Please insert ridiculous wail

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One day I’m going to learn that I should check that the fault I think it is, is the fault it actually is.

So, I stripped down the bottom bracket on my beloved bike, having taken the cotter pin out from that side, and, having collected the ball bearings together after dropping them on the floor, spent some time cleaning up the inside of the bottom bracket.

I can see now that I really, really, really should service it properly, and that the one on the other side probably should be stripped down and cleaned as well. There was grease in there, yes, but I don’t know when it was last ‘greasy’. Much cleaning with plusgas of parts ensued, and fresh grease applied, and the bearings – which as others have suggested are tough as nails – all looked lovely when I reassembled. I’m slightly worried about the tightness to which I’ve tightened it, but it feels…okay. It runs smoothly. I guess I’ll check it in a week or so, and see how it’s feeling.

It’s good that something needed doing with the painfully overpriced tool I’d just bought (which, it turns out, I could have got away with the crappy Halfords one, because it was lovely and easy to adjust) because that wasn’t where the crunchy/clunky feeling was coming from. The cotter pin on the other side, the chain side, that had worked loose. And lo, a quick tighten and all was well. Having seen inside there though, I’m slightly unclear as to how the oiler is meant to work. It appears to just drip oil into a space in the bottom bracket that runs in to the legs running to the back wheel. There’s no cunning device to try and get oil dripped in there to the actual bearings. And that’s ignoring the whole pack-it-with-grease-then-add-oil-later freakyness I’m noting.

That’s what it says in my book, though. Still, if I’ve got it more or less right, then it shouldn’t need adjusting for a while. So that’s good :)

I have now ordered the tyre for the new wheel, and hopefully an innertube. It’s a bit difficult to ascertain whether I’m getting an innertube as the company it’s coming from are…somewhat…recalictrant about answering e-mail.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at