Posted by: audaxing | January 5, 2011

What I did over the Christmas break

I haven’t done a post for a while so here’s what I did, bike related, over Christmas and New Year.

Just before Christmas I noticed that the bottom bracket on my Alfine Commuter bike was wobbly and obviously on it’s way out. I’d not changed that sort of bottom bracket before. I ordered the part from Chainreaction. Then I realized that 1) I’d lent the bottom bracket spanner to Johno 2) I wasn’t going to see him before xmas 3) There wasn’t time to mail order one. So I bought one from the LBS. Luckily it is a cheap tool. When I get the other one back from Johno I will have two and I’ll be able to undo both bottom bracket cups at the same time 🙂

Old Shimano Bottom Bracket

Old Shimano Bottom Bracket


The bottom bracket part turned up in the gap between Christmas and New Year. It was fairly easy to fit. The old part really was totally knackered. I am not over impressed with this design of bottom bracket ( Shimano Hollowtech II ) as the bike had only done 8400km. I will be checking the bottom brackets of this type every 5000km from now on.

With my best bike I did a couple of long(er) rides. After the first one I decided that the saddle angle really was entirely wrong. I’m sure you can guess how I knew this after 120km.
The B17 saddle and the seatpost had been transplanted onto the new bike from my old broken Setavento
The problem was that the Use Alien seatpost clamp on the Ti seatpost had seized up. Thankfully though, after 30 minutes with a mallet, WD40 and a large screwdriver it suddenly unseized. For a moment I thought it was broken then I put it all back together, with a generous helping of copper grease.

Use Alien saddle clamp

Use Alien saddle clamp


After this the saddle angle was easy to fix. Next ride the saddle was great but the bars felt wrong.

I switched the stem back to a 110mm / 8 degree rise. On the long ride it had 95mm / 0 degree rise. I have now moved the saddle as far forward as it will go. I have briefly tried this on a trip to the nearest village with the missus and it still isn’t quite right but I am on the right path. The 110mm stem is more stable than the 95mm one.

The second long ride was 100 miles on New Years Day, over the Levels. During it I made a rare wildlife spotting: I saw a Crane. It just suddenly shot out of a drainage ditch.

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