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Cleanliness is next to godlikeness

 

Head060813The business of buying bicycles and bits for bicycles has changed a lot in the last ten years, and these days a cold wind is blowing through the old supply chain. You can buy just about anything online, and some of the deals seem ridiculous.

Nzo is part of this new picture, having moved on to the interweb some years ago. But just because we couldn’t thrive in other people’s shops, doesn’t mean we don’t like them. The local bike shop  could be an endangered species, but good ones won’t have to worry.

When I go into the woods I occasionally get both wheels off the ground at the same time. In my local patch new trails are rolling out that practically beg riders to jump, so these occasions for levitation are getting closer together, and it is fun.

My landings are varied. Some are so dialled I can’t really feel the touchdown, a great many more are not. Good distance, wrong angle of descent. Good attitude, too short. Or long. Sweet as, but heading in a different direction to the trail.

One landing recently featured a combo of several of these faults, and a spoke in the rear wheel snapped. Fair enough really. A quick stop to wrap the spoke ends around their neighhbours, and a check to see that the wheel (built by my local bike shop) was straight enough to continue. It was.

When I got home I set about dismantling for repair. The large cogs would not come off the freewheel, a gentle push from the back removed the entire assembly, not my goal at all. So, a quick reassembly, and visit to the doctor.

The bike was in the clinic overnight, which always makes home feel a little odd. When I collected it the wheel was back to normal, as expected. Unexpectedly, the cassette and chain had been cleaned to a new-looking freshness, the derailleur hanger had been straightened, and there was a new gear cable. The bike felt slicker than it had for a long time, quiet and smooth, like a new one. This is quality you can’t get freight-free, in a cardboard box. You have to find some skilled people with a passion for bikes, and it helps if they are local. Look after yours. Buy them a coffee, or a coke. Or both.