Old 01-16-19, 08:45 AM
The Fat Guy In The Back
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
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Bikes: '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork, '15 Kestrel Evoke 3.0, '19 Salsa Mukluk

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Consecutive commute number 682:

Today I am riding more than 20 miles between work locations. I decided I didn't want to ride studded tires that far for the 2nd day in a row (what can I say? I'm lazy.) The rutted ice has evaporated enough that there are only about a dozen spots left where I can't just ride around the ice, and most of those spots are down to 10-20 yards in length. I decided it was worth the risk to take my hybrid without studs.

So last night in preparation for riding the hybrid I decided to wax the chain, as it was due. I started waxing chains last spring, and for the most part I like that method of lubrication. I started doing this on all bikes except for my winter bike, as that thing had an old rusty chain and I didn't feel like trying to clean it up so I continue to oil that one. I pulled the chain off the hybrid, threw it in my crock pot of lube wax and an hour and half later fished it out an re-installed. Easy peasey.

This morning I woke up to 6F temp with a sub-zero wind chill. We'd had above average temps in the upper 20s for about a week, so it was a little bit of a shock to the system. Nevertheless, I survived the trip intact and even kept the bike upright on the rutted ice.

However, I did learn that a freshly waxed chain and 6F air temps are a bad combination. The chain was a little bit, errr... stiff. I noticed that when I pedaled backwards I would hear an odd noise. I looked down to discover that the chain was so stiff that when I'd spin the crank backwards it would come completely off the front ring and just hop over the teeth. Thankfully I don't have to pedal backwards very often, and it didn't seem to have any trouble gripping the teeth when I would pedal forward.

My bike is sitting in a heated basement right now. Hopefully the chain will loosen up a bit for my ride to the next location in a couple of hours.
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