Fire Mountain nightmares – Pt. 1

During the course of getting the FM back on the road, I dismantled the rear hub and re-packed the bearings.

The locknut on the non-drive side was seized, so I removed the cassette and worked from the drive side.

I re-packed the bearings and replaced the axle, making sure that there was no play in the hub. All seemed well, and a 2.7mile test ride seemed to confirm this.

However, on the first day I tried riding it to work, I managed to get about 1/2 mile when a horrific noise emitted from the back wheel, followed by the endcap of the QR (non-lever side) being blown off, leaving just 3mm of the 20mm of thread on the spindle!

I took the bike home and rode to work on my motorbike. I purchased a set of QR skewers at Evans Brighton. Once I got home, I set about dismantling and re-packing again. I had a suspicion that I’d not fully tightened the QR when the bike was in the stand (planning to do so when the bike was on the floor but forgetting), so made sure that didn’t happen this time. The wheel span freely and a test ride of just over a mile was uneventful.

My first proper ride was the 7.3 mile ride to work, which went swimmingly, except for the bike feeling, I guess, ‘tired’. This was a hardtail on semi-slicks, yet compared to my Kitsune, felt quite sluggish. My average speed was significantly lower for the same stretch of road than when on the Kitsune with its 2.1″ knobblies, and full suss, which I generally leave active for the commute. The saddle was too low, so I bought a new multi tool at Evans Brighton.

I left in the evening after adjusting the saddle, and only got 1.25 miles when exactly the same happened to the rear wheel again – another QR skewer exploded. I locked the bike, bussed home and picked the bike up in the car. 

I’d decided by now that a new wheel was in order, and had found a single-walled basic model in Evans. But as Halfords was on my route home, I popped in there to see what they had.. I wanted the bike sorted, ready for another commute the next day.

They only had a £50 model.. quite a jump price wise, but it was double-walked, with a disk brake hub and a skewer. Since a new skewer was needed anyway, I figured the price was justified and purchased, installing the wheel that night.

I rode to work the next day, with the rear wheel behaving. However, more issues were soon to rear their ugly head with the commute home.. TBC!

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