Working on bikes is all part of the pleasure of owning them. I’m no mechanic, but having three bicycles gives me an excuse to disappear into the garage of an evening and,for want of a better expression, have a tinker.
Yesterday evening was bike repair heaven. I put the Audax on the work stand and got busy curing an annoying click that I’ve had since I bought the bike and a creak from my Brooks B17.
The click was cause to send the bike back to Thorn who found no problems. I put it down to my heft and lived with it. However, what was once a minor creak/click when climbing out of the saddle has degenerated into a regular, infuriating accompaniment to every pedal stroke.
The click led to a nervous tick and I thought it high time I dismantled the bottom bracket to see if I could find the problem. I hoped it would be something associated with Mr Shimano’s external bearing rather than a crack in the bottom bracket shell or something equally onerous.
After an hour with a wrench or two and some grease the bike was soon back together. Out on the lunchtime run today peace descended.
Given my limited mechanical ability, my success did prompt the question of what the folk in Bridgewater actually did when the bike was returned. No matter, the Audax is now even better than when I bought it.
And the Brooks creak? To be honest, this wonderful saddle could squeak and grind every pedal stroke and I would still use it. Now 4,000 kms old, it’s well broken in and, well, perfect.
Shaking the Web for an answer, I discovered that many a Brooks owner gets ‘the creak’ at some stage of their perch’s life. Numerous cures can be found, particularly from the CTC crowd, ranging from a bit of three-in-one on the nose bolt to immersing the saddle in a vat of warm lard (well, not quite, but many an extravagant suggestion has been offered to break in these wonderful saddles).
I opted for the former, and my B17 is silent.
So, the Audax is now in stealth mode and all fellow riders will now hear is the clattering of my lungs and the click of my knee joints (and the swearing at motorists).