Rest day ramblings: Becoming a ‘real’ cyclist

My trashed chain and cassette

I’ve been cycling all my life but have never maintained my bicycles. Yes, I know that’s terrible but it’s an unfortunate fact of my life that I’ve never had the confidence to tinker with mechanics. But that is all changing! After I completed my first 50km trail ultra marathon in July and then backed it up with the marathon in August, I realised that I don’t have to be limited by fear of failure. I can do anything I set my mind to.

I watched a couple of YouTube clips and saw how easy it is to fit a new chain and cassette to a bike, and also how easy it is to adjust bicycle gears. So today I took a big step forward, I ordered my first set of bicycle tools and components. It’s my first step towards cycling independence (says he who’s been cycling all his life on a wing and a prayer).

My first batch of cycling tools and components are:

1 x Shimano HG50 7/8 Speed Chain  
1 x Shimano HG50 8 Speed Cassette - Road 12-25 
1 x LifeLine 9 Speed Chain Whip  
1 x LifeLine Cassette Lockring Removal Tool  
1 x LifeLine Chain Rivet Extractor  
1 x Green Oil Ecological Chain Lube

The gear needs to come from the UK so it might take a few weeks before I can put them on my wheels. But I’m still very excited.

I know I need a new chain and cassette because the running gear on my bike came off my 2005 Giant OCR3 and has never been replaced (though I didn’t ride the bike for 5 years from 2006 to 2011). The chain and cassette have also never been cleaned or lubed. I’m embarrassed to admit that. But it’s okay; I’m a reformed man and will maintain my bike into the future because it will make cycling more enjoyable and less risky.

In other exciting news, my mum just bought me an Ayup headlight set. It should arrive late next week. I’ve wanted one of these for about 9 months so am totally stoked to get one for my birthday 🙂 . I will be able to use the light on my bike handlebars for cycling but also as a headlamp for night running.

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3 responses to “Rest day ramblings: Becoming a ‘real’ cyclist

  1. Kent @runbikeraceblog

    Way to go! Bike mechanics is pretty simple and empowering! Not to mention saving time and $$ from going to the bike shop. parktool.com has an awesome repair help section. Basically you click on the part of the bike you are working on and it gives step by step instructions on how to fix it. Covers almost all the various brands/parts. Awesome!

  2. Kent @runbikeraceblog

    Way to go! Bike mechanics is pretty simple and empowering! Not to mention saving time and $$ from going to the bike shop. parktool.com has an awesome repair help section. Basically you click on the part of the bike you are working on and it gives step by step instructions on how to fix it. Covers almost all the various brands/parts. Awesome!

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