Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Maintenance. Who Would Have Thought?

It's funny how sometimes you don't realize how bad things are until they improve. It's like the time I found that a small animal had climbed into my car's engine compartment and chewed through the insulation on a couple of the ignition wires. Sure, it ran in that condition. I don't know why I didn't notice when it got worse, but the improvement was immediate and quite noticeable when I replaced the wires.

Well, today was another one of those times. Having spent very little time with friction shifters, with the exception of with my old Schwinn Varsity that I rode before I knew how to or why to really use all of those gears, I honestly wasn't quite sure what level of shifting ease to expect when I started riding the old 12-speed. It shifted like it shifted, and that was that. Never mind that it was a 20 year old bike with 20 year old cables, housings, parts and oil on those parts. It just did the job. Well, after my recent cable woes, which really weren't that woeful I gave my rear derailleur a bit of attention. New cable, new cable housings and new clean oil on all the moving drivetrain parts back there. You know, the kind of things that a more conscientious person does periodically, and not just when something fails catastrophically.

I set out in the cool, sunny morning and was startled by the difference. It still did its job with minimal complaints, only now everything was quieter, smoother and more immediate. It may have just been in my head, but I even felt faster relative to the motorized traffic. I'll have to do the front derailleur next.


Post a Comment

<< Home