Fun filled day (Going threaded AGAIN)

Nothing compares to the silky, sexy bliss that is a new king headset.

Unless you’re comparing it in amplitude to sheer terror… in which case I can make a fairly accurate comparision having the balls scared out of me twice on Saturday.

Kerry Park, Saturday March 19th, 2011.

A beautiful sunny weekend in Seattle- the first in a long, and what seems like a longer, time.

What this scene doesn’t show is how you get there.

First, leave your house after a leisurely morning in bed with your threadless fork quill stem and bars in your Rambler MSW bag.  The wind whips through your helmet matted hair for seconds but before you’re down the hill, disaster strikes at the funny bone of your bicycle fetishist boner… your dura ace lockring threads decide to give out and catastrophically launch your chain, cog and lockring spinning off your wheel, locking the wheel momentarily before resting jangling on the slowly turning axle as you pull off to a sidestreet.


There’s no traffic and your brakeless track bike hasn’t killed you.  Maybe it’s because you’re comfortable on a locked rear wheel even without much notice and enough speed to seriously injure any part of your body, should physics decide to make you eat shit.  Which it can easily decide to do.  Your friends will tell you to get a brake, but that will only help avoid danger, not catastrophic component failure.

Thankfully, you’re intact and haven’t ingested anything since breakfast(physics be damned), so when you get back home and switch the cog and lockring to the other side you realize you have a wheel that is flip/done flopped.  It says dura ace on it still, but the magic is now tainted because that shit is broke as a nonunion industry worker that sexed up his boss’s wife.

But just on one side.

Half-heartbroken and back on the road, you get the fork and king headset installed by a fantastically helpful mechanic, tip him a fiver, and it’s a beautiful day again.  You love your bike anew.  Celebrate and ride to the top of Queen Anne(The Hard Way) and take in the beautiful scenery.  Pause at Kerry Park.  Take a great jaunt down macgraw to the back side of the hill and start to bomb 3rd to SPU and the Fremont bridge.

But wait, you’ve only got one side of your cog now… and the last time you resisted the pedals down a hill, well… this time better to really bomb it and go as fast as the wind will let you.  Not wanting to strip the threads again you just pedal faster and faster.  No cars, just wind and the sweet triumphant humm of your velocity over pave-FUCK.  Unfortunately, Bitch-ass Disaster strikes again as your chain drops … or maybe first your axle slips… whichever occurs first, it wraps the chain around your bb shell in a whiptight rotafix in a second sudden break of “this-can’t-be-happening-again” cunt strike that makes your wheel lock up while bombing a hill for the second time in the day, but this time faster and on a much larger hill with a much more abrupt and dangerous speed change.  The 28c gatorskin has had enough of this mindlessly terrifying bullshit, and blows through to the tube which explodes in an instant from the heat of your uncontrolled 25mph+ skid that lasts probably about 70 feet or so before the flat stops you flat.

You come to rest in front of a park at another side street which is again devoid of cars.  That flat tire sure stops you quick once it blows.  And now your bb shell is shredded through the beautiful powdercoat.

But at least you’re not dead.  Even after the speed-wobbles, which are a jolt-induced shimmy of the front end as the tire explodes in the rear, you’re still alive. Bitch-ass Disaster hasn’t killed you yet.

It’s a long and shitty walk to Wright Brothers’ bike shop where you see all the people you enjoy most and shoot the shit while you install a new tube, tire, and chain tensioners.  Goddamn that Hanzo axle bolt ratchet is nice.  Shop closes and you’re back on the bike.  Gas works is beautiful and amass with hipsters flying kites.  Back home to upload photos and it’s time to get ready for a night out. Mmm, shower time.

Bitch-ass Disaster: You can take my threads, but you can’t take my zest for life.



2 Responses to Fun filled day (Going threaded AGAIN)

  1. richie wong says:

    Can you explain to me what is going on in the first image with the tool that is going through the head tube of the bike?

    I’ve never seen a threadless go threaded.

    • charlieclay says:

      The tool used on the headtube in that photo is a facing reamer. it shaves off metal from the top and bottom of the headtube so the headtube is completely flat on its ends, which allows the headset to be pressed in and be completely flush and in alignment with the axis of the steerer tube.

      it isn’t always necessary but it’s a good idea and can prevent problems that arise from misaligned headset bearings.

      The tool in use here is the PARK HTR-1.

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