Monday, September 19, 2011

The good news about my old three-speed

After I got done with my ride on Saturday I tinkered with the linkage to my three-speed hub and found that it had gotten out of adjustment. That's why I had only two speeds during my ride. Second and Third. Low had disappeared. (I'm very glad my route had no steep hills!) A little more tinkering, though, and I was back to three speeds.

It got me to thinking about what Nick at the Hillsboro Bike 'n Hike had told me about replacement hubs. Hubs are available which will turn my old 3-speed into a 5-speed, or even up to a 14-speed. The 14-speed is hideously expensive, but the 5-speed looks tempting. I'll be looking into that.

I might never have found out about those hubs if I hadn't had trouble with my three-speed. I had thought that as long as I kept my present bike, I would be limited to three speeds.

I'd heard about those multi-speed hubs a few weeks ago, but hadn't realized they were so readily available. But I wouldn't have wanted to get one before my birthday ride, anyway. It would have been cheating. But after I've turned 80, hey that's different.

Saw my audiologist, Todd, at "Accurate Hearing and Audiology," today. He's an avid cyclist and suggests that for the countdown days before my birthday I should taper off the intensity of my rides but not stop completely. Ten days' rest would probably cost me some of the conditioning I've achieved to date. Accordingly, I plan to ride about 35 miles tomorrow, on a course that has some hills -- so I can take advantage of my newly-rediscovered 1st gear.


  1. You put the miles on the bike and it will start to need some TLC. I go through chains like you wouldn't believe. I think because of doing so many mountain rides and the power I am applying to the pedals. I fought this clicking noise for a while. About drove me insane. Ended up I needed to grease my seat post! I had replaced pedals, bottom bracket and you name it.

  2. Yeah, I know you're right about the TLC. I actually love tinkering with things, but I'm so deep into so many interests already, so I hope the maintenance problems don't come in a bunch. Meanwhile, it seems like a good time to get a 5-speed or an 8-speed -- right after my birthday. I'm going to be checking out the ratios at Sheldon Brown's website -- the one you told me about months ago. Gotta go to orchestra rehearsal, now. (Everything's ready for tomorrow's ride.)