Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Maintenance time

DH was able to ride into work this morning, but got a pick-up after work due to more rain.  As we unloaded his Allez, he discovered a bit of lateral play in the rear wheel.  Hmmm...loose cones, or bad bearings?

So after dinner it was time for bike maintenance!  After adjusting the cones, he determined it was necessary to disassemble the rear axle.  One set of worn bearings and a pitted cone later, he opted to swap out the wheel for a spare one until parts could be sourced to repair the damage.

And since the bike was already in the stand, he decided to clean it, including the chain.  Now anyone who rides, is likely familiar with a grungy greasy chain, no matter what lube you use (except perhaps old school chain wax...).  

I retrieved an old metal coffee can from the garage, along with the Purple Power degreaser.  After pouring a bunch into the can, we dropped in the gunky chain, and began to swirl the liquid around to dissolve the mess.  Then I had a good idea!  No, not the Good Idea Fairy, a genuine good idea.  
Do you know what the black crud on your chain consists of?  Well, waxes and oils and dirt to be sure, but a lot of it is metal filings.

What's a good way to pull those bits of metal out of solution?  Why, a couple of rare earth magnets!  We have a bunch, so I snagged three of them to use. 
Just stick 'em on the outside bottom of that metal coffee can, and swirl the solution repeatedly, as the degreaser slowly dissolves the wax and oil, freeing the metal bits to wash out of the chain.

See that black ring in the middle of the picture below?  That's a bunch of metal filings, now stuck to the can bottom because of the magnet on the other side.  So when the chain is done soaking, the filings will be left behind!


  1. My DH is often up late doing maintenance on his bikes. A lot of work to keep them going smoothly when they get a lot of use!

  2. Brilliant Idea . . and, thank you for the lesson. (who woulda thunked it??? WELL, YOU, of course.)


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