So I got back yesterday from what is probably the strangest holiday I’ve ever had.
The return journey was an eye opener. The logic of some people is, well, they’re just thick I think. Now face masks. Some had them at the airport, most didn’t. I’ve read varying reports on the usefulness of them but if you want to wear one, thats fine by me but don’t take it off to talk to people at length. I mean are you stupid? Put it on and keep it on or don’t bother. Secondly, the airport. It was very busy getting tourists off the island ASAP. Social-distancing wasn’t really viable. You could keep away from people while waiting in the departure lounge, it was big enough, but queuing to check in, security, getting on the plane and on the plane itself, it was impossible. Fast forward home and I’ve decided to isolate myself as 1. I’m now working from home until further notice and 2. I’ve been in contact with a LOT of people. Sally on the other hand, asked her bosses at West Midlands Police about their policy. They don’t have one (WTF!). They asked the Highways Agency for their advice (WTF!) and instead asked her to seek official advice herself (WTF!) which was the final straw. There isn’t any for returning travellers. Effectively, its carry on unless you have a symptom. In that case isolate for 7 days or 14 if there is more than one of you. So Sally goes to work tomorrow having being around hundreds if not thousands of people in the last 48hrs. That is an issue right there. Madness.
Anyway, I digress, back to the point of my blog. I unpacked my bike today. It was covered in dust and sand so it needed a good clean but as I was going to replace the drivetrain anyway, it turned into a full strip, clean and rebuild. Not done one of them for a while.
After stripping it, I dried it and removed every bolt and lubed them. My rear mech cable adjuster had seized so I sorted that and then I fitted new cables, a new GRX600 46/30 chainset, a new chain, cassette and headset bearings. Its like new now thanks to Muc-Off Bike Protect making it sparkle.
The real issue was would my Shimano 105 R7000 front mech work with the GRX chainset. According to Shimano, it won’t. Its not compatible because the GRX rings are offset 2.5mm further out so the front mech can clear wider tyres used on gravel bikes and correct the chainline for 142mm rear axles. I did some research and the general consensus agreed with them but right at the death I found someone on a forum who claimed he had an Ultegra R8000 working with the same chainset as mine. Interesting and I like a challenge. Thought I’d give it a go before committing to a new front mech.
I stripped the bike completely apart from taking the brakes and bars off. The mechs and pedals I got in the sink and scrubbed to get the sand out of them. I dried them and sprayed them with GT85 to clean them up nice.
Everything fitted fine and then the front mech. I had to drop the braze-on adapter to take into account the smaller 46 outer rings. I set the tension up as normal and opened the limit screws. Low and behold it shifted. It took a bit of fiddling, it seemed to need a wider gap between the cage and chainring teeth and I wouldn’t say the shifting is absolutely A1 100% but it does shift pretty well so it will do for me as I’ll spend 90% of my time on the 46 anyway. Can’t wait to test it.