Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fixing Creaks and Emotional Distress

In addition to a detachable showerhead for cleaning bicycles, Sue gave me a roll of plumbers tape for Christmas to fix my Tomac’s creaking bottom bracket; the best 75 cent gift ever. I didn’t get around to taping the bottom bracket thread until last night. This project gave me a chance to use my super expensive XTR crankset removal tool and to inspect the Wheels Manufacturing bottom bracket, which, incidentally, still rolls smooth. I’m officially keen on the use of ceramic bearings in a bottom bracket.

I started working on my bike after the girls were in bed so I didn’t finish up until late. I test rode the bicycle through the halls of my apartment complex which, of course, is the best place to test ride a bicycle: it is protected from the elements, well lit, acoustically perfect for zeroing in on creaks, and carpeting provides excellent traction for sprints. And it feels like you are going really, really fast when there are walls two feet on either side of you. Sometimes I feel like a 14 year old boy trapped in a middle-aged man’s body.

Creaks from my bicycle drive me nuts. I envision creaks diverting energy away from my rear wheel, rediculous. I start to wonder if the creaks I hear aren’t the carbon fibers shearing in the frame, ready to impale me with a splintered carbon fiber top tube which would seriously suck because I really like my Tomac Type-X and it has been discontinued. When I hear my bike creak at a race I get self-conscious, as if I showed up unprepared, or like I’m sitting on a bus with a whining child on my lap. It isn’t clear if the plumbers tape was a gift to elevate the emotional distress caused by unfortunate noises coming from my bicycle or if it was given to me because I complain about said noises incessantly during rides. Either way, all is quiet now.

1 comment:

  1. BBs can make some really impressive/scary creaks 'n' noises. My carbon Ibis road bike was sounding bad - cured by regreasing the BB bearing threads.

    Amazing the fix is that easy...