Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cranky Red Menace

The Red Menace has been up on blocks as of late. It's my winter beater, and I beat it like a rented mule this winter. Got up to go to work last week and found that I needed to do some maintenance on the poor critter -- the chain had pretty much rusted solid.


I finally got around to stopping by HCHQ and getting another chain (and some Wide Loaders for the DumVee), then sat around until I thought that the chain was just that special level of unserviceablility that I needed to reach. Using some WD-40 and a lot of torque to convince a pin to come out, I managed to separate the chain. The links popped apart with a groan and...

... the chain didn't move. Suspended by its inability to move, it just hung there bound up by the rust. I literally had to force the chain to move before it would leave the bike. I need to time my maintenance cycles a little better, it seems.

After replacing the chain, I gave the pedals a turn to see how she runs now, and she runs like a three-legged dog. Seems that the rusty chain covered up for other, lurking maladies; a sticky pedal and, worse yet, the bottom bracket feels like there's a broken bearing in it and it sticks about three quarters of a turn whilst pedaling. I hope I can scrounge up a part for it (I think it's using a cartridge) from another bike as I don't want to put any money into this critter. But after all the abuse I've given it, I suppose a nice new bottom bracket wouldn't be out of the question, after all.


WheelDancer said...

I brought my commuter in for a rare desalinization treatment (warm water from a weed sprayer whilst sitting over the floor drain in the basement) a few weeks back and when I went down in the morning the chain was bright orange.

Seems I forgot to apply chain lube when I was done, oops. I just slathered on some wet lube, spun it for a while, wiped it off and it was good to go. I suspect the longer term prognosis won't be so good but it's still working at this point.

Doug said...

I think the best part, if there can be a "best part", of having a broken arm during the winter is missing out on all the winter maintenance of bicycles.

Tim M. said...

the last chain I took off, I was able to scratch my back with it.

Bujiatang said...

I oiled my chain about a month ago... does that count as maintenance?

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