Took Ol’ Paint in for service

Ol' Paint
Ol’ Paint

I really like my bike mechanic. I’m going to miss him when I get a new bike. (I’ll most likely be buying it from a different shop, probably one closer to home.)

I’ve been meaning to go in for a couple of months because the headset is a bit loose. But I didn’t want to go in with just that because I know it’s 30 seconds of labor and he’s going to feel awkward charging for that (it’s the shop where I bought Ol’ Paint), and I’m going to feel bad if he doesn’t charge me for his time.

So on Sunday’s ride with the Halfakid, I started noticing some noise from the crankset/bottom bracket. And I thought this is the time, before we ride to Okutama at the end of this month. And today is the last day of sunshine in the forecast for more than a week, so I thought this is the perfect time.

I took Ol’ Paint in to the shop at lunchtime and said the headset is a bit loose. And he confirmed it, and said he should be able to adjust that, no problem.

And then I mentioned the noise in the bottom bracket (“BB” in the local parlance), and he gave one crank a yank and said he’d disassemble the BB and repack it with grease, and of course when he reassembles it he’ll make sure the cranks are on tight.

And then I said recently it’s been blowing some shifts on the front. The chain will lock between the shifter and gears, and then it’ll either get in gear or it will derail. And he said, “チェーンが伸びちゃった” (the chain has stretched).

And I am still laughing. I’m sure we would say, “The chain is worn.” The idea that I have thighs that can stretch a steel chain! (Or maybe it’s my weight … ) But he got out a tool which is essentially a steel ruler with a couple of little nibs on opposite ends, and he put the nibs between chain links and sure enough the chain’s been stretched.

So the damages, including a replacement chain: less than ¥9,000. The lion’s share of that is for the BB maintenance. The new chain itself is less than ¥2,000.

And the headset adjustment was サービス (“service” = free).

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