Congratulations to Rocky for winning yesterday’s contest. Yeah, he’s my brother-in-law, but he still had the best story. And I figured, the fact that I’m his bro-in-law is punishment enough; it shouldn’t stop him from winning a contest:
My second real moutain bike was an Ibis Mojo. It was a steel wonder. I decided that I would build it up myself, since I needed to learn bikes. I did. Along the way the bottom bracket began to creak a little. I pulled the crank and tightened the bottom bracket–super snug it was. The sound went away and I was happy. Then it came back. "Hey, it worked once, I’ll do it again." After three or four of those episodes, the bottom bracket d finally just gave out. I tried to remove it, but it would not let go. I took it to the bike shop to have them look at it.
They tried every which way to get it to let go but to no avail. I returned at the appointed hour to pick up my bike and there it was, still in the mechanic’s stand awaiting some badly needed repair. I asked if there was anything that could be done to remove it. The mechanic reached under his table and pulled out a 4 ft. "cheater pipe." He said that he would not try it, but that I was welcome to. He didn’t want the liability. He helped me set it up, and then, like a loving mother that cannot standby and watch her dying child suffer, he went to lunch. I wrestled with it there in the shop alone for ten or fifteen minutes, only to discover (when he returned) that I was turning it the wrong way–I was further tightening it. You know, that left-hand thread thing.
The good news is that all of that wrenching in the wrong direction had broken the vise grip that the bottom bracket had on the frame. With only significant, monstrous effort did it let go competely when I was finally turning it in the correct direction. At last, I was free of that infernal creaking.
That day I learned two things. I first learned that some graphite powder or some grease should go into the threads of the bottom bracket and the frame prior to tightening it. Second, I learned that the mechanical stuff should be left to the mechanics.
I have a crushing headache and am swamped at work. So while I tried to write something this morning, tried again at lunch, and tried again after work, I’m simply not funny today. You’ll just have to believe me when I say that everything I wrote was better off deleted than read. It just didn’t happen. At all. As you can see.
I’m going to go ride my bike home now and get a good night’s sleep. I may also show a pint of Ben and Jerry’s who’s boss.