Precise, repeatable fine cuts on a reasonably priced table saw.
Short story: If you get a chronic infection in your knee, don’t expect to be riding normally for at least 2 – 3 months.
This post is not to chase an “oh poor you” kind of reaction, but just to record somewhere searchable on the interwebs, the response I had to a major knee infection, and how it affected my riding, just in case anyone else gets this rather nasty thing.
The Mayo Clinic has this to say about it.
This is what I have to say about it. Ouch!
I’ve made this bullet pointed list, distilled from my nl;dr ravings because I feel that if you are reading this it’s because you have been struck down by yourself, and you simply want a heads up on the headlines of what’s ahead.
70 years old, fairly fit, active but I have never been to a gym.
ACL right knee about 30 years ago.
First arthritis symptoms 6 years ago
Avid biker in my youth, and since I turned 60.
Bought a fs e-mtb 3 1/2 years, for comfort more than adventure. I/we mainly ride off-road trails, and the “e” bit lets me do the St James,for example. The Ghost Road probably won’t be an option – too hard.
Knee pain varies from mostly quite mild to irksome irksome. Biking helps, walking kills it – 5km is a long walk ending with a swollen knee for the following week.
All in all I don’t recommend septic arthritis. Dr Google describes it as “rare and needing to be treated as an emergency” hence the initial midnight surgery, and physios and other nursing friends have reacted to my description of my initial symptoms with much more urgency than my ex-doctor did.
The old Flyer had almost become uncomfortable, and I had wanted to replace it ages ago before we did the Europe trip but it was invisible to my bum, so it stayed on the bike. Until I noticed it, and then …
Update: First ride, 56k first 40 were OK and I was glad to get off at the far end and to sit on the ferry home. It feels very hard and slippery, which I recall the Flyer felt like when brand new, and I can feel the bumps which will mould into my shape over the next few rides.
Thank goodness for padded shorts, well thank GroundEffect anyway.
WZ2358 is the product code at The Bolt Shop in Archers Rd for their 3/8 x 5/8 x 16g Flat washer steel zinc, recorded here in case I need to do it again, and because they were as exact a fit for the longer chainring bolts I needed to let me move the new chain ring over to improve the chainline …
OK, One thing at a time.
The Shimano Deore XT front derailleur was a dog on my bike, even though Jill has an identical bike and hers works perfectly.
Mine once needed to be physically ground to shape to let it move far enough to move the chain to the granny gear, and it would never stay adjusted for long, even when I did manage to get it working. It didn’t matter mostly, because I spend far more of my time in the high gears anyway, so I decided to scrap the whole thing.
I rode a few 100 km using only the large ring to test the idea and it worked fine with a 38 tooth ring at the front, although very noisy in the lower gears, so I looked for my options. Since I already had an FSA crankset with a 104BCD spider, I opted for the custom made FSA Megatooth wide-narrow 38 tooth, but it would need to be offset towards the centerline of the bike, midway between the two rings in the original crankset..
For my set up I needed the slightly hard to find BBT18 toolto remove the crank set, so that I could get to the chainring bolts with my
Part of me quite likes owning tools that are specifically for one job only.
Our bikes have Boost axles so the chainline needed to be a few mm further from the center line than with a regular axle, 52mm according to , so I had to hunt down the above-mentioned washers. It only took an hour or of trial and error to get it right, 3 on the inside and one on the outside because the bolt was 1mm too long. The Ask A Bike Mechanic group on FB assured me this was going to be OK, but I’m carrying around that little wrench in my toolkit for the next 1000km or so.
They’re not meant to be used with tubes
Thus chided the very patient Elisabeth Foot from Schwalbe when I had complained that my “bullet proof” G-One All rounds were in fact thorn magnets. She also recommended Big Ben Plus or Marathon Plus MTB, but both came in only 2 inch versions and I wanted at least the 2.25″ our bikes came with, as well as the lowest rolling resistance I could get.
When I got home from our 3 months around very mixed surfaces all over Europe I decided to give tubeless a go. We had been using Schwalbe Rocket Rons and Racing Ralphs, and had about 8-10 flats and had replaced one tyre so it was time to try something new. I’m still not sure that the G-Ones 60-584 (27.5×2.35) are going to be the all-rounders I need, but I have them, they are Tubeless ready, or Tubeless Easy as Schwalbe brands them, so they will do for starters.
However, Orange sealant proved to be the first stumbling block, along with Gorilla Tape, both highly recommended by various Facebook groups, and both unobtainable in NZ! What’s the point in luxuriating in Sunday shopping hours if you can’t buy anything except by shopping online, usually from those closed-on-Sunday European emporiums. By the time they had arrived I had seen enough youtube videos to be an expert, although I was fully prepared to visit my LBS to have them do it properly after I had failed, so I launched into installing them.
The best advice gleaned from all those videos was
The first attempt went well. New G-Ones are devilishly hard to get onto the rims, they seem to be tighter than any other tyre I’ve fitted, but once on, and without sealant to begin with, they eased up onto the rims with a nice tight fit after the recommended quick light spray of silicon. I have a good pump (Topeak Joe Blow) and even though I’m no longer young and fit I could seat these big balloons without raising a sweat. I left them overnight, noticed that one was deflating slowly and worked out that it was my chopped down valve insert leaking, gave it a 50km test run to make sure, then replaced it with a proper one. That’s a messy job with the sealant splashing everywhere but luckily it cleans up well with a damp rag, and the properly made insert works a treat.
After slipping around a bit on the mud and grass one day last week I decided to change back to the knobblies. The Rocket Ron I had on the front had been hammered by thorns during our tour around Europe last year and it had one hole bigger than a matchstick, one ordinary hole and several small leaks around the sidewalls. Orange Sealant worked exactly as it should, it fizzed and bubbled and needed an pump up a couple of times but then it settled down with every leak well and truly plugged, and I added an extra squirt the next day and they haven’t even gone down at all in a week. I’ve got a Racing Ralph on the rear now, and even though the knob in the middle are mostly gone, they make a helluva whine on the road after the luxury quiet hiss from the G-Ones. Noticeably a bit slower too, but not enough to worry me.
The old stuff was dead easy to remove from the tyres too, because Orange forms a skin right around the tyre, and it all just peeled off in sheets. I haven’t used other sealants, but I’ve seen photos of how they ball up and form big lumps, but there was nothing like that. I probably could have left it on, except for the rims which I would have had to clean carefully before re-installing, and I’ll do that in future. I left it on the wheel rims though, figuring it would help keep things airtight.