Sunday, 5 July 2015

Trike Surgery

Goodness, July already?  Apologies for the long silence, Life has been getting in the way and the weather's been so cold and wet there's not been much photography going on either.

Back in April/May Jo and I performed major trike surgery.  The bottom bracket (bit that sits in the frame and allows the pedal cranks to rotate freely) had died a death and as the bike shop in Oban hadn't been open when we went over, it was left to us to replace it.

New tools were purchased, new parts, and one cold but sunny day the trike was overturned for it's new hip.

I'm not entirely thought through their design and parts list with regards to long-term use. 

You see, the bottom bracket is held in by two "caps".  These are usually made of metal and the tool to undo them is also metal.  The ones on our trike?  Plastic.

Plastic, like metal, doesn't fare well over time on Tiree.  It usually goes brittle and shatters easily.  This plastic did the opposite; it went soft.  You know those shatter-proof rulers you got at school?  The ones you could (should you be inclined) chew and leave perfect impressions in?  Same texture.

Now, take that plastic, as thin as the rulers, and apply a similarly thin metal tool with only three points of contact and apply torque...  Yup, mess.  The caps refused to come off clearly.  The first I knew of it was when Jo came in for a drill. 

A drill?!

 photo Toolkit_zpshyqpdsxn.jpg

 photo InAction_zpssxjolu5g.jpg

 photo ObviousChoice_zpsc4hq5htw.jpg

After a drill, knife, pliers, hand-drill, and a hammer and chunk of wood...

 photo HollowWithTools_zps2r41gmfw.jpg

Yes, you read that right, chunk of wood.  The old bracket was so rusted and broken it was aiding the jam and seeing as we didn't need it or any of the other parts, we stuck a chunk of wood in the hole to bash the bits out the other side.  Brute force and ignorance wins again.

The bracket had shattered some time ago it seems,
 photo Shattered_zps91vznn4e.jpg

Old and new:
 photo OldandNew_zpsxrnjqa1k.jpg

Yup, three years on Tiree takes its toll.

The new bracket was fitted, and looks so shiny!
 photo NewBracket_zpsw65p7kpb.jpg

It was new tire time too.
 photo NewTyre_zpsxyd0g8fg.jpg

And new sprocket.  More rusty parts were removed.
 photo RustyBits_zpsxicmdapk.jpg

See those bolts with a nut on one and and a hole at the other?  Rusted stiff.  One snapped clear off.  Jo spent hours looking for replacements without success.  I think I finally found some mid-June, it's just a case of wanting to loosen the back wheel to install them.

So, that was trike surgery.  Honestly, if anyone else on this island gets one of these trikes, I'll be the go-to expert at this rate!


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