Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brompton Spoke

Lots of my posts have concerned old or very old cars, and I now consider their maintenance requirements to be laughably symptomatic of gone-forever "good-old-days".
Who can imagine having to crawl under the car every Saturday morning to attend to 15 grease nipples, or removing the cylinder head for a "de-coke" every six months?
When new cars now only get to see a mechanic every 2 years (surely that's too far in the other direction?).

So it has come as a bit of a shock to read the owner's manual for my new Brompton bike.
Nearly everything needs checking & readjusting "at least once, if not two or three times, during the first few hundred miles of use, when parts are bedding in…"
Especially (heavily underlined) Hub-gear adjustment, pedals & spokes.
Yes, on this new bike, you need to "run in" the spokes & recheck/reset the tension after the first few hours of use, and continue checking, less often, thereafter!
They must be joking!

I actually do have spoke spanners & in my dim & distant past have managed to re-tension several wheels (of old British bikes, naturally) and even sometimes got them running straight again & remembered to file off the now-protruding ends to avoid punctures.
But I can't imagine having to do all that to an expensive new commuter bike.
Two or three times in the first few hundred miles.

I feel like I have gone to sleep & woken up in 1950.
I shall be finding pools of oil on the garage floor soon!

Parting thot: "Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." - Doug Larson

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