Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Them's the brakes.

I had a good ride this morning. I'd have ridden at lunch, but I had to mow the lawn since it was supposed to rain this evening. Not wanting to disappoint me, it did rain this evening. It's been raining a lot. Really.

I was going to ride last night after I finished up with work. I got all dressed, headed downstairs, and went to check my tire pressure. Front tire was fine; topped it off. Rear tire was... really low.

I didn't feel like going through the hassle of taking off the tire, checking tube and tire and then reinflating, so I figured I'd just throw on the other wheelset. This was a good decision. As I was dropping the front wheel into place, the rotor clipped one of the brake pads and... the pad came right off of the piece that holds it in place and fell on the floor.

I couldn't believe it. I took the wheel back out and tapped the brake pad on the opposite side. Fell right off. Apparently, they were pretty well shot. I feel extremely fortunate that they decided to wait until just then to crap out, as having that happen while I was riding would probably have been fairly unpleasant.

I checked the rear brakes, but they still look to have plenty of life. Makes sense, as I do most of my braking with the front brake.

Obviously, I wasn't going to be doing any riding. I called REI to see if they had the brake pads in stock (I'd have gone to Pro Bikes, but they close at 6:00 on Mondays). They confirmed that they had plenty, so after Heather and I had dinner (tomato-garlic chickpea pancakes with salsa spread and some corn), I headed over to the Southside Works.

I picked up the brake pads, some degreaser, shot bloks, and Camelbak drink tab things. Lots of stuff on sale right now. I forgot to look for water bottle cages that won't rub paint/metal onto my bottles and make my fingers all silvery every time I take a drink. There was something else I forgot, but already it's slipped my mind. Again.

Installing the new brake pads was a piece of cake. Take out the old ones, snap in the new ones. Adjust them so that they're close, but not too close, to the rotors. Verify that when you apply the brake the wheel does, in fact, stop. That's about it.

No problems with the brakes this morning. I have to remember to check the rear tire on the other wheelset to see if that tire has deflated again. I don't want to forget about it until I want to use that wheelset again. But that's probably what will happen.

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