oh yea, the box….

it’s destroyed. The contents of it, however, allow me to use my extra long legs to pedal my super fast bike extra efficiently. That’s just a fancy way of saying: I have longer (appropriately sized) crank arms! I’ve been talking about them (to anyone who would listen) for months. The first set arrived and they didn’t fit the bike, so back to CA they went. The second set arrived with the same (income and) outcome. The third and final set arrived and…..they had to modified to fit the bike.

If only we had switched to metric like they promised in 2nd grade (no matter what your age is), I wouldn’t have had to modify anything. The super fast bike has chain-stays that flare out from the bottom bracket to the back tire. It’s a neat design, but I really don’t care about design (did you ever see the clothes I wear?). The maker of the cranks had to create a custom spacer in the center of the cranks to allow enough room to clear the flared out chain-stays. All’s good until the bolt that connects the cranks from either end is now too short for the required space. No problem right? Just get a longer bolt and the problem is solved. The maker of the cranks only had one size, and it was about 1/2 inch too short.

So off to Sears Hardware I go.

I’m looking for a 14mm 1.25 depth metric bolt that is about 2 inches long (sorry, 5.08 cm long). I’ll just ask the guy in that department and he’ll get one and I’ll be on my merry way (chasing butterflies). It turns out, they don’t have that kind of bolt and he gave me the name of a place in Norristown that might. Perfect. If you ever need ANY bolt or nut, this place has them….EXCEPT FOR THE ONE I NEED! He gave me a 4 inch, 14 mm bolt with a huge shoulder that wasn’t metric and told me I can get a die to cut it myself. Thanks buddy. At least I was closer.

I didn’t want to create my own bolt, so I searched online and found that Mini Cooper lug nut bolts are…. get this…. 14mm and 1.25 depth metric! The next morning (Friday), I ordered two bolts from Main Line Mini Cooper and they were the 1/2 inch longer that I needed although they had a shoulder on them that wouldn’t work for me.

A little grinding and custom cutting later, I had the right length bolt with the right width shoulder and the cranks are securely fastened to the super fast bike. Take that Sears Hardware and Hurricane Schwartz!

I’ve had one decently long ride and one shorter ride with the longer cranks. I wished I had had them from the beginning, but sometimes it doesn’t work out like you wish. Sometimes you have to custom make a bolt, intended for something else, to fit into someone else’s cranks, on a bike design that was never intended to to be modified, on the last weekend of training, just to breathe easier at night. Come to think of it, I’m going to take it out on the box….. again.

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