Recently my very faithful steed has been moaning and groaning more and more as it struggles to tote my rather bulky body along the roads. I have lavished love and attention upon it by slowly changing out the old and the worn. On its last trip to the bicycle vet I explained that when changing front rings the chain was either falling off or getting wedged between the two biggest rings, normally at the bottom of a hill too! The vet patiently looked over the bike and gave a pretty expensive diagnosis. Front cranks were ready for the knackers yard. They were slowly bending out of true. The good doctor produced a shiny new crank set and eagerly teased me to feel how light and smooth it all was.
As my own eyesight is somewhat blurred and my loyalty to my trusty steed so deep, I refused to accept the diagnosis preferring instead to believe and hope that it was a temporary glitch in my own gear change technique. I did my own quack, (AKA cheaper) diagnosis and decided that maybe the bottom bracket was the issue, after all it had been creaking and groaning more and more. So armed with the new HK$120 purchase I performed the necessary hip replacement (also known as a bottom bracket). Yesterday the old steed pranced along! The ride was smoother than ever and maybe even a little less effort was needed to trot along. Pha, what does the vet know. But no, oh no, at the bottom of the first hill I smugly flicked the gear changer to drop onto the lower ring and crunch. Full lock down of chain!
I am sorry to have to report that last night the symptoms continued and I write this quietly in case the cranks can read. It's time for them to go. Trouble is a new set will be worth more that the complete bike. What to do? Bite the bullet and put the whole thing out of its misery or give the steed itself a glimmer of hope and keep investing in the hope that not much more can go wrong? Call it a a knee replacement if you will?
I decided to seek a second opinion by quizzing a second vet. Without even looking at the bike he told me flatly "front cranks will be bent" Nightmare, how to break the news to her indoors? All ideas gratefully received.