January in a nutshell

January is nearing the end while I wasn’t quite aware. Let’s see and not forget what this month has brought to my life.

Earlier, I was working at “English Camp” organized by the Board of Education, where I’d teach English to kids and help with communication between staff. The one I went to was for the Tokachi district and held in Ashoro, a town famous for the singer Chiharu Matsuyama. I thought it was cold when leaving Sapporo bathed in the morning sunlight, but Ashoro had more experience to offer with the temperature around -20 to -25 degrees Celsius every morning. Sorry, no more pictures since I was a bit busy during the camp. It was fun especially to play basketball in the free time.

My broken left hand was assigned to little job. Not once in basketball, and I had brought my lefty guitar so it only had to hold the pick when I played. The bone is growing back well thanks to all that, though I still can’t ride my bike… at least seriously yet.

Instead, I’ve been hitting the hot spring like every week at Hoheikyo Onsen on the outskirts of Sapporo. This picture was taken last year and there is more snow now.

Bathing is now much easier with the new detachable brace for my hand. With the decent support I can even ride my bike as long as I don’t grip with my little finger and ring finger. But hey, it doesn’t seem to be rolling smoothly?

Bearings in the rear hub were in a terrible condition. I overhauled the hub, took off the seal on one side of each bearing, cleaned and greased. In industrial usage they say 30% is the proper amount of grease in the cavity, but for some reasons I just filled them all up, all the way.

I also changed the crankset. There was no major issue with the prototype one I’ve been using, but I wanted to check and make sure that regular cranks in the market would fit before the nearing release of the frame.

One problem: the sprocket fixing bolt’s head interferes with the frame, which wouldn’t have been an issue if I used the spline-drive system. Oh well, I’m using this beat up sprocket so there is no hesitation to modify it.

I ground down the head of a countersunk bolt I had, and shaped the hole in the sprocket in the matching shape. The ugly scratches are from when I had to grind off the head of a seized bolt, but the countersinking looks all right, especially as a product of such a rough process of moving the work piece by hand on a simple drilling stand. The bolt was ground with a disc, clamped on a drill to be polished, then gun-blued.

The clearance was about 0.5 mm after I tightened everything. Not bad. For you information all bike parts flex, so there needs to be some clearance like this. At the far ends of the frame or parts, the clearance needs to be in the next digit or more.

New shiny color, super smooth rolling, nothing more I can ask for. I also put metal pedals back for the hell of it. All in all, I’m really glad I serviced the bearings in time that would have died very soon if I kept them rolling without maintenance.

Now, the story will continue – to “February: our great new frames in stock & bone healed.” Stay tuned.

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