As of yesterday I’ve officially put in 100 miles on the Davidson Impulse from Classic Cycle:
Even though its finish looks like a pair of ’80s hair metal tights, I like this bike more and more with every ride, and in fact I found myself embarking upon a dangerous line of thought. Awhile back, someone reached out and offered me a rather generous amount of money for my beloved Litespeed Tuscany, a.k.a. my New-To-Me Titanium “Forever” bike, also from Classic Cycle. So I wondered if perhaps I should take advantage of the tight used bike market, divest myself of my titanium holdings, and replace it with the Davidson. But of course, before I seriously considered such a course of action, I knew I had to ride both bikes back-to-back.
As I’ve mentioned before, when evaluating bikes, scranus calibration is of the utmost importance. (Inasmuch as the scranus is the part of the anatomy that registers what, for lack of a better word, we’ll call a bike’s “feel.”) If you’re comparing two road bikes, for example, you can’t ride one, then spend a few days on a mountain bike or something, then ride another road bike and compare it with the first. Instead, you’ve got to get accustomed to the first, then move directly onto the next without contaminating your scranus in the interim. So, having put in some decent mileage on the Davidson so far, and having ridden it as recently as yesterday, I resolved to ride the Litespeed today by way of juxtaposition.
Alas, before I could ride this morning, I had a shitload of laundry to do. So while my unmentionables were sloshing around in the wash I performed a bit of bike maintenance I’d been putting off for awhile. The rear wheel on the Litespeed, which is equipped with a Campagnolo Record hub, occasionally does that thing where you start pedaling and you can feel the freehub pawls sort of pop into place with a little “ping!” sound. I suspected maybe the pawls were sticking and needed to be re-lubed, so first I gutted the hub:
I should mention the design of the hub makes this exceedingly easy to do, and in a matter of minutes I had the axle and freehub out:
And the various bearings, seals, and washers arrayed in the order in while I’d taken them out so I’d know how to put them back:
One of the pawls did seem somewhat recalcitrant when I pushed it, and the grease also looked a little sticky:
So next I moved on to my surgical implements:
I don’t use a dropper on my bike, but I do use one for my bike.
After spraying the bearings with whatever penetrating schpritz happened to be lying around I applied my own proprietary blend of grease to both them and the inside of the hub where they live:
Then I sprayed the pawls and liberally applied synthetic motor oil to them using the dropper:
When I had everything back together I gave the wheel a vigorous test spin:
I followed this with a test spin of the entire bicycle, though I wouldn’t necessarily consider it “vigorous:”
As soon as I got on the bike I knew I’d been delusional in scheming to replace it. I hate ascribing mystical properties to frame materials, but whether it’s the titanium or something else this bike is smoother than room temperature cream cheese. The Davidson is itself quite a smooth bicycle and a delight to ride, and I don’t covet it any less than I did before today, but the Litespeed is positively decadent and maybe even irreplaceable. In other words, I don’t want the Davidson instead of the Litespeed, I just want it, because it’s hard not to fall for a pristine classic road bike.
As for the hub, so far so good. At the very least I’m glad I finally got in there, it was starting to feel like a closet door I’d never opened.