Bike ailments – will they ever end?


Ever get the feeling your bike is falling apart and fixing one issue leads to another issue to fix, which leads to another issue to fix etc etc? That pretty much sums up the last week and my Roubaix! I’ve ridden it exclusively since I got it and it’s been ridden a LOT!

It started with me thinking it was time to check my chain. I have a chain gauge but when I tried to use it, I could not figure it out. Nothing made any sense! I decided to pop the bike down to my local bike shop (the excellent Nova Cycles in nearby Newport).

They checked the chain and said it was off the scale and it’s no wonder I could not figure out how to check it (I now know!). That’s new chain AND cassette territory, so I opted for a SRAM chain and cassette as I’ve been wanting to swap to them from the Ultegra I had on the bike since I bought it. At least they now match my gearset (SRAM Red Etap HRD).

While I was there I asked them to replace the bar tape (it had the original one on and I’ve done several thousand miles on the bike, so I suspect it’s not exactly hygienic anymore). Yuk!

Also, I suggested they refill the sealant in the back tyre (I run tubeless types) as I know I’ve had several punctures thankfully plugged on the go by the sealant. Love my tubeless tyres!

I also asked them to check my disk brake pads as braking is gradually deteriorating over time. Don’t want to be riding without something so important being in tip-top shape! It turned out they were very worn and need replacing. Well, the back one did but the front one has some wear left in it.

The list was mounting as things went on…


Anyway, I picked the bike up and went for my 113 mile ride yesterday. My front disk was rubbing pretty much the whole day and then about a third of the way around, the left-hand side of the bottom bracket started to creak on every pedal stroke. Hmmm, it never rains but it pours. When will the list of bike issue end and I get my silent bike back again?

Back to my LBS this morning who replaced the front brake pads and stopped the rubbing. They also fixed the creaky bottom bracket, replacing some of the bearings and that is now silent.

I was hoping that was it now, but they also spotted the headset had too much play in it and so they managed to sort that out for me.

The end result is I get my bike back working as it should be for the South Downs 100 Sportive on Sunday. Will be great to get back on a silent bike again!

The other thing I know is that I need to get more confident in my own bike maintenance. I used to do it all when I was in my early 20’s so there is absolutely no reason I can’t do it now!

Surely there can’t be anything else wrong with it, or am I tempting fate by even saying that? Only time will tell…