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One of the most contentious and highly subjective subjects commonly found on bicycling blogs are gear reviews. They are often nothing more than personal preferences based upon unique experiences using individual products. Well dear reader, I will offer you nothing more than my highly opinionated reports based upon my very limited and unprofessional experience with just the stuff I have.

2018 Big Rebuild

It's been a long time coming - four years to be precise, but surprisingly the weather relaxed for a day in early April so that I finally could replace my drive train.

I hate riding my bike with mucky parts, but because the weather has been so horrible along with my drive train components being pretty much shot; I just let things go. I see little point in cleaning a crankset with shark teeth or a rear derailleur when the pivot arms are worn out.

One day I'll have a proper bike shed in which to fiddle with my bikes regardless of the weather; in the meantime I am forced to take advantage of the days when it's NOT raining.

Yes, it was cold! There's still snow about in the corners of the yard. And yes, I could only work for a short while before heading back inside to warm my hands a bit.

What a dirty mess, eh? In my part of the world, this is what yer bike will look like after 1,500 miles without cleaning. I was more than a little concerned about having water seeped into the bearings of my dynamo hub.

Changing rear gears was an adventure. The rear derailleur was completely worn out and would only hold the chain on the middle rear sprockets. No amount of adjustment could get the full range... very awkward.

And then that poor front crankset was just a goner. The slightest bit of pressure whilst on the outer chainring would immediately drop the chain back down to the middle ring.

But I am not complaining. I got more than my money's worth out of this gear:
  • Crankset: 32,566.6 miles (Jan. 2015 - Apr. 2018)
  • Rear Derailleur: 43,960.7 miles (Jan. 2012 - Apr. 2018)
  • Chain: 8,293.40 miles (Nov. 2016 - Apr. 2018)
  • Cassette: 8,293.40 miles (Nov. 2016 - Apr. 2018)
  • Bottom Bracket: 8,293.40 miles (Nov. 2016 - Apr. 2018)

It's kinda cool having lots of new components sitting around, but it's also terribly frustrating to not be able to install them. So yes, I'm really excited to get this project going!

There are some subtle changes in the design of the rear derailleur over six years. Most notably, the derailleur body is a bit more solid and the cable attaches further forward on the case. The cage itself is now straight.

I am loving the look of my new crankset and I can't wait to use it. The old one sure paid it's dues. I was quite worried about finding a replacement... 9-speed triples (with Hollowtech axle) are getting hard to find. (See my article: "Death of the Triple Crank" for more thoughts on this...)

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