Sometimes I just make up reasons to work on my bikes. It might be a complete drivetrain overhaul or something as simple as replacing the bar tape, but it seems I almost always have some project or another in the works. I guess I have to face the fact that I’m a gear head of sorts, and working on bikes is very nearly (but not quite) half the fun. Add to that the fact that I’m a bit of a perfectionist and some might say I have a full-blown addiciton to wrenching on bikes. The good news is that I have the family’s entire fleet to attend to, as well as no shortage of toys on loan from friends and sponsors, all of which help to keep me busy and out of trouble.
My latest jag was sanitizing the drivetrains on every bike in our stable and converting from wet lubes to hot wax. We’re now all squeaky clean and quiet. Mrs. EcoVelo was kind enough to find an old crockpot at a thrift store for my paraffin/beeswax experiments, so we’re in great shape now; no more wax drips on the kitchen counter! [BTW - If you're a waxer, I've made some interesting discoveries involving mixing paraffin with beeswax - drop me a note if you'd like my formula.] That endeavor provided a deep sense of satisfaction that might be a little hard to understand for those who are less obsessive about their bikes.
This coming weekend’s project is a bar re-wrap. I understand complementary colors, and I use complements in design work all the time, but somehow I never fully embraced the orange/blue combo on my Sam Hillborne, so I ordered up some brown Newbaum’s that should nicely harmonize with the green/brown/orange color scheme on the rest of the bike. Of course, I have to make it more complicated than necessary, so I’ll tie-off the wraps with some twine, and slather the entire bar with a 50/50 mix of amber and clear Bulls Eye shellac. Can’t wait!
All of this is in good fun and, fortunately, it has the practical benefit of keeping our bikes in great shape for presentation on the blog. And while I sometimes feel as if I’m the only obsessive mechanic out there (people constantly tease me about our clean bikes), I know I can’t be the only one. So, how about you? Are you a wrench junkie? Do you enjoy working on bikes almost as much as riding them?