So it seems we didn’t entirely escape collateral damage on our recent visit to Afan. My Orange Five succumbed to the First Law of Mountain Biking. After covering 1100 miles in the past year it became apparant during the course of the weekend (OK, more apparant) that key parts of the drivetrain had thrown in the towel.
First to run sobbing from the room was my bottom bracket which spent the whole weekend creaking and grinding in a ‘here’s comes a big bill’ kind of way. It’s normally at this point that I wonder aloud whether 1100 miles is reasonable for a bottom bracket to last (it’s a RaceFace X-type BB), allowing someone else to shrug and say ‘my square taper’s still doing fine after a trip to the moon and back’. Maybe I just haven’t been BB conditioned yet.
Closer inspection of the drivetrain revealed jockey wheels like ninja throwing stars (I throw that in for anyone in the bike industry to chuckle over and use on their next hapless customer), a middle chainring whose teeth had been filed to sharp points by the trail pixies and a chain that ‘probably’ needs replacing. At which point it seems likely that my SRAM cassette is ‘quite likely’ to cause shifting problems if I don’t change that too.
Here the downside of running a top spec bike becomes clear. A quick look on Chain Reaction suggests at bill of around £150 to replace everything pretty much like for like, excepting a punt on a new Hope bottom bracket to try and avoid even more future expense. £17 for X0 jockey wheels is a sobering (and possibly ‘ha! saw you coming’) thought. And SRAM Red cassettes are not cheap either even if they do look rather pimp.
So big a pill is it for me to swallow that I’ve finally been prompted to sacrifice my 2003 Marin Rift Zone on the eBay altar to free up funds for my Orange’s heart/lung transplant. Hannah might point out that it’s just £13.50/month or so for 11 months of riding but then I’d like to point out it’s not her having to pay for it!
So, for a short while my On-one is being pressed into service while I go shopping…