Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adjustments, or a Lack There Of

So I decided that the Barn Door would reap the rewards of the recent upgrade of my bike. I wasn't planning on doing anything to the Barn Door for I only ride it once in blue moon.
In fact, I recently just hit the big one hundred miles on it! What does that figure out to, something like ten percent of my yearly mileage?
Anyways, I figured I'd install my old XT rear derailleur on there and at the same time, change out the front derailleur with an M580 LX version I'd been sitting on.
I've had it for so long, Shimano has upgraded the LX line and it's now called M590.
Ain't obsolescence great?
Changing everything out was a breeze.
One thing though, that Rock N Roll lube is a bit caustic.
No, it didn't criticize my wrench job or call me bad names, it sort of affected the skin on my fingers.
If you use it, be careful when handling your chain.
Well, I had my bike all ready to go and was cranking through gears when I notice there was some slop in the rear.
After adjusting the high and low travel, I went up and down the cassette again to make sure everything was copacetic.
It wasn't.
Still, some clunky shifting in the middle of the cassette.
So I go and try to trim out the cable when oh oh!

Yeppers! There's no adjustment at the shifter!
Well now the RAM(random access memory) kicks in and I remember that the adjustment thingy was on the derailleur where the cable attaches.That's all fine and dandy except the XT derailleur is not thusly equipped:

Now I'm sort of peeved.
At myself mostly for not making sure everything would fit correctly.
Do I now take everything apart and put the old derailleur back?
That won't be fun.
So I start to think: before there were cable adjustment thingies, what did the olden guys do?
Of course you young whipper snapper! Just adjust it at the derailleur.
Images of being on a high mountain pass somewhere in the French Alps appeared in my head as I took hex wrench and pliers to derailleur and made the proper adjustments.
"Go on ahead Luigi! I'll meet you at the pass!"
Or something like that.
In the end, I gloated over my handiwork, proud that my predicament did not incite an eBay search for another potentially costly remedy.
At least for the time being.
It's a pretty good excuse for me to convert the Barn Door over to nine speed by getting some new shifters, cassette, etc.
See? There's a bright side to everything.
Well, bring you this little anecdote of cycling improvisation to segue into something much more important.
I've also made a little adjustment in life.
A little attitude adjustment if you will.
To tell you the truth, I'm a bit surprised at the results.
The other day, I caught myself humming a ditty while on the way to work.
A ditty!
I had to stop and reflect.
What was this madness that had suddenly overwhelmed me?
What was causing me to create a melodic sound like a milkmaid running through the fields on the way to the barn on a warm sunny day?
I made an adjustment.
A little one to be sure, yet just enough to facilitate a drastic change in my Freudian subconscious.
Or is it Jungian?
Of course this adjustment took some fiddling around with, just like the derailleur, until I got it just right.
Now that it's done, it seems like everything is just humming along.
Get it? Humming? Nevermind.
So, just when I was considering a rather large change, I did a little tweaking and now I have all my gears again.
Or something like that.
Tomorrow is Furlough Friday.
Looking forward to getting out and eating up some miles.
Now that everything is adjusted just right.


John Romeo Alpha said...

I started wearing nitrile gloves to keep gunk off of my hands when adjusting or cleaning the bike. Also, in performing a postmortem review of the recent bike swap, I realized that my second priority after finding a nice steel rigid mtn bike should have been to acquire a stock of small parts like adjuster knobs and plastic cantilever brake covers and whatnot. Cause you never know.

limom said...

I used to donate all my take offs to the local bicycle co-op here, but now I'm beginning to see the error of my ways.
I now have a parts bin.
Kinda sorta.