five...maybe not the chain, but I've got no recollection of ever changing it out. None whatsoever. My frame was replaced about three years ago when my original developed a crack. The jewels were pulled off one frame and hung onto the other. A different chain may have appeared then.
They do that, don't they? appear?
Last August it hit me that as long as everything brake pads=three years was running smoothly I'd best not ever get a new chain ever, because if I did then it would skip and jump and I'd be forced to get a new cassette. And let's face it: if I can get a few more miles outta something, I'll find the way
I decided to run the chain and cassette until they both ended up in pieces on the road, together for eternity. A pair so entwined can't be thoughtlessly separated. Chainring tattoos began appearing on my calf from the built-up gunk -- numerous grains of crud had developed an intricate role in the functioning of the drivetrain: cleaning anything would wash my good karma down the drain.
But this spring, a shiny new set of aero-spoked wheels rolled my way. A half-eaten cassette and a grit-covered worm of a chain just wouldn't do. The time had come.
I also knew the time had come to consider a cassette that would give me a lower gear. I've used a 12-25 for years. It's still fine for me, but every now and again in the coulees of Wisconsin I wish for just one more bailout. It's early season and I'm on my way to the hills.
So, there I was at the LBS. Two cassettes sat nestled in their boxes on the counter: a 25 and a 27... 27. My stomach felt like it used to when I faced lima beans as a 7-year-old. When it comes to gearing no one else can make your decision, nonetheless I asked for a variety of opinions, even what size other old ladies use: 27. I tried, but I just couldn't embrace it when all else fails, see how it looks. I put it on the wheel. I held it up for Joe to see.
Wow. It looks, um, BIG.
I may be riding recreationally these days, but my racing past is deeply ingrained and just can't be rationally explained to someone who hasn't been there. I couldn't put a big 'ol cassette on a set of nice wheels. I walked out with the 12-25 and the resolve: I will suck-it-up on the inconsistent Wisconsin hills until I'm 50 and won't complain ever about having denied myself that one lower gear.
At home I started the trade-out, the old and new wheels side-by-side. My current crud-covered cassette...looks...smaller...than the new 25...because of the crud? I looked closely for the marking indicating tooth-number. Couldn't find it amidst the gunk. So I started counting. Hm. It appears to be...yes...it's a
a 23!All this time I've been riding a 23!
What am I going to do with this new 25 now?! It's not like I need it....
- OB knows she's getting old but it's really not so bad