A very different kind of fixie…

So every weekend I seem to be up against it time-wise at the moment. We’re looking at buying our first home and every Saturday’s spent going to the town we’re looking at to see yet another property that’s not quite right for one reason or another. We’ll find the right one sooner or later, but for the moment it feels a bit like we’re living in a strobe light, with this massive disruption every weekend.

So today I had a couple of hours in Stafford so I thought I’d go for a little ride on my three-speed to take my mind off things. I hadn’t had a chance to ride it since I fixed it up last weekend. I went to do a short lap of the fields near my parent’s house, about 3 miles or so, and to begin with it felt nice and smooth, first gear was back and the wheel felt much better with tighter spokes.

Then things started to go wrong. First I lost middle gear, so I stopped to have a fiddle with the indicator chain. All fine, I went on my way. Then it happened again. Then after a while the pedals suddenly just jammed solid. The bike was still freewheeling forward, but I just couldn’t budge the pedals. It’s a very strange, counterintuitive sensation.

So I had to stop (since I couldn’t pedal anywhere) and have a think what to do. There wasn’t much I could do, since it was obvious the problem was in the hub. Obviously this happened when I was furthest from home, natch.

Well walking home didn’t improve my mood any, but at least when I opened the hub up (for about the fourth time in five weeks now…) I did not find the mangled and twisted parts I was expecting. Everything was fine, it’s just that I think some of the threads had self-tightened, slightly changing some of the clearances to the point some of the internals clashed. The rear wheel was a bit stiff as I pushed it home, which makes sense.

I fixed it up, put the wheel back on, and inevitably didn’t have time for a shakedown… Tune in next week for the next exciting instalment of “will this damn hub ever work properly”


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