Annual Bike Rebuild

Birdy Light Bike

Back in September 2007 I bought a Birdy Light bike for bike commuting to work. I’ve been riding it pretty much every week, five days a week, back and forth to work (about 25 minutes each way, with a fair amount of uphill and down hill). I ride rain or shine, hot or cold, icy or hot.

Quick report: I’m on my third pair of brake shoes, which wear out pretty fast on this stop and go commute. I’ve had a lot of flats in the last three months, in part because my rear tire is gone. My rear derailleur cable was jammed in the last cable housing, so lately I’ve been down to one or two speeds (instead of eight). I was tired of the platform pedals. I never fit a rear blinker to the back. My gloves were shot.

Ergo, it was bike upgrade weekend. First, new Shimano SPD clipless pedals. I put them on yesterday, and immediately I appreciated in the increased pedaling efficiency. In fact, I did a 12 hour shift yesterday and biked home at 2 a.m. through the dark, quiet steets of London.

This morning, the original rear derailleur was the first to go, replaced with a Shimano XT derailleur. New shift cable, greased, and new rear cable housing. I even installed two lube ports in the shift cable housing, to make it easier to lube and keep from seizing again.

Next was a new chain, and then a rear flasher. After that, two new brake cables and tuning of the brakes. Next will be two new tires, 18 inch, which I have sitting in my office ready to come home.

So, riding to work should be more than a one speed experience again.

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