Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blueberry's 1st Mod

Yes, Blueberry finally got it's first modification: a driven 520 conversion kit. -1+2. And, it's blue. And, there's no more weird noise (a major perk).
So maybe changing the chain and sprockets the day before a major ride wasn't the greatest idea in the world. There's that hindsight thing again. But, it's not every day where a mechanically inclined friend is around to help you change your chain and sprockets. At least not every day in my world which is surrounded by cats. Just call me Little Edie. And, not the Drew Barrymore version of Little Edie. If you're gonna watch Grey Gardens, watch it right.

So it wasn't the most opportune time, but it was a time, nonetheless. We pulled off my old chain with a little drill-bit blade. Pulled off both sprockets. Put the new sprockets on and everything around it back on only to have to take it all back off. It wasn't until we were ready to put the chain on when I realized that I needed a chain-riveting tool. Yup. There I was with no back tire on my bike. And even if I had the back tire on, I wouldn't be able to go anywhere without a chain. So I did some major texting to try to track down a rider with this tool. I even found one who would loan it to me. Turns out that just because it looks like a great fit, don't cut the chain until absolutely certain. And, even IF you are certain, don't do it! It ended up being a few tiny millimeters too short. No pulling, stretching, dragging, squeezing, or praying could change that. Figures that all this would happen on a Sunday. A day where no local bike shop is open. A day where nothing wanted to go right. That's the kind of day it was.

Time to brainstorm...once again. It dawned on me that Cyclegear may sell master-links. I called the OKC branch and asked them to hold two master-links for me. So we had an unexpected 150 mile total road trip to take. For a couple of master links. Driving to OKC just for 8 oz of metal really is not my style. But, I wasn't about to let the possibility of a Talimena road trip slip through my fingers. While at Cyclegear, I also got oil and an oil filter for my next oil change. At least I didn't drive up for just 8 oz of metal. Back at the house, we put the chain and wheel back on Blueberry. So what if my chain now has two master-links instead of one. It's a frickin' blue chain! Looking back it probably also wasn't the brightest idea to test out a new chain so far away from home. Good thing these things never cross my mind when they ought to.

Lessons I've learned from this modification:
◦You need a chain rivet tool
◦Just because it looks like you can take one more link out, DON'T!
◦Buy an extra master link...or two.
◦When tightening the master link with the rivet tool, loosen the tool periodically and make sure the link's not on too tight.

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