So the other week I was griping about a few little problems I was having with the 1×7 skipping the chain and the headset still rocking. On my way home from work Friday I had an epiphany. Take a few links out of the chain, the derailleur will pull a little harder on the links and no more drops. This weekend I took it down in the basement to test my theory. After cleaning the drivetrain I picked up where I left off by trying to tighten up the headset a little bit. There I was with my wrench when an all-to-familiar scenario began to play out. One of the worst feelings is when you’re tightening something that is getting progressively harder to turn and all of the sudden gets progressively EASIER to turn. The threads on the fork were a little munged from the first headset and the top nut just couldn’t hold on. I pulled out the loctite and tried my little band-aid fix that I did with the old headset last year hoping it would stay together for a while. It lasted for a total of 1 full days before it started to rock again. Damn shame because the chain fix worked perfectly. I’ve had this bike for 15 years and replaced every part aside from the stem but this is it. I’m not buying a new fork for it, and I’m DONE with threaded headsets. FOREVER. Luckily it didn’t completely disintegrate underneath me, so I can just keep riding it until it gets to that ‘sketchy-loose’ stage. I’m mad because I just about had it dialed in perfect for what it was. Now I’m back to square 1 again. It also leaves me with the question of how to get to work and back in the future.
- Mountainy bike – Having a replacement that has braze-ons everywhere for all kinds of brakes, racks and parts makes sense to me. If I buy something with 26″ wheels, I can just pick up where I left off by bolting my old fenders and stuff on. The worst part of this for me is all the cool stuff I have like my Schwalbe Big Apples, My Nokian Studded tires and my recently built wheel that I like so much. When it comes to parts I could do a frame-up build aside from a seatpost, headset, spacers and stem – although I’m not sure I’d want to considering how much it would cost me to buy a frame, seatpost, headset, stem AND a pro headset install. (no more basement hackery for me there thanks very much…) That orange calls to me. aLOT.
- Cross bike – As mentioned many times, I could really get behind the versatility of this machine. There’s a bunch of ways to build it up and like the mountain route, I still have 88% of what I need. Kind of makes more sense because it’s a little more skewed towards pavement, and my riding has definitely skewed more towards paved surfaces in the last few years. Buying something with 700c wheels would require a total liquidation of my mountain bike parts stockpile. This goes completely against my obsessive-compulsive hoarding nature.
- Ride the trucker as a commuter – It makes sense because it’s 4.5 years old and already ‘broken in’ by several thousand miles so there’s none of that worry about leaving it outside. On the downside, 1) it’s my long distance machine right now and I don’t want to remove the brooks saddle, re-rackify and flat pedalify it. 2) I really am not all that crazy about riding it short distances in the city. It’s just not as fun to knock around town when you aren’t hopping curbs and railing around corners.
While I’m cleaning house (and of course I need money now too since I stupidly blew most of the bits I’d saved since 2009 from my annual bike allowance for commuting on a fun but very frivolous impulse buy) there’s this…
I looked up at it while I was putting some clothes in the dryer and realized that there’s no way to get a decent full set of fenders on it, no place to bolt a rack, I haven’t had it out in the past year, and even if I had an opportunity to ride singletrack, this would be overkill for how I would want to ride it. It wasn’t the smartest purchase years ago when I brought it, but letting it hang over the dryer isn’t the smartest thing to do right now either. Clearly I have some decisions to make, but one thing cannot be disputed… The Chameleon should find a new home.