Rusty Chain

I glanced at my Norco’s bike chain a few days ago and discovered to my chagrin that its chain had acquired an appalling coating of rust seemingly overnight. I’d been a little lax in my lubrication over the last couple months, but the orange onslaught caught me completely off guard. Even worse, my Trek’s drive chain had picked up a matching coat of the orange stuff as well. I hadn’t ridden much at all in the new year so far and here I was faced with a physical metaphor for my lack of activity.

Happily, I got in a nice 12k loop on the Norco Saturday when I rode over to basketball practice at Ferris. My lungs were burning a bit on the way back as I pushed myself a bit on the gradual uphill route I took home, but it felt good to be out and riding. Unhappily, the new snow and cold that arrived shortly after my ride may keep me from venturing out again much for the next several days.

That afternoon I went ahead and brought the Trek downstairs for some drive train maintenance since I knew I wouldn’t be able to ride it for a while anyway. A wire brush did a pretty good job of cleaning up the chain, but while spinning the cranks a little bit I confirmed that something is definitely up with my bottom bracket. I’d noticed something feeling gravelly while pedaling that bike back at the end of November, but I wasn’t sure if it was the pedal bearings or the bottom bracket itself. At best the bottom bracket needs to be cleaned up and greased (I’m pretty sure it’s not a sealed cartridge like most newer bottom brackets these days) and at worse it needs to be completely replaced if the bearing races are thrashed. Time to order that bike toolkit I’ve been saving up for so I can pull my cranks and see exactly what’s up.