roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (DTWOF - Mischief Brewin')
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

Bikeshop accomplished! I overhauled my headset! Even better, duder and I solved a mystery. Since I've had Brigadelle, her headset has had an irritating tendency to loosen itself over time. At first, I was like what the fuck; after I'd adjusted it once or twice, I started chalking it up to me not reefing down hard enough on the locknut. Then, after the pros at Olybikes tightened it down (it was in for something else and they were like "whoa"), it came loose AGAIN, after which I once again didn't know what the hell was going on. But today... Today, I learned the shocking truth.

Turns out the lower head race (bottom cup) was rattling around!

Okay, so how a headset works is that you have two sets of bearings running between two sets of races. Half of each set (the bottom cup and the top cone) is firmly attached to the head tube, the bottom cone is firmly attached to the fork, and the top cup is the only adjustable part, with which you set the tension for the whole shebang.

Note where I said firmly—removing the upper and lower head races is supposed to require a special tool and a rubber mallet, and I don't even have idea how you get a crown race off. And so today when I unscrewed the adjustable race and eased the fork steerer down out of the tube, that bottom cup fell out right into my hand. And I was like O RLY.

Naturally, the whole theory of adjustment on those things is based on the lower three races being static; dude at the shop said that a loose head race is always going to result in a headset mysteriously de-adjusting itself. So hey! Anyway, on his suggestion, I basically scratched up the inside of the head tube with a gouging tool whose name I don't know, which created enough raised surface to drag on the shaft of the race and render it static once I pounded it back in. Shop guy helpfully measured the relative positions of the head races to make sure they were straight, and I was good to go. We'll see how well that holds up; I have a good feeling about it.

Dep't of Disseminating Vital Information: To tell whether your headset is de-adjusted, you basically raise the front of your bike by the handlebars and drop it back down on the wheel, and if it clanks instead of thudding, consider getting it looked at. Alternately, you can lift the front end of the bike, keep the bars straight, and pull/push the wheel+fork forward and back, and if it rocks and clanks, trouble. It's generally not a life-threatening issue, but the longer you ride on a maladjusted component, the more likely you are to need expensive repairs down the line.

(Supposedly you're supposed to get your headset overhauled once a year, but I'm pretty sure this one hadn't been dismantled since at least 2006.)

Also, I gave in and bought myself a fancy-pants Apple chiclet keyboard. Bit of a splurge, but I'm already way more comfortable at this desk, and it's just going to make reading and writing a shit-ton easier. It's a tool of my damn trade; I figure it's worth it. (Plus, it looks like they're popular enough to actually hold their value well, so a: getting one used won't save you any real money, and b: if times get tight, I can sell it for 70-80% of its new price.)

I got a wired one, because I still have a functional wired Mighty Mouse to use with it, and I went with the big version with the numerical pad. My theory is that Apple dropped the 10-key pad from the new pack-in keyboards because these side-by-side keyboards are a kind of hacky design, and are really only suited for right-handed people who mouse with their left hands. —Which is to say, me.


roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
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If you pass the rabid child, say "hammer down" for me.

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