitude than Myron Global...?
Grant said…
Hey, CH,

My bike won't stay in low gears (2-1 or 1-1/2) going up hills. The gears just won't stay. The pedals revolve and I can't get up the hill. I can hear the chain "slipping" over the teeth, or the teeth slipping through the chain. It never hits a gear at all until I switch it up one or two. My mechanic had a little gizmo shaped like a very low, squat U that he used to measure how much the chain had "stretched" and he said it was beyond the recommended amount. What can I say? I just know that I couldn't get up a hill!

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