Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winterization and Bike Bonk

    Fairbanks has been getting its normal January weather this year and 2012 has started off with temperatures between -30°F and -40°F. Anytime it's colder than -15°F or so, I wait for bike bonk to happen. When it is below that a bike that is well winterized will still roll, but it will roll slowly. So when the bike first comes out of the house, I am generally cold and not warmed up yet. The bike is cruising along fine, and then just when I get warmed up, I usually notice the bike has bonked. What happens is the grease in all the compartments finally gets down to temperature and stops being so friendly. Everything still works fine, but I can feel the difference for sure.

   Today's ride in was around -41°F and was eventful in the sense that I ran into someone trying to ride a bike also. I was rolling along just fine but I noticed someone was stopped in front of me and off their bike spinning the cranks forward and backward.  It was a pretty sure sign that the grease in the rear freehub had reached its lower working point.  I explained the whole mechanics of it to him and also that we has likely to completely destroy the freehub if he kept trying to use it.  It was about that time I noticed the magical pedal setup being used.   It looked like a set of egg beaters that had been disassembled to the point that all that was still attached to the crank arm was the spindle.  I realized afterward it could have been any pedal that someone decided in a fit of meth induced mechanicalness that they were going to take off and replace.  The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I tossed out a good luck as I rode off.