Looking forward to the 2012 BTT Benidorm, I started to check the bike, all was well until it came to the wheels and more specifically the Shimano loose bearing hubs. They had been serviced, by me, a couple of times over the last few years and adjusted regularly but after 4000km with me and an unknown amount with the previous owner they were starting to cry “enough”.
On inspection it was worse than I thought, not only were the bearings in need of a change but the hubs themselves were badly pitted too. Time for some decisions, new, wheels to match my current V-brakes or go the whole hog and upgrade to hydraulic disk brakes as well.
It’s a no-brainer really, hydraulic disks are far better for the sort of riding I do, a little heavier maybe, but then I could always lose a few extra grams to make up the difference.
Parts were eventually sourced from the good people at bicimarket.com, Mach1 MX rims on Shimano Deore hubs (I like loose bearings), Shimano M445/M446 brakes with 160mm rotors and new Shimano gear shifters as my previous ones where integrated with the brakes.
The fitting went quite smoothly despite having to bleed the rear brake after slightly cocking up the hose shortening routine, I even managed to swap the hoses between the levers so they are set up as in the UK with the front brake on the right rather than the European standard which is reversed.
First time out around the local lanes for ten minutes and they took a bit of getting used to. They are much sharper than the old V’s with a lot more feel. Overall the bike gained no weight which was a bonus, so all in all a great afternoon’s work.
The second ride was at the BTT Benidorm, filled with steep descents and rim covering mud near the beginning, I was glad I’d made the change.