Saturday, January 21, 2012

I gotz some mad mechanical skillz.....

Well, maybe not great skills, but I managed to actually do something and not totally screw it up. When it comes to fixing things on my bikes, I leave it to the trained professionals at my local bike shop. Once or twice when I've tried to fix things, it goes horribly wrong and I do the "walk-of-shame" into the shop with my tail between my legs, begging for forgiveness.

I recently got a new trainer for my bike to help me get through the winter months. It's the LeMond Revolution trainer and I ordered it with a Shimano rear cassette. When I put my trainer bike on it, I noticed when I dropped into my 14-13 or smaller cassette, the chain would skip like crazy. I had the Wingman play with the barrel adjuster while I pedaled, but it didn't seem to do the trick. So I started to think about what else would be wrong. Then, it came to me. The cassette that came with the trainer was a 10 speed. The groupset on my bike is a cheap 9 speed (normally I own 10 speeds). A-ha!! All I have to do is swap the cassette. Easy peasy, right? Well sure, if you are mechanically inclined.

Wingman suggested we go to the bike shop and let them do it. I resisted the suggestion and wanted to see if I could do it myself. I mean seriously, am I that big of a jackass? (sadly the answer is usually yes). It wasn't like it's an expensive part that I could break and be pissed. So I went to Youtube and found tons of videos on how to change the cassette. Now I needed the tools. A chain whip is ~$30 and I'm not sure what the locking tool would cost. So I emailed Wynn and asked him if he had the tools. He replied yes and that it was OK for me to borrow them.

I stopped by last night after work and picked them up. He gave me a few tips and basically told me 'don't be a moron' I would be fine. Clearly, he forgot that I am known as the 'Hero of the Stupid' in these parts.

This morning I got up and watched the video two more times. Then it was time to head downstairs and make it happen. I followed the directions carefully and took my time. Before I knew it the cassette was off the wheel and the trainer. I swapped it out and put the bike back on the trainer. I popped on my shoes and did a quick test spin. I must have been quite the sight in my pj's riding the bike. The bike shifted smoothly, no chain skipping. I now have all gears available to me again.

It really was an easy thing to do. Hardest part about the whole thing really was duplicating the man's accent as I worked:

No walk of shame for me this time..............

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