Monday, December 26, 2011

Cleaning up ...

Merry Christmas to all!

Another great Xmas and a great dinner with my family at my sister's place. I got some incredible stuff from Joanna. Specific to cycling, I got this:

and this:

I didn't ask for either of these, but I would have! Joanna picked them out on her own. Does she know me or what?

Anyway, Xmas day itself is almost always a lost day to me -- lots of driving to and from NJ to see my family. But this year, I didn't have to travel at all, so I spent the day on the first part of a project that could end up taking all week. Or longer. A project so big it tires me out just thinking about it.

Yup, it was time to ... clean the bikes! (Cue horror music.)

I brought all our bikes in from the garage. Our road bikes were already inside, and they're both pretty clean already, but all three of my mountainbikes, Joanna's mountainbike, and her track bike have all been in the garage all year. I really needed to clean my singlespeed, and I wanted to do some work on my Trek Fuel (which I haven't ridden since the SM100 in 2010.) But when I saw Joanna's bikes AND MY OCLV sitting there, I decided to do the whole bunch.

Before I started on any of those bikes, I needed to do some much needed work on the Misfit. I finally got the new drive-side dropout in the mail, and I have been sitting on the new lockring since early December. So my plan for today was to clean up and rehab the single and then get to work on the others later this week. (Basically, I have all winter to work on them, but I need the Misfit to ride now, so it was first in the queue.)

Queued up and ready for a facelift

The first step in a thorough cleaning is to break everything down. I took apart the drivetrain and wheels to clean them separately:

Later on, while cleaning the wheels, I discovered another rip in the sidewall, this time on the front wheel. I really like the Ikon tires, but they're not worth the money you spend if he sidewall is going to be so easy to tear.

Every few months, I'll fully clean my chain - soak it in de-greaser, scrub it down, and then ...
give it a good coating of silicone lubricant ...

Personally, I use Tri-flow. No other lube I've used works as well in bad conditions.

After cleaning the wheels and chain, I wash down the whole bike in a gentle citrus degreaser - everything from the frame to the cranks, to the cockpit. This takes a while if I'm really doing a through job. Small nooks and cleaning out parts like the seat tube take some time.

A thorough job requires lots of detail work -- like scrubbing in between the chain ring and the guard
When you clean the grime out of the seat tube, the first thing you have to do is tape off the height as a marker.

After marking the height, pull the seat out to get rid of grit that may have built up inside the tube.

Also, it's a good idea to clean the seat collar and bolts.

And after everything is cleaned up, when I'm doing a full detail, I'll give the bike a nice even coat of polish:

After all of that is finished, I'll put the bike back together and I'm ready to roll. But today, I had a few more things to take care of before I could call it ride-ready.

First, I needed to install the new drive-side dropout. The old one was completely stripped out in the rear threads:

The new one went on without a hitch, and I was able to line up the rear tire and lock it down without using any electrical tape for the first time in a month!

The new lockring also went on nicely. Looking at the old one, it was definitely time to replace it!

Pretty chewed up!

Having swapped out the necessary parts, and thoroughly cleaned the bike, I put it all back together. The result was a happy singlespeed that looks good as new!

Lookin' ready for the trail!

You could eat off the drivetrain ... you know, if you did things like that ...

I even washed the saddle bag!

Looks great from any angle!

So there it is. The Misfit is cleaned up and ready to roll again.

Next up ... the rest. Ugh! BIG job. Oh well -- winter time gives me the downtime to do it, I guess.

At least, that is, when I'm not on my new rollers!!!

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