My trusty steed had developed a squeak. I’m talking one of those squeaks that drives you up the wall… squeak… squeak… squeak… It appeared to be in the left side of the bottom bracket or in the left crank arm. For those of you who may not have any idea what I am talking about, my steed is a circa 1985 Nishiki Olympic steel road bike that I converted to fixed gear, and for those of you who don’t know what a fixed gear is… a fixed gear is a bike that has the rear cog fixed to the rear hub. If the bike is moving, so are the crank arms.
So, my squeaky steed….
This squeak was driving me nuts, it would only show up after I have been riding for a couple of minutes and the turning of the cranks generated some heat in the bearings. And, let me tell you, on a bike that you cannot “free wheel”, every time the cranks go around and I get a squeak… I was about ready to kill it.
Instead of killing it, I thought it would be best for some maintenance. You see, I bought this bike years ago while working in a bike shop, from a customer who had destroyed one of his wheels. I bought it off of him, because the cost of a new wheel was more then the bike was worth to him. So I offered him the cash that I had on me… $58.00. I then proceeded to spend about $300.00 on components to make this bike rideable…. boys with their toys… Oh yes, not killing my bike. I took the crank off and disassembled the bottom bracket, the spindle that the crank arms attach to. I do not believe that the bearings had ever been serviced, with close to 30 years on the parts… it needed some attention.
So, I replaced the old grease with new synthetic, super high speed, incredibly expensive bicycle grease. And, to my great please (of course) I no longer have a squeaking steed.
The moral of the story, with a couple of tools and a little know how, I saved myself the cost of having to pay someone else to work on my bike, freeing up those funds to go toward other necessities.