Thursday, July 03, 2014

Funky assembly #479

"I was told this bike was put together by someone who didn't know what they were doing," the customer said.  She brought in an early- '90s Cannondale road bike. Initially she had wanted to know if the bike would take wide enough tires to ride comfortably on the local rail trail. At best the frame and fork would accommodate a 28 tire if it wasn't too tall. So the discussion moved to a tune up.

"Someone I was riding with said the brakes were backwards or something," she added. We haven't figured out what that meant, but I've found a few other weird things. No one had mentioned the horribly stiff headset. I took that apart to find it packed with something that acts more like plumber's putty than grease.
I'm having to pick the stiffened crud out manually because it will not dissolve in any solvent I have tried so far.

The workshop has gone from a trickle of repairs to a flood. Before you say some stupid thing like, "It's great to be busy," imagine getting six weeks worth of meat by having a 12 pound pot roast shoved down your throat. This shit was fun back in the rockin' 1990s, with another really good full time mechanic sharing the load. We were a center of activity then, not an afterthought. We're just another errand now, like getting the dry cleaning done. Maybe we get a tad more appreciation, but no more of the old feeling that we were in the middle of the action.

Since I started writing this a couple of hours ago I've been dragged away from the cruddy headset to deal with several more urgent crises. And the headset was part of a repair already marked as urgent itself.

Back to it.


Steve A said...

My brakes were backwards on my cyclocross bike for quite some time. There's much to recommending that setup, at least if all your bikes are setup that way.

cafiend said...

If you mean right-front, these weren't like that. I never did figure out what might have been construed as backwards about the brakes.