It’s Independence Day, and after a couple hours of riding this morning decided this was a good opportunity to dig into a job I’ve been putting off for a while. My fully chromed Katakura Silk is a real eye catcher but the wheel set that came with it has been very much neglected. The spokes need cleaned and inspected, but I was more worried about the hubs in particular. I wondered if they’d ever been serviced in their lifetime. Pulling off the freewheel and the cones, my fears were confirmed: I was confronted by the ugliest jellied-looking grease I’ve ever seen. It’s no wonder they felt sluggish; I doubt the grease has had any lubricating effect in years!
Perhaps thirty minutes was all it took to tear the hubs down, clean them up, apply a generous coat of new grease and replace the loose ball bearings – thirty very productive minutes, and a good investment of that time. Apron still tied around my waist, I hopped on the bike and rode up and down the street, marveling at how much smoother the wheels spin now.
The spokes will take a fair bit more of an investment in time. Perhaps I’ll scrub those this afternoon.
Or perhaps I’ll enjoy a cold beer out under one of the shade trees in the yard instead.