Monday, January 6, 2014

Long Time no Tim

Vacations are good for the soul. They give us a chance to relax a bit, forget about email and other forms of electronic BS, and generally get right with the world.

Vacation also means no commuting. No buses. No getting up at the butt crack of dawn. But plenty of bike rides.

But all that is over now. Back to the groove. Back to the work-a-day world and the daily commute adventure.

And it started out being a bit of an adventure. I almost had to start the new year driving rather than biking and busing due to a bad hub. Hubs have been the bane of my existence since purchasing my Surly Pugsley in May of 2012. The bike has a Shimano M529 hub and I just don't know if it is my fat arse or a generally crappiness of the hub itself.

In a nutshell: I've had the wheel/hub replaced within the first 500 miles on the bike, rebuilt the hub at least 10 times in the nearly two years I've had the bike, and had the distinct feeling of rear end wobble on more descents than I care to remember.

That brings me to yesterday. I got up early on a Sunday morning to go for a nice ride. About two hours of road work in the snow and blow. A good way to start the day. I got home from the ride and prepped to get the bike put back into commuter mode with racks and such when I noticed that the rear wheel was flopping all to hell and back. I sucked it up, pulled the wheel, and set to getting things tightened up again.

It sucks achieving perfection only to have it all come undone. I'd get the cones adjusted just right, everything snug and ready to go, would put the wheel on the bike, give it a spin, check the cone adjustment and find that it was loose again.


Come to find out, the threaded axle itself was stripped out, so the lock nut would back itself off as soon as the wheel would spin.

I had an old axle, in bad shape, but serviceable, so I rebuilt the hub with that and it works. For now. But for how long?

Anyone out there who wants to donate a pair of wheels (Holy Darrel would be nice) with some hubs that aren't crap can contact me here. I'll give you the address of where to send them... hell, I'll even pay shipping!

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