I put in considerably fewer miles in January than in the last few months of 2010, mainly because the weather was so uncooperative. But even so, I did come to one major conclusion about my bike:
I have to change cranks again.
But then came New Year’s Day. The left crank arm fell off during a ride.
I prepared myself after that. I put an 8 mm Allen wrench into my seat bag, ready to tighten the pedal bolt if I ever needed to. Unfortunately, just a few days later, I needed to. I stopped during a ride just to check it, and sure enough, the same left crank arm jiggled a little.
I mentioned the problem to a bike mechanic, and he told me the crankset was shot, and needed to be replaced. I didn’t really want to, and figured I could just tighten it as needed.
But I’ve needed to tighten it more often than I thought. And it’s very unpredictable, too. On a recent 30-mile ride, the bolt stayed tight, even after I’d traveled some grungy roads. But on an easy Veloway ride of half that distance a few days later, I had to stop on the second lap to tighten it down.