Tag Archives: bike of joy

Brackets, and going up the Tak Me Doon

I was going to write about a really interesting conversation with a strategist I’m having across the pond but it’s a bank holiday and I am chilling out so I’m going to write about bikes instead.

On Saturday we did this ride, although we did it the other way round, and started near Kilsyth rather than Torrance.  It was the hardest ride I have been on.  There were two big hills, one called Tak Me Doon and the other one called the Crow Road.  They are quite famous in these parts, and popular routes for cyclists and lycra perverts alike.

Here we are after getting to the top of Tak Me Doon Hill.

I was trying to show the full pain of it there.  My chain fell off on the way up, my gears wanted to give up the ghost.  As you will see from the map, however, that was very early on.  After that, we went through beautiful scenery, mist and sunshine and rain.  Got so much fresh air we thought our lungs were going to collapse.  Felt amazing and dead at the same time.

It was ace.  We came home and spent a shitload on stuff from Wiggle and Rapha.  I’m getting another jersey with ARMWARMERS and some SPDS.  I’m turning roadie!

In other news, yesterday we (I say ‘we’ but in reality ‘he’) replaced the bottom bracket on the Bike Of Joy.

Replacing the bottom bracket is a total faff.  Taking the cranks off was OK.

But even that was quite difficult.  When it came to taking the bracket out we had a nightmare.  All the water gets into the bracket and it gets a bit rusty and really tightly stuck in.  The bracket removing tool got bent in the process, so we ran down to Gear to see if they could help.  The guy there was amazingly helpful and we got the bracket out.

Big thanks to everyone involved, the Bike of Joy is back!


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Bust bottom bracket (or Why I’m learning lots about bikes these days)

Sounds rude, doesn’t it?

My beautiful bike of joy has been making a rattly clicky noise for some time, down at the bottom.  I knew it was related to the bracket holding the cranks on, or the pedals, but pedals seemed easier so I bought some new ones from Brick Lane Bikes.

These pedals are fantastic, they look totally pretty and are also nice to put your feet on.  I have MKS track pedals on the other bike and they are not nearly so comfy as the BLB ones are a nice neat flat platform, whereas the MKS’s don’t have a platform arrangement.

Anyway, I thought that changing the pedals had made a difference to the noise, but it hadn’t, I was just too deliriously happy with my new pedals to notice for a few rides.

The bottom bracket apparently has bearings in it.  The better the bearings, the better your bike works, and the less likely you are to have any kind of rattly noise.  There are also bearings in pedals and axels.  I’m learning lots about bikes these days

So then I went to Dales and asked them if they had a new bottom bracket for my bike.  They didn’t know what kind I needed, so said that I could either put the bike in for service or go home, take the bracket out and then order one once I knew what kind it was.  I chose the latter.  Apparently Sugino do the best ones.  They are quite pretty


Of course, you don’t see the bracket once it’s in place but it’s nice to know it’s a neat wee thing.

They are quite hard to find yourself.  I looked on all the usual suspects (e.g. Evans and Wiggle) to no avail.  Then I found it on Tokyo Fixed Gear. This is a cool wee shop with lots of nice bike stuff.  I also bought a water bottle.

I can’t wait for it to arrive so riding the BOJ can be a sheer and silent joy (instead of a rattly one) again.

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