Saturday, December 24, 2011

Overhaulin' the Singlespeed

I've been meaning to give some rebuild love to the SS for sometime now. Haven't done a thing to her since I put the fork on over the summer and it showed. The chain and cogs were gritty, the brakes in the rear were almost ineffective, the Crank Bros. Mallet's are beat to shit along with the EBB, and the entire bike was covered in mud and sand from various locations throughout the NE. One of the things I love about singlespeed bikes is the simplicity, which often makes rebuilding quick and almost painless. 

New EBB Installed
Since I had to pull most of the bike apart to get to the EBB I figured I would just overhaul it and clean it up. I had some trouble getting the crank bolt off, felt frozen, but nothing a little leverage couldn't handle...thank you laws of physics. I cleaned up the chainring, crank spindle interface, and BB cups, greased it all and installed it back onto the frame.

Yup the old one is pretty beat up
New EBB installed

New Crank Bros. Smarty's Installed
The Mallet's I had on here were used for years on my RM Switch and since I got new ones, these were relegated for SS use only. They were worn when I put them on the bike, now they are really worn out. Drive side actually has enough play that you can feel it in each pedal stroke. I picked up this set cheap for a 29'er build I never got to completing. I got them for less than it would cost for replacement cleats, which I also needed. I've heard mixed reviews with these but I think they will be fine for what I need. Certainly they are better than what came off.

Crank Bros. Smarty Pedals, Orange with Black Plates @ 282 grams

Tire Swap: 2.3 Kenda Nevegals for 2.2 Maxxis Wetscreams
I absolutely love the Kenda Nevegals for this bike. The 2.3's offer a fast-rolling large volume tire which gives extra cush on the backside as well as excellent grip and predictability, assuming pressure is where it needs to be. But the one thing I loathe is their inability to play well in wet to muddy conditions. They pack up, become unpredictable in corners, and they slide right off wet roots unless you're really careful about placement and weight distribution. I replaced these with a set of 26 x 2.2 Maxxis Wetscreams. Of course these tires were designed for DH riding in muddy conditions but I know lots of riders that use this tire for muddy to slushy to snowy conditions during the winter with good results. Two things I like about these tires...I picked the set up for just $20 and the orange stripe matches my new pedals. Two things I don't like about these tires...the added weight of the 2 ply casing and the rolling resistance of these huge knobbies. After a few rides I'll know whether or not these tires will work well. I could always go right to the studded Nokians if they don't but I am hoping they will. 

26 x 2.2 Maxxis Wetscream with MaxxPro 60a Compound
Check out the siping and square knobbies
Rear Brake Not Really Working
I had to remove the calipers from the bike, remove the pads, clean the pads with sand paper, clean the calipers, re-install them on the bike and then finally hit the rotors with the sandpaper to give them their bite back. Not sure why the rears were not working well. I suppose something got into the pads and contaminated them, reducing the friction, causing poor performance. I also readjusted the calipers to eliminate some rubbing. I just have to clean the rotors with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils that may have made it onto the rotor surface.

Last but not least I cleaned the cog, chain ring and chain and lubed them up nice. It was unbelievable the crap that was coming out between the links. I cleaned the rest of the bike as well as the fork stanchions. I spent the last two nights, after the kids went to bed, overhauling this bike so I could get out and ride today at lunch and it rained last night…a lot. No bummed. I would have preferred snow, cause I could have ridden in that. I can’t stand when ride plans are crushed by bad weather. Anyway here she is...all dressed up and no where to go.

Winterized and ready for more