Bearing up under the strain

So, I decided to go and take a look at the nicely refurbished Ogley Junction Bridge, and hopefully cross it and get to Chasewater, extending my recent short rides.

I got to the bridge, avoiding the ditches in the towpath, and continued on, marveling at the fact that my knees seemed to be coping, but there was an unpleasant grinding, and for once, it wasn’t me. Then the gears started to complain, and change chainwheels without asking.

A look down showed the chainwheels to be wobbling alarmingly. That’ll be a broken bottom bracket bearing then. I changed down the gears to reduce load a bit, and nursed the bike home, having made it to Anglesey Wharf.

With a borrow of some suitable tools, and the application of a good amount of force, the bearing came out, not as the intended cartridge, but as a collection of mucky parts; the ball bearings got lost, but the remains of the races tell all:

A destroyed bearing shaft and remains of the races.

At time of writing, the new one is installed, but I still have to fit the new chain that seemed like a good idea while the bike was in bits. I don’t suppose the bearing had done too bad, shifting my 18st body about for five years in the filth and mud of the towpath, and a Shimano replacement was comfortably under 15 quid. Slowly, the bike gets more and more upgraded bits….

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