Monday, September 19, 2011

The Switch

I've been thinking about making some changes to my Peugeot Mixtie for a while. The push finally came from some broken retainer clips in the bottom bracket.  I've had a lot of trouble keeping the Sugino bottom bracket snug, even with lock tight.  I can't really say why since the threading is right handed which is the same direction as the pedal stroke so it should tighten with every stroke. None the less the last time I rode the Mixtie the BB was making some noise and the chaingaurd seemed to be weebling a little. 

                                                  Stronglight cranks with Stein crank puller 

Once again I put the bike up on my make shift bike stand, saying to myself that this would be the last time I was going to fool around with this bottom bracket.  I've sure gotten a lot of use out the special Stein Crank puller I purchased from Harris Cyclery. A standard crank puller and I use the term standard loosely, has a 22mm thread but the older Stronglight cranks use a special crank puller that has a 23.35mm thread. 

Once I removed the cranks and loosen the bb I decided to take the bb cup off and get a better look at things. This revealed a broken retainer clip. For those of you who have never seen the inside of a cup and cone bb like this....


There is a ring of ball bearings that are held in a metal ring (retainer clip) in both ends of the bb. Perhaps this was part of my problem with keeping the bb snug. Both clips were in pieces. I could just purchase more ball bearings and use them without the clip but I'm afraid that it might be a pain to get all the loose balls in place. Besides I want to just reinstall the bb and not have to think about it for a long time, its time to up grade to a cartridge style bb. I purchased a Velo Orange bottom bracket with french threads.

                                               My busted retainer clip and a new Velo Orange bottom bracket 
I've also been thinking about switching from the 11-32 cassette I currently have on the Mixtie to a 12-36 cassette. I know the 4 sprockets I'm gaining on the 36 tooth sprocket doesn't seem like much of a difference but it will be 4 less gear inches I have to push up steep hills. Lets just say it will put me closer to my lowest gear on the triple crankset of my Cannondale. Since the bike is on the stand I might as well go ahead and make the switch.

                           11-32 cassette, 12-36 cassette and Stronglight 42/52 cranks with chaingaurd

There's just one problem I forgot to get the bb tool I'll need. Darn bottom brackets and all there various different tools. I ordered one from my local bike shop and it should be in today. Its a beautiful day for a ride, so I'm off to Niantic to pick up the proper tool. I'll keep you posted...

The best laid plans of mice and men, as they say. The Velo Orange bottom bracket won't work because my spindle is off set and the VO bb isn't this all equals a chain line that causes the inner chainring to rub on the frame.  The loose ball bearings were a pain to install  on the non drive side but its done.  I decided that some of the problem with the bb loosening had to be from the non drive side since that tightens in the opposite direction of the pedal stroke.   I used locktite on the threads of both cups and it seems to be holding.  The 12 - 36 cassette is working out fine. One note though, the cassette that I had installed before was actually a 11 - 30 even thought the packaging was marked as 11 - 32!  I have also discovered that the weeble of the chainring is due to it being slightly bent.  It works ok but makes a little bit of a rubbing noise which makes me crazy. I guess I'll have to replace it or find a way to sraighten it. Any ideas on how to do this?

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