I offer the following as (1) proof that no one should be foolish enough to follow my advice regarding bike maintenance and (2) a thread for others to post proof of their own mechanical ineptitude, should they be so inclined:
So I had a few small bike maintenance goals this morning. Nothing big. Piddling little stuff like:
- Replacing the idler pulleys on my rear derailleur with some blingy red anodized ones.
- Replacing the shifting cable (funny shifting and seems like it is about to break).
- Replacing those cable housing adjusters with some downtube barrel adjusters. Also red anodized, of course.
- Cleaning my chain.
Stuff I learned:
- Check stuff before you buy. The cable housing adjusters? Well, the downtube cable stops on my Scott aren't threaded.
- The idler pulleys? Purported to be for all Shimano road bikes. But the hole through the middle of them was too small to fit the screw that holds them to the cage. Who would have thunk that?
- And it really doesn't matter, as I wouldn't have installed them anyway. After taking the cage apart, I was amazed to learn that the two idler pulleys are not the same! There is a guide pulley (the one on the top) and a tension pulley (the one on the bottom), and they are are different! The guide pulley has more play to allow it to self-center on the chain. And the tension pulley? The rotation direction is apparently relevant, as it is labeled to rotate only one way. Oy ... I guess I should stop backpedaling.
- I bought some high-strength degreaser some time ago, so I decided to give it a try. I take the chain off and put it in a pan of the degreaser, and ho-ly crap .... the grease almost instantly dissolves! Great stuff! But what's this ... my fingers feel all slimy ... almost like the degreaser is insanely alkaline. I though it was a citrus based degreaser! A check of the label reveals that it shouldn't be used on aluminum, and shouldn't come in contact with ...
I immediately went to flood my hands with water and soap. It took a while to get the sliminess off.
I think maybe if I want to steal a car, now might be a good time ... I think I lost my finger prints.